Exploring the Zend Studio 4 developer environment

RAPID DEVELOPMENT

Article from Issue 57/2005
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PHP experts consider Zend Studio the most mature and feature-rich IDE for PHP. The latest version offers enhanced database manipulation and other improvements. We’ll put the Zend Studio IDE through its paces and show you how you can use it to speed up PHP development.

The choice of an integrated development environment is often a matter of taste. Many PHP developers prefer text editors like Emacs or Vim. Developers who favor a more integrated approach have several choices in the Linux world. The free Quanta Plus IDE, the closed source Maguma environment, and even Eclipse (with the right set of plug-ins) are all genuine alternatives to an editor. For PHP developers, EditionZend Studio has the reputation of being one of the most mature and powerful IDEs. Zend Studio is the brainchild of Israel’s Zend Software, a vendor that prefers to be known as “The PHP Company.” Older versions often suffered from performance problems or instability, but the latest version, Zend Studio 4, is an extremely powerful and stable developer environment. Zend Studio is neither Open Source, nor is it free of charge, although US$ 249 is a fair asking price. You can download a trial version from the Zend website. The test version is full-featured for the 21 day trial period and then degrades to the “Zend Studio Personal Edition,” a non-commercial version that disables so many useful features it is not really worth the effort (see the box titled “Zend Studio Personal Edition”).

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