Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Open Source!

It’s that time again to look into the crystal ball of the New Year and make some optimistic predictions about what we will get done. I, for one, am very excited as one of my New Year’s resolutions is to explore the other sides of the PHP house in more detail. Since joining Zend back in May I have spent a majority of my time focusing on the IBM i products and market position. Don’t worry, you will continue to see me pop up here and there to chat about IBM’s latest festivities and what Zend and PHP have to offer the ever challenging midrange space. There is a world beyond IBM i.

First I am exploring Zend Infrastructure on Windows. While Windows is hardly new to me, I am not nearly as well versed in XP, Vista or the various Server models as I am with IBM i. Going through the installation process was a pleasurable experience as there were very few bumps along the way. Got one of my favorite applications, Sugar CRM, up and running in no time. Next challenge to tackle is the LAMP stack.

As I have railed about in the past, you need to take control of your own career. Learning something outside your core competency will pay dividends right now as nearly EVERYONE is being asked to do more with less. Those who have focused beyond the four walls of their comfort zone will now be able to contribute and present more value to the organization. Thus, challenging management to look elsewhere when the old “RIF” devil comes haunting around.

Economic figures are all pointing downward for 2009 and Washington is about to do what it can, print more money. But we in the open source space are confident. One of our CTO’s, Andi Gutmans wrote a nice blog entry that summarizes Zend’s position for 2009. I couldn’t agree more with Andi. And I think this plays well in the IBM i space as well as the LAMP/WAMP stack. Companies need to continue to do more with less. Open Source makes that a REAL possibility.

A recent message on the thread WEB400 discussed the merits of creating a CRM on demand application vs. acquiring an open source solution and “tweaking” it. It was a lively discussion, but one that tasks all of us. To do more with less, we must be willing to think outside the box. Open source is available to the IBM i. Consider taking a look, even if you don’t look at PHP. There are many solutions worth noting!

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