Zope (Z Object Publishing Environment)is a Web site builder and server that uses the idea that it is serving (or "publishing") objects rather than merely providing content that will be added to a Web page. Zope's proponents believe that it is competitive with site builders and application servers such as ColdFusion and the Netscape Application Server. Zope software is free and uses open source code.
Zope programmers describe Zope as "object publishing software." They propose that users are interacting directly with "real objects" rather than with dynamically updated files that are being served. Zope consists of a "publisher" that publishes the objects using Zope's Persistent CGI protocol; a framework for the folders, files, and images that Zope views as "built-in objects"; an object database; a template for dynamic Web page generation; and SQL method and database adapters so that Zope can interact with data in popular database servers, such as Microsoft's SQL Server. By default, Zope's object database uses the operating system's file system to manage data. However, it can also work with relational database management systems. Specifically, Oracle, Sybase, MySQL, and Open Database Connectivity are supported.
Zope is written in Python, an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language similar to Java, with small pieces written in C for better performance. Web site developers using Zope do not need to use Python, however. Zope runs on all major operating system platforms.