Free PHP on IBM i: from Basic edition to RPMs

open phpLast week, Perforce announced plans to withdraw Zend Server for IBM i “Basic” by June 2021. Filling the gap is free “community” PHP for IBM i, installable in RPM format.

Seiden Group has been assisting IBM i clients to adopt Community PHP since its introduction last year. We’ve helped with both first-time PHP installations and migrations from Basic.

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Free and Open PHP on IBM i

open php ibm iA new flavor of PHP has arrived in IBM i-land. Some call it “free.” Some call it “community.” As described in a recent IT Jungle article, PHP is now available on IBM i as a lean RPM download that does not require Zend Server.

Our friends at IBM and Zend (now Perforce) have packaged a bare-bones PHP edition for customers who want PHP but don’t feel they need to purchase the extra tools of Zend Server.

I’ll share what our open source experts at Seiden Group have learned as we’ve installed and optimized both traditional Zend Server and “open” PHP for our customers.

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Five Reasons We Use Git to Manage IBM i Source Code

GitIf recent customer requests for Git training are any indication, this popular, free, open source tool for managing source code is gaining momentum and will soon be mainstream on IBM i.

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Integrate Python into CL and RPG on IBM i

python trainingPython has been gaining momentum for building utility applications on IBM i, such as creating/reading Excel files, data transfer, process automation, calling REST APIs such as Salesforce and ServiceNow, and application monitoring.

Although some have said that Python would become the “new CL,” one limitation remains. While Python can easily call CL, RPG, and COBOL programs, calls in the other direction—from CL, RPG or COBOL to Python—required extra effort.

In this post we will introduce you to the PYRUN command, from Richard Schoen’s open source PythonOniLibrary (https://github.com/richardschoen/PythonOniLibrary), which makes it easy for traditional CL and RPG programs to call Python utilities and use their output. Read more

Free encryption for Node.js on IBM i

Let's EncryptWhen you browse a secure web site or API whose address starts with “https,” what makes the site secure? The site uses a special certificate, provided by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA), to prove that it is legitimate. Until recently, IT shops had to pay for these certificates and generate them manually.

In the last few years, Let’s Encrypt has earned the thanks of technology professionals. Let’s Encrypt, a CA run for the public’s benefit, offers certificates at no charge, along with scripts to generate and regenerate certificates as needed, reducing the effort of keeping certificates up to date, and keeping sites secure.

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CIO Summit Features DB2 for i Briefing with IBM’s Scott Forstie

Scott Forstie Alan Seiden

Scott Forstie (left) with Alan Seiden at a previous CIO Summit

In recent years, Db2 for i Business Architect Scott Forstie and his team have rapidly strengthened the IBM i database, improving the sophistication of its SQL query engine, and adding to its galaxy of IBM i services. What’s more, they have several years’ worth of new enhancements in the pipeline.

CIOs and IT Directors can meet Scott at the CIO Summit on March 25, 2019, Charlotte, North Carolina, for an IBM i strategy briefing.

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Node.js Process Manager PM2 on IBM i

pm2 node.jsTo manage Node.js application processes in production on IBM i, we recommend PM2 Runtime. As PM2’s official documentation states, PM2 “…allows you to keep applications alive forever, to reload them without downtime and facilitate common DevOps tasks.”

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Node.js, Ruby and Seiden Group

node.jsWith IBM’s delivery of open source capabilities on IBM i, Seiden Group has been there to apply the technology to application modernization initiatives. Starting with PHP and the PHP toolkit, then Python, and now Node.js and Ruby, we’ve worked with IBM and customers to flesh out the capabilities of the technology, teach best practices at conferences and directly with clients, and develop award-winning solutions.

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Python Training from Seiden Group

Python training Seiden GroupAs big fans of Python, Seiden Group now offers Python training for IBM i developers. Our training covers not only the popular Python language, but all the pieces necessary to succeed on IBM i, including how to use the Python toolkit to call RPG and COBOL business logic as well as best practices for accessing Db2 and SQL from web applications with Python.

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Configure IBM i Apache Threads For Higher Traffic

When your site gets busy, your web server may need a configuration change to handle the load. We often start with the Apache web server’s ThreadsPerChild directive.

ThreadsPerChild controls how many connections can exist at once. Defaulting to 40, its value can be set in your Apache instance configuration file (for example, /www/zendphp7/httpd.conf):

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