Zend Server beta for PHP on IBM i: I like it

I’m recommending that people try Zend Server beta for IBM i if they’re using PHP on the IBM i. Even though it’s in beta, Zend Server brings improvements over its predecessors, Zend Core and Zend Platform. Improvements include:

  • Easy new user interface combining the best of Core and Platform
  • Better interface makes it easier for people to discover and use features such as code tracing and debugging
  • Elimination of mandatory proxy server (always a thorn in my side!)
  • Use of IBM’s supported, full-featured, flexible Apache server rather than the limited PASE server
  • Better performance

One caveat: the current beta version (as of February, 2010) is missing some functionality that will be available in the generally available (GA) release. Temporarily missing functionality includes:

  • no support for the mail() function (use Zend_Mail or Phpmailer instead in the meantime)
  • inclusion of an older version of the ibm_db2 driver. This version doesn’t have support for the “i5_libl” option. Ask Zend to send you the updated db2 driver if you need it.

I’m looking forward to trying the next beta version and eventually the GA release.

I believe Zend Server will shorten the learning curve for new users and simplify advanced configurations for us “veterans.”

Download it here: Zend Server beta for IBM i

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