Sidebar

Lotus Symphony Directly Targets Microsoft

Collaboration & Messaging
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

So What's All the Fuss?

The fuss comes from IBM's recent announcement of a free beta version of Lotus Symphony, a complete office automation suite that is squarely targeted at Microsoft Office. Big Blue is not being shy about its intentions. The landing page for Symphony states boldly, "You're in charge! Lotus Symphony is based on the Open Document Format (ODF) standard-which means you're not locked into proprietary file formats, software licensing agreements and upgrades. Finally, free tools and freedom of choice!" This clearly attacks proprietary Office formats as well as Microsoft's licensing and delivery mechanisms.

But more fundamentally, the new office suite is Eclipse-based, which means that it runs just about anywhere. This is the area that will really differentiate IBM and Microsoft. Whereas Microsoft will quite naturally want to lock you into Windows, IBM has made an enormous investment in the Eclipse platform and in the idea of platform neutrality on the desktop. This fundamental difference is really quite interesting, because IBM doesn't care whether you run browser-based or thick clients; the software will run anywhere without cannibalizing its own markets. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a very viable option to a completely platform-independent UI technology. Microsoft, on the other hand, has to be very cagey about its entry into the SaaS marketplace, because it depends so heavily on licensing of its desktop products. If Microsoft wants to compete, for example, with Google Docs, it will do so at the expense of its own licensing.

Meanwhile, IBM doesn't care about platforms. By sticking with Eclipse for thick-client technology, IBM ensures that its software should run anywhere. Of course, that's the theory, and the reality is a bit different. I'm going to try to stay out of the platform wars and the package wars, but IBM probably made a bit of a public relations misstep with this initial release of Symphony by not making it available for Mac OS X. However, the problem should not be seen as IBM slighting the Mac community. In truth, the Mac community is going to be one of the primary beneficiaries of IBM's technology direction. Because both Symphony and Domino are based on Eclipse technology, as IBM continues to align Eclipse with Mac OS X, Mac users will start to see both of these strategic product lines available for Mac as quickly as they are for other platforms.

The first time this will happen should be in 2008, as the Eclipse rich-client technology is fully enabled for the Leopard release of Mac OS X. This should enable both Domino and Symphony to run seamlessly on the Macintosh. In the meantime, though, the software already runs splendidly on Windows and reportedly is working fine on many variants of Linux as well.

My Impressions

This won't be a comprehensive comparison. Such a comparison would take many columns; each of the three primary tools (documents, spreadsheets, and presentations) could have a couple of different feature comparison articles. Instead, I'm going to try to give you a sense of Symphony as an integrated product suite and explain how that compares to the Microsoft experience. Again, remember that I'm comparing to Office 2003, and from what I've seen, Office 2007 is different, with the differences ranging from mild to quite radical. I'll let some Office 2007 users chime in here on their experiences.

In the meantime, let me give you my impressions of the suite. My very first interaction with the suite was a little bit disorienting, and I'm still coming to grips with it. The issue is that, while there are three different "tools" (Lotus Symphony Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations), they all launch what is effectively the same workbench, which then in turn allows you to open any documents of any type. Let me illustrate.

When I launch, say, Lotus Symphony Documents, the first thing I see is the splash screen:

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/070930TM%20-%20Lotus%20SymphonyV4--10100700.png

Figure 1: This is the Eclipse-like splash screen invoked by any of the Symphony products. (Click images to enlarge.)

Once that passes, you then get to a workbench that looks exactly the same no matter which type of document you launched.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/070930TM%20-%20Lotus%20SymphonyV4--10100701.png

Figure 2: Here is a typical empty workbench, in this case for a document.

OK, they're not exactly the same; the menus and toolbars and such are different. But the basic format is the same. In fact, let's open a document. I used the File/Open menu to try to open one of my standard presentations. Note that I am opening a presentation, even though I originally started Symphony as a word-processing tool.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/070930TM%20-%20Lotus%20SymphonyV4--10100702.png

Figure 3: This little warning basically says that not all Microsoft features are supported.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/070930TM%20-%20Lotus%20SymphonyV4--10100703.png

Figure 4: And this is the workbench after opening a presentation.

You can see that the two documents (the new word-processing document named New Document and the presentation WDSC for RPG Programmers) are both open in a tabbed view. If you've used WDSC, you'll be familiar with the concept of a tabbed editor window that allows you to jump from document to document. The lack of a coherent tabbed interface has long been one of my issues with Office. For example, at least in Office 2003, if you close a document using the little "X" in the upper right corner of the document, Word leaves your other documents open, but if you close a spreadsheet the same way, Excel wants to close all the spreadsheets.

You may notice other similarities with Eclipse as well, particularly the concept of a "Properties" dialog. Notice the page Properties dialog on the right side of Figure 4; as you click on various elements within the page, that dialog will change, based on the context of the selected item. This feature works consistently throughout the product family, although it seems it is not completely implemented yet. In particular, complex objects such as shapes in a presentation require a separate multi-tabbed dialog to appear; in those cases, the Properties view shows just a button that you can click to bring up the properties of the object.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/070930TM%20-%20Lotus%20SymphonyV4--10100704.png

Figure 5: Complex properties aren't always shown in the Properties page;...

