Training the Cross-Platform Team

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

The Two Ends of the Spectrum

So, let's call the first method the "distributed" approach. Another term might be "modular," but the "distributed" moniker has a more complete connotation, as I'll explain. In the distributed development model, developers are formally segregated from one another, and the development is controlled by highly detailed specifications that describe the relationships of each piece of the software to the others.

Communication occurs primarily through precise, formal interface specifications, which are "thrown over the wall" between people. The theoretical benefits to this approach include the ability to have distributed teams that work different hours and in different locations. Also, the project is supposedly more immune to the "hit by a bus" scenario because everything is completely documented and compartmentalized. If a worker quits, gets fired, or is otherwise no longer available, the project should be able to go on without skipping a beat by just plugging another worker into that cubicle.

This sort of development model, if it works, is primarily suited for outsourced projects. You substitute documentation for face-to-face interactions. This model is also the only viable approach in highly secure environments where only a few people are supposed to know the ultimate outcome of the project.

The other end of the spectrum is the group development project. In this environment, everybody knows at least a little bit about what everybody else is doing. Teams are assigned to different parts of the process, but they aren't segregated any more than necessary. You might call this the holistic model or the integrated model.

Documentation is still critical; just because you know what someone is doing doesn't mean it doesn't need to be documented. However, especially during the initial phases of development, specifications can be more fluid as strategies are floated and proofs of concept are explored. This fluidity becomes ever more important as the pace of technology increases and nearly every major software development project requires integration of new technologies.

A big requirement for this development model is team members' access to one another. In certain critical periods, just the realities of different start times or work weeks can be enough to cause great problems in development. In one large project I managed, one of my programmers worked a staggered shift; he was never allowed to check his own code into the production project after the primary shift left because it might break something critical and we wouldn't find out until the morning, when he was unavailable.

A Little Practical History

Speaking of past projects, let me give you a couple of examples that will better illustrate the point I'm trying to make.

Once upon a time, a company developed software for the AS/400 (I use the older machine purposely, because it was indeed once upon a time). I'm not trying to hide the name of the company, and I'm sure many of you can guess who it is I'm talking about, but really the name isn't as important as the story. That company was located in downtown Chicago, and all of its staff—from sales to operations—were in the same building. As the company grew, it added more floors, but nobody was more than an elevator's ride away.

Life on the Help Desk

This close unity led to a lot of synergies. Developers could talk to product managers to understand requirements. Sales people could talk to development managers to determine optimal deployment strategies. In fact, this company had perhaps the best approach for raising good developers that I've ever seen, before or since. Every developer had to spend time (typically a week) on the help desk, answering calls. This provided the help desk with some great help, since the developers knew the guts of the system and could often address problems pretty quickly. And with a good incident-reporting and -recording system, their expertise was saved for posterity.

But the real benefit, in my mind, was to make the developers see their code in action—and in the worst possible light. Programmers couldn't be defensive about it, either, or use phrases like "that's the way it was designed." If a customer's shop floor was down, they were losing real money and they really didn't care what the design philosophy was; they just wanted the code to work.

The beauty of this technique was that a programmer who spent a week on the help desk came back with a different view of his job. I spent a week and handled maybe 50 calls, many of which were from people whose jobs were negatively impacted by something I wrote. I suddenly realized that little things I didn't find important (a misleading abbreviation or a screen that required an unnecessary function key) were actually causing real people real problems. This was an epiphany.

That's because, without the reality of customer involvement, all programmers (and believe me, I'm as guilty of this as anyone) have a tendency to get invested in their code and lose sight of the real reason we do this: to make our customers more productive. This will sound a little harsh, but I don't care how elegant my code is or how beautiful the architecture; if it doesn't make somebody more productive, it's pretty much a waste of computer cycles. But that's because I'm a business programmer: I program commercial products for commercial use, and I need to be reminded of that now and then.

When Skunk Works Stink

Let's take the other end of the spectrum. Again, many of you will know exactly which product I'm talking about, but the important point is neither the product nor the company, but simply the process. This same situation can come up in any business development project, so I'm just going to leave the names out.

As far back as the '80s, it was increasingly clear that software development was becoming so complex that developers needed tools to help them get their jobs done. At that time, the term Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) was used for such programming aids. Differing definitions of the term existed, but in general, CASE tools generated code in high-level languages (HLLs) such as C or RPG. Later, the term "4GL" (fourth-generation language) was born, which meant specifically a higher-level language, which in turn generated 3GL (third-generation language) code. (3GL is pretty much synonymous with HLL.) Despite the many variations on the theme, the general idea is that a 4GL lets programmers write code faster and easier, eliminating much of the drudge work, usually through some sort of templates.

