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Availability and i: Hardware-Level and Logical Solutions

High Availability / Disaster Recovery
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There are a number of high availability solutions for IBM i-based systems, but they can be broken down into two broad classes: hardware-level and logical. Each has unique qualities.

 

Reliability has been a hallmark of the AS/400 since its inception. Careful design and integrated hardware and software gave it a reputation as a system that almost never crashed. Nonetheless, reliability does not equal availability. Databases must be backed up and reorganized. Operating systems must be upgraded. And disasters can happen. Any of these incidents can create system unavailability.

 

For many organizations, reliability is necessary but not sufficient. Depending on the nature of their business, downtime may be unthinkable.

 

A major factor in the increased sensitivity to downtime is the current dependence on IT. When companies first computerized, they maintained manual systems that they could revert to if necessary. That's often no longer the case. Now, a system stoppage typically creates a business stoppage. For a large company, this may mean that operations worth millions of dollars an hour come to a halt.

 

Plus, lengthy system outages can create a perception of an inept company in the eyes of customers, suppliers, and industry watchdogs. The resulting profitability and viability impacts may be far greater than the loss of sales attributed directly to a system downtime event.

 

For some companies, availability isn't an option. It's mandatory. An increasingly rigorous regulatory environment forces many organizations to address their data availability issues. This is particularly true in the financial services and healthcare sectors, as well as in publicly traded companies.

 

This article reviews some of the unique features of IBM i that influence data and application availability, examines options for increasing availability on IBM i, looks at the role of IBM HA Business Partners, and offers some suggestions for helping you choose the most appropriate HA solution for your organization.

Unique IBM i Platform Technologies

AS/400 has always been a unique platform. Despite the merging of what had been the System i and System p hardware platforms into Power Systems, that uniqueness remains.

 

This section will review some of the distinctive features of the platform, including the following:

  • Single-level store
  • Switchable Independent Auxiliary Storage Pools (IASPs)
  • OS-level remote and local journaling.

Single-Level Store

Single-level store, also referred to as single-level storage, was a founding technology in AS/400 and probably its most widely discussed unique feature. With a single-level store architecture, IBM i treats all storage—both main memory and attached disks—as a single large memory organized into a two-dimensional view of address spaces.

 

In many cases, this reduces the number of instructions that the operating system has to execute to access and manage storage. The result is improved application and operating system performance.

 

It is important to note that neither programmers nor users would suffer if they remained ignorant of the existence of the single-level store because data objects on IBM i are accessed by name, never by address. The single-level store is relevant only much closer to the machine level than any human typically sees.

 

Switchable IASPs

In IBM i-speak, an Auxiliary Storage Pool (ASP) is simply a software definition of a collection of disk storage units. An IASP is similar, the difference being that an IASP is a collection of storage that you can bring online or take offline independent of the rest of the storage on a system—hence the "I," which stands for "Independent."

 

IASPs can be either switchable or non-switchable. Switchable IASPs can be easily switched between different IBM i-based systems.

 

Clearly, all systems that will potentially use a switchable IASP must be able to address that storage. To facilitate this, switchable IASPs make use of the IBM i clustering framework to control the allocation of IASP address ranges. When an IASP is created, the entire assigned range of system addresses is reserved on all systems that can access the IASP.

 

OS-Level Journaling

Journaling is at the heart of most logical HA solutions, but it also plays a part in some hardware-level technologies. When an object is enrolled in the journal, any update to that object is written first to the journal and then to the database itself. While it might seem counterintuitive, the journal is thus more up-to-date than the database itself. As such, the journal is invaluable for HA.

 

In addition to local journaling, IBM i also offers remote journaling that writes transaction information to both the local journal and to journal receivers running on another system. This second system can be in the same room, or it might be on the other side of the globe. If the remote replica is in another location, it should be distant enough that it will not be affected by any disaster that may befall the primary server.

 

Remote journaling can operate in either synchronous or asynchronous mode. Synchronous remote journaling first sends transactions to the remote journal receivers. Those transactions are written to the local journals and the local database only after the local system receives an acknowledgement from the remote journal receivers indicating that they have successfully received the transactions.

 

The benefits and drawbacks of synchronous and asynchronous journaling are readily apparent.

 

When using synchronous journaling, because user transactions are not considered to be complete until they have been received by the remote journals, the remote journal is even more up-to-date than the local journals at any point in time. Thus, 100 percent of transaction data can be recovered if a disaster or other failure strikes the local system.

 

On the other hand, because user transactions are held in abeyance until the remote journal has received them and acknowledged their receipt, network bottlenecks may result in unacceptably slow user response times. For this reason, synchronous journaling is rarely used when great distances separate the primary and remote systems.

Hardware-Level HA

IBM i offers a variety of hardware-level HA facilities either inherent in the operating system or as optional components, including the following:

  • Switchable I/O pools
  • Switchable storage towers
  • LUN-level switching
  • XSM Geographic Mirroring
  • PPRC Metro Mirroring
  • PPRC Global Mirroring

 

The first four of these technologies maintain only a single store of your data that can then be switched between IBM i-based servers. As such, they do not, on their own, offer protection against data destruction.

