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Zend Releases Windows Compatible Zend Core Beta

Zend Technologies has released the first public beta of Zend Core 2.0, the second generation of the company's distribution of PHP 5. This version is the first from the company to implement new Windows Server compatibility features that Zend and Microsoft announced in late October.

The Redmond software giant and the Cupertino, Calif. provider of products and services for the open-source PHP scripting language joined forces in a technical collaboration "to provide customers with richer functionality and better integration" of PHP on Windows, the companies said. This is, in fact, the certified version of PHP for Windows, says Mark de Visser, Zend's chief marketing officer.

Zend Core 2.0 is a full PHP environment designed to deploy sophisticated PHP applications. It includes PHP 5.2.1, Zend Framework 0.6.0, an open-source software framework for PHP 5; and Zend’s FastCGI, a variation on the earlier Common Gateway Interface (CGI). This release comes with technical improvements for PHP that have already been submitted under the PHP license to the PHP community for feedback and approved for inclusion in PHP 5.2.1.

Key in this release is a Windows version of Zend's Enabler technology, jointly developed by Zend and Microsoft, which provides a high performance FastCGI implementation for Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services). IIS is one of the most widely used Web servers, second only to the Apache Web server in numbers of websites, according to Internet monitoring company Netcraft. This add-on will serve as the interface between PHP and the IIS Web server in the future, according to the companies. The technology is available today as an unsupported tech preview for use on Windows XP; IIS 5, Windows Server 2003; IIS 6, and Windows Vista and Windows Server (codenamed "Longhorn"); and IIS 7.0. It represents the maximum possible performance improvement currently available for the Windows platforms. Installation instructions are available here. .

On Tuesday, Zend announced the appointment of new CEO Harold Golberg. Goldberg left his position as vice president of worldwide marketing at BMC Software to take the helm at Zend.

"I am truly fortunate to be joining the strong team already in place at Zend," Goldberg said in a statement. "The company is on a sharp growth trajectory being fueled by both the acceptance of open source, and the trend toward new, service-oriented programming models. I am eager to start work to capture the market opportunity and be part of a fundamental shift happening in the software industry."

Zend is a leading contributor to the development of the core PHP language. The company’s founders, Gutmans and Zeev Suraski, are the designers of the Zend Engine (the company name is a blend of “Zeev” and “Andi”), on which all PHP sites and applications are now run.

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 open source LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Python/Perl). PHP 5.1.6 may be downloaded from the PHP project Website.

The Zend Core 2.0 beta is available now as a free download.

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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