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Weaving WebSphere: We're off to See the Wizard

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"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
--Dorothy Gale, in The Wizard of Oz

A long time ago, in a faraway land, lived a wondrous machine capable of performing magical acts with numbers and facts. His computational legerdemain was legendary; his programming prowess renowned. But even though working folk throughout the land--from blacksmiths to barkeeps--used his services, usually he was hidden in a back room, away from the public, because of his hideous green skin. This Tin Man needed not a new heart, but a new face. And so he and his new friend Zappie set off for the Big Blue City to find the Wonderful Wizard of WAS.

(Editor's note: He's off his meds. Ignore him.)

Fine, take away my fun. It's not like I was quoting Oompa Loompa lyrics.

Anyway, this month's article has two centers of focus. First off, as I was trying to allude to in my opening paragraph, I'm going to guide you through my travails in ordering the latest version of WDSC Version 6.0, the all-in-one development tool that among its many capabilities lets you provide a graphical front-end to your green-screen applications. Note that I don't have this version yet; I'm just ordering it. News on the features and functions of WDSC 6.0 will have to wait until I actually work with it a bit.

Next, I'm going to talk about development machines. While I don't usually talk a lot about hardware, I think this month it's important because a couple of different offerings have converged to make the iSeries a box that can be used for development by a lot more people than in years past. It's not quite the zero or near-zero entry point proposition of a Wintel machine, but I'll try to put that in perspective. As it turns out, the near-zero cost of a Wintel machine ain't as near zero as you might have thought.

Trying the Official Route

So how does one go about getting WDSC 6.0? This standard question is not as easily answered as you might expect. While I have contacts deep within the IBM development community (Editor's second note: He has George Farr's email address.), I thought that I should do this the way any typical iSeries developer would go about it.

Start on the Web

Always start on the Web. With that in mind, I Googled "WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries" (without the quotes) and the first entry was IBM's WDSC page. This is not to be confused with the WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries page, which was just an entry or two down.

The latter is for the host component of the tools and is something you order with your iSeries (it is Licensed Program Product 5722WDS). You get updates for it the same way you get updates for any other part of i5/OS: via individual, cumulative, and group PTFs.

The former page, however, is the home of the PC-based client side of the WebSphere Development Studio, which is exactly what I needed. But there are no links of any kind for ordering the package, so this looked to be a bit of a dead end. However, in the upper right corner of the page is a little box that says "We're here to help" along with a couple of options: email, leave a phone number, or call a special number that even includes a "priority code," presumably to get you to the right person right away!

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/050730%20-%20Were%20off%20to%20see%20the%20WizardV600.jpg

Figure 1: Unfortunately, this nice lady didn't live up to the hype.

I dialed the number on the screen and got that fast busy signal that typically indicates that you've dialed an invalid phone number. So strike the Web as the way to get your copy of WDSC 6.0.

1-800-IBM-SERV

Well, the next thing that has been burned into the mind of every IBM customer on the planet is 1-800-IBM-SERV. Certainly, they could help me! They can help anyone! They're the folks behind the Help Desk commercials, aren't they? With Gene the supercomputer and the virtual schoolroom for the little Chinese farm girl (and my personal favorite, the little old man with the great idea). And speaking of commercials, why can't they make iSeries commercials like that? They spend a ton of money on a GIGANTIC FAKE VAULT, but they can't spend a few stinking bucks on NEW ISERIES COMMERCIALS? THE BEST SERVER ON THE PLANET, AND...

(Editor again: We're terribly sorry about that. He got a little agitated and ran out of the room ranting and waving his arms. He'll be back shortly.... Ah yes, here he comes now.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, 1-800-IBM-SERV. OK, I dialed them up on Saturday afternoon. After the typical little bit of voice menu magic (talk about the Land of Oz), I finally ended up talking to a nice lady who began to ask me questions. Astonishingly, she even seemed to have heard of an iSeries, and she asked questions about both me and my machine. Unfortunately, when she finally asked me what the problem was and I explained that I wanted the latest version of WDSC, she politely explained that I had called the wrong number and that such queries were handled by IBM Direct. And while I'm pretty sure she wanted to tell me to call 1-800-GET-A-CLUE, she was kind enough to give me the real number, 1-800-426-2255.

IBM Direct

This was a lot of fun. A recording came on telling me about all the various other things I should be doing, including possibly visiting the Lenovo Web site. After a minute and a half (as timed by my phone), I finally got an option to hit 0 to speak to someone. I did, and I was finally told that IBM Direct was closed and to please call again during normal business hours.

While IBM probably has a great bulk rate for its 800 services, I have to believe the company is losing out if it takes a minute and a half to tell callers to call back. But hey, that's just me. Anyway, I continued my journey to find the Wizard of WAS on Monday.