So since a large part of the company's budget went toward software development, it made sense to pursue the idea of creating a software tool that would make their programmers more productive. And while this was a great idea conceptually, for reasons which I'll never really understand, this same software development company made the unfortunate implementation decision to develop the product in a skunk works—in effect, in a complete vacuum.

What occurred was something completely predictable, in my opinion. The skunk works team, having literally zero contact with the development team, went their merry way and designed a product that did exactly what they wanted it to do. From their standpoint, the tool was absolutely perfect, and from a neutral standpoint, they were probably correct: It did exactly what they designed. Unfortunately, what they designed had very little in common with the actual programs needed for the application suite, so the tool was nearly useless for actually developing application code.

This is as close as you can get to the old phrase "The operation was a success, but the patient died." It took many years to get the tool to actually be able to generate code that would work in production. And regardless of the state of the tool today, the root issue behind the initial failure was the fact that the team that developed the tool didn't have any communication with the team that was going to use it.

So It's Clear

It's clear—to me, anyway—that software development management requires more rather than less communication. The integrated approach leads to much better synergy and flexibility than the distributed model. The more you understand your customers, the better job you will do as a programmer. That's simply a fact of software life: I can write the most beautiful, elegant architecture ever designed, but if it doesn't make people's lives easier, it's really not a very useful architecture.

Relating All of This to Training

I think this is an essential issue when it comes to training, especially training cross-discipline teams. The title of this article is cross-platform, but really the concepts are even more encompassing. Today, applications can cross platforms, but they can just as easily cross languages on a single platform, or cross operating environments, or even cross architectures. Take a relatively simple application today: a simple storefront. You might have a Java Web application running on a Wintel machine in your DMZ that calls an RPG back-end. This simple application crosses platforms (Intel and System i), operating systems (Windows and i5/OS), languages (Java and RPG), and architectures (J2EE and ILE). And that's just a start.

But with multi-discipline software projects, the client/vendor relationship is not quite as clear-cut as it is in the traditional monolithic software development shop. When we wrote software, we already knew the tools and how they worked; we didn't really need new DDS keywords or additional RPG opcodes. Extending the manufacturing analogy, we took the raw materials and created the finished goods, and we didn't need no stinking vendors. We rarely had to go hat in hand to someone else to ask for something to get our jobs done (except maybe a few more cycles on the old CPU). We designed the system, and you dealt with it.

This has changed. In a cross-discipline application development environment, everybody is interdependent. The browser UI team has to count on the Web application server to be solid, while the Web app team needs the business logic to be in place, and the business logic team has to understand the needs of the UI team. Things get lost in the translation because somebody who works with integers doesn't always understand why someone cares about leading zeros. A UI designer might not understand that the colors red and black have significance on a ledger inquiry and consequently not understand why the application people are upset that positive numbers are now green.

Unfortunately, the software world has become quite splintered, with a whole new generation of programmers insisting that their particular language/platform/architecture is the only way to do things, regardless of the actual business requirements. Even in our own rather sheltered nook, we have the anti-SQL folks and the only-SQL folks, the PHP people and the RPG-CGI people and the J2EE people. Everybody insists that their own particular way to go is not only the right way, but the only way, so getting people to work together in a multi-discipline environment is a challenge, to say the least.

A Novel Idea

So, looking over the past and seeing the issues today, I find myself trying to come up with a way to get people to better understand one another and so to be able to work together better. In a previous article, I discussed making sure we all used common terminology. Today, I am suggesting that all the members of a team share a common experience. For me, sitting on the help desk was probably the single most useful thing I have ever done to make me a better programmer. And in the old days, that made sense because nearly everybody wrote programs that were used by the end users, whether it was a newbie writing simple batch reports or maintenance screens, or the most skilled veteran writing the order entry program.

But in today's multi-discipline world, the consumer of a programmer's output is often another programmer. Job niches exist where a programmer could write for years and never see an actual application user. Because of that, we need to re-think the whole vendor/client relationship and realize that the Java programmer is the RPG programmer's client, and the HTML designer is the Java programmer's client, and so on.

