Zend, IBM Weave PHP and Blue Software a Little Tighter
August 13, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The semi-annual LinuxWorld trade show was hosted in San Francisco last week, and server and operating system maker IBM and PHP creator Zend Technologies used the occasion to announce that they would be working more closely to align PHP and IBM software on Big Blue’s platforms.
The two companies have announced a broadening of their partnership, which saw Zend and IBM deliver an integrated development stack mixing the core Zend development and runtime products–known as Zend Core–with IBM’s DB2 Express-C database as well as porting a variant of this software, called Zend Core for i5/OS, to the System i platform through the use of the PASE AIX runtime environment inside i5/OS. This software was also backcast to OS/400 V5R3 this year because of customer demand.
Zend Core for IBM, which is a generic version of the Zend tools, now includes what the two are calling DB2 Connect. These are the database extensions that allow PHP applications to reach into DB2/400 databases on OS/400 and i5/OS platforms and on DB2 databases on z/OS platforms (what we call mainframes). The DB2/400 connectivity was previously only available with Zend Core for i5/OS, which is available for free from Zend but which is actually being paid for by IBM on behalf of its customers. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
As part of the expanded partnership, IBM and Zend are now working to support Linux partitions on the System i box and to support Linux-based blade servers inside a BladeCenter chassis or external System x server running Linux that connect back to System i servers through iSCSI links and use the System i box as a storage server. These Linux partitions will still need to have access to DB2/400 data, of course, and Zend will have to port Zend Core to Linux on Power as well.
When this is all accomplished, perhaps IBM and Zend can just have one Zend Core for IBM bundle and make it simpler for everyone.