VAI Rides a Rocket. . . 2015 IBM i Predictions from Raz-Lee. . . New Storage Solutions from Quantum. . .
February 12, 2015 Alex Woodie
The IBM i predictions for 2015 keep rolling in, this time from the folks at Raz-Lee Security. The folks at VAI have a lot of experience with application modernization, but you’ll never guess which technology they’re using now. We’ll also take a look at some of the IBM i topics that will be covered at IBM’s upcoming InterConnect 2015 conference.
VAI Rides Rocket to the Web. . . and Beyond
Over the years, VAI has tried many different technologies to modernize the user interface of its RPG-based ERP application. Not all have panned out, and today it appears it has settled on one that gives it everything it needs: LegaSuite Web from Rocket Software.
VAI has been a longtime user of JWalk, the 5250 screen scraper that Seagull Software debuted nearly 20 years ago to provide AS/400 users with a way to access applications over the World Wide Web. The Long Island, New York, software company invested considerable time and money into JWalk, as have many other prominent application developers in the AS/400-iSeries-System i-Power Systems-IBM i community (as its wont to be known).
But over the years, Web technologies have evolved at a tremendous pace, rendering that old product’s capabilities insufficient for today’s modern tastes. VAI has responded by trying out various technologies, some based on Java, some on Microsoft technologies, and a good mix of stuff from IBM and other business partners in the IBM i ecosystem. We won’t list them all here, but you can troll through the IT Jungle archives if you’re interested in names.
None of them could deliver the advanced Web and mobile functionality that VAI is getting today out of LegaSuite Web, says VAI founder and CEO Bob Vormitagg in a YouTube video.
“We believe the Web is the future and Rocket has given us the tools necessary in their new HTML5 interface to get there,” Vormitagg says in the video. “Rocket has given us a competitive edge because we’re now able to run on any mobile device, we’re able to run in a browser, and in the cloud environment.”
The speed of development of the LegaSuite Web product exceeded those of other tools VAI tried for modernizing the S2K Enterprise suite of products, says Larry Murphy, vice president of R&D at VAI.
“We tried this two years ago with another company and found that the time it would take to get it from start to finish would have been years down the road and it just really wasn’t beneficial and cost effective from an ROI standpoint,” Murphy says in the video, which was posted in July 2014. “When we found out that Rocket came out with a Web-based UI and we could reuse our IBM i code from our back office, it was a no brainer,” Murphy says.
Today, all of the screens in S2K Enterprise have been modernized with LegaSuite Web, says Vormitagg, who cited the capability to reuse VAI’s existing technical assets and resources as a major benefit to the company.
“We see Rocket as a great partner to work with,” Vormitagg says. “The HTML 5 interface is a great example of that. It’s given us the ability to take our software the Web, to be mobile, cloud enabled and to provide a roadmap for our customer to the future. The Rocket team really stepped up to the plate to give us what we needed to be successful.”
Raz-Lee Forecasts IBM i Security Trends
When it comes to the real-world security issues faced by IBM i shops, tapping into the thoughts of Raz-Lee, an independent vendor with one of the IBM i community’s most well-rounded suite of security tools, provides an experienced, well-measured perspective.
This week, Raz-Lee’s CEO/CTO Shmuel Zailer and Eli Spitz, vice president of business development, look into their crystal balls to foretell what will come about over the next ten-and-a-half months.
“We’re seeing a commendable level of persistence at customers to remain with the IBM i and indeed to make increasing use of its capabilities,” Zailer and Spitz write. Here are the highlights of what Raz-Lee customers are looking for:
“In summary, our customers see the IBM i as an excellent, very stable system, which still lacks a native Web interface. And, unfortunately, the availability of programmers and systems specialists is limited. IBM could rectify this by providing more free course materials.”
Quantum Mixes Cloud and On-Prem with New Q-Cloud Line
Quantum is aiming to help customers mix cloud-based storage repositories along with on-premise storage with its newly released Q-Cloud brand.
Quantum says it developed Q-Cloud to address the realities of incorporating cloud-based storage into existing business workflows. Organizations are clearly looking to the cloud to provide affordable storage of data. And while there are cost, scalability, and accessibility advantages to storing data in the cloud, there are shortcomings when it comes to performance.
To that end, Quantum hopes to solve those issues with Q-Cloud, which it says provides a multi-tier, hybrid approach to mixing cloud and on-prem storage. The new line has three products, including:
Quantum’s disk- and tape-based storage products and backup appliances have been used by IBM i shops. The company has previously partnered with Gresham Enterprise Storage for the IBM i connectivity with its DXseries of backup appliances, and continues forward with Tributary Systems, which acquired Greshman assets in 2009. Quantum’s LTO tape drives also support IBM i.
Editor’s Note: This article was corrected. Quantum has a partnership with Tributary Systems, not Greshman. IT Jungle regrets the error.