eval() evaluates the string given in code_str as PHP code. Among other things, this can be useful for storing code in a database text field for later execution.
There are some factors to keep in mind when using eval(). Remember that the string passed must be valid PHP code, including things like terminating statements with a semicolon so the parser doesn't die on the line after the eval(), and properly escaping things in code_str.
Also remember that variables given values under eval() will retain these values in the main script afterwards.
A return statement will terminate the evaluation of the string immediately. As of PHP 4, eval() returns NULL unless return is called in the evaluated code, in which case the value passed to return is returned. In case of a parse error in the evaluated code, eval() returns FALSE. In case of a fatal error in the evaluated code, the whole script exits. In PHP 3, eval() does not return a value.
See also call_user_func().