Sidebar: Zope Spurs Python Growth

One factor contributing to Python's rapid growth in visibility is Zope (Z Object Publishing Environment), an open-source Web application server and portal tool kit written in Python. Zope was developed by Zope Corp. in Fredericksburg, Va., in 1995 as a joint venture with InfiNet; Zope Corp. became independent in 1997. PythonLabs, the creator of Python, became part of the company in 2000.

Zope provides tools to integrate data and content from a wide variety of sources into powerful, coherent and maintainable Web applications, using integrated access control, content management, data sharing and built-in search tools. Zope can be used with popular Web servers such as Apache.

Unlike file-based Web template systems, such as ASP or PHP, Zope is highly object-oriented. Zope provides clean separation of data, logic and presentation along with an extensible set of built-in objects and powerful integrated security based on the safe delegation of control. The Zope infrastructure takes care of most underlying details of Web application development, including data persistence, data integrity and access control. Zope applies a transactional model to its own object database and to many relational database connectors, allowing for strong data integrity. Numerous downloadable products (plug-in components) are available to extend the basic site-building tools with new content objects, relational database and other external data source connectors, advanced content management tools, and full applications for e-commerce, content and document management.

Zope was designed from the start to work with both the Web object model and the Web development model, where team members come from many parts of the organization according to their individual expertise. Zope allows site managers to safely delegate control over relevant sections of an application to the appropriate design experts, database experts and content managers.

Kay is a Computerworld contributing writer in Worcester, Mass. You can reach him at russkay@charter.net.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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