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PHP API for Cloud Application Services

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Zend Technologies, calling themselves The PHP Company, has launched the open source Simple API for Cloud Application Services project intended to help PHP developers creating applications consuming services from all major clouds. Microsoft has contributed with Windows Azure SDK for PHP Developers.

A number of cloud technology vendors, Zend, IBM, Microsoft, Nirvanix, Rackspace and GoGrid, have contributed to a project led by Zend in order to create a simple API which is intended to be used to access various cloud resources. For the beginning, the API offers support for File Storage, Document Database Storage, and Simple Queue services for Amazon Web Services, Rackspace Cloud Files, Windows Azure, and Nirvanix Storage Delivery Network. Zend intends to include this API as a new component of the Zend Framework called Zend Cloud.

Microsoft released in July their Windows Azure SDK for PHP Developers, a set of tools for PHP programmers working with Azure. Later, Microsoft contributed this SDK to Zend’s Simple API initiative. The SDK is currently a CodePlex project jointly developed with RealDolmen and licensed under New BSD License.

Windows Azure SDK for PHP offers not just storage support:

  • PHP classes for Windows Azure Blobs, Tables & Queues (for CRUD operations)
  • Helper Classes for HTTP transport, AuthN/AuthZ, REST & Error Management
  • Manageability, Instrumentation & Logging support
  • Support for storing PHP sessions in Azure Table Storage

PHP developers can use both the Simple API and the SDK, especially if the tasks are other than storage, but in the future they can expect the Simple API to grow including more and more features. Zend currently recommends caution in using the API in production because it is probably going to change being in early stages.

The interfaces can be easily converted from PHP to another OO language since they were designed that way. It is interesting to see if this project will spawn other similar ones, targeting languages like C# and Java.

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