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Oracle and Zend to Provide Easy Integration for PHP Developers

Oracle and Zend Technologies are jointly developing a PHP 5.0 distribution that includes integration with the Oracle database client library. The new Zend Core for Oracle is a pre-built stack for PHP developers designed to make it easier to develop and deploy applications with the Oracle database.

"PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) is one of the most popular open-source, server-side scripting languages; it’s one of the “P’s” in the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Python/Perl). Since it was introduced in 1997, PHP has been making serious inroads into the enterprise. According to a survey by Netcraft, PHP was in use on more than 19 million domains in April, running most often on Linux-powered Apache Web servers as a compiled Apache module.

Oracle already offers PHP support in its products; JDeveloper, for example, comes with an extension for PHP, and the Oracle Application Server supports PHP. According to Richard Rendell, Oracle’s senior VP of product development, Oracle has been working with Zend the past two years on best practices for PHP developers using Oracle and Zend’s PHP tools, Zend Studio and Zend Platform. Oracle is also participating in the new PHP Data Objects project, an open-source initiative to create a database abstraction extension for the Zend Engine 2 (the heart of PHP 5), Rendell says.

Israel-based Zend Technologies is a PHP toolmaker whose founders—CEO Doron Gerstel, Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski—created PHP. According to Gerstel, 20 percent of Zend’s customers are developing applications using the Oracle database.

The advent of Linux in the enterprise has played a significant role in the spread of PHP, Andi Gutmans told ProgrammingTrends. “Linux adoption in the enterprise opened the door for other open-source projects,” he said. “Once the CIO lets in one open-source project, he’s made the mental shift. Bringing in another one is going to be much easier.”

But the key factor driving the adoption of PHP, Gutmans said, is ease of use. “Anyone who has developed in any language before is going to be able to write his PHP first script in a day, become a developer within a week, and an expert within a month,” he said.

Oracle and Zend have also launched a PHP developer center on the Oracle Technology Network Web site (www.oracle.com/technology/tech/php/index.html). The site will provide support and technical resources for PHP developers, including installation guides for PHP with Oracle Application Server and Oracle Database, an online forum and the Oracle JDeveloper 10g PHP extension. Available as a free download, this PHP extension makes it easier to develop, test and deploy PHP applications using Oracle JDeveloper 10g development environment.

Zend Core for Oracle is due in the third quarter, and will be available for free from the Oracle Technology Network Web site. The Zend Core will be compatible with Zend’s developer tools. Zend also plans to sell related support services.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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