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Finally! Ruby on Rails on IBM i!

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Waiting for the next big thing on the i? Maybe this is it. Ruby on Rails, a very popular web language, is now available for use with the i. But what does that really mean for you?

 

Finally, Ruby on Rails, the Darling Parade of the Internet world, is on the IBM i. But before I begin, I want everyone to know exactly what this article is about.

 

First, I am not going to teach you how to code Ruby on Rails. Like I could actually do that in a magazine article anyway. Ruby is a powerful, full-function language, and learning it is not something that can be done in an afternoon, even with a glass or two of merlot.

 

Second, this is not going to be a sales article for Ruby. Some people might think it should be, but it isn't. Nor is it a hatchet job. Ruby on Rails is a great language and a great framework (Ruby is the language; Rails is the framework), and its appearance on the i is a really, really good thing. All I'm trying to do is present an unvarnished and fair appraisal of it and explain what it really means for the i.

 

What's Ruby's Story?

Ruby was initially developed back in 1993 by some guy, in this case Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto, who sounds like someone who either pitched for the Dodgers or was an Iron Chef. His motivation was to provide a language that would "help every programmer in the world be productive, and to enjoy programming, and to be happy." Interesting conjunction of thoughts. The name Ruby was basically pulled out of a hat (the other option was Coral, both birthstones) during an online chat session between the Matz and a buddy of his, Keiju "Wildbird" Ishitsuka. The oft-cited myth that it was named after the 1961 hit "Ruby Baby" by Dion and the Belmonts has been denied numerous times, but you know how those things are. They keep popping up.

 

What is Ruby? Well, if you look at Wikipedia, it describes it as a "dynamic, reflective, object-oriented, general programming language." Interesting. If you look at what may or may not be the official website of the Ruby language (because Ruby is completely open source and has no corporate sponsor), it says Ruby is "a dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write."

 

Ruby was inspired by Perl and by Smalltalk, Eiffel, and Lisp, which means that it is similar to those guys and, indirectly, to Python (isn't everything?), but it's not really a direct copy of anything.

 

Unlike PHP, which is mostly overseen by Zend, and .Net, which is in the Microsoft world, Ruby has no single group that controls it. There are a number of different implementations from different groups. The most common version of Ruby is the one you can get from www.ruby-lang.org. It is called MRI for Matz's Ruby Interpreter, and the current version is 2.1.0. Because Ruby is open source, it can change quickly, which is both good and bad (deprecating obsolete code structures and so having to change old code before you upgrade to a new release of Ruby vs. not having to change code as you move to new releases even though you keep things that are not best practice). It's not a trivial question.

Interesting Stuff About Ruby

But none of that really answers the question: what is Ruby like? So let's take a look. Below is an example of some Ruby code. Can't tell too much from that other than it looks different from what I'm used to seeing in either PHP or RPG, although it's not that freaky. And, in fairness, you can do this whole "Hello World" thing with just a single statement where you hard code the verbiage. I'm not trying to make Ruby look unnecessarily complex, just showing an example of what the syntax looks like.

 

# The Greeter class

class Greeter

     def initialize(name)

         @name = name.capitalize

     end

 

     def salute

         puts “Hello #{@name}!

     end

end

 

# Create a new object

g = Greeter.new(“world”)

 

# Output “Hello World!”

g.salute

 

 

According to Matz, Ruby was written with the "Principle of Least Astonishment" in mind. POLA is a common term that means whatever happens in a language, it should cause the least amount of astonishment for an experienced programmer. That last part is important: "an experienced programmer." This is sometimes in opposition to the "Principle of Least Surprise," which refers more to new users, to not surprising people with the way the language works. And these are real terms too. I know they sound like something I would have made up, but they're real. What this means is that Ruby was written by an experienced programmer so that the language would behave the way an experienced programmer would expect or want it to. But that's not the same as saying that the language is intuitive or works the way a beginner might expect it to. Some Ruby adherents don't like it when I state it that way, like I'm making Ruby seem, again, unnecessarily complex. That whole POLA/POLS question really rests on what's important to you: learning it fast or it having it behave nicely when you really know it. Anyway, we'll come back to this in a bit when we try to decide whether Ruby is easy to learn or not. Just keep it in your back pocket.

More Interesting Facts About Ruby

First, Ruby is OO, from the ground up. PHP is OO too, but the OO was added on later. PHP can be done procedurally, although it seems that most of the cool kids now look down on you if you don't use OO. In PHP, you can define classes, and those classes contain methods (functions) and properties (data), but you can also define data or functions just on their own. In Ruby, everything is set up as a class, even things like the null or Boolean.

 

Another thing about Ruby is that it's interpretive for the most part. That is, most versions of Ruby that run are interpretive, including Matz's version. And that's par for the course for most web languages (but not Java or .Net). Ruby does have a reputation among the cool kids of being slower than either PHP or .Net, and the benchmarks I've seen bear that out. I believe efforts are underway to make it faster, and it does seem that recent versions of it have been speeded up, but it still seems to be the slowest of the three. Although, with today's processors, this should probably not be a reason for you to nix Ruby.

