Zend has for many years tried to lead the PHP world to enterprise domination. This is a lofty goal, and one that is never easy to accomplish. They have tripped over their own feet a little. But, to temper that statement, I have always been a very early adopter. I started developing against Zend Framework the day it was publically released and I started using Zend Core and Zend Platform as soon as they were available. I can say that I have seen Zend grow in their roll. The continue to develop this roll with the release of Zend Server.
What is Zend Server? To those unfamiliar with Zend’s offerings, it is a full application stack with tools for application monitoring, caching, and PHP configuration. Similar to Xamp, Wamp, and Uniform Server. For those of you who are familiar, no it is not a replacement for Zend Core/Platform. That is to say not yet. Zend Server is currently limited to a single server instance in that it does not have any cluster support. Neither does it include many of the packages in Zend Platform. I think they are seeing that the way they packaged Zend Platform is a little confusing and this will go a long way in clearing that up. Zend Core and Platform previously found their way into the hands of developers through a developer license. In my experience Zend did not manage this program well. So I was happy to hear there will be a Community Edition (Zend Server CE). This does not include the dashboard that is in the commercial product, but does include the full PHP stack with the supported versions of PHP. We will see how well ‘the community’ supports this.
I was surprised to hear that the JavaBridge will be included in the CE version. This was previously pay only. This could mean that very few people used it. It could also mean that everyone uses it and the support overhead is virtually nonexistant. Either way, I think this is a good move.
In the past standard extentions would be missing form the Windows package of Zend Core that were present in the Linux package. This is sometimes the case when the extensions are simply not available for windows. These are core to the operation of many businesses. Thus it is highly important to be consistant for a stable deployment. I was assured that there will be a more concerted effort to keep these consistant.
PEAR was also a bear to get working with Zend Core and Windows. I was also assured that this would be made to work if it doesnt already with Zends cooperation. This will be my first order of business when I start in on Zend Server later this week. Pear is important for updates and installs. My framework will be a PEAR channel also, so this is immeadiately important. Updates for Zend Server Community Edition are highly important so we will see how this all works out. I was told by a Zend rep. that for Windows a .MSI will be available that will do the updates properly, and for Linux there will be a repository that will allow for automated updates. One of the statements about Zend Server commercial is that it has automatic updates, so this seems to conflict. Time will tell if updates are easy or not as this was a slight problem with Zend Core.
So begins my install. (@TODO) I downloaded it a couple days ago, and today is the day we give it a try.