That being the case, the best sort of training I can think of would be to have each programmer go through a tutorial in the languages of the other programmers on the team. I know this is contrarian thinking, especially in today's world of extreme modularization. While the trend in many programming styles today is to simply talk to somebody via the interface documentation, to my mind that contributes to a lack of closeness and an "us vs. them" mentality. Making everybody appreciate how each other's world works, at least to a minor degree, leads to better understanding and even to better communication. Java programmers might not be experts at coding a CHAIN opcode, but if they understand what it is, they'll be that much more likely to be able to understand an RPG programmer talking about a specific issue.

There are limits of course. A pure HTML designer will probably not be able to write a subfile program. At the same time, it wouldn't hurt that designer to sit down with a seasoned RPG programmer and walk through the steps it takes to create a subfile and for that same RPG programmer to watch the HTML person assign the styles to a table. That way, they'd both gain a better understanding of the other's job.

Implementation: The Cross-Discipline Boot Camp

So, what I'd suggest is that, rather than continue down the path of compartmentalization, companies begin to put together a cross-discipline boot camp. The first one would be at the beginning of your next major project. Identify all of the technologies and then create or locate what would effectively be "Hello World" types of programs for each of the technology areas (including cross-technology connections).

You then establish a curriculum for different job roles. UI programmers might go through an intro to green-screens, while Java developers might do some work with basic RPG variable types to understand packed and zoned and dates and so on. Your SQL experts and RPG database folks would sit down together and analyze some programs written in both SQL and ISAM. You could even have one at the beginning of every project that would incorporate old training for the newbies and new training for any new technologies you might be incorporating. And I'm not talking weeks of training; I'm talking just a few days of intense cross-discipline drills designed to make sure that people are at least using the same terminology. It won't turn an SQL bigot into an ISAM aficionado, but at least the two should be able to understand each other's position a little better.

This sounds like a lot of work, I know, but the good news is that a lot of this is already available to you. Heck, if you have WDSC and you're an IBM technology shop using things like Java and WebSphere, WDSC has a wide range of tutorials for most of the technologies required for the whole cross-discipline spectrum (with the notable exception of RPG). But realistically, each shop should have its own specific RPG example programs, since RPG programming styles are pretty widely varied.

So think about setting up a boot camp to teach your teams to work with one another. Don't segregate your Windows development from your System i development; instead, get them better acquainted. You may turn up somebody on your staff who can effectively bridge the gap and come up with new ways to combine the strengths of the various technologies. Because in the end, the role of a computer in business is to give you a competitive advantage, and that requires your whole staff working together.


Joe Pluta

Joe Pluta is the founder and chief architect of Pluta Brothers Design, Inc. He has been extending the IBM midrange since the days of the IBM System/3. Joe uses WebSphere extensively, especially as the base for PSC/400, the only product that can move your legacy systems to the Web using simple green-screen commands. He has written several books, including Developing Web 2.0 Applications with EGL for IBM i, E-Deployment: The Fastest Path to the Web, Eclipse: Step by Step, and WDSC: Step by Step. Joe performs onsite mentoring and speaks at user groups around the country. You can reach him at

MC Press books written by Joe Pluta available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Developing Web 2.0 Applications with EGL for IBM i Developing Web 2.0 Applications with EGL for IBM i
Joe Pluta introduces you to EGL Rich UI and IBM’s Rational Developer for the IBM i platform.
List Price $39.95

Now On Sale

WDSC: Step by Step WDSC: Step by Step
Discover incredibly powerful WDSC with this easy-to-understand yet thorough introduction.
List Price $74.95

Now On Sale

Eclipse: Step by Step Eclipse: Step by Step
Quickly get up to speed and productivity using Eclipse.
List Price $59.00

Now On Sale







  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450Mobile computing is rapidly maturing into a solid platform for delivering enterprise applications. Many IBM i shops today are realizing that integrating their IBM i with mobile applications is the fast path to improved business workflows, better customer relations, and more responsive business reporting.

    This ASNA whitepaper takes a look at mobile computing for the IBM i. It discusses the different ways mobile applications may be used within the enterprise and how ASNA products solve the challenges mobile presents. It also presents the case that you already have the mobile programming team your projects need: that team is your existing RPG development team!

    Get your copy today!

  • Automate IBM i Operations using Wireless Devices

    DDL SystemsDownload the technical whitepaper on MANAGING YOUR IBM i WIRELESSLY and (optionally) register to download an absolutely FREE software trail. This whitepaper provides an in-depth review of the native IBM i technology and ACO MONITOR's advanced two-way messaging features to remotely manage your IBM i while in or away from the office. Notify on-duty personnel of system events and remotely respond to complex problems (via your Smartphone) before they become critical-24/7. Problem solved!

    Order your copy here.

