Seiden Group Presenters

Alan’s Presentations (60-90 minutes)

Alan’s Bio  |  Contact:



Web, Open Source, Db2 for i

IBM i Strategy

Personal Development

Workshops/Labs (3-6 hours)

Stephanie’s Presentations (60-90 minutes)

Stephanie’s Bio  |  Contact:

Josh’s Presentation (60 minutes)

Josh’s Bio  |  Contact:


Workshop: Make Your IBM i Sizzle with WordPress

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

WordPress lets you create a website by choosing a theme and adding your own graphics without touching a line of code. This popular open-source application also has thousands of plugins to add features to your site. Best of all, it runs on IBM i, and can leverage your own Db2 data and RPG programs. Learn why WordPress on the IBM i can be the most powerful WordPress anywhere. Since WordPress is based on PHP and MySQL, you’ll get a taste of those technologies as well.

Learning Objectives
  1. See what your IBM i can do with WordPress, how you can quickly create a website that will wow the business people in your company
  2. Get a taste of how open source technology runs the web
  3. See your IBM i data and RPG output on a WordPress site on IBM i

Developers and others who want to create a great impression of IBM i while adding business value and improving their careers.

NOTE: Very successfully done at OCEAN in November 2016.  Fun, creative, and spontaneous, while giving business value and IBM i knowledge.

Workshop: PHP and Db2 In Depth

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

Description to come

Workshop: PHP Performance on IBM i

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

Description to come

Using Db2 and SQL with Open Source Languages on IBM i

Speakers:  Alan Seiden and Scott Forstie,

Db2’s ever-expanding capabilities can simplify development in open source languages such as PHP, Ruby, Node.js, and Python. These languages, known for their ease in building web and mobile applications, can run most types of SQL, but why complicate them with repetitive database code that distracts from their power and simplicity?

This talk shows examples of how to reduce tedious coding by using such Db2 structures as Views, User Defined Functions, stored procedures, Row and Column Access Control (RCAC), LIMIT/OFFSET, exciting new Db2 Services, and more. Security, performance, and ease of maintenance in the open source scripting languages will be the result of the recommendations and techniques given in this talk.

Learning Objectives
  1. Learn Db2 techniques that improve security, performance, simplicity
  2. Understand how coding in open source scripting languages can be made simpler and more powerful by use of Db2’s modern capabilities

Developers using open source languages such as PHP, Node.js, Python, or Ruby on IBM i with Db2.

About Scott Forstie

Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM
Db2 for i Business Architect

Scott Forstie is responsible for all things related to Db2 for i.  He is a speaker at IBM i events and a frequently published author. Scott spends most of his time leading the Db2 for i development team. He is also the content manager of the IBM i Technology Updates wiki ( where IBM i operating system enhancements are described.  Scott can be reached at or followed on Twitter @Forstie_IBMi.

Web Language Shootout

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

In this content-packed session, Alan compares today’s most popular open source languages used for web development on IBM i and the role of RPG alongside them. Languages and tools include PHP, Python, and Node.js (server-side Javascript).

Open Source on IBM i

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

Are you interested in running Open Source on IBM i? Try a new open-source language, use some of the many open source tools that IBM has delivered, and attract new talent to your shop.

Alan has joined forces with Jesse Gorzinski, IBM’s Business Architect of Open Source Technologies, to bring you the latest updates on tools delivered by IBM, as well as to share why IBM sees open source as strategic to the platform. Why has it been such a strong force in the IBM roadmap? How can open source address some of the primary concerns in the marketplace?

Intro to Node.js

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

In this session we will learn about the following:

  • Why Node.js? We already have Java, PHP, Ruby.
  • How to obtain and install Node.js
  • Make Node talk to your RPG and DB2
  • What’s this i/o blocking stuff I hear about Node.js?
  • Javascript syntax – brief intro
  • Javascript callbacks – they’re everywhere, but how do they affect your programming in Node?
  • Create a simple “hello world” app without using frameworks.

Make Your IBM i Sizzle with WordPress

(Standalone session)
Speaker: Alan Seiden,

WordPress lets you create a website by choosing a theme and adding your own graphics without touching a line of code. This popular open-source application also has thousands of plugins to add features to your site. Best of all, it runs on IBM i, and can leverage your own Db2 data and RPG programs. Learn why WordPress on the IBM i can be the most powerful WordPress anywhere. Since WordPress is based on PHP and MySQL, you’ll get a taste of those technologies as well.

