Product Highlights From Spring COMMON 2016
May 18, 2016 Alex Woodie
As the world’s largest gathering of IBM i professionals, COMMON‘s Annual Meeting and Expo is a natural place to announce new products. This year’s event in New Orleans, Louisiana, is no different, as IBM i vendors unveiled new and improved wares across a range of product categories. We’ll dive into more depth on most of these products in future issues of The Four Hundred, but for now here’s a quick run-down on the products turning our heads at the show.
Fresche Legacy “Heatmap” tool
Before embarking upon an application modernization project, it’s good to know how the existing product is used. That’s the goal of Fresche Legacy’s new “heatmap” tool, which doesn’t yet have an official name and is currently in beta. The product tracks what IBM i application screens employees use most often, and then displays the results in graphical heatmap format. This informs the developers which screens they should modernize first. Fresche is also doing some innovative stuff in the area of database modernization that we will cover in-depth in an upcoming issue of this newsletter.
BCS Group Quick-SmartData
BCS Group, which is Trader’s exclusive distributor for North America, is ramping up sales of a Quick-SmartData, a database replication tool that supports DB2 for i, Oracle, SQL Server, and other relational databases. The new Java-based software replaces an older data replication tool that connected the same databases, but funneled the data through a Windows box.
This is a major refresh of JobQGenie, which was Shield’s first product and is still its most popular. Like JobQGenie, JT4i keeps track of IBM i jobs for the purpose of aiding recovery during a disaster, and is often deployed alongside high availability software products. The re-write and re-design results in a faster, more efficient and more flexible product, says Shield director Chris Hird.
Raz-Lee Security iSecurity Field and File Encryption
Raz-Lee developed the Field Encryption component of its iSecurity suite using IBM’s Field Procedure (FieldProc) API, which pushes the encryption and decryption processes into the DB2 for i database. Raz-Lee is using IBM’s Power Systems-resident master keys with this symmetric key solution, and provides some key management functionality. The company also unveiled a file-based encryption solution that uses asymmetric PGP-based encryption capabilities for encrypting entire tables.
CNX Valence 5.0
PTC Implementer 12
The new version of PTC’s change management solutions brings several new features, including support for IBM i 7.3 and the latest release of Rational Developer for i (RDi). It also adds things like better support for identity tables within SQL tables and support for an alternative name for a column in a SQL table.
Midrange Performance Group Performance Navigator 18
Whenever IBM updates the OS or the Power hardware, you can count on MPG updating its widely used PerfNav product, as well as Power Navigator for Linux, AIX, and VIOS environments. In addition to support for IBM’s newest software and its latest I/O enhancements, PerfNav 18 brings new features aimed primarily at enterprise shops.
Remain Software Japanese Partnership
Remain Software is expanding its footprint in the Asian market with its IBM i application lifecycle management tools TD/OMS and Gravity by workingwith TroyTech, an IBM Premier business partner. TroyTech serves the Japanese market by providing hardware and software sales as well as consultancy services. It also provides distribution services for Fresche Legacy’s X-Analysis tool, which is a good match with Remain because Fresche Legacy and Remain are business partners.
OpenLegacy is launching version 3 of its API Integration Platform at COMMON this week. The company, which provides a way to package and extend customers’ existing IBM i and z/OS applications via REST-based Web services, is adding more sophisticated API management and security capabilities to the product.
Crossroads RMC NextTrack Sales
Crossroads RMC is talking about a new dashboard reporting tool called NextTrack Sales in New Orleans this week. The software, which the company unveiled about three months ago, is designed to enable managers to create visualizations from data by simply dragging and dropping database fields on the screen.
Profound Logic Profound UI Node.js Support
Profound Logic is in the process of developing a Node.js development framework that will be integrated with the Profound UI Visual Designer. The company plans to initially offer as a service the capability to convert existing RPG programs to Node.js, which it says will eliminate the challenges of re-writing RPG to another language when modernizing RPG is not the chosen direction.
Maxava Cloud Monitor
Maxava’s first move outside of the IBM i high availability software business is Maxava Cloud Monitor, which the company also refers to as MI8 Monitor. The offering provides customers with basic monitoring of server and applications running on the IBM i, with the Web and mobile interfaces delivered through the cloud of Maxava’s partner channel. MI8 supports IBM i today, and support for Windows and Linux is expected within 30 days; AIX support is due by the end of the summer.
ARCAD Software DevOps
DevOps is ARCAD Software’s new product focus. It has developed new release management and application deployment software it calls Drops. In addition to application deployments, Drops can be used for databases and configurations of test and production environments, making them easier and more reliable.
Focal Point Solutions Partnerships
Focal Point, a managed services provider that originally specialized in high availability and disaster recovery services, is expanding its services through partnerships with the document management vendor S4i and the security software company Enforcive. In addition, it’s added a partnership with the application modernization company Surround Technologies.
BCD Software WebSmart 11
Support for Node.js and responsive Web design top the list of new features BCD added to WebSmart 11, which is now available. BCD is making a bet that Node.js (which IBM started supporting on the platform in late 2014) will drive the next wave in Web development. Read more about this enhancement elsewhere in this newsletter.
Rocket Software Aldon Lifecycle for Mobile
The new extension to the change management software from Rocket brings mobile development into the fold. It’s particularly beneficial for managing development and deployment of native mobile apps, especially keeping mobile, Web, and IBM i-based components in sync (see more coverage of this tool elsewhere in this newsletter). The company also unveiled a new BI tool called Rocket Discover for IBM i that we will cover in an upcoming issue.
Townsend Security AES/400
Townsend has adopted IBM’s RPG Open Access technology to enable legacy IBM i apps that use traditional I/O methods (as opposed to the SQL Query Engine) to benefit from IBM’s FieldProc method of encryption. Previously, it was quite difficult for companies that used encrypted indexes to use FieldProc. You can read more about this important new capability elsewhere in this newsletter.