Language/library updates

PHP 5.4 RC3

The third release candidate of PHP 5.4 is now available. I will be covering PHP 5.4 in greater detail; it seems like it is more of an upgrade than the minor version number change would indicate.

Tools and products

Load testing added to the Bamboo CI system

Mu Dynamics’ Blitz (a cloud-based load/performance testing system) has been added to Atlassian’s Bamboo continuous integration server. This allows load testing to be incorporated into your automated testing regimen.

BlazeMeter’s cloud-based JMeter

BlazeMeter has taken the wraps off of its cloud-based JMeter offering, which allows developers to perform load-testing from a cloud platform.

Jaspersoft 4.5

Jaspersoft 4.5 has been released. It includes improved usability, REST APIs, and in-memory analysis.


qTrace is a new tool from QASymphony to help QA teams record the steps to reproduce errors. It looks very interesting, and I’ll be writing a short tutorial on it in January.

More improvements in Visual Studio 11

Scott Guthrie outlines some of the improvements to the CSS editor in Visual Studio 11 (the next generation that is currently under development). S. Somasegar also detailed more improvements in VS11, particularly for game and SharePoint developers.

CumuLogic is Citrix-verified

CumuLogic’s Java Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering has been certified as Citrix ready.

AppFog’s add-on program

AppFog introduced a new program for third-party developers to offer their services as plugins to their cloud-based PaaS offering. The initial partners are MongoLab and New Relic.

Cloudera Enterprise 3.7

Cloudera released version 3.7 of its Cloudera Enterprise system for Hadoop. New features include proactive health monitoring and better log management and reporting.

JetBrain’s YouTrack InCloud

JetBrains is now offering its keyboard-centric bug and issue tracker YouTrack as a cloud offering.

Microsoft Azure improvements

Microsoft announced improvements to its Azure cloud platform. Microsoft now supports Node.JS, and it expanded database capacities and improved the payment situation around free trials.

betabait for crowdsourced beta programs

A new company called betabait has opened up, allowing developers and beta testers to find each other.

SnapLogic adds master data management capabilities

SnapLogic has integrated’s master data management (MDM) capabilities into its platform, allowing customers great control over their data.

Tips and tricks

Using Amazon CloudFront to serve CSS and JS from IIS

Jon Kragh write a brief article showing how to use the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network (CDN) with an IIS server to dish out CSS and JavaScript.

Asynchronous sockets

Stephen Toub has a good, in-depth article about various techniques for working with sockets asynchronously.


January 27-28, 2012: PHPBenelux: The PHPBenelux 2012 conference in Antwerp will be held January 27 and 28.
March 26-29, 2012: Agile ALM Connect: If you’re interested in Agile methodologies and techniques, the Agile ALM Connect event will be put on by the Eclipse Foundation March 26 – 29, 2012 in Reston, VA. The conference has announced its program and speakers.
May 3-4, 2012: webDU 2012 in Sydney: TechRepublic Australia Editor Chris Duckett writes: “The conference has also issued a call for papers, with potential speakers required to submit a relevant topic for a 50-minute session. The WebDU site says that just about anything to do with web and rich internet-application development and related topics will be considered. Submissions are due by January 8, 2012.” Go to the webDU site for more details about the event.
May 18-19, 2012: Italian phpDay: There will be a phpDay conference in Verona, Italy May 18 and 19, 2012.