PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository) is a framework and distribution system for PHP components. These components come in packages and are open source. All of the packages come with documentation on uses, requirements, and how to instantiate them into your code. There are a wide variety of PEAR modules that let web programmers do XML parsing, database query caching, form validation, excel document generation, mathematical functions, and more.

Current PHP releases have the PEAR base installation. If PEAR is not installed, then you could either upload the go-pear.php file into your site’s directory or use the command line installer. The PHP website has information on how to use and install the PEAR package manager on Windows, Linux, and shared hosting environments. Packages can be installed by using the PEAR install –options module_name command. Packages are continually updated for bug fixes and for new features.

A Common PEAR package is HTML_QuickForm2 which can be used for creating, validating, and processing forms. Forms can be created through object classes and methods which would allow forms to be created easily through fields in a database, allowing the end user or client of the web site to make changes at their own discretion consequently limiting time of a web developer or webmaster.