Zend Ships Version 5.0 of PHP Server

Zend Technologies says Zend Server 5.0, the latest version of the company's PHP Web application server, includes Code Tracing technology that will be extremely useful for PHP developers and administrators.

Zend Technologies, which calls itself the PHP company, on Feb. 24 announced the release of Zend Server 5.0, "a major new version of the company's PHP Web application server."

Zend officials said Zend Server 5.0 provides new Code Tracing technology with which PHP developers and administrators can resolve problems in at least half the time by giving them "visibility into the behavior of their code in production environments."

"I have saved up to 4 hours a day of debugging time using Code Tracing in Zend Server 5.0," Drew Ewing, a PHP programmer at CyberMark International, said in a statement. "For 99.9 percent of the debug processes that I'm concerned with, Zend Server automatically gathers all of the necessary debug information that I used to gather manually. The countless hours I used to spend debugging transparent actions like jQuery updates are now freed up to tackle more important programming issues."

"Zend Server includes support for both PHP 5.2 and PHP 5.3, enabling programmers to take advantage of new language features such as namespaces and closures. ... Zend Server 5.0 supports Linux and Windows; an IBM i version is currently in beta," Zend said in the announcement.

"With this new version we are delivering application monitoring and diagnostics as part of the base application server at no additional cost," said Andi Gutmans, CEO and co-founder of Zend. "The new Code Tracing technology revolutionizes how businesses can reduce time spent on problem resolution. This and other enhancements will help businesses deliver reliable high-performance applications and maximize end-user satisfaction while reducing development and management time and costs."

Zend Server has been "deployed at more than 30,000 companies worldwide," the company said.

"Zend Server 5.0 is a huge step forward for businesses running business-critical PHP Web applications," Gutmans added.

"Zend Server 5.0 optimizes application performance through multiple PHP caching and acceleration technologies ... and provides a complete, tested PHP application stack for Windows and Linux," the company said.

The new version of the Zend server technology also features a Zend Server view, based on Adobe Flex. This view "provides visibility into recorded data, showing a tree of function calls, arguments, errors and duration, as well as statistical information that helps in identifying performance bottlenecks in production," the company said.

Moreover, the enhanced Job Queue in Zend Server 5.0 "increases application performance and responsiveness by allowing jobs (PHP scripts) to be performed asynchronously or at recurring intervals, offloading tasks from client-initiated Web requests to secondary processing. ... The Job Queue feature is integrated into the Zend Server monitoring system and Web console," to give users "one place [from which] to monitor the overall execution of their applications, including status of jobs."

"Zend Server 5.0 plays a strategic role in helping us ensure a quality online shopping experience for our customers, even during peak traffic times," said Josh Butts, director of Web development for Offers.com. "Zend Server monitors our application and performs code tracing to tell us when things go wrong and why, so we can quickly address issues as soon as they occur."

"Zend Server is fully integrated with the Zend Studio PHP IDE [integrated development environment], and Zend Framework, the most popular open-source PHP framework" for developing and deploying Web applications, the company said. "Also available is a free, community edition of Zend Server."