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Red Hat, Zend partner to spur enterprise PHP development

Red Hat and Zend have formed a partnership aimed at bringing PHP development tools and the OpenShift Platform into the enterprise.

Red Hat and Zend have formed a partnership aimed at bringing PHP development tools and the OpenShift Platform as a Service product into the enterprise.

The two companies said the decision to partner up is fueled by opportunities in the exploding mobile application development market and the popularity of PHP as a language for front-end development. Red Hat's OpenShift Platform is an open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) that supports six languages, including Java, Ruby, PHP and Python.

"Developers can come to the OpenShift platform and can now get all the goodness of Zend Server and what it brings to the table," said Jimmy Guerrero, director of OpenShift product marketing at Red Hat. "You're now able to focus on code and customers and not have to worry [about] managing servers. It's a pretty powerful combination."

Zend CEO Andi Gutmans said the partnership grew organically between the two open source companies, who often rub elbows at meetings and conferences.

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"Zend and Red Hat obviously play in a very similar space, both open source companies with a lot of overlapping customer base," Gutmans said. "We both have the same kind of vision around enabling enterprise development."

Gutmans said the new partnership is targeted at mainstream business developers at mid-to-large companies. His vision includes all of Zend's development tools and runtime, Eclipse IDE integration and the OpenShift PaaS.

"It's really all about productivity from the developer standpoint, and lowering the barrier of entry."

Both expect the new offering to be popular with mobile application developers. Guerrero said Red Hat experienced a big rise in page views and sign-ups on its website the day the news was released.

"The pressure companies have to get to mobile and get to cloud is making many of them rethink what kind of technology they are using to build these engagement apps and mobile apps. In that use case, Zend and PHP has really accelerated in the enterprise," Gutmans said.

Gutmans added that he sees a situation in the enterprise where developers -- many of whom already use Eclipse -- will be developing the back end of mobile apps with Java and the front end with PHP.

"Both of us have built our tools on Eclipse, we have an end-to-end workflow from development to production," Gutmans said. "When you have these enterprise customers who are doing a lot of Java and a lot of PHP, that becomes very interesting."

Adam Riglian is a news writer with Follow him on Twitter @AdamRiglian.

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