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September 13, 2014: Volume 16, Number 37|
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Fresche Legacy is making a name for itself in the IBM midrange business. Today the company announced it is acquiring looksoftware, one of several successful third-party application development tool vendors. The transaction creates a unique modernization-focused company. One year ago, Fresche Legacy purchased Databorough, a company with strong database technology. What's taking shape is a company with an expanded modernization strategy designed to help companies solve modernization puzzles.
Database deficiencies can often be masked by server horsepower. But at some point, powerful servers are unable to keep response times in the sub-second category. When companies get maxed out on hardware, software and databases start getting the attention. And in the IBM midrange, the term database modernization creeps into conversations. David Andruchuk likes to be part of those conversations. His company, CSDA, provides a database modernization service for a performance bump and also for business flexibility.
The world turns, time marches on, and versions and releases of operating systems come and go. Big Blue put out the IBM i 7.2 software release concurrent with the Power8 "scale-out" systems launch at the end of April, an update to the integrated software stack that was tuned to take advantage of the new hardware. In with the new, out with the old, and that means IBM i 6.1 customers better get prepared to do an upgrade or find budget to pay for extended support contracts for the software.
There was a concern among the executives at SunGard Public Sector that the IBM i-based NaviLine product line was getting a bit long in the tooth. Customers were complaining about tired UIs, the company had just rolled out a new Windows app that does pretty much the same thing, and there was some hesitation to invest in it. But now that the first round of a major rewrite using Visual LANSA is complete, it's apparent that the sturdy old app has some life left in it after all.
There are many IBM midrange shops that recognize the value of investing in and implementing the new capabilities in the IBM i operating system. Sometimes we lose sight of that because there's no tidal wave of OS upgrades on the heels of major new releases. There never has been. It's more like the steady flow of a river, which looks calm on the surface and belies the activity that goes unseen.
Many organizations--even IBM i shops--are adopting agile development methods. While this approach has advantages, it creates friction with the operations folks tasked with getting changes into production. Last month, Rocket Software's Aldon division started rolling out its new ALM Hub functionality to help the two sides collaborate more effectively while still respecting separation-of-duty requirements.
It looks like you should pencil in the first week of October for some pretty big Power Systems announcements from IBM. We know that IBM has planned to get some additional Power Systems machines in the field before the end of the year, and it is looking like the big event will be at the Enterprise2014 conference that Big Blue is hosting in Las Vegas.
Quadrant Software last week unveiled Business i, a new bundle of business intelligence and reporting tools aimed at IBM i shops. The new offering, which has its roots in the BI tools of BCD Software (now a Quadrant subsidiary), helps users extract data from DB2 for i and other sources, create ad hoc reports, and deliver them via secure Web-based dashboards--all without requiring much involvement by the IT staff.
The companies that make up the Linear Tape Open consortium last week announced the ninth and tenth generations of the open standard. When the first drives based on LTO Gen 10 technology start shipping--ostensibly around the year 2020, if the historical release pace holds up--the drives will be able to write data at the rate of more than 1 GB per second and hold more than 120 TB on each cartridge.
Earlier this year, a Malaysian software company by the name of IvanDoc Software Services completed the first implementation of IvanDoc Documentation, its IBM i cross-referencing and documentation tool that generates HTML output. The company is looking to get traction with IBM i shops around the world as they embark upon application modernization projects.
The capability to convert fixed form RPG to free form RPG is one of the most far-reaching enhancements to the IBM i operating system. Last week, two members of the IBM i ISV community formed a partnership that could benefit organizations that are ready to take advantage of this feature, which was introduced with IBM i 7.1 TR7. The software change management company Remain Software and the RPG modernization firm Linoma Software are combining efforts to ease the migration of RPG applications to free-format, a process that is considered a wise investment in legacy IBM i assets.
It is interesting to observe where the IBM i side of IBM invests its resources. The operating system and database get a whole lot of investment, but the native application layer seemingly not nearly as much.
Volunteering has a much larger impact on your community than most people think. And if you narrow that down to the IBM midrange community, the same is true: The impact of volunteers is both underestimated and underappreciated.
In my last tip, Decisions, Decisions: Templates Or Snippets?, I discussed taking advantage of both Templates and Snippets. They are used to make life simpler when including small pieces of code that might otherwise be copied from another source member somewhere or, worse yet, rewritten from scratch over and over again.
From time to time, a processing error would cause a truck to leave the Lipari Foods warehouse before electronic invoices were generated, which would sometimes lead to stores refusing delivery. Now, thanks to system monitoring software from CCSS, errors like this can be detected before they cause problems.
Thanks for your nice article on copying user profiles between IBM i systems. I wanted to add that I copied a profile between systems and got this system message.