Zend Studio 9.0 Goes GA

"The good thing about Zend Studio is that it's by far the most feature rich IDE in the PHP space," said Zend Technologies CEO Andi Gutmans during a post-ZendCon keynote interview in October. "The bad news about Zend Studio is that it's by far the most feature rich IDE in the PHP space."

During that conference, Gutmans promised to deliver a leaner, faster version of his Cupertino, Calif.-based company's integrated development environment for PHP, and yesterday Zend announced the general availability of Zend Studio 9.0.

"We added so much value to the product that it did create memory overhead and impact performance in certain areas," said Gutmans. "We finally realized that what we needed to do was to make it dead simple for people to customize their development environment. Nobody is using four version control systems or five Ajax libraries. [Zend Studio 9.0] is an exponential performance improvement."

The latest version of the Zend PHP IDE is all about customization. A new "smart product configuration" capability allows developers to customize their instance of the Eclipse-based IDE by adding and removing plugins -- the Mylyn task-focused manager, for example, or Color themes. The result is an environment suited to individual work preferences and project requirements.

"The overwhelming feedback we got from customers was to simplify the workflow," said Kent Mitchell, Zend's director of product management. "Eclipse is an incredibly powerful framework, but if you load all the features it makes the memory footprint bigger and just makes things heavier. And people don't always realize that they've loaded all this stuff. We've made it possible to turn on and off the features you want and really tune your environment."

The new version of the IDE incorporates the open-source, Git distributed version control system and the GitHub Web-based hosting service for projects that use Git. It comes with improvements to its JavaScript, CSS3 and HTML5 editor that help developers to write and edit client-side code more productively, the company says. And it gives devs the ability to define deployment packages for Zend Server, the company's PHP Web-app server.

Zend Studio 9.0 is also about the cloud. It comes with a built-in Amazon Web Services (AWS) toolkit, and it's designed to allow developers to use the Zend Developer Cloud as a development runtime. The Developer Cloud environment comes with code tracing capabilities for real-time bug squashing, a PHP runtime, the Zend Framework and a nascent set of collaboration capabilities designed to make it easy for developers to share source code files, show work in progress to stakeholders and "team up productively on large-scale joint development projects."

The company is claiming that Zend Studio 9.0 can provide an average of 67 percent faster default startup, with a 40 percent smaller default disk footprint and a lower memory footprint.

"For developers, it's all about productivity," Gutmans said. "If you're not fast enough, they're going to abandon you.

More information about Zend Studio 9.0 and a free trial download are available here.


About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].