PHP is one of several open source scripting languages --also called dynamic languages because they compile at runtime, incorporating the latest changes to the code --that's become popular in building Web site applications.
PHP code can be embedded in HTML, is often behind the counters and other active elements on Web pages and can connect Website programs to databases.
An integrated development environment combines code editing, compiling and debugging in one visual workspace, speeding development work. In a noted commercial and open source alliance, Microsoft has worked closely with Zend Technologies, a PHP tool supplier which employs key PHP 3.0 authors, Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski, to insure that PHP will run efficiently on Windows.
"It is amazing how much Microsoft has changed in regards to open source and PHP. I'm glad VS.Php has been part of the mix in helping them build a better story of PHP in Windows," wrote Jcx.Software founder and lead developer Juan Rivera on his blog Dec. 8.
Jcx.Software's VS.Php 2.6 integrated development environment integrates a developer's PHP code with Microsoft's Internet Information Services 7.0, a commercial Web server. Through the integration, a Visual Studio 2008 user can test drive PHP code on a Web server before releasing it for deployment.
The VS.Php integrated environment also makes use of Visual Basic 2008's IntelliSense feature, which captures the class library and variable names of a project as they are created and automatically fills in names needed by developers after the first few letters are typed.
The IDE can now support large projects with over 10,000 files and has been optimized to load large projects quickly, said Rivera. The firm, founded in 2001, releases a new version of its IDE about every six months.