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Business Computer Design, Int'l., Inc. (BCD) reported this week it is seeing an increased amount of activity by its Professional Services Group (www.bcdsoftware.com/services/) and the company expects that trend to continue throughout 2009. BCD's Professional Services Group specializes in developing new custom IBM i Web applications and modernizing existing green-screen applications.

Factors influencing greater demand for BCD services include the addition of IBM i PHP Web application development services using WebSmart PHP, and services to modernize existing IBM i green-screen applications using Presto, BCD's IBM i Web enablement tool, the company said. A video version of this press release on BCD's new professional services offerings can be viewed at http://www.bcdsoftware.com/ibmiservices/pr/video.

PHP Web Development on the IBM i

PHP interest continues to grow at a strong pace in the IBM i community, and that has led to an increase in PHP Web development services, according to BCD. In addition to WebSmart ILE, BCD offers WebSmart PHP, which was released in May 2007.

"We've already completed numerous PHP-based projects using WebSmart PHP," says Kevin Cronin, director of BCD's Professional Services Group. "WebSmart PHP extends our reach beyond development on the IBM i to other platforms. It integrates directly with IBM i DB2 and MySQL and facilitates development in a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) environment," he says. WebSmart PHP is a rapid Web application development tool for creating System i and multi-platform PHP Web applications and is used by the BCD Professional Services Group to deliver PHP applications s quickly and efficiently.

According to Cronin, "The transition from ILE CGI development to PHP has been easy for our developers. Conceptually, the development process is much the same; the WebSmart IDE is common to both environments. Several team members had prior experience with PHP. Their in-depth knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and other Web technologies transferred directly to PHP development using WebSmart. Using PHP also allows our developers to take advantage of thousands of available functions.

Recently, we completed a project using PHP functions to create a PDF on-the-fly and then email it to the client as part of a Web application for a large transport company. This type of functionality would not be possible with an RPG CGI program."

5250 Application Modernization

Presto, BCD's rapid green-screen modernization tool, was unveiled in June 2008. Presto has generated a huge response, the company notes. Based on the number of downloads, high enrollment in Webinars, and new sales, BCD expects 2009 to be a very active year. Customers looking for a complete solution that includes modernizing existing green-screen applications have hired BCD Professional Services.

The group's in-depth knowledge of HTML and JavaScript makes it easy for team members to add new functionality that Web enables green-screen applications. This ability is enhanced by using Presto to include such things as: links, images, Google Maps, Flash charts and graphs, and drop-down boxes. The team routinely uses AJAX to call data from other servers.

This adds significant value to the modernized application while retaining a significant part of the original code. For some organizations, refacing existing applications is currently a better fit because of the smaller investment required compared to rewriting them. Using WebSmart PHP, the company can still reuse the back-end RPG logic.

The Economic Advantages of Using Services

Current economic conditions have forced many organizations to curtail any new hiring initiatives, and in many cases, to cut back on staffing.

This has put pressure on IT departments to deliver new projects as well as accurately estimate costs. Hiring BCD's Professional Services Team to develop custom Web applications has alleviated these challenges for many of our clients. The services team is able to react with rapid development and deployment of new applications without clients having to hire full-time staff members or incur overhead for the developer. Ellery Soifer, IT manager for Tricots Liesse, sums it up as follows: "BCD allows me to get my app developed and work with their programmers so that I'm able to maintain and enhance the programs. This represents a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time Web developer."

Development shops across virtually all industries are straining under expanding workloads, accelerated deadlines, and ongoing budget cuts. Management and stakeholders are growing less patient and want to minimize delays in getting new systems online.

"While WebSmart development tools are easy for IBM i developers to use, many organizations simply don't have the time or staff to do the development work," says Cronin. "Our team is often contracted to develop an initial, time-sensitive application. After that application is rolled out, we facilitate the knowledge transfer so our clients can maintain and enhance the application moving forward," he says. "The code base and documentation provided helps clients maintain the applications and can be used as a framework for new development," he says.

Another factor that contributes to BCD's success in the services arena can be attributed to its ability to accurately assess the scope of a project before any agreements are executed, according to the company. "Software development estimates are notoriously inaccurate," says Cronin. "We work with our clients up-front to establish a detailed specification for their project. This service allows us to clearly determine the scope of the project. As any experienced developer will tell you, estimating development time and costs is not always easy to do. I'm pleased to say that we have established a very good track record based on the experience we've gained, and the number of projects we've completed over the years."

Services Overview

BCD's Professional Services engagements are managed remotely with developers typically accessing client's servers using a VPN connection. By eliminating travel expenses, customers save thousands of dollars. Also, by handling projects remotely, the company's developers have access to numerous resources that greatly improve efficiency. "We have delivered services in this manner for several years now, which has proven to be very effective," adds Cronin.

