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A lot will change in V6R1, and perhaps the biggest change will be in the way you pay for your development tools.

 

Welcome to the brave new world. The old tier-based model that we have been used to and that IBM was actually moving us toward in recent releases is now gone. Instead, IBM has wholly embraced the user-based pricing model rampant in the industry, even though there's not even a consensus on what constitutes a user (I'll get into that a little bit more a little later).

 

Regardless, though, of the exact details, you need to know what's coming down the pike as far as the packaging and pricing of the tools, because it will definitely change your tool costs and especially how those costs are perceived by management. The new packaging may seem complicated, but really it's pretty straightforward if you take it one piece at a time, which is what I'll do. I'm going to tell you what the packaging is from the standpoint of a brand new developer. That will set the baseline. Then I'll explain the entitlements for current license holders. And finally, I'll cover some of the little twists and turns, including some things that we hope are coming.

From the Green Side of the World

First, let's take a look at development from the green-screen perspective. Today, we have one primary licensed product for development, 5722WDS. That product includes quite a bit under the covers; it not only encompasses all the compilers, but also includes most of the application development (AD) tools. Prior to V6R1, IBM actually was consolidating AD components; by the time of V5R4, the 5722WDS product included nearly everything you needed to develop software, even all the compilers and nearly all the development tools. Note I say "nearly," because the SQL developer's toolkit was and still is a separate item.

 

As of V6R1, that changes drastically. The basic product has been broken down into three components: the ILE compilers, the "heritage" (or OPM) compilers, and the Application Development ToolSet (ADTS). Each is separately priced and user-based. The ILE component includes all of the ILE compilers: RPG, COBOL, CL, even C and C++. The "heritage" compilers are the S/36 and S/38 compilers and also the RPG/400 (OPM RPG) and OPM COBOL compilers. Finally, ADTS includes all of the green-screen tools, such as PDM and SEU, that we've taken for granted for so long. You might be surprised by what's included in ADTS; you can see the whole list at IBM's ADTS page. But one tool that has been causing a bit of a ruckus is DFU, especially since WRKDBF, the popular freeware alternative, isn't guaranteed to work on V6R1. But we'll address that in a moment.

 

If you're a green-screen developer and have no desire to ever use the GUI tools, then IBM has drawn a very specific line in the sand for you: ILE or OPM. Because they will charge you for either one. I haven't see an official document from IBM, but the current prices being quoted on the Web are $1,295 for the OPM compilers and $1,795 for the ILE compilers. That's per user, and I'll touch on that in a moment. But basically, if you follow the rules, a programmer who is developing OPM programs will cost about $2,100. An ILE programmer will cost a bit more at $2,600, but the real killer is the programmer who needs both: tooling will set you back a whopping $3,900 per seat.

 

So IBM has really provided you an incentive to make a decision: either go OPM or go ILE, but don't sit in the middle. And in fact, this may help shops stuck in limbo between the two in their decision-making as to whether to move to ILE. What it won't do is help those with vendor-supplied packages mired in OPM while they have moved forward into ILE for new development. But then again, unless you're maintaining old OPM code, you don't need the compiler.

On to the GUI

Next we have the PC-based tooling. This is where the announcement can be confusing and frustrating. Understand right off the bat that IBM painted themselves into a very bad corner when they gave away unlimited licenses of WDSC for free. We can argue about whether the cost was bundled into the ridiculous prices we've paid over the years for hardware and software, but the past is the past, and a business model with zero income simply doesn't hold up in the today's world. Now that all development tools are under one roof, IBM was able to make some decisions, and here's what they did.

 

First, they broke out the System i extensions from WDSC and repackaged them as something called Rational Developer for System i, or RDi. Be very clear: Almost everything that made WDSC what it was is gone from this package. It really is in total a GUI replacement for ADTS. As such, it is priced exactly the same. If you want PDM and SEU, you buy ADTS; if you want RSE and LPEX, you get a seat of RDi. It's really that simple. So basically, those that use the GUI development tools will now pay for the development of those tools. And this is just for green-screen development: 5250 displays using RPG, CL, COBOL, just like we've done forever. Just better tools to do it.