08:08:00 Called IBM.
08:09:30 Pressed 0.
08:09:45 Someone answered.
08:10:15 She got my name (Pluta) spelled correctly.
08:11:00 She put me on hold for the iSeries group.
(I listened to pretty music.)
08:13:30 She broke in and told me I was still on hold.
(More pretty music)
08:18:45 She put me on hold for "five more minutes."
(And yet more pretty music)
08:30:00 Just as I was about to hang up, she told me I was still on hold. Having heard enough pretty music for the morning, I gave her my customer number and asked to be called back.

Since IBM doesn't give you an estimated wait time, you have to keep choosing whether to continue sitting on hold or not. I finally gave up after 20 minutes and decided to opt for the call-back. I waited all day. Not a good thing.

On Tuesday morning, I tried again. And again I spoke with the nice lady I spoke with the day before (at least it sounded like the same person). This time, instead of leaving me on infinite hold, she ended up taking all my information and then telling me that the media would be shipped...in three to four weeks. Or, lucky me, I could get it expedited for 30 bucks!

Now, IBM has to know that everybody and their mother is going to want a copy of this software, so why weren't they ready to deliver it? Three to four weeks? To press and mail a DVD? Egad.

Later on Tuesday, a nice gentleman called me about the call I made Monday. Evidently, my second call hadn't been filed yet. In any case, the man informed me that three to four weeks was about right (but he confided that it was actually more like two to three weeks). He implied that my IBM Business Partner could get me better service. When I explained that I am just a little ISV with no BP, he told me I ought to call PartnerLine to make sure I got the right discount. I explained that WDSC was free and asked if PartnerLine could get me the software any faster. He didn't have an answer to that.

From what I understand, there is an extra-fee PartnerWorld option that allows you to download software. You can evidently get the new version of WDSC from there, and in fact it has been available since July 15, according to some folks who have downloaded it. Unfortunately, such access is denied to the people in the trenches who are actually using the box (and the WDSC tool) to run their businesses and can't afford the extra PartnerWorld fees. This bit of dichotomy tends to blunt the message that the iSeries and especially WDSC is all about the small-to-medium business. But I digress, and none of this griping is getting WDSC into my hands any quicker. I'll keep you posted.

So You Want to Be an iSeries Programmer

This section of the column is going to focus a little bit on the concept of being an iSeries developer. By that I mean an individual or company desiring to actually write iSeries software or an IT manager wanting to keep business processes on the iSeries and do development in-house. The big issue is whether or not this is cost-effective in today's world.

The New Development Model

Well, the first thing to look at is the new development model. Gone is the nearly 100% RPG or COBOL product with huge, monolithic green-screen applications. Today's world requires a multi-language, Web-based environment where your products work not only with traditional green-screen but also with browser-based solutions. Optionally, you may include thick-client, PC-based solutions for some of your components and, one shudders to contemplate it, you might not even have a green-screen interface for parts of your product.

(Editor: Really, that's Joe. He said that. We know. We're shocked, too.)

You could probably make do with RPG CGI, but for a ton of reasons that I won't go into, you're probably better off going with JSP and servlets. So let's assume that at the minimum you're going to need WebSphere. This is really going to just break your budget, isn't it? I mean, WebSphere is a pig, it costs a bunch of money, yada yada yada.

Not true! That's the beauty of the new series of machines.

The New Development Machine

The new machine is the iSeries 520 Express Edition. This is an incredible piece of computing power, folks. Priced as low as $11,000 for a development box, the 520 brings iSeries development capabilities to the smallest of ISVs. And this is a full-blown development machine, not just a PC on steroids. Think about it: integrated backups, networking, Java, WebSphere, and the most powerful database in the world, all for the price of a couple of Wintel servers.

There are four versions (there's actually a fifth, but it comes with no development tools, and since the tools are a whopping $700, we can ignore that low-end configuration). Basically, they include the four combinations of two options: with or without RAID drives and with or without an extra GB of RAM and double the CPW. In general, the four boxes look like this:

iSeries 520 Express Edition

Without RAID
With RAID
Entry Plus Model
500 CPW
1 GB RAM
37 GB non-RAID
520-0900-7391 (P05)
$11,475
500 CPW
1 GB RAM
37 GB RAID
520-0900-7393 (P05)
$17,192
Growth Model
1000 CPW
2 GB RAM
37 GB non-RAID
520-0901-7392 (P10)
$22,900
1000 CPW
2 GB RAM
37 GB RAID
520-0900-7394 (P10)
$28,617


These machines come with everything you need to run an ISV (or a small to medium business with an in-house IT department). The machine has a QIC tape drive (it says 3.0 GB, but that seems a bit small), a LAN card, a DVD-ROM drive, and a twinax connection. From the software side, it has 5722WDS, which is all the compilers, as well as the SQL development toolkit, DB2 UDB (of course), and WebSphere Application Server Express--and all with a year of software maintenance. Everything a growing developer could ask for. Oh...and you even get a few interactive CPW (30 or 60, for Entry Plus or Growth models, respectively) and the ability to have partitions (2 or 4, respectively).

