The php demo uses a backed database (MySQL) that simulates a simple machine database.
the php file in hosts/conf/config.php defines the database and the connection parameter that the application will use. Change it to your needs.
Create a database (I used hosts) and populate it with the script found in sql/php-demo.sql
The php-demo portlet is configured to use the following start page: hosts/index.php
That's it! Questions/problems: firstname.lastname@example.org