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Technology Focus: Application Modernization Isn't Just Good for You, It's Getting Critical

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Being able to offer a nice UI, browser access, and Web services access in your IBM i apps is all to the good. However, there are hidden bumps in the road to app modernization.

 

"Application modernization" has come to mean many things, from simply improving the execution of RPG code (e.g., by translation of old code to RPG ILE), to adding a graphical UI to legacy apps ("screen-scraping"), to revamping applications to function in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) or Microsoft's .NET environment and adding browser access. Strategies for doing this are driven by many reasons, the most obvious of which are better appeal to users, better functioning of applications for business missions, and opportunities to re-engineer IBM i software to work in multiplatform environments.

 

"Uniting the best user experience with the best possible back-end platform," is how Lee Paul, CEO and chief modernization strategist at Surround Technologies, sums up app modernization for the i. "Combining the i with [Microsoft's] .NET is an unbeatable solution," he adds, touting his company's approach for achieving that.

 

There seems little doubt that Windows-like graphics, browser accessibility, added functionality, and better integration into multiplatform environments are important reasons for modernizing applications on the i. But these perennial justifications for app modernization aren't the whole story any more.

 

Paul points out mobile devices as the next challenge facing companies seeking to modernize their software. "Technology is changing faster than ever. Now we have phones, tablets, kiosks, and way-finding devices to tie in.

 

David Brault, product marketing manager at LANSA, is in sync at least with Paul's assessment of mobile devices as the next horizon for application modernization. "LANSA strongly believes that the next future challenge for application modernization revolves around delivering mobile apps. The Internet is littered with debates on whether mobile Web apps (written in HTML) are better or worse than native mobile apps (written in a variety of phone-specific languages). The truth is that both types of mobile apps have positives and negatives and, in reality, most enterprises need to deploy both [types] in the future."

 

Naturally, Brault sees the road to application modernization taking a different direction than Paul does. "Because the LANSA platform maximizes reuse of 5250 applications in a variety of different ways, [our technology path lets] companies quickly address their immediate modernization requirements by deploying modern applications with added productivity and functionality."

Twentieth-Century Solutions with a Twenty-First-Century Problem

Probably because it's slow-moving and therefore doesn't attract so much attention, there's another reason for application modernization on the IBM i that's not cited very often, yet is approaching critical mass. That's the aging of the cadre of developers who've been at the core of IBM i software since the System/38 days.

 

"Many businesses started out with their mission-critical apps running on the S/38 back in 1980 or 82," recalls Roger Pence, U.S. customer service and education director at ASNA. "Some years later, the same team moved that app to the AS/400, and later the i. But now the expertise that's been in place all that time has given notice that they plan to retire in the next few years. When that happens, the businesses affected aren't just going to lose their coders. They're going to lose the people who are carrying around the applications' structure and data flows in their heads. Those applications have become quite large over the years and are now irreplaceable components in the way those companies do business. You can't replace them with some off-the-shelf software application, no matter how good it is."

 

Brault sees this challenge as extending beyond just the i platform itself. "The IBM i organization needs to start investigating how they are going to satisfy their future mobile requirements because few companies can afford to staff HTML 5, Objective-C (iPhone/iPad), Java (Android), and .NET developers to build mobile apps."

 

Paul sees trouble ahead also. "[Software] systems are so big, built over years of heavy investment. Some have millions of lines of code. For some companies, the people who built those are long gone, and sometimes the original source code is unavailable. Often, we see people responding to this by doing nothing or by trying to revamp all their software and having a number of false starts. Instead of focusing on business needs, they're forced to stop and focus on their technology instead."

 

"[Enterprise systems] contain millions of lines of code with embedded business logic, validation rules, and programming intelligence that can't be easily discarded," is how Brault puts it. He goes on to point out that simply chasing the latest modernization tools can be counterproductive. "Look at how many technologies have come and gone over the last decade. And look at how many companies have been left stranded with dead-end solutions because their tool of choice was not architected for the future. Usually, one of two things happens when technology changes. The first is to run out and buy a new tool, and then another. This continues until IT is smothered by technology and becomes counterproductive."

 

So what's the solution?

Focus on Easy Stages

"We feel that businesses need to do incremental, stepwise modification of their applications. Make it as non-invasive a procedure as possible," Pence notes, which seems like solid advice in the general sense. "All new technologies are new to the users," Paul adds, "and users aren't 100 percent comfortable with anything new."

 

"LANSA's philosophy is to provide a single, low-risk solution that addresses a company's immediate tactical modernization and [then provides] a strategic, long-term path for the future," Brault notes. "Companies can choose to incrementally reengineer the least productive and most rigid parts of their [applications] with LANSA technology, combining new and reused technology inside the same application. Optionally, the customer can continue to reengineer all their legacy applications over time [until] the final result is a fully reengineered application built with their vision, their plan, and is ready for their choice of interface, database, or platform."

 

"It used to be that the AS/400 was the center of the universe at shops that used it. Now," notes Pence, "the IBM i is just one cornerstone in a network that has other cornerstones based on AIX or UNIX or some other platform."

 

Pence also emphasizes how ASNA products let customers add modernization features to RPG programs, then later migrate to a .NET environment. "If you're hosting the presentation layer in .NET, then you can build new .NET apps around that."

 

Whichever road one follows to modernization, doing things one step at a time rather than tackling modernization all at once seems to be universal advice from these three vendors.

 

One other thing all three tool providers agreed on was that the IBM i has still got staying power in the future. "The IBM i's scalability, reliability, low cost of ownership, and return on investment means it's positioned well for the future," Brault states. "It's solid. It's the best platform. I wouldn't want to run my business on anything else," is Paul's opinion. "In most shops, the IBM i is now a cornerstone in a network that has other cornerstones such as AIX and UNIX. Businesses still rely on them and have mission-critical dependencies on them. [These businesses] need to pull the i back into the natural workflow of their networks, and whatever we can do to pull it back into the mainstream is good," Pence concludes.

Buying a Modernization Tool

So the top priority in buying app modernization tools (or suites) appears to be a matter of fitting the modernization method to the business mission and the available talent, as well as the obvious time and budgetary concerns. It seems best to take the view that modernization is a process that extends indefinitely into the future rather than a problem that actually ends in a permanent solution. What's the best strategy to follow depends on factors that are different from company to company. As difficult as it is to predict the future in an environment where technology is morphing as quickly as it does in IT, it almost requires companies to pick a strategy to stick with and then seek tools that will help move it in that direction.

 

Another consideration in purchasing app modernization tools is the level of automation the tool offers. Some tools, for example, provide various means of altering applications but still require considerable design and coding work by a programmer. Other tools automate many of the application-alteration steps.

 

What follows are tools for modernizing apps on the i. This article does not include systems for building new apps unless that is a capability of the product in addition to its ability to modernize legacy apps.

Application Modernization Tools for IBM i

Advanced BusinessLink

Strategi SOA

Strategi webSERVICES

Strategi webSTYLE

Strategi SOA enables separation of server applications into SOA components, enabling developers to build new Web applications or Web extensions of legacy applications. Strategi can generate components from legacy apps that function in Visual Studio, .NET, and Eclipse environments.

 

Strategi webSERVICES is a framework that lets developers create UIs for legacy apps using third-party development tools (e.g., Visual Studio, Eclipse, and Dreamweaver), send messages to and from other IBM i applications (i.e., those of business partners) via the Internet, and consume Web services on the same or other systems coming from .NET, XML, Java, RPG, and COBOL apps or public providers.

 

Strategi webSTYLE generates graphically rich UIs for legacy applications and includes features such as dynamic icons that replace function keys and multi-session tabs that don't require use of multiple open windows.

AdventureTech Group

iSafari

iSafari functions as either a Web-enablement tool for legacy applications or a means of generating new Web applications for IBM i. Using Socket technologies, iSafari provides browser interfaces, HTML compatibility, and IBM i security support for Web apps.

ASNA

ASNA Visual RPG (AVR) for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET

Monarch

Wings

AVR for .NET is an RPG compiler for Microsoft's .NET framework that integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio and lets developers build new RPG or Windows apps, as well as modernize existing apps to accommodate Web services, provide data transparency between Windows and System i databases, and extend RPG source to be compatible with industry standards (e.g., XML, SOAP, RIA).

 

ASNA's Monarch automates processes needed to convert RPG-based applications to Microsoft .NET to Web-enable them, as well as optionally converting System i databases to SQL Server. Converted applications support n-tier architectures, GUIs with browser accessibility, Web services, and enterprise-wide application integration.

 

Wings offers an RPG application modernization tool that builds browser UIs for legacy applications via IBM/Rational's Open Access API. Developers can integrate this UI with other applications and legacy systems and convert applications one screen at a time.

 

Attachmate Corporation

Verastream

Verastream is a suite of products that includes tools for bridging 5250 and 3270 emulation systems, DB2 and other databases, and transaction systems to help make legacy applications part of a larger system of composite applications. Composite applications can take advantage of reusable Web services, XML, JavaBeans, and .NET components.

 

Business Computer Design International (BCD)

ClearPath Modernization Suite

ClearPath Modernization Suite is an integrated tool suite for constructing Web-based and SOA-friendly applications, either from scratch or based on legacy applications. The suite includes WebSmart Presto, which lets developers integrate new SOA, AJAX, and UI elements into legacy apps without changing those apps' source code. Other members of the suite include WebSmart ILE and WebSmart PHP, which also support SOA-friendly Web app building or Web legacy extensions in RPG or PHP; the Catapult and Clover Query report distribution and query tools; and Nexus Portal, a Web-portal generator.

 

CA

CA 2E

CA Plex

CA's 2E provides an interactive development environment (IDE) for System i apps, as well as modernization options for existing apps. It generates source code in RPG, COBOL, RPG ILE, and COBOL ILE. It features model-based development, relational database design to support apps, reusable objects, direct-to-Web deployment options, and full lifecycle support tools for developed apps.

 

CA Plex is a multiplatform RAD tool that helps programmers build apps for server, Web, and SOA environments. Features include a language editor, GUI screen designers, a diagrammer, drag-and-drop business objects, and impact-analysis tools.

 

CNX Corporation

Valence

Valence offers an application framework for retrofitting IBM i apps to run in a Web 2.0 environment or for building RPG-based Web apps that run on IBM i. It includes a library of Java scripts that work with RPG, Web 2.0 browser components, a Web portal, integrated e-mail support, and an integrated PDF generator.

 

Convertigo

Convertigo Enterprise Server

Convertigo Enterprise Server is an open-sourced tool suite that lets developers generate new applications from old ones. New app versions can incorporate such features as mashups, SOA and Web services compatibility, browser accessibility, SQL connectivity, and HTML support.

 

Curbstone Corporation

Freestyle-400

Freestyle-400 converts RPG applications to Web accessibility via any browser, but without conversion to Java or .NET.

 

Databorough Corporation

X-2E Migrate

X-2E is a tool suite that provides analysis, design recovery, and migration of existing IBM i apps built using CA's 2E IDE. Available in professional and enterprise versions, X-2E helps developers move legacy apps into Java, Silverlight/C#, and RPG/Free versions for deployment on the Web and in other environments.

 

Flynet

Flynet Viewer

Flynet Viewer lets developers convert IBM i and UNIX application screens into Web applications or Web services by recording screens, relationships, and dataflows within the original apps and automating their transformation. Viewer incorporates graphical tools and an IDE that generates .NET components for making customizations or new features.

 

Framework Systems

iSeries2Web

The iSeries2Web solution is a collection of built-in RPG functions that enable browser access to IBM i applications. It lets developers reuse business logic from legacy apps, build new modules with graphical features, and access third-party data sources via XML and TCP-Socket communications.

 

Genesis V

LegacyWeb

LegacyWeb automatically translates existing RPG, ILE RPG, and COBOL applications to HTML, enabling those apps to run in a browser environment. LegacyWeb can also generate XML that provides a gateway between legacy applications and wireless applications.

 

IBM Corporation

Rational Developer for i for SOA Construction

Rational Developer for Power Systems Software

Rational Host Access Transformation Services (HATS)

Rational Migration Extension

Rational Open Access RPG Edition

WebSphere Development Studio Client for System i (WDSc)

Rational Developer for i for SOA Construction specializes in providing an IDE for constructing Web 2.0 applications and user interfaces, as well as linking them to existing back-end server applications or modernizing those applications directly, as needed. The Eclipse-based IDE uses IBM's EGL language but can link to existing RPG and COBOL source code to emplace applications within an SOA architecture.

 

Previously known by other product names (most recently Rational Developer for i), Rational Developer for Power Systems Software includes facilities and tools for building new IBM i applications and modifying old ones. Features include integrated development environments for all major languages supported by the IBM i, application performance-analysis tools, programmer productivity utilities, and a collaborative application lifecycle-management environment.

 

Rational Host Access Transformation Services (HATS) converts 5250 green-screen applications to Web and other user interfaces and extends them as standard Web services.

Major features include an editor for developing macros and Web services.

 

Rational Migration Extension assists in upgrading Windows and Linux applications that access IBM DB2 databases under IBM i V5R4 or later.

 

Rational Open Access RPG Edition provides enhancements to the RPG language that let developers write I/O handlers that open legacy applications to a wide range of resources, such as browsers, mobile devices, cloud computing, Web services, external databases, XML files, and MS Office applications such as Excel spreadsheets.

 

WDSc for System i converts DDS display file source members to JavaServer Pages (JSP) or XML files to let the UI of any System i application run in a browser. This facilitates deployment of the interface as a WebSphere application. Style properties embedded in WDSc let developers change graphical attributes and other aspects of the UI at any point prior to runtime.

 

Interactive Dynamic Technologies

DEJA.400 AS/400 to J2EE Conversion Program

DEJA.400 AS/400 to J2EE Conversion Program is a J2EE application server and relational database engine that Webfaces host applications by converting each application's existing DB2 databases to relational databases, extracting business logic from RPG and CL code and converting it to Java, and transforming 5250 display screens to a browser-friendly GUI equivalent.

 

Krengel Technology

RPG-XML Suite

RPG-XML Suite is an RPG service program that lets developers incorporate XML and Web services into legacy applications and also offer legacy applications as Web services.

 

LANSA

aXes

RAMP from LANSA

LANSA's aXes (which is also offered by Linoma Software under a partnership agreement) lets enterprises deploy legacy host applications to a browser without writing new code via an automated process. The product's eXtensions feature also generates Windows GUI features (e.g., images, dropdowns, checkboxes), and other options enable remote SQL queries and access to spooled files.

 

RAMP (Rapid Application Modernization Process) from LANSA is a modernization suite for IBM i applications. It provides an application framework that's deployable as either a Windows rich-client or Web app browser, within which developers can integrate application navigation and organization components, repurposed 5250 screen applications, and browser applications.

 

looksoftware

newlook

re:new

soarchitect

newlook generates improved UIs for legacy applications. The product features drag-and-drop support for refacing options, multiple APIs, SOA compatibility, and integrated support for emulation, mobile clients, and zero-deployment and smart-client GUIs.

 

re:new is a Microsoft .NET development system for building apps that run on IBM i and Windows systems. It works with existing business logic and lets developers transform existing apps to more modern forms, as well as to build new modules and interfaces.

 

soarchitect helps transform legacy applications written in RPG or Cobol to an SOA environment. This enables integration with applications on Windows and other platforms, use of Web services, and smart-client UIs.

