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Adobe, Zend To Link PHP Apps To Web Users

The partnership will allow for exchanging messages between PHP business logic and the end-user-oriented Web applications built with Adobe's Flash Player and Flex components.
Adobe and Zend Technologies on Wednesday inked a deal that will benefit enterprise and consumer Web developers.

The Zend Framework, a rapid development platform for the popular PHP language, now supports a way of exchanging messages between PHP business logic and the end-user-oriented Web applications built with Adobe's Flash Player and Flex components.

PHP is a scripting language that's simpler to use than Java, C++, or Microsoft's C#. Zend Technologies' Zend Framework takes PHP code written for an Internet server and ties it to databases, networks, and Web services, as needed, with its underlying plumbing invoking best practices.

By adding Adobe's Action Message Format to the framework's capabilities, Zend and Adobe have collaborated to link PHP Web applications to two of the widely used end-user technologies from Adobe, the Flash Player and interactive Flex components. Flex Builder was introduced as a development environment in February to produce end-user displays that run in the Flash Player in a user's browser. Flex components are moved to the browser in Action Message Format.

"Action Message Format use in the Zend Framework means the best possible communication between PHP and Adobe Flex and AIR applications," said Wil Sinclair, manager of the advanced technology group of Zend, in an interview. Adobe Integrated Runtime, or AIR, is another Adobe technology used to build user interactive applications that run outside the browser.

PHP already links to an alternative end-user interface, open source Ajax, and it strengthened those links as well in the 1.7 release of Zend Framework, available for free download today.

The Zend Studio, a PHP integrated development environment, and Adobe's Flex Builder are both plug-ins to the Eclipse open source programmer's workbench. So a developer can start working on a PHP application in Zend Studio, and then import files from Flex Builder for the user front end, Sinclair said.

PHP does not yet make user of Microsoft's alternative to the end user presentations of Flash/Flex, its Silverlight technology.

Other changes to the 1.7 Zend Framework release include Zend technical support for the Dojo toolkit, which provides a simplified way of building Ajax front ends; an adapter for connecting to the DB2 database on the IBM i platform, the former IBM i Series server, also known as the AS/400; and support for use of the JQuery JavaScript library for interactions between JavaScript and HTML on Web pages.

The 1.7 Framework performance has been improved so that it loads files 25% to 50% faster, said Sinclair. PHP is estimated to be installed on 20 million Web sites, Sinclair said. The Zend Framework is a leading PHP development platform, downloaded 7 million times since its 1.0 launch in July 2007.