 

The technologies discussed below make use of or can make use of IBM Cluster Resource Services to maintain cluster nodes, monitor node availability, and provide switchover/failover functionality.

 

Switchable I/O Pools

A switchable I/O pool is configured on a disk internal to an IBM i-based system. It can be switched between two or more LPARs within that system. This can be useful when, for example, installing a software upgrade in one partition. When the upgrade is complete, the I/O pool can be switched between the two partitions with little or no operational downtime.

 

Switchable Storage Towers

Switchable tower technology is similar to switchable I/O pools, but rather than being internal disk units, the storage is contained in a tower that has been assigned to a single IASP. An HSL cable loop connects the storage tower to two systems. The IASP can then be switched between those systems.

 

This may not be a feasible option in the future. Many organizations are replacing HSL cables with 12X cable technology because 12X offers a bandwidth advantage that can be as high as 50 percent. However, the 12X cable technology is not compatible with switchable tower technology.

 

LUN-Level Switching

IBM i 7.1 introduced LUN-level switching as an operating system option when using IBM System Storage DS6000 or DS8000. With LUN-level switching, two or more systems or partitions within a cluster can connect to the same storage unit within a SAN. The Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs) that define an IASP can then be switched between the systems as required.

 

Because this option, like switchable I/O pools and storage towers, facilitates the switching of only a single store of your data, LUN-level switching is typically used in conjunction with a disk mirroring or data replication technology to provide a disaster recovery option.

 

XSM Geographic Mirror

XSM Geographic Mirror uses functions within IBM i to maintain a copy of an IASP on a second system in a cluster. The IASP can be varied on to either system, but not both simultaneously.

 

Because XSM Geographic Mirror performs synchronous mirroring, it is not suitable for maintaining mirrors over great distances. Consequently, it does not protect data against a disaster that would affect an entire data center.

 

PPRC Metro Mirror

PPRC Metro Mirror works at the storage unit level within a SAN. It uses IBM TotalStorage functions to create a copy of an IASP on another SAN attached to a second system within a cluster. When the primary system becomes unavailable or needs to be taken offline for maintenance, the replica IASP can be varied on to the backup system, which will then assume the production role.

 

Like XSM Geographic Mirror, PPRC Metro Mirror is a synchronous technology that is not suitable for long-distance replication of data.

 

PPRC Metro Mirror is an IBM proprietary technology that operates only on IBM storage units. EMC has a similar technology called SRDF/S.

 

PPRC Global Mirror

PPRC Global Mirror is similar to Metro Mirror, but it functions asynchronously. As a result, the distance between production and backup IASPs will not affect user response times.

 

The lag between transactions being committed on the primary system and their being reflected on the backup IASP puts data at risk. To lessen this risk, PPRC uses multiple communication paths to reduce data latencies and it adds a point-in-time technology that maintains a consistent copy of the IASP by writing sectors in the same order as they occurred on the primary system.

 

EMC's version of asynchronous mirroring is called SDRF/A.

Logical HA Technologies

In this context, "logical" is not meant to be a synonym for rational, but rather that it is based in program logic that operates further above the hardware level than hardware-level technologies (although still below the user application level). These HA applications copy all data on a production server to storage units on a second server. The HA software then maintains the currency of the backup data by replicating production system changes as they happen.

 

The two servers may be any of the following:

  • Partitions on a single system
  • Partitions on separate systems located in the same facility
  • Standalone servers located at the same facility
  • Servers (partitions on separate systems or standalone servers) considerably distant from each other

 

When the primary and backup servers are located in the same facility, the solution still provides high availability in the sense that it can prevent or reduce downtime from events such as scheduled maintenance or single-system failure. However, it does not prevent downtime that results from disasters that knock out an entire facility.

 

In contrast, when the primary and backup servers are geographically remote from each other, at least one of the facilities is likely to survive any disaster. Thus, if the primary server goes down, users can be switched to the backup.

 

Logical HA products usually provide facilities for automating the switchover process. In addition, they may include functionality that monitors the availability of the primary system from the backup. When the primary system is unavailable, the software may then be able to automatically initiate a switchover, although it is usually referred to as a "failover" in these cases.

 

The failover facility, if it exists in the product you buy, can usually be turned off if you prefer to retain control over when a switchover is initiated.

 

In the IBM i world, logical HA technologies use journaling—including both user and system journals—to capture changes made on the primary system. Remote journaling is usually, but not always, the transport mechanism for replication to the backup system.

 

Some vendors include an option for using a proprietary transport mechanism. This allows them to add functionality to the process, although possibly at a slight performance cost.

 

Regardless of how the solution transmits the changed data between the two systems, the HA software is responsible for moving the data out of the journal (or other data store if remote journaling is not used) on the backup machine and into the appropriate databases or files. This is necessary to ensure that the system remains a hot-standby replica server that is ready to take over operations whenever necessary.

 

Logical HA technologies typically operate asynchronously, thereby virtually eliminating the impact on user application performance. However, when they employ remote journaling as the change capture and transmission mechanism, you can use synchronous mode if you have zero tolerance for lost data. Synchronous remote journaling is subject to the same user response time issues as synchronous hardware-level disk mirroring.

