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PHP is a fully functional web scripting language used to build dynamic web pages. PHP is developed in the Open Source community by hundreds of developers form around the world. Early community members include Zend’s CEO Andi Gutmans and CTO Zeev Suraski, who wrote the “Zend Engine” which is still a major component of the PHP Parser (interpreter equivalent of a compiler). The work done by Andi, Zeev and all the PHP community members has culminated into PHP becoming the leading language for Internet applications representing well over 35% of all internet websites and 6 of the top 10 most visited web sites.
After an exhaustive search for a rapid web development technology to complement their WebSphere product line for IBM i, IBM partnered with Zend Technologies to bring PHP to the platform. Now 9 years into the partnership, IBM and Zend continue to provide a state-of-the-art solution for quickly and easily developing web content for IBM i to the steady migrating stream of Net.Data, RPG and COBOL developers.
PHP, while a great tool for web development, cannot do it alone. PHP works closely with HTML for building dynamic web content on IBM i. HTML is to PHP what DDS and Display Files are to RPG. Batch based PHP may not use any HTML while interactive applications require a significant understanding of HTML syntax and functions.
RPG is a business language that is most popularly used on IBM i. Many applications and countless programs have been developed for business purposes such as shipping, order entry and accounting functions. Many organizations are significantly invested in RPG and want to leverage their investments as they move applications from the 5250 (green screen) interface to the browser or Internet via the World Wide Web. PHP makes it easy for these businesses to leverage that investment through capabilities such as the PHP Toolkit for IBM i which allows RPG applications to be fully leveraged by providing back end business logic to interactive web applications.
There are many great examples of PHP applications being developed and deployed on the IBM i. From applications that can access data and applications via a browser, to developing web-based front-ends that leverage RPG business logic or completely web-enabling entire ERP systems, PHP’s ease of use and enterprise capabilities combined with the power of IBM i has been the ideal choice for modernization. Here are just a few examples: