IT staffers can survive SOX or other audits—unscathed—even when the business of IT is to run the business.

An impending audit—whether internal or external—arouses visceral reactions (or overreactions) in company employees not unlike the mass hysteria that grips the lemurs in DreamWorks' Madagascar when they are faced with the threat of the dreaded foosa.

Read more ...

When the company grew to the point that all its operations depended upon a complex set of computer processes, avoiding interruption in the finely tuned manufacturing and distribution operation became a challenge.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts has an aggressive inventory control process that involves replacing products that are just a few hours old. If any of its computing processes fail, the delivery of fresh inventory could be disrupted.

Read more ...

A tempest has been brewing for Lotus and Domino 8's support for DB2. It's time to put this tempest back in the teapot. 

Several weeks ago, when Domino 8 began to ship, a System i reporter noticed that Domino 8 permits the storage of Notes/Domino data in the format of the DB2 Universal Database (sometimes marketed as DB2 UDB). Evidently, this reporter had expected Lotus to extend this capability to System i DB2 and found this "failure" to be an interesting and controversial topic for a broadside against Lotus. In his report, he claimed that System i DB2 was getting shorted with Domino 8, and he searched in vain for an answer from IBM Software.

Read more ...

While Infor and Siemens may not be household words for many System i professionals, that could change soon.

In an industry such as ours that obsesses over whatever is new, it is ironic that nothing can generate as much game-changing news as the hoary, time-honored IT conference. This truth proved itself again in recent weeks, as announcements coming out of two IT conferences carried important implications for users of the System i. Without further ado, let's dive into those announcements to learn how they could affect our server of choice.

Read more ...

Craig Copeland's Webcast brings HA to a new audience.

Craig Copeland from BCS Group sounds a bit like a "good ol' boy" from Florida, and he really knows his stuff when it comes to high availability. He should! He's spent the last 14 years installing every brand of HA system in the market.

Read more ...

With all the miracles of modern technology, don't you have to wonder why airlines can't keep track of our luggage?

The situation may sound familiar. You can't stretch your legs, the person next to you thinks he owns your armrest, and the person in front of you insists on reclining her seat to the point where getting up to go to the bathroom involves a complicated routine of contortionism that challenges your aged muscles.

Read more ...

Why do some people feel the need to bring their high-tech toys with them when visiting the great outdoors?

We all know that technology is taking over the world. But where do you draw the line? Where should we dig in and build that Maginot Line to prevent technology from taking over absolutely everything?
The other day, there was a discussion on the radio about bringing your high-tech toys with you during camping trips to the great outdoors. Imagine that: You canoe to some out-of-the-way lake in Algonquin Park, set up your tent, build a campfire, and then open up your laptop to check your email! Is there no one else who sees something wrong with this picture? But more and more people are doing just that. One person called in and described how excited his son was to climb the tallest peak in Killarney Provincial Park and, from there, immediately called his mom on the cell phone! Another caller complained about trying to relax at a campfire only to hear Dora the Explorer from one direction and Barney the purple dinosaur from another!

Now, we're not big outdoors people, but we do enjoy our breaks away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. This summer, we were able to poach on my sister-in-law's boyfriend, Peter, twice with visits to his cottage. His cottage is on a beautiful lake in the middle of a scenic nowhere some four hours from our home. Watching the water and the wildlife thereon is a great way to relax and escape the world of stress and anxiety.

I do enjoy our visits to Peter's cottage. And for days after our visits, my dear wife likes to read the real estate rags, looking for our dream cottage. I always have to explain that it's a lot less trouble, and ultimately a lot cheaper, to just rent a cottage for a week or so during the summer (or take advantage of friends or relatives!). With a rental, you get to enjoy the lake without all the hassles of maintenance and driving there every other weekend, battling all the cottage country traffic, which can be worse than the westbound 401 at dinner time.

Take Peter, for example: Over the past two years, he has spent a lot of time and money renovating his cottage. A big garage is understandable. You need one to hold your snowmobile and jet ski. But his dream cottage also included a humongous great room where he can watch his DVDs in luxurious comfort. Again, another fine example of someone missing the point of cottage life!

But back to that call-in show on the radio. There were indeed quite a few misguided souls who not only enjoy the use of Wi-Fi connections while camping, but actually seek out connected campgrounds. This may sound like the ultimate in silliness, but one person described how he was able to identify wildlife by doing a Google search. In the old days, we just opened up our Peterson Field Guide. What's next? Binoculars that can automatically identify the animal you're looking at?

Of course, one of the motivations for being connected during vacation is to be on call in case your boss needs you. Pshaw! You don't want to hear the expletives I'd use if my boss wanted me available during my vacation! Maybe I'm unusual, but I've always used all of my assigned vacation. And I've always enjoyed not being accessible. Perhaps there are people who think they're indispensable to their employer? Well, I for one would never want to be in that position. No salary would pay for the stress of being the most important worker in the IT department. Furthermore, having irreplaceable employees is a good recipe for trouble for any IT manager. Why then do IT workers delude themselves that they're indispensable? That too is a good subject for a rant. Maybe someone else will write that one.