Learning Objectives
  1. See what your IBM i can do with WordPress, how you can quickly create a website that will wow the business people in your company
  2. Get a taste of how open source technology runs the web
  3. See your IBM i data and RPG output on a WordPress site on IBM i

Developers and others who want to create a great impression of IBM i while adding business value and improving their careers.

Strategic Modernization with PHP

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

You know you need to modernize your IBM i applications, but where to start? In this talk, Alan will inspire you with creative examples of modernization on IBM i that provided a strong return on investment while controlling risk.  Learn how to choose projects with the best return on investment, and then complete them with confidence. We will lead an honest discussion of the most effective strategies. Can RPG programmers learn PHP? Yes. Can new PHP developers be integrated into an existing IT department? Yes. Both approaches have merit. See creative ways to use PHP, not only to create new GUI front-ends, but to add jazzy features to existing interactive RPG programs. Please your users and business people by incorporating PHP into your shop.

During a recent broadcast of this talk to COMMON Europe, one attendee said: “Great intro for how to do modernization! Thank you!”

Learning Objectives
  1. See how PHP and other open-source languages can satisfy business needs and today’s users
  2. How to get started with PHP
  3. How PHP integrates with RPG and traditional resources

People considering PHP or other modernization approaches who could benefit from a high-level view of where it fits.

PHP Tricks for RPG’ers:
Graphics, Excel, PDFs, E-Mail and More

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

Ever want to enhance RPG programs with PDFs, spreadsheets, charts and graphics, or connect to web services, without complicating your RPG program? Help is here from PHP and Db2.  PHP not only builds websites, but it can be called by RPG programs. Alan will show how to accomplish marvelous tasks by calling PHP from ordinary RPG programs via Db2’s web service support, a fast, flexible technique that’s a handy trick in itself.

Examples will include:

  • Creating graphs and charts based on Db2 data
  • Excel spreadsheets from your data
  • PDF files from your data
  • Connecting to external JSON-based web services while keeping the RPG simple
  • Send flexible email messages, including HTML format and attachments, and using any SMTP server, including an Exchange server

You will come away brimming with ideas to add pizzazz to your applications.

Learning Objectives
  1. How to use SQL to call a web service, including a simple PHP-based web service
  2. How RPG can use SQL to call the web service
  3. Put it together: RPG calls PHP via a web service, creating graphical output from RPG in a simple manner
  1. Those wishing to add non-traditional functionality to RPG programs without adding proprietary or complicated tools
  2. Web developers (PHP, Ruby, etc.) who want their scripts to be accessible from RPG.
  3. Fans of Db2 who wish to see a practical use of the new web service consumption capabilities of Db2.

This talk could be categorized under PHP, RPG, Db2, web services, etc., because it brings together several subjects in a practical application.

Apache Web Server Magic on IBM i

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

Anyone who uses a web server will appreciate the techniques shown here:

  • How to configure SSL encryption (HTTPS)
  • Create user-friendly and search-engine friendly URLs over any web application
  • Use Apache as a load-balancing proxy server
  • Prevent outsiders from accessing your web application
  • Change the ports (80, 443, 10080, more) and determine if they are running properly
  • How to provide multiple domain names in one Apache configuration
  • Ensure that both “www” and non-“www” requests go to the same place
  • How to debug your configuration

…..and more, as time allows!

Learning Objectives
  1. Understand how to secure the Apache web server on IBM i
  2. Learn to use Apache’s most useful features, including search engine optimization, logging, and virtual hosts

Administrators and developers seeking to prepare their systems for web applications, improve performance, and improve security.

The Art of Performance Diagnostics with the IBM i Performance Data Investigator

Speakers:  Alan Seiden and Dawn May,

Do you want to analyze your IBM i performance data but don’t know where to start? This co-presentation from Dawn May and Alan Seiden will use actual examples from the field to show how to approach performance analysis and diagnostics with Performance Data Investigator and Job Watcher. Dawn will share her deep insight into these powerful, graphical IBM i performance tools while Alan will use charts generated by these tools to tell true stories of performance problems and solutions.

Speedy PHP on IBM i

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

Delight your users with snappy, quick PHP-based applications running on IBM i.

  • Configure Zend Server for performance
  • Optimize Db2 and the IBM i toolkit
  • Diagnose bottlenecks
  • Leverage unique IBM i performance tools

You’ll come away brimming with ideas that you can use immediately to improve your application’s performance.

Learning Objectives
  1. Use Zend and IBM tools to detect bottlenecks
  2. Know how to configure the PHP environment for performance

Developers or admins wanting to keep their system humming with PHP.

