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Zend Studio For Eclipse - Page 3

by: PHP Builder Staff
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July 7, 2009

Perhaps the one thing missing here--the reason why my SQL YOG still stands at the ready in my object dock--is that you cannot transfer complete databases or even tables from one database to another. I understand that this is not a specialized Database Suite, and I also understand that I can export the database data to a file dump, but this would really be an amazing feature in my mind, it is something I do almost daily and not having it will slow down my day.
Running Queries is very simple using the SQL Scrapbook. This effective little system allows you to run SQL queries on any database you are connected to in your Data Explorer (See Figure 4).



Click here for larger image

Figure 4

Now we get to the bread and butter of Zend Studio: The PHP Explorer. This is where you create your projects (or import them from SVN, CVS or file system). A project is basically your website or application that is 'built' by Zend Studio. 'Building' means everything is indexed. This is particularly handy in complex OOP environments where classes are extended, for instance. Click on the class name and it opens the file containing that class in a new tab. The same goes for function names. Hover over the name and hold on your CTRL button. The name becomes clickable. Click on it and you are taken to the function or class. If it does not seem to mean much to you now, use this feature a few times then try and go without it. You will miss it.
Another thing Zend Studio has that I find extremely useful is the Remote Explorer. This is essentially direct FTP from your editor. You can connect directly to any FTP server securely, and edit the site from this remote connection. All that is missing here is some kind of file uploading system. It would be really neat to be able to upload my site to my remote server directly from the editor interface without having to open my FTP Client. However, Aptana does have an plugin that does just that. The problem is that every time I have installed the Aptana plugin I have found myself having to reinstall Zend because it became extremely 'buggy' as soon as the Aptana interface started running.
There are also some other impressive features such as a PHP Functions Window(Figure 5), listing all the PHP functions there are, as well as a project outline that lists all of the constants, classes, functions and Soap Clients that are involved with the current project you are working on.


Figure 5

On the whole, Zend Studio For Eclipse is a well rounded system capable of more than just the ordinary text-editor type programs. Being built on Eclipse is a bonus, but in my mind it is the best editor built on Eclipse so far. In some way the folks at Zend have stumbled upon a way of integrating user-friendliness with stability. I know it has taken a long time to achieve stability, but it has come at last. Development has become fun again. And colorful. And clickable. And Stable.
Marc Steven Plotz

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