Zend Prepares for PHP 7 With Tailored Products, Services

At ZendCon 2015, Zend Technologies announced a suite of products and services to prepare developers for PHP 7.

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Zend Technologies announced a suite of products and services to empower companies and developers to harness the power of the soon-to-be released PHP 7.

PHP 7, which was expected to be released this month, according to its timeline, will be the latest version of the PHP programming language and includes features that improve performance, speeding up PHP applications by between 25 percent and 70 percent, among other enhancements and refinements.

The open source developers at Zend have taken a leading role in developing PHP 7, and developers are poised to reap the optimized performance and efficiency benefits. Zend made its announcement at ZendCon 2015, the company’s annual PHP conference, in Las Vegas.

Zend is launching a suite of products specifically crafted to take advantage of the benefits of PHP 7. Zend Server, Zend Studio, and the Zend Professional Services offerings are available for companies that are migrating from PHP 5.4 and earlier, or that are building new applications to capture the power of PHP 7.

“Our team has been working incredibly hard to make PHP 7 satisfy industry expectations of performance and functionality,” said Andi Gutmans, co-founder of Zend, in a statement. “This is the ‘year of PHP’ and we are enjoying a PHP renaissance. The entire PHP ecosystem is evolving so quickly, and the differences between PHP 5.6 and 7.0 are simply staggering. Zend engineers have achieved performance gains ranging from 25 percent to 70 percent on real-world apps -- and all from simply upgrading PHP, without having to change a single line of code.”

The technology preview of Zend Server 8.5 adds support for PHP 7, ensuring that companies are able to migrate their applications to realize the performance benefits of PHP 7. As a leading professional PHP distribution offering, Zend Server optimizes productivity, performance, scalability, and reliability of PHP applications. The Zend Server 8.5 preview is available here.

In addition, the new Zend Studio supports PHP 7 with the PHP 7 Express migration assistant. PHP 7 Express helps give developers a precise picture of what needs to be fixed in code to be able to run it smoothly on PHP 7. It scans code for compatibility issues - such as new reserved words and deprecated usages in PHP 7 - and then displays any issue it identifies in a list in a dedicated new view. This view displays what the issue is and then opens the exact corresponding file and line in the project.

Moreover, Zend announced that its PHP experts are available to help companies migrate their applications to PHP 7. The company announced the availability of professional service engagements as well as formal and custom training for PHP 7.

Earlier this month, Rogue Wave Software announced it had acquired Zend to expand its reach into the PHP market.

“This announcement expands Rogue Wave into PHP Web and mobile application development, underscoring our goal to make developers heroes by accelerating their ability to create great code,” said Brian Pierce, CEO of Rogue Wave, at the time of the acquisition. “With the addition of Zend, we now have products that speed C, C++, C#, Java, and PHP development, reflecting how software is created today across languages, platforms, and teams.”

At ZendCon, Zend also announced a release candidate of Expressive, a new PHP Standard Recommendation 7 (PSR-7) project under the Zend Framework umbrella.

Zend Expressive enables developers to write PSR-7 compliant middleware applications for the Web, and includes support for dynamic routing, dependency injection (DI), templating, and error handling. PSR-7, spearheaded by Matthew Weier O’Phinney, lead architect for the Zend Framework, is a framework-agnostic standard for communicating over HTTP. With Expressive, developers implementing PSR-7 can hit the ground running with minimal effort, the company said.

Expressive takes advantage of the move toward using components within the PHP ecosystem. In addition to a number of Zend Framework 3 components, it provides developers a choice of third-party components during initial setup, including request-based routing, dependency injection containers, and templating solutions; developers can also provide their own drop-in replacements through a simple plug-in architecture provided by Expressive. All components are versioned independently, allowing developers to mix and match the solutions that best fit their project needs.