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Data Types define the type of data a variable can store. PHP allows eight different types of data types. All of them are discussed below. There are pre-defined, user-defined, and special data types.

The predefined data types are:

  • Boolean
  • Integer
  • Double
  • String

The user-defined (compound) data types are:

  • Array
  • Objects

The special data types are:

  • NULL
  • resource

The first five are called simple data types and the last three are compound data types: 
 

1. Integer: Integers hold only whole numbers including positive and negative numbers, i.e., numbers without fractional part or decimal point. They can be decimal (base 10), octal (base 8), or hexadecimal (base 16). The default base is decimal (base 10). The octal integers can be declared with leading 0 and the hexadecimal can be declared with leading 0x. The range of integers must lie between -2^31 to 2^31. 

Example: 

PHP

<?php
 
class gfg {
  var $message;
   
  function gfg($message) {
    $this->message = $message;
  }
   
  function msg() {
    return "This is an example of " . $this->message . "!";
  }
}
 
// instantiating a object
$newObj = new gfg("Object Data Type");
echo $newObj -> msg();
 
?>

                    

Output
704

int(704)

2. Double: Can hold numbers containing fractional or decimal parts including positive and negative numbers or a number in exponential form. By default, the variables add a minimum number of decimal places. The Double data type is the same as a float as floating-point numbers or real numbers.

Example: 

PHP

<?php
 
$nm = NULL;
echo $nm;    // this will return no output
 
// return data type
var_dump($nm);
 
?>

                    

Output
705.11

float(705.11)

3. String: Hold letters or any alphabets, even numbers are included. These are written within double quotes during declaration. The strings can also be written within single quotes, but they will be treated differently while printing variables. To clarify this look at the example below. 
 

Example: 

PHP


                    

Output
The name of the Geek is Krishna 
The name of the geek is $name 

string(7) "Krishna"

4. Boolean: Boolean data types are used in conditional testing. Hold only two values, either TRUE(1) or FALSE(0). Successful events will return true and unsuccessful events return false. NULL type values are also treated as false in Boolean. Apart from NULL, 0 is also considered false in boolean. If a string is empty then it is also considered false in boolean data type. 


Example:   

PHP

<?php
 
if(TRUE)
    echo "This condition is TRUE";
if(FALSE)
    echo "This condition is not TRUE";
 
?>

                    

Output
This condition is TRUE

5. Array: Array is a compound data type that can store multiple values of the same data type. Below is an example of an array of integers. It combines a series of data that are related together.
  

PHP

<?php
 
$intArray = array( 10, 20 , 30);
 
echo "First Element: $intArray[0]\n";
echo "Second Element: $intArray[1]\n";
echo "Third Element: $intArray[2]\n\n";
 
//returns data type and value
var_dump($intArray);
 
?>

                    

Output
First Element: 10
Second Element: 20
Third Element: 30

array(3) {
  [0]=>
  int(10)
  [1]=>
  int(20)
  [2]=>
  int(30)
}

We will discuss arrays in detail in further articles. 
 

6. Objects: Objects are defined as instances of user-defined classes that can hold both values and functions and information for data processing specific to the class. This is an advanced topic and will be discussed in detail in further articles. When the objects are created, they inherit all the properties and behaviours from the class, having different values for all the properties.

          Objects are explicitly declared and created from the new keyword.

PHP

<?php
 
class gfg {
  var $message;
   
  function gfg($message) {
    $this->message = $message;
  }
   
  function msg() {
    return "This is an example of " . $this->message . "!";
  }
}
 
// instantiating a object
$newObj = new gfg("Object Data Type");
echo $newObj -> msg();
 
?>

                    

Output
This is an example of Object Data Type!

7. NULL: These are special types of variables that can hold only one value i.e., NULL. We follow the convention of writing it in capital form, but it’s case-sensitive. If a variable is created without a value or no value, it is automatically assigned a value of NULL. It is written in capital letters.


Example: 

PHP

<?php
 
$nm = NULL;
echo $nm;    // this will return no output
 
// return data type
var_dump($nm);
 
?>

                    

Output
NULL

8. Resources: Resources in PHP are not an exact data type. These are basically used to store references to some function call or to external PHP resources. For example, consider a database call. This is an external resource. Resource variables hold special handles for files and database connections.
We will discuss resources in detail in further articles.

Note: 

  • To check the type and value of an expression, use the var_dump() function which dumps information about a variable. 
  • PHP allows the developer to cast the data type.




 



Last Updated : 07 Jun, 2022
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