Zend Launches PHP Development Cloud - InformationWeek

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Zend Launches PHP Development Cloud

Popular Web development community gets free sandbox on Amazon that enables multi-cloud application deployments.

PHP developers, the world's fourth-largest developer group, now have an option enjoyed by other leading languages: they can collaborate on new software in the cloud, then deploy it to the cloud.

Microsoft illustrated the value of software development in the cloud when it made Visual Studio tools available for collaborative use on Windows Azure. Popular platforms as a service Heroku and Engine Yard did the same for Ruby developers. VMware's Cloud Foundry is a development environment for Java developers. And IBM has its developer's SmartCloud.

Zend Technologies has joined their ranks on behalf of PHP developers with PHPcloud.com. In addition to providing tools, Zend will give developers the option of deploying their finished applications to Amazon's EC2, IBM SmartCloud, Rackspace, or Red Hat's Cloud Foundation. The multi-cloud deployment option may be a draw for PHP developers, who have thus far had few collaborative environments to choose from.

Zend will offer Zend Development Cloud, a set of PHP tools, and Zend Application Fabric, an application server and other deployment middleware, as a development platform on Amazon's EC2. Instead of requiring a developer to fire up an Amazon virtual server to get started, a developer will sign in and be given a slice of an existing server so he can immediately start writing code in his own sandbox.

[Oracle is challenging Amazon, Rackspace in the public cloud game. Learn How Oracle's Public Cloud Is Different.]

"We're going to make Zend Development Cloud a powerful troubleshooting environment," said Andi Gutmans, CEO of Zend Technologies, in an interview. Code tracing, a feature of application server Zend Server, can capture the execution of an application request and allow developers to replay the way its functions execute to troubleshoot any problems.

Gutmans, one of the original developers of PHP with CTO Zeev Suraski, believes software development in the cloud will be more productive than on premises. Developers may coordinate their efforts more easily there and a standard development environment can be equipped with better troubleshooting tools.

Gutmans cited Zend Developer Cloud's change management feature as a form of "Git on drugs." Git is a sourcecode control system for tracking changes, originally produced by Linus Torvalds for use in the Linux kernel development process. Zend Developer Cloud allows a developer to take a snapshot of the sourcecode of an executing program, including its database connection and the data involved, and ship the snapshot to another developer for joint troubleshooting. The technique makes it possible for multiple eyes to inspect an execution problem. "That level of collaboration is very hard to do on premises," he said.

The PHPcloud.com was announced Tuesday at ZendCon, the annual PHP user group underway this week at the Santa Clara, Calif., convention center. PHP is the fourth most used language in the world, behind Java, C and C++. It's often used to bring data capture and database functionality to websites, among other things.

Zend manages the development portion of PHPcloud itself on Amazon, but deployments will be done on the cloud site of the developer's choice, whether Amazon, IBM, or Rackspace.

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User Rank: Apprentice
10/20/2011 | 11:33:43 PM
re: Zend Launches PHP Development Cloud
Software Development in the Cloud! We're eager to try the Zend Development Cloud at http://www.customsoftwarebypre...
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