PHP has long been used as one of the primary languages for the web. With the help of some new tools, commercial PHP backer Zend is now helping to position PHP for the cloud too.
At the ZendCon conference in Santa Clara, California, Zend today announced the general availability of the Zend Studio 8.0 IDE (define) and the Zend Framework 1.11 PHP application framework.
Both the IDE and framework include new cloud-focused features and are part of a new PHP Cloud Application Platform ecosystem that Zend is now building.
“PHP was designed from the get-go just for the web,” Andi Gutman, CEO of Zend said during his ZendCon keynote address.
“Our goal is to solve web problems and that is what has made PHP so productive for web development.”
One of the key tools used for PHP development is the Zend Studio IDE which is based on the Zend led Eclipse PDT (PHP Developer Tools) open source project.
Eclipse PDT 2.2 was released in June as part of the Eclipse Helios project release cycle. Zend Studio 8 builds on top of Eclipse PDT with additional virtualization features for developers.
With Zend Studio 8, new integration with the VMware Workstation desktop virtualization solution is being provided to help the application development lifecycle of PHP apps.
Gutmans noted that most Zend Studio developers build their apps on Windows or Mac and then deploy their applications onto a Linux production server.
“What the integration of VMware Workstation and Zend Studio enables you to do is to run Zend Studio on your Windows or Mac desktop and then run Zend Server in a Linux environment on your desktop that is as similar as possible to your production PHP server,” Gutmans said.
Gutmans added that Zend Studio 8 knows which virtual machine it is connected to and if a file is saved, it will show up in the virtual machine instantly. He noted that the integration will help build a seamless develop, test and debugging experience with a production-like environment.
Zend Framework 1.11
Zend is also updating its Zend Framework PHP application framework to version 1.11 introducing new cloud capabilities.
With Zend Framework 1.11, Gutmans noted that the SimpleCloud API will be included which delivers a common API for cloud application deployments.
“The goal of SimpleCloud is to deliver a common API that enables you to leverage cloud application services such as storage and database,” Gutmans said. “If you use the common API, your applications are actually portable across clouds.”
With Zend Framework 1.11, new mobile support infrastructure to enable cross-platform device deployment is also being integrated.
Gutmans noted that new mobile functionality will enable the framework to detect which mobile device is being used to access an application and what are the capabilities of the mobile device.
He added that framework now includes view helpers to ensure that PHP applications are optimized for the specific mobile device that is being used to access an application.
Zend PHP Cloud Platform
Multiple Zend tools will be part of the upcoming Zend PHP Cloud Platform, which is intended to help enable a full application development and production lifecycle for cloud deployments.
Gutmans did not state during his keynote when the Zend PHP Cloud Platform would be generally available.
A key part of the cloud platform will be an updated version of Zend Server PHP application server.
“A major feature that we’re missing in Zend Server is critical to enabling the cloud, and that’s application deployment,” Gutmans said.
He added that in the upcoming Zend Server 6, developers will be able to integrate their development workflow with Zend Studio for cloud deployment.
With Zend Studio, developers will be able to export their applications as a package and then deploy it onto a cluster with a high-performance deployment engine in Zend Server.
“As your application load goes up and we launch more servers to deal with the load, those servers will know to connect to the cluster manager and get all the applications deployed to it,” Gutmans said. “All the deployment, scale-up and elasticity will work automatically with Zend Server.”