Z-Ray Technology Preview

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I’m happy to inform you guys that Z-Ray – the advanced debugging tool developed by Zend and up until now only available for Zend Server users – is now also available for separate installation on your PHP stack.

At this stage of the game, and as the title implies, this version is a tech preview version only. Zend does not accept any responsibility for errors in your code resulting from usage. Also please note that this version is currently only available on Ubuntu 14.04 and Debian 8, with support coming soon for Windows and Mac OS X.

This piece will help you guys to get up and running with this tech preview version as quickly as possible. At the end of this article, you’ll have Z-Ray loaded just like any other PHP extension in your stack.

What’s Z-Ray?

You’ve probably already heard of Z-Ray, but just in case you haven’t – here’s a very short recap.

Z-Ray is an advanced debugging and productivity tool for PHP developers that provides info on what’s going on under the hood of your apps, in your browser, and without having to change a thing in your code.  Using a feature called Z-Ray Live!, you can profile non-browser based requests coming into the server as well, such as CLI calls, mobile requests and APIs. In addition to generic PHP information, Z-Ray also provides detailed information for specific apps and frameworks – WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Symfony, Laravel and Zend Framework, and many more.

I’ll be publishing a series on Z-Ray’s various features soon, but in the meantime I’ve listed some resources at the end of the article if you’re looking for more info.

Installing Z-Ray

Before completing the installation steps below, please read the following system requirements.

Prerequisites  

  • Debian 8 (or later), x86_64
  • Ubuntu 14.04 (or later), x86_64
  • Apache 2.4
  • PHP 5.5.x and 5.6.x

Installation

Right. Let’s get started!

1. If you haven’t already done so, install Apache2 and PHP by running this command (if you have, skip to step 2):

2. Next, download Z-Ray from http://www.zend.com/products/z-ray/z-ray-preview.
You can select a package for PHP 5.5 or PHP 5.6, so please verify which PHP version you’re using before selecting the corresponding  Z-Ray package.

3. Once you’ve finished downloading the package, extract the Z-Ray tar.gz file to the /opt folder:

4. Next, you need to define a virtual host for the Z-Ray user interface. To do this, run:

5. Enable mod_rewrite:

6. Your next step is to install the Z-Ray extension by creating symlinks.

7. Make sure the Z-Ray extension is displayed in the list of installed Zend extensions by running:

The output should read “…with Zend Server Z-Ray…” This means the extension is configured and loaded correctly.

8. You’re almost done. Last but not least, set permissions and restart your web server by running:

9. That’s it! Z-Ray is installed!
To start using Z-Ray, all you have to do is open a page located on your web server in a browser. You’ll see Z-Ray displayed at the bottom of the page.

z-ray-open

What next? Go to http://<YourServerIP>:10081/ZendServer/ to access Z-Ray’s management UI to configure Z-Ray and access Z-Ray Live! – for tracking all incoming requests to the server (CLI calls, mobile requests, APIs).

Additional Installation Options

Z-Ray Resources

If you’re looking for more info on Z-Ray, here are some useful resources that will help you understand what Z-Ray is all about:

We Want your Feedback!

We’ve always relied on our users’ feedback to improve our products. This version of Z-Ray is no exception – we’d love you to try it out and get any ideas or thoughts you may have. In fact, we’re relying on it.

Please send us your feedback using this form, or simply throw us an email at: z-ray-feedback@zend.com.

We can’t wait to get your input on Z-Ray so please send us anything you have!

Thanks and happy PHPing!