Zend Boosts PHP on Windows

Microsoft's collaboration with Zend Technologies Ltd. to improve compatibility between Windows and its PHP distribution has helped bridge the gap between the popular open source environment used to create millions of Web sites and Windows.

Zend's new Core 2.0 is a full PHP environment that includes the latest version of the open source scripting language and a number of extensions.

The Redmond software giant and the Cupertino, Calif., provider of PHP-related products and services began working together in October to provide customers with richer functionality and better integration of PHP on Windows. Zend is regarded as a leading supplier of PHP-based software for Web applications deployed on Linux.

"[A] lot of PHP development happens on Windows," says Mark de Visser, Zend's chief marketing officer. "However, most deployment happens on Linux. Why? Because PHP just doesn't run very well on Windows. That was something that Microsoft didn't like and that we saw as a problem. So, we got together with the aim of making sure that PHP had equal performance on Windows as it has on Linux and Unix."

Zend is claiming improved Windows performance of between 200 percent and 300 percent overall with Zend Core 2.0.

New in the 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 Internet Information Services (IIS). IIS is one of the most widely used Web servers, second only to the Apache Web server in numbers of Web sites, according to the Internet monitoring company Netcraft Ltd. This add-on will serve as the interface between PHP and the IIS Web server in the future, according to Zend and Microsoft. The new version also includes support for Windows Vista.

Microsoft and Zend have returned the improvements made through their collaboration to the open source PHP project, de Visser adds. They are now part of the 5.2.1 version of PHP.

Other components of the new release include:

  • The Zend Framework, a set of PHP components designed to support user authentication, database access and search.
  • The PHP MVC framework, which supports the model-view controller architecture.
  • The Zend Network Updater, which lets users apply bug fixes and security patches as they become available.
  • Universal Database Support (bundled drivers for databases from IBM, Oracle and MySQL).
  • Mac OS X support.

Zend 2.0, available for download at its Web site (, is free of charge. The company earns revenue by offering support and services.

Article provided courtesy of Redmond Developer News (April 1, 2007).

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].