Now that Zend has created a set of Z-Ray tools that help automate the debugging of PHP applications, the provider of the most widely used PHP application development platform is moving to apply those capabilities to several application development frameworks based on PHP.
Zend has announced that Z-Ray can now be used to debug applications built on top of WordPress, Drupal and Magento, frameworks that were all built using PHP. Z-Ray can be used to provide visibility into, for example, Magento Blocks, Events, Handlers and Requests; Drupal Functions, Modules and Blocks; WordPress Cache Objects, Crons and Plugins; and Zend Framework Config, Events and Modules.
Zend CEO Andi Gutmans notes that while many of the developers who work with these frameworks don’t think of themselves as PHP developers, they encounter the same issues. In fact, Gutmans says that both the complexity of the applications being built on these frameworks and their importance to the business has increased substantially in recent years.
Z-Ray, which can be used to debug both Web and mobile applications, provides Z-Ray displays, page requests, performance metrics, database query insight, session data and other data regarding an application to help developers identify potential issues long before the application makes it into production. The end goal, says Gutmans, is to make PHP developers of all types more productive by dramatically reducing the amount of time spent on testing applications.
Gutmans says developers also have the option to use the Z-Ray Extensibility API to support any PHP framework or application. He notes that many organizations have extended PHP in ways that resulted in their creating their own frameworks. By making available the API that Zend used to develop Z-Ray, Gutmans says, organizations that developed their own PHP frameworks can now take advantage of Z-Ray debugging facilities.
PHP may not always be on the cutting edge of application development, but in terms of the number of developers who rely on PHP, it is the most accessible. The challenge that many of those developers face, however, is that they are self-taught. For that reason, automating much of the debugging process is critical, especially as new developers experiment with PHP to create their first applications.
Since PHP isn't likely to disappear any time soon, it behooves the organizations that rely on it to find as many ways as possible to make their developers as efficient as possible, which on its simplest terms can be defined as not having to fix issues after the application has been deployed in production.