IBM announced an agreement with Zend Technologies to develop the industry’s first integrated solution designed to help developers build and deploy applications and services based on the popular PHP Web language. The new solution integrates IBM’s Cloudscapedatabase based on Apache Software Foundation Derby and Zend’s open source PHP environment. This agreement further expands IBM’s investment in open source by helping developers more effectively create applications based on the technology of their choice.

Under the agreement, IBM will work with Zend, the leading provider of products and services for developing, deploying and managing business-critical PHP applications, to create ‘Zend Core for IBM.’ The product will provide the industry’s first seamless out-of-the-box, PHP development and production environment, completely supported by Zend. Zend Core for IBM will feature seamless integration with IBM’s Cloudscape database server and DB2Universal Database. IBM and Zend are also jointly working on furthering PHP technology to include improved high-level database integration frameworks and enhanced PHP Web services standards.

The availability of Zend Core for IBM will significantly enhance developer support for IBM’s Cloudscape database, as PHP is one of the most popular Web programming languages in the world. According to the research firm Netcraft, PHP currently accounts for more than 40 percent of the overall Web scripting language market. Additionally, PHP technology adopting into both small and medium-size business (SMB) and large enterprises is growing steadily. Zend and its founders are the architects of PHP and creators of the Zend Engine, the kernel of PHP.

“Our partnership with IBM further cements PHP as the language of choice for business-critical Web applications,” said Doron Gerstel, CEO and President for Zend Technologies, Inc. “Zend Core for IBM is in line with Zend’s goal of delivering both simplicity and robust functionality to Web-based applications.”