Most Significant Release Since the Creation of PHP Powers Object-Oriented Development, Boosts Productivity, and Meets the Needs of Enterprise Developers
Zend Technologies, Inc., the PHP company, together with the PHP community today introduced PHP 5, the most significant upgrade to the scripting language since the release of the Zend Engine in 1997. To meet enterprise demand for a comprehensive Web application development language, updates to PHP 5 include a major new release of the Zend Engine, support for object-oriented development, XML processing advancements and the addition of cutting-edge Web services support. PHP is used in over 15 million Web sites today, with 10,000 new downloads per month.
The release of PHP 5, powered by the Zend Engine II, marks a significant leap in PHPÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s evolution as one of the key Web technologies in the world today. While keeping its firm commitment to users who prefer using the functional structured syntax of PHP, this release also enables organizations developing large-scale applications to leverage the productivity, maintainability and reusability of object-oriented design.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I’m a long-time PHP proponent and am pleased to see that this significant update further extends the language’s development productivity benefits,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Adam Bosworth, senior vice president of engineering, BEA Systems, Inc. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The inclusion of advanced XML processing and Web services functionalities represents a great leap forward for PHP 5. These market-driven enhancements are proof that PHP’s creators and vibrant community are committed to evolving the language in-step with the changing demands of the Web application market.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Since its introduction, PHP has emerged as one of the most popular Web development languages, powering millions of Web sites and applications around the world. With each new release, Zend and the PHP community have evolved PHP to enable developers to create simple, yet powerful, Web applications. PHP 4 introduced the Zend Engine, dramatically enhancing the performance and extensibility of PHP. Today, PHP 5 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a next-generation scripting language Ã¢â‚¬â€œ supports the object-oriented paradigm, delivers enterprise-class XML support and offers the productivity, stability and extensibility that enterprises need to develop business-critical Web applications.
New Features in PHP 5 Address Enterprise Need for Scalable Development Architectures
Zend Engine II Ushers In Object-Oriented PHP. PHP 5 is powered by a new release of the core component that powers PHP — the Zend Engine. This update includes nearly 20 new object-oriented development features that allow organizations to create maintainable, component-based enterprise applications. By treating objects as handles, the Zend Engine II enables programmers to assign object handles and pass or return them to and from functions by continuously pointing to the same object. This means accelerated development cycles that result in standards-based applications and reusable software assets. The full-featured object-oriented capabilities of the Zend Engine II will help applications run faster, make object-oriented programming in PHP much more powerful and intuitive, and make PHP a feasible platform for large-scale enterprise application development projects.
Extended XML Support. Revolutionary XML capabilities in PHP 5 make it the ideal platform for XML processing. To ensure that PHP 5Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s XML support is standards-compliant, well-behaved, and feature-rich, the General XML extensions have been re-written in this release to use the Gnome ProjectÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s XML and XSLT libraries for increased performance and stability. Further enhancements allow the various XML extensions to interoperate with each other when required. In addition, PHP 5Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s new SimpleXML functionality operates much like an Ã¢â‚¬Å“XML for Dummies,Ã¢â‚¬Â enabling developers to manipulate XML files as if they were PHP objects. This new feature allows any PHP developer to easily use XML without having advanced experience or knowledge.
Support for Web Services. Increasingly, enterprise development projects are involving Web services. To ensure that enterprise developers can incorporate Web services into their PHP projects, PHP 5 includes a SOAP module, allowing interoperability with Web services via an easy-to-use API. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a lightweight XML-based protocol for exchanging structured information between distributed applications over native Web protocols, such as HTTP. It is rapidly becoming the standard protocol for accessing Web Services.
Enhanced Database Support. PHP 5 includes a new module, MySQLi, that takes advantage of all of the latest features of MySQL 4.1 to offer improved performance and an object-oriented API. PHP 5 also includes SQLite, an embedded SQL database, that is bundled and accessible to every PHP 5 deployment so that developers can now write applications for PHP 5 with complete certainty that an SQL engine will always be available. Both of these database support enhancements take advantage of the new Zend Engine IIÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Object-Oriented extensibility.
“PHP 5 is a culmination of the input and improvements that hundreds of developers contributed through the thriving PHP community,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Andi Gutmans, Zend co-founder and vice president of technology. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Created by developers for developers, enhancements to PHP represent proven approaches and technology that will enable organizations to productively build robust, dynamic business-critical applications.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Since the release of the Zend Engine, PHPÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s maturity as a dynamic Web language has been validated by the tens of millions of organizations that have installed it,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Zeev Suraski, Zend co-founder and CTO. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But, through our conversations with thousands of developers, we realized that PHP needed to evolve further to meet the needs of large web application projects. Enhancements to this release truly deliver the benefits of PHP to large enterprises and make the language robust enough to power applications of varying levels of complexity and criticality.Ã¢â‚¬Â