Web developer tool PhpDesigner edits CSS, HTML, PHP

Develop PHP Web applications in full-featured IDE phpDesigner.

By Gabe Gralla, PC World |  Development, css, HTML

Web development is often a scrambled task, requiring abrupt switches between different Web sites, different programming languages, and different frameworks. An integrated development tool like phpDesigner 7 is necessary if you want to keep your head from spinning. PhpDesigner (29€ for non-commercial use, 69€ for commercial use) is a full-fledged PHP, CSS, HTML, and JavaScript editor, with code completion and syntax highlighting for all four languages. Like any proper IDE, phpDesigner also allows you to debug and test code on your local machine.

PhpDesigner's syntax highlighting is context sensitive; when you're editing code in one language, all code in other languages is grayed out. This is great in situations such as editing PHP code which is interspersed between HTML. The code completion system is robust enough to include any extra frameworks and libraries you're using. To get it working with the rapid development framework CakePHP, and the essential JavaScript library jQuery, all I had to do was include their files in my project.

For debugging, phpDesigner uses the popular Xdebug. The interface and features are standard. phpDesigner can also run PHP code without debugging, and the resulting Web page will launch in a browser of your choice. Note that for full testing, you may need to set up a local Web server, which phpDesigner does not include. For a quick and easy setup, try XAMPP, which includes the Apache web server preconfigured with MySQL and PHP.

PhpDesigner also has a full set of tools for deploying code. The handiest is built-in FTP support. For rapid development, not having to use a separate FTP program for pushing changes is an indispensable convenience. phpDesigner also provides a convenient version control system by integrating with TortoiseSVN.

PhpDesigner has all the extra goodies you'd expect, including code-cleanup tools, the standard documentation tool phpDocumentor, and a diff/merge utility. The only thing that phpDesigner is missing is an integrated database interface. But such implementations usually fall short anyway, and the popular phpMyAdmin is tough to beat for database management. While having so many features, phpDesigner remains intuitive to use. This makes it a valuable tool for any Web developer, beginner or professional.

Note: This software costs 29 Euros for non-commercial use and 69 Euros for commercial use.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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