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Zend Releasing Enterprise-Grade PHP Server

Zend Technologies will release its commercial-grade server for PHP applications on Tuesday.

The Zend Server product, previously in beta, is designed to bring high-levels of reliability, performance and security to enterprises running PHP-based Web applications.

"The release of Zend Server marks the culmination of a four-year strategic investment that leverages PHP as an open source, cross-platform development language that hits a sweet spot in the market," said Zend CEO and Cofounder Andi Gutmans in a telephone interview.

Gutmans said that PHP currently holds 35 percent to 40 percent of the Web applications development market share. PHP is the development language of choice for Web 2.0 pioneers such as FaceBook and Yahoo, he added.

It took additional work to move PHP into the Windows world and mainstream enterprise application development. Cupertino, Calif.-based Zend created a new set of development tools, a framework to build applications and collaborated with Microsoft.

Zend has been working with Microsoft since 2006 to make PHP "a first-class citizen on Windows," Gutmans said. That technical collaboration led to Microsoft delivering a FastCGI component for its Internet Information Services (IIS) Server. In addition, Microsoft is now providing a SQL Server for PHP extension, Gutmans noted in his blog.

Zend Server is designed to sit on top of the server stack and provide added functionality to an Apache or Windows IIS server. Performance management, monitoring and security are some of its features, along with automatic hot fixes and PHP upgrades.

PHP, according to Gutmans, has the largest ecosystem of developers, and is less complex and more cost effective than Java or .NET. Popular applications such as Wordpress and wikis are examples of innovative PHP developments, he said.

"We have been evangelists for PHP since we started in1999," Gutmans said. "Our mission was to develop a product that would work across platforms and bring a business-grade PHP to the enterprise that developers could use out of the box."

Zend Technologies offers two PHP servers, which can be downloaded here. Both will be released to general availability on April 7.

Zend Server Community Edition is available as a free download and is designed for lighter noncritical server deployments. Zend Server for enterprise applications is a commercial Web application server and available as a free 30-day trial.

A Zend Server annual product subscription with Silver Level support starts at $1,195, according to a Zend spokesperson.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.

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