The Zend Engine
is an open-source
scripting engine, commonly known for the important role it plays in the web automation language PHP
. It was originally developed by Andi Gunmans and Zeev Suraski while they were students at the Technion
(Israel Institute of Technology). They later founded a company called Zend Technologies
- the name is a portmanteau
of their forenames.
The first version of the Zend engine appeared in 1999 alongside PHP version 4. It was written as a highly optimized modular back-end, which for the first time could be used in applications outside of PHP. The performance, reliability and extensibility of the engine played a significant role in increasing the popularity of PHP.