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Client Access Platforms: Present and Future

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Ever since IBM shipped the first version of Client Access (back in the DOS days), one of the main objectives has been to make sure that the latest and most popular client operating systems are supported. There were the Windows 3.1 years and the OS/2 years, which eventually gave way to the 9x and NT-based operating systems. The goal of providing users iSeries access from popular client platforms is unchanged today.

This article describes what is being done to help ensure that the clients of choice can still access iSeries resources. (Naturally, IBM will drop support for some Windows operating systems that Microsoft itself no longer supports.) Throughout this article, I'll make statements regarding IBM's intentions for supporting new platforms. These statements imply no commitment from IBM that this support will be available.

A Backward Glance

The first product of the 9x/NT era was Client Access for Windows 95/NT. This client started shipping in 1995, and its last deliverable (5763-XD1, V3R2M0) was for OS/400 V4R5 systems. Initially, it supported just Windows 95, but Windows NT and 98 were added later.

Starting in V4R4, a new, enhanced Windows 32-bit client called Client Access Express for Windows (5763-XE1) was delivered, and it replaced Client Access for Windows 95/NT. In this article, I will refer to it simply as "Express." As most iSeries customers are probably aware, Express was the first Client Access product that did not provide support for SNA connections, in favor of providing optimized TCP/IP access.

SNA (APPC/APPN) Connectivity

The Windows 95/NT client support ends when V4R5 ends (currently scheduled for December 31, 2002). After that, there are no plans to support any SNA client. In addition, as of OS/400 V5R1, there are no more Client Access products that support SNA. V4R5 was the last release to support the Client Access for Windows 95/NT product. There were lots of reasons to leave SNA behind, but I won't discuss that here. Since the entire computing industry has embraced TCP/IP for connectivity, this is the present and planned direction for Client Access.

Windows Operating System Support

Released in 1999, the V4R4 version of Express could be used with Windows 95, 98, Me, and NT4.0.

Released in 2000, the V4R5 version of Express added support for Windows 2000.

Released in 2001, the V5R1 version of Express added support for Windows XP.

V5R1

With the V5R1M0 version of Express, no Windows support was dropped. Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, and XP are all supported. IBM's current plan is to continue to support all of those operating systems on V5R1M0 Express until V5R1M0 Express goes out of support. This will happen when V5R1 OS/400 goes out of support, which is currently scheduled to be in May 2003 (although this is subject to change). However, as Microsoft drops supports for older versions of Windows, there may be some issues that cannot be solved on these older versions.

When V5R1M0 Express started shipping, Microsoft supported all those operating systems or planned to soon (Windows XP was released about four months after V5R1). The IBM Client Access development team tested each one. For NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, workstation and server versions were tested. Although the traditional use of Client Access has been for workstations, a growing number of customers run Express on the middle tier of a three-tier network. This may be done by installing Express on a Windows server running Terminal Services, or it may be by running Express APIs as services on a Windows server. The Microsoft Terminal Server Edition for NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 are both supported for use as terminal servers, so you can install Express once and then have multiple clients connect in to it to use Express functions. In addition, if Citrix Metaframe is installed, those attached clients don't even have to be Windows clients. Customers who need to run parts of Express as services on Windows server platforms should be aware that the Express APIs are capable of running on Windows NT and 2000 servers that are running Internet Information Services (IIS). This allows remote clients to access the iSeries database using Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP). Also, the Express ODBC driver is supported in the Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) environment.

