At its Zend/PHP Conference in San Jose, Calif., on Oct. 31, Zend officials announced that the company will be working with several companies, such as Google, IBM, MySQL and including some less expected companies, such as Microsoft, to promote the use of PHP as a Web development platform.
Moreover, while Microsoft has been working internally to make it easier to run dynamic or scripting languages on .Net, the new agreement with Zend extends the efforts to support these languages.
Zend announced a technical collaboration with Microsoft to enhance the experience of running the PHP scripting language on Windows Server 2003 and the next version of Windows Server, code-named Longhorn server.
Meanwhile, at the conference, Zend officials shared details of new and updated products for creating the next generation of Web applications, and also demonstrated its commitment to the development of the open-source projects Zend Framework and PHP Eclipse Project by showcasing new milestones in the projects.
Zend also announced Zend Studio 5.5, an update to Zend Core for IBM that makes it compatible with the latest version of DB2 and adds support for the IDS (Informix Dynamic Server); and a new product called ZendBox, a fully hosted and managed PHP 5 Technology stack.
"Today, over 4 million Web developers are using PHP for millions of Web sites globally," said Zend co-chief technology officer and co-founder Andi Gutmans, in a statement.
"We started this conference to provide a forum for learning and information exchange, from the individual developer to the top executives at some of the largest companies in the world. Zend is galvanizing the PHP ecosystem and driving development of products to further enrich this community."
To that end, Zend announced an agreement with MySQL AB that will enable Zend to better integrate the popular open-source database with Zend products, including the option of full integration, Zend officials said.
PHP and MySQL make up the "M" and the "P" of the so-called LAMP, or Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python stack.
"Zend aims to make it very easy to deploy reliable and high performance PHP 5 across all leading computing platforms, and improving integration with MySQL and Windows was high on our list of priorities," said Mark de Visser, Zends chief marketing officer, in a statement.
"Starting in the first quarter of 2007, we intend to use the improved PHP technologies in our Zend Core product line, Zends certified PHP distribution."
Meanwhile, the new ZendBox hosted and managed dedicated server runs the latest PHP 5 technology stack, including Zend Core, Zend Framework and Zend Platform, the company said.
ZendBox presents an easy-to-deploy solution for the operation and management of PHP applications.
The ZendBox is an integrated and certified combination of hardware, operating system, PHP 5 and utilities, backed by support from Zend and Zends partner network of hosting providers.
In addition, Zend officials said the company has reached an agreement with Rackspace to be the first provider of managed hosting services for the ZendBox.
Also at the conference, Zend announced its update to Zend Core for IBM, which implements support for IBMs DB2 Version 9 and IDS (Informix Dynamic Server) 10.
DB2 9 is a leading edge hybrid data server capable of supporting both relational and pureXML storage.
New features increase performance and scalability for both XML and relational data.
Zend Core for IBM can be freely downloaded from Zends Web site, and includes IBM DB2 Express-C 9, a fully functional edition of DB2 version 9, Zend said.
Zend also announced that the latest pre-release version of Zend Framework provides the foundation for building Web sites based on the MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern.
And Zend announced that Zend Framework has now been downloaded more than 200,000 times and has 115 registered contributors.
Noting the growing importance of PHP in the Eclipse open-source development platform space, Zend announced that the PHP Eclipse project the company leads is on track for general release in June 2007.
The project is working toward providing a framework for PHP developer tools for the Eclipse platform, and it will encompass all development components necessary to develop PHP-based Web applications, the company said.
In addition, Zend officials said that among the new functionality in the Zend Framework is an implementation of Googles Data API that provides a simple standard protocol for PHP applications to read and write data to and from Google applications such as Google Base and Google Calendar.
The Zend Google Data PHP Client Library was jointly developed by Zend and Google.
Finally, Zend announced version 5.5 of Zend Studio, the companys IDE (integrated development environment) for professional PHP developers.
New features in Zend Studio 5.5 include tight PHP/Java integration, support for Zend Framework, and improved source code management, company officials said.