Zend is taking this two-pronged approach to meet its goal of "making PHP as viable as possible," Zend CTO and PHP Evangelist, Jim Jagielski, told ServerWatch.
Zend Cache speeds up script execution time as much as ten-fold for high-traffic sites. After a PHP script has been read, Zend Cache stores a compressed version of the compiled script on the server. Zend Cache is priced on a CPU basis at $2,000 per copy.Zend Encoder Unlimited takes a formal, "human-readable" PHP script and encodes it so that it is machine-readable and fully functional for use in other applications, but is completely indiscernible to another human. This allows PHP programs to remain open source, yet prevents hackers from picking up on potential holes in applications. Zend Encoder Unlimited is priced at $6,000 per server an allows an unlimited number of applications to be circulated among an unlimited number of end users.
Zend Support Online Services is Zend''s online help desk. Enterprises can purchase "incident tickets," several of which also come bundled with other Zend products, to have their questions answered by a PHP or Zend "expert" depending on the question. Tickets can be purchased on per-incident basis at $180, in a set of five for $900, or as a set of ten for $1,800.
Zend also rolled out two subscription-based products described by Jagielski as commercial and noncommercial plans. The noncommercial plan is aimed at independent developers, is priced at $50 per year, and consists of Zend IDE (an integrated development environment that includes a PHP editor, remote debugger and script environment replicator) and Zend LaunchPad, described by Jagielski as "a fully quality-assured version of PHP for a specific server" that is "a precompiled version of PHP for the user''s requirements."
The commercial plan consists of Zend IDE and Zend LaunchPad as well as two incident tickets for Zend Support Online Services and Zend Encoder. The commercial package is being targeted to enterprise developers who are curious about PHP but not ready to make a full transition, Jagielski said. It is priced at $70 per month.
Nearly 5 million Web sites currently run on PHP according to Netcraft''s December server survey. The popular open-source, server-side scripting language has been exhibiting an average growth rate of 15 percent, while overall Web growth has been about 5 percent to 6 percent Jagielski said.
Zend''s initial product, Zend Optimizer, which enables code to run somewhat faster (though not nearly as fast as Zend cache) will continue to be available for free.