Zend Server 5.0 to Run on i OS
Published: October 27, 2009
by Alex Woodie
Zend Technologies is bringing another PHP product to the System i. With last week's announcement of the start of beta testing for Zend Server 5.0, the company announced that Zend Server will be supported, for the first time, on i OS. The addition will bring what Zend calls the "most complete stack" of PHP software to the platform, and will give System i developers options beyond Zend's existing tools.
Zend has been a strong supporter of the System i server ever since the relationship between i OS and the open-source, server-side scripting language began way back in 2005. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, it was when IBM still referred to the platform as "iSeries," or two name changes ago.
As the years (and name changes) went by, Zend brought several products to the platform. The first, and most critical, of these was Zend Core, which provided the core runtime engine that allowed i5/OS to run PHP applications, as well as hooks into the DB2/400 database. Zend Core was first released in 2005.
The second big System i product from Zend was Zend Studio. This integrated development environment, which shipped three years ago, allowed System i developers to write PHP applications tailored specifically to the strengths of the System i.
Zend Platform, which followed onto the System i platform in 2007 , provided additional functionality required for enterprise PHP implementations, including clustering and code caching mechanisms designed to make PHP programs run more like pre-compiled application (PHP applications, as you know, are compiled on-the-fly).
As part of the rollout of Zend Platform for i5/OS version 3.6 in April 2008, Zend included something called the 5250 Bridge, which is basically a collection of middleware that converts 5250 data streams into Web pages using a mix of XML, PHP, and HTML technologies.
Now, Zend is continuing its strong support of what has become the Power Systems-i OS platform with the introduction of i OS support with Zend Server, the company's biggest and most comprehensive collection, or stack, of PHP programs.
Zend offers several PHP stacks, but it describes Zend Server as the "complete, enterprise-ready Web application server" for running PHP workloads. The Zend Server package includes additional functionality in the areas of deployments, application monitoring and optimization, error detection, security, and compliance, which aren't found in other stacks.
The Zend Server package also includes its own integrated and customized Apache Web server, eliminating the need for Zend customers to configure their own servers, and requiring users to remove existing Web servers, Apache or otherwise, if upgrading from Zend Platform to Zend Server.
With Zend Server 5.0, the company has added a new "code tracing" feature, which it compares to an airline's "black box" flight recorder. Code tracing will record the application as it executes, and enable developers to perform much more detailed root-cause analysis to track down problems. Zend says code tracing will allow Zend Server customers to develop faster and more efficient applications.
Better job queue functions are also included in Zend Server 5.0. Support for job queues will enable PHP developers to better control the execution of application tasks, such as credit card processing, or common maintenance tasks, such as database cleanups. Zend Server 5.0 will allow users to queue jobs to run asynchronously in response to other events, or at a certain, predefined intervals, according to Zend.
Zend Server 5.0 includes PHP 5.3, the latest release of the language that became available this summer, but it can also be used with the popular PHP 5.2 release.
Zend is currently hosting a public beta for the Linux and Windows versions of Zend Server 5.0. The beta test for Zend Server 5.0 for IBM i is currently private, but Zend welcomes interested parties to contact the company for more information about this private beta.
For more information on Zend's products, visit www.zend.com.
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