PHP and Db2 Essentials [For IBM i conferences]
Db2 and PHP Essentials on IBM i [For ZendCon]

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

Db2 is the heart of IBM i. For PHP applications, the Db2 database provides performance, data integrity, remote connectivity, and security. This session will show the right way to use Db2 with PHP. Topics include: NEW features of Db2 and ibm_db2 that can make life easier for developers, performance tips, prevention of SQL injection, library list options, and how to connect IBM i’s Db2 from Windows and Linux.

Learning Objectives
  1. Understand how to get the best performance from Db2 with PHP on IBM i
  2. Take steps to secure applications by using parameter markers (prepared statements)
  3. Learn about new features that help performance and stability
  4. Make the right choices when configuring your application for library lists and more

Anyone using PHP and even other open-source languages who uses Db2 will learn something from this talk.

Bring RPG/COBOL Business Logic to the Web with the PHP Toolkit

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

Don’t reinvent the wheel when developing PHP applications. Instead, re-use your valuable business logic. Reduce risk, speed development, reduce costs when developing web and mobile applications by calling RPG and COBOL programs, system commands, accessing data areas, and more, with the open-source PHP Toolkit for IBM i, co-developed by IBM and Alan Seiden. The toolkit is free, flexible, supported by Zend and uses IBM’s XMLSERVICE toolkit on the back end.

Learning Objective:
  1. Create a modern PHP-based graphical interface that uses RPG/COBOL/CL building blocks
  2. Know when to access Db2 directly, and when to call a program
  3. Optimize toolkit performance

PHP on IBM i developers; CIOs and IT managers wanting to understand how PHP can fit smoothly with existing resources, how to reuse existing RPG business logic to help bring projects in on time and on budget.

Speed Up Your Website

(Applies to all web technology on any platform. Not limited to PHP or to IBM i )

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

In this talk, Alan will share techniques that can improve web performance within minutes. Alan recently helped a company’s site speed up by 10x with a single tip.

Alan will focus on free tools that help diagnose performance bottlenecks, how to configure the Apache web server for speed, and demonstrate the techniques on live sites.

Learning Objectives:
  1. How to identify possible performance bottlenecks at a glance
  2. A few easy changes in the Apache web server configuration that can improve performance
  3. What to look for after the initial, quick improvements

Web developers and managers who need their web applications to perform well.

Mindfulness at Work

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

Mindfulness is a practice that trains your brain to gain a fresh perspective on your life and work. Learn how to use this powerful tool to see more calmly and clearly the challenges that you face in your organization. Major corporations have adopted mindfulness training to provide their employees with improved memory, better decision making, and lower stress. Some IT professionals report greater empathy and improved conflict resolution. We will not only talk about it, but actually do a few mindfulness exercises as a group, to experience a calm mind in the midst of a busy conference.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Learn simple exercises to bring focus and calm
  2. Know several practical applications of mindfulness

At Ease! Relax Your Neck-Back-Shoulders at the Keyboard

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

In this talk, Alan Seiden shares tools and ideas that will make attendees’ work more comfortable, productive, and enjoyable.

First, Alan will teach how to find comfort and avoid injury while getting our work done; then will teach a gentle exercise that will leave attendees feeling relaxed, refreshed, and more flexible, fostering a stress-free, creative attitude.

Remark from Jon Paris: “I came into this session with a neck ache. I don’t have it any more!”

Additional comment: “Fun and different! This information certainly saved my career. “

Formerly called “Healthy Computing.”

Scheduling note to organizers: “At Ease” works best on the last day of a conference. Attendance builds by word of mouth during the conference; people are more likely to attend this non-technical session after they’ve already filled their heads with knowledge, possibly to the point of overwhelm; and attendees desire relief from all their hard work during the conference.

Learning Objectives
  1. Work in IT comfortably, without injury
  2. Have a long career
  3. Feel better by the time you leave this class

Browser Tools to Make Web Development Easier

Speaker: Alan Seiden,

No matter what type of server-side web technology you use, your content usually ends up displayed in a web browser. Free browser-based add-ons can help you in many ways: to recommend how to make your site load more quickly, clarify page layout problems, capture web redirects that you normally cannot see, step through javascript, choose a color scheme, and much more. We will examine live sites with these browser tools. Learn how to become a better web developer with free downloadable browser tools.

A live demo, accessing the internet, makes this presentation come alive.

