Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Don't Suffer in Silence!

I have run in to a few customers over the last several months who were surprised to find out they had access to support.  One of the worst things an IBM i programmer can do when trying to adopt PHP is suffer in silence.  We have a ton of resources at Zend.com that are designed to help everyone adopt PHP regardless of platform.  And even though our installer is fairly straight forward we have seen some customers have trouble because of old system configuration settings that they inherited.  Let’s look at some of these resources.
 

Webcasts

We have a bunch of webcasts where you can tune in to see just about everything from basic PHP to Zend Studio and Zend Framework discussions and examples.  Not all of these webcasts are geared specifically for IBM i, but that’s OK since they are all geared toward PHP.  And it’s the same PHP that runs on t Linux, Windows and IBM i. 
 

Documentation

All of our products are fully documented in both online and PDF formats.  These materials talk about installation and configuration options for both version of Zend Server, Zend Studio and Zend Guard.  In addition to the standard documentation on our site we also host many white papers and case studies.  These tend to illustrate many of the interesting ways to leverage PHP and also discuss how many of our customers are deploying PHP based solutions in their own environments.
 

Sample Scripts

With Zend Server comes several sample scripts that illustrate basic PHP functions.  These samples are great for validating that Zend Server was installed properly and demonstrate basic PHP functions like database access and Zend Framework usage. They can be accessed from the Demo Applications subtab of the Monitor tab in the Zend Server Administrative Interface and the script code is in the default document root: "/www/zendsvr/htdocs/samples. 

 

Cases

Opening a support ticket is the best way for a supported customer to get help.  Cases are designed to help customers with issues during installation or why some feature sets might not appear to be functioning correctly.  There are several support levels available at Zend including the 1 year of free support thanks to our partnership with IBM which is available after registering your copy of Zend Server for IBM i.  The SLA’s for the various support models delineate what is available to whom.  Customers with Gold or Platinum support also get a phone number to call for support.  This number was sent to your primary Zend account holder immediately after purchasing Zend Server.  If you don’t have it or don’t know where it is please drop us a line or call your account manager.

3 comments:

  1. I find there are usually two kinds of support needed. 1) Learning PHP and 2) Nuances of PHP on i. RPG programmers who are just moving into PHP already hang out at Midrange dot com or the web forum at iProDeveloper. If Zend were to establish an active community on either of those sites, I think there'd be less suffering in silence.

    I say 'If Zend were to establish...' because there isn't currently a 'champion' for PHP like there is for RPG. This is not intended to be derogatory! If you ask 100 midrange programmers who has posted the most practical RPG help over the past 5 years, a very small handful of names will emerge. Ask the same question regarding PHP, and you won't find any particular consensus; especially if you compare the PHP candidate to Scott Klement.

    It's definitely a bootstrap problem. You won't get midrange PHP programmers to cluster if they don't have a reason to, and that's why they are suffering in silence.

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  2. Buck,

    Thank you for your comments. Currently I think there is a string community monitoring the WEB400 list at midrange.com. (I won't use Midrange-L since I was kicked off it in 1998.) Alan Seiden, Kevin Schroeder and I will take turns responding to questions regarding PHP as was recently handled regarding XML Service and .Net. Jon Paris s also watching the threads and advocating PHP. We also have a very lively discussion forum at zend.com that is specifically IBM i as well as a linked in group. The list at iProDeveloper is a good point and I should spend a little more time there, myself. I guess that is why i wrote this piece. There are many out there who still do not realize that PHP is available, easy and free for IBM i customers. But really, for those who are playing, there are resources.

    I would submit that there is no resource as impressive as the great Scott Klement. His knowledge and background are both significant and impressive. Scott, too has offered input on PHP so don't count him out. I would say that the PHP community equivelent is Alan Seiden, but like Scott, he is only one man. WE are all trying to help out as much as we can. Please keep in mind that this is still a fairly new community of only 6 years vs. the 40+ of RPG. Takes some time for word to get around. Any other thoughts on how to get the word out?

    Will look into it!

    Thanks!

    Mike

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  3. Buck, perhaps we PHP champions are hanging out in the wrong places. I primarily answer questions on WEB400 and the Zend Forums. Sounds like to reach RPG programmers we should spend more time on iProDeveloper's list.

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