Now that Zend Server has had its public beta release I thought it was finally worth a installation to see what its all about. One of the main differences between this and xampp that jumped out at me was there was a Mac version to download along side Linux (rpm and dem) and Windows. There will be two version of the product to be called the ‘Community Edition’ and the standard commercial version. The commercial version comes with monitoring capabilities and additional Zend modules (page cache and data cache).
After the initial download of around 50mb for windows with comes with a nice installer to take care of everything. It then I realised I hadn’t downloaded everything yet and more modules need to be added before installing such as MySQL. There was also other option like a Java Bridge, Zend Framework (with or without dojo) and various other database adaptors.
After a 5 minutes everything was done. The apache web service monitor appeared which confirmed it was running. Icons now appeared in my program folder so I went ahead and click on ‘Zend Service’. Also worth noting that it also had Links to apache, MySQL service programs and to the htdocs.
Up loaded a web page taking me to the control panel. Everything looked a bit more flashy and provided similar links as xampp to phpmyadmin, a phpinfo file and the status of various services. You are reminded in various places that you only have the free version which is a little irritating. With the links provided you have easy access to the root folder and setting up passwords on MySQL.
Its really done exactly what it said it would do and i encountered no problems installing it. Less experienced users may bit a little confused when it comes choosing which components to install. It does however lack some features that xampp comes with such as SQLite and perl. There is also no centralised management tool like the xammp control panel to easily start and stop apache and MySQL. This is a real shame as this just makes xampp so easy to use.