Zend, providers of PHP based tools for mobile and enterprise app developers, has introduced updates to three flagship products during its ZendCon event this week, and a PhoneGap integration for building cross-platform apps.

PHP is a popular web scripting language, and it powers the likes of Web powerhouses Facebook and Wikipedia. Zend has debuted new versions of its development environment and other tools that promise to leverage the power of PHP for cloud and mobile.

Zend Studio 10

Zend Studio 10 is an integrated development platform meant for building PHP that can add tons of capabilities to apps on the Web or mobile. One of its most powerful attributes is that it can build apps across systems with the added PhoneGap integration.

Companies can use this handy feature to build apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone among others, and do it using familiar drag and drop features. That kind of add on is always appreciated by those building apps without having been totally immersed in a computer science background.


Mobile apps can me built quickly with drag and drop tools and customized for a variety of operating systems.

As the image above shows, the built in emulator displays what mobile apps will look like on a particular device, and it's another nice visual tool app developers are likely feeling should be standard on any platform. Zend Studio 10 also supports the latest version of PHP known as v5.4, and that means new syntax like traits can be used as well.

Zend Server 6 + Zend Server Gateway

Zend Server 6 is an application server that runs business critical apps in PHP, and the v6 update includes tools for automating app development and monitoring multiple apps at a more granular level. Zend Server Gateway then is the tool that allows apps to talk to other connected systems in the cloud for things like validation and authentication.

All of the new versions are now downloadable from the Zend website. Zend Server for Windows or Linux starts at about US $1,700 to nearly US $15,000, and there is also a Zend Server Production Solution. This is a full package offering complete with two available levels of support, starting at around US $7,000 with an annual subscription. There is also a free 30 day trial available for Zend Studio 10.