Zend Technologies Inc. Tuesday continued its strategic move into the enterprise market with the release of a new PHP development platform, Zend Studio 5, which includes enhanced Web services support.
Zend Studio 5 is also the first IDE to provide full support for Zend Platform 2, the companys bread-and-butter PHP product that includes session clustering capability to handle higher-end workloads in business-critical applications.
Session clustering is a process that synchronizes session data across a server cluster, adding speed and scalability to PHP applications.
The improved Web services support enables developers to connect new PHP applications to existing applications, regardless of the technology or devices they use, or their location, Zend said.
WSDL files can be generated directly from PHP source code, and can be parsed for Code Completion Integration and Inspection View, the company added.
Open source PHP (formerly known as Personal Home Page) has been a popular selection 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.
But 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—often replacing Java and .Net layers within systems.
Zend Studio 5 includes a switching mechanism allowing users to move between PHP 4 and PHP 5, the company said.
Open-source industry analyst Stephen OGrady of RedMonk told Ziff Davis Internet that, "its a significant upgrade for the product. Basically, the latest iteration not only eases the transition from PHP 4 to PHP 5—which is not always seamless—but the enhanced Web services and database support makes PHP more of a first-class citizen, particularly for enterprise development."
If used in a staging environment, Zend Studio 5 Enterprise Edition provides quick identification of runtime problems and gives developers instant access to source code, reducing the time to fix and test, Zend said.
Other new features, according to Zend, include:
- Subversion revision control system integration allows developers to select the version control tool of their choice.
- Enhanced support for all major database servers, including IBM DB2 and Cloudscape, MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Derby and SQLite.
- New code folding functionality for easily folding classes, functions, PHPDoc blocks as well as non-PHP code.
- Internet Explorer integration so developers can directly view and debug applications within a new internal browser.
- FTP over SSL simplifies deployment by allowing developers to securely upload and download project files. Developers can securely browse their FTP connection using SSL with Implicit and Explicit methods.
Pricing and Availability
Zend Studio 5, is available now at this site in three editions: Standard for $99, Professional for $299 ($199 renewal) and Enterprise ($1,495 perpetual and $499 annual license).
All editions include one-year expert technical support and one year of free updates and upgrades. Supported platforms include Linux, SPARC Solaris, FreeBSD 4.x/5.x and Mac OS X.