 

Because hardware-level HA technologies are tied to the hardware, they are available only from the hardware vendor. Logical HA solutions, on the other hand are available from both IBM and independent software vendors.

 

Continuous Data Protection

Traditional HA technologies do not offer complete protection for your data. Most data losses are not of a catastrophic nature. Instead, they result from more common occurrences, such as the accidental deletion of a file or the corruption of one or a few data items.

 

Traditional HA technologies cannot help in the remediation of these problems as they replicate data changes in real-time or near real-time. Thus, even if the problem is discovered within minutes of it occurring, the accidental deletion or corruption will probably already be reflected on the backup server, meaning that it no longer provides a source for data recovery.

 

A newer technology, Continuous Data Protection (CDP), can fill this gap. Like the replication process of traditional HA technologies, CDP captures changes applied to the production system and transmits them to a backup server. Unlike HA technologies, those changes are not applied to operational files and databases. Instead, CDP stores information about each update.

 

When some data is corrupted or mistakenly deleted, the CDP software can use the information it stored about each update to restore the data to its state at a particular point in time.

 

CDP comes in two flavors. True CDP transmits changes to the backup server as they occur, allowing data to be restored to its state at any point in time. Near CDP accumulates updates and transmits them in a batch only at certain intervals, possibly when a file is closed. With near CDP, data can be restored only to its state at one of the batch boundaries.

 

CDP does not necessarily require a second IBM i-based system. Instead, it typically stores backup data in a cross-platform file format. Therefore, CDP may make use of IBM i, Windows, Linux, AIX, or a UNIX system as the backup server.

Making Choices

Hardware-level and logical HA technologies each have unique benefits and drawbacks. To choose the one that's best for your organization, you must understand these differences, assess your organization's requirements, and then choose the solution that best serves your needs.

 

The following discussion briefly reviews some of the more important differences between hardware-level and logical replication.

 

Inter-System Bandwidth: User Response Time and Data Latency Issues

Because the HA technology must transmit all updates from the primary server to the backup, bandwidth between the two systems may be an issue. When using asynchronous replication, the critical consideration is the volume of data that might be awaiting replication at the time of a primary system failure. In general, the more constrained the bandwidth is and the higher the transaction volume, the greater this data latency will be. Depending on the nature of a failure, all of this data may be irretrievably lost.

 

This is not a problem with synchronous replication because the remote journal currency is never behind the primary system. However, this introduces another problem. If bandwidths are severely constrained, users may find their systems locked for unacceptable lengths of time while the journaling function waits for an acknowledgment to return from the remote system. In this case, response times increase depending on how overburdened the pipes between the two systems are.

 

Logical HA technologies typically offer some advantages in this area as they generally send less data across the wires. Logical replication transmits only changed data. In addition, it can be tuned to replicate only those items that are needed for recovery.

 

In addition, the remote journaling at the heart of logical HA technologies provides features that can reduce the bandwidth requirement even further. For example, it can bundle journal entries and send them in more efficient batches when a backlog forms. Remote journaling can also make use of IBM i Data Port Services to press multiple communication lines into play if necessary. And because remote journaling operates at the operating system level, it has priority access to system resources.

 

Hardware-level HA, on the other hand, typically transmits blocks of data even if much of that block has not changed. For example, XSM Geographic Mirror transmits copies of whole memory pages from the source to the target. Each page is 4KB or, for some OS processes running on newer versions of IBM i, 64KB. XSM Geographic Mirror uses IBM i Data Port Services to transmit data over up to four communication lines simultaneously.

 

Technically, PPRC Metro Mirror and PPRC Global Mirror copy sectors, not pages, of data that change on the primary SAN. However, in practical terms, that amounts to the same thing. On Power Systems for IBM i, each memory page that is written to disk results in all sectors being rewritten. The bandwidth available between IBM TotalStorage SAN units depends on the number of fiber-channel cards installed.

 

Recovery Time Implications

Hardware-level and logical HA technologies both rely on journaling to provide for system recovery. The difference is that logical HA immediately applies the received journal entries to the databases and files on the backup system as soon as they are received. As a result, the backup system is always a ready-to-run replica of the primary system.

 

In contrast, a hardware-level solution employs the remote journal to recover damaged and lost data and objects after a system failure. However, these recovery operations begin only after the failure has occurred. Consequently, recovery times may be longer for hardware-level HA technologies than for logical HA.

 

In addition, using hardware-level mirroring, the mirror IASP must be varied on to the backup system before it can take over operations. The vary-on process is an operating system–level operation that includes more than 30 sequential steps, which further lengthens recovery times.

 

Flexibility Issues

The need to vary on the backup IASP mirror before it can be used for any purposes other than mirroring limits the flexibility of hardware-level HA solutions. Logical HA technologies maintain a fully functioning replica server. Thus, the backup can be used for read-only operations such as tape-backup jobs, queries, and report generation. Transferring these read-only operations to the backup system will reduce the workload on the primary system, thereby improving user response times on that system.

 

In contrast, because the backup IASP in a hardware-level HA environment cannot be used for operational purposes until it is varied on, it ceases to serve as a mirror target because the mirror must be attached to the primary system.

 

It is possible to detach the target IASP and vary it on to the backup system in order to perform read-only functions. When you do so, changes made on the primary system are buffered and mirrored when the mirror IASP is reattached to the primary system. However, buffer sizes then become an issue.

 

Thus, it is not practical to use this method to perform lengthy operations on the backup system, particularly during times when transaction volumes are high.

 

In addition to limiting the flexibility to use the backup system for other purposes, hardware-level HA also limits your storage hardware choices. As the name implies, hardware-level HA is hardware-dependent. You can typically mirror only storage devices from the same vendor. You can't, for example, use IBM storage devices on the primary system and mirror them to EMC devices on the backup.

 

In contrast, logical HA operates at the data level. It is neither aware of nor cares what make of storage units you use on either the primary or backup system as long as they are addressable by your IBM i system.

IBM and HA Business Partners

In the beginning, AS/400 did very little to address availability issues that weren't related to reliability. As the technology progressed through new releases of OS/400 and then i5/OS on AS/400, iSeries, System i, and now IBM i on Power Systems, IBM added availability functionality either inherent in the operating system or as add-on features. Nonetheless, IBM has always relied on HA Business Partners to fill in the gaps in availability coverage.

 

From a personal perspective, I first became interested in HA systems more than a quarter century ago when I was asked to serve on an IBM Corporate task force on HA. The purpose of this task force was to set the direction for HA on all future IBM systems. The initial focus was on the mainframe, because few System/36 or System/38 customers needed HA. That changed when we announced the AS/400.

 

Shortly after the AS/400 was announced, it became very clear to IBM that many of our customers, especially those in the financial and healthcare industries, needed HA solutions. Unfortunately, there was not enough time or budget inside of IBM to develop our own HA solution for the AS/400.

 

I knew of a few Business Partners and System/38 customers that had written HA packages for their own use. I visited several of these firms and determined that some of these packages with modifications could be used for the AS/400. This was the beginning of IBM's reliance on Business Partners for HA solutions. 

 

Over time, new HA partners appeared, and several of the original partners merged into larger worldwide partners. IBM continues to work closely with these partners to define what new availability functions are needed. At almost every release, IBM adds some new or enhanced availability functions into the operating system or as add-on features.

 

So Many Choices…

No organization can afford to ignore issues concerning the availability of its data and application. Downtime tolerance varies depending on the nature and volume of the business, but few, if any, modern enterprises could continue to exist indefinitely without access to their systems.

 

Yet, threats to availability are real and unavoidable. Even if you never suffer a disaster (somewhat possible; disasters are rare) or never experience a hardware, software, or power failure (less likely; these issues are more common), you will still have to shut your systems down for regular maintenance.

 

There are a number of technologies that can, to one extent or another, address these availability issues in the IBM i sphere. Each of these technologies has different costs (both acquisition costs and operating costs) and different availability capabilities associated with it.

 

It is not possible to prescribe an HA solution for you here because the technology that is most appropriate for your organization depends on your unique needs.

as/400, os/400, iseries, system i, i5/os, ibm i, power systems, 6.1, 7.1, V7,

Frank Soltis

Dr. Soltis is regarded throughout the world as one of the most significant computer scientists of the 20th century. Based on his doctoral dissertation research, Soltis created a revolutionary computer architecture, which led to a completely new breed of computers. During the last decade, he led the effort to define the architecture of the 64-bit PowerPC processors used in IBM's Power System servers. Before retirement from IBM as its Chief Scientist, Soltis defined directions for IBM systems and the IBM Development Laboratory in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. He currently travels the world speaking about IT trends and technology advancements. Dr. Soltis is a member of the Vision Solutions Technology Advisory Board (VTAB).

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    Set your sights on having the right monitoring solution, no matter what comes your way. Watch the recording today!

  • Work Smarter: Integrate IBM i and Desktop Applications

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    My desktop application users spend a lot of time manually generating and printing letters using IBM i data.
    Our team copies and pastes information between IBM i applications all the time. Launching a PC application from my IBM i screens is impossible today.
    Sound familiar?
    Too many businesses go through manual efforts to transfer documents and data across IBM i and desktop applications—especially ERPs. Whether you use JDE World, JDE EnterpriseOne, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, or any other ERP, chances are your employees are stuck transferring information manually. And all of that manual effort leads to hours upon hours of wasted time.
    But it doesn’t need to anymore.

    See More

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Let’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. These folks have been managing all areas of your business—often manually and behind the scenes—for decades, everything from IT operations to data and documents to cybersecurity.
    Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    During this 30-minute recorded webinar, 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
    IBM i skills depletion is a top concern for IBM i shops around the world. 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.

    Watch this webcast now

  • IFS Security – Don’t Leave Your Server Vulnerable

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Experts agree that one of the most overlooked areas of IBM i security is the Integrated File System. Available since V3R1, the IFS provides access for users carrying nothing more than a user profile and password, so it better be secure! If you believe nothing important is stored on your server's IFS, think again, because it's a conduit to many things, including the Operating System and all of your application libraries and files.
    Watch this important session to learn about securing the IFS, including:
    Why do we care about the IFS?
    Permissions versus Authority
    Root folder access
    Auditing IFS activities
    Read/Write versus *ALLOBJ
    Anti-Virus Considerations

  • Who’s Afraid of Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS? Not i.

