Today we announced that IBM will now ship a preloaded image of Zend's Web stack with any OS upgrade and/or new system purchase. The goal is to distribute the Zend PHP-based stack more broadly and deliver an out-of-the-box experience for PHP on IBM i (formerly known as AS/400 and i-series).
The relationship with the IBM i team started in 2005. I was deeply involved in forming the partnership and at the time did a lot of the research to better understand the opportunity. This was the first time I really got to know the IBM i community and very quickly I discovered a passionate community who loved their platform but really needed a Web solution badly. There were several solutions at the time which enabled IBM i customers to Web-enable their applications. However, PHP was of biggest interest to the community for many reasons including:
- PHP enables customers to tap into a huge pool of existing PHP talent (approx. 6 million developers) which was a game changer for them as far as talent was concerned.
- PHP has a large eco-system of existing applications which they could leverage.
- PHP is cross-platform and enables organizations to leverage their talent across platforms, databases and applications.
- PHP is easy to adopt by anyone. RPG developers (IBM i's most popular language) can easily learn PHP. After all it's the Visual Basic of the Web.
- PHP delivers modern functionality including support for Web Services, Ajax, Search, graphics, etc...
- and many more reasons...
it is very satisfying that the work IBM and we started in 2005 has really been so well received by their community. There is huge interest in PHP in the IBM i community and adoption has been impressive especially given it was said to be a conservative community. We have definitely proven that wrong.
I have no doubt that bringing PHP to the platform has been a game changer for the IBM i user base. Thanks to the partnership IBM and Zend will continue driving adoption and support for PHP on this platform. I am very much looking forward to continuing our close collaboration with the team at IBM who had the foresight of really pushing this hard over the past few years and, with that, not only making PHP on the IBM i a reality but a first-class citizen.