Entries by Alan Seiden

Update on Free, Open PHP for IBM i

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.

Free and Open PHP on IBM i

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…

Education and Service Vouchers for Power Systems and IBM i

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.

Gartner Questions ROI of Replacing Traditional IBM Platforms

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.

Integrate Python into CL and RPG on IBM i

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…

Liam Allan Joins Seiden Group

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.

Free encryption for Node.js on IBM i

When you browse a secure web site or API whose address starts with “https,” what makes the site secure? The site uses a special certificate, provided by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA), to prove that it is legitimate. Until recently, IT shops had to pay for these certificates and generate them manually. In the last few years, Let’s Encrypt has earned the thanks of technology professionals. Let’s Encrypt, a CA run for the public’s benefit, offers certificates at no charge, along with scripts to generate and regenerate certificates as needed, reducing the effort of keeping certificates up to date, and keeping…

CIO Summit Features DB2 for i Briefing with IBM’s Scott Forstie

In recent years, Db2 for i Business Architect Scott Forstie and his team have rapidly strengthened the IBM i database, improving the sophistication of its SQL query engine, and adding to its galaxy of IBM i services. What’s more, they have several years’ worth of new enhancements in the pipeline. CIOs and IT Directors can meet Scott at the CIO Summit on March 25, 2019, Charlotte, North Carolina, for an IBM i strategy briefing.

Node.js Process Manager PM2 on IBM i

To manage Node.js application processes in production on IBM i, we recommend PM2 Runtime. As PM2’s official documentation states, PM2 “…allows you to keep applications alive forever, to reload them without downtime and facilitate common DevOps tasks.”