Zend sets stage for PHP

New products and alliances with Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle to be featured at Zend/Con

"There's enough additional features plus support," to attract PHP developers to the product, even if they get the base Eclipse product free of charge, said Goulde. Still, Zend faces a challenge in that PHP developers can build applications without ever using the company's products, he said.

Previously, Zend has offered its Zend Studio IDE based on Java Swing libraries. "We have decided that going to Eclipse is the right strategic move for Zend to really take Zend and PHP to the next level," Gutmans said.

Also on tap from Zend is Zend Core 2.5. Version 2.5 supports unattended installation, enabling hosting providers, large PHP deployments, and ISVs to automate installation.

A Zend Core subscription starts at US$298.

Meanwhile, IBM is planning to announce "Info 2," a technology for building mashups that is built on Zend Framework, in a couple weeks, Gutmans said. To support this effort, Zend Core 2.5 will be bundled with the DB2 Express-C version of the DB2 database. Zend and IBM are confirming availability of single-source support for PHP and DB2.

If users add DB2 Connect technology, they can access i5/OS and z/OS data servers as well.

Like Microsoft, IBM also has a history of working with Zend.

Another recent Zend partner, Oracle, has developed connection pooling in its Oracle 11g database in collaboration with Zend. This technology makes it possible to scale PHP applications using Oracle databases. As part of the announcement, Oracle has posted a new PHP OCI driver supporting Oracle 11g to the PECL (PHP Extension Community Library) repository. Zend will support the capability in upcoming releases of Zend Core.

Oracle will open-source its PHP driver as part of this announcement, Gutmans said. Oracle's driver can now be included n the standard PHP distribution and be distributed to all PHP users, he said.

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