PHP dynamic programming language

RPG & DB2 Summit: March 21-23, 2017, in Orlando

In just two weeks I’ll have the pleasure of joining some of the top IBM i development experts in Orlando for the RPG & DB2 Summit. Run by Susan Gantner, Jon Paris and Paul Tuohy, this conference is full of big personalities who create a warm, friendly environment that’s perfect for learning.

I enjoy the community feeling and how excited everyone is to solve development problems and share tips and techniques.

The RPG & DB2 Summit is one of the few training events that focuses exclusively on topics of interest to IBM i developers. That includes PHP and SQL, of course!

Check out the session grid and pay special attention to the Hands-on PHP Workshop on Monday, March 20, followed by several PHP and open source sessions given by yours truly and Zend’s Mike Pavlak, plus a whole array of SQL sessions. And maybe a few on RPG.

I think they should change the name of the conference to the RPG, PHP, SQL & DB2 Summit, don’t you?

Come join us!

WMCPA 2017: A Glimpse into the Future of IBM i

Every year I look forward to WMPCA’s Spring Technical Conference. And it’s not just because this active IBM i user group does a great job of bringing experts to beautiful Wisconsin (in March!) to teach a broad range of IBM i topics.

I also love meeting the next generation of IBM i talent, always represented by Jim Buck’s RPG students at Gateway Technical College.

And, of course, there are many PHP and open source sessions to choose from, including these from me:

  • Make Your IBM i Sizzle with WordPress
  • Apache Web Server Magic on IBM i
  • Using DB2 and SQL with Open Source Languages on IBM i
  • PHP Tricks for the RPG Programmer: Graphics, Excel, PDFs, E-Mail and More

Also check out these sessions from our good friend Mike Pavlak:

  • PHP Web Security in an Insecure World
  • Web Services with PHP on IBM i

I could go on and on with recommendations, but I’m sure you’ll find plenty to love on your own.

Join us at the WMCPA Spring Technical Conference on March 14-16, 2017, at the Lake Lawn Resort on the shores of Delavan Lake!

 

Top Ten Reasons to Choose PHP

I’m proud to have written the foreword for BCD’s new eBook, Top 10 Reasons to Choose PHP for IBM i Web Application Development. In this free eBook, author Duncan Kenzie explains why PHP has become the mainstream solution for web and mobile development on IBM i. He also guides RPG programmers toward successful adoption of PHP in their shops.

Thanks to BCD and Zend for sponsoring this eBook. Download it free here: https://www.bcdsoftware.com/lp/websmart-php/php-on-ibm-i.php

To read an interview with me, about PHP and the eBook, by Dan Burger of IT Jungle: http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh020116-story05.html

 

iTalk with Tuohy interview

I recently joined speaker and consultant Paul Touhy for a spontaneous, personal ‘iTalk with Tuohy’ recorded chat, described thus: “Paul Tuohy talks to development guru Alan Seiden about developing in PHP, the PHP for IBM i Toolkit, performance for developers and getting your work-work balance right.”

The free recording is available here: http://www.ibmsystemsmag.com/ibmi/trends/iTALK-WITH-TUOHY/seiden-development-balance

Determining the proper procedure name in toolkit calls

Exact name is required when calling a service program’s procedure

Some developers make a common mistake when calling a procedure in a service program using the PHP Toolkit for IBM i or any toolkit based on XMLSERVICE. It’s easy to supply the wrong procedure name, or the right name in the wrong case (upper/lower/mixed). Using this example of calling a procedure using the toolkit, we find the following (correct) program/procedure call:

$result = $conn->PgmCall('MYPGM', 'MYLIB', $params, $retParam, 
                         array('func'=>'myproc'));

The procedure name ‘myproc’ must be given exactly as it is, not ‘MYPROC’ or ‘MyProc’, because under some circumstances the name may be case-sensitive.