Aside from handling complete projects, BCD Professional Services Group can also help clients with jump-start projects and work in tandem with their staffs. In many instances, when final systems are delivered, many clients chose to take over the maintenance going forward. To expedite a smooth project transition for clients, BCD uses a structured knowledge transfer methodology. The team provides a variety of professional services including:

• Building new IBM i or multi-platform Web applications

• Web enabling existing green-screen applications and adding new functions

• Establishing portals, dashboards, and Web reports

• Training staff on BCD products and in PHP development

For questions about BCD Professional Services, the company's application modernization solutions, or PHP Web application development, contact BCD at (630) 986-0800. A video describing BCD's professional services offerings can be viewed at http://www.bcdsoftware.com/iseries400services/Webconsultants/.

More information may be obtained by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 630-986-0800.

About BCD

BCD is one of the most successful modernization tool providers in the IBM i marketplace, and has garnered the respect and recognition of top-level executives at IBM. Since its inception, BCD has stayed focused on the needs of users of the IBM i and multi-platform communities. BCD has received more than 35 industry awards, including 13 software excellence awards for WebSmart. The company has more than 30 years of experience in the IBM midrange marketplace. More than 30,000 copies of its software solutions have been licensed worldwide by more than 10,000 organizations. BCD is a charter member of the IBM i ISV Advisory Council and an IBM Advanced Business Partner. BCD offers unparalleled technical support. BCD's Professional Services Group develops a wide range of PHP and ILE RPG browser-based applications, including B2B and e-commerce Web sites.

BCD and Quadrant Software

BCD is a Quadrant Software company and one of the most successful software organizations in the IBM i marketplace. The companies have a combined 60 years in the IBM i marketplace and have successfully helped thousands of organizations worldwide modernize. Together, Quadrant and BCD help customers maximize their investment in IBM i with their industry leading web development, mobilization, spool file beautification and document distribution tools. Their customers and partners around the world are leaders in key markets such as finance, manufacturing, transportation, retail and healthcare.
Quadrant and BCD are part of the Quadrant group of companies that also includes Netlert, which develops an Avaya call center performance analysis solution, and SoftBase, which provides application testing and tuning solutions for IBM's DB2 database utilizing the OS/390 and z/OS operating systems.
For more information, please visit http://www.bcdsoftware.com
and http://www.quadrantsoftware.com.


 

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Business Computer Design, Int'l., Inc. (BCD) reported this week it is seeing an increased amount of activity by its Professional Services Group (www.bcdsoftware.com/services/) and the company expects that trend to continue throughout 2009. BCD's Professional Services Group specializes in developing new custom IBM i Web applications and modernizing existing green-screen applications.

Factors influencing greater demand for BCD services include the addition of IBM i PHP Web application development services using WebSmart PHP, and services to modernize existing IBM i green-screen applications using Presto, BCD's IBM i Web enablement tool, the company said. A video version of this press release on BCD's new professional services offerings can be viewed at http://www.bcdsoftware.com/ibmiservices/pr/video.

PHP Web Development on the IBM i

PHP interest continues to grow at a strong pace in the IBM i community, and that has led to an increase in PHP Web development services, according to BCD. In addition to WebSmart ILE, BCD offers WebSmart PHP, which was released in May 2007.

"We've already completed numerous PHP-based projects using WebSmart PHP," says Kevin Cronin, director of BCD's Professional Services Group. "WebSmart PHP extends our reach beyond development on the IBM i to other platforms. It integrates directly with IBM i DB2 and MySQL and facilitates development in a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) environment," he says. WebSmart PHP is a rapid Web application development tool for creating System i and multi-platform PHP Web applications and is used by the BCD Professional Services Group to deliver PHP applications s quickly and efficiently.

According to Cronin, "The transition from ILE CGI development to PHP has been easy for our developers. Conceptually, the development process is much the same; the WebSmart IDE is common to both environments. Several team members had prior experience with PHP. Their in-depth knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and other Web technologies transferred directly to PHP development using WebSmart. Using PHP also allows our developers to take advantage of thousands of available functions.

Recently, we completed a project using PHP functions to create a PDF on-the-fly and then email it to the client as part of a Web application for a large transport company. This type of functionality would not be possible with an RPG CGI program."

5250 Application Modernization

Presto, BCD's rapid green-screen modernization tool, was unveiled in June 2008. Presto has generated a huge response, the company notes. Based on the number of downloads, high enrollment in Webinars, and new sales, BCD expects 2009 to be a very active year. Customers looking for a complete solution that includes modernizing existing green-screen applications have hired BCD Professional Services.

The group's in-depth knowledge of HTML and JavaScript makes it easy for team members to add new functionality that Web enables green-screen applications. This ability is enhanced by using Presto to include such things as: links, images, Google Maps, Flash charts and graphs, and drop-down boxes. The team routinely uses AJAX to call data from other servers.

