Zend Core for Oracle Goes GA
- By John K. Waters
Oracle and Zend Technologies began working together in May to develop a PHP
5.0 distribution integrated with the Oracle database client library. The companies
this week announced the general availability of Zend Core for Oracle for the
IBM AIX, Linux and Solaris operating systems, as well as a beta version for
the Windows OS.
The Zend Core for Oracle is a pre-built stack for PHP developers designed to
make it easier to create and deploy applications with the Oracle database. Since
the beta was released on August 29, more than 1,200 developers have downloaded
it, a spokesperson for the two companies says.
PHP Hypertext Preprocessor is one of the most popular open-source, server-side
scripting languages; it’s one of the Ps in the LAMP stack (Linux,
Apache, MySQL and PHP/Python/Perl). Since it was introduced in 1997, PHP made
serious inroads into the enterprise. According to a survey by Netcraft, PHP
was in use on more than 19 million domains by this April, running most often
on Linux-powered Apache Web servers as a compiled Apache module.
Zend Technologies is a PHP toolmaker whose founders—CEO Doron Gerstel,
Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski—actually created PHP. According to Gerstel,
20 percent of Zend’s customers were already developing applications using
the Oracle database prior to the collaboration.
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,
the company has worked with Zend for more than 2 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,
Rendell says, which is an open-source initiative that seeks to create a database
abstraction extension for the Zend Engine 2 (the heart of PHP 5).
Zend Core for Oracle is designed to deliver an environment that enables developers
to get up and running quickly with Zend's supported PHP with an Oracle infrastructure.
The product provides an updated PHP OCI8 driver, the interface used by PHP developers
to connect with the Oracle DB; GUI-based PHP configuration management; refactored
PHP connections to Oracle for reliability and performance; improved connection
management; and support for statement caching.
The advent of Linux in the enterprise has played a significant role in the
spread of PHP, Andi Gutmans says. “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 says, is its 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.
Zend is expected to provide support for Zend Core for Oracle via the Zend Network,
a service and support system delivering enterprise-quality updates and support
to PHP developers. Zend Core for Oracle is also compatible with existing Zend
products such as Zend Platform and Zend Studio, the company says.
Oracle offers a downloadable beta version of this product from OTN here. It is also available for download at the Zend
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached