Archive for the 'PHP' Category

Bridging the worlds of SAP and PHP

elePHPant Meets SAP mentorWorking both in the worlds of SAP and PHP is very rewarding when you are able to have some influence on one world with the other. Joe Haynes, a basis[1] consultant whom I follow on twitter was asking the other day for recommendations on php frameworks. I immediately jumped in and recommended Zend Framework as I have recently started working with it and am very happy with it. I also pointed him in the direction of Paddy and Matthew who both have excellent information on their blogs. Better I might say than the official quick start from Zend.

Looking forward to hearing as update when your project gets going Joe, especially if you get some SAP integration going.

[1] a basis consultant, if you don’t know the secret technical SAP terms, is the guy who installs and monitors your servers

Two events coming up in the SAP Calendar

Most importantly is the SAP London Community Day which is Saturday the 26 April 2008. If you haven’t signed up you may well be too late.

We have some great people coming and some great talks scheduled. We are going to do our best to make sure the lions share of it is recorded and put up for the SAP Community at large. If you are coming and taking photos or blogging or twittering then use the tag ‘SAPLondonCD08‘. I should plug EventTrack at this point because this is exactly what it is designed for.

The other event is SAPPHIRE Berlin 2008 in Berlin on 19 – 21 May 2008. Every time I see the word SAPPHIRE I really see saPHPire, because I would love to see closer PHP integration. Word on the street is that Zend and SAP are working on it but that is all unsubstantiated rumour. So take it with a grain of salt until is announced.

Last time I want to one of these events I got to ask a question to the CEO, Henning Kagerman. (Now Co-CEO with Léo Apotheker.)

[YouTube = ]

This time I hope to be able to ask many more probing questions to all sorts of people. In particular, I too would like to know why SAP is cutting R&D spend.

I am also keen to talk with some of the CRM people and learn more about what others are doing with SAP CRM and get some more details about the new version 7.

Many thanks to Mike Prosceno and his team for the invitation. I am looking forward to meeting up with Sig, Dennis and James and also meeting a few people I haven’t yet met.

So who is the April fool then?

Ahh April fool’s gotta, love it or hate it as the case may be.

Did you get taken in by the new Fashion TV mashup starring Trinny and Susanna and Dennis Howlett?

or Virgil ?

Or Microsoft and Yahoo finally inking a deal?

I was going to write some more about SAP and PHP but thought better of it. That can wait for another day.

Update: This post from Chris Shiflet on PHP Easter Eggs was too good not to pass on. The comments are worth reading too.

37 Signals runs PHP.

As Al twittered last night:

thank God 1-4 is over no more stupid April fools for another year.

MVC Framework spat

Just when you thought that framework discussions were gentlemanly, we have guns at dawn. There is name calling and bad language and Terry Chay isn’t even involved.

PHPLondon Conference 2008

OK. After the very brief rundown of the day, here is the detail.

The day kicked of with Ivo from iBuildings talking about Enterprise PHP which detailed a rigorous engineering approach to PHP instead of the ‘script kiddies’ approach which some people bring to it because the barrier to entry to PHP is low.

Mike Sullivan and Scott MacVicar from continued the theme with more detail around these topics. I know it is a high level talk but when talks say testing is the way forward and then have trivial examples like assert(2, 2, 4); for a function that adds two parameters. It doesn’t really add much more to the understanding. It would be nice to see more real world example so that people making the shift to the testing mindset see how it really works. Being fair though, this more detailed information is the sort of thing you would expect from a tutorial from Sebastian Bergmann, not 5 minutes in a larger talk.

After lunch I went to Marcus Bointon’s mail talks. This was partly a replacement of Wez Furlong’s talk and partly the talk Marcus was scheduled to give. This partly explains why he ran over as there was a lot of content in the presentation. Mail, despite it’s simplicity is a bit topic and you can imagine that someone who sends millions of opt-in email messages is going to know a trick or two. The best trick that I learned from Marcus was the VERP field in mail messages. This field can be populated so that on receiving a bounce you can identify the person who it was sent to . There are more detail in the slides.

The big showdown session was the “My framework is better than your framework” featuring no less than Code Ignigter, Symfony and the Zend Framework. I stayed for Rob Allen talk on the Zend Framework and then bailed for session in the other track on Project Zero. Once I finished that session I came back to the main room and they were still at it. They were in question mode and from what I could gather they session had been pretty civil. the worst it got was when someone from the floor questioned the implementation of MVC in the frameworks and could you do XY and Z in three clicks. The question was a big aggressive and the speakers did well to politely answer the question and move on. Marcus has a blow by blow account of what happened.

But back to Project Zero. IBM in Hersley and Research Triangle are doing some very interesting stuff with PHP running in a JVM Ant Phillips showed off some great REST applications written in a few lines of PHP that looked very cool.

