Zend Builds Closer DB2/400 Ties into PHP Platform
September 23, 2008 Alex Woodie
Zend Technologies announced the immediate availability of a new release of Zend Core for IBM i last week at its ZendCon 2008 user conference. With version 2.6 of the product, PHP developers will be able to access DB2/400 data directly from the Zend Framework running on the i OS. The PHP company also unveiled partnerships with Adobe and Dojo Foundation to hook those organizations’ Web 2.0 developer tools into Zend’s PHP development environments.
Zend has done an exceptional job supporting i5/OS and, now, i OS, ever since PHP support was brought to the i5/OS platform more than two years ago. AS/400 and System i shops have gained a new collection of Web-enabled applications, and PHP developers gained a rock-solid server platform on which to run their apps.
PHP’s i OS support was again on the big stage at least week’s ZendCon conference in Silicon Valley, where thousands of PHP developers flocked to hear the latest PHP developments. Sessions specifically for i OS devotees included topics such as PHP’s role in application modernization, security, and integrating with other open source technologies, such as the MySQL database.
But the biggest draw, from an i OS perspective, was the delivery of Zend Core for IBM i version 2.6. The new release promises improvements in several areas, including new extensions, DB2/400 integration, heightened security, and support for the Zend Framework version 1.6.
The capability to directly access DB2/400 data from the Zend Framework is perhaps the biggest enhancement delivered with Zend Core for IBM i 2.6. The Zend Framework, erstwhile Four Hundred Guru readers will recall, is a collection of pre-canned objects designed to help developers build modern applications and Web services into existing Web applications.
With Zend Core for IBM i 2.6, Zend is now including a native DB2/400 adapter with the Zend Framework. This will give PHP developers better, faster, and more secure access to existing data and applications residing on System i server, providing a boost to System i modernization initiatives.
Other new goodies with Zend Core for IBM i 2.6 include a slate of new PHP extensions. These include; an updated PHP Data Object abstraction layer (PDO_IBM) for connecting to DB2/400; ImageMagick, which will enable developers to convert images or automatically generate PDF documents; and pSpell, a spell-checker utility that allows developers to add spell check capabilities to applications, Zend says. Zend Core for IBM i also includes the latest release of PHP, version 5.2.6.
In other news, Zend announced new partnerships with Adobe and the Dojo Foundation to bring more Web 2.0 and AJAX tooling into the PHP sphere, and to build what are increasingly being called “rich Internet applications,” or RIAs.
The partnership with Adobe is focused on building support for Adobe’s Action Message Format (AMF) into Zend Framework. This will enable fast integration between server-side PHP applications and client-side applications written in Adobe’s Flex development technology or using AJAX.
Zend Framework 1.6, which was released earlier this month, is the first version of Zend Framework to offer the Dojo integration, Zend says.
For more information or to download Zend products, visit www.zend.com.