Willowglen Systems Upgrades Mission-Critical PHP With Professional Services From Zend

Willowglen Systems is a global leader in delivering visionary, customer-driven industrial automation solutions. Their solutions, which include purpose-built automation technologies for the transportation, oil and gas, and electric power industries, are counted on by leading organizations around the world.

Continuously improving and expanding their solutions is a top priority for Willowglen Systems. However, keeping their solutions secure – by keeping up to date with the latest software versions and patches – is just as important.

So, when Willowglen Systems needed to focus on adding several new important features to their Unisen Remote Terminal Unit (RTU), they turned to Zend to help upgrade their PHP version and migrate their application to the newly upgraded version.

"If you are looking for a team that can tackle the hardest PHP-related problems, do not hesitate to contact Zend."


Willowglen Systems Faced a Dilemma With Their Unisen RTU 

Willowglen’s Unisen RTU is an intelligent electronic device that is used for data acquisition, local/remote control, and simple to complex real-time processing of data. Used in critical infrastructure sectors, including metro rail, heavy rail, power distribution, and pipeline control, the Unisen RTU can be used for industrial I/O, as an advanced PCL, or as a flow computer for large scale liquid and gas pipelines.

Customers choose the Unisen RTU for its field-tested reliability and many features, with one key feature being an easy-to-use integrated web interface. This PHP-based web interface allows users to remotely monitor, control, configure, and upgrade the Unisen RTU via a secure network.

A challenge faced by many critical infrastructure products is the service life of many components with some deployments being used for over 30 years. Willowglen’s Unisen RTU is no exception, and the long service life meant it was critical for Willowglen to keep their clients’ deployed software up to date and functioning as intended.

After performing a regular code audit of their Unisen, the Willowglen team determined the need to upgrade both their integrated PHP service and frontend PHP code to patch against security vulnerabilities.

After performing a regular code audit of their Unisen, the Willowglen team determined the need to upgrade their integrated PHP service and frontend PHP code to patch against security vulnerabilities. However, due to high-priority projects, they wouldn’t have the necessary developer hours in house to prioritize both projects. 

A unique challenge facing the required updates, was that Unisen is built on a proprietary operating system and hardware which would require support from key development resources to upgrade or patch their PHP. However, due to other competing high-priority development projects for internal resources, Willowglen recognized the need to find a cost-effective way to upgrade their deployed PHP quickly and safely.

Willowglen Partners With Zend to Upgrade Their PHP 

After exploring both internal and external options, Willowglen decided partnering with Zend to upgrade their PHP would meet its requirements to have experienced professionals safely deliver the required upgrade.

Willowglen and Zend teams worked closely together to determine the feasibility of the project, and once the project scope was aligned the teams jointly developed a schedule and process for delivery. The Zend team got to work quickly, delivering in-progress builds to the Willowglen team for testing and validation. Issues found in testing and validation were passed back to the Zend team, which promptly delivered fixes for those issues.

"The Zend team was very professional and quick to respond with fixes to issues discovered during testing. We found them easy to communicate with, and very responsive to questions and requests from our team."

Scott Greig, Senior Technical Lead at Willowglen Systems Inc.


Willowglen Successfully Upgrades Their PHP Without Sacrificing In-House Development Time 

The Zend team made quick progress, delivering the upgraded software, an updated PHP extension, and a newly ported PHP interpreter by the agreed upon deadline. Because the Zend team was able to deliver the project by deadline, the Willowglen team was able to keep their development team focused on other high-priority projects for the business.

Ultimately, the Willowglen team saved over a month of actual development time by partnering with Zend and delivered on an important deadline for their customers – ensuring their systems were safe and secure against known PHP vulnerabilities.

"Contracting Zend Professional Services provided us access to the exact specialized experts that we needed to meet our customer timeline obligations and to provide us with the confidence that our PHP upgrade was performed correctly."

Vladislav Vicentijevic, Unisen Project Manager at Willowglen Systems Inc.


Explore Professional Services Options From Zend 

Need to upgrade your PHP? Working on a tricky integration? Need patches for an EOL PHP version? Zend can help.