 

Ruby is both dynamic/strong- and duck-typing compatible. Dynamic typing involves allowing the data type for each variable to be set "on the fly" rather than requiring it be set prior to use (as with RPG). Strong typing means that once you do set the variable type, the system expects you to stick by that (as RPG does) and not pretend that it's something else. PHP by contrast is dynamic and weakly typed. The variables mean well, but they will be whatever you tell them to be, changing types as often as Florence changed its currency (see The Inferno by Dante Alighieri). Duck typing is related to classes. Instead of an object being given a specific class that it's related to and forcing it to operate only in that class, any class is free to use any object as long as it works. That is, we look at an object in terms of what it can do (i.e., if it walks like a duck, etc.) rather than how it was necessarily categorized.

 

Community. This is what I hear every time I check on Ruby. They have such a great community and so many Ruby Gems (modules that do specific things and that you can download) that it makes development very easy. And I have no doubt that's truethat the Ruby folks are really eager to help others and that there are a lot of Ruby Gems out there. What I'm not so sure about is whether this is the reason you should choose Ruby over any other language. All of the stats I've seen show that PHP is far and away the usage leader over Ruby, and there are tons of PHP plugins out there waiting for you to pick them up. But again, I don't think you should choose a language based specifically on a community. All of the major languages have communities, and web people just love to code stuff up and share it with others. It seems they just can't help it. Although this data is over a year old, I think the percentages are still fairly accurate: PHP vs. Ruby usage.

 

The other thing you will hear about Ruby, if you check out the blogs, is that it doesn't scale well. And I honestly don't know if this is true or not from a practical standpoint. It's based on Twitter's experiences, where they originally wrote the site in Ruby and then had to do a rewrite as traffic increased. Yeah, I'm really worried about this one. Because if I write an app for one of my clients, I fully expect it to have at least as much traffic as Twitter gets (yes, I'm being sarcastic). For most people, scalability at that level shouldn't be an issue. Again, not the reason to use or not use Ruby.

 

Finally, Ruby is elegant. Everyone says that. I'm not sure what that means. I don't think it means it's easy to learn (see below). I think it means that it looks like you think code should look: easy to read, easy to follow, easy to figure out. I sort of think it's how I view /Free versus positional RPG. And I can't say how using an "elegant" language will impact your bottom line, although it is better to say that it looks "elegant" than it looks "like hell."

 

Everyone also talks about how productive Ruby is, how it eliminates code, how it makes things quick to do. Much of this relates to Rails (also see below), but I'm not sure exactly how to translate that. It does sound good though, doesn't it? And for many people, that's a solid reason for using Ruby over other languages. If you look over the web language blogs, everybody is always complaining about the PHP frameworks. They like this one, they hate that one, they will declare a blood feud with anyone they see using a third one. But not with Ruby. Everybody seems to love Rails and how productive they can be on it.

And What Is Rails?

There's a number (not a huge number) of frameworks in the Ruby world, but Rails is the overwhelming leader. Frameworks are very big in the web world, although I think they may be more important for people developing full web applications than they are for somebody using a web language to build a web page that interfaces to an RPG program. However, we're getting more and more into developing full web applications, so I think the importance of frameworks in our world is going to grow.

 

When I first heard about frameworks, I thought it was something like PDM or RDi; that is, I thought of it as more of a development environment. But frameworks are really more about setting up a structure for the application and letting you expand on and embellish that structure as you create your application. It gives you a starting point and some models to work with, and it also helps with version control and promotion to production. Sometimes an IDE is associated with the framework, such as using Zend Studio with the Zend Framework 2, but Ruby does not have a big-player IDE. Apparently, Ruby people like to work from a command line. There are a few IDEs out there, however, so don't despair. Although, when in Rome….

 

What everyone does agree on is that Rails is wonderful. It's easy to use and intuitive, and people feel very productive when they're using it, and I will not dispute that.

Is Ruby Easy to Learn?

Ah, finally we get to something where a fight is liable to break out. Step right up, gents, pick your side and roll up your sleeves for some bare-knuckle action.

 

One of the things I've read in a number of places is that Ruby is "intuitive" and "easy to learn."

 

And then I looked at the small slice of code above. And I thought about what "The Matz" said about it being designed to behave "the way an experienced programmer would think it should" rather than the way a beginner might expect it to.

 

And I thought about my own experiences with another language, PHP, which has been described as "easy to learn." I thought so too until I took a Zend Framework2 class a month or so ago. Heavy OO code. A very, very humbling experience. I'd rather not talk about it if that's OK with you.

 

Most sources talk about Ruby's "elegance" (and I read that and think "intuitive and easy"). But one post that I looked at by Leo Teo has a slightly different take. Now I don't know Leo. His picture on the site shows him wearing an Uncle Buck-style fur hat holding a dog. Maybe he lives in Alaska. Or maybe he's insane. Anyway, Leo likes Ruby. Has been programming in it for a couple of years. But his take is that it's easy to learn the basics of Ruby, but it is quite another thing to learn the full language. And apparently to do anything that is not trivial, you have to know quite a bit. That make sense to me.

