Extending Web enablement to IBM's midrange systems, Zend Technologies and IBM are porting PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) development offerings to IBM System i computers, formerly known as the iSeries and, prior to that, as the AS/400 line.
Development products featured as part of an agreement between IBM and Zend include Zend Core for the i5/OS; which will be Zend's PHP implementation for System i; Zend Studio for i5/OS development tools, and Zend Platform for i5/OS, which features tools for operating Web sites.
The goal of the effort is to enable development of Web applications for deployment on System i computers. PHP is a widely used scripting language for Web applications.
Users of System i boxes are interested in Web-enabling their applications such as CRM and ERP systems, said Mark de Visser, Zend Technologies chief marketing officer.
"Instead of people having to talk to operators, they can now [use] self-service," via a Web interface, de Visser said.
"The combination of PHP and [System i] is a logical one," Stephen O'Grady, senior analyst at RedMonk, said in an e-mail. "Just as [System i] has traditionally, PHP is focused on the low-cost, simply implemented solutions. By helping to bring PHP to [System i], Zend's also opened up a sizable market in medium-sized businesses everywhere to dynamic language developers."
The Zend Core and Studio products are available now in an early release, with the general release set for June. An early release of the System i implementation of Zend Platform is due soon, with the general release product set to ship in the second half of 2006.
Core and Studio are free, with support programs available. Zend Platform will be sold on a fee-basis, with pricing yet to be set. Currently, Zend Platform is offered for an annual subscription of $1,000.