Now that speedy PHP 7 is available for IBM i, we’re helping our clients upgrade to this long-awaited release via Zend Server 9. I thought I’d share some of our favorite resources for performing this upgrade safely and efficiently.
L to R: Alan, Jorge Diaz, and Laravel’s creator Taylor Otwell at Zendcon 2016
Seiden Group colleague Josh Hall and I will attend Laracon, the Laravel conference, in NYC on July 25-26, 2017. Getting these coveted tickets required persistence — they sold out quickly!
Laravel is a hot PHP framework with a loyal community. We’ve been building our Laravel practice and look forward to sharing the latest tips and techniques with our clients.
According to creator Taylor Otwell, the first commercial installation of Laravel was on an IBM i system!
Yes, our favorite platform has been at the forefront of Laravel adoption. We expect to see more of this framework running on IBM i.
Taylor created Laravel in 2011 because existing PHP frameworks lacked certain features he considered to be important, including built-in support for user authentication and authorization. It has grown into one of the most popular PHP frameworks, with a strong ecosystem.
Watch this space for our report on what we learn at the conference. Let us know if you have specific questions about using Laravel, particularly on IBM i.
PHP 7 is creating excitement among PHP aficionados for its speed and additional language techniques.
As the official runtime for enterprise PHP, Zend Server has always offered a free basic edition to IBM i customers.
Recently, a change occurred on the Zend Server download page that has caused some confusion. At the time of this writing, the Zend Server download was labeled as a “30-day trial” even though, as an IBM i customer, you are still entitled to a free basic edition license. Of course, you can also opt for paid editions.
IBM i users can request a download of Zend Server for IBM i and PHP 7 here, confident that they will obtain a legitimate license, not a trial license. Fill out the form and you’ll be sent a download link. You’ll then be able to choose between the free basic license and value-add paid licenses.
It’s not always easy to locate the official documentation for all features of DB2 for IBM i. Using Google Search is hit or miss, with full-text searches often bringing irrelevant results from other varieties of DB2 or from older versions. Many people don’t know that complete reference manuals are available for almost every aspect of DB2 on i.
The grandma of all DB2 for i manuals is the DB2 for i SQL Reference. IBM’s description: “It contains reference information for the tasks of system administration, database administration, application programming, and operation. This manual includes syntax, usage notes, keywords, and examples for each of the SQL statements used on the system.”
Ever need to find a stored procedure or user-defined function on your IBM i, or get a list of tables or columns? Look no further than the IBM i catalog: IBM i Catalog Tables and Views
For example: Find all table functions using this SQL:
select * from qsys2.sysfuncs where FUNCTION_TYPE = ‘T’;
IBM has begun an ambitious effort to provide an SQL interface for many system services, in “IBM i Services.” These services are documented here: IBM i Services
With another new IBM i Technology Release upon us, here’s a quick reminder how to find your server’s current TR level.
It’s getting easier and easier to do. An IBM i Service using DB2 and SQL provides the TR level more cleanly than older approaches. I love that we can use the universal SQL to expose the innards of our beloved system!
Most people know Seiden Group as PHP specialists who help IBM i teams develop and tune PHP applications running on IBM i. But we also work with CIOs to help them solve the unique challenges they face.
We’ve found that for many IBM i CIOs, it’s lonely at the top. CIOs would love to have a community of peers who fully understood the nature of the decisions they must make. Whereas developers can discuss technical issues with team members or through online forums, CIOs often lack such support and sharing because of the confidential nature of their work.
The Seiden Group team is headed to Orlando May 6-10 to participate in COMMON 2017. In addition to teaching sessions and workshops on best practices for using PHP and other open source technologies on IBM i, we’re looking forward to meeting up with our clients and friends.
One of our favorite opportunities at COMMON is to meet professionals at all levels of the IT organization. Understanding the challenges faced by each member of the IT team — from admin to CIO — strengthens our ability to build effective solutions that are easy to use, easy to extend, easy to maintain.
If you plan to be at COMMON, meet up with us at one of the following Workshops or sessions, or contact me to set up a time to talk. I’d like to hear what’s going on in your shop.
In just two weeks I’ll have the pleasure of joining some of the top IBM i development experts in Orlando for the RPG & DB2 Summit. Run by Susan Gantner, Jon Paris and Paul Tuohy, this conference is full of big personalities who create a warm, friendly environment that’s perfect for learning.
I enjoy the community feeling and how excited everyone is to solve development problems and share tips and techniques.
The RPG & DB2 Summit is one of the few training events that focuses exclusively on topics of interest to IBM i developers. That includes PHP and SQL, of course!
Check out the session grid and pay special attention to the Hands-on PHP Workshop on Monday, March 20, followed by several PHP and open source sessions given by yours truly and Zend’s Mike Pavlak, plus a whole array of SQL sessions. And maybe a few on RPG.
I think they should change the name of the conference to the RPG, PHP, SQL & DB2 Summit, don’t you?
Every year I look forward to WMPCA’s Spring Technical Conference. And it’s not just because this active IBM i user group does a great job of bringing experts to beautiful Wisconsin (in March!) to teach a broad range of IBM i topics.
I also love meeting the next generation of IBM i talent, always represented by Jim Buck’s RPG students at Gateway Technical College.
And, of course, there are many PHP and open source sessions to choose from, including these from me:
Make Your IBM i Sizzle with WordPress
Apache Web Server Magic on IBM i
Using DB2 and SQL with Open Source Languages on IBM i
PHP Tricks for the RPG Programmer: Graphics, Excel, PDFs, E-Mail and More
Also check out these sessions from our good friend Mike Pavlak:
PHP Web Security in an Insecure World
Web Services with PHP on IBM i
I could go on and on with recommendations, but I’m sure you’ll find plenty to love on your own.