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    This 30-minute recording demystifies Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS and teaches best practice techniques for maintaining and controlling critical processes and applications running on your Linux, AIX, and VIOS environments.

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by the newest member of the HelpSystems team: Debbie Saugen.
    Debbie is recognized worldwide as an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability. For decades, Debbie has helped 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.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC Generic

    In this presentation, Alex Roytman (CEO, Profound Logic) and Liam Allan (2016 COMMON Student Innovation Award winner) 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

    Watch this Webcast NOW!

  • The Truth About Viruses on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Protecting your data from viruses or malicious code is not an unfamiliar concept, but understanding how these threats can affect your Power Systems server may not be as easy to grasp.
    There are many myths about viruses and IBM i—including the belief that the system is immune. Many Power Systems managers still don’t see viruses as a risk because they see them as a Windows threat. While this was once true, today’s connected environments operate under different rules.
    It’s time to take action and protect IBM i and the network that connects to it. This on-demand webinar will help you gain an understanding of the relationships between:

    - Viruses and the integrated file system (IFS)
    - Power Systems and Windows viruses
    - PC-based anti-virus scanning vs native IBM i scanning
    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. Learn the facts to ensure you're fully-protected.

  • Business Process Automation with Robot

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Automate Process Flow Through the Data Center
    Typical “computerized” business processes are a combination of multiple schedulers, operational scripts, CL programs, and manual file checking, all backed up with the trusty runbook.
    Is there a better way to manage business processes?
    It is a common misconception that a business process cannot be automated if it’s too complicated or requires that someone verify each step. We’re here to tell you there is a better way to manage your business—process automation is possible!
    Take 30 minutes to learn the options for automating your business process flow and how they fit into your data center processing, including cases of:
    - Complex or iterative schedules
    - Event-driven dependencies
    - Multi-platform dependencies
    - Dynamically calculated parameters
    - Exception notification
    - SAP and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne integration
    How do I know business process automation is effective?
    If you have any doubts that automating complex business processes will improve your level of service, you’ll also hear a success story from the senior systems administrator at Trident Seafoods who embraced automation using the Robot solution and is reeling in the benefits!

  • Find Out Why You Should Keep Data on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    It’s simple. IBM i is the most reliable, securable, and powerful platform to house your critical business data.
    IBM i was built for business and has added features and functionality over the years to keep up with modern business needs. You can trust it to run your business, access your data in real-time, and keep your data secure. Plus, IBM i can scale to your business and handle all of your critical data.
    Can your other platforms do that?
    We didn’t think so.
    Watch this 30-minute webinar to learn why you should keep your data on IBM i, including:
    - IBM i is reliable
    - IBM i offers fast and secure real-time data access
    - IBM i helps your business prepare for tomorrow
    Plus, we demonstrate how Sequel Data Access helps you modernize IBM i data access and meet your business needs.

  • Mobile Apps for IBM i Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Overnight and weekend support can be a minefield for operations teams tasked with attempting to maintain system availability, especially when they must rely on laptop-based VPN access—where a delayed response can prove costly.
    With over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to use the BYOD movement to your advantage and start managing your IT infrastructure from the palm of your hand. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how Halcyon has modernized this crucial layer of support by introducing mobile applications for IBM i monitoring.
    You’ll hear how one company has used the Enterprise Console mobile app to provide a valuable audit trail and speed up response time. You’ll also learn:
    - The benefits of mobile apps
    - How to respond to critical messages within seconds
    - How to get notifications your way on your device
    - How to set up escalation, ensuring alerts are always handled in a timely fashion
    If your team is responsible for managing IBM i applications and services after regular business hours, you won’t want to miss this one!

     

  • Speed Up Your Manufacturing and Distribution with Paperless Processes

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Your ERP system —whether it’s JDE World, Enterprise One, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, VAI, or anything else—is essential to maintaining your company’s key business information and processes. But you’re constantly generating and receiving paper and electronic documents, too, and it’s hard to keep everything straight. So, you wind up chasing documents and data around—and keeping your customers and vendors waiting.
    It’s time to make life easier and make your customers happier. With an electronic document management system, you can integrate with your ERP to keep all of your key documents and data in one spot.
    And when all of your documents are stored digitally, you can speed up your processes and get key documents (like purchase orders and invoices) approved faster.
    Watch the webinar and learn how to:
    - Integrate a document management system with your ERP
    - Capture all of your key shop floor, order, and shipment documents in one central repository
    - Improve customer, vendor, and employee response times
    - Accomplish more work without adding additional staff
    It’s time to deliver your shipments faster and keep your customers happy by streamlining your paperwork processes.

  • Dock Door Signing Made Easy

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    How long does dock door signing take your organization? Too long if you’re still using manual processes and paper.
    From generating to collating to printing to routing to signing, manual processes and paper slow down your organization—and your delivery times. Electronic documents and digital signature capture can change all of that. And your organization will be able to create, route, approve (with digital signatures), and retrieve documents faster.
    Learn how digital signature capture helps you:
    - Eliminate steps in your approval processes
    - Improve auditability
    - Reduce customer service time to resolve questions
    Plus, we’ll demonstrate how digitizing signatures and documents will reduce your organization’s costs over the long haul.

