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Zend Unveils PHP Enterprise Platform

Enterprise PHP developers have a new platform that will help them manage their efforts, thanks to Zend Technologies the corporate backer of the open source scripting language.

Zend Platform includes enterprise management and intelligence features easing the administration of multiple PHP servers across an enterprise.

"This is the most important thing that Zend has done in the last couple of years except for PHP 5," Pamela Roussos, vice president of marketing at Zend, told internetnews.com. "As PHP matures and evolves, the need for an integrated solution for building and deploying business critical applications becomes more relevant. Zend Platform is the first comprehensive lifecycle management solution for PHP users and is the only next generation infrastructure product that directly supports the development and deployment of business critical enterprise PHP applications."

Zend Platform comes six monthsafter Zend's last major product announcements, when it unveiled Zend Performance Suite, Zend Studio and PHP 5. Zend Performance Suite will now be rolled into the new Zend Platform product.

Roussos explained that Zend Platform was developed as the result of feedback from clients who needed greater control over their PHP deployments across the enterprise.

Among the Zend Platform features is Zend Central, a central management console for users to manage all of their PHP servers from both a configuration and performance point of view. Server management can be done by group and also by individual server via the console. With the new platform, PHP configuration, including the critical php.ini file (which is the main php configuration file), can be centrally managed, edited and synchronized across an enterprise deployment.

Java integration has also been given a performance boost with a Java bridge inside Zend Platform allowing enterprises to leverage any existing J2EE applications. Instead of each Java call triggering a separate Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which is usually the case, only one JVM is spawned, which handles all Java calls. This reduces system overhead and improves performance.

The new platform isn't just for enterprise server administrators, either. Zend believes that it will also be of great use to developers. The new platform provides what Zend refers to as "PHP Intelligence," which provides enterprise users with an audit trail of events allowing administrators and developers to recognize and repair any potential issues. Zend Platform also integrates with Zend's PHP IDE product called Zend Studio, which is intended to make it easy for developers to develop code that works on the enterprise platform.

Zend today also announced the beta for Zend Studio 4.0, which will soon replace version 3.5, released in July. According to Roussos, the big new feature here is database integration which has been the most requested feature by clients," Roussos explained.

The Zend Platform is available on a subscription basis starting at $995 per year for a one-processor server.