Taking a Closer Look at Zend Server 8.5

Hi all! I’m happy to give you a grand tour of the main new features available in the latest version of Zend Server – Zend Server 8.5.

There is plenty to be excited about in this new version, but I think what makes this version so special is first of all the fact that this is the first version that includes community-driven features. Not only that, it also includes plenty of features that are a direct result of user feedback. You asked, we executed.

So, keep up the good work, continue sending us your input, and sit back and enjoy the read!

#1 Zend Server Goes Social

Zend Server 8.5 introduces the Zend Gallery – a marketplace for plugins that extend Zend Server’s functionality and that have been developed by other Zend Server users for the entire community to use.

gallery

In the Gallery, you’ll find plugins which have been developed by Zend and the community for some of the most popular apps and frameworks as well as other popular PHP tools and platforms, such as WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Laravel, OPcache, Doctrine2, and more.

So – browse through the Gallery, find a plugin you want to install, and go through the simple installation process to start using it.

Once installed, plugins enjoy full life-cycle support.  You can easily install and manage plugins in the Zend Server UI, get notifications about available plugin updates, and install your own plugins in just a few clicks. Of course, in a clustered environment, all these actions are performed across all the servers in the cluster.

Developing your own plugins is easy, and all the documentation you need is available on GitHub. If you’re fast on your feet, you can finish your plugin on time to participate in the plugin contest.

#2 Revamped Job Queue

Zend Server 8.5 upgrades Job Queue – Zend Server’s system for running and managing offline asynchronous processing of tasks and activities, run independently of the user experience. Put simply, Job Queue delays the execution of “heavy” parts of your app that originate from direct user interaction with a web server, and can significantly improve response time and reduce web server load.

Zend Server 8.5 supports multiple queues. This feature allows you to manage groups of jobs that are functionally or logically related, thus enabling you to efficiently set priorities per job groups as opposed to single jobs.

job_queue

So if for example you have a bunch of maintenance jobs, and a group of jobs taking care of purchases for your site – you can set a higher priority for the latter while setting a lower priority for the former. Queues can be suspended and resumed if needed.

#3 Better Support your Clients

Zend Server 8.5 includes the option to remotely support your customers by being able to inspect their requests without affecting performance and without disclosing sensitive information. This can be extremely useful, for example, when you have a customer complaining of a bug that you simply cannot reproduce.

Using the new Z-Ray Selective Mode, you can enable collection of Z-Ray data based on client IP ranges, and – disable the in-browser Z-Ray while still having access to the data via the Z-Ray Live!

selective_access

This means that while your client is experiencing problems on one end of the wire, you’ll be able to take a deep hard look at his requests using Z-Ray Live! on the other end. All other visitors to the site will be unaffected, and you’ll be able to identify and solve the bug your customer is experiencing using Z-Ray’s powerful introspection features.

#4 App Awareness

Zend Server can now better understand your applications by recognizing the routing logic for requests. This awareness helps Zend Server aggregate monitoring events, and display improved results for URLs listed in URL Insight.

Zend Server comes with built-in awareness for Magento, WordPress, Zend Framework 1, Zend Framework 2, Pimcore, and Symfony, and you can also define the routing for your application by developing and installing a Zend Server route plugin.

#5 Upgraded Z-Ray

Z-Ray itself has also been improved in Zend Server 8.5, and includes some cool new features.

Debugging from Z-Ray is now much more advanced with options to debug all pages or next pages, and more go-to-source actions available from the various panels.

WordPress and Magento support has been taken up a notch with new panels and an improved look and feel to the plugins.

z-ray1

Other Z-Ray enhancements include Zend Server notifications, improved performance and memory consumption, and more.

#6 Enhanced Xdebug Support

Debugging with Xdebug in Zend Server has become a whole lot easier, and you can now easily switch between, and configure, your preferred debugger.

#7 UI

We’ve ensured a better user experience and easier navigation by moving the menu to a bar on the left. Likewise, all the Zend Server pages, wizards, and icons have been changed, giving Zend Server a brighter, shinier and more modern look.

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There are some other nice surprises in Zend Server 8.5, but I’ll let you learn all about them on Zend.com.

Learn more >

Download Free Trial >

Got some feedback or ideas for improving Zend Server? Let us know at: zs-feedback@zend.com

Enjoy!