  • 5 Reasons Developers Love Robot Schedule

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Why AppDev Should Embrace Automation
    Your application development team is an expensive resource that works hard to improve business processes, yet more and more IBM i shops are putting AppDev in charge of managing day-to-day system operations.
    Instead of taking their attention away from the website, business analytics, mobile, security, SQL data access, and more, streamline operations with automation and build in notifications so your teams have visibility into processing when they need it, and can manage the rest by exception.
    In just 30 minutes, our experts will show how AppDev teams can take advantage of Robot automated operations on IBM i and beyond so they can:
    - Stop programming for multi-platform job and file event dependencies
    - Stop struggling with incorrect parameter values
    - Stop wondering where to fit a process into daily, weekly, or monthly cycles
    - Stop the on-call headaches, the firefighting, and the lack of progress cycle
    - Go ahead, give your AppDev team a productivity boost!

  • Affordable Query Tool for Software Developers

    SB NGS WC Generic

    NGS’ Software Developer Kit (SDK) gives IBM i developers comprehensive query, dynamic mobile reporting, analytics and Web report design features at an affordable cost. Install and create meaningful outputs for managers in one day! Web page and portal integration, email, FTP are included.
    The $895* SDK includes a one user license, online training, user manuals, one year of software maintenance; toll-free support and online incident reporting.
    - Want to modernize beyond Query/400 and PC files transfers?
    - Need a Web reporting solution without the learning curve and overhead of DB2 Web Query?
    - Have many reporting needs, but a tight budget and small staff?
    View the demo and request a FREE TRIAL of the SDK.
    * Limited time offer.

  • Your introduction to RCAC and Authority Collection

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    IBM has provided us with two powerful and very exciting security enhancements in the last two versions of IBM i.

    Scott Forstie of IBM joins Carol Woodbury to demonstrate and describe the V7R2 feature called Row and Column Access Control (RCAC), which extends how you define which users have access to specific rows in a database file. RCAC also provides a way to mask data for all or selected users.

    The recently released V7R3 adds Authority Collection. Authority Collection provides organizations and vendors with the ability to know exactly what authority is required to perform a task, eliminating the guesswork. Gone is the need to set *PUBLIC authority on database files to *ALL or to automatically grant service accounts *ALLOBJ special authority just because you’re unsure of what authority is required.

    Watch Scott and Carol as they discuss these and other new security features delivered in V7R2 and V7R3.

  • ​Getting Started with IBM i Security: Event Auditing

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Learn why event auditing is necessary and how to configure it
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This second session of the series introduces event auditing, with Robin Tatam covering the basics and more:
    - Why auditing is necessary
    - Determine if IBM i auditing is currently active
    - How to configure auditing with one simple command
    - What audit events are recorded (and which are missed!)
    - How high availability (HA) applications often make critical events disappear
    - Event reporting and real-time alerting

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Securing PC Access

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Protect your system from unauthorized network access through readily available PC tools

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    This on-demand webinar will show you how well-known services like FTP and ODBC enable users to access sensitive data without oversight or restrictions. Robin Tatam will also explain what exit programs are and how you can use them to protect your organization.

  • No Time for IBM I Security? No Problem

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    “Security” is definitely on your IT staff’s to-do list, but how often does this item get checked off?

    IT doesn’t have enough time for security—the 2016 IBM i Security Study proves it. The trouble is that data security isn’t a set-and-forget project. Data security on your IBM i requires on-going attention and expertise.

    In this on-demand webinar, you’ll learn how to save time and work more effectively. We’re cutting to the core of IBM i security by outlining the simple strategy developed by our experts.

    You’ll see a straightforward approach to understanding and addressing risk to your IBM i data. We’ll also show you how our world-class security services help people protect business-critical data when they don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to tackle IBM i security on their own.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: System Values

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Set the tone for data protection with security-relevant system values

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    The series opens with an introduction to security-relevant system values.

    System values are one of the fundamental elements of IBM i security. The security system values enable you to “set the tone” of security on your IBM i, enforce password composition rules, and enable auditing. Watch this on-demand webinar to see Carol Woodbury describe these system values and provide guidance on their best practice settings.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    The IFS is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of IBM i security
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This recorded session has Robin Tatam introducing IFS security:
    - Defining IFS
    - How the IFS is configured
    - Common IFS security mistakes
    - What a virus can do to IBM i through the IFS
    - Tracking user activity

  • ​7 Habits of Highly Secure Organizations

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Everyone knows that cyber security is important, but getting started on the road to data protection and compliance can be confusing and intimidating. Understanding common vulnerabilities helps you focus your attention and resources on the areas that need the most help.
    We all want “best-practice” security, but what are top organizations doing to achieve and maintain it?
    Watch this webinar to learn the details about how to develop the seven habits that are part of daily life for secure organizations. You’ll learn how to:
    - Break the Ostrich Syndrome
    - Develop a Security Policy
    - Assess Current Standing
    - Perform Security Event Logging and Review
    - Use “Best of Breed” Technologies
    - Monitor for Ongoing Compliance
    - Plan for the Future
    This on-demand webinar examines what each of these habits means to IBM i, and helps you make sure that you don’t become the next security statistic.

