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Zend by Perforce is offering several free hands-on exercises for gaining experiencing with various PHP and Open Source topics. Maintaining skills is important in many professions and especially in Information Technology. During this time when many of us are experiencing new working conditions, whether it's working from home or working reduced hours, we may be looking for ways to ramp up our skills.
The exercises are broken down into many categories including 'PHP and Zend Server', 'PHP and IBM I', Open Source and IBM I', and 'Open Source General' exercise. If you want to get familiar with Open Source productivity solutions, then you might want to take a look at the 'Implementing Productivity Solutions via LAMP Applications' exercise where you will walk through installing several LAMP-based applications including Joomla and myPHPadmin. If you are new to PHP programming, you might want to register for the Exploring Basic PHP Programming exercise.
Back in 2006, PHP was first introduced to the IBM i platform through the release of the Zend Core product. Part of my job over the past 20+ years has been presenting at various user groups and technical conferences and I can share that the excitement expressed by the IBM i community to the availability of PHP on the platform was palatable.
With that in mind, there are exercises specific to the IBM i environment for items such as exploring how to integrate PHP with the Integrated Language Environment (ILE) to leverage existing business logic from items such as RPG programs as well as existing data items such as data areas and data queues. There is also an exercise on building CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) applications in PHP against Db2 data either through development of custom PHP scripts or through a third-party utility.
The introduction of the yum/rpm/package-repository ecosystem for IBM i back in May of 2018 was and is a game-changer. Similar to the introduction to Zend and PHP back in 2006, the expansion of open source on the platform has been met with significant excitement by the IBM i community.
With that in mind, there are hands-on exercises to explore open source on the platform. To gain familiarity with working in the PASE environment, the IBM i environment that open source runs in, sign-up for the 'Getting Familiar with the PASE Shell Environment'.
If you are interested in how the Open Source ecosystem gets established on the platform take a look at the 'Setting up Open Source on IBM i' exercise (this particular exercise is Read-Only since the environment can only be setup once for each system.) There is also an exercise on how to establish file-system containers for setting up isolated development environments in the Integrated File System.
In addition to the PHP exercises, there are also exercises for gaining an introduction to the node.js and Python programming languages on the IBM i platform. The exercises include information on how to install the language packages, build a simple hello world program, and retrieve data from Db2.
As mentioned earlier, open source solutions on IBM i, including PHP, run in the Portable Application Solution Environment (PASE). Just like you can write CL-based scripts in the ILE, you can write shell-scripts in PASE. The 'Overview of Shell Programming' session will introduce various shell-programming concepts that will enable you to write scripts.
This enables you perform any number of functions both within the PASE environment as well as executing commands back in the ILE – in fact shell-scripts in the PASE environment is how we setup the workshop environments for registrants and this exercise will share how we do that.
Other exercises that are planned to be offered including an introduction to Object Oriented Programming, Exploring Zend Server Functions, Working with the GIT for Source Code Control and a Deeper Introduction to XMLService and the iToolkit.
The exercises are run on a public-facing IBM i partition/instance that has previously been setup with Zend Server and it's certified PHP stack and the open source bootstrap for working with open source solutions.
Shortly after registering for a workshop, you will receive an email with materials including a self-paced exercise guide, a getting-started guide, as well as credentials to the system. You will be provided with an email address that you can send any questions and concerns to as well as any issues you are having with the environment.
We will be adding exercises on a regular basis. We hope you enjoy this PHP workshop! More information regarding the exercises along with registration information is available here.
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Looking for additional PHP and IBM i resources? Be sure to check out our collection of PHP and IBM i articles, webinars, white papers, and videos in our new Guide to PHP and IBM i.
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Senior Solutions Consultant, Zend, Perforce Software
Mr. Earley offers more than 20 years of experience developing solutions on the IBM i platform. His expertise includes using PHP, MariaDB, Docker, and Chef for creating modern enterprise solutions that run on IBM i, as well as PowerVC for cloud deployments and virtualization management. Mr. Earley is a frequent speaker at global technology conferences, and he has authored numerous articles on Linux, PHP, virtualization, and systems management.