Thanks to Search400.com reader Aaron for sending us an email about his experience with PHP on System i.
At my last company (dental insurance) I was brought in to migrate away from a Lotus web server onto a LAMP stack that talked to RPG on System i. It worked (mostly) like a charm with about 20 RPG developers and 3 web programmers. A fair amount of the business logic was done on the RPG side while the PHP front ends took care of capturing/cleansing/display input/output. Although with session based variables available in PHP some of the business logic was just beginning to be moved on to the web side as well. The Zend platform was in the beginning stages of being evaluated when I left.
I’ve since taken those lessons and applied them as an IT Manager at my current job which is also based on System i. Again, it works wonderfully. Here we use it more for reporting than anything else over the intranet but it has given us a flexibility that the company did not have before (example: hooking up lat/long info from the platform application directly to Google Maps via PHP and displaying truck location on demand where previously you had to either login into vendor’s site and give truck # or call an 800 number and have it automatically faxed). I have considered using the Zend platform on the iSeries itself but have yet to determine a great reason to do so when LAMP over to the iSeries seems to deliver everything I need at the moment.
I’ve worked on a fair amount of different platforms over my career and I believe that the marriage of PHP and RPG on the i is one my favorite combo yet (provided I have the developers for them).