Shield Advanced Solutions Ltd

Founded in 1997 by Owner Chris Hird Shield has a reputation for developing leading-edge software and specializing in the IBM i. With a history of more than 20 years experience Shield has delivered products and services for the IBM i and all of its predecessors including AS/400, iSeries, Systemi and i5. Our premium software solutions which are designed for the High Availability and Disaster Recovery market rely on our years of experience of implementing HA/DR in the client base using many of our competitors products. This encouraged us to develop and deliver our own solutions which incorporate the deficiencies found in other products, we have also listened to those clients suggestions and regularly deliver new features and functionality based on their input. As a result, Shield has brought to the market a suite of products that meet the needs of even the most demanding clients running on the IBM i platform. Our customers know, we put them first and will always go above and beyond our stated service levels to meet their needs.


We provide expertise in the following areas

  • High Availability
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Product Development
  • PHP for IBM i

PHP and Easycom

We have been developing websites based on PHP for over 10 years, when IBM first announced that they were bringing the PHP language to the IBM i we wanted to see how it would help in delivering a web based GUI interface for our products. While the initial indications looked good we soon found that the complexity of setting up a site to deliver the content would be difficult for most of the IBM i users so we needed an alternative. Most of the web servers in the market run on some variant of Linux or Windows which gives it a lot of benefits such as a large user base to help with problem resolution. We wanted to deliver a solution that used the right technology for the right job, the IBM i would deliver the data while the web service would be delivered by an alternative platform. Zend had been using the Easycom for PHP technology to give the developers access to IBM i data and objects, but it was only accessible locally so you had to run the web server on the IBM i. Aura Equipments who are the owners of the Easycom for PHP technology and the i5_toolkit() functions had a solution, you could use their Easycom Server running on the IBM i plus i5_toolkit() functions running on IBM i, Linux or Windows web Servers to deliver IBM i content. Zend have since dropped licensing for Easycom and have attempted to deliver an alternative, we have taken the decision to stick with the Easycom for PHP solution and deliver licensing and support for the North American Market. We have a great deal of experience in this technology and offer technical services to set up and configure the environment for your own use. Our Blog delivers many samples of how you can effectively deliver PHP based interfaces over IBM i application objects and data.


Located just North of Toronto we have easy access to all major transport links including Toronto International Airport. Using our high speed internet connections we are able to provide effective support to our clients both locally and internationally using the latest web based technology.


A brief history lesson about IBM i

We have been working with the IBMi and its predecessors since 1990 when it was called the AS/400 at that time and was based on technology developed many years before that. While we have adopted the latest name for the product line there are still many who call it by one of its earlier names, so here is a quick history lesson.

Review of its History

  • 1980 - System/38 runs CPF
  • 1988 - AS/400 replaces S/38 and S/36, runs OS/400 - which runs CPF programs
  • 2000 - iSeries is a renaming of the hardware, runs OS/400
  • 2006 - System i is a renaming of the hardware, OS renamed to i5/OS
  • 2008 - Power Systems replaces System i and System p, OS renamed to IBM i

Branded as

  • 1988 - AS/400 brand
  • 2000 - eServer brand
  • 2006 - IBM Systems brand
  • 2008 - IBM Power Systems brand