Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Zend Framework update focuses on AJAX integration

Zend has added integration with the Dojo JavaScript toolkit in the new version of its PHP programming platform.

Zend Framework 1.6, released yesterday, makes it easy to integrate AJAX and JavaScript with PHP applications, according to the company. There is a Dojo view helper for setting up the Dojo environment, along with form elements and decorators for integrating with Dojo’s Dijit library, which provides interface widgets. A new JSON-RPC server implementation and class can manipulate Dojo data envelopes in Zend.

Also new in Zend Framework 1.6 is interoperability with the SOAP Web services protocol, which Zend said makes connecting Web services to data across the Internet easier. New features around SOAP include client and server classes that can operate in both WSDL (Web Services Description Language) and non-WSDL modes, and auto-discovery. Unit testing features for controllers enable agile practices like unit testing and test-driven development, where a developer writes tests prior to writing code.

“Functional tests for your application will be much easier to write now that Zend Framework has built-in support for testing controllers,” said Wil Sinclair, Zend’s development manager.

Other new features and improvements are a component for displaying large data sets from multiple sources, a service providing text-based CAPTCHA images, and smaller XML documents that are easier to read, the company said.

Zend will tout version 1.6 at ZendCon 2008, taking place Sept. 15-18 in Santa Clara. The conference offers presentations and networking opportunities for PHP developers and business managers.

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