Zend Technologies, which refers to itself as the PHP company, announced Feb. 5 that it is "teaming with IBM to preload Zend's Web stack with every shipment of IBM i software, the integrated operating environment for IBM Power Systems, including all hardware that ships with IBM i."
Zend continued in a news release, "Zend's PHP-based Web solution stack lets customers Web enable IBM i assets and includes support on IBM i for rapid application development and Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)." With PHP, IBM i users also gain access to the ecosystem of PHP applications and the professional developer community Zend has helped garner, the company said.
"PHP is the most popular Web development language due to its ease of use and enterprise-grade functionality," IBM officials said. "More than 22 million Internet domains deploy PHP, including Yahoo and Facebook." The PHP developer community is estimated to consist of about 5 million developers and the PHP application ecosystem features key applications such as the popular Drupal open-source content management system.
IBM and Zend have an ongoing relationship based around the Zend PHP platform. Back in July of 2005, IBM and Zend announced the availability of Zend Core for IBM, an integrated solution specifically designed to help developers deploy database applications and services based on PHP. At the time, IBM and Zend also announced that they were jointly working on furthering PHP technology to include improved high-level database integration frameworks and enhanced PHP Web services standards.
"Since the start of IBM and Zend's joint partnership, more than 12,000 IBM i customers from 150 countries have obtained Zend products for IBM I ... [With Zend Core] now bundled with the IBM i operating environment, IBM customers now enjoy an out-of-the-box experience with PHP on both the IBM i 5.4 and IBM i 6.1 implementations," Zend said in the release.
Scott Handy, vice president of worldwide marketing, strategy and sales support for IBM Power Systems, said the announcement is "an expansion of the relationship between the two companies to further enhance PHP-based offerings for IBM i customers. ... Our customers asked for PHP and we brought Zend PHP to the platform. The enthusiasm for-and utilization of-Zend PHP has exceeded our expectations."
Zend and IBM have delivered "PHP-based products, support, services and education for IBM i. Recently, based on feedback from IBM i customers, Zend has delivered a 5250 bridge to simplify the modernization and extension of business applications," the company said.
"We have worked with midsize and large [IBM] i clients to run PHP applications ranging from complete order management systems, to Web-enabling their green screen ERP systems, to leveraging the vast open-source application portfolio that continues to grow every day," Andi Gutmans, CEO of Zend Technologies, said in a statement. "In addition, IBM and Zend business partners are generating revenue by Web-enabling green screen applications and building new Web-based applications, reducing costs and extending the long life of this powerful platform."
John Horner, IBM Power Systems programming manager at APi Group, said his company is a heavy user of IBM i. "Rather than move to a brand-name ERP system implementation estimated to cost eight figures-plus and take three years to implement, we were able to significantly reduce our risk, stay on IBM Power Systems platforms and completely modernize our applications using Zend Solutions for PHP," he said. "We completed this project at one-tenth the cost and in only 18 months."