PHP performance webinar, June 11, 2015

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


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:

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

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

Tell me how a conference has helped you

Have you ever learned something you really needed to know, made a valuable contact, discovered a better way to do things, decided on a future direction, as a result of attending a conference?

Have you found ways to save money for your employer or company? Avoided a mistake or taken advantage of an opportunity that was good for business?

I’d like to hear about it.

I’m writing an article about the value of technical conferences, especially from the business viewpoint. Please send me your anecdotes (could be one sentence long) about dramatic value that you’ve obtained from attending a conference, or if you are the employer or manager, the value of sending your employees to conferences.

You can leave comments here on this blog post, or write to me privately on my contact page.



PHP for Batch Tasks on IBM i

Last night I gave a talk at the FASUG user group about how to use PHP as a powerful general utility language that can be called from CL programs on the IBM i. I also showed how Zend Server’s new Job Queue feature can accomplish similar goals–scheduling and automating PHP scripts–using a pure PHP interface rather than CL.

I also discussed the IBM i’s latest PHP package: Zend Server for IBM i. I explained its similarities to and differences from Zend Core.

Here are the PowerPoint slides.

Presentations, Handouts & Upcoming Talks

We’d love to meet you at one of our upcoming events or speaking engagements.

EVENT ORGANIZERS can find our current list of sessions/labs here.

Below you’ll find a sampling of handouts and links to other resources.


We look forward to hearing from you via the form below or by:

Phone:  201.447.2437     |    Email:     |     Twitter: @alanseiden

Contact Us

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About Alan Seiden

Alan SeidenIBM Champion web badgeAlan Seiden founded Seiden Group to help IBM i shops design and implement high-performance web and mobile applications using PHP, DB2, RPG business logic and Zend Framework best practices. Alan and his team work closely with some of the best minds at both Zend and IBM on behalf of their clients.

With a passion for open source and community, Alan co-developed the popular PHP Toolkit with IBM. He hosts the CIO Summit twice per year; was one of the first Zend Framework certified engineers; co-founder of the NYC Zend Framework Meetup; charter member of IBM/COMMON’s PHP Advisory Board; and a consultant for IBM’s manual PHP: Zend Core for i5/OS.

Alan’s dedication to progressing the IBM i community has earned him recognition as an IBM Champion by IBM.

An award-winning speaker, Alan has been called “the performance guru of PHP on IBM i.”

He shares his expertise regularly at conferences and user groups such as COMMON, ZendCon, the RPG & DB2 Summit, OMNI, the Northeast Users Group Conference, OCEAN and WMCPA. He also mentors other developers within the Club Seiden forum.

In his spare time, Alan plays the trombone and studies and teaches the Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education.

Noteable Milestones

2005: Alan started working with PHP on the IBM i in 2005 (even before Zend Core!)

2006: Alan wrote the first article detailing PHP’s coming to the i5, interviewing Zend co-founder Andi Gutmans.

Award from IBM COMMON for best web application 2009 2008: Zend Framework certification. Alan received the first in the “i” community, and his was among the first 50 worldwide on all platforms combined.

2009: IBM/COMMON honored Alan with the Power Systems Innovation Award for “Best Web Application” for Allied Beverage Group’s e-commerce site, developed with the team at Strategic Business Systems using PHP and Zend Framework on IBM i.

2009: Alan co-founded the first Zend Framework user group with Zend’s Ed Kietlinski in New York City.

2011: Alan took on the roles of product manager and co-developer of the PHP Toolkit for IBM i.

2011: Alan’s blog named a “Top 10 IBM i Blog” by IT Jungle.

2012: Alan launched Alan Seiden Consulting.

2015: Alan founded Club Seiden, the online PHP Community Forum.

2016: Alan was honored with COMMON’s Al Barsa Memorial Scholarship.

2016: Alan Seiden Consulting grows into Seiden Group.

2017: Seiden Group hosts their first CIO Summit in Manhattan.

2018: IBM names Alan an IBM Champion for IBM Power Systems


  • “Great work!!! It isn’t often that my expectations are met — even less exceeded — from sources outside our company. You took an idea that I had and made it reality. This module will revolutionize the way we utilize our system. Thank you!!”
    — Bob Arnold, MIS Manager, H-P Products
  • “You’re a freakin genius. Can’t thank you enough!”
    —Jeb Bouchard, Systems Analyst, Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT)

From the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), where Alan mentored the team in PHP and ZF on IBM i

