Zend - The PHP Company

2009 in Retrospect

Dear Customers, Partners, and Users,

2009 was a very exciting year for us at Zend Technologies. Personally, I will remember it as the year PHP started to aggressively penetrate corporate IT. While for years we have been Enterprise-ready and have had many Enterprise deployments, this year we have seen an exponential increase in strategic, mainstream, corporate IT adoption of PHP.

Over the past couple of years we have witnessed the world economy go into a deep recession leaving many companies forced to do more with less. As a result many businesses have reprioritized how they build and deploy their business-critical Web applications. PHP (and open-source) has thrived during this period and since the inception of Zend we have yet to experience a year where so many large companies have embraced PHP. In many cases this is at the expense of Java which is recognized for being too complex and yields a poor ROI when it comes to Web applications. I dare say that 2009 is the year where Java EE died for Web development. Java shops are either making the move to lightweight Java Web frameworks or in many cases, completely making the move to dynamic languages such as PHP.

In addition, we believe many other factors have played into this change such as:

Zend Framework delivering the best practices and methodology needed for Enterprises to scale their development across skill sets and geographies. Zend Framework is not only a hit in the broad community, but it has helped some of the biggest Enterprises embrace PHP.

Our leadership in the Eclipse community surrounding the Eclipse PDT project (the foundation for Zend Studio - PHP IDE) has paid off. The Zend-led Eclipse PDT project has been the most popular project for most of this year despite Eclipse having been primarily a Java community. With Eclipse being the #1 enterprise IDE, we now have enabled a majority of enterprise developers to have Eclipse tooling at their fingertips.

Zend and the community’s ongoing work with large software companies including IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Adobe and others has ensured unprecedented connectivity between PHP and enterprise infrastructures. We have also done significant work with our partners to ensure that Zend Server, our Web application server, runs perfectly with their solutions.

The PHP application eco-system continues to thrive. This year the Drupal CMS has also accelerated its enterprise penetration which includes winning over the White House as a strategic user. We have also seen a very large growth for the quite new Magento e-commerce application (which we are also using on Zend.com).

According to Gartner the number of PHP developers has surpassed 4 million and continues to grow. With such a large community, employers are able to much more effectively find PHP talent and therefore feel comfortable in building more applications with PHP.

Other notable 2009 achievements:

PHP 5.3: On June 30th, 2009 the PHP community released PHP 5.3. While minor in version number, PHP 5.3 is truly a major new version of PHP and a very exciting one at that. The PHP community now can enjoy namespaces, closures, and much more. We believe PHP 5.3 will enable our users to take the art of PHP to the next level and we intend to eat our own caviar by making it a requirement for Zend Framework 2.0 which is already in advanced planning.

Zend Server: Earlier this year we released Zend Server, our PHP-based Web application server. Zend Server has been a huge leap forward for Zend, and our users, by delivering the most integrated, reliable, fast, and feature-rich PHP-based application server in the market. I am also especially proud of the focus we have had on the seamless integration of the product into the various operating systems it supports thereby making installation and management a no brainer for system administrators. Currently, we are already in an advanced public beta of Zend Server 5.0 which delivers a killer feature called code tracing. With Zend Server we also offer a free community edition which is the fastest and easiest provision of a PHP stack out there. Zend Server Community Edition (CE) has had a huge amount of uptake and I’m glad we are able to deliver this free, added-value, to our user base.

Cloud: We believe many of our customers will start including cloud services as an option in their toolboxes. Zend is committed to helping our customers, and the community at large, take advantage of cloud services. We are proud to be leading an industry initiative. Simple Cloud API, that aims to deliver cloud portability to developers who want to leverage value-added cloud application services. This initiative enjoys the support of industry heavy weights such as IBM and Microsoft, and by working with partners we are ensuring its success. In addition, there are other ways our customers are now supported in the cloud including:

Being Eclipse-based which means that  - Zend Studio - PHP IDE enables our customers to plug industry leading cloud tooling, such as the Amazon and Microsoft Azure tools, right into their IDE.

Zend Framework’s support for cloud development continues to grow and notable cloud vendors already supported include Amazon and Microsoft.

We have created Zend Server images for Amazon Web Services and will continue to expand on this front in 2010.

Zend Certification: This year we surpassed 5,000 Zend Certified Engineers (ZCE). We are very proud of our certification program. Not only has it helped employers verify the skill set of new hires and existing employees but on average ZCE's also earn more than their counter parts who have not been certified.

Zend Studio-PHP IDE: 7.0… 7.1… Need I say more? Two important releases this year with a big emphasis on customer feedback. Zend Studio continues to be a favorite among the PHP community.

2010 is going to be a very exciting year for our users. We have a lot of initiatives already in motion which will enable us to continue driving PHP deeper into businesses and take added share from the traditional incumbents such as Java. I’d like to thank you, our customers, partners, and users, for your ongoing support and enthusiasm. We are committed to winning the Web with and for you!

Happy Holidays!

Andi Gutmans