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
PHP dynamic programming language
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.
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.
By default, IBM i’s Secure Shell (SSH) rejects connection attempts from user profiles longer than eight (8) characters. When long user profiles are rejected, error messages will vary, but users of Zend Studio, for example, will see “Failed to connect sshd on “<some ip address>.”
Since IBM i release 6.1, IBM i has supported an SSH setting, ibmpaseforienv PASE_USRGRP_LIMITED=N, to permit user profiles longer than 8 characters. IBM i 7.2 brought improved support for this capability.
- IBM i 6.1 and 7.1 require a PTF and the new setting.
- IBM i 7.2 and higher require only the setting.
For details, see Zend Support specialist Rod Flohr’s article about how to remove the 8-character limit on user profiles when connecting via SSH.
(Dec. 3, 2017) Update for IBM i 7.3 and beyond: The path of sshd_config remains /QOpenSys/QIBM/UserData/SC1/OpenSSH/etc, unchanged from the IBM i 7.2 path in Rod’s article.
Starting January 27, 2015, I’ll be giving three free Tuesday webinars:
- January 27: Strategic Modernization with PHP
- February 17: Bring RPG/COBOL business logic to the web with the PHP Toolkit
- March 10: Speedy PHP on IBM i
All three one-hour webinars will be held at 14:00 Central European Time (CET). That’s 8 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST). The registration page includes a time zone converter.
Details and to register: http://www.data3.se/?p=5287
Thanks to Torbjörn Appehl of Data3 (COMMON Sweden) for organizing these.
I’ve recorded a special message about my upcoming presentations at the Toronto Users Group for Power Systems evening meeting on January 21, 2015:
In the video, I discuss the two sessions I’ll be presenting:
- Bring RPG/COBOL business logic to the web with the PHP Toolkit
- PHP Tricks for RPG Developers
Hope you can make it to the Toronto meeting, Jan. 21, 2015, Markham, Ontario. Details: http://tug.ca
I’ve been hearing from people confused about Zend Server editions on IBM i. Yes, Community Edition was removed with Zend Server 7/8, but Zend replaced that with the no-charge “Basic” edition. The Basic edition exists only on IBM i. It requires registration but at no cost. Zend Server for IBM i can be downloaded here.
While I often recommend the Professional or Enterprise editions of Zend Server for the value-added tools and for Zend’s professional support, rest assured that free PHP still exists, with the Basic edition.
For more information, here is the current list of Zend Server editions for IBM i.
[Update: See PHP 7 and Free Basic Zend Server Edition for IBM i ]
Zend Framework 2 (ZF2) provides optimization techniques that are often overlooked by published performance tests. One excellent source for such techniques is a presentation by Gary Hockin. I was thrilled when my client and friend King Harrison IV of K3S began testing the effect of these techniques on his ZF2 application running on IBM i.
King’s initial tests produced a 600ms reduction in load time, obtaining respectable performance for his database-heavy application. He plans to update his blog post with further speed improvements as he implements them.