IBM Completes Migration of Knowledge Center to IBM Documentation
April 7, 2021 Alex Woodie
For years, the IBM Knowledge Center has been the go-to place to get technical information about how things work in IBM i. Got a question about RPG opcodes or ALLOBJ authority? The Knowledge Center was the place for you. As part of its broader overhaul of its online resources and properties, IBM recently completed the migration of its Knowledge Center to the new site, called IBM Documentation.
IBM i professionals can find all of the content they have grown accustomed to finding at the Knowledge Center on the new IBM Documentation site, which can be found at www.ibm.com/docs/en. There is no need to log in with your IBM user ID, although you can do that if you want.
Visitors to the new IBM Documentation site will quickly notice the modern tile-based navigation mechanism, which is the favored presentation method for mobile users today. Users can click on a large tile for a given topic, such as IBM Cloud Pak for Data, and they will be taken to a subpage that contains the additional resources on the topic they are looking for. (If the site first comes up in a foreign language, such as Russian, which happened to this reporter, it may be necessary to use Google to translate the page for you, which is a small inconvenience to pay, really.)
While IBM products like Cloud Paks, Watson, and z/OS are featured prominently on the IBM Documentation page, IBM i, alas, is not. But fear not! With a simple tap of the search bar and a mere six keyboard presses, a user can quickly access more than 2.9 million results for IBM i in the IBM Documentation site.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to go through them one by one, you can narrow down your search terms. Or — and this is the preferred method — you can navigate directly to what one might call the “IBM i homepage” for the IBM Documentation site, which is located at www.ibm.com/docs/en/i. There, users can easily access all of the IBM resources that IBM makes available, including information for the previously undisclosed releases of IBM i version 5.3 and 5.4.
There is something for everyone on the IBM i homepage for the IBM Documentation site. You can quickly pull up familiar topics, like IBM Redbooks or access the IBM Support Portal. IBM provides a link to Passport Advantage, where you can download extra software and access other media.
The IBM Documentation site is still relatively new, and it’s easy to find yourself clicking on all sorts of links. If you go down a rabbit hole and get lost, you’ll appreciate that IBM has included a handy “change product” button in the upper left-hand side of the screen that gives users quick access to all 1,356 products in the IBM portfolio. Only 676 of the IBM product names start with the term “IBM,” so it should make finding the IBM i entries quick and easy.
Navigating from the IBM i homepage of the IBM Documentation page is just one way to begin exploring the content. Some of the most useful information can be found in the IBM Documentation pages that IBM has set up for specific operating systems. For example, if you click on the button for IBM Documentation page for IBM i 7.4, you’ll be presented with an array of perfectly aligned tile/buttons that take you to informational resources beyond your wildest C-spec dreams.
IBM has arranged the information in the OS-specific pages in a perfectly logical manner. For example, near the top is “trending documentation,” where you can access trendy IBM i 7.4 topics such as security, databases, availability, and service and support.
Pro tip: the trending documentation changes as you navigate from version to version. For example, “service and support” in IBM i 7.3 and 7.4 turns into “troubleshooting” with IBM i 7.2. (It goes back to “service and support” for IBM i 7.1.) If you click on IBM i 6.1, 5.4, or 5.3, you’ll be confronted with a notice that the product is no longer supported, and then presented with hundreds of links to older documents arranged by topic, like database, programming, and printing.
On the OS-specific Web pages, the intrepid Web traveler will find a “getting started” section, where users can view an IBM i overview and what’s new; access basic systems operations; or view the memo to users. If you’re beginning your first installation of Db2 Mirror, the enterprise-strength database clustering feature for shops with the strictest downtime requirements, you’ll undoubtedly get started here.
Scroll down to the “resources” section, and you will find links to time-tested sources of solid IBM i information, including old classics like Fix Central, RPG Cafe, IBM i Redbooks, IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will’s “You and i” column, and everybody’s favorite, “IBM articles, tutorials and technical resources.” Clicking on that last link takes you outside of the IBM Documentation site to the IBM i section of the IBM Developer website, which is a whole other source of good information for IBM i professionals.