What Does Z-Ray by Zend Server Have To Offer
Zend has released Z-Ray, a new Zend Server component that makes developing less time-consuming and easier by giving coders unprecedented insight into their code.
What does it do?
The Zend Server component, Z-Ray will monitor requests made to the server and display, at the bottom of your browser, page request details across all the PHP scripts involved in building the page. What’s really practical is that Z- Ray is injected into the response coming from your PHP app and you can see it instantly on your browser. You simply have to open your app in a browser or even on a mobile device to view it.
At the same time, the notifications are easy to ignore if you don’t care much about the diagnostics of the page. Z-Ray is designed to be small and yet full of data about the page that was rendered. Expect of course when there seems to be something critical, it will try to get your attention with a red flag.
What does it offer?
What the Page Requests Panel in Z-Ray does is that it lists the requests that were sent from your page to the web server along with the information on their responses, path, method, time taken and the amount of executed DB. In case of an error, you will see a red flag. When there are multiple requests like ajax calls, you can create a specific sub-request by selecting it from the requests list. This filter makes sure you see data only for that particular request.
Wondering about server time that’s being wasted processing database queries? Z- Ray offers Execution Time and Memory Peak panel which gives you some data on how how your server resources were utilized by the request. You will see the highest memory usage with a breakdown of the request. So it’s easy to understand how the webserver processed the request.
The Z-Ray Monitor Events Panel gives you any Zend Server “monitoring events” that were triggered by a request. It will notify you about any PHP errors, excessive memory usage, slow requests execution and other things set in the monitoring rules of the Zend Server. All the event details are right there on the Zend Server UI, just click on the icon of the corresponding event.
Errors & Warnings
With Z-Ray, you can forget about accessing PHP logs to debug. The Errors and Warnings panel will display the error creating with detail on what kind of error it was. With this feature, you can also view the expressions silenced by the @ operators, you’ll have to select ‘@Silenced’ check-box. And for a complete backtrace error, you have to click the Backtrace to know more about everything that went wrong.
Request Info provides the list of PHP superglobals used in the code. So, it is easy to find the changes of values and size of the variable for SESSION or COOKIE superglobals . Other request info like request header, response headers, raw post data & response body can also been viewed.
Z-Ray in Production
With Z-Ray, you can analyze code and spot errors at an early stage in the development cycle. However, Z-Ray can also be used in the production stage, you just have to use access tokens passed as GET parameters in the application’s URL. These Access tokens can be created using the Zend Server UI, and can be limited per IP address, per URL, and for a specific duration.
The Z-Ray Functions panel will enable you to see the PHP functions called during the request; their names, number of times they were called, the time spent in the scope of the functions, including and excluding time spent in children functions, and many more. This makes identifying inefficient functions a lot easier.
App/Framework Support and Extensibility
With extension APIs, you can either plug in your own Z-Ray extension or choose to alter an existing extension. Z-Ray can track and display information that would come in handy to optimize your development workflow. And this is possible with any application you’re building on any framework.
Z-Ray is in fact equipped with built-in support for popular PHP applications and frameworks like WordPress, Magento, Drupal, ZF1, ZF2, Symfony, Laravel to name a few.
Debugging Mobile and APIs
When it comes to non-browser based requests, you’ll be able to view them on Z-Ray as they come in live. There is a page dedicated in the Zend Server UI. Z-Ray will record and display requests through development and from the time the page is rendered.
All SQL queries executed by the request will be outlined displaying detailed information about each query – bound value, result, time taken and the number of affected rows.
In short, Z-Ray is the only PHP debugging solution that provides:
Under-the-hood PHP debug capabilities
Page request details for all scripts involved
Mobile and Web Services debugging capabilities
Live Support functionality to troubleshoot user problems in real time
Application support for WordPress, Drupal, and Magento
Framework support for Zend Framework, Symfony and Laravel
Custom app and framework support via Z-Ray extensibility API
All information shown inside your browser
Vivek Govindarajan | Zend PHP Certified Expert