Compiled Code Translation (CCT) Compiling scripts into efficient binary data that can executed by a PHP execution engine, but meaningless data to humans. Encoding scripts after CCT gives the best security and performance
Execution Engine Software to execute code after CCT. The ionCube loader contains an execution engine, giving extra security by bypassing the open-source PHP execution engine. As a result, the execution of compiled code cannot be so easily traced at runtime.
Jail A temporary area on our servers that's dedicated to a each unique encoding job, and without any permissions to enter or exit. We use this to protect scripts being encoded from any access, even from our own software, except to the encoder that's running inside the jail.
Obfuscation Transformations to make source code harder to read, such as removing white space between keywords. A valid approach to frustrating the efforts of code thieves, but given that the search-replace feature of most text editors could put the spaces back again, we feel this doesn't offer that much. We put our efforts instead into deploying CCT as it simply eliminates plain text source altogether! Having no source at all is definitely more frustrating for any would-be code thief.
Optimisation A technique to improve code performance and reduce size. The ionCube Encoder uses some techniques employed by the PHP Accelerator to improve code quality and assist in run-time performance. Tests show that as encoded files are already compiled and optimised, they can perform as well or even better than source.
The PHP Accelerator A high performance and FREE tool for eliminating repeated PHP script compilation, and providing the ultimate performance boost. In use by leading companies such as Yahoo!, modified techniques from PHPA form the robust and efficient core of the ionCube Encoder and Loader.