Liam Allan Joins Seiden Group

Liam AllanWhen 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.

When I first met Liam, it was clear that his skills with RPG and open source would help advance the IBM i community. One first notices his quickness, as he rapidly assimilates new information and generates new solutions, and then his patience, as he teaches technology to others.

When Liam recently became available for consulting work, I was thrilled that he chose to join the Seiden Group team! He will provide clients with development and training services involving Node.js, Git, RPG, and emerging open source technologies.

Integrating IBM i and Open Source Technologies

Liam’s enthusiasm for IBM i and open source inspires others to embrace new development techniques. “The most important thing to me is that businesses know the open-source technologies they have available to them and how to best apply it to their projects,” he says. “Working with Seiden Group will give me broader outreach in helping businesses achieve their goals.”

Michael Privett, Director of IT at Southeastern Paper Group, confirms Liam’s ability to teach and inspire. “Liam is great!” he reported after a 3-day training engagement with him. “He’s smart as a whip and a very impressive consultant who performs well beyond his years. My team is staying engaged. I see excitement.”

Liam has earned his place as one of the top advocates for integrating the best of open source, RPG business logic, and Db2 for i data.

Liam’s Background & Community Contributions

Liam first came to prominence in 2015 when our friend Dave Dressler (aka PHPDave and UseTheForceDave) invited him to join the Club Seiden open source community.

He quickly earned high standing among the IBM i development community. In early 2016, COMMON named him recipient of the Student Innovation Award, and he found himself on the speaking circuit with audiences eager to learn his techniques for integrating open source with RPG. IBM further honored his work by naming him a Fresh Face of IBM i and, soon after, an IBM Champion.

Yet Liam contributes so much more to the IBM i community. He co-hosts the IBM Bi-Weekly, a twice per month technical podcast, with Seiden Group’s Josh Hall. He works on open source projects such as ILEditor, a free IDE for IBM i developers, and barryCI, a build server for ILE applications on IBM i, from his Works of Barry GitHub repository. He’s also a popular speaker at IBM i user groups and conferences around the world.

Put Liam to Work

If you would like to schedule training or development work with Liam—or any of our innovative, productive consultants—contact us.

Free encryption for Node.js on IBM i

Let's EncryptWhen 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 sites secure.

Seiden Group’s Liam Allan has chronicled his technical journey with Let’s Encrypt, showing how he achieved the following results:

  • Generating a certificate using Let’s Encrypt with an automated script
  • Installing the certificate on an IBM i server
  • Applying the certificate, establishing secure HTTPS connectivity to a Node.js application hosted on the IBM i

Details of Liam’s journey:–lets-encrypt-on-ibm-i-ihm

At Seiden Group, we enable modernization by helping IBM i shops succeed with open source. To discuss development or training with Let’s Encrypt, Node.js, or other IBM i modernization, contact us.

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

Scott Forstie Alan Seiden

Scott Forstie (left) with Alan Seiden at a previous CIO Summit

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.

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Node.js Process Manager PM2 on IBM i

pm2 node.jsTo 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.”

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State Sales Tax Ruling Spurs IBM i Integration

IBM i integrationIBM i integration via APIs has been central to many of our development projects, especially those involving web/mobile applications, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, and cross-platform data sharing.

Lately we’ve been helping customers prepare for new state sales tax rules on internet sales by integrating APIs with their IBM i systems.

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Node.js, Ruby and Seiden Group

node.jsWith IBM’s delivery of open source capabilities on IBM i, Seiden Group has been there to apply the technology to application modernization initiatives. Starting with PHP and the PHP toolkit, then Python, and now Node.js and Ruby, we’ve worked with IBM and customers to flesh out the capabilities of the technology, teach best practices at conferences and directly with clients, and develop award-winning solutions.

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PHP Debugging on the IBM i from A to Z (Apache to Zend) 

php debugging ibmiSession Handout

500 internal server error? Wait, now it’s a 404 error. I think it’s actually a syntax error. And now my program call isn’t returning anything. My page doesn’t look right, and my Javascript is not working.

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Highlights from Seiden Group’s October 2018 Events

We hope you enjoy this photo (and video) tour of Seiden Group experiences at the CIO Summit, the RPG & DB2 Summit, ZendCon & OpenEnterprise 2018, and COMMON Fall.
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Db2, SQL, and Open Source Languages on IBM i

db2 sql open source ibmiPresentation Handout

The ever-expanding capabilities of Db2 for i can simplify development in open source languages such as PHP, Ruby, Node.js (JavaScript), and Python. These languages, known for their effectiveness in building web and mobile applications, can tap into the power of SQL.

So why complicate them with repetitive code that distracts from their power and simplicity?

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Python Training from Seiden Group

Python training Seiden GroupAs big fans of Python, Seiden Group now offers Python training for IBM i developers. Our training covers not only the popular Python language, but all the pieces necessary to succeed on IBM i, including how to use the Python toolkit to call RPG and COBOL business logic as well as best practices for accessing Db2 and SQL from web applications with Python.

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