At the end of February, Zend released the latest version of their PHP IDE suite: Zend Studio 4.
Zend Studio is a cross-platform IDE that works on Linux, OS X, and Windows.
Previous versions also work very well, but the new features of Zend Studio 4 make it a compelling upgrade for existing users and worth examination for those who have never tried it before.
New features of Zend Studio 4 include code snippets, project wizards, and code templates to help streamline productivity by producing re-useable code that is quickly and readily available. The Zend suite also has PHPDoc and PHPDocumentor support, which assist in handling documentation for projects.
The biggest improvement is the Integrated Database Components and Tools, a system for interacting with various database servers, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQLite, and more. This feature alone is bound to enhance productivity by cutting down and manually exploring the database using command-line or Web-based tools.
In addition to these new features, Zend Studio 4 offers support for SFTP, FTP, and FTP over SSH, which is a very nice code profiling and debugging system that also includes a server component for remote debugging. It also offers support for version control using CVS, as well as full syntax and code support for both PHP4 and PHP5.
All of these features are available in the professional version of the suite, and it's worth every penny. The standard version, which is an absolute bargain, comes with the IDE and internal debugger but doesn't include any of the fancier features. Visit the Zend Web site for a free 21-day trial.