  • An Introduction to PCI Compliance on IBM Power Systems

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    "From the world's largest corporations to small Internet stores, compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is vital for all merchants who accept credit cards, online or offline, because nothing is more important than keeping your customer’s payment card data secure.” — PCI Security Standards Council
    Complying with the PCI standard is a normal part of doing business in today’s credit-centric world. But, PCI applies to multiple platforms.
    The challenge becomes how to map the general PCI requirements to a specific platform, such as IBM i. And, more importantly, how can you maintain—and prove—compliance?
    Watch this webinar to understand:
    - How PCI requirements relate to IBM i systems
    - IBM i-specific barriers to compliance
    - How PowerTech security solutions help you fulfill PCI requirements, meet compliance guidelines, and satisfy auditors
    You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to evaluate PCI compliance requirements and prepare your IBM i system for today’s regulatory challenges.

  • Implementing Multiple Layers of Defense

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Your IBM i holds a massive amount of data. In most organizations, that data constitutes a mission-critical and high-value asset.

    How do you adequately protect the data residing on your IBM i, given its value to your organization? IBM has provided us with many options for protecting our data, but it’s now always clear how to select and implement the best options for your circumstances.

    This recorded webinar describes IBM i’s different data security options, along with implementation recommendations and tips for getting started. Carol Woodbury, one of the world’s top IBM i security experts, also provides considerations to help you determine how many layers of security are right for your organization.

  • 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 Generic

    Watch 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!
    Watch this Webinar Now!

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

    SB Profound PPL 5491


    Modern, 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.
    We will demonstrate how Profound UI:
    - Goes beyond simple screen-scraping to truly modernize your RPG applications
    - Uses RPG Open Access and your own RPG code and development talent to modernize
    - Supports rapid development with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop Designer
    - Integrates with our on-the-fly modernization, mobile development, and Enterprise Modernization solutions

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

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericHigh availability for IBM i has been a hot topic in 2017, jumping 20% from our 2016 survey to take the #2 seat on IT priority lists just behind cybersecurity. And no surprise with these two topics so closely tied to your most valuable asset: your irreplaceable business data.
    With major airline outages last year and the recent ransomware attacks, you 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—Tom Huntington, Matt Staddler, and Cole Ragland—deliver lively discussion around the top high availability issues of today, including:

    • 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

    There are no do-overs when it comes to your data. Once it’s gone, it’s gone...unless you have a data replication layer in place to protect it. Learn the value of these strategic solutions and how you can implement them in a hurry—watch now!

     

  • 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 5541Roses are red, your UIs are green...It's time to make your apps proud to be seen!
    Whether 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.
    In this webinar, you'll learn how you can use both Profound UI and Profound.js to:

    • 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

    This webinar will include a live product demonstration and Q&A with the presenters.

    Download and watch today!

  • 2017 IBM i Marketplace Revealed

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM i is one of technology’s best-kept secrets, with little information available about what IBM i users are doing on this server. Even companies that use this technology struggle to explain to their own teams what IBM i stands for and who else is using it.
    The IBM i Marketplace Survey—now in its 3rd year—was designed to solve this problem. Watch this on-demand webinar for the exclusive results of the 2017 survey. IBM i Champion Tom Huntington is joined by a panel of technology experts to discuss year-over-year trends and new insights. The panel will discuss:

    • What other platforms do you run alongside IBM i?
    • What programming and Open Source languages are you using?
    • What are your top IT issues?
    • What version of POWER and what OS level is most prevalent?
    • Are you expanding your usage of IBM i?
    • Is IBM i a good ROI?

    The expert panel will provide industry insight and comments about the results. When the webinar concludes, you’ll get access to the full results.

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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_Generic

    Everyone wants a piece of your business data. But keeping up with data access requests in the era of constantly growing data is a challenge. As a result, your IT department can be overwhelmed, inundated, and constantly needing to play catch-up.
    It’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 in 2018.
    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_Generic

    Let’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 noted 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_Generic

    There’s a better way to run your queries. With an advanced query tool like Sequel Data Access, you can deliver the IBM i data your organization needs quickly and efficiently—without the hang-ups.
    In this session, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access and distribution trends, and help you understand what to look for in a more advanced query tool.
    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
    • Watch the webinar and learn why you shouldn’t just settle for Query/400.

     

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    Capturing documents means scanning and filing—which takes you away from tasks that actually matter to the business. Managing documents means sorting through an endless sea of shared folders or filing cabinets—and sometimes documents can’t be found. Distributing documents means following a frustrating, manual process for routing documents internally and sending them to vendors and customers.
    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_Generic

    Get 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.