This adds significant value to the modernized application while retaining a significant part of the original code. For some organizations, refacing existing applications is currently a better fit because of the smaller investment required compared to rewriting them. Using WebSmart PHP, the company can still reuse the back-end RPG logic.

The Economic Advantages of Using Services

Current economic conditions have forced many organizations to curtail any new hiring initiatives, and in many cases, to cut back on staffing.

This has put pressure on IT departments to deliver new projects as well as accurately estimate costs. Hiring BCD's Professional Services Team to develop custom Web applications has alleviated these challenges for many of our clients. The services team is able to react with rapid development and deployment of new applications without clients having to hire full-time staff members or incur overhead for the developer. Ellery Soifer, IT manager for Tricots Liesse, sums it up as follows: "BCD allows me to get my app developed and work with their programmers so that I'm able to maintain and enhance the programs. This represents a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time Web developer."

Development shops across virtually all industries are straining under expanding workloads, accelerated deadlines, and ongoing budget cuts. Management and stakeholders are growing less patient and want to minimize delays in getting new systems online.

"While WebSmart development tools are easy for IBM i developers to use, many organizations simply don't have the time or staff to do the development work," says Cronin. "Our team is often contracted to develop an initial, time-sensitive application. After that application is rolled out, we facilitate the knowledge transfer so our clients can maintain and enhance the application moving forward," he says. "The code base and documentation provided helps clients maintain the applications and can be used as a framework for new development," he says.

Another factor that contributes to BCD's success in the services arena can be attributed to its ability to accurately assess the scope of a project before any agreements are executed, according to the company. "Software development estimates are notoriously inaccurate," says Cronin. "We work with our clients up-front to establish a detailed specification for their project. This service allows us to clearly determine the scope of the project. As any experienced developer will tell you, estimating development time and costs is not always easy to do. I'm pleased to say that we have established a very good track record based on the experience we've gained, and the number of projects we've completed over the years."

Services Overview

BCD's Professional Services engagements are managed remotely with developers typically accessing client's servers using a VPN connection. By eliminating travel expenses, customers save thousands of dollars. Also, by handling projects remotely, the company's developers have access to numerous resources that greatly improve efficiency. "We have delivered services in this manner for several years now, which has proven to be very effective," adds Cronin.

Aside from handling complete projects, BCD Professional Services Group can also help clients with jump-start projects and work in tandem with their staffs. In many instances, when final systems are delivered, many clients chose to take over the maintenance going forward. To expedite a smooth project transition for clients, BCD uses a structured knowledge transfer methodology. The team provides a variety of professional services including:

• Building new IBM i or multi-platform Web applications

• Web enabling existing green-screen applications and adding new functions

• Establishing portals, dashboards, and Web reports

• Training staff on BCD products and in PHP development

For questions about BCD Professional Services, the company's application modernization solutions, or PHP Web application development, contact BCD at (630) 986-0800. A video describing BCD's professional services offerings can be viewed at http://www.bcdsoftware.com/iseries400services/Webconsultants/.

More information may be obtained by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 630-986-0800.

About BCD

BCD is one of the most successful modernization tool providers in the IBM i marketplace, and has garnered the respect and recognition of top-level executives at IBM. Since its inception, BCD has stayed focused on the needs of users of the IBM i and multi-platform communities. BCD has received more than 35 industry awards, including 13 software excellence awards for WebSmart. The company has more than 30 years of experience in the IBM midrange marketplace. More than 30,000 copies of its software solutions have been licensed worldwide by more than 10,000 organizations. BCD is a charter member of the IBM i ISV Advisory Council and an IBM Advanced Business Partner. BCD offers unparalleled technical support. BCD's Professional Services Group develops a wide range of PHP and ILE RPG browser-based applications, including B2B and e-commerce Web sites.

BCD and Quadrant Software

BCD is a Quadrant Software company and one of the most successful software organizations in the IBM i marketplace. The companies have a combined 60 years in the IBM i marketplace and have successfully helped thousands of organizations worldwide modernize. Together, Quadrant and BCD help customers maximize their investment in IBM i with their industry leading web development, mobilization, spool file beautification and document distribution tools. Their customers and partners around the world are leaders in key markets such as finance, manufacturing, transportation, retail and healthcare.
Quadrant and BCD are part of the Quadrant group of companies that also includes Netlert, which develops an Avaya call center performance analysis solution, and SoftBase, which provides application testing and tuning solutions for IBM's DB2 database utilizing the OS/390 and z/OS operating systems.
For more information, please visit http://www.bcdsoftware.com
and http://www.quadrantsoftware.com.


 

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    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.

     

     

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  • 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.