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Zend Studio 3.0

by: Piers Karsenbarg
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November 4, 2003

When I first heard of Zend Studio, I thought, what's the point in that? There are plenty of (free) PHP IDEs available. What's so special about this one? However, when I got down to looking at it properly, I found that Zend was indeed very different to others.
For one thing, it's not really just one package, it's two, aptly named, Zend Studio Client and Zend Studio Server. The client part is an excellent, easy-to-use IDE, with integrated debugger, which really helps speed up development times, whereas the server has even more surprises waiting for you: as well as the debug server which integrates with the IDE so you can remotely debug your PHP applications, it includes the Zend Server Centre which will help you get the most out of your PHP configuration. In other words, it's a web-based front end to your php.ini file. The server part of the pack includes the Zend Optimizer which inspects and assists in speeding up your code. Finally, (and pretty much to be expected), it includes a copy of Apache and PHP, which can both be installed if not already present. If they ARE already there, then Studio will integrate with them seamlessly.

Installing Zend Studio

Ok, ok, this might sound really patronising, but this part needs serious consideration. Everyone knows how to install software but it's really worth thinking about before you jump right in. Like any new bit of software, it took me a couple of attempts to get it just how I wanted. There are a couple of ways that you can have your system set up:
1. You can have the whole caboodle installed on your PC, including a localcopy of PHP and web server (if you don't already have one, Zend gives youthe option to install Apache). This situation is ideal for lone programmers who don't need to share work loads.
2. Or, you can install the client portion on your PC and the server portion on a server. This is more suited for companies or people who work in teams on their PHP projects.
There are both *nix versions and Windows version of the suite, so you can use either type of OS for the server and the client.

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