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Zend's New PHP IDE Built For Java

In the modern IT infrastructure, multiple programming languages must co-exist with one another. Such is certainly the case with PHP and Java, with PHP being popular as a front-end Web technology and Java remaining popular in back-end infrastructure.

With new features in the latest version of PHP and the new Zend Studio version 5.5 IDE , Zend is claiming it is now easier than ever to integrate Java code into PHP development. The new Zend Studio release comes at a pivotal time for Zend and PHP, as PHP continues to make inroads in Linux and Windows circles.

Among the many new features in Zend Studio version 5.5, which is set for official release today, is an embedded Java code completion feature. The feature enables users to specify and include Java class folders that are necessary to complete Java code.

Zend is also pushing forward on efforts to build out a framework that will further challenge enterprise Java. The Zend Framework, which was first announced over a year ago, is an effort to build a PHP Web application development and deployment environment.

Zend Framework is soon to hit version 0.6. Studio 5.5 will now provide integrated support for Zend Framework enabling developers to take advantage of the emerging enterprise effort.

Studio 5.5 is also the first IDE from Zend to support the newly released PHP 5.2. Among the improvements in PHP 5.2 are some enhancements that allow PHP to run better on Windows platforms. The enhancements were developed as part of a multi-year technical effort recently announced between Zend and Microsoft.

Though PHP 5.2 includes Windows enhancements, Zend Studio itself does not benefit directly from the Microsoft partnership.

"It doesn't show up for Zend Studio 5.5 on Windows," Yossi Leon, project manager of developer products, told internetnews.com. "It's not related to the work that is being done on the Windows side in terms of running PHP."

Leon noted that Microsoft's Visual Studio is a competitive product to Zend Studio, since most Zend Studio developers actually run the IDE on Windows.

Mashup creators and developers will also benefit from the new release. The IDE now includes remote WSDL file support, which will enable developers to pull a remote WSDL file instead of having to rely on just local assets. Previous versions of Zend Studio enable users to create their own WSDL files but with the new remote capability, Leon expects that mashup creation and usage will be much easier.

Leon's other PHP effort beyond Zend Studio is as the project leader for the PHP IDE project at Eclipse. That effort was announced at the same time the Zend Framework was originally announced back in October of 2005.

"PHP IDE is actually a PHP framework that other projects and products will be built on," Leon explained. "The term PHP IDE is not completely true; although it is a development environment it is more like a framework."

Leon doesn't consider the Eclipse PHP IDE effort a competitive one for Zend Studio, either. According to Leon, Zend Studio provides a full solution as opposed to just being an editor. But future versions of Studio may well be based on the Eclipse PHP IDE.

"Currently we don't know," Leon noted. "We just know that we will provide a commercial product for the development of PHP whether it will be on eclipse or the Zend Studio we have today."