  • “Your work was excellent. You obviously have command of the topic, coupled with that all-important but rarely found ability to explain. I would recommend your services to anyone.”
    —Jim O’Neill, veteran IBM i programmer
  • “What we achieved with you in three days we couldn’t have done by ourselves in three months!”
    —Ealon Wallace, web developer
  • “One tip from your Zend Framework talk about ‘DB2 metadata caching’ paid for the whole conference!”
    —a Zend Certified Engineer who uses ZF on IBM i, after attending Zendcon
  • “Following some challenging experiences with a third-party developer, Alan provided our in-house IT team with the knowledge and support to take over the project and get it back on track to meet our expected deadlines.  Alan brought us some peace of mind.”
    —M. Paige Raski, President, Millville Mutual Insurance Company
  • “Alan is an outstanding Zend Framework mentor and advocate. Not only is his knowledge base in the framework extensive, but he also possesses great patience in debugging and a tenacious eye for detail. Alan is a pleasure to work with, and I am grateful he has taken the time to start the ZF User Group to fill the NYC community need for information about this great product.”
    —Shari Halter, Assistant Director of Web Communications, NYU Tisch School of the Arts
  • “I met Alan at the Northeast iSeries User Group Conference in April 2009, where he presented a PHP topic. My customers who attended Alan’s session recommended him highly, so when I put together a day-long technical conference for Vermont and New Hampshire iSeries customers in June I included Alan on the agenda as one of 4 primary speakers. His PHP presentation was excellent and the feedback was positive. In addition, as a conference organizer I really appreciated Alan’s professionalism as we prepared for the event. He is responsive and flexible and a pleasure to work with.”
    —Dan Rothman, Power System Specialist, IBM
  • “I have heard Alan speak two times now on PHP development in an i series shop. As a business owner, I appreciate his ability to keep his talk at a high level without too much digression into arcane detail. He clearly knows his stuff, is a good listener, and can handle the most difficult questions, but his talks are not about him or his abilities. Instead, they are directed to us the listeners, with an upbeat message about what we can accomplish. It’s a most refreshing approach and I look forward to working with Alan in the future. I’ll save the arcane questions til then.
    “Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity”
    —Stephen Alden, President at Trylon Data Management, Inc., Hanover, New Hampshire
  • “I met Alan at an IBM iSeries user group meeting. We had just started with PHP on our system. Alan’s seminar was excellent. It gave me a good perspective of how powerful PHP can be in conjunction with the iSeries. Alan’s knowledge of how to make PHP work with legacy systems is invaluable. He has a real good handle on business and is able to make creative solutions. That is not a combination that is readily found. His willingness to share his knowledge with us is greatly appreciated. I am looking forward to working more often with Alan in the future.”
    —Lori Polep, VP and CIO, J. Polep Distribution Services
  • “I worked with Alan from 1994 to 2000. He has an exceptionally quick mind and is a visionary developer. He has been a tremendous help to me both during my time at Strategic and since then in referring people for project work and helping with programming problems. He’s smart, personable, and reliable. I highly recommend him as an asset to any organization.”
    —Jill Cozzi, EDC Developer at Bayer HealthCare (worked directly with Alan at Strategic Business Systems, Inc.)
  • “Alan and I worked together on getting Mantis Bug Tracker and ADODB to work on IBM’s System i (i5/OS and DB2). Alan played a critical role in aggregating the knowledge of the team in Mantis, ADODB, System i and DB2 and using that to troubleshoot and fix the issues. Alan’s persistence, responsiveness and clear thinking were major factors in the project’s success.”
    —Victor Boctor, Senior Software Design Engineer, Microsoft Corporation
Skype: aseiden

Find Broken Links Automatically

As dynamic web sites change, their links quickly become obsolete. Before users complain, or search engine indexes grow stale, professional webmasters use software to find those broken links. While free services such as W3 Validator are fine for occasional use, serious web sites require a service that does the following:

  • Runs automatically, at least once a week
  • Dives deep into your site to find all broken links
  • E-mails the errors to you immediately

LinkTiger broken link checker is the best service I’ve found. It graphically shows you exactly where your broken links are. A service such as this is great for dynamic websites, to ensure that search engines and users can see all your pages. - Broken links finding service

PHP Security Links

These resources are a good start for anyone learning secure PHP programming practices.

  • Pro PHP Security (Chris Snyder and Michael Southwell) Comprehensive book, including secure hosting practices
  • Essential PHP Security (Chris Shiflett) Concise, clear explanation of web security concepts, teaching “filter input, escape output” clearly.
  • php|architect’s Guide to PHP Security (Ilia Alshanetsky) Contains detailed discussion of cross-site scripting (XSS) defenses
  • PHP Architect magazine’s monthly “security corner” column
  • Chris Shiflett’s PHP & Web Application Security Blog
  • PHP manual’s security page
  • Web Application Security Consortium mailing list