How to determine the correct procedure name

Run the DSPSRVPGM command, using your desired library and program names as parameters:

DSPSRVPGM SRVPGM(MYLIB/MYPGM) DETAIL(*PROCEXP)

The above command will return service program information, including the names of all procedure exports. For example:

        Display Service Program Information                       
                                                    
Service program  . . . . . . . . . . . . :   MYPGM                           
  Library  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :     MYLIB                          
Owner  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :   PROGRAMMER                        
Service program attribute  . . . . . . . :   RPGLE                             
Detail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :   *PROCEXP                          
                                                                               
                              Procedure Exports:                               
                                                                               
Procedure Name                                       ARGOPT 
myproc                                               *NO    
orderHeader                                          *NO

This service program contains two procedures: ‘myproc’ and ‘orderHeader’. Thus, to call the former, we’d supply array(‘func’=>’myproc’) in the PgmCall method. If we wanted to call the second procedure, we’d use array(‘func’=>’orderHeader’), observing case sensitivity, which often matters (a topic for another day).

PHP performance webinar, June 11, 2015

Update: a recording of the webinar is available to all registrants. See the link below to register.

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I’ll be presenting a free webinar, “How to ensure speedy PHP applications on IBM i,” on Thursday, June 11, 2015, at 1pm Eastern/New York time. The webinar is sponsored by BCD. Registration and more information: http://www.bcdsoftware.com/bcdtracks/webinars/ondemand/php-performance-alan.htm

“Our process now runs 30-50% faster, thanks to one tip from Alan’s presentation.”
— Mike Meszaros, Software Developer, Specialty Pipe & Tube

Zend Server for IBM i support knowledge base

The support team at Zend has written a knowledge base of tips for configuring and administering Zend Server for IBM i.  The tips, written chiefly by Rod Flohr, are accurate and thorough. Recommended is the site’s option to notify registered users when new articles are posted. URL: https://support.zend.com/hc/en-us/sections/200554323-Zend-Server-for-IBM-i

COMMON Innovation Award 2015

My colleague and friend Chuk Shirley’s employer, Sabel Steel, just won COMMON’s Innovation Award for an application created by Chuk. According to IBM’s Alex Gogh, Chuk’s application won because of its innovative business process improvement that saved money and prevented errors, while integrating Sabel’s core IBM i-based application, based on RPG and DB2, with traditional industry tools such as a scrap-metal weighing scale and newer technology such as an ID-card scanner, iPad, and PHP.

Chuk Shirley accepting COMMON innovation award on behalf of Sabel Steel, April 26, 2015

Chuk Shirley accepting COMMON innovation award on behalf of Sabel Steel, April 26, 2015

Collaboration at COMMON

The 2015 COMMON annual meeting and expo, now in its first day, is helping speakers and attendees create innovation through IBM i integration: open source, closed source, IBM and vendor solutions. For example, of my six presentations during this conference, two are collaborations:

The Art of Performance Diagnostics, with IBM’s Dawn May, allows us to show, among other topics, how IBM i’s integrated performance tools complement green-screen tools and third-party tools (in this case, Zend Server) to pinpoint and solve performance issues (here, PHP-and DB2-based applications).

PHP Tricks for RPG Developers, a talk jointly created by RPG and SQL expert Birgitta Hauser and me, combines RPG, PHP, and DB2, allowing RPG to achieve graphical (charts and graphs, PDF and Excel files) and internet (json-based web services, flexible email) functionality using native functions.

Conferences such as COMMON serve a need that’s difficult to replicate back at the office—brainstorming and sharing possibilities among interdisciplinary peers, or sitting side-by-side with like-minded colleagues who work for different employers, to try something new. This week, for example, some of us plan to share knowledge on compiling binaries in PASE and to further the potential of open source on IBM i. I’m looking forward to presenting my talks (both joint and solo) and helping to realize new ideas with forward-looking colleagues during the conference.

Birgitta Hauser and Alan Seiden collaborate on their talk at COMMON 2015

Birgitta Hauser and Alan Seiden collaborate on their talk at COMMON 2015