New tool for open-source Web scripting language

New tool for open-source Web scripting language

Zend Technologies Ltd. has released new software to simplify administration of Web pages created with the PHP scripting language.

Earlier this month Zend introduced its Zend Platform, software that lets system administrators manage all PHP servers from a central console.

'Rather than to go to each PHP server and configure it, [an administrator] can do that from one place,' said Pamela Roussos, vice president of marketing for the Cupertino, Calif., company.

The software also lets them monitor the performance of servers and drill down on trouble spots, such as a script that runs slow, or a database that has stopped working.

PHP, short for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, is used for creating dynamic Web pages, which are best suited for Web sites with content that is frequently updated. Two of Zend's officials, Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, were instrumental in creating the open source PHP.

Administrators install the PHP module on Web server software, such as Apache. To end users, PHP pages are identical to static Web pages.

With their browsers, users send a request to the server to execute a particular PHP script, which assembles the requested Web page on the fly.

According to Netcraft, a Bath, England, Internet services company that compiles technical information on Internet Web hosts, the number of Internet sites that use PHP ballooned in the past four years, from 2 million to more than 18 million as of December.

The company also announced that next month it will release a new version of Zend Studio, its PHP development platform. Version 4.0 will let developers write PHP scripts or debug faulty PHP scripts using error messages from Zend Platform.

The upgrade 'ties the developer in with production,' Roussos said. 'If there are any errors that are found in an application in a production environment, all the information that is needed by developers to get to the bottom of the issue is captured. It shortens the time to find and fix the bug.'

The new version also lets developers create database tables and schemas within the software itself, going outside the program to work directly with the database.

Zend Platform is $995 per year for a single CPU, $1,495 per year for two CPUs. The platform can run under Sun Microsystems' Solaris, most distributions of Linux, FreeBSD and Apple Mac OS X. Zend Studio is $299.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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