Zend Technologies has released a public beta of public beta of Zend Server 5.0, a new version of the company's Web application server. Zend Server 5.0 includes a new feature called "Code Tracing" that lets developers quickly pinpoint the root cause of a problem in production by viewing a "digital documentary" of the execution of their application, similar to a black box flight recorder in an airplane.
In addition to Code Tracing, Zend Server 5.0 includes features to maximize the performance and reliability of PHP Web applications, such as Job Queues. Zend says that Job Queues increases application performance and responsiveness by allowing jobs (tasks) to be performed asynchronously or at recurring intervals, offloading long-running tasks from Web servers to back-end servers. End users experience prompt responses in their Web browser while long-running jobs like credit-card processing, shipping and other activities proceed in the background. In addition, maintenance tasks such as database cleanup and RSS feed pulls can be run at specific times or at recurring intervals. The Job Queue feature is fully integrated into the Zend Server monitoring system and Web console, giving developers and other IT staff one place to monitor the overall execution of their application.
Zend Server, which supports IBM i, Linux, and Windows, includes support for PHP 5.3. Zend Server is fully integrated with Zend's Studio PHP IDE, Zend Framework. The Code Tracing feature in Zend Server 5.0 captures the full execution of an application in real-time, so IT staff can quickly find the root cause of a problem without having to reproduce it. Code Tracing can be turned on and off by Zend Server's Event Monitoring capability so that real-time PHP code execution is captured only during specified events, such as those triggered by performance degradation or other error conditions. The trace is displayed in the Zend Server Web console to enable staff to view the complete execution history of an application and definitively pinpoint a problem's root cause. Zend claims that Zend Server Code Tracing can cut problem identification and resolution time by up to 50 percent.
A public beta version of Zend Server 5.0 is available now, while a production release will be available by the end of the year.