The availability of native PHP on the System i might be the news with the most far-reaching effects this year. Previewed several months ago and announced last week at COMMON, native PHP brings not only a fast and free way to deliver i5 Web applications, but it also makes the i5 more relevant to new Web developers and carries the potential to reduce the use of Java and WebSphere on the i5.
'Since PHP is built to be a simple Web-scripting language, programmers will find it easier to develop applications without the need for all the overhead of WebSphere and the complexities of CGI,' says Mike Pavlak, director of IS for Trippe Manufacturing Company. 'PHP represents an alternative to Java that does not require a degree in Object-Oriented Development but still supports it. It is the biggest language to hit the iSeries since Java!'
PHP is the world's most popular Web-scripting language, and it comes with more than 10,000 existing PHP-based components and applications, many of which are open source and readily customizable. i5 developers can embed PHP inside Web pages and use it to access database content. While most PHP scripts are currently designed for MySQL, i5 pros should be able to adapt them for use with DB2 fairly easily