At Yireo, we love Zend stuff: We develop with Zend Studio, we run Zend Server as local environment and obviously we are making all our code compatible with the upcoming PHP 7. However, this news made us even more love Zend: They released a technology preview of Z-Ray which runs standalone on any webserver!
Z-Ray has been offering already some time their awesome Z-Ray debugging tool: With this tool you add a toolbar to every site you host (either a development site, or a production site by using the inclusion/exclusion settings) and through the toolbar, you get instant access to information most vital to PHP developers: MySQL queries in a nice overview, PHP memory consumption, break-down of PHP functions and application calls, etcetera. Simply having this information available easily saves much time while creating or modifying code. We ourselves have seen a boost with this tool.
Even cooler: The toolbar can be extended. Zend itself has picked up on the job to create additional tabs for Magento 1 and Magento 2, while we have made the community effort to add tabs for Joomla (modules, plugins, events, request information).
Free technology preview: Standalone!
A possible downside of this was that you needed Zend Server to run Z-Ray. For local environments, this rarely is an issue because it is local anyway and who cares about the underlying stack. For remote environments, this might be more troublesome: For instance, our own Yireo site runs nicely with Nginx / PHP-FPM and we prefer not to swap this for Zend Server. Likewise, our development server runs this crazy mix of phpbrew, Apache, Nginx and PHP-FPM and we can't simply run Zend Server there anymore. We were missing out on Z-Ray in these environments!
Not anymore: The new technology preview of Z-Ray is able to run standalone on any (!) environment. Very cool. So, wherever you are developing on whatever stack, simply add Z-Ray and you have a great addition to your developer toolset. The preview is currently only available for Linux. Zend also mentions it is only a preview so there is no guarantee in which direction this all heads. But we simply believe it is awesome already and wanted to share it with you guys.