IBM Allows Online Upgrades for i5/OS Licensed Programs, Finally
May 22, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
After a certain amount of complaining from OS/400 shops, IBM is finally allowing customers to update their OS/400 licensed programs electronically.
Back in 1988, the AS/400 was unique in the midrange for offering electronic customer support to all customers. ECS, which worked over a modem line, allowed IBM techies to dial into your server and see what was wrong; it also allowed an AS/400 to call IBM if a component was about to fail so it could do pre-emptive maintenance on the machine. Somewhere along the way, all of the other platform providers got more sophisticated about delivering patches for their software electronically, while IBM has stuck to distributing patches on tape or CD.
On May 19, Big Blue started offering electronic upgrades to the i5/OS V5R4 software stack. Once you verify that you have a Software Maintenance agreement with IBM and order product updates online, you will be able to immediately download the software update. The electronic delivery is not available for new product orders, but this seems like a logical future enhancement. i5/OS V5R4 has a special software feature number, 3450, that is meant to designate electronic delivery. Some operating system features are still only available for upgrade from prior OS/400 releases to i5/OS V5R4 through physical media. IBM has created a special site where companies manage their software keys and product entitlements as well as order upgrades to programs. You need an IBM customer ID and password to get in.
You can see the list of products with electronic updates by clicking here.