And if you absolutely have to be connected, why bother at all with actually visiting the wilderness? Just go online and look at all the nice pictures of this world's wild and unexplored spaces. Heck, you can even see some nice photos of our trips to Peter's cottage—taken, of course, with the one high-tech toy I'd never go to cottage country without: my digital camera!

For that matter, many city dwellers may not even be aware of wild spots they can visit within their own city. Take my own burg, Toronto, as an example. Sure, squirrels, raccoons, and skunks are common pests. I even chased one incredibly huge raccoon out of my garage! But within mere blocks of our home, we've also seen fox and deer roaming the streets. Furthermore, there's a wooded area nearby where the white trilliums and jack-in-the-pulpits bloom in the spring. Sure, the urban wilderness areas have a few problems. You can never escape the noise from the streets, highways, and railroad lines. And unfortunately, you don't want to skinny dip in the streams and rivers flowing through those parks.

But getting back to the real wilderness parks. If the visitors to the woods can be connected, what about the animals who live there? Shouldn't the black bears be able to look at a Google map to see where the good garbage dumps are? A beaver could log in and look up the locations of the undammed streams. Animals such as moose and deer and turtles could use the online maps and forums to avoid the really busy highways and share the locations of hunters and trappers.

Bottom line: Please leave those high-tech toys at home during your wilderness outings. Enjoy the great outdoors as it was meant to be enjoyed, with all that nature has to offer, things like peace and quiet, beautiful sunsets, and majestic scenery, along with other pleasures such as mosquitoes, black flies, and poison ivy.


Support MC Press Online





  • 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!


  • Profound Logic Solution Guide

    SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation.
    Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects.
    The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the companyare not aligned with the current IT environment.

    Get your copy of this important guide today!


  • 2022 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    Fortra2022 marks the eighth edition of the IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, Fortra captures data on how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT and cybersecurity initiatives it supports.

    Over the years, this survey has become a true industry benchmark, revealing to readers the trends that are shaping and driving the market and providing insight into what the future may bring for this technology.

  • Brunswick bowls a perfect 300 with LANSA!

    FortraBrunswick is the leader in bowling products, services, and industry expertise for the development and renovation of new and existing bowling centers and mixed-use recreation facilities across the entertainment industry. However, the lifeblood of Brunswick’s capital equipment business was running on a 15-year-old software application written in Visual Basic 6 (VB6) with a SQL Server back-end. The application was at the end of its life and needed to be replaced.
    With the help of Visual LANSA, they found an easy-to-use, long-term platform that enabled their team to collaborate, innovate, and integrate with existing systems and databases within a single platform.
    Read the case study to learn how they achieved success and increased the speed of development by 30% with Visual LANSA.


  • Progressive Web Apps: Create a Universal Experience Across All Devices

    LANSAProgressive Web Apps allow you to reach anyone, anywhere, and on any device with a single unified codebase. This means that your applications—regardless of browser, device, or platform—instantly become more reliable and consistent. They are the present and future of application development, and more and more businesses are catching on.
    Download this whitepaper and learn:

    • How PWAs support fast application development and streamline DevOps
    • How to give your business a competitive edge using PWAs
    • What makes progressive web apps so versatile, both online and offline



  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks



  • Why Migrate When You Can Modernize?

    LANSABusiness users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.
    In this white paper, you’ll learn how to think of these issues as opportunities rather than problems. We’ll explore motivations to migrate or modernize, their risks and considerations you should be aware of before embarking on a (migration or modernization) project.
    Lastly, we’ll discuss how modernizing IBM i applications with optimized business workflows, integration with other technologies and new mobile and web user interfaces will enable IT – and the business – to experience time-added value and much more.


  • UPDATED: 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

    FortraIT 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


  • 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



  • 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.

  • 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.



  • Encryption on IBM i Simplified

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDB2 Field Procedures (FieldProcs) were introduced in IBM i 7.1 and have greatly simplified encryption, often without requiring any application changes. Now you can quickly encrypt sensitive data on the IBM i including PII, PCI, PHI data in your physical files and tables.
    Watch this webinar to learn how you can quickly implement encryption on the IBM i. During the webinar, security expert Robin Tatam will show you how to:

    • Use Field Procedures to automate encryption and decryption
    • Restrict and mask field level access by user or group
    • Meet compliance requirements with effective key management and audit trails


  • Lessons Learned from IBM i Cyber Attacks

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDespite the many options IBM has provided to protect your systems and data, many organizations still struggle to apply appropriate security controls.
    In this webinar, you'll get insight into how the criminals accessed these systems, the fallout from these attacks, and how the incidents could have been avoided by following security best practices.

    • Learn which security gaps cyber criminals love most
    • Find out how other IBM i organizations have fallen victim
    • Get the details on policies and processes you can implement to protect your organization, even when staff works from home

    You will learn the steps you can take to avoid the mistakes made in these examples, as well as other inadequate and misconfigured settings that put businesses at risk.



  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    SB PowerTech WC GenericWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks



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

    SB Profound WC GenericHave 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).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

  • 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

    FortraRobot 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

    FortraRobot 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.