V5R2

The V5R2M0 version has been renamed because of the rebranding IBM has done. The new name is iSeries Access for Windows, which is now part of the iSeries Access family. All of the environments supported for V5R1 continue to be supported in V5R2, with the exception of Windows 95. Microsoft ended its extended support of Windows 95 in December 2001, so it didn't seem appropriate to come out with a new release of iSeries Access that supported it. Three other considerations led to IBM not supporting Windows 95:

  1. Installed with Express were a number of Microsoft redistributable files that were needed to ensure that all functions of Express could work on Windows 95. These files are packaged as part of the operating system in later versions of Windows (98, NT, etc.), so there is no need for Express to install them there. By not shipping these files, IBM reduces the likelihood that Express could replace another version of those files on a PC (which could have a negative effect on other applications).
  2. The TCP/IP stack in Windows 95 was built on Winsock 1.1. All later Windows versions were built on Winsock 2.0 or greater. By dropping support for Winsock 1.1, Express can now take advantage of additional functionality available only in Winsock 2.0 or greater, and it also improves performance (Note: Downloading Winsock 2.x from Microsoft's Web site may enable much of iSeries Access to work with V5R2, but IBM does not support this environment).

3. IBM could focus more testing and development on other operating systems.

Also, IBM plans to support the Windows .Net Server operating system (the replacement product for Windows 2000 Server) soon after it becomes generally available. During V5R2 development, some testing was done with beta versions of this operating system. It's likely that testing of the final version of Windows .Net Server will be done with a specific service pack level of V5R2M0 iSeries Access for Windows. Therefore, the support position will specify that a specific service pack level or greater will be required for official support. Watch the iSeries Access Web site for future information.

Future iSeries Access Releases

As I mentioned, the iSeries Access development team plans to support the operating systems that are popular with its users. So as new Microsoft versions of the business versions of Windows are released, the plan is to support them soon afterward. Microsoft press releases have alluded to a future Windows version code-named Longhorn. Since there is no way of knowing when that will actually ship, I can't guess which release of iSeries Access will support it. But the iSeries Access Web site will be updated when this is known.

Of course, in order to keep supporting new operating systems, older ones eventually have to be dropped. In the release after V5R2, the plan is to drop support of the remaining Windows 9x operating systems (98 and Me). Here are some of the reasons:

  1. According to the Microsoft Web site, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 98 after June 30, 2003.
  2. A few months after the Windows Me announcement, Microsoft announced that business applications are not supported on Windows Me (it's for home use only). Since iSeries Access for Windows is classified as a business application, continued IBM support of this product on Windows Me is not appropriate.

3. There are functions and interfaces available with the NT-based operating systems (NT, 2000, XP) that are not available on the 9x-based operating systems. Enhancements planned for the next release of iSeries Access for Windows may rely on these functions and interfaces.

Although Microsoft has stated that it doesn't plan to support Windows NT 4.0 after the summer of 2003, IBM currently plans to continue to support iSeries Access on the Windows NT 4.0 platform in the release after V5R2. A large number of customers have told IBM that they won't be able to migrate off of Windows NT 4.0 before Microsoft drops support of it.

Looking at the big picture, you can see that IBM does intend to support iSeries Access on all of the Microsoft business versions of Windows longer than Microsoft actually supports the operating systems. If a customer reports an iSeries Access problem on an operating system that Microsoft no longer supports, IBM Service will work on the problem. However, if the problem is eventually determined to be a defect in the Windows operating system, no additional assistance can be provided. iSeries Access users need to be aware of this.

Figure 1 shows a chart of the expected dates for end of support for the most recent Microsoft operating systems. Note that these dates could change. They are based on what is currently documented on the Microsoft Web site, and the currently announced dates for OS/400 release end of support.

 

Windows OS
Microsoft End of Extended Support
IBM iSeries Access for Windows End of Support
Windows 95
11/30/2001
V5R1--05/31/2003
Windows 98
06/30/2002
V5R2--09/30/2004
Windows Me
12/31/2003
V5R2--09/30/2004
Windows NT 4.0
06/30/2002
2005 or later
Windows 2000
03/31/2003
No plan for end of support yet
Windows XP
??????????
??????????

Figure 1: The expected dates for end of support of these Microsoft operating systems are shown here.