Learning Objectives
  1. Understand what sorts of development issues can be resolved with free browser tools
  2. Come away with a list of add-ons to install immediately (that the attendee realizes he or she has needed all along, but didn’t know existed)

Web developers or interested web users.

Overcoming the Legacy Label

Many CIOs and IT professionals, while appreciating what the IBM i platform does for their organizations, have a slight inferiority complex about the platform, believing that the issues of deferred maintenance and skill replacement are unique to us. They aren’t. Any long-lived platform brings similar challenges, to be met head-on with confidence. The grass isn’t really greener elsewhere. At this session, you will learn how to talk about the challenges of long-lived systems in a way that business people can understand, how to create a plan for moving forward with IBM i modernization (or we might say, more precisely, “paying down technical debt”), if appropriate for your business, and to gain support for doing so.

Learning Objectives
  1. Learn to speak in a way that transcends platform and helps other leaders in your organization see a strong business case—in reduced cost, risk, and stress—for retaining and improving your existing IBM i infrastructure
  2. Be able to answer questions about benefits and risks of cloud offerings
  3. Understand how to work more effectively with business people who may want to dictate technology to you
  1. CIOs and other leaders with responsibility for IT direction, whether experienced with IBM i or not.
  2. IBM i professionals who want to communicate development needs to business people in a non-technical way.

Stupid Python Tricks

Speaker: Stephanie Rabbani,

Python has many tools built in and many tools just a web request away. Learn how these tools can save you time and money. See examples parsing CSV files, sending emails, building Excel xlsx files, and more!

Djust Django: The Powerful, Flexible Python Framework

Speaker: Stephanie Rabbani,

This session will cover the basics of Django, including installation, configuration on IBM i, and utilization of Django’s ORM with Db2. You should come out of this session excited to try creating some web apps with Django.

Learning Objectives
  1. Learn what Django is and how to get started
  2. Learn how you can use Django to rapidly develop Python applications on IBM i
  3. Learn about some useful Django plugins.

Get Started Using PHP Frameworks

Speaker: Stephanie Rabbani,

Are you wondering whether PHP frameworks are worth using when developing your applications? In this talk we’ll explore the concept of PHP frameworks, compare three popular frameworks (ZF3, Expressive, and Laravel), and show you how to get started with all three.

Learning Objectives
  1. The basic components of a framework
  2. The differences between 3 of the top PHP frameworks
  3. How to get started coding in a framework

Be a Db2 PASE Superhero with Open Source Db2Util

Speaker: Stephanie Rabbani,

Db2Util is an open source utility that allows you to access your Db2 data from PASE, or any web language—including Javascript—without the need for Db2 connection functions. Learn how to use, secure and call Db2Util from the web or shell. Bonus material will include how to contribute to this open source project.

Building Reusable APIs

Speaker: Stephanie Rabbani,

When should I use an API? What are the benefits of writing APIs? This talk will cover when to use Web APIs to access your data, as well as some tips on how to write a Web API that is flexible and designed to last.

Using code examples in RPG, PHP, and Python, I will also share lessons recently learned from working on a large integration project with Salesforce.

Debugging Your Web Application

Speaker: Stephanie Rabbani,

500 internal server error? Wait, now it’s a 404 error. I think it’s actually a syntax error. And now my program call isn’t returning anything.

Attend this session to hear tips and tricks on how to debug your web application on IBM i, including:

  • Analyzing Apache logs and Apache server issues
  • Debugging your program calls and Toolkit issues
  • Debugging Db2 and library list issues
  • Debugging Javascript and CSS

Get Started Using PHP Frameworks on IBM

Speaker: Stephanie Rabbani,

Are you wondering whether PHP frameworks are worth using when developing your applications? In this talk we’ll explore the concept of PHP frameworks, and compare three popular frameworks (ZF3, Expressive, and Laravel) and show you how to get started with all three.

Git for Open Source and Source Control

Speaker: Stephanie Rabbani,

In this session find out how to use Git to contribute to open source projects, and get an introduction on how to use Git to manage source code within your organization.

Learning Objectives
  1. How to create your own repository
  2. The basics of Git flow
  3. Tips and tricks for using Git on Mac/Windows
  4. How to use Github/Gitlab/Bitbucket to contribute to open source projects

Secure Your Web App

Speaker: Stephanie Rabbani,

Security is a top concern of most CIOs for good reason. When we take apps to the web, what we don’t know CAN hurt us. In this session we will demonstrate a multi-layered defense, starting with web server level security, including Apache directives, reverse proxies, and SSL encryption; front-end (browser level) security techniques, code-level security best practices, and Db2 database protection. These security tips are applicable to any language, although examples will be in PHP.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn best practices in securing your web application within your code
  2. Learn best practices in securing your web application at the server level

I CanNode Even

Speaker: Joshua Hall,

Looking for a fun crash course to Node.js? Look no further. This talk will leave you with a few chuckles while also teaching you how to leverage your IBM i business logic using Node.js. Don’t think, “I cannot even,” when you think about Node.js. Instead think, “I CAN Node even!”

