Zend Upgrades IP Protection for PHP Applications

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-04-12 Print this article Print

Zend Guard 4 helps protect application code written in open-source PHP from hackers and intellectual property pirates.

PHP creator Zend Technologies on April 12 introduced upgraded software that helps protect application code written in open-source PHP from hackers and intellectual property pirates. Zend Guard 4 enables independent software vendors, developers and businesses—anybody who does original PHP programming—to protect intellectual property written in the language. By combining encryption and code obfuscation with license management, the new product offers an unprecedented level of protection, Zend said. A new tool allows PHP development on the popular Visual Studio platform. Click here to read more.
"This is the first time, we believe, that any code-protection software has combined encryption, obfuscation and a licensing manager all in one package," Product Line Manager Michel Gerin told eWEEK. "In fact, we have added two levels of obfuscation—basic and strong—to make it even more difficult for someone to reverse engineer any of the code that is protected."
Obfuscated code has its standard language syntax and grammar masked from the main body of code. Encryption is the process of obscuring code to make it unreadable without special knowledge. Cupertino, Calif.-based Zend claims that PHP (formerly called Personal Home Page) is currently used by more than 22 million Web sites and that number is climbing. As more developers begin experimenting with and deploying PHP for business applications, the demand for improved security for the open-source programming language has increased, the company said. Zend Guard 4 comprises two key components, the Zend Guard encoder, which handles both the encryption and obfuscation, and the Zend Guard license manager, which enables the protection and mass distribution of commercial PHP applications. Licenses can be easily modified or renewed, without deploying new software, Gerin said. Developers can pick and choose from a variety of flexible licensing models, such as those for concurrent users, time-limited, segment of network or server-specific, Gerin said. A new, easier-to-use interface includes new wizards to help programmers encode PHP applications and manage licensing more efficiently while maintaining optimal application performance. The new version also supports PHP 5.1, Gerin added. Guru Jakob Nielsen offers advice on designing applications for usability. Click here to watch the video. PHP has been an increasingly popular choice among SMBs (small and midsize businesses) and nonprofits for building homemade Web sites, due to its relative simplicity of configuration and lack of licensing fees. As the technology has matured during the last two years at Zend and through its open-source developer community, PHP has become an often-used Web development software for larger enterprises&3151;often replacing Java and .Net layers within systems. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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