Zend Guard Features

Zend Guard is the industry standard in PHP intellectual property protection. It protects exclusive and commercial PHP applications by obfuscating PHP scripts. Developers enjoy the benefits of a leading open-source language while protecting PHP code when ready to distribute applications. By protecting applications, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) expand distribution and revenue on maintenance and support.

Zend Guard includes three features to provide a double layer of protection for PHP applications:


Encoding converts PHP scripts from human-readable text files, to obscure binary files, which contain platform-independent Zend Intermediate Code. It enables you to distribute your application or your Web site's PHP scripts to end users working off any platform supported by the Encoder, without disclosing your source code. Business-oriented developers will find the Zend Encoder to be a mission-critical part of management strategy for protecting the intellectual property of their applications.

Encoded files can be read transparently by the Zend Guard Loader, which is available for free as a stand-alone component at http://www.zend.com/en/downloads/.

Parts of the Zend Guard Loader are also embedded in the Zend Encoder, so encoded PHP scripts are optimized during the encoding process. This improves script performance and makes reverse engineering more difficult.


Code Obfuscation lets Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), developers and businesses improve intellectual property protection from reverse engineering by obfuscating PHP source code.

Zend Guard enables the user to select the specific types of code elements to obfuscate; you can use Zend Guard to:


  • PHPDoc Blocks

  • Line Numbers


  • Variables

  • Functions

  • Classes

  • Apply selections to PHP built-in symbols


Code components (specific functions, function calls, concatenations, etc.,) that are added to the Exclude List will not be obfuscated.

Zend Guard supports the latest industry standard with full support for PHP 5.5 and PHP 5.6.


Zend Guard's Licensing feature enable ISVs to manage the commercial distribution of their PHP applications by generating license keys and creating files that require a license key to operate. This protects code from copyright infringement. Software vendors can easily specify license models without changing their application's source code.

Applications will not run unless the proper software license is found.