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/070930TM%20-%20Lotus%20SymphonyV4--10100705.png

Figure 6: ...instead, they sometimes need a separate, custom tabbed dialog.

I don't know whether all properties will eventually be subsumed into the Properties page or whether there will always be custom dialogs. But even if Symphony stays with the dialog concept, the interface will be consistent: Look for the Properties in the sidebar. If the properties are too complex, the program will not display them in the sidebar. In that case, click the button at the bottom of the Properties view (e.g., All Text Properties, as shown in the figure below) to bring up the associated dialog.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/070930TM%20-%20Lotus%20SymphonyV4--10100706.png

Figure 7: Consistency is the hallmark of this suite; Properties work the same in all editors.

I could see myself getting quite used to the new interface. Here's a simple example: I can edit the footer directly, without having to double-click and go into "header/footer" mode like I have to do with Word. This minor annoyance is gone in the Symphony suite.

Notice also the tabs along the top that allow you to switch from one editor to another by simply clicking on the tabs. It's thus very easy to be working on documents of various types at the same time, as I find myself doing constantly. The tabbed interface and the consistency of actions from one editor to another really make that sort of multi-document processing much more efficient.

Not Perfect

The suite isn't perfect by any means. I am not entirely enamored of the spreadsheet "perspective" (to use an Eclipse term). Microsoft PowerPoint has a slide outline view that you can use to navigate while editing pages. I use that particular tool all the time, and it exists in even the Open Office Draw product. The lack of such a view seems to be a concession to keeping the various editors as alike as possible. Hopefully, the developers will recognize the need for the feature and remedy this particular issue quickly.

Other users have pointed out other flaws in the product; in fact, IBM hosts an entire set of forums devoted to the product. The fact that such a forum exists is encouraging, although the comments are sometimes a little bit on the acerbic side.

To be honest, the product is currently a little slow and flickers a bit too much for my taste, and it requires a relatively large footprint on the workstation (although much of that is to be expected from a Java product). For a beta version, though, the product is remarkably polished, and I haven't been able to really break it yet. And remember, it runs on Linux (and soon OS X).

Similarities to Open Office

This launch hasn't been entirely smooth. Where I've heard of it at all, I've often heard a lot of nay-saying, both from the Microsoft advocates and from the pure open-sourcers. Issues raised include implications that Symphony is a rip-off of Open Office, or worse, that it's just a "me too" and IBM is wasting a lot of money and effort on a product that simply muddies the water.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/070930TM%20-%20Lotus%20SymphonyV4--10100707.png

Figure 8: This is the Open Office suite from which Symphony inherits its base features.

Open Office is a nice package, and as Figure 8 shows, there is an obvious common heritage. And while I've used Open Office and find a lot of similarities, you should be aware that nearly every piece of the user interface is different, from how you page through a document to how you set your tabs. Even where the features are roughly equivalent, the look and feel is nearly always different, sometimes significantly.

I think that the target audience is a different one. Whereas Office is a gradual convergence of very different tools, with Symphony you have a suite that is truly integrated from the start. Even Open Office seems less integrated than the Eclipse-based workbench feel of Symphony. I'm probably biased toward that concept since I use WDSC all the time, but I think even casual users will appreciate the "all-in-one" feeling, as long as it doesn't compromise the functionality of the individual components.

Along those lines, there may be a bit of a transition period before all of the tools fit comfortably within the framework. As I've already noted, there are times when some of the more component-specific features seem a bit shoehorned into the workbench paradigm.

Quite the Successful Launch

The major media seems to have downplayed this product. I don't get it, personally. IBM announces a major office automation suite that is targeted for every platform and is clearly intended to face off with Office, and the media comment is a collective "ho hum." Nearly everyone who deigned to cover the story at all gave it a couple of hundred words that pretty unanimously concluded that it won't displace Open Office.

Of course, I remember similar comments in the early days of Eclipse, claims that it would never garner nearly the market share that IDEs like Microsoft's Visual Studio and Sun's NetBeans enjoyed. But I think IBM has a good handle on the open-source concept, and the overwhelming success of Eclipse is a testament to that model.

And early numbers seem to confirm the idea that open source is a good way to deliver software. Despite the fact that this launch somehow seemed to sneak in under the media radar, it was quite successful. In the first week alone, over 100,000 registered users downloaded the software. In fact, the launch was a little too successful; for several days, many of IBM's servers were overloaded from the high demand for the product. (Note to IBM: You may want to figure out how to put downloads like this on a server that's separate from your primary support servers, but that's a different issue for a different day.)

So how good is the product? Will it overtake Office? It's far too early to say. I hate to make predictions based on beta software. Even the early releases of Eclipse and WDSC gave us no indication that they would become as successful as they are today. And even the very best technologies don't always survive the fickle consumer market (anyone want a Betamax tape with their OS/2 workstation?). So we'll wait to see as this plays out. Products such as this have failed in the past. In fact, it's a bit weird that IBM decided to appropriate the name of the original Symphony suite, whose history is hardly stellar.

