When I grew carrots as a young whippersnapper my Dad would often suggest that I should plant radishes amongst the carrots** because together they grew better than planting them separately. It is with this spirit that I went along to the PHPLondon User Group recently. I believe that SAP has everything to gain and nothing* to loose by embracing open source and PHP in particular. I went along to the meet up expecting to have a few conversations with some guys who knew more than me and with whom I could share some of my SAP knowledge. Whilst it is a very informal gathering it was well attended with many coming along for the first time. There were many different uses of PHP represented. There were emailing apps to frameworks to security apps to route navigation and then some. The age ranged from guys barely out of school to a few grey haired wise old gentlemen. There were two particular pieces that will interest the scripters amongst us. Marcus Baker has written SimpleTest which is a php testing framework similar to jUnit. Demian Turner has written the Seagull framework which was favourably very favourably alongside the Zend Framework and CakePhp. I did get a chance to talk with Demian and we had a very interesting conversation around big business and big IT. He mentioned a large company which deployed a large content solution which had a large price tag. The project had some issues and Demian lamented the fact that a PHP solution could have a better result for far less expense and great ROI and lower TCO. The executives probably weren’t aware of this and thought spending more would get them a better enterprise solution. Not always. Another member who was very keen for some SAP infomation was aware of scripting in a box and Craig’s blog (although I did not determine which one) He complained of being the labelled the ‘web guy’ by the SAP guys in the company. One other member was very grateful I was there and pumped me for all sorts of information. Others had never even heard of SAP. All in all it was a great night there was lot of information shared and learned. If you are even in London on the first Thursday in the month, check out where we are meeting and come along. *Oh but before I go. I started with carrots and radishes all growing together more effectively together than apart. There are some large applications written in PHP that are starting to grab some headlines. Not least of which is the SUGAR CRM package. Has SAP got something to loose to SUGAR over its own CRM package? Well that remains to be seen, but what is apparent is that applications like SUGAR are proving that PHP is becoming more enterprise and not just for the ‘web guys’. ** I have no idea whether planting these vegetables together actually is a good thing to do. It is just a literary devise to make this blog slightly more interesting. For actually horticultural advise please go to a nursery!