  • DR Strategy Guide from Maxava: Brand New Edition - now fully updated to include Cloud!


    Download your free copy of DR Strategy Guide for IBM i from Maxava today.


  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:
    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things

    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!


  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results


    This year marks the sixth edition of the popular IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, HelpSystems sets out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. Year over year, the survey has begun to reveal long-term trends that give insight into the future of this trusted technology.

    More than 500 IBM i users from around the globe participated in this year’s survey, and we’re so happy to share the results with you. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

    With so many organizations depending on AIX day to day, ensuring proper security and configuration is critical to ensure the safety of your environment. Don’t let common threats put your critical AIX servers at risk. Avoid simple mistakes and start to build a long-term plan with this AIX Security eCourse. Enroll today to get easy to follow instructions on topics like:

    • Removing extraneous files
    • Patching systems efficiently
    • Setting and validating permissions
    • Managing service considerations
    • Getting overall visibility into your networks


  • Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.

    Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    HelpSystemsIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact


  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC GenericLet’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    Our panel of IBM i experts—Chuck Losinski, Robin Tatam, Richard Schoen, and Tom Huntington—will outline strategies that allow your company to cope with IBM i skills depletion by adopting these strategies that allow you to get the job done without deep expertise on the OS:
    - Automate IBM i processes
    - Use managed services to help fill the gaps
    - Secure the system against data loss and viruses
    The strategies you discover in this webinar will help you ensure that your system of record—your IBM i—continues to deliver a powerful business advantage, even as staff retires.


  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by Debbie Saugen. Debbie is an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability, helping IBM i shops build and implement effective business continuity plans.
    In today’s business climate, business continuity is more important than ever. But 83 percent of organizations are not totally confident in their backup strategy.
    During this webinar, Carol and Debbie discuss the importance of a good backup plan, how to ensure you’re backing up your security information, and your options for encrypted back-ups.

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC GenericIn this presentation, Alex Roytman and Liam Allan will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications. Learn how Agile Modernization:
    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution


  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIBM i is known for its security, but this OS could be more vulnerable than you think.
    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!


  • Easy Mobile Development

    SB Profound WC GenericWatch this on-demand webinar and learn how to rapidly and easily deploy mobile apps to your organization – even when working with legacy RPG code! IBM Champion Scott Klement will demonstrate how to:
    - Develop RPG applications without mobile development experience
    - Deploy secure applications for any mobile device
    - Build one application for all platforms, including Apple and Android
    - Extend the life and reach of your IBM i (aka iSeries, AS400) platform
    You’ll see examples from customers who have used our products and services to deliver the mobile applications of their dreams, faster and easier than they ever thought possible!


  • Profound UI: Unlock True Modernization from your IBM i Enterprise

    SB Profound PPL 5491Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.

  • Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.

    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).

  • 5 New and Unique Ways to Use the IBM i Audit Journal

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericYou must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data? Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts discuss:

    - Why companies don’t test role swaps when they know they should
    - Whether high availability in the cloud makes sense for IBM i users
    - Why some organizations don’t have high availability yet
    - How to get high availability up and running at your organization
    - High availability considerations for today’s security concerns

  • Profound.js 2.0: Extend the Power of Node to your IBM i Applications

    SB Profound WC 5541In this Webinar, we'll demonstrate how Profound.js 2.0 enables you to easily adopt Node.js in your business, and to take advantage of the many benefits of Node, including access to a much larger pool of developers for IBM i and access to countless reusable open source code packages on npm (Node Package Manager).
    You will see how Profound.js 2.0 allows you to:

    • Provide RPG-like capabilities for server-side JavaScript.
    • Easily create web and mobile application interfaces for Node on IBM i.
    • Let existing RPG programs call Node.js modules directly, and vice versa.
    • Automatically generate code for Node.js.
    • Automatically converts existing RPGLE code into clean, simplified Node.js code.

    Download and watch today!


  • Make Modern Apps You'll Love with Profound UI & Profound.js

    SB Profound WC 5541Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love:

    • Transform legacy RPG code to modern free-format RPG and Node.js
    • Deliver truly modern application interfaces with Profound UI
    • Extend your RPG applications to include Web Services and NPM packages with Node.js


  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel


    Most business intelligence tools are just that: tools, a means to an end but not an accelerator. Yours could even be slowing you down. But what if your BI tool didn't just give you a platform for query-writing but also improved programmer productivity?
    Watch the recorded webinar to see how Sequel:

    • Makes creating complex results simple
    • Eliminates barriers to data sources
    • Increases flexibility with data usage and distribution

    Accelerated productivity makes everyone happy, from programmer to business user.

