Top 10 Z-Ray Features to Check Out

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This post was written by a developer who works on the Zend Server project. We’re pretty keen on editorial independence here at SitePoint, but occasionally we feature articles from people working directly on some of our favorite tools.

Necessity is the mother of invention goes the famous saying.

For PHP developers, there is no greater need than visibility. But developers today have a tough choice to make as they develop and debug their apps. Either use crude methods such as printing, debugging information, or storing it in a log file, or – use multiple debugging/profiling tools that are awkward and require a lot of work from the developer’s side.

Either way – this means time. Time spent accessing the PHP log. Time spent accessing SQL queries. Time spent finding that one bad function or PHP error causing a bottleneck or crashing your app.

This article introduces the top 10 features of Z-Ray – an innovative new technology from Zend that makes PHP development a whole lot quicker and easier by giving developers unprecedented insight into their code – and the visibility they need to develop top-notch apps.

About Zend Server

Zend Server is an integrated application platform for mobile and web PHP apps. It includes an advanced and secure PHP stack (which is fully compatible with’s PHP and based on the same source code), with over 80 popular PHP extensions and libraries.

Zend Server includes tools that help you develop, debug, deploy and monitor your PHP apps, together with advanced features for optimizing performance, scalability and reliability.

Zend Server supports Apache, NGINX and IIS Web servers, and is delivered as native packages for all leading Linux distributions, Windows, MAC OS X and IBM i environments, including Cloud environments such as AWS.

Zend Server supports any PHP code, and provides deep insight into that code, including popular PHP applications and frameworks like WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Zend Framework, Symfony, and Laravel.

See this overview for more information on what Zend Server is and how to install it.

What’s Z-Ray?

Z-Ray is a Zend Server component that monitors requests made to the Web server, and then displays all the details of a page request, across all the PHP scripts involved in building the page, in a nifty toolbar at the bottom of your browser.


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Seems like ELMAH for .NET developers. A nice step in the correct direction for PHP developers.

How does this fare vs Symfony’s built in profiler + Blackfire? AFAIK Z-Ray isn’t free?

While they all have the same purpose - helping you debug and profile your PHP - the similarity ends there. Would be happy to drill down into specifics, but in general I think Z-Ray is a very powerful technology, robust and comprehensive in nature. Ping me for details.

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