Zend/PHP Conference – Day 3

I'm writing this coverage of Day 3 (Thursday) during the tail end of Day 4 (Friday). Previous coverage is available here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 2 – The People, and Day 3.

Update: A new and improved version of this post is available here. I'd recommend reading that one as the information and detail offered is much better.

Day 3 was a bit calmer than the previous day. I think the conference was front-loaded in many respects, but many of the attendees seem to be slowing down.

The beginning keynotes were excellent. The first was a panel discussion of the “Business Use of PHP” and it included people from Paypal, Ebay, and a few other organizations. The overwhelming answer for “why do you use PHP in your business” was “because we can build something fast and easily”. I found it interesting that it had *nothing* to do with cost. I think this is where PHP's biggest strength is… it picked up where ASP left off and where JSP/Java falls down. Simple, fast, easy web interfaces. Regardless, most of the attendees and presenters whom I've spoken with are still using and plan to continue to use Java on the backend for the heavy lifting. So they're not ditching Java, just using another tool.

Next, we had a presentation from ADP's Mark Rankin. He detailed their *HUGE* effort to bring PHP into their stack and simplify what they're doing. Once again, they have a huge backend of business logic built in a variety of things and they've used PHP to build all the UI layers.

Next, there was “PHP and Java… utilizing the Best of Both Worlds”. This was especially fitting because the presented discussed how they got the php-java bridge working and how they were able to use existing backend logic. This made them able to use that previous investment instead of having to pay for it all again.

Then I was stunned. I went to the Code Generation demo of a framework called Qcodo. Absolutlely. Freaking. Amazing. As a demo, the presenter – Mike Ho – built a simple Issue Tracking System. In 50 minutes. The entire audience was focused on what he was doing, what he was saying, and he could have gone on for another 30 minutes without complaint. Qcodo generated the entire database access layer in about 3 seconds. Then he tweaked the database and did it again. Then he added fields, indexes, tables, etc and did it again. Absolutely. Freaking. Amazing. I tracked him down and spoke with him in detail after lunch and he personally is a sharp guy. He's done some awesome stuff and I encourage all three of my readers to go check it out.

Next, I went to Spike Source's Open Source in the Enterprise. The presentation was great, but a bit sparse on attendance. I'm going to talk about Spike Source in detail, so I'm not going to get into it now. Let me just say that their current marketing effort is *terrible* and if you think you know what they do, you might not.

Next, I went to Choosing a Content Management System. It was familiar material and there were some very brief overviews of various systems both Open Source and Proprietary from Mambo/Joomla to Drupal to Microsoft CMS.

That's all I have for now. I'll be adding links and writing on Spike Source later, but my battery is low and Adam Bosworth from Google is speaking now.