Just for fun, I configured a Dell server as close as I could get. I threw in Windows Small Business Server (the cheap version, not the Enterprise one), 1 GB of RAM, a couple of SCSI drives (to get high speed, and at that they're only 10K RPM drives, and Dell doesn't support RAID on them), a tape drive with some backup software, and a DVD-ROM. It came to over $3,300. Now remember that Windows also costs $90 a seat for users, so if you have 25 users, you're looking at over $5,000 (add $1,800 because the server software comes with five seats). No keyboard or monitor, either. Now, double that for reliability purposes and you're talking $10,000, or nearly the price of the Entry Plus machine.

And please note, this is without any development tools, which cost between $1,300 and $2,500 per developer's seat per year.

And That's Not All!

No, indeed, that's not all. The next thing is the developer's lease. This is more for ISVs than SMBs. The SMBs already have IT budgets, and for them it's purely a choice between the iSeries or some other server. I think the figures above make it clear that Wintel shouldn't win hands down anymore, especially when you throw in the reliability and service on the IBM box. (True story: When I first had my own machine, it threw a disk drive sometime in January. I wasn't monitoring the system operator's message queue, and I didn't notice until March. When I did, I immediately put in a panic-stricken call to IBM at 9:00 p.m. on a Thursday night. At 9:30 the next morning, an IBM service rep was replacing my drive, and by 10:30 I was running the new drive. Not sure how much that level of service costs with Dell.)

But it becomes even easier for an ISV. The rules are a bit difficult to understand at times, but the nice people at IBM will help you out. Basically, though, if you can roll out a product a year for the iSeries, you can lease a box. The lease recently went up from 1% to 1.75%, but even at that rate, you can have your own iSeries for about $200 a month. Now, I'm not sure how all this works out in the fine print; I expect to get better information over the next week. I'll be working closely with IBM to put together exactly such a box, and I'll keep you informed. Please drop a line in the forums if you're interested in updates.

Just to be fair, there is a Microsoft package for ISVs that seems to say that you can get all the development tools for $375 a year, provided you commit to building a software package for Windows. If that's indeed the case, then the Visual Studio development tools begin to look pretty nice again. At that point, it's really more of a hardware cost issue, because I don't think you want your developer on your production machine. I could be wrong about that, though. I'd be interested to hear from Wintel-based developers to see if they actually use their primary production server as a development box as well.

A Final Note on Software

There's one last little bit of information. A couple of issues are really hot in the IBM midrange world today, one that is iSeries-specific and one that is not. The iSeries-specific story is modernization, which includes a number of products out there, including our good friend WebFacing. And then there's the IBM non-free product, HATS. Actually, HATS has a free version, HATS LE, which gives you exactly the sort of value you expect from a free product. The full HATS product, on the other hand, comes much closer to a professional-grade conversion product like, say, my PSC/400 tool. Like PSC/400, HATS is relatively expensive, but a new program, the iSeries Express Pilot Program, introduces a much cheaper version of HATS designed specifically for the low-end 520 models.

This pilot program was covered by Lee Kroon back in May, but it bears revisiting today. Several products, including WebSphere Portal Express, WebSphere Business Integration Server Express, and WebSphere Commerce Express, in addition to the HATS product, have had special Model 520-specific editions created with lowered prices. You can check out Lee's original article for the exact pricing, but the savings are substantial, 50% or more depending on the model. Please note, though, that the Portal and Commerce products are not available on the Entry Plus edition of the 520. Because these machines have only 500 CPW of processing power, they are not considered capable of running the processor-intensive Portal and Commerce products.

So that's it for this column. I will get more information about the leasing program and WDSC 6.0 and update you in the next "Weaving WebSphere" (and you'll hear it even quicker in the forums). Also, if things go well, I will have information on a completely different direction for development, so stay tuned!

Joe Pluta is the founder and chief architect of Pluta Brothers Design, Inc. He has been working in the field since the late 1970s and has made a career of extending the IBM midrange, starting back in the days of the IBM System/3. Joe has used 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. Joe is also the author of E-Deployment: The Fastest Path to the Web, Eclipse: Step by Step, and WDSc: Step by Step. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

Now On Sale

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

Now On Sale

Eclipse: Step by Step Eclipse: Step by Step
Quickly get up to speed and productivity using Eclipse.
List Price $59.00

Now On Sale

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    • 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.

     

     

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

    SB Profound WC GenericHave you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.
    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.
    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

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

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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.