Zend, Microsoft Launch New PHP on Azure Partnership

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-04-15 Print this article Print
Zend Z-Ray PHP debugging technology

In a blog post on the partnership, Nir Mashkowski, principal group program manager for Azure Web Sites, said Z-Ray acts as a developer's cockpit, continuously showing developers the inner workings of their application right inside the browser window, seamlessly integrating into the app web UI.

And the Z-Ray for Azure offering is a unique PHP productivity technology fully integrated with Azure App Service. It provides developers with continuous in-depth insight into their PHP applications, delivering increased productivity, application performance, and code quality. Zend also offers Z-Ray for developers on the Amazon Web services cloud platform.

"When our team saw Z-Ray several months ago—it caught our attention," Mashkowski said. "The depth of information combined with the intuitive developer workflow made it a very attractive proposition for our customers. Making it available exclusively on Azure App Service—the only cloud service to offer integrated Z-Ray experience—bolsters our efforts to deliver the best user experience to developers of WordPress, Drupal, Magento and other PHP applications. It reiterates our commitment to making Azure App Service is a great platform to develop PHP apps in the cloud as well as other platforms such as .NET, Java, Node.js and Python."

Gutmans said Zend and Microsoft have a shared vision of transforming the developer experience in the cloud.

"The initial focus of this latest partnership is to combine the strong developer experience of Azure App Service with the innovative developer experience Z-Ray delivers," Gutmans said in a blog post. "In order to optimize the experience for both existing and new Azure App Service customers, we decided to integrate a standalone specifically tailored version of Z-Ray directly into the Azure App Service experience. Ultimately, with an application platform like Azure App Service, you really shouldn't have to care about any of the plumbing—you should be able to go from code to cloud within seconds. Z-Ray will be pre-integrated and provisioned into PHP-based Web sites, meaning developers can enable it with the click of a button both for development and production. This tightly integrated and optimized experience will ensure the broadest set of developers can access this technology, including casual developers of popular applications such as WordPress and Drupal as well as mobile/API developers."

The integration of Z-Ray within Azure App Service delivers an out-of-the-box experience that enables developers to access it with the flip of a switch. Z-Ray inherently supports mobile and API development with its Z-Ray Live! technology. It also features a pluggable architecture that makes it easy to customize and extend Z-Ray to any framework or application in addition to the built-in support for popular PHP apps.

"Agility and productivity are key drivers to cloud platform decisions, and developers are at the epicenter of making those choices," Al Hilwa, an analyst at IDC, said in a statement. "By jointly integrating Z-Ray at the Azure PaaS-level, Zend and Microsoft deliver a unique new view of app behavior and performance which enables strong developer productivity and quality in the cloud."

"Developers, and more specifically open source developers, are the new kingmakers who determine platform adoption," said Stephen O'Grady, principal analyst with RedMonk, in a statement. "This is particularly true in the cloud, which is why Microsoft and Zend partnering around Z-Ray to improve the Azure developer experience is an important step for PHP developers."

Gutmans said Zend will demonstrate Z-Ray for Azure at Microsoft's Build 2015 developer event, which kicks off at the end of April. Zend will release a public preview of Z-Ray for Azure soon after, he said.


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