Zend platform

November 29, 2007

Had a look at the Zend platform’s demo videos today. Here’s the main gist of what it does:

  • improves performance through code acceleration, caching of dynamic pages and output compression
  • keeps track of events (such as php errors and, interestingly, slow-running scripts) that occur in your code, alerts you about them if you like, and allows you to debug files that are causing them – you can actually find the line that’s triggering the event, and then run the script in debug mode in your copy of Zend studio
  • some other enterprise-level things, like allowing you to cluster sessions across servers, serve downloads without using the webserver, queue long-running processes and produce reports

At first I was sceptical – you can do the same thing, performance-wise, by installing a code accelerator, using Pear’s Cache_Lite for caching and ob_gzhandler to compress your output. And if you’re testing your applications well you shouldn’t be getting php errors

… but of course most applications aren’t written from scratch. I spend most of my time working on applications containing code contributions from any number of people, and because I don’t necessarily know the code inside out I can miss code paths that might cause errors. And wouldn’t it be nice to have an automated process compress everything for you, and find slow scripts for you and allow you to cache them – all without going near the source code? It would. I think I’ll investigate their pricing.

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