I'm about 22 days into my 30 day Zend Studio trial and must say there is no way I can live without this tool. I've dabbled in previous versions are there was always something that kinda bugged me that kept me in text editors like ultraedit. Having a tool built for PHP is quite amazing. Its basically like having a PHP version of Visual Studio.net. Here are some of my favorite features:
if you're a serious PHP developer you NEED this. Being able to set a breakpoint on a line and see an expandable tree of an object you created with its properties and methods filled with data is downright dreamy. No more var_dumps, print_r's or whatever other hacks you've created. The only thing I haven't really gotten into yet is using the Zend Server to debug authenticated applications, but that'll come soon once I start using it in production.
being able to have my MS SQL and MySQL servers a click away is also pretty handy. For those times I just need a SELECT * FROM to see some fields or see a DB structure I can just tab over to my SQL server and view or edit to my hearts content
GO TO DECLARATION
Ever find yourself in a script and come across someoness function that could be in a tree 3 levels up in the directory and you have to FIND ALL IN FILES to find it? Simply right click on the function name in zend studio and bam you're right there.
ZS4 has a great file inspector tool that will give you a list of all properies and methods of your current script and allow you fast access to them, handy feature indeed.
Ever been writing a function only to find you forgot the parameter order? ZS4 pops up a little box with php.net's parameter list. yum
there are always downsides to all good things
1. freezes: I on more frequent than I'd like find that zend studio has frozen while I'm working with other apps and I have to CRL ALT DLT to end it. (to be honest it happened just now as I'm trying to talk about features lol, I restarted it but its still frozen telling me it wants to check for updates).. ok now its really frozen I have to cut this review short because I have to restart my laptop I guess :(