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ICONY leads their pan-European dating business with PHP and Zend Platform

Overview

ICONY or "I connect you" is one of Germany’s largest online dating networks. Each year millions of men and women use ICONY to search for a casual relationship or significant other . ICONY provides its members and business partners with dating related data and functionality. In addition to the traditional profiles, message boards and chat features ICONY also offers a variety of mobile options.

ICONY is a business unit of Metropolis AG, a subsidiary of 21TORR-Holding and responsible for application development. In 1999, 21TORR made a strategic decision and chose to use PHP to develop their applications. Today, 21TORR has become an expert in developing and managing complex Web applications. Their in-depth PHP knowledge and direct contribution to the PHP language development has made them leaders in their field.

The Challenge

Each month over four million Germans, from all age groups, use an online dating service to establish contacts, find friends and connect with a potential partner. ICONY is one of the leaders in the online dating business with a Pan-European partner network that includes over 70 business partners. These partners include Radio 7, the renowned dailies Sueddeutsche and Stuttgarter Zeitung and partner dating sites such as love.de, flirt.de, flirten.de, and singel.de. To sustain these alliances, ICONY needed to develop its proprietary platform to enable their partners to easily integrate with ICONY's data and functionality.

When developing their seamless web-portal integration capabilities, ICONY needed to consider combining flexible extension support with an ever-expanding scope of potential functionalities.

“As a leading service provider, ICONY has to take maximum precautions regarding security, reliability, and stability of content. Zend Platform provides the necessary functionalities to support our strict requirements for developing in PHP, without having to increase head count.”

Uwe Thomas Board member

The Solution: Zend Platform

Early on, ICONY chose PHP for their application development and reaped the following benefits:

  • Portability: "Cut & Paste" applications into different server platforms
  • Scalability: Support of large scale implementations
  • Short learning curve: Leading to superior development productivity

In addition, Zend Platform provides ICONY with the added additional benefits: application management, support of rapid development and trouble-shooting.

At any one time the popular dating site has more than 3,000 simultaneous users and Zend Platform ensures user satisfaction by providing a highly stable and reliable environment needed for their demand.

Zend Platform also offers ICONY a production environment which helps them meet their rigorous application standards. According to Uwe Thomas, a member of ICONY’s board of directors, “As a leading service provider, ICONY has to take maximum precautions regarding security, reliability, and stability of content. Zend Platform provides the necessary functionalities to support our strict requirements for developing in PHP, without having to increase head count.”

ICONY’s parent company 21TORR is responsible for overall development activities and uses Zend Platform to maintain central quality management and administration. Despite proper testing, errors can emerge during live operation. Zend Platform provides an easy-to-understand summary of errors in a live environment, saving hours of work by eliminating the need for long and often frustrating trouble shooting. The Zend Platform compact report details the time to complete an action and indicates delays when they occur. 21TORR uses this information to rework and optimize the site’s responsiveness. Zend Platform improves site performance with code-caching which allows for rapid execution of complex scripts often, resulting in a 50% performance improvement.

Solutions:

  • Zend Platform

Benefits:

  • Reduce the development cycle while maintaining head count
  • Quickly uncover and resolve errors in a live environment
  • Optimize responsiveness and improve performance
  • Maintain reliability and stability of content shared among the partners

“With the thousands of users visiting love.de, it is crucial that no delays or shutdowns occur. By deploying Zend Platform, ICONY ensures that lonely hearts continue to connect 24X7.”

Jan Amelsberg CEO love.de

Conclusion

21TORR is one of Germany’s 20 largest multimedia service providers and a role model for other companies. Early, during the Internet boom 21TORR reviewed their development processes and chose PHP and Zend Platform to maintain performance, reliability and stability for their high-profile and activity-intensive online applications.

More Information:
ICONY: www.icony.de; www.icony-netzwerk.de
21TORR: www.21torr.de
Metropolis: www.metropolis-ag.de

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