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February 11, 2021

Now Available: ZendPHP for IBM i

IBM i

ZendPHP for IBM i is here! In this blog, I’ll give an overview of ZendPHP for IBM i, including what it does, how it differs from Zend Server, and how to try it for free.

What Is ZendPHP for IBM i?

ZendPHP is Zend’s build and delivery of community PHP, as well as its delivery of enterprise Long Term Support (LTS) builds.

While ZendPHP is not a full-blown Application Server like Zend Server, it shares a number of similarities.

Similarities Between ZendPHP and Zend Server for IBM i

Both ZendPHP and Zend Server deliver versions 5.6, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4 of PHP (with ZendPHP adding PHP 8.0 to the mix), and the same support models are available for both.

Likewise, both products are delivered as 64bit RPM packages (as of Zend Server 2020) and use the Open Source Environment (OSE) on IBM i for installation and update of the packages.

Finally, both deliver the ibm_db2 and ODBC drivers for Db2 access, as well as the ILE toolkit for integration with ILE objects such as data areas, data queues, and RPG programs (just to name a few).

Differences Between ZendPHP and Zend Server for IBM i

Now for the differences. As noted previously, ZendPHP does not include the cutting-edge Application Server functionality of Zend Server, such as its monitoring, application management, and web-based configuration of extensions, to name just a few.

Additionally, while the same support licenses are available for both products, a support license isn’t required for ZendPHP, although it is highly recommended. To be more specific, users who want to install versions of PHP that are currently supported by the community (at the time of writing, versions 7.3, 7.4, and 8.0) can use ZendPHP to install those versions without a support contract. For PHP versions that are no longer supported by the community but which remain supported by Zend, a support contract is required.

Details on what versions of PHP are supported by the community and what versions of PHP fall under Zend’s LTS can be found at https://www.zend.com/products/zendphp-enterprise. That being said, it is recommended that a support contract be in place anytime PHP is being used for production applications.

Try Zend PHP for IBM i

Ready to give ZendPHP for IBM i a shot?  Go out to the ZendPHP trial page and register for our free download.  Once registered, you will receive an email with instructions on how to download the IBM i installer, which will add the Zend package repository and perform the install.

Try ZendPHP Free

Additional Resources

Come back soon and check-out my next blog which will actually walk through an install of ZendPHP and show how easy it is to have a fully functional PHP stack on your IBM i system. Until then, be sure to check out these resources for more information on ZendPHP.