Alex Woodie is Senior Editor at IT Jungle. He was previously editor of two of IT Jungle's main newsletters, Four Hundred Stuff and The Windows Observer. Prior to joining Midrange Server (as Guild Companies was formerly called) in October 2001, Alex was a products editor at now defunct publisher Midrange Computing, where he was first introduced to the AS/400 and covered hardware, software, and services for Midrange Technology SHOWCASE magazine. Before joining Midrange Computing, Alex was a staff writer for The Insurance Journal and a reporter and columnist with The Paradise Post newspaper. Woodie obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree in journalism from Humboldt State University in 1997. Upon graduation, Alex intended to make his way onto a major daily newspaper, but in 1999 he found himself drawn to the high-technology industry, where his background in science and engineering has suited him well. He lives in Northern San Diego County. When he is not writing next week's newsletters, Alex can be found in his favorite chair reading the day's paper, in the kitchen, or at the beach.
August 16, 2017 Alex Woodie
Open source is not the best model for everything in the computing world. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a better use for open source than data and application integration, which are notoriously messy, expensive, and brittle. Which is why, if you’re not familiar with MuleSoft, you likely will be in the future.
MuleSoft got its start over 10 years ago when Ross Mason decided to start developing an open integration platform. Mason thought: Why should developers toil to build custom-coded integrations over and over again when it could be built correctly one time and then shared with the world? …Read more
August 14, 2017 Alex Woodie
There are many things that differentiate IBM i from other platforms, including its storage, security, and programming models. But one of the most unique aspects of the IBM i platform is its integrated DB2 database, which is used exclusively by practically all IBM i customers. You just don’t find this on other platforms. But perhaps it’s time for IBM i to diversify its database support?
In many respects, DB2 for i is the platform’s greatest strength. IBM i is renowned for its transaction processing prowess that drives ERP and other line of business applications, and DB2 for i (formerly DB2/400, …Read more
August 9, 2017 Alex Woodie
Reports of tape’s death have been greatly exaggerated in recent years. But if IBM Research can turn a technological breakthrough it made with Sony in the lab into an actual product, tape will remain relevant for decades to come.
IBM last week announced that it set a new record for areal density on magnetic tape when it achieved 201 gigabits per square inch with a prototype for a new “sputtered” magnetic tape format, which it says is 20 times the areal density used in current state-of-the-art commercial tape drives. The achievement could enable the production of a tape cartridge that …Read more
August 9, 2017 Alex Woodie
They say looks aren’t everything. But for the folks at SoftLanding, the new Web interface created for the Supermon performance monitoring tool will help customers see exactly how their IBM i servers are running, and that’s definitely something.
Supermon for iSeries is a real-time performance monitoring tool that UNICOM Global acquired with its 2009 acquisition of Macro 4, one of several acquisitions the Los Angeles-area company made during that stretch. The software – which bears the name of a server that IBM hasn’t sold in over a decade – enables customers to monitor IBM i-specific server performance metrics …Read more
August 7, 2017 Alex Woodie
If you’ve ever dealt with PHP on IBM i, it would be tough to avoid hearing about Mike Pavlak, who worked directly for Zend Technology, which is the PHP company. But after nine years with the firm, Pavlak is now teaming up with Fresche Solutions, where he aims to work directly with IBM i clients on a wide range of open source and modernization projects.
Pavlak has been a familiar face on the IBM i speaking circuit for just as long as PHP has been supported on the platform. His technological acumen and positive demeanor have been instrumental in helping …Read more
July 24, 2017 Alex Woodie
It can be hard to be positive about the state of the IBM i server. While there are occasionally signs of growth, the overall size of the market is a small fraction of what it used to be. Outside of Rochester, you can scarcely find an IBMer who can even spell “eye bee em eye.” But a recent merger involving third-party vendors indicates there may be hidden life in the legacy platform.Read more
July 19, 2017 Alex Woodie
For many years, logical replication solutions were the only choice in the high availability product category for IBM i and its predecessor platforms. IBM’s introduction of PowerHA changed that, providing a dramatically different approach to achieving high availability. However, the vast majority of HA deployments in the IBM i market still use logical replication solutions. Which one is best suited for your needs? Hopefully this story will help you find the answer.
Logical replication solutions work by replicating changes made to database files and other IBM i objects in real time. The eight third-party products in this category – including …Read more
July 19, 2017 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that take security seriously will want to know that IBM has issued a number of security patches over the past several months. The patch count since March includes fixes for security vulnerabilities in various technologies supported in IBM i 6.1 through 7.3, including 35 alone in Java, as well as flaws in Python, Samba, BIND, and the integrated Web server.
Implementing security patches, or program temporary fixes (PTFs) in IBM jargon, is one of the easiest ways to ensure your system is kept up-to-date against vulnerabilities that are constantly being exposed by the hacker community. It’s also …Read more
July 17, 2017 Alex Woodie
The AS/400 was a great computer. No doubt about that. In the pantheon of business machines, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything that remotely compares to IBM’s long-lived midrange champion. But today’s IBM i on Power Systems platform has evolved far beyond the AS/400, and midrange professionals who cling to the old words and ways are doing us all a disservice. Are you one of them?
Chances are, you’re not. If you’re reading this article, you’re likely one of the “engaged” midrange professionals who takes an active interest in news, works to improve your skills, and embraces newer technologies available …Read more
July 12, 2017 Alex Woodie
When Steve Sibley, the vice president and business line executive for IBM Cognitive Systems, announced a month ago that it’s moving development of its RPG compiler from the Rational group directly into the IBM i development organization, he cited the increase of “synergy” as the main reason for the move. IT Jungle finally caught up with Sibley last week and obtained a more detailed explanation.
In his June 9 open letter to IBM i customers and partners, Sibley announced that development of the Rational programming tools for IBM i and ILE RPG and ILE COBOL compilers themselves would move into …Read more