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What is Zend Framework?

Zend Framework is a simple, straightforward, open-source software framework for PHP 5 designed to eliminate the tedious details of coding and let you focus on the big picture. Its strength is in its highly-modular MVC design, making your code more reusable and easier to maintain. Although it's currently in preview release, take a look—you may be surprised.

Still not sure? Visit [Is Zend Framework right for me?] for more information.

Goals of Zend Framework components

The following lists the components of Zend Framework, with a 2-3 line description and list of goals for the value that each component provides.


Zend_Acl provides lightweight and flexible access control list (ACL) functionality and privileges management.

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


Zend_Auth provides an API for authentication and includes concrete authentication adapters for common use case scenarios.

  • provides adapter interface for multiple authentication
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


Zend_Cache provides a flexible approach toward caching data, including tagging, manipulating, iterating, and removing subsets.

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


Zend_Config simplifies the use of configuration data for web applications.

  • provides a property-based interface for reading configuration data
  • supports variety of hierarchical data storage formats
  • supports inheritence of configuration data from one section into another


Command-line PHP applications benefit from this convenient object-oriented interface for declaring, parsing, and reporting command-line arguments and options.

  • supports GNU getopt syntax
  • supports more extensive option declaration syntax
  • supports automatic reporting of option usage help

Zend_Controller and Zend_View

These components provide the infrastructure for a Model-View-Controller website.

  • provides simple and extensible MVC pattern
  • provides PHP-based template engine by default
  • provides support for application modules


Zend_Date offers a detailed, but simple API for manipulating
dates and times.

  • supports I18N and L10N throughout its API
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


This is a lightweight database access layer, providing an interface to PDO and other database extensions in PHP. It includes adapters for each database driver, a query profiler, and an API to construct most SELECT statements.

  • provides abstract interface to multiple PHP database extensions
  • based on PDO interface, but extends beyond that
  • provides query profiler
  • provides query builder
  • provides robust SQL support including parameters and quoting


The Zend_Db_Table component is a lightweight solution for object-oriented programming with databases.

  • implements table data gateway and row data gateway patterns
  • discovers database metadata without the need for complex configuration files
  • provides a solution for querying related tables


This component provides a very simple way to work with live syndicated feeds.

  • consumes RSS and Atom feeds
  • provides utilities for discovering feed links
  • imports feeds from multiple sources
  • providers feed building and posting operations

Zend_Filter / Zend_Validate

The input filtering component encourages the development of
secure websites by providing the basic tools necessary for input
filtering and validation.

  • provides an extensible architecture for filters and validators
  • supports UTF text data
  • supports user-configurable messages for validation failures


This is a configurable solution for declaring and enforcing filtering and validation rules. This component serves as a "cage" for input data, so they are available to your application only after being validated.

  • does not require configuration files
  • supports declarative syntax for applying rules to collections of input data
  • supports chaining of filters and validators
  • supports automatic escaping of validated data values

Zend Google Data Client

The Google Data APIs provide read/write access to services hosted at, for example, Spreadsheets, Calendar, Blogger, and CodeSearch.

  • supports both authentication mechanisms of Google Data servers
  • supports queries and posting changes against Google Data services
  • supports service-specific element kinds in an object-oriented interface
  • matches functionality and design of other Google Data API clients


This component provides a client for the HTTP protocol, without requiring any PHP extensions. It drives our web services

  • supports URL validation
  • supports cookies
  • supports proxy servers


Easily convert PHP structures into JSON for use in AJAX-enabled applications.

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


Load files, classes, and resources dynamically in your PHP application.

  • supports SPL autoloader
  • supports include_path
  • provides exception-based failure mechanism


Zend_Locale is the Framework's answer to the question,
"How can the same application be used around the whole world?"
This component is the foundation of Zend_Date, Zend_Translate,
and others.

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


Log data to the console, flat files, or a database. Its
no-frills, simple, procedural API reduces the hassle of logging to
one line and is perfect for cron jobs and error logs.

  • provides a simple object-oriented interface inspired by log4j
  • supports extensible output channels
  • supports extensible output formats

Zend_Mail and Zend_Mime

Almost every internet application needs to send email. Zend_Mail, assisted by Zend_Mime, creates email messages and sends them.

  • supports attachments
  • supports MIME types
  • goal 3


Using Zend_Measure, you can convert measurements into different
units of the same type. They can be added, subtracted and compared
against each other.

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


Zend_Memory offers an API for managing data in a limited memory
mode. A PHP developer can create a Zend_Memory object to store and
access large amounts of data, which would exceed the memory usage
limits imposed by some PHP environments.

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


Portable Document Format (PDF) from Adobe is the de facto standard for cross-platform rich documents. Now, PHP applications can create or read PDF documents on the fly, without the need to call utilities from the shell, depend on PHP extensions, or pay licensing fees. Zend_PDF can even modify existing PDF documents.

  • supports Adobe PDF file format
  • parses PDF structure and provides access to elements
  • creates or modifies PDF documents
  • utilizes memory efficiently


This component provides an object-oriented storage mechanism for application-global data.

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3

Zend_Rest_Client / Zend_Rest_Server

Zend_Rest provides a simple, object oriented interface for
consuming and providing XML-based REST web services.

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3

Roy Fielding says:

REST enables intermediate processing by constraining messages to be self-descriptive: interaction is stateless between requests, standard methods and media types are used to indicate semantics and exchange information, and responses explicitly indicate cacheability.


The Apache Lucene engine is a powerful, feature-rich Java
search engine that is flexible about document storage and supports
many complex query types. Zend_Search_Lucene is a port of this
engine written entirely in PHP 5

  • allows PHP-powered websites to leverage powerful search capabilities without the need for web services or Java
  • provides binary compatibility with Apache Lucene
  • matches Apache Lucene in performance

Zend_Service: Akismet, Amazon, Audioscrobbler, Delicious, Flickr, Simpy, StrikeIron and Yahoo!

Web services are important to the PHP developer creating the next generation of mashups and composite applications. The Zend Framework provides wrappers for service APIs from major providers to make it as simple as possible to use those web services from your PHP application.

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


Zend_Session helps manage and preserve session data across
multiple page requests by the same client.

  • provides an object-oriented interface to access session data
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


The Zend_Translate component provides the Zend Framework with
message translation functionality.

  • provides a simple and consistent object-oriented interface to translated message storage
  • supports industry-standard message storage formats such as gettext, TMX, Qt, and XLIFF
  • provides thread-safe gettext implementation


Zend_Uri is a component that aids in manipulating and validating Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs).

  • goal 1
  • goal 2
  • goal 3


This component makes it easy to communicating with XML-RPC services from PHP.

  • mimics PHP's SOAP extension
  • goal 2
  • goal 3
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