The last session of the day was from Derek Rethans, who took us through a personal journey of his involvement with PHP and how PHP has improved over the years. It tied into the Enterprise theme that Ivo started with – PHP has grown up and it is not as CIO magazine would have you believe that:

 PHP works well for prototyping because it is easy to get a site up and running. Use PHP to design the site, to determine functional needs and to solve performance bottlenecks—but when it comes time for development, tell the development team you want the result to look and act like this PHP site…but in Java (or another enterprise-ready language).

PHP is enterprise ready.

What is very cool is that out of the conference Derek has already added a date function to PHP 5.3 to take care of creating date with a format. Thanks Derek. I want 5.3 already just for that!

The user group will be linking mp3’s and slides of the main PHPLondon website as they become available. Thanks once again for those that organised the event. It was a great day.

Quick update from PHPLondon Conference

Yesterday I went to the PHP London conference and it was a great day.

There was lots of great talks, great meetings and in the hall and I had some great demos and chats from the iBuildings guys (Thanks Mikko) who went out of their way to show me the obscure point of Zend Platform (Birt integration) I was looking for.

There is lots to follow up on and lots to think about and it is worth a  more detailed post but for now thanks to all the guys who volunteered their time to make it a great day.

PHPLondon February 2008

It was another great night out at PHPLondon last night.

Paul James (no relation) did a very interesting talk on RESTful interfaces and there was great discussion on the finer points. The slides from the talk will no doubt be up here very soon. I want to follow up on the references and url’s from the last couple of slides.

My take away from the talk is that an API published on a page like this does not make an interface restful. It needs to obey the 5 laws which you will find on the presentation when it is uploaded or by searching for REST.

I also had a great chat with Rob from IBM Hursley who is working on Project Zero. They are creating a lightweight Ruby/ PHP engine that can call Java like the PHP/Java bridge and similar to Quercus in some ways. This might be a way to 1. get BIRT to play nicely with PHP and 2. Get wordpress playing with SAP

Having said that project zero doesn’t need a server as it is self contained. It doesn’t need to be deployed on a Java Webserver be that Netweaver or Tomcat.

I also caught up with Demian and he was a happy man as his latest project Kindo was techcrunched yesterday and the servers coped with the spike in traffic.

I have played with Kindo and it is a nice way to enter you family tree. It is designed to enter the living family so it can remind you about birthdays etc and prompt you with links to Amazon and flower shops etc.

Although it can enter past family that probably won’t do much for the business case.


I also caught up with some guys I have seen for ages and got some feedback on my SAP presentation I did at short notice in December.

Just remember the Annual London Conference is coming up on 29/02. Remember to register.

PHPLondon Conference

PHPLondon Conference

Well, I have done it. I have signed up for the PHPLondon Conference.

There are a great list of speakers and great talks. Unfortunately Wez Furlong had to withdraw which is a big shame but he has been replaced by at short notice by Ivo Jansch who interestingly is writing a book called “Enterprise PHP”.  Should I mention CIO Magazine?

The schedule has been posted and I am already wishing I could split myself in two. I am keen to listen to the frameworks discussion and I want to hear Zoë Slattery and hear about Project Zero from Anthony

If you can get anywhere near Old Street on Leap Years day then I suggest you come along.

For an early bird fee of £90 it represents great value PHP training and networking. There will also be an extra PHP London Meetup on the 28th. Watch the PHPLondon site for details.

Boost for WordPress

You may have seen the news allready.

I won’t claim to be a fast blogger, instantly reacting to the worlds events but I do like to put in my 2p when something interesting happens.

Automattic has raised a US$29.5 million in Series B funding to position the company to

execute on our vision of a better web not just in blogging

Three hearty cheers to them. Make mine a Marstons, or a Glass of Blue Monster Reserve, or a glass of Château de Chasselas .

Well done.

I have been thinking recently about moving this blog and self hosting it. Not only that but moving away from WordPress to s9y or one of the other php based blogging tools. Mostly, truth be known, for security reasons.

But given WordPress is the software I know and it is easy to use and I know they are working on making it better and with this level of investment I am happy to be sticking with WordPress.

As Andrew said on the PHPLondon mailing list, who has struggled with the internals of WordPress while buiding Alphaville for the FT:

And yes, my own blog runs WordPress. It’s just so damned easy to install 🙂 is one of the fresh faces of the future. (Not everyone gets DFOF‘ed)

Sun to aquire MySQL

Sun to Acquire MySql

Great! C|Net’s take. Jonathon’s take.

Jeff Nolan has a good take on it from his SAP Ventures days.

I agree that SAP could be doing even more with MaxDB and the scripting world.

How about supporting or sponsoring a PDO driver for MaxDB for one?

But here are some initial questions that come out of my mind:

Doesn’t Oracle hold the licence for the InnoDB storage engine?

The java company owning the database that plays so well with perl / php / python etc. Is that a potential culture clash?

Will there be a move to push solaris as a prefered OS?

But aside from that “Well done” to all at Sun and MySQL. I am looking forward to MySQL moving forward from this announcement.

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