 

Processor Support

For a number of years, the IBM iSeries Access development team has not had to worry too much about what type of processor Windows is running on. They've all been 32-bit, and compatibility has not been an issue, whether it's Intel or AMD processors that are being used. As performance of the processors increased, testing was done to help ensure that Client/iSeries Access could handle it. As multi-processor PCs arrived on the scene, tweaks were made to the product to handle those also.

However, the new 64-bit processors are a different challenge. Within the past year, Intel released Itanium, its first entry into the 64-bit arena. Itanium can run both 32- and 64-bit Windows applications, but Intel stated that there would be a significant performance degradation when running in 32-bit mode. Since the first uses of Itanium are predicted to be in servers, the IBM iSeries Access development team decided to do a 64-bit port of the most performance-critical functions of the product that are most often run on a server (usually in the middle tier of a three-tier network). Therefore, in the V5R2M0 release, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of ODBC and OLE DB exist. Most of the remainder of the product will run in 32-bit mode on Itanium processors, but there will likely be a few restrictions. Any applications that are ported to 64-bit and require the use of ODBC will need to use the 64-bit iSeries Access for Windows ODBC driver. Official support on Itanium is planned for soon after the 64-bit version of Windows .Net Server becomes publicly available. When the follow-on to Itanium becomes available, iSeries Access will likely be tested with it also. If you have any interest in testing the 64-bit support, contact me at my email address at the end of this article.

Another 64-bit processor that is expected soon is AMD's Opteron, which was formerly code-named Sledgehammer. According to statements from AMD, this chip will not have a performance degradation when running 32-bit applications on it. IBM plans to test iSeries Access for Windows on this platform at some time.

Non-Windows

Although most of Client/iSeries Access customers use Windows as their client operating system, the iSeries Access family does have solutions for non-Windows platforms (such as Linux, Macintosh, AIX, and OS/2). The iSeries Access for Web product started shipping in September 2001. Since it runs as servlets on an iSeries server, no code needs to be installed on the PC clients. This allows the product to run on any platform that supports a Web browser. While iSeries Access for Web does not have all of the functions that iSeries Access for Windows has, it does have most of what an end user requires, such as data transfer, 5250 emulation, control of printers and print jobs, and file system access. This product is ideal for customers who don't want to manage software installed on multiple PCs, who need to be able to access their iSeries from outside a firewall, or who have non-Windows PCs. It is not IBM's plan at this time to replace the iSeries Access for Windows product with iSeries Access for Web for a couple of reasons:

  • iSeries Access for Web is intended for casual end users, and the functionality that is available through a Web interface restricts some of the advanced capabilities our users require.
  • It is IBM's plan to provide Web access to IBM servers in a common manner for a common set of functions, which will be a subset of all management functions that are necessary. Therefore, iSeries-specific management actions are planned to be primarily anchored in iSeries Access for Windows.

If the only function a user needs for accessing an iSeries is ODBC, and use of a Linux client is desired, then there is another iSeries Access solution. The iSeries ODBC driver for Linux is now available as a Web download.

Whether iSeries database access is needed from a Linux PC or from an iSeries Linux partition, this ODBC driver should meet users' needs. Also, since it shares its source code with the iSeries Access for Windows ODBC driver, it should have the same level of function, and when fixes are made to one driver, the other will automatically get the same fix.

Summary

The iSeries Access family of products should meet users' needs for accessing iSeries servers from the platforms that they use. By testing on beta software and hardware and by always looking ahead, IBM ensures that iSeries Access will likely have a solution when it's needed. The development of the iSeries Access for Web product has positioned IBM to better meet requirements for non-Windows platforms (since only a browser is required on the client). IBM's plan to deliver iSeries access solutions on strategic business versions of the client operating systems is still intact.

Jeff Van Heuklon is currently the Technical Chief Engineering Manager for the iSeries Access family. In this role, he is responsible for iSeries Access strategy, plans, and design control. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ever since IBM shipped the first version of Client Access (back in the DOS days), one of the main objectives has been to make sure that the latest and most popular client operating systems are supported. There were the Windows 3.1 years and the OS/2 years, which eventually gave way to the 9x and NT-based operating systems. The goal of providing users iSeries access from popular client platforms is unchanged today.

