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.
May 22, 2017 Alex Woodie
Should IBM open source its database drivers, or add support for .NET? Should it add the latest SSL ciphers to IBM i 7.1? These are some of the changes that it has received through its new Web-based requests for enhancement (RFE) program on its developerWorks site.
The new RFE functionality is only a few months old, but it’s already attracting the attention of IBM i professionals who want IBM to change things about the stack. It’s also getting attention from other IBM i pros who get to vote on them.
Here are the top ten RFEs so far, ranked by …Read more
May 17, 2017 Alex Woodie
Last week’s epic WannaCry ransomware attack left hundreds of thousands of people around the world scrambling to recover their data, either by paying the cyber crooks or executing their disaster recovery plan. If you’re an IBM i professional, the question you should be asking yourself is: What if that were me?
Companies in the United States escaped relatively unscathed from the ransomware attack, which exploited a known security vulnerability in the Windows operating system and was based on code that was “weaponized” by the National Security Agency and subsequently stolen by hackers.
There are two main reasons for this. For …Read more
May 17, 2017 Alex Woodie
The number of IBM i shops adopting open source software (OSS) is on the uptick as companies strive to innovate more with fewer resources. However, the prospect of obtaining technical support for OSS tech looms as a major barrier to adoption. One potential option comes through custom support packages from Rogue Wave Software.
While Rogue Wave Software isn’t strictly an OSS company, it’s no stranger to the paradigm either. Even before it its 2016 acquisition of Zend, which built a PHP business for IBM i shops, the company was quite active on the open source front. Considering that 70 percent …Read more
May 15, 2017 Alex Woodie
Passwords, in many ways, are the bane of our digital existence. We can’t live with passwords, but we certainly can’t live without them either. HelpSystems is aware of the challenges posed by this necessary evil, and has plans to alleviate the password pain with a series of new products and enhancements to existing ones.
Last week at the COMMON Annual Meeting and Expo in Orlando, Florida, HelpSystems Vice President of Technical Services Tom Huntington previewed for IT Jungle a new product the company plans to ship by the end of June.
The new product is called Access Authenticator, and it’s …Read more
May 10, 2017 Alex Woodie
Harry Potter sightings remain at an abnormally high level here at the COMMON conference, which is taking place in the heart of Universal Orlando. The young wizard appears to be everywhere – in sessions, by the pool, at the Expo, buying raffle tickets. But it’s left some wondering: Can he program in ILE?
The COMMON conference wraps up today after a four-day run here at the brand-spanking-new Lowes Sapphire Falls Resort. The site has mostly lived up to the expectations of COMMON’s management, who booked the event before the massive construction project was even finished. You just can’t fake that …Read more
May 10, 2017 Alex Woodie
Skills depletion within the IBM i community has been well documented on these pages in issues past. Another side effect of working on an older computer platform is the aging of the software vendor community itself. As the baby boomer owners approach retirement age, a handful of industry consolidators are eager to give the software companies they created good homes.
One of the most active vendors in the IBM i community over the past few years is Fresche Solutions. The Montreal, Quebec-based company was known as Speedware back in 2012 when it bought a German RPG migration tool company …Read more
May 8, 2017 Alex Woodie
Don’t be surprised to see the cloud seeping into your data center, because it’s all part of IBM’s plan. Yesterday during the COMMON Opening Session in Orlando, Florida, IBM executives gave the IBM i faithful a preview of a new Cloud Management Console that’s designed to enable customers to monitor and (eventually) manage their Power Systems environments from the comfort of the cloud.
Steve Sibley, IBM‘s director of worldwide product management for IBM’s Power Systems line, gave IT Jungle a preview of the new Cloud Management Console, which was expected to be one of three products announcements he planned …Read more
May 3, 2017 Alex Woodie
IBM next month plans to start selling a new disaster recovery product to IBM i shops. Called Geographically Dispersed Resiliency, or GDR, the new offering is designed to give companies an easy and affordable way to recover production IBM i LPARs on remote machines. IBM’s resiliency guru Steve Finnes gives IT Jungle the lowdown on the new tech.
GDR provides DR protection by essentially taking a production logical partition (LPAR), also called a virtual machine (VM), from one IBM i server and restarting it on another IBM i server. The VMs involved in a GDR switch must be stored on …Read more
May 3, 2017 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that run applications from Infor will be interested to know that the ERP giant has acquired Birst, a business intelligence and analytics software vendor with a large cloud presence. The Birst solutions will definitely be sold into Infor’s large IBM i installed base, the company informs IT Jungle.
Birst is a soup-to-nuts platform that provides many of the software capabilities companies need to build analytic applications that can turn large masses of data into actionable insight. The San Francisco-based company was founded as Success Metrics back in 2004 with a cloud-first strategy and a goal to target …Read more
May 1, 2017 Alex Woodie
More than a thousand IBM i professionals from around the world will descend on Universal Orlando next week for COMMON’s Annual Meeting and Exposition. Besides the chance to “Party with Harry” (as in Potter, the boy wizard), the conference taking place from May 7 to 10 provides us all a chance to learn about the latest IBM i technologies, explore new solutions, and commiserate with our fellow midrangers.Read more