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The World of Zope

A Bit of History

In 1996 Jim Fulton, now Zope Corporation CTO, was drafted to teach a class on common gateway interface (CGI) programming, despite not knowing very much about the subject. CGI programming is a commonly-used web development model that allows developers to construct dynamic web sites. Traveling to the class, Jim studied all the existing documentation on CGI. On the way back, Jim considered what he didn't like about traditional CGI-based programming environments. From these initial musings the core of Zope was written while flying back from the CGI class.

Zope Corporation (then known as Digital Creations) went on to release three open-source software packages to support web publishing: Bobo, Document Template, and BoboPOS. These packages were written in a language called Python, and provided a web publishing facility, text templating, and an object database, respectively. Digital Creations developed a commercial application server based on these components and called it Principia. In November of 1998, investor Hadar Pedhazur convinced Digital Creations to open source Principia, thereby creating the foundation for the Zope application server.

In 2001, the Zope community began working on a component architecture for Zope, but after several years they ended up with something much more: Zope 3. While Zope 2 was powerful and popular, Zope 3 was designed to bring web application development to the next level.

During more than a decade Zope Corp. and the Zope Community have grown an outstanding set of products and technologies, influencing the general development of Python based Web application servers and tools.



The Zope Component Architecture provides facilities for defining, registering and looking up components. It's perfect for building enterprise applications based on loosely coupled components.

More information at the zope.component documentation and zope.interface documentation.


The Zope Toolkit (ZTK) is a set of libraries intended for reuse by projects to develop web applications or web frameworks. The ZCA is part of it.

More information at the Zopetoolkit documentation.


Zope Page Templates is Zope's templating mechanism.

More information at the An alternative implementation is provided by Chameleon.


The Content Management Framework (CMF) for Zope provides a powerful, tailorable platform for building content management applications together with the Zope Application Server.

More information at the CMF Product Page


Repoze integrates Zope technologies with WSGI and reusable Python middleware.

More information at



The Z Object Database (ZODB) is a native object database, that stores your objects while allowing you to work with any paradigms that can be expressed in Python.

More information at

Application Servers


Zope is a Python-based application server for building secure and highly scalable web applications.

More information at



Buildout is a Python-based build system for creating, assembling and deploying applications from multiple parts, some of which may be non-Python-based.

More information at