This article describes what is being done to help ensure that the clients of choice can still access iSeries resources. (Naturally, IBM will drop support for some Windows operating systems that Microsoft itself no longer supports.) Throughout this article, I'll make statements regarding IBM's intentions for supporting new platforms. These statements imply no commitment from IBM that this support will be available.

A Backward Glance

The first product of the 9x/NT era was Client Access for Windows 95/NT. This client started shipping in 1995, and its last deliverable (5763-XD1, V3R2M0) was for OS/400 V4R5 systems. Initially, it supported just Windows 95, but Windows NT and 98 were added later.

Starting in V4R4, a new, enhanced Windows 32-bit client called Client Access Express for Windows (5763-XE1) was delivered, and it replaced Client Access for Windows 95/NT. In this article, I will refer to it simply as "Express." As most iSeries customers are probably aware, Express was the first Client Access product that did not provide support for SNA connections, in favor of providing optimized TCP/IP access.

SNA (APPC/APPN) Connectivity

The Windows 95/NT client support ends when V4R5 ends (currently scheduled for December 31, 2002). After that, there are no plans to support any SNA client. In addition, as of OS/400 V5R1, there are no more Client Access products that support SNA. V4R5 was the last release to support the Client Access for Windows 95/NT product. There were lots of reasons to leave SNA behind, but I won't discuss that here. Since the entire computing industry has embraced TCP/IP for connectivity, this is the present and planned direction for Client Access.

Windows Operating System Support

Released in 1999, the V4R4 version of Express could be used with Windows 95, 98, Me, and NT4.0.

Released in 2000, the V4R5 version of Express added support for Windows 2000.

Released in 2001, the V5R1 version of Express added support for Windows XP.

V5R1

With the V5R1M0 version of Express, no Windows support was dropped. Windows 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, and XP are all supported. IBM's current plan is to continue to support all of those operating systems on V5R1M0 Express until V5R1M0 Express goes out of support. This will happen when V5R1 OS/400 goes out of support, which is currently scheduled to be in May 2003 (although this is subject to change). However, as Microsoft drops supports for older versions of Windows, there may be some issues that cannot be solved on these older versions.

When V5R1M0 Express started shipping, Microsoft supported all those operating systems or planned to soon (Windows XP was released about four months after V5R1). The IBM Client Access development team tested each one. For NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, workstation and server versions were tested. Although the traditional use of Client Access has been for workstations, a growing number of customers run Express on the middle tier of a three-tier network. This may be done by installing Express on a Windows server running Terminal Services, or it may be by running Express APIs as services on a Windows server. The Microsoft Terminal Server Edition for NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 are both supported for use as terminal servers, so you can install Express once and then have multiple clients connect in to it to use Express functions. In addition, if Citrix Metaframe is installed, those attached clients don't even have to be Windows clients. Customers who need to run parts of Express as services on Windows server platforms should be aware that the Express APIs are capable of running on Windows NT and 2000 servers that are running Internet Information Services (IIS). This allows remote clients to access the iSeries database using Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP). Also, the Express ODBC driver is supported in the Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) environment.

V5R2

The V5R2M0 version has been renamed because of the rebranding IBM has done. The new name is iSeries Access for Windows, which is now part of the iSeries Access family. All of the environments supported for V5R1 continue to be supported in V5R2, with the exception of Windows 95. Microsoft ended its extended support of Windows 95 in December 2001, so it didn't seem appropriate to come out with a new release of iSeries Access that supported it. Three other considerations led to IBM not supporting Windows 95:

  1. Installed with Express were a number of Microsoft redistributable files that were needed to ensure that all functions of Express could work on Windows 95. These files are packaged as part of the operating system in later versions of Windows (98, NT, etc.), so there is no need for Express to install them there. By not shipping these files, IBM reduces the likelihood that Express could replace another version of those files on a PC (which could have a negative effect on other applications).
  2. The TCP/IP stack in Windows 95 was built on Winsock 1.1. All later Windows versions were built on Winsock 2.0 or greater. By dropping support for Winsock 1.1, Express can now take advantage of additional functionality available only in Winsock 2.0 or greater, and it also improves performance (Note: Downloading Winsock 2.x from Microsoft's Web site may enable much of iSeries Access to work with V5R2, but IBM does not support this environment).