 

Micro Focus

OnWeb

OnWeb converts System i apps to Web or .NET interfaces, deploys applications securely to internal users, generates Web services automatically from System i screens and business logic, and can present data from multiple sources as Web pages.

 

ML–Software GmbH

iNEXT

The iNEXT solution translates System i applications to .NET on the fly, enabling modifications to the original apps over time that are reflected in the .NET versions available to run on the Web. Translation can be carried out by enterprise developers or as a service from ML–Software.

 

mrc

m-Power

m-Power offers a solution for both converting legacy software to browser compatibility and developing new Web applications based on System i software. The product generates Java code for portability and scalability, provides a tutorial interface that lets even non-programmers convert apps, and can convert third-party software or custom programs.

 

Pluta Brothers Design

PSC/400

PSC/400 provides three options for converting System i applications to run on the Web: a Web-enabled green-screen mode, a "gray-screen" JavaServer Pages (JSP) conversion mode using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and a rules-based application-generator mode.

 

Profound Logic Software

Profound UI

Profound UI is an enhancement for RPG based on IBM's RPG Open Access that offers direct generation of UIs within RPG. The product offers point-and-click tools for building browser interfaces that can then be integrated with new or legacy applications for the IBM i. The Profound UI includes Profound Logic's established Genie product, which helps enterprises Web-enable their legacy apps without altering any existing code by generating standard HTML to handle Web interfaces.

 

Rocket Seagull

LegaSuite

LegaSuite offers a collection of tools for converting System i apps to the Web, integrating them into multiplatform and SOA environments, and building Web enhancements such as dashboards and reports drawn from multiple sources.

 

Software AG

webMethods ApplinX

WebMethods ApplinX is the core technology of Software AG's suite of solutions for automatic conversion of legacy applications to Web access, enterprise-wide integration, and conformity with SOA. It works with System i, IBM mainframe, and other-platform applications.

 

Surround Technologies

Accelerator for IBM i Rich Internet Applications (RIA)

Surround Technologies' Accelerator suite consists of three applications that can be used for modernizing IBM i applications: Accelerator for IBM i Silverlight, Accelerator for IBM i Windows Presentation Foundation, and Accelerator for IBM i HTML 5. The first works with Microsoft Silverlight, a plug-in tool for the .NET framework that helps developers create and deliver RIA applications and media experiences. Accelerator for IBM i Windows Presentation Foundation works with the MS WPF of .NET to generate documents, media, two- and three-dimensional graphics, animations, Web-like characteristics, and more. The third application works with HTML 5, a still-in-development version of Hypertext Markup Language, used for structuring and presenting Web content.

 

System Objects Corporation

JACi400

JACi400 is a suite of software tools that helps developers modernize existing applications, construct new server-based applications, and build new (or convert older) applications that run over the web. It generates source in COBOL and all versions of RPG, generates HTML for web apps, includes new-app deployment tools, and includes HTML objects such as check boxes and radio buttons.

 

Transoft

Transoft Legacy Liberator

Transoft Legacy Liberator is primarily designed as a tool for migrating System i applications to an open-systems environment. However, after conversion, the applications can be made available to the Web via tools appropriate to the target platform.

 

Websydian A/S

WebsydianExpress for RPG

WebsydianExpress for RPG converts System i apps to run over the Internet by using multiple APIs as part of a solution-intrinsic enterprise Web site framework. Wizards automate generation of GUI and site features as well as appropriate HTML. The solution also provides security tools, role-management aids, and site-administration features designed for non-technical users.

 

John Ghrist

John Ghrist has been a journalist, programmer, and systems manager in the computer industry since 1982. He has covered the market for IBM i servers and their predecessor platforms for more than a quarter century and has attended more than 25 COMMON conferences. A former editor-in-chief with Defense Computing and a senior editor with SystemiNEWS, John has written and edited hundreds of articles and blogs for more than a dozen print and electronic publications. He is currently CEO of John Ghrist Agency, a marketing communications firm for technology companies. You can reach him at ghrist@comcast.net.

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  • 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.

     

     

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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.