What’s really cool with the IBM Software stack is that as more and more of our products use industry standards, they can be used in new ways (i.e. not only using pure J2EE programming which can be frightening to the uninitiated). Example is this new IBM developerWorks article entitled Access WebSphere Process Server V6.0 business processes with PHP.
Here’s an excerpt to whet your (coding) appetite:
The component executing business processes in WebSphere Process Server is implemented using Java and J2EE. Since PHP is mostly written in C, integrating these different platforms becomes a challenge. First, we need to find a way to interface with a business process from PHP. Preferably, a platform independent communication protocol should bridge these different platforms. Web services using the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) provide this functionality.
With WebSphere Process Server, you can install business processes as SOAP Web services. These Web services have an interface defined in Web Service Definition Language (WSDL). Starting with Version 5, PHP contains functions for SOAP; therefore PHP can invoke Web services.
Bridging the actual trendy coding languages and the big-iron middleware is, I humbly think, a good thing. That way, coders can access the IBM-powered backend middleware without having to learn a complete new set of tools.