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIt’s time to develop a strategy that will help you meet your informational challenges head-on. Watch the webinar to learn how to set your IT department up for business intelligence success. You’ll learn how the right data access tool will help you:

    • Access IBM i data faster
    • Deliver useful information to executives and business users
    • Empower users with secure data access

    Ready to make your game plan and finally keep up with your data access requests?


  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericLet’s face facts: servers don’t hack other servers. Despite the avalanche of regulations, news headlines remain chock full of stories about data breaches, all initiated by insiders or intruders masquerading as insiders.
    User profiles are often duplicated or restored and are rarely reviewed for the appropriateness of their current configuration. This increases the risk of the profile being able to access data without the intended authority or having privileges that should be reserved for administrators.
    Watch security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses a new approach for onboarding new users on IBM i and best-practices techniques for managing and monitoring activities after they sign on.

  • Don't Just Settle for Query/400...

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhile introducing Sequel Data Access, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access, distribution trends, and more advanced query tools. Plus, you’ll learn how a tool like Sequel lightens IT’s load by:

    - Accessing real-time data, so you can make real-time decisions
    - Providing run-time prompts, so users can help themselves
    - Delivering instant results in Microsoft Excel and PDF, without the wait
    - Automating the query process with on-demand data, dashboards, and scheduled jobs

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhat happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    You don’t need to stick with status quo anymore.
    Watch the webinar to learn how to put effective document management into practice and:

    • Capture documents faster, instead of wasting everyone’s time
    • Manage documents easily, so you can always find them
    • Distribute documents automatically, and move on to the next task


  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

    SB_PowerTech_WC_GenericGet actionable info to avoid becoming the next cyberattack victim.
    In “Data breach digest—Scenarios from the field,” Verizon documented an AS/400 security breach. Whether you call it AS/400, iSeries, or IBM i, you now have proof that the system has been breached.
    Watch IBM i security expert Robin Tatam give an insightful discussion of the issues surrounding this specific scenario.
    Robin will also draw on his extensive cybersecurity experience to discuss policies, processes, and configuration details that you can implement to help reduce the risk of your system being the next victim of an attack.

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this 30-minute recorded webinar, our experts demonstrate how you can:

    • Manage multiple platforms from a central location
    • View monitoring results in a single pane of glass on your desktop or mobile device
    • Take advantage of best practice, plug-and-play monitoring templates
    • Create rules to automate daily checks across your entire infrastructure
    • Receive notification if something is wrong or about to go wrong

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.


  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericYou need to know when IBM i disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer. Our experts will show you how Robot Monitor can help you pinpoint exactly when your auxiliary storage starts to disappear and why, so you can start taking a proactive approach to disk monitoring and analysis. You’ll also get insight into:

    • The main sources of disk consumption
    • How to monitor temporary storage and QTEMP objects in real time
    • How to monitor objects and libraries in real time and near-real time
    • How to track long-term disk trends



  • Stop Re-keying Data Between IBM I and Other Applications

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericMany business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop re-keying data between IBM i and other applications? Or if you could stop replicating data and start processing orders faster? Or what if you could automatically extract data from existing reports instead of re-keying? It’s all possible. Watch this webinar to learn about:

    • The data dilemma
    • 3 ways to stop re-keying data
    • Data automation in practice

    Plus, see how HelpSystems data automation software will help you stop re-keying data.


  • The Top Five RPG Open Access Myths....BUSTED!

    SB_Profound_WC_GenericWhen it comes to IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition, there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

    In this Webinar, we'll address some of the biggest myths about RPG Open Access, including:

    • Modernizing with RPG OA requires significant changes to the source code
    • The RPG language is outdated and impractical for modernizing applications
    • Modernizing with RPG OA is the equivalent to "screen scraping"


  • Time to Remove the Paper from Your Desk and Become More Efficient

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericToo much paper is wasted. Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets.And distributing documents is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally


  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400


    IBM’s Steve Will talks AS/400, POWER9, cognitive systems, and everything in between

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

    IBM i was built on the same foundation.
    Watch this recorded webinar with IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will and IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington to gain a unique perspective on the direction of this platform, including:

    • IBM i development strategies in progress at IBM
    • Ways that Watson will shake hands with IBM i
    • Key takeaways from the AS/400 days


  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.


  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using as a pre-built development environment



  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.


  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.



  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption



  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.



  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access




  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.


  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.



  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.



  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

    Request your trial now!

  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.