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Zend and SAP team up to promote PHP

Ring the bells, a new blog is born!

Welcome, my name is John Coggeshall and this is the launch of the first PHP/SAP specific blog on the SDN (at least as far as I know). Don’t know what PHP is? PHP is an open-source web scripting language — the most popular web application development language on the planet. For those of you who don’t know me, and I’m sure that is just about all of you, let me introduce myself a bit. I am a Senior Technical Consultant for Zend Technologies — the company behind the heart of PHP: the Zend Engine. I’m also an author with three  published books and over 100 articles about PHP, speaker at web technology conferences worldwide and PHP core contributor as the maintainer of the tidy, xml-rpci, and BLENC extensions.

Now I have to admit I am a bit biased, but if you haven’t taken any time to check out what PHP is all about I really think you should. There simply isn’t a better language for developing web applications. Yahoo! is using it throughout their web properties, IBM has teamed up with Zend to provide a PHP solution for their servers, and even big-name bands such as U2 use PHP for their high-performance sites. Why? Well because there just isn’t a language that can do the job better.

I know that’s a pretty bold statement, but I can say it with confidence because I am very familiar with the other solutions out there. Despite my loyality to PHP I do have 5 years of Java development under my belt including JSP. As for ASP.NET, well I learned everything I needed to when Microsoft invited us out to Redmond to meet with the senior developers and architects involved with IIS, C#, ADO.NET and ASP.NET. Even with everything I’ve seen and heard, no other solution has been able to perform in the way PHP does, which is why I’ve stuck with it for the past 8 years.

Now that I have filled my haughtiness quota for the month, let me tell you why I’m here writing on the SDN. I’m here to announce a wonderful new partnership between Zend and SAP to help promote PHP use within the SAP development community. A little more specifically, I’m here to announce a new section of the SDN explictally for SAP developers who are using (or interested in using) PHP for their web-based frontends. No matter if you are a beginner or a pro at PHP this new community promises to be an important tool in harnessing the power of PHP and SAP together. Besides this blog, where I will do my best to be an active contributor to (I also have a non-SAP related blog on my personal site), there is also a new SAP/PHP Forum which I will be moderating. This forum is an ideal way for you to get your PHP/SAP related questions answered, ask questions of myself or other PHP developers on the list, and learn why PHP is the hottest and most popular web application language in the world.

So let’s start things off by asking a simple question: How are you using PHP? Don’t worry, if you answer “I don’t” I won’t be offended — however I’d have to ask: why not? Did you know that there is an extension for PHP that lets you communicate with SAP? (its called SAPRFC)  Have you tried PHP and found it not to suit your needs? Got any success stories? I’m very interested in taking the pulse of the SAP development community when it comes to PHP so why don’t you take a moment and Post your response to the forum and tell us all of your experience.

So that’s it! Welcome to my blog and welcome to the new PHP section of the SDN — don’t forget to bookmark us 🙂

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  • Hi John,
    Welcome to the SDN. Good to know that SAP is promoting PHP for developing web apps. I have a very modest experience of developing web apps but the ease PHP gives in web app development is, to me, comparable to the ease VB gives in desktop apps development. Both worked as pure Rapid Appl Development tools for novices like me. I am sure this joint effort is going to open SAP to a whole new development community ready to get there hands on SAP using PHP.
    • Its really great news to hear that PHP and SAP are now team! I developed an application some time back using SAPRFC on php. PHP is great as a scripting language. But built in support in EP will be great.
    • PHP seems refreshingly simple for an old-time ABAP'er like myself. So, when can we expect PHP support directly from the WAS, instead of having to mess around with yet another web server like Apache... ?



  • Interesting article about using PHP for programming dynamic WebClients for SAP-Systems.

    - But what are the cons and pros of PHP instead of WebDynpro or JSP-Dynpage (SAP-WebAS Java)?

    - What ist it other languages (.NET, Java...) are coming short for WebUI's compared to PHP?

    Compared to PHP, what I like better about the Java-Part in SAP-WebAS is, that there is a good, well-documented framework it can be built on (UserManagement, Permissions, Logging/Tracing, UI-Controls,...) and the whole language is systematic and well-structured. This is very chaotic in PHP because every programmer uses another set of libraies (eg. PEAR) to build on.

    One point to consider is, that PHP does not run on an ApplicationServer e.g. it is script-based. This means that there is nothing running without user-requests and sharing/caching of information between different users / sessions has to be done through the database.

    Also it is generally important to decide what needs to be fully dynamic and what can be periodically (e.g. on every change) generated to static HTML.

    Compared to the blog at PHP and SAP, together at last?!  Netweaver is a simple infrastructure and its components are well coordinated. All that is needed is JRE/JDK plus Netweaver and a Database. If Netweaver for ABAP is already present, you can just add Java as an Add-In.

  • as Einstein said: nothing is good, if it's not really simple.
    That's what fascinated me from the first moment (december 2001) at PHP: it's very simpleness to make it work on my pc and on a commercial server.
    I spent several months with studying PHP-examples (like marketplaces), after that I spend years with Java and I still don't like the academic smell of Java, it's simply too complicate to understand.
  • We use php a long time and also see the SAPrfc.

    We now make the 6.4 WAS in a Pc and want to make some test with this plataform.

    Can you help us sending some small examples of PHP with SAP to guide us?

    Please send to

  • Great news ! I use PHP/SAP (with SAPRFC) since 1 year for developing financial applications, reporting, workflow orders and so on...    This couple work perfectly !!