22
Wed, May
2 New Articles

TechTip: Debugging Remote PHP Scripts

Scripting
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

So far, we’ve looked at how to debug only local scripts. But what happens when your program moves to production? Is there even the slightest possibility that you will have to debug it someday?

If you someday have to debug a script that’s in production, you’ll discover pretty quickly that the debug techniques we’ve looked at so far do not work. They’re for local scripts only, and once you put them beyond the bounds of your PC, you need to use something else, something called “remote debugging,” if you want to play with them.

 

So this month, we want to look at how to set that up because it doesn’t just happen. Come on.

 

Setting Your PC as a Debug Host

The first thing we need to do is make an adjustment on your IBM i.

 

Obviously, not everyone who codes for the web has one, and those people who don’t (like someone who is dealing with remote scripts that are held on a Windows or Linux server) use different techniques to enable remote debugging, generally involving special configurations of the firewall for those servers to allow them to get in and debug from their PCs.

 

We’re lucky enough to have an i, of course, so we’ll look at the situation where our remote scripts are on the i (in /www/zendsvr/htdocs/ on the IFS) and we want to debug them from our local PC.


The first thing we need to do is to get into the UI for Zend Server on your i. Within that tool, select Configurations and then IDE Integration. About halfway down, there’s a spot for IDE Client Filtering for Debugging. Enter the IP address of your PC in here.

 

Create a PHP Server Definition

Next, start up Zend Studio on your PC.

 

Now, what you do next could be confusing, and it’s one of the things that I don’t like about Zend Studio: the fact that they seem to reorganize their menus with every new release. I suppose they have to, but it makes it hard to write an article like this for people who might be on different versions of the software. Bottom line is, we want to get to Zend Studio’s Preferences window. If you’re on Version 11 (which is the version the first reference below is based on), then I believe it’s listed under Window on the menu line. If you’re on Version 13 (as I am), then it’s under Zend Studio. If you’re on another version, you might have to look around for it.

 

Once you find Preferences, things should pretty much follow, no matter what version of Studio you’re on, but I make no promises.

 

Anyway, from within the Preferences window, go down to PHP (don’t click on PHP but rather open up the category) and then click on Servers, like so.

 

090216ShireyFigure1

Figure 1: From the Preferences window, select Servers.

 

Once you’re in the Server window, click on New. When the new window opens, select Remote Zend Server and press Next.

 

090216ShireyFigure2

Figure 2: Select the Remote Zend Server option and press Next.

 

As if by magic, a wizard will appear. Key in whatever description for the remote server seems cool to you. Then in the Server Properties field, enter the URL for port 10080. That is, if your IBM i URL is 100.200.300.400, then what you would put in here would be http://100.200.300.400:10080. When you hit Next, the system will try to find that server. At some point, the Zend Server Credentials Sign On will pop up and you’ll need to enter the password. Make sure you have that handy.

 

090216ShireyFigure3

Figure 3: In this window, you set the Server Name and URL.

 

If the Document Root field happens to show up anywhere, it should be left empty.

 

Hitting Next will take you to the next window in this wizard. When you get to this screen, you select the debugger you’re planning to use, either the Zend Debugger or XDebug.

 

 

090216ShireyFigure4

Figure 4: In the Remote Server wizard, select your debugger.

 

If you’re doing Automatic Upload with this server (that is, if you want to be able to either automatically or manually have the system push changes to your script out to the remote server), then you may select the connection profile that you want to use for this connection.

 

090216ShireyFigure5

Figure 5: Set the connection for Automatic Upload.

 

And, if you want to set up SSH Tunneling, you do it in the screen shown below. A lot of people get real excited about that.

 

090216ShireyFigure6

Figure 6: Set up SSH Tunneling.

 

Once you’re finished with this window, you should be able to go back to the Preferences > PHP > Servers window and see the server you just created. You may edit or delete it at any time using this facility.

 

PHP > Debug Setup

At this point, you still want to be in Zend Studio, in Zend Studio > Preferences (or maybe Window > Preferences). Within that, go to PHP > Debug.

 

What you want to do at this point is set the server you just created to the default. Unless you have only one. In that case, you don’t need to bother.

 

And make sure Break at First Line is checked.

 

Once that’s done, retrace your steps a bit and get into PHP > Debug > Debuggers. Within this window, highlight the debugger you’re going to use (Zend Debugger or XDebug) and click Configure.

 

In the window that comes up, make sure that the IP address of your PC is at the top of the list in the Client Host/IP field.

 

And that’s it. See how simple that was.

 

Check to See If Debugger Is Working

Only one thing left to do, and that’s to fire this baby up and take ‘er out for a test drive.

 

Start by picking a script you want to test. Even if this script is on your local machine (your PC), you must make sure it’s on the IFS in the folder /www/zendsvr6/htdocs/’script’.php.

 

Open it up in the PHP Explorer window. Right-click somewhere in that window, and then select Debug as > PHP Web Application.

 

That should open things up in the Debug perspective, and you can debug it from there, either going step by step or setting break points.

 

Trying It Yourself

So go ahead; give it a try. Below are a few resources that can help you with the setup. In case you don’t believe me. Or you did what I suggested you do but it didn’t work. You never know.

 

 

IBM i Example: Configuring Remote Debugging

 

Setting Up Remote Debugging

 

Remote Debugging and Breakpoints

 

 

 

David Shirey

David Shirey is president of Shirey Consulting Services, providing technical and business consulting services for the IBM i world. Among the services provided are IBM i technical support, including application design and programming services, ERP installation and support, and EDI setup and maintenance. With experience in a wide range of industries (food and beverage to electronics to hard manufacturing to drugs--the legal kind--to medical devices to fulfillment houses) and a wide range of business sizes served (from very large, like Fresh Express, to much smaller, like Labconco), SCS has the knowledge and experience to assist with your technical or business issues. You may contact Dave by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (616) 304-2466.


MC Press books written by David Shirey available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

21st Century RPG: /Free, ILE, and MVC 21st Century RPG: /Free, ILE, and MVC
Boost your productivity, modernize your applications, and upgrade your skills with these powerful coding methods.
List Price $69.95

Now On Sale

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:
$

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: