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Zend brings PHP to Oracle's database

Zend Core for Oracle highlights one of the growing commercial uses of open-source PHP scripting language.

The PHP software that lets computers generate complex Web pages on the fly is so frequently used with the MySQL database that there's an acronym for it.

But Zend, a company that commercializes PHP, released a version on Tuesday that works with Oracle's database.

PHP is a scripting language and open-source software project that's widely used to power Web sites. For that task, it often shows up in conjunction with the Linux operating system, Apache Web server software and MySQL database that together make up the LAMP software collection.

Zend has been spreading PHP farther afield, though. It announced Tuesday its Zend Core for Oracle software, a product that has been in beta testing since August. Business partners using the software include SugarCRM, an open-source customer relationship management start-up, and StepUp Commerce, a company that offers online catalog services to retailers.

Zend's work is an example of the growing commercial component of open-source software as well as the spread of the collaborative programming technology to higher-level server software.

Zend Core for Oracle is free, but the company charges for support through its Zend Network Services. That costs $199 per server for up to 30 servers right now, $149 per server for 31 to 100 servers, and negotiated custom pricing for larger installations.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company also sells Zend Core for IBM's DB2 and Cloudscape databases.

Zend Core for Oracle runs on Linux, Sun's Solaris version of Unix and IBM's AIX version of Unix. The company also announced it has begun beta testing a version for Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003.