 

At the same time, Leo says that PHP is easy to learn (compared to Ruby). OK, so consider this. As I said above, I thought PHP was easy to learn until I took the Zend Framework class. And now I realize that, to really understand PHP, I'm probably going to have to put in about a year's worth of study and testing. So if that's true of an easy language, how long will it take me to get good with Ruby? But what is really interesting is that Leo says that even though PHP is easier to learn and he likes it, he would much rather work with Ruby for the productivity and elegance. Now, I'm not suggesting you make your decision based on just what Leo says, but it's a good article. I just can't get past the hat.

 

So is it easy to learn? I don't know. I guess I'll spend a year really exploring PHP and then maybe two years learning Ruby, and then I'll let you know. Or maybe I will do neither and turn my attention to creating the perfect dirty martini. But my gut feel is that even though it may be easy to do something in Ruby, learning to do tough stuff in Ruby may just take a while. And the tough stuff is where it's at, Jack. .

And What About Interfacing It to the i?

Finally, how do we interface this Ruby program, written in a text file, into the i world?

 

Well, the script itself will go in the IFS, just as a PHP script would.

 

And the DB2 access? This has been taken care of through a wrapper written by IBMer Tony Cairns, who modified the existing ibm_db project for IBM i support and added a Ruby wrapper to the XMLSERVICE open-source project. I don't know any of the details behind that; it's yet to come out, but the path is there.

Is Ruby a Good Thing?

So, is Ruby on the i a good thing?

 

Dude, of course it's a good thing. Any time a real web language is ported over to the I, it's a good thing. It gives us street cred and makes us legit.

 

Downsides? Like what? Seriously? Some people will say that PHP is used a lot more than Ruby and that PHP programmers are both easier to find and cheaper than their Ruby counterparts. And that's true, but are you really trying to get the cheapest talent or the best language?

 

Maybe the real question is, do you personally have to learn Ruby to benefit from this? And I admit that people like me, journalists, feed the impression that you have to know everything or there must be something wrong with you. The simple truth, at least in my case, is that there's a lot I don't know yet I somehow seem to keep going. And I have friends and everything. Well, a couple.

 

So the answer to that (do you have to learn Ruby) is…no. And that's where I really make the Ruby people mad. Because they really want you to learn Ruby so you can appreciate it the way they do, but the truth is that you don't have to learn Ruby any more than you have to learn PHP. Because the web applications you're writing should be written from a modular perspective (that is, some in RPG and some in a web language), so you can easily contract out the web part.

 

I know, that's sort of wimpy, isn't it? We i people have always been very hands-on. But the truth is most i people are more business experts than they are anything else. And most of them have enough on their plate just staying current with RPG/ILE/Free plus keeping up with their users. When is there time to take on another language? I think for most people that's just plain unreasonable. If it isn't for you, or you feel you have to in order to keep your job, go for it. Learn Ruby, dabble in PHP, try .Net and then you can decide for yourself which one you like, because my belief is that much of it boils down to personal preference.

Final Analysis

Yes, there are other ways to do web work on the i, but Ruby is definitely a contender. Yes, some people think it's slower than some other methods, but unless you have a very high transaction rate app (and I'm guessing you don't), you'll never notice the difference. On the other hand, everyone that I have seen who uses PHP and Ruby agrees that Ruby is very elegant and yields high productivity. I discount the Ruby community and its Gems because I think the PHP community is larger and has more plug-ins. Yes, there are some concerns about how long it takes to really learn it, but I firmly believe that's true of all the web languages. Could you teach someone all you know about RPG in a week or through a demo? There are a ton of PHP vs. Ruby posts out on the web and I picked one or two or three at random. See what they think.

 

Ruby is a solid, excellent language that is a contender for title of Really Cool Web Language.

 

Is Ruby the long-awaited game changer, the one language that will usher in a golden age of web development on the i? No, I don't think so. It's another tool, and a good one, that will appeal to a lot of people in the web world, making the i less dinosaur-ish. The only thing that would be a true game changer would be either a web language that was truly native to the i and integrated directly with RPG or a version of RPG that ran on the web.

 

Want to know more about Ruby? Well, you can go to www.ruby-lang.org for starters. They have a bunch of references and documentation to get you started. Or you can go to Aaron Bartell's website, Power Ruby. Or just google Ruby and see what you get. Yeah, I dare you. If you want simple books, there's the Ruby for Kids website that tells you how to get Ruby on your machine (hey, Mac users, you already have it…so cool) and then how to get started. It says you can build a game in just an evening. Give it a try. You're as smart as a fifth-grader, aren't you?

 

David Shirey

David Shirey is president of Shirey Consulting Services, providing technical and business consulting services for the IBM i world. Among the services provided are IBM i technical support, including application design and programming services, ERP installation and support, and EDI setup and maintenance. With experience in a wide range of industries (food and beverage to electronics to hard manufacturing to drugs--the legal kind--to medical devices to fulfillment houses) and a wide range of business sizes served (from very large, like Fresh Express, to much smaller, like Labconco), SCS has the knowledge and experience to assist with your technical or business issues. You may contact Dave by email at dave@shireyllc.com or by phone at (616) 304-2466.


MC Press books written by David Shirey available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

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    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.