Zend is an open source, object-oriented web application framework that is simple and straightforward to use for PHP 5 that has been designed to eliminate the technical exhaustiveness and let the developers concentrate on the bigger picture that is building better web applications. One of its strengths is the highly modular Model-View-Controller (MVC) design, making your code more reusable and easier to maintain and this is why Zend has taken a drivers seat in PHP web development.
Zend is a framework that gives freedom to developers and users as there are no hard and fast rules to be followed. But it does provide components like MVC, Table Data Gateway, and Row Data Gateway design patterns giving individual components for many basic common requirements for web application development. Zend Framework is focused on building more secured, reliable, and modern Web 2.0 applications & web services, and using APIs from leading vendors like Google, Amazon, Yahoo and Flickr.
Simplicity remains at the core of Zend framework. It provides lightweight, loosely coupled component library that provides as much as 80% of the functionality everyone has been looking for and it further allows customizing the rest of the 20% remaining. It also comes with the latest Web Development Features like AJAX support through JASON to ensure the requirements that are easy to use, Syndication, Search, Web Services, High-quality object-oriented PHP 5 class library.
It is available on new BSD license which is meant to be safe and secure so that your data and any other information is un-available and can not be breached by a third party. Safety thus is another important feature of the Zend Framework.
Zend has various components that can be used to enhance the productivity and functionalities.
Model-View-Controller (MVC): this lets for a separate skill sets for developers and designers to make use of their own individual abilities to build meaningful compositions.
Tooling and Rapid Application Development (RAD): through this component you can now let yourself free from the tedious process of initial application setup. You can now create your project structure and MVC artifacts through tooling support and command line client.
Database: now you can use any database available to you for building your application.
Internationalization and Localization: to be in the league of international as well as local markets you would need a component that allows you to generate applications in your own regional language. This is now possible with Zend.
There are more to the component list like Authentication, Authorization, and Session management, Web and Web Services, Mail, Formats, and Search Core Infrastructure. Through the use of all these components you can speed up the development process and get really useful applications.