Zend Studio for Eclipse Sneak Preview

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I am very excited to announce that Zend Studio for Eclipse 6.1 has been released, and would like to share with you some of its new features.

This release is a “Complete Web Development Environment for PHP Developers”, as it provides significant improvements for Web developers who utilize a rich code base that includes PHP, JavaScript, and CSS.

I would particularly like to emphasize the following new features:

  1. Source editing and navigation of JavaScript, Dojo and CSS resources.
  2. Better integration with Zend Framework 1.6 features.
  3. Improved data tools management with new SQL query builder.
  4. Bug fixes and usability improvements.

JavaScript, Dojo and CSS Source Editing and Navigation

As your project scales it becomes harder to browse your project resources and see the elements that are accessible to you while coding. The enhanced PHP Explorer view is now enhanced by a “JavaScript Support” node that displays the JavaScript resources that were included and the elements (classes, functions, and members) that were defined.

In the following example we have a Zend Framework project that utilizes the Dojo library, an extra node for Dojo toolkit was added and a list of classes is provided. The user can browse the elements and see their properties.

image #1

When it comes to JavaScript and Dojo source editing, a “must have” feature is code assist. This feature gives you the ability to have code completion for Dojo elements, as well as for JavaScript elements that are defined in your projects.

In the following example we are declaring a new variable for a storage that will be used later on as a repository for our dojo.Grid:

image #2

The common source editing capabilities (like formatting, code folding and auto edits) are now also available in JavaScript files

image #3

Additional actions were added to the main menu and editor to support JavaScript navigation. In the following example the user searches for the dojox.Editor class by the “Open Type” dialog for JavaScript elements.

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Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) source editing and management are difficult tasks. There are many selectors, classes and pseudo-classes with different optional values. We have improved usability and code completion in CSS files.

In the following example I wanted to browse the options for the border-collapse property, this property has three optional values “collapse”, “separate” and “inherit”:

image #5

Better Integration with Zend Framework 1.6 Features

Since the announcement of Zend Framework and Dojo toolkits, we have started working toward an integrated development environment for Rich Internet Application development. In particular we have added features that support Zend Framework and Dojo developers.

Studio provides the following options in the code assist list:

Dojo modules – through the Dojo “requireModule()” method. In the following example the user wants to add the dojo.dnd.Manager to his view file.

image #6

Zend View Helpers – in view files (phtml). In the following example
the user wants to add a form element to his view file:

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Zend Action Helpers – in Controller Action methods. In the following example the user wants to use the contextSwitch action helper:

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Improved “New Zend Framework Item” wizard – The “New Zend Framework Item” wizard now contains items such as Modules, Controllers, Views, Action Helpers, View Helpers, Tables and Controller Test Cases.

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The new Zend Controller Test Case generates a PHPUnit Test Case for a selected controller, which allows you to test its actions.

SQL Query Builder – Improvement in Data Tools Management

The SQL Query Builder simplifies building SQL queries, with a graphical interface and drag-and-drop capabilities. In the following example we have three tables that are related with each other. The user assigns the links, columns to select, conditions to select and see the results in the SQL Result tab.

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I hope this has given you a idea of some of the new features in the new version and has helped get you excited about the upgrade.