Extended to Sept. 1: ZendCon early bird savings and BCD promo pricing

If you haven’t already registered for ZendCon (the global PHP conference taking place October 19-22 in Las Vegas), you still have a few days to save big on your registration!

From now until September 1st, save $300 with Zend’s early bird savings and BCD’s promo pricing. Take advantage of this offer by heading to ZendCon’s registration page. Select the early bird pricing option, then enter BCD’s promo code ZC15BCDC15 by clicking the text link above the green register button.

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The importance of running WebSmart PHP applications on a supported PHP stack

We get a lot of questions about the advantages of running WebSmart PHP applications on Zend Server Professional or Enterprise instead of the Basic (Community) edition. There are many benefits to upgrading so we’ve written a series of blog posts highlighting some of the key features. This is the first post in the series.

Reason #1: Support

Many of our WebSmart PHP customers still run Zend Server’s Basic (Community) Edition, which includes email support for one year from the time you installed Zend Server on your IBM i. After the first year, Zend only provides support if you upgrade to their Professional or Enterprise editions. That means you’re most likely running an unsupported version of Zend Server.

This may be acceptable for non-critical applications, but enterprise applications should run on a supported PHP stack. If you encounter a problem with Zend Server, our technical support team can only offer limited help (such as restarting it for you).

Here are a few scenarios where Zend’s support would’ve been valuable:

  • Upgrades: An IBM i organization encountered an error while upgrading Zend Server. They couldn’t complete the upgrade for several days, which delayed the delivery of critical information to their users.
  • Technical support: A BCD customer had problems with the DB2 connect function. This is something only Zend can help them with.
  • PCI compliance and audits: Would your organization pass a compliance audit if a key component on your runtime stack wasn’t supported? 

Having support is a great insurance policy because it gives you someone to call if something goes wrong. With Zend Server and Professional, you get the following levels of phone support:

  • Professional: Response within six hours during business hours
  • Enterprise: Response within two hours – 24/7/365

As part of BCD’s newly upgraded partnership with Zend Technologies, BCD now offers the Professional and Enterprise Editions with support provided by Zend. Please contact us if you have questions or would like to schedule a demo.

Keep an eye out for the next blog post in this series, where we’ll also cover Zend Server’s security hotfixes for mitigating known vulnerabilities and audit compliance.

 

Catapult printing errors with Foxit 7

Version 7 of Foxit Software’s PDF Reader introduced a bug with the software’s command line switches that prevents Foxit from closing when a Catapult-initiated printing process is complete. We have contacted Foxit and they are aware of the problem and actively looking into it.

The symptom of this issue is that Catapult grab rules intending to print spool files will fail.

The workaround is to revert to Foxit Reader 6. Or, if you haven’t upgraded to version 7, wait until this bug is fixed before doing so.

If you have been using Catapult for some time you may recognize this problem as one that in the past afflicted Adobe’s Reader. Unfortunately,  it was never fixed in Adobe, so for customers who weren’t able to switch to Foxit or another PDF Reader we added a Catapult Poller option to ‘assume completion’ of printing rules. This is not an ideal solution, as it occludes any real printing errors you may be getting and significantly slows down your polling cycles. However, if at this time you are unable to switch to Foxit 6 or another working PDF reader, you can try this workaround.

Please call Technical Support if you have any questions!

Are your WebSmart and Presto programs getting SSL certificate errors?

If your WebSmart and Presto programs use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) then you most likely installed an SSL certificate on your server. Browsers recently started phasing out a common method of encryption (called SHA-1), which may be causing errors in browsers when users visit your site. These errors typically occur in Chrome and Firefox, even when the certificate is valid.

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WebSmart 10.8 includes inline RPG editing and HTML5 charts

WebSmart 10.8 is now available for download from myBCDsoftware.com and our public website. This release includes several new features for the ILE edition, such as inline RPG editing, that give programmers more flexibility when developing web applications. Staying up-to-date with current technologies is also important so we updated the versions of SmartCharts and jQuery that both editions of WebSmart use.

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PHP-on-IBM i webinar with Alan Seiden: How to ensure speedy performance

When you deliver WebSmart PHP applications, you want to make sure they perform quickly, without errors and bottlenecks.

If you haven’t already registered, you’re invited to join PHP expert Alan Seiden for this educational webinar tomorrow (Thursday, June 11) at 1pm EDT to see how you can fine-tune your PHP applications for top performance.

You’ll get easy-to-implement tips, including how to:

  • Optimize DB2 and the IBM i toolkit
  • Leverage unique IBM i performance tools
  • Diagnose bottlenecks and errors with Z-Ray
  • Configure Zend Server for performance

In the last ten minutes, we’ll also discuss why WebSmart PHP with Zend Server is the fastest way to develop PHP applications on IBM i.

Sign up now!

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RC4 “Bar Mitzvah” attack for SSL/TLS

We came across this article from IBM addressing the issue regarding RC4 vulnerability in SSL/TLS protocol:

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=nas8N1020681&context=SGC5P76

The page has instructions on how to disable the weak RC4 ciphers for the IBM i. We recommend checking out the article in order to make sure your Clover, Nexus, Presto and WebSmart ILE/PHP Apache servers with SSL enabled are secured.

COMMON Recap: IBM i is alive and well

It was great to see those of you who attended last week’s COMMON Conference and our PHP reception in Anaheim. There was so much positive energy at this year’s event.

Pete Massiello kicked off the opening session with a motivational presentation on the IBM i’s bright future. If you’re interested in details about the keynote speech, which mentioned double-digit revenue growth for IBM i, please read IT Jungle’s recap.

We always enjoy catching up with all of our IBM i friends. Plenty of Quadrant and BCD customers stopped by our brand-new booth and some even showed us the solutions they’ve created using our tools. We had a large amount of staff on hand to demo our new releases, including the upcoming WebSmart PHP Z-Ray extension and Presto 6.1.

From left to right: Marcel Sarrasin and Steve Woodard (Quadrant and BCD Software) Tim Rowe (IBM), Amy Anderson (Zend)

We’re continuing to see a lot interest in application modernization and mobile, which were the topics of our sessions. It was also clear to me that our customers really see the value of our products and services. I heard many existing customers say that the support for our solutions are the best they’ve had, and that our products are intuitive and perform “better than spec.” One customer even mentioned that they do 27,000 faxes a day with FastFax. Another customer has created over 2,000 RPG applications with ProGen Plus and hundreds of web applications with WebSmart ILE.

We also co-hosted a PHP reception with Zend that many IBM i-on-PHP experts and developers attended. It was incredible to showcase our partnership with Zend and hear what people are accomplishing with PHP on IBM i.

We look forward to seeing you in Ft. Lauderdale this fall!