Liam Allan’s Next Adventure

Liam Allan Alan Seiden

Liam and Alan at POWERUp 2019

To say that Liam Allan is a powerhouse in the IBM i community would be an understatement.

Liam burst onto the IBM i scene in 2016 as a Club Seiden member and the recipient of COMMON’s Student Innovation Award. Skilled in multiple programming languages, he chose to advance the art of bridging the worlds of RPG and open source. Later, he joined Seiden Group’s team of open source and IBM i experts.

Liam contributed a staggering amount to the IBM i community. As a conference speaker, his enthusiam inspired even the jaded to try new approaches. He has created how-to videos and tutorials, contributed to open source projects, and answered questions on forums. He built Code for IBM i, a free extension for Visual Studio Code that supports IBM i development in RPGLE, CL, COBOL, and Db2 for i.

Read more

Easy Security Improvements for Apache Websites

Apache HTTP Server ProjectSome key security measures, such as using TLS encryption (https://) are taken for granted. Others are often missed until they are flagged by a security scan.

Here are two easy changes that have helped some of our clients reduce perceived vulnerabilities.  These changes, typically made in the Apache web server’s httpd.conf files, may stop unnecessary exposure of web server information, as well as satisfying security scanners.

Read more

Continuous Integration for PHP Extensions

(Co-written with Alan Seiden)

CI/CDContinuous Integration (CI) ensures that every time a developer commits changes to a version control system such as Git, the code is automatically built and subjected to automated tests.

CI has been invaluable to us. As maintainers of PHP’s PDO_IBM and ibm_db2 extensions, we use CI to ensure high quality across platforms.

Platforms supported by PHP’s extensions for Db2 include IBM i, Unix/Linux, and Windows. While our focus is IBM i, we must ensure compatibility with the others. Reliance on manual testing would introduce the risk of broken builds or subtle bugs. Automation is a must.

In this post, we explain how we use CI principles when building and testing PHP’s Db2 extensions.

Read more

ODBC Connection Strings for IBM i Db2

ODBC with Db2 for IBM iAs ODBC gains popularity for IBM i database access, developers of web applications and APIs need information on defining ODBC database connections. This article demonstrates tips and techniques for effectively using ODBC connection strings in all programming environments, including popular languages such as PHP, Python, and Node.js.

For an example of how connection strings are used in a program, see How to Query IBM i Data with PHP and PDO_ODBC.

Read more

IBM Announces IBM i 7.5 and 7.4 TR6

IBM iThe May 3, 2022 announcement of IBM i 7.5 and IBM i 7.4 TR6 gave us a lot to unpack. It rolled up many enhancements from previous TRs, then threw in a new subscription option for IBM i and a new modernization framework called Merlin.

If you’re running Seiden’s CommunityPlus+ PHP, no worries. It’s compatible with IBM i 7.5.

Here’s a collection of the articles and podcasts we found to be most informative for IBM i application development teams.

Read more

Simplify with Subsystems

IBM iA major differentiator of the IBM i operating system is the use of subsystems to separate workloads, often for managing memory and optimizing performance. While those are still valid reasons for separating work into multiple subsystems, today’s large memory sizes and fast processors reduce the need to optimize performance in this way.

In this article, I’ll explain how subsystems can make today’s web-oriented application workloads much easier to manage. Read more

Visual Studio Code for IBM i: A Resource Guide

Code for IBM iJust over a year ago, a group of developers led by Liam Allan presented the IBM i community with a new, free IDE—an IBM i extension to the popular Visual Studio Code.

VS Code for IBM i offers an alternative to RDi, the heavy-duty, fee-based graphical IDE for IBM i, and SEU, the native greenscreen IDE. It’s faster than RDi and easier to learn than either RDi or SEU. It supports development in RPGLE, COBOL, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Node.js and other languages. For these reasons, Code for IBM i is a great solution for:

Read more

How to Query IBM i Data with PHP and PDO_ODBC

ODBC & Db2 for iOf the PHP extensions that can connect to IBM i Db2, we recommend PDO_ODBC whenever possible.

Although the classic extensions (ibm_db2, PDO_IBM) and older ODBC continue to work, we prefer PDO_ODBC for several reasons:
Read more

Dr. Alan’s IBM i Web Checkup

Alan SeidenYou are invited to join Alan Seiden on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, as he presents Dr. Alan’s IBM i Web Checkup to the OMNI User Group. With an option to attend via Zoom or in person at Papa Passero’s in Westmont IL, you can join from virtually anywhere.
Read more

Alan’s PHP Tips to Wow Your Users [VIDEO]

“The order entry app is hanging again!”  Nobody wins when your system is slow or stuck.

Find out how the best IBM i teams keep their users happy and productive with snappy PHP applications. In this video, Alan shares tips to optimize PHP websites and APIs for improved speed and stability. He explains why newer PHP versions are inherently faster and offer smoother migrations. He also details how to use Apache’s mod_deflate, look for network issues and bots, manage session clean-up, prepare for business growth, improve PHP Db2 performance, profile your application, and much more.

Read more