Encrypting and protecting your PHP code
Overview: In this article we will discuss how you can protect your PHP source code from prying eyes so that you can make applications and distribute them without worrying about someone stealing or modifying your PHP code.
Imagine that you have built this great product in PHP, and you now want to distribute this application commerically, now you may be wondering Is there a way to protect or encode your PHP source code?
A lot of developers who created commercial applications in PHP are worried that there clients/users might open up the code and modify there product, hence many developers are afraid to develop commercial applications in PHP.
But there is hope, Yes you might be surprised but you can encode encrypt and protect your PHP source code from prying eyes there are several commercial available products by which you can encrypt your PHP code and protect it .
I am going to discuss about two such popular products that I have personally used, the Source Guardian and Zend Encoder from Zend Technologies, Using these applications now you can stop worrying about someone stealing your intellectual property.
I personally use Source Guardian to protect and distribute the PHP code that I built, the best thing about Source Guardian is that you don't need to install any additional software or modules on the target server, just upload all the encrypted files and the supporting files generated by Source Guardian and you are ready to go, currently Source Guardian works with Linux and FreeBSD Server, and requires that you have PHP 4.04 or above installed on them.
One more feature I love, given by Source Guardian is the ability to make time limited copies of the encrypted PHP code, you can distribute scripts that time-out on a specific day, that way you can create PHP Trialware! Apart from that, if you wish Source Guardian also gives you the option of limiting your encrypted copy to a singe I.P
On the other hand Zend Encoder encrypted files work even with PHP installed on windows platform, but you need Zend Optimizer installed on your server, which can be a problem as most of the shared hosting companies will not install Zend Optimizer for you on there server.
Cost wise again Source Guardian is a lot cheaper than Zend Encoder, at the time of writing this article the cost of Source Guardian was around $249/- compared to that the The Zend Encoder is available for $2400. The single year license of the Zend Encoder is available for $960.
For more info on Source Guardian you can visit there web site.
For more info on Zend Encoder please visit this page.