Zend Updates PHP Platform

The new version of Zend's dynamic language is designed to improve performance through enhanced caching capabilities.

Zend Technologies is rolling out a new version of its PHP application server and a commercial offering based on the Eclipse Foundation's PHP Development Tools project, which Zend leads.

Zend on Jan. 22 announced Version 3.6 of the Zend Platform. The new version of the PHP-based Web application server delivers improvements in three main areas: performance, cluster management and PHP infrastructure.

Performance has remained an issue for dynamic languages such as PHP and Ruby. Zend Platform 3.6 improves the performance of PHP applications by caching pre-optimized PHP byte code, Zend officials said. The product features support for file- or URL-based page caching, client-side caching and in-memory or disk-based data caching.

Zend Platform 3.6's cluster management feature enables users to scale PHP applications across clusters of servers, the company said. Infrastructure improvements include the ability to monitor PHP applications in real time and report script errors, database problems and performance issues, among other things.

To read more about Zend's PHP progress, click here.

As evidence of the clustering improvements, Marc Urbaitel, co-founder and chief technology officer of InTicketing, a concert ticket-selling business, said his company used an early version of Zend Platform 3.6 on load-balanced Web servers to process more than 20,000 job processes in the first few hours of ticket sales.

"Our business is characterized by very strong peaks of activity, so our Web applications need to be able to perform well under very high transaction volumes," Urbaitel said.

Meanwhile, Zend introduced Zend Studio for Eclipse, an IDE (integrated development environment) for PHP developers who have lacked support for the whole PHP application life cycle. Zend Studio is based on the Eclipse PDT project, which has had more than 250,000 downloads since the project launch in September 2007.