Modernization Train Makes A Run Through Europe
June 16, 2014 Dan Burger
The era of modernization is upon us. There are projects in the planning stages, in midstream, and completed—all indicators that IBM midrange shops interested in adopting new technologies where there are good reasons to do so. COMMON Europe recently concluded an IBM i Enterprise Application Modernization Tour that highlighted many of the topics and technologies that the IBM i community is showing interest in adopting.
There’s a multitude of ways to approach modernization, and no one knows that better than Tim Rowe, business architect for IBM i application development. Rowe, the designated modernization evangelist, provided the IBM presence on the road show and was the keynote speaker at stops in Austria, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Poland, and Sweden. Joining him for most of the trip was Charles Guarino, a subject matter expert and frequent tech conference speaker on the topics of Web services and the Rational Developer for IBM i development tools. There’s a video of one of Guarino’s presentations on YouTube that says a lot about the topic of modernization. Check it out here. And while you’re there, you can also find videos featuring Tim Rowe and other speakers at the COMMON Poland event.
The sponsor of the events was ARCAD Software, the developer of application lifecycle management products specifically for the IBM i community. The company’s president, Philippe Magne, was also a member of the core speakers group.
Many people view modernization as strictly a strategy for providing a graphical user interface on green-screen applications, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Application structure, data access, database modernization, the use of modern development tools and methodologies, and how these are connected to improved productivity and reduction in long-term costs. (Application maintenance comes to mind.) In the bigger picture, modernization is a road map for migrating an IT environment designed for the world as we knew it 20 years ago to an IT environment for today and the future.
Companies are embracing modernization strategies for two primary reasons, Rowe told IT Jungle in an interview before the European tour. “Some are being driven by the data. They need to access data from a performance perspective or get better access to it to leverage data appropriately in a modern world. Others are being driven by the UI. The combination of data and UI is getting companies thinking about what they want to do.”
Of course, no attendees of the road show left unaware of the modernization Redbook that Rowe contributed to and guided to its completion. I heard that he even autographed copies of it at the tour stops. You can download a PTF version of the Redbook, which has the ungainly but appropriate title “Modernize IBM i Applications from the Database up to the User Interface and Everything in Between” at this link.