3. IBM could focus more testing and development on other operating systems.

Also, IBM plans to support the Windows .Net Server operating system (the replacement product for Windows 2000 Server) soon after it becomes generally available. During V5R2 development, some testing was done with beta versions of this operating system. It's likely that testing of the final version of Windows .Net Server will be done with a specific service pack level of V5R2M0 iSeries Access for Windows. Therefore, the support position will specify that a specific service pack level or greater will be required for official support. Watch the iSeries Access Web site for future information.

Future iSeries Access Releases

As I mentioned, the iSeries Access development team plans to support the operating systems that are popular with its users. So as new Microsoft versions of the business versions of Windows are released, the plan is to support them soon afterward. Microsoft press releases have alluded to a future Windows version code-named Longhorn. Since there is no way of knowing when that will actually ship, I can't guess which release of iSeries Access will support it. But the iSeries Access Web site will be updated when this is known.

Of course, in order to keep supporting new operating systems, older ones eventually have to be dropped. In the release after V5R2, the plan is to drop support of the remaining Windows 9x operating systems (98 and Me). Here are some of the reasons:

  1. According to the Microsoft Web site, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 98 after June 30, 2003.
  2. A few months after the Windows Me announcement, Microsoft announced that business applications are not supported on Windows Me (it's for home use only). Since iSeries Access for Windows is classified as a business application, continued IBM support of this product on Windows Me is not appropriate.

3. There are functions and interfaces available with the NT-based operating systems (NT, 2000, XP) that are not available on the 9x-based operating systems. Enhancements planned for the next release of iSeries Access for Windows may rely on these functions and interfaces.

Although Microsoft has stated that it doesn't plan to support Windows NT 4.0 after the summer of 2003, IBM currently plans to continue to support iSeries Access on the Windows NT 4.0 platform in the release after V5R2. A large number of customers have told IBM that they won't be able to migrate off of Windows NT 4.0 before Microsoft drops support of it.

Looking at the big picture, you can see that IBM does intend to support iSeries Access on all of the Microsoft business versions of Windows longer than Microsoft actually supports the operating systems. If a customer reports an iSeries Access problem on an operating system that Microsoft no longer supports, IBM Service will work on the problem. However, if the problem is eventually determined to be a defect in the Windows operating system, no additional assistance can be provided. iSeries Access users need to be aware of this.

Figure 1 shows a chart of the expected dates for end of support for the most recent Microsoft operating systems. Note that these dates could change. They are based on what is currently documented on the Microsoft Web site, and the currently announced dates for OS/400 release end of support.

 

Windows OS
Microsoft End of Extended Support
IBM iSeries Access for Windows End of Support
Windows 95
11/30/2001
V5R1--05/31/2003
Windows 98
06/30/2002
V5R2--09/30/2004
Windows Me
12/31/2003
V5R2--09/30/2004
Windows NT 4.0
06/30/2002
2005 or later
Windows 2000
03/31/2003
No plan for end of support yet
Windows XP
??????????
??????????

Figure 1: The expected dates for end of support of these Microsoft operating systems are shown here.

 

Processor Support

For a number of years, the IBM iSeries Access development team has not had to worry too much about what type of processor Windows is running on. They've all been 32-bit, and compatibility has not been an issue, whether it's Intel or AMD processors that are being used. As performance of the processors increased, testing was done to help ensure that Client/iSeries Access could handle it. As multi-processor PCs arrived on the scene, tweaks were made to the product to handle those also.

