I recently caught up with Seiden Group CTO Stephanie Rabbani about the ODBC driver that’s quickly becoming standard for open source and web connections on Db2 for i.
Author Archive for: Alan Seiden
About Alan Seiden
Alan helps CIOs and IBM i teams design and implement high-performance web and mobile applications using PHP, Python, Node.js, Db2 and RPG business logic.
With a passion for open source and the IBM i, Alan co-developed the popular PHP Toolkit with IBM. He was one of the first Zend Framework certified engineers; co-founder of the NYC Zend Framework Meetup; and charter member of IBM/COMMON’s PHP Advisory Board. He has been called “the performance guru of PHP on IBM i.”
An IBM Champion and award-winning speaker, Alan hosts the CIO Summit twice per year and mentors younger developers in the Club Seiden forum.
In his spare time, Alan plays the trombone and studies and teaches the Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education.
We regularly turn to the IBM i (SQL) services that Scott Forstie’s team at IBM has been delivering. We love using them to get specific jobs done faster! What’s not to love? SQL is a universal interface, based on IBM i’s revered crown jewel, Db2 for i. Code once, use many times from every conceivable kind of technology—on the box and off. Brilliant!
Last week, Perforce announced plans to withdraw Zend Server for IBM i “Basic” by June 2021. Filling the gap is license-free “community” PHP for IBM i, installable in RPM format. Seiden Group has been assisting IBM i clients to adopt Community PHP since its introduction last year. We’ve helped with both first-time PHP installations and migrations from Basic.
Since last month’s post about free and open PHP on IBM i, we have been helping companies to get started with it. We’ve seen excellent results with the open PHP package, known as an RPM. Starting with the PHP repository provided by IBM and Zend (Perforce) as a base, we are able to optimize PHP for the needs of each IBM i shop. Especially appealing to us and our clients: this PHP is 64-bit and leans toward open standards, including ODBC. In exchange for a bit of setup time, you’ll have a system that’s lightweight, flexible, and license-free.
A new flavor of PHP has arrived in IBM i-land. Some call it “free.” Some call it “community.” As described in a recent IT Jungle article, PHP is now available on IBM i as a lean RPM download that does not require Zend Server. Our friends at IBM and Zend (now Perforce) have packaged a bare-bones PHP edition for customers who want PHP but don’t feel they need to purchase the extra tools of Zend Server. I’ll share what our open source experts at Seiden Group have learned as we’ve installed and optimized both traditional Zend Server and “open” PHP…
IBM’s Power Systems servers come with vouchers for free services. Why? According to Brandon Pederson, Worldwide IBM i Product Marketing Manager, “Vouchers are designed to help you more fully understand and use the advanced features and capabilities of Power Systems.” For example, a client of ours received two days of free consulting from IBM Lab Services to resolve a knotty CCSID (encoding) problem.
If recent customer requests for Git training are any indication, this popular, free, open source tool for managing source code is gaining momentum and will soon be mainstream on IBM i.
Those of us who work with the newest technology on IBM i bristle at doom-laden predictions about the IBM i platform. Too many business and IT leaders unjustly associate the platform with old applications and stale business processes. In Considering Leaving Legacy IBM Platforms? Beware, as Cost Savings May Disappoint, While Risking Quality, analysts Thomas Klinect and Mike Chuba of Gartner, Inc., warn against the tendency to make so-called legacy systems “a convenient scapegoat for corporate issues with technology.” Instead, they recommend a scientific approach to modernization without preconceived ideas.
Python has been gaining momentum for building utility applications on IBM i, such as creating/reading Excel files, data transfer, process automation, calling REST APIs such as Salesforce and ServiceNow, and application monitoring. Although some have said that Python would become the “new CL,” one limitation remains. While Python can easily call CL, RPG, and COBOL programs, calls in the other direction—from CL, RPG or COBOL to Python—required extra effort. In this post we will introduce you to the PYRUN command, from Richard Schoen’s open source PythonOniLibrary (https://github.com/richardschoen/PythonOniLibrary), which makes it easy for traditional CL and RPG programs to call Python…
When IBM i development pros first meet Liam Allan, they’re captivated by the unrestrained enthusiasm he exhibits for their favorite platform. His excitement over what can be accomplished with IBM i technology leaves people refreshed and inspired. Those who have had the pleasure of working with Liam know that his energy and intelligence are only the beginning of what he has to offer. He also possesses exceptional skill AND the depth of understanding required to turn his ideas into reality.