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IT Jungle was created to help you figure out how to survive, adapt, and thrive in this complex IT ecosystem, whether you are an end user of information technology or a vendor of information technology products. We craft a set of online publications that focus on the core information technology platforms in use by enterprises the world over to do daily data processing, from the front-end Web systems to back-end accounting systems. IT Jungle publications are free to our subscribers.
Big Blue Provides Extended Support For IBM i 6.1
It's TR Time: What's Next For The IBM i Database?
IBM i A Vital Part Of This Staffing Franchise
Good Day, Good Way To Be A Consultant
Observations From Oracle Collaborate 2015
An SQL Pivot Procedure
Joining On Ranges
Ruby And DSLs And Blocks
IBM i and the IoT
On the Bleeding Edge of MIMIX Adoption with APL Logistics
Relief for Third-Party Software Upgrade Paralysis
OpenLegacy's Modernization Approach Impresses New Partner
Going Off the Grid with IBM i Mobile Apps
IBM i Shops Can't Help But Look At Linux
Has Cloud ERP Reached a Tipping Point?
Cozzi Refines Data-Centric Ideas For IBM i Report Writer

The Platform

What's Inside Intel's HPC Scalable System Framework?

Teaching Grid Engine To Speak Mesos

Why Big Oil Keeps Spending on Massive Supercomputers

Big Iron Saves The Day For Big Blue

Future Supercomputers Grow Out of File Systems, Into DAOS

Virtualization Giant VMware Takes On Cloud-Native Microservices

Intel Bridges The Exascale Architecture Gap

Memory Technology Flashes Good, Bad, and Ugly

Enterprises Finally Ready To Move Beyond Gigabit Ethernet

AMD Hits Reset On Server Business

Inside The Ceph Exascale Storage At Yahoo

Programming Challenges on the Road to Summit's Peak

Hit this link to see a full chronological listing of The Platform stories.


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Operating systems do not last forever, but they can and do go on for a long, long time in the corporate datacenter--at least the way operating systems, databases, and applications are configured in monolithic fashion these days. In other realms of corporate computing, companies are thinking about moving to lightweight software containers that wrap around microservices and heavier pieces of code, allowing for the operating system underneath the container to be updated without messing with the system and application code running in the container.
Web application development depends on two document formats for the interchange of business data: XML and JSON. The smaller (lighter weight), quicker to transmit, and more efficient is JSON. XML has been a good choice and has served its purpose well. It continues to do so. However, the popularity of JSON indicates it is the new favorite in IBM i shops, just as it is on other platforms. JSON has done well enough to get noticed on the IBM radar. It showed up in the release of IBM i 7.2 in October and it's certain to make some noise with the soon to be released Technology Refresh 2 for IBM i 7.2 and Technology Refresh 9 for IBM i 7.1.
By 2020, it is predicted that temps, freelancers, and independent contractors will compose 40 percent of the U.S. workforce, a substantial increase over today's figures. One company ready to capitalize on that tectonic shift in employment trends is AtWork Group, a Tennessee-based franchisor that oversees dozens of independent staffing firms around the country. With the temp business booming, AtWork is counting on its IBM i platform to help its business grow.
Every way I turn, I find consultants. People I've known for years have parachuted from full-time jobs working in the traditional employee-employer circumstances to what amounts to freelance contract workers. The professional career doesn't seem to matter. People want to get into the consulting business. Partly because businesses want to hire consultants. There's a demand. And IBM midrange shops are no different from businesses at large. Welcome to the new job market.
Each year the three largest Oracle user groups combine to host a user group event called Collaborate. With more than 1,200 educational sessions, you can see there's a lot going on. Cloud and mobile strategy implementation were highlighted, as was the increasing impact of big data and analytics.
The basic concept of a pivot is that row values are transformed into column values. I have often wished that DB2 had a pivot procedure. But until that day arrives I will have to make do with a workaround that you might find useful too.
People are ingenious. Where there's a need, they find a way. Unfortunately, some of the ways they find don't jibe well with relational databases, which makes my work life messy. Fortunately, I know a few ways to clean it up, and here's one of them.
When I started with Ruby I was immediately drawn in by its syntax--simple, elegant, and easy to peruse. At the time I didn't know this was an intentional mantra of the language put in place by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto, Ruby's creator. Matz said that he was "trying to make Ruby natural, not simple," in a way that mirrors life. Further, Matz stated "Ruby is simple in appearance, but is very complex inside, just like our human body." Let's take this out of metaphor-land and into tangible code by introducing the DSL, or Domain Specific Language, aspect of Ruby.
By now you've probably heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), or as some overzealous marketers like to call it, the Internet of Everything. By instrumenting data-emitting sensors into everyday items such as toasters, watches, and shirts, we'll be able to glean much more insight into the real-time state of ourselves and our world. It may sound heavy on the hype and light on substance today, but there's a good chance that the IoT could impact your standard business systems--including enterprise applications systems running on the IBM i platform.
Most IBM i shops, by and large, are conservative entities that adopt new releases of software only after extensive beta testing by others. But occasionally one encounters an early adopter that's willing to be on the bleeding edge of development--in exchange for certain benefits, of course. You can count the Arizona company APL Logistics in the latter category when it comes to its MIMIX high availability software from Vision Solutions.
In-house software development isn't nearly as prevalent as it once was. The cost to produce and maintain code, together with the do-more-with-less-staffing rule in many organizations, has de-emphasized home-grown software. Commercial software from the IBM ISV community, as a result, is gaining ground. That doesn't mean, however, that commercial software isn't customized--sometimes highly customized. And when upgrading a customized software package becomes difficult, companies sometimes put upgrades on hold--sometimes for a long time.
With its commercial open source business model, OpenLegacy is breaking the rules when it comes to the traditional ways that IBM i and mainframe software vendors sell their wares. But according to Treehouse Software's chief business development officer, it was the underlying technology in its application modernization suite that ultimately led it to become one of OpenLegacy's first North American business partners.
If you're going mobile with your IBM i apps, you're not alone. Every day, IBM i shops are giving their users the ability to access core applications from Android phones, iPads, and even the occasional Windows Mobile device. This can give your company a big productivity boost, especially considering that wireless Internet signals can be found everywhere--well, almost everywhere, anyway.
What's it going to take to get IBM midrange shops interested in running Linux on their Power Systems boxes? The references to better resiliency, better security, and better virtual machine density, (the capability to run more virtual machines on Power) are all well and good, but that alone won't get it done. It won't turn the tide, which is heavily in favor of running Linux on X86.
For years, we've been told that most server workloads will eventually move to the cloud because of the economies of scale advantages that it brings. So far, the big daddy of corporate computing--the centralized Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite--has mostly resisted the cloud. But according to Nucleus Research, ERP is now finally succumbing to the siren call of cloud computing.
When IBM invests in IBM i, the database is first in line. In terms of "people hours" nothing comes close to the work being done on the database. When new versions of the operating system arrive, it's the database that gets the greatest number of enhancements. Same with the Technology Refreshes, in almost all cases. Members of the ISV community and the Large User Group of top Power Systems companies are usually quick to take advantage, but there's a bigger picture.