9 Smart Ways to Use IBM i Services

IBM i ServicesWe 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!

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How to Access the PHP Toolkit for IBM i

PHP Toolkit IBM iConsidering a move to RPM-based Community PHP? You’ll need the free, open source PHP Toolkit to connect your PHP applications to resources on your IBM i.

Co-developed by Alan Seiden and maintained by the IBM i community, the toolkit is also known as the XML Toolkit. That’s because the PHP front end and the XMLSERVICE RPG back end communicate via XML.

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RPM Package Signing

RPM package signingIn our current work with RPMs, we’re adding digital signatures to our PHP packages to enhance their security.

Package Signing ensures the integrity of a package at rest by detecting and deterring tampering. A package is signed with a private key, which is then validated by the public key provided by the package builder and installed by the user. This technique complements TLS encryption, which guards against tampering and snooping in transport.

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How-To Video: The Zen of Using PHP without Zend Server

Just one year away from end-of-life for no-charge Zend Server “Basic”—and six months after the release of license-free Community PHPmany IBM i shops face an important decision:

“Do we upgrade to a paid Zend Server license,
or do we migrate to RPM-based PHP?”

At a recent MAGiC User Group webinar, Alan Seiden and Richard Schoen teamed up to present a tutorial and demo on how to get started with Community “RPM” PHP, sharing several tips picked up during client migrations.

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Free PHP on IBM i: from Basic edition to RPMs

open phpLast 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.

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Update on Free, Open PHP for IBM i

php ibm i trainingSince 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.

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Solving IBM i Skills & Knowledge Transfer Challenges

Heidi SchmidtHeidi Schmidt draws on science to solve one of the biggest issues facing CIOs today—how to transfer knowledge of core business applications and processes to younger developers, while fostering new skills that lead to innovation.

At the CIO Summit in Dallas, March 23, 2020, Heidi will share her experience with collaborative learning and other techniques that aid generational change and find untapped potential within development teams.

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Free and Open PHP on IBM i

open php ibm iA 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 for our customers.

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Education and Service Vouchers for Power Systems and IBM i

i for BusinessIBM’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.

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Five Reasons We Use Git to Manage IBM i Source Code

GitIf 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.

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