Introduction to Bash

Speaker: Joshua Hall,

This session introduces Bourne Again Shell (BASH) and the history of how it evolved from the Bourne Shell (BSH). We will also dive into the many conveniences that come with BASH and how to utilize it.

Learning Objectives
  1. Learn the history of BASH and the conveniences that are included over BSH
  2. Learn how to enable SSH, configure it, and how to use SSH keys to remotely connect to the IBM i
  3. Discuss/show examples of BASH scripts that help with development, systems administration, and everyday tasks

Jenkins on IBM i

Speaker: Joshua Hall,

Ever wanted a butler? Me too. Alas, we can’t all be that posh. We can, however, enlist Jenkins to be our software butler. Jenkins is an open source automation server. It provides the tools necessary for continuous integration and continuous delivery. By the end of this talk, you should know how to install Jenkins on IBM i as well as the basics of setting up your first automation.

Let’s Get This OSS

Speaker: Joshua Hall,

So you’re finally ready to dive into this Open Source Software stuff everyone keeps screaming about. But where do you begin? How does one install Yum on their system? Wait, I need Yum? Installing and acquiring open source software is a lot simpler than it may seem. This talk will leave you with a basic understanding of how to access open source software on IBM i.

PASE at a Good Pace

Speaker: Joshua Hall,

What the heck is PASE anyway? Is it QP2TERM? Is it QSH? BASH? It’s none of the above! These technologies live in the Portable Application Solutions Environment for i, or PASE for i. PASE allows one to port IBM AIX applications to the IBM i. Basically, PASE allows for a UNIX like environment on the IBM i, and this session will cover everything you need to know about this powerful tool at a pace everyone can understand.

Python & DB2 Say Their “I Dos”

Speaker: Joshua Hall,

You can use DB2 in Python? Of course! There’s an IBM i toolkit for Python? Definitely! Come to this talk to find out what all the excitement about Python is about.

Learning Objectives
  1. Learn what the Python language is.
    Use basic DB2 functionality with Python.
    Utilize the IBM i Python Toolkit (PyKit) to leverage even more from your IBM i in Python.


About Alan

Alan SeidenAlan Seiden founded Seiden Group to help IBM i shops deliver high-performance web and mobile applications using PHP, Python, Node.js, other web technologies, DB2 for i, and IBM i business logic.

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

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.

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

Subscribe to Alan’s monthly newsletter Open Thinking: IBM i Strategy & Tips.
Follow Alan on Twitter: @alanseiden and LinkedIn:

About Stephanie

A senior consultant for Seiden Group, Stephanie has been developing web applications on the IBM i for over 15 years.  She previously worked for BCD Software Professional Services. She has developed a large range of applications including shopping cart, ordering, warehousing, dashboards, mobile/responsive applications, and many others for small to Fortune 500 companies.

Steph has chosen PHP as her primary language, is Zend Framework 2 certified and has expertise in various web development technologies, including RPG and WebSmart. She also has in-depth experience with Db2, SQL, and the IBM i environment, and she consults on the ongoing development of the PHP Toolkit for IBM i.

Recognized by IBM as a “Fresh Face of IBM i,” Steph also speaks at COMMON, ZendCon, and Local User Groups.

Twitter: @jordiwes

About Josh

Joshua Hall

Josh brings creativity and innovation to the modern IBM i user experience. Efficiency and elegance are hallmarks of Josh’s work, whether it be a business application or a tool that empowers IBM i developers and administrators. As a Seiden Group consultant, Josh draws on his versatility, knack for clean code, knowledge of diverse web technologies, and mastery of PHP and other open-source resources, to help IBM i shops make their technology dreams come true.

Josh joined Seiden Group to pursue his passion for building bridges between traditional IBM i and open source, helping IBM i shops deliver easy-to-use solutions more quickly and effectively. His many open-source contributions include IBM i Bash tools and a series of Apigility tutorials.

A pool shark and homesteader-in-training, Josh also loves to play acoustic guitar and admires Eminem for writing music that empowers people.

Twitter: @tweetjbh