 

Next, they've packaged their EGL offering, known as Rational Business Developer (RBD), as part of a bundle with RDi and called it RDi-SOA. IBM is heavily invested in EGL as a complete business application development package, especially for Web-enabled applications. Of course, you and I both know that nothing beats RPG for business logic, but the good news is that EGL as a Web development tool puts everything else to shame, and it integrates seamlessly with RPG. It's not cheap; the number I've seen is $2,000 a seat, which means a $1,200 bump over standard RDi. For everything that's packed into that package, $1,200 is not an unreasonable figure, although it's a bit pricy for my taste. I wish it were lower; I want the cost for moving from green-screen to GUI application development to be as low as possible. But it's lower than today's cost of $1,500 for Rational Business Developer extension (RBDe), which is the component that adds EGL to WDSC.

 

The third component of the unbundling process is the HATS for 5250 Toolkit. As I understand it, HATS is now a completely separate, chargeable product but I've seen no information on pricing. This offering contains the HATS and WebFacing components, and that's about all I know about it.

OK, Some Real-World Examples

It will probably help to walk through a couple of examples. First, if you were a single-person shop running a P05, you would currently be paying $3,650 list for 5722WDS. With the new pricing structure, you would be able to get the ADTS/ILE package for roughly $2,600 list, which is actually a tidy little savings. However, since everything is priced per seat, as soon as you add a second developer, you are now at $5,200, and you've jumped quite a bit.

 

Note: If you've already got a machine and you're properly entitled (I'll cover that in a moment), then all you have to worry about is the annual Software Maintenance Agreement (SWMA) charges which run about 20 percent, so the two-person scenario above is really $730 a year vs. $1,040 a year, a $310 increase. That's really not that big a number.

 

Here's another example. Five developers on a P10, all working on an old OPM application. Today, the cost is $10,000 list, while the cost for five ADTS/OPM seats is $10,500. Again, not an unreasonable number. But make that, say, eight ADTS/ILE developers and you end up at nearly $21,000. That's a pretty significant jump. And the price really skyrockets if all those developers need both OPM and ILE; the cost jumps to over $30,000. So, as you can see, the issue is very much going to be one of making sure that people get the tools they need. I don't like this particular part of the deal, because it now means developers having to justify the use of certain tools, which can stifle creativity. But that's another issue I'll address in a moment.

 

All in all, if you look at the pricing, the places where they really bite you are well-defined. First, if you are developing in a mixed OPM/ILE environment, your costs just skyrocketed. But even more, if you are running more developers on a box than IBM "intended," then you will get dinged. Now, IBM itself is a little shaky on what the intended number means, and I'll get to that in a moment. But if you currently have 20 developers on a P10, look to break out some serious coin.

Entitlement and Minimums

OK, on to what this means to you, the longtime loyal midrange customer. Entitlement is the name of the game here, and entitlement basically identifies how many of what you are entitled to. If you have an existing 5722WDS license, then you will be entitled to a certain number of seats to all three of the 57161WDS components: ILE compilers, heritage compilers, and ADTS. It's almost exactly four per tier: four for P05, eight for P10, and so on up to P40, which has 20 entitlements. P50 jumps to 30, and if you've got one of those grand behemoth P60 machines, you get 40 developer seats.

 

Now, right off the bat, you might think those numbers are a little low. I don't know; you'll have to tell me. But IBM's position is that they're losing money on people buying big production machines and then stuffing all their developers on a little P05. And we all know that happens. So this will alleviate that particular issue.

 

On to minimums. Right now, as far as we understand, user seats are named user seats, not concurrent users. This is a real pain, because it means you either have to buy a seat for every person who uses the tool, even if they use it only sparingly, or you have to get around it by, say, assigning all compiles to a single user profile.