  • Monitor VIOS (and AIX) from Your IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) runs on AIX and allows you to share input/output resources across logical partitions. The health of your VIOS server is critical to the performance of all your Power server partitions, so monitoring it is a must.
    Our 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results uncovered a cool trend: an increasing number of IBM i shops are running AIX instances alongside IBM i on Power Systems servers. We like to see these systems playing nicely together on the same server, though it does shine a spotlight on shared resources.
    During this 30-minute recording, our experts demonstrate the new VIOS and AIX monitoring capabilities in Robot Monitor. You’ll learn about:

    • The top AIX metrics that impact VIOS
    • Real-time monitoring with dashboard displays
    • Threshold and notification options
    • Identifying trends to better allocate resources

    With VIOS/AIX running alongside IBM i, you need visibility into your entire Power environment.
    Watch now to see how Robot Monitor can get you there!

     

     

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    You’re responsible for looking after Windows, Linux, AIX, and VIOS, but you worry that you don’t understand their complexities well enough to make your job effective—or easy.
    No problem! Simplify the management of multiple operating systems and applications without becoming experts in each area.
    In 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 and shows how easy monitoring multiple operating systems and applications can be using point-and-click technology.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    When IBM i disk space pulls its notorious disappearing act, you don’t have time to waste figuring out how the trick is done. You need to know when disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer.
    Looking behind the curtain to keep a close eye on disk space—especially in a multi-partition environment—can have its challenges, but every good admin can have an ace up their sleeve. 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

    Start seeing through the sleight of hand and get instant visibility into disk usage. Add advance warning of potential threats and—abracadabra!—you’ll reduce the risk of disk space depletion and curb the sudden flurry of activity to clean things up.

     

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

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    Still following manual processes for extracting and transferring data across platforms? You’re not alone. Many business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation. And that leads to a lot of manual effort.
    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, you’ll see a demonstration of how data automation software from HelpSystems will help you finally stop re-keying data.

     

  • Survey Results: 2018 Top Cybersecurity Risks and Mitigation Strategies

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    Protecting your organization from cyberthreats has never been more important—or more difficult.
    IT pros have many tactics to choose from, but time (and budgets!) are not unlimited. The key is prioritizing risks and identifying the most effective ways to mitigate the danger.
    In 2018, HelpSystems surveyed more than 600 IT and cybersecurity professionals to find out what security exploits loom largest and what strategies they’re turning to for protection.
    In this on-demand webinar, our team of cybersecurity security experts analyzes results. You’ll learn about:

    • Security strategies your peers are most interested in implementing
    • How managers and executives prioritize security
    • Who is responsible for cybersecurity at organizations around the world
    • Where IT pros turn for assistance with security

    You'll also get practical tips for using this data to drive cybersecurity conversations at your organization.

     

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

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    When it comes to IBM® Rational® Open Access: RPG Edition (also known as RPG Open Access), 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"

    This Webinar features IBM i expert Alison Butterill, and Profound Logic’s Brian May and Alex Roytman.

     

    Watch the On-demand Webinar Now!

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

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    Do your users keep paperwork on their desk until it's processed?
    Are people constantly removing documents from filing cabinets?
    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Too much paper is wasted—approximately 1,000 pages per month per worker.
    Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets drive your employees crazy.
    And distributing documents to customers, vendors, and business partners 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

    Plus, our experts will provide a live demonstration of how implementing a document management solution will quickly solve your paper-based problems, so you can be more

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

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    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

     

  • TRY the One Package That Solves All Your Document Design and Printing Challenges

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    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. Why support 5 different products, when you can do it all with MarkMagic?

    - Drive over 450 different printer types.
    - Create invoices, statements, checks.
    - Set dynamic rules that transform output on the fly.
    - Conditionally distribute via Email, fax, or PDF.
    - Integrate with your current applications in minutes.
    - Preview printing on screen.
    - Native System i, Windows, AIX, Linux.

    Try MarkMagic today for free

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) 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 5413

    Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. 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
    Keep your critical applications and data available. Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    The thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot 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

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    For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. brKey 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.

  • MS Office Connector for Query/400...FREE Trial!

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    NGS' Qport Office enables Windows users to run IBM Query/400 queries to:
    - Create and update Excel spreadsheets and Access databases
    - Create Word documents
    - Send to Windows screen and PC printers
    No query conversion is required. Works with i5/OS V5R1 & above. Installs in minutes!
    If you don’t have a budget to replace IBM Query/400, but want your users to have one click enhanced output of their queries.... Request the online license agreement and product download instructions today!
    Offer good through December 31, 2016.

  • Control and Monitor User Access from Desktop PCs (ODBC, FTP)

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    Protect your company by monitoring network traffic to your IBM i servers with the industry-leading exit program, PowerTech Network Security.
    Without visibility into IBM i's exit points, your users could be viewing, changing, or even deleting sensitive data—and you wouldn’t know!
    Network Security lets you monitor and control access to over 30 exit points, including:

    - ODBC
    - FTP
    - DDM
    - Remote command
    - Fileserve (mapped drives to IFS)
    It’s easy to set up custom access rules and get notified in real-time when security events occur.
    Stop “back door” access today. Try Network Security free for 30 days.

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

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    More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. Managing the complexities of today's operating systems, business applications, and networks challenges even the most knowledgeable IT professionals. The cost to an enterprise of unplanned downtime, loss of human expertise during sick leave or vacation, and system/application or environmental failure can be devastating. 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 (and staff) efficiency.