However, the new 64-bit processors are a different challenge. Within the past year, Intel released Itanium, its first entry into the 64-bit arena. Itanium can run both 32- and 64-bit Windows applications, but Intel stated that there would be a significant performance degradation when running in 32-bit mode. Since the first uses of Itanium are predicted to be in servers, the IBM iSeries Access development team decided to do a 64-bit port of the most performance-critical functions of the product that are most often run on a server (usually in the middle tier of a three-tier network). Therefore, in the V5R2M0 release, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of ODBC and OLE DB exist. Most of the remainder of the product will run in 32-bit mode on Itanium processors, but there will likely be a few restrictions. Any applications that are ported to 64-bit and require the use of ODBC will need to use the 64-bit iSeries Access for Windows ODBC driver. Official support on Itanium is planned for soon after the 64-bit version of Windows .Net Server becomes publicly available. When the follow-on to Itanium becomes available, iSeries Access will likely be tested with it also. If you have any interest in testing the 64-bit support, contact me at my email address at the end of this article.

Another 64-bit processor that is expected soon is AMD's Opteron, which was formerly code-named Sledgehammer. According to statements from AMD, this chip will not have a performance degradation when running 32-bit applications on it. IBM plans to test iSeries Access for Windows on this platform at some time.

Non-Windows

Although most of Client/iSeries Access customers use Windows as their client operating system, the iSeries Access family does have solutions for non-Windows platforms (such as Linux, Macintosh, AIX, and OS/2). The iSeries Access for Web product started shipping in September 2001. Since it runs as servlets on an iSeries server, no code needs to be installed on the PC clients. This allows the product to run on any platform that supports a Web browser. While iSeries Access for Web does not have all of the functions that iSeries Access for Windows has, it does have most of what an end user requires, such as data transfer, 5250 emulation, control of printers and print jobs, and file system access. This product is ideal for customers who don't want to manage software installed on multiple PCs, who need to be able to access their iSeries from outside a firewall, or who have non-Windows PCs. It is not IBM's plan at this time to replace the iSeries Access for Windows product with iSeries Access for Web for a couple of reasons:

  • iSeries Access for Web is intended for casual end users, and the functionality that is available through a Web interface restricts some of the advanced capabilities our users require.
  • It is IBM's plan to provide Web access to IBM servers in a common manner for a common set of functions, which will be a subset of all management functions that are necessary. Therefore, iSeries-specific management actions are planned to be primarily anchored in iSeries Access for Windows.

If the only function a user needs for accessing an iSeries is ODBC, and use of a Linux client is desired, then there is another iSeries Access solution. The iSeries ODBC driver for Linux is now available as a Web download.

Whether iSeries database access is needed from a Linux PC or from an iSeries Linux partition, this ODBC driver should meet users' needs. Also, since it shares its source code with the iSeries Access for Windows ODBC driver, it should have the same level of function, and when fixes are made to one driver, the other will automatically get the same fix.

Summary

The iSeries Access family of products should meet users' needs for accessing iSeries servers from the platforms that they use. By testing on beta software and hardware and by always looking ahead, IBM ensures that iSeries Access will likely have a solution when it's needed. The development of the iSeries Access for Web product has positioned IBM to better meet requirements for non-Windows platforms (since only a browser is required on the client). IBM's plan to deliver iSeries access solutions on strategic business versions of the client operating systems is still intact.

Jeff Van Heuklon is currently the Technical Chief Engineering Manager for the iSeries Access family. In this role, he is responsible for iSeries Access strategy, plans, and design control. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

     

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

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

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Download and watch today!

     

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

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

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

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

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

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

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

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

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

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

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

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

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

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

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

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

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

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

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

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

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

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

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

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

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

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

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

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

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

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

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

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

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

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

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

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

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

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

    Request your trial now!

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

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

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

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

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

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

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

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

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

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

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