 

The latter actually sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Maybe you can just set up one user profile and do all your compiles that way. No can do. IBM has a minimum number of licenses for each tier. The P05 is just one seat, but the numbers go up pretty quickly: three for a P10, four for a P20, ten for a P30, and then increments of five developer seats per tier after that.

 

Interestingly, the minimum number of developers at the nominal price of $3,900 a seat that we calculated for ADTS, ILE, and OPM is somewhat cheaper than the current tier price for 5722WDS at each level, except for the lowest tiers where it is roughly equivalent.

           

Comparison: Minimum Fully Loaded V6R1 Seats vs. Current V5R4 Tiered Pricing

Tier

Minimum Seats

5761WDS

5722WDS

P05

1

$3,900

$3,650

P10

3

$11,700

$10,000

P20

4

$15,600

$22,900

P30

10

$39,000

$56,600

P40

15

$57,500

$84,300

 

I think IBM has done a good job setting the minimums so that you don't have to buy more than you already have, or if you do, it's only a little more. However, the minimums are smaller than the entitlements, and you might be tempted to cash in all your entitlements. You need to be careful with that idea. It's clear that if you have more users than you are entitled to, you will be paying a big premium. But what's not so apparent is that even if you aren't over the entitlement level, your SWMA may jump.

           

Comparison: Entitled Seats at V6R1 vs. Current V5R4 Pricing

Tier

Entitled Seats

OPM and ADTS

ILE and ADTS

5722WDS

P05

4

$8,400

$10,400

$3,650

P10

8

$16,800

$20,800

$10,000

P20

12

$25,200

$31,200

$22,900

P30

16

$33,600

$41,600

$56,600

P40

20

$42,000

$52,000

$84,300

 

For example, take a look at someone who cashes in all four entitlements for OPM development (and remember, this is just ADTS and OPM; it doesn't even include the ILE compilers). The base amount of your entitlement is actually $8,400, so unless I'm mistaken, you'll see your SWMA go up from $730 a year to $1,680 a year, or more than double. ILE will nearly triple your SWMA. And I'm not even including a column for selecting both compiler components.

 

So I suggest some real care be taken when identifying the correct components to license. And that brings us to the final section.

Things Heard in Cyberspace

A number of things have been floating around the mailing lists and forums. Foremost is the idea of RDi vs. ADTS. Originally, it looked as if moving to RDi was going to be a full-price endeavor, even for entitled customers. So, even if you were entitled to ADTS, you would have to pay an additional $800 per seat to move to RDi. Recent statements by IBM seem to have softened that stance, and from what has been posted, IBM will provide a path to migrate ADTS licenses to RDi. This is a great option, because it allows shops to move users one at a time as their skills grow. I hope this is truly going to be the case.

 

Another issue has been that many users simply can't do without ADTS. The reasons range from the speed of PDM in large lists to the fact that they need to use DFU on a daily basis (I told you I'd get back to DFU). These issues will determine whether your developers will be able to move to RDi or not. That's why some of us in the community have making a concerted effort to poll users for their reasons why they wouldn't move to RDi.

 

Make no mistake, RDi is the future of the platform. But since IBM is pricing it in such a way that it's an either/or proposition (either you get ADTS or you get RDi), I think few will be able to justify the extra cost for both. And so, you are going to need to tell IBM which of the ADTS functions features you use on a regular basis that need to be included in RDi, because right now they don't know.

 

One thing that might help the situation is if IBM were to include one seat of the ADTS tooling on every machine with a compiler. That would allow someone to use the tools in a one-off or emergency situation without having to actually license it; developers would have access to DFU or whatever for simple tasks. Even more, I'd like to extend that idea to IBM including one copy of all of the tools, as an evaluation. That way, the "innovator" in a shop can play with all the tools and can then present a case to management for more seats.

 

The new licensing model is bound to cause controversy, but hopefully what you've read here will help you make the right decisions.

Joe Pluta

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


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

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

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

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Eclipse: Step by Step Eclipse: Step by Step
Quickly get up to speed and productivity using Eclipse.
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    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.

     

     

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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.