Zend Launches Z-Ray for Developers

Zend announced it is making its Z-Ray PHP debugging and visibility tool available specifically for Magento developers.

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Zend Technologies, a provider of software development tools for PHP developers, has announced the availability of Z-Ray for Magento, a PHP debugging and productivity tool for real-time visibility into Magento applications.

Zend said its Z-Ray tool provides in-context visibility inside Magento applications, showing exactly what happens when constructing each page. Z-Ray, included within Zend Server 8, enables developers to detect and fix issues earlier, collaborate with operations staff to quickly resolve production issues, and deliver higher quality applications.

Magento is an open-source content management system for e-commerce web sites. Magento employs the MySQL relational database management system, the PHP programming language, and elements of the Zend Framework.

“We’re excited to see Zend innovating with the Magento developer in mind,” said Alan Kent, Magento’s chief architect, in a statement. “Z-Ray’s Magento-specific capabilities help developers deliver higher- performing and higher- quality code faster, better delivering on the needs of the ecommerce-backed enterprise.”

Z-Ray for Magento enables developers to analyze errors and warnings; get deep insight on blocks, events, functions, handles, observers, request properties; identify database queries issues; inspect page requests; debug mobile app requests; debug Web services API calls, and get insight on URL performance

"Z-Ray gives developers the application insight they need to create quality applications -- from coding to deployment,” said Zeev Suraski, CTO and co-founder of Zend. Magento developer Marcin Szterling at Envoy Digital described Z-Ray as “a bit of a revolution in debugging tools,” adding that it gives developers insights into complicated Magento architecture by grouping information into human-readable tabs, lists and tables. “It is a real-time tool which can change the way you work with Magento, making your team more efficient and error-free."

Z-Ray displays all under-the-hood details and PHP requests involved in building a page. It provides key information on blocks, events, functions, handles, observers, request properties, page requests, performance metrics, database query insight, session data and more.

"Over time, Magento development can often become heavy and complex when several developers are working on the same platform,” said Pierre Fay, a Magento expert and consultant, in a statement. “Z-Ray provides a lot of information about what is happening ‘under the hood,’ allowing us to easily detect the causes of performance problems and quickly fix them."

For mobile app debugging, Z-Ray Live! delivers information on requests originating from native mobile clients and API calls. Developers can then see into the server-side execution of mobile app requests. Also, Magento developers can create their own customized view in Z-Ray to support any framework or application. Z-Ray’s new URL Insight identifies the slowest, poorest-performing, and most popular URLs. Full Z-Ray snapshots of these URLs show what real-world requests coming from real users look like.

“Magento sites can be complex and often times suffer poor performance due to complicated business logic and a large volume of database queries” said Mathew Beane, director of systems engineering at Robofirm.

“There are many elements that go into the final construction of a rendered page, with so much going on under the hood it can be difficult to quickly back- trace issues in a crunch. Z-Ray gives us the necessary insight to guarantee all of our client Magento applications reach their peak performance and stay there with each release.”

Z-Ray for Magento is available with Zend Server 8 now on Linux x86 and x86-64, Mac OS X, Windows x86 and x86-64. The Zend Server 8 development environment starts at $20 per month, or 3 cents an hour on Amazon Web Services. A free 30-day trial is available here.