Top Stories and Breaking News
(Mouse over headlines to see story abstracts)
Featured Product: COMMON
Do you need to know more about Open Source
languages or Systems Management
to support your on-the-job initiatives?
The COMMON Forum
will give you the skills you need to get started.
All sessions are taught by experts that understand the work you do on Power Systems and IBM i.
Join us August 24-25 in Chicago.
June 25, 2016: Volume 18, Number 26|
June 18, 2016: Volume 18, Number 25
June 11, 2016: Volume 18, Number 24
June 4, 2016: Volume 18, Number 23
May 28, 2016: Volume 18, Number 22
May 21, 2016: Volume 18, Number 21
Copyright © 1996-2016 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc., 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034
Any business unit within a conglomerate as vast and changing as fast as Big Blue needs to have a strong advocate as well as core financial performance that contributes to both the top and bottom line. The good news about the IBM i platform is that it has such a strong advocate in Doug Balog, general manager of the Power Systems business for the past several years. While Balog has been instrumental in pushing Linux on Power and putting together the OpenPower Foundation that is seeking to expand the Power ecosystem beyond the walls of IBM, he has not forgotten about the fact that IBM i customers still constitute the largest customer base IBM has for Power-based iron.
Most C-level managers realize that progress is impossible without change. Yet making changes can be so damn difficult. Realizing that there has to be some changes made is a good start, but it's taking that next step when companies actually achieve progress that leads to long-term success. And in the middle of it all is IT. How do companies with legacy IT systems change to keep up with progress?
Just two weeks ago, the company now known as Fresche (formerly Fresche Legacy) announced it was purchasing Quadrant Software and its key IBM i application modernization subsidiary BCD Software. The combination of BCD and Fresche's previous acquisition of looksoftware puts a smorgasbord of modernization choices on the Fresche menu, including an instrumental application analysis tool. The latest news from Fresche is the rollout of a global partner program.
There's scarcely any new project for the IBM i these days that doesn't involve the Web in some way, shape, or form. Mobile front-ends, application modernization, Web services--heck, even the lowly terminal emulator has become a Web app these days. One IBM i software vendor that is positioned to capitalize on this trend is Flynet, which sells a single product that can address multiple Web initiatives for IBM i shops.
A lot of people get credit for the work that went into creating IBM midrange systems over the decades, and rightfully so since the creation of such machinery, including the hardware and the software, takes many hundreds or thousands of individuals with each successive generation. It is appropriate to think about them as the AS/400, the forebear of the current Power Systems IBM i system, turns 28.
If you have noticed that Windows Explorer seems to be running especially slow when mapped to your IBM i server, you are not alone. Over the past month, there have been several reports of what appear to be limited denial of service (DOS) attacks against servers running IBM i 7.3. This issue stems from a change in protocols for mapped drives that IBM made with the new operating system, but it appears that Microsoft is on the hook for the fix.
Often we recognize we had expectations about the same time as we recognize those expectations have not been met. The IBM midrange computer, a combination of the IBM i operating system running on Power Systems hardware, exceeds the expectations of a high percentage of organizations that rely on it. Reliability, scalability, and securability are its hallmarks. However, some would describe its analytical capabilities as a weakness. Transactional-based business computers, like this one, are limited in what they can do.
Loyalty to IBM's midrange computer systems is a strong bond for many companies. Those with CA 2E application development environments are a great example. 2E, originally known as Synon, was one of the most successful fourth-generation language (4GL) development environments on the platform and that community continues to number in the thousands. Like other IBM midrange shops, they are concerned with application development, maintenance, and modernization.
In XML-INTO And Optional Elements, I showed a reader how he could use XML-INTO to parse an XML document that effectively contained one of two completely different payloads. As I noted in that article, for this type of "does the document contain X" processing, XML-SAX can be a better choice than XML-INTO. That is the task that I'm going to demonstrate in this tip.
In Formatting Dates with SQL, Take 2, you have shared a great technique. Function overloading is a real boon to SQL programming. Here's another way to handle the same issue with what I believe is less code and less invasive (meaning you won't have to recompile programs that use the FMTDATE service program).
In DB2 for i 7.2 TR4 and IBM i 7.3, IBM has made a special user-defined table function (UDTF) enhancement that should be shouted from the rooftops. This enhancement is referred to as an inline table function.
There has been a flurry of acquisitions in the IBM i marketplace in the past several years--you might even call it a blizzard. That got me to thinking last week about the changes in the OS/400 and IBM i ecosystem that we have seen in the past several decades, which I talked about in an essay last week.
Another IBM midrange earthquake was reported last week as two of the big application modernization vendors joined forces to create a single source of a wide range of products and services. Throughout the IBM i community, windows rattled and light flickered as Fresche Legacy--now known simply as Fresche--announced it was purchasing Quadrant Software. According to Fresche, it now has a client base totaling more than 22,000 IBM i customers.
IBM i shops that are interested in extracting insights from their data under the guidance of automated statistical analysis and machine learning may want to check out a new offering from Rocket Software. Called Rocket Discover for IBM i, the new software combines data discovery capabilities with self-service data preparation, and is aimed at regular business users who find things like Tableau Software's products too geeky or difficult to learn.
Focal Point Solutions Group, an IBM i-based managed service provider specializing in high availability, disaster recovery architectures, and security monitoring has expanded its services to include security assessments and document management in the cloud.
With one way of looking at it, the server market that drives the IT business is very mature and relatively flat, which shows demand for compute (and in some cases storage) remains steady and healthy. But in another way of looking at it, in a world obsessed by growth and often demanding it to drive revenues, profits, and stock prices, the server market has taken a dip and this is bad news.