What is Zope 2?
General information about the Zope 2 framework
Zope is a framework for building web applications. A web application is a computer program that users access with a web browser over the Internet. You can also think of a web application as a dynamic website that provides not only static information to users but lets them use interactive tools to work with an application.
Web applications are everywhere, and web users work with them all the time. Common examples of web applications are sites that let you search the web, like Bing, collaborate on projects, like Google Docs, or communicate with other people over e-mail, like Google Mail. All of these kinds of applications can be developed with Zope.
Zope consists of several different components that work together to help you build web applications. Zope comes with:
A web server
Zope comes with a built-in web server that serves content to you and your users. Of course, you may already have an existing web server, such as Apache or Microsoft IIS and you may not want to use Zope's. Not to worry, Zope works with these web servers also, and any other web server that supports Python's WSGI standard.
A web-based admin interface
You can inspect the state of your application to some degree in a default administrative interface. While this user interface used to be a development environment, today it serves mostly the role of a database level browser.
An object database
When you work with Zope, you are mostly working with objects that are stored in the ZODB object database.
Relation database integration
You don't have to store your information in Zope's object database if you don't want to, because Zope works with other relational databases such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL and many others. You can use SQLAlchemy to either do direct SQL programming or use its object-relational mapper (ORM). Zope used to have its own relation database integration layer named ZQSLMethods, but it is no longer maintained.
Zope allows you to write web applications in a number of different languages, like Python and Zope's own Zope template language (ZPT). In the past it also allowed you to write Python scripts directly inside its administrative interface, but this model has been deprecated.
These are just some of the features that have made Zope so popular for developing web applications. Perhaps Zope's best feature of all is its friendly, open source license. This means that not only is Zope free of cost for you to download, but you are also free to use Zope in your own products and applications without paying royalties or usage fees. Zope's open source license also means that all of the "source code" for Zope is available for you to look at, understand, and extend. Zope does not lock you into a proprietary solution that could hold you and your web users hostage.