Zend Framework is a free/open source web application framework. It can be used either as a component library or as a full-stack Model–View–Controller (MVC) framework. As compared to its 1.x counterparts, Zend Framework 2.0 is easier to learn, trivially simple to extend, and more performant. It is also easier to use just specific parts of the framework as needed. We will explore the many features of Zend Framework 2.0 including its tooling, functional testing, form, database, pagination, date, markup, navigation, and MVC components. Zend Framework 2.0 takes advantages of several new features in PHP 5.3 including closures/lambdas, namespaces, and late static binding. We will explore some of these new features to understand why PHP 5.3 is a requirement for Zend Framework 2.0 and how you can leverage these new features within your application itself. An example web application will be provided that you can use as a reference when building your own Zend Framework web application.
For those wondering, Zend Framework 2.0 is not out yet but SXSW is not until next March and Zend Framework 2.0 will most likely be released by then. The description above is based on the Zend Framework 2.0 Requirements and discussions on the Zend Framework contributors mailing list.