Thursday, February 24, 2005

IBM Endorses PHP

IBM has endorsed the use of PHP for enterprise web development. This is huge for PHP and LAMP - IBM's endorsement of Java and Linux were what made those technologies acceptable to enterprise customers. Here's a link to an article by Martin LaMonica on Big Blue backs PHP for Web development.

It is always fun to see the industry shift. I started ActiveGrid almost two years ago on the premise that scripting languages would gain acceptance in the enterprise and that there was an opportunity to deliver a next generation application platform for the LAMP stack. I remember that back in the early Java days we used to spend quite a bit of time attempting to convince customers that Java was a viable enterprise language. After IBM, with Ian Brackenbury's leadership, endorsed server side Java, those discussions were over. PHP has now, in marketing speak, "crossed the chasm."

Congrats to the guys at Zend for having the foresight to make PHP 5 use a lot of the same syntax as Java (try/catch/finally, public/protected/private). PHP 5 will be a very easy transition for people who know Java. I remember when I first coded in Java in 1995 I was productive in minutes because I already knew C++ syntax and Smalltalk dynamic OO principles. If you know Java and BASIC you will be all set to go with PHP 5.

PS: A joke we had last summer with the IBM emerging technology folks is that they don't like LAMP, rather PLAD (PHP, Linux, Apache, and DB2).