Zend Technologies this week will announce Zend PHP Framework, a development environment for PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) applications. Zend also will reveal its participation in the open source Eclipse Foundation.
The initiatives are part of the company's PHP Collaboration Project, to be announced at the Zend/PHP Conference & Expo in Burlingame, Calif. Companies such as IBM, Oracle, MySQL, Intel, Actuate, and SurgarCRM will be partnering with Zend on the project.
Due later this year, Zend PHP Framework is intended to standardize the way PHP applications are built. A goal of the effort is to foster the development of mission-critical PHP Web applications.
Zend will also join Eclipse as a Strategic Developer-level member and lead a project within Eclipse to develop a plug-in to the Eclipse workbench, for developing with PHP.
"PHP as a language isn't isolated and people are going to be building SOA types of applications using XML and SOAP," said Rod Smith, vice president of emerging technology at IBM.
"So the idea is to have an Eclipse plug-in here to leverage content [and] leverage the assets that have a Web services interface on it" and link to Java back-end systems, Smith said.
Both the Eclipse plug-in and development framework will be offered free. With these moves, Zend seeks to proliferate PHP and leverage opportunities to sell support and training services as well as its products such as the Zend Platform PHP production environment and the Zend Studio IDE. Zend also offers its Zend Core run-time environment for PHP.
Bringing PHP to Eclipse is important for PHP developers, Eclipse, and Zend, said Michael Goulde, senior analyst at Forrester. "I think extending Eclipse beyond Java is an important move to help establish Eclipse."
By belonging to Eclipse, Zend gets access to a lot of free code, Goulde said. But Zend can help Eclipse with contributions of its own, he added.
It remains to be seen whether there will be similar moves to put other scripting languages within the Eclipse fold, such as Perl, Python, and Ruby, Goulde said.