Zend Server 8 Features Expanded Mobile & API Web Services Support

Today at ZendCon 2014, Zend unveiled Zend Server 8 with new Z-Ray capabilities, including insight into several popular applications and a Z-Ray Live! mobile and Web services API debugging tool. Z-Ray is a toolbar that displays all of the under-the-hood details of a page request as they occur in real time.

Zend announced the availability of Z-Ray with the Zend Server Platform a few months ago. Z-Ray technology "exposes an application's inner workings and logic," which allows developers to review, debug and optimize their code. Z-Ray is designed to make it easier and faster for developers to build high-quality API-based applications.


Screenshot of Zend Server 8 Dashboard. Image credit: Zend

In August, Zend announced the availability of Zend Server 7 featuring Z-Ray as an advanced cloud service on Amazon Web Services. The Zend Server AWS Marketplace cloud product not only allows developers to innovative faster but also makes it possible to create agile applications that are highly scalable.

Key features of Zend Server 8 include the following:

  • Extended Z-Ray Real-Time Vision — Z-Ray's real-time vision inside PHP requests has been extended to include specific detailed data for several common applications and frameworks, including Magento, WordPress, Drupal, Zend Framework, IBM i and Symfony.
  • New Mobile-Optimized Z-Ray Live! — Z-Ray Live! is a brand-new feature that allows developers to see into the server-side execution of mobile app requests and API calls.
  • Z-Ray Extensibility API — Z-Ray's extensibility API allows developers to add new functionality to Z-Ray, displaying the data they are most interested in viewing.
  • URL Insight — URL Insight identifies the worst-performing pages in an application and gives Z-Ray insight into the causes.

Screenshot of Z-Ray Toolbar displaying database queries for Magento. Image credit: Zend

We reached out to Joshua Solomin, director of product marketing at Zend Technologies, who explained to ProgrammableWeb that Z-Ray is not a browser extension, it is a browser-independent tool generated from Zend Server itself. He also said that developers who would like to have real-time vision inside PHP requests for applications not already preinstalled can use the Z-Ray Extensibility API to extend Z-Ray capabilities to other platforms. Zend CTO and co-founder Zeev Suraski states in a press release:

Z-Ray has proved to boost development productivity by providing developers immediate access to database queries, memory usage, request execution details and more. However, our customers told us they now needed to get this debugging info for their mobile applications. Z-Ray Live!'s new X-Ray vision offers "as-it-happens" insight into each request coming from native mobile apps or via Web services API calls. This real-time server-side error-catching and debugging helps developers stay one step ahead in the mobile app development process.

Zend Server 8 with Z-Ray will be generally available in December. However, developers can download Zend Server 8 Beta, which is available now.

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