IBM, Zend Team to Popularize PHP

Gretchen Gallen
ARMONK, N.Y – IBM made a bold move recently by throwing its weight behind PHP (hypertext preprocessor), an open source embedded scripting language that is commonly used by adult website developers.

Through a recently sealed deal with Zend Technologies, a Cupertino, Calif.-based PHP provider, IBM has laid plans to create Zend Core, which will combine IBM's Cloudscape-embedded database and Zend's open source PHP platform.

IBM said that Zend Core will be available in the second quarter of 2005 as a free download via the DB2 and Cloudscape product site and IBM's developer portal.

The partnership makes IBM one of the first technology heavyweights to support both PHP and Java and is expected to help accelerate the use of open source by a wider range of developers.

PHP currently accounts for more than 40 percent of the scripting market, according to research firm Netcraft, and is increasingly being used by large and small businesses.

"The product will provide the industry's first seamless out-of-the-box, PHP development and production environment, completely supported by Zend," IBM said in a statement.

IBM and Zend are also teaming together to develop PHP database integration frameworks and enhanced PHP web services standards.

Zend is funded with investments from Azure, Index, Intel Capital, Platinum, SAP Ventures and Walden Israel. The company's founders are the architects of PHP and creators of the Zend Engine, the kernel of PHP.

IBM has also announced plans to contribute several dozen projects to SourceForge.net, a Somers, N.Y.-based open source repository.

To date, IBM has donated more than $40 million worth of code to open source projects that have contributed to more large-scale developer use of open source products and services.