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23 September 2009, 12:08

Zend, Microsoft and IBM co-operate to develop a Simple Cloud API for PHP applications

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With the backing of IT giants IBM and Microsoft as well as other cloud specialists, Zend Technologies has started an open source project that is to provide developers with a programming interface for implementing cloud services that run on several different platforms.

In cloud computing, the focus in terms of computing power, application management and data storage is predominately on the server rather than the customer's client, and servers are arrayed in grids and large server farms. The "Simple API for Cloud Application Services" or "Simple Cloud API" is intended to allow programmers to run normal applications in cloud environments and develop cloud applications without having to adapt the source code to access the environments.

Applications will reportedly be executable on all major cloud platforms, for example on IBM Cloud Computing, Microsoft’s Azure, Nirvanix Storage Delivery Network, Rackspace and GoGrid. The providers of all these platforms are among the co-founders of the project. The supported platforms also include Amazon Web Services (AWS), although the market leader is not part of the new initiative.

The API will initially only support PHP, but discussions with members of other language communities like Java, Perl and Python indicate that further co-operations are likely. The first basic implementation offers a data storage interface, a document database and simple queue services for the supported platforms. Future services are to include email functionality as well as authentication. The PHP implementation of the Simple Cloud API will be available in future versions of the free Zend Framework as "Zend Cloud".

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