Did PHP kill the Java radio star?

When it comes to the PHP-vs.-Java question, choose both, based on project needs

Zend's CEO makes a claim that PHP is disrupting Java. Not only would I beg to differ, I think the use of Java and PHP (and other dynamic scripting languages) together is much more interesting to customers than an "either/or" discussion.

Dave interviewed Zend's CEO Andi Gutmans. I particularly found this part of the interview interesting:

Rosenberg: When you start talking about high reliability, security, and performance, it sounds like you're working to disrupt traditional Java environments? Is my hunch correct?

Gutmans: The Java disruption by PHP is well under way. PHP is everywhere, and Zend's solutions are being used in business-critical deployments by companies such as Tagged, Fiat, BNP Paribas, and Fox Interactive Media, to name a few. The strategic adoption of Zend in larger accounts, often in favor of Java, is related to our strong return on investment and shorter time to market.

To argue that PHP is disrupting Java usage is, if you ask me, missing the point. You know something is wrong when Roy Russo is the voice of reason. On Matt's follow-up to Dave's post, Roy comments:

The truth is that both PHP and Java have their place within an IT organization. The funny thing is that stories about the demise and disruption of Java still get published.

There is an interesting discussion at Slashdot about Twitter shifting workload from Ruby on Rails over to Scala. Readers have compared technology choices at Twitter versus Facebook. Slashdot reader mini_me writes:

While Facebook uses PHP where Twitter uses Rails, Facebook uses a plethora of languages to make the whole system work. So Twitter really isn't going to Scala any more than Facebook is going to Erlang. Which is the say that they use the best tool for the job, not one tool for every job.

To be fair, the Java ecosystem made the error of recommending the Java language and platform as the right tool for every job in the past. Today, Java infrastructure providers have shifted to offer a broader set of tools to help right-size the infrastructure to the project needs. This will only continue. And as it does, PHP, Groovy, Ruby, Java, and several other languages will be used together to help customers drive business results. The customers I speak with aren't backing away from their Java investments when they ask for broader dynamic scripting language support within their enterprise application server. Rather, they see value in using different language environments to extend the value of their Java investments. Maybe I'm biased, but Java the language and Java the platform have little to fear from PHP or other scripting language environments.

What do you think?

Follow me on Twitter at: SavioRodrigues

p.s.: I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."

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