A resource is a special variable, holding a reference to an external resource. Resources are created and used by special functions. See the appendix for a listing of all these functions and the corresponding resource types.
Note: The resource type was introduced in PHP 4
Due to the reference-counting system introduced with PHP4's Zend-engine, it is automatically detected when a resource is no longer referred to (just like Java). When this is the case, all resources that were in use for this resource are made free by the garbage collector. For this reason, it is rarely ever necessary to free the memory manually by using some free_result function.
Note: Persistent database-links are special, they are not destroyed by the gc. See also persistent links