Why use extensions to activate debugger on a server?
In order to start debugging, you first need to activate debugger on the server. For this, you need to set a special GET/POST or COOKIE parameter (click here for details). You can do it manually, but it is much more convenient to use a browser extension. It allows you to enable the debugger with the click of a button. When the extension is active, it sends the XDEBUG_SESSION cookie directly, instead of going through XDEBUG_SESSION_START. Below you can find a table with the link to the relevant extension for your browser.
Note: The described is valid for Xdebug, but there is the same logic for Zend Debugger.
|Internet Explorer||PhpStorm bookmarklets generator|
If you use Zend Server (version 7 or higher), you can use Z-Ray for debugging. See more details in the Using PhpStorm with Zend Server tutorial.
Configure Xdebug Helper to be used with PhpStorm
After the helper extension for your browser is installed, open PhpStorm and enable listening to debug connections. Then initiate a connection from the browser side by using the bug-styled icon near the right end of the address bar to initiate a debugging, profiling or tracing session. As an example, see here how to configure Xdebug Helper for Chrome; it works similarly to other extensions.