But this particular effort has a number of positives that are hard to ignore, with two in particular:

  1. It's a multi-platform release, and if the OS X support is anywhere near as good as the support in other implementations, it will be one of the most comprehensive office products ever released.
  2. It's free.

Microsoft can't compete on either of these points, and that may be IBM's grand strategy.

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

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450Mobile computing is rapidly maturing into a solid platform for delivering enterprise applications. Many IBM i shops today are realizing that integrating their IBM i with mobile applications is the fast path to improved business workflows, better customer relations, and more responsive business reporting.

    This ASNA whitepaper takes a look at mobile computing for the IBM i. It discusses the different ways mobile applications may be used within the enterprise and how ASNA products solve the challenges mobile presents. It also presents the case that you already have the mobile programming team your projects need: that team is your existing RPG development team!

    Get your copy today!

  • Automate IBM i Operations using Wireless Devices

    DDL SystemsDownload the technical whitepaper on MANAGING YOUR IBM i WIRELESSLY and (optionally) register to download an absolutely FREE software trail. This whitepaper provides an in-depth review of the native IBM i technology and ACO MONITOR's advanced two-way messaging features to remotely manage your IBM i while in or away from the office. Notify on-duty personnel of system events and remotely respond to complex problems (via your Smartphone) before they become critical-24/7. Problem solved!

    Order your copy here.

  • DR Strategy Guide from Maxava: Brand New Edition - now fully updated to include Cloud!

    SB Maxava PPL 5476PRACTICAL TOOLS TO IMPLEMENT DISASTER RECOVERY IN YOUR IBM i ENVIRONMENT

    CLOUD VS. ON-PREMISE?
    - COMPREHENSIVE CHECKLISTS
    - RISK COST CALCULATIONS
    - BUSINESS CASE FRAMEWORK
    - DR SOLUTIONS OVERVIEW
    - RFP BUILDER
    Download your free copy of DR Strategy Guide for IBM i from Maxava today.

     

  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:
    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    HelpSystems

    This year marks the sixth edition of the popular IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, HelpSystems sets out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. Year over year, the survey has begun to reveal long-term trends that give insight into the future of this trusted technology.

    More than 500 IBM i users from around the globe participated in this year’s survey, and we’re so happy to share the results with you. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

    With so many organizations depending on AIX day to day, ensuring proper security and configuration is critical to ensure the safety of your environment. Don’t let common threats put your critical AIX servers at risk. Avoid simple mistakes and start to build a long-term plan with this AIX Security eCourse. Enroll today to get easy to follow instructions on topics like:

    • Removing extraneous files
    • Patching systems efficiently
    • Setting and validating permissions
    • Managing service considerations
    • Getting overall visibility into your networks

     

  • Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.

    Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    HelpSystemsIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC GenericLet’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    Our panel of IBM i experts—Chuck Losinski, Robin Tatam, Richard Schoen, and Tom Huntington—will outline strategies that allow your company to cope with IBM i skills depletion by adopting these strategies that allow you to get the job done without deep expertise on the OS:
    - Automate IBM i processes
    - Use managed services to help fill the gaps
    - Secure the system against data loss and viruses
    The strategies you discover in this webinar will help you ensure that your system of record—your IBM i—continues to deliver a powerful business advantage, even as staff retires.

     

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by Debbie Saugen. Debbie is an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability, helping IBM i shops build and implement effective business continuity plans.
    In today’s business climate, business continuity is more important than ever. But 83 percent of organizations are not totally confident in their backup strategy.
    During this webinar, Carol and Debbie discuss the importance of a good backup plan, how to ensure you’re backing up your security information, and your options for encrypted back-ups.

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC GenericIn this presentation, Alex Roytman and Liam Allan will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications. Learn how Agile Modernization:
    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

     

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIBM i is known for its security, but this OS could be more vulnerable than you think.
    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

    SB Profound WC GenericWatch this on-demand webinar and learn how to rapidly and easily deploy mobile apps to your organization – even when working with legacy RPG code! IBM Champion Scott Klement will demonstrate how to:
    - Develop RPG applications without mobile development experience
    - Deploy secure applications for any mobile device
    - Build one application for all platforms, including Apple and Android
    - Extend the life and reach of your IBM i (aka iSeries, AS400) platform
    You’ll see examples from customers who have used our products and services to deliver the mobile applications of their dreams, faster and easier than they ever thought possible!

     

  • Profound UI: Unlock True Modernization from your IBM i Enterprise

    SB Profound PPL 5491Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.

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

    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.

    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).

  • 5 New and Unique Ways to Use the IBM i Audit Journal

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericYou must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data? Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts discuss:


    - Why companies don’t test role swaps when they know they should
    - Whether high availability in the cloud makes sense for IBM i users
    - Why some organizations don’t have high availability yet
    - How to get high availability up and running at your organization
    - High availability considerations for today’s security concerns

  • Profound.js 2.0: Extend the Power of Node to your IBM i Applications

    SB Profound WC 5541In this Webinar, we'll demonstrate how Profound.js 2.0 enables you to easily adopt Node.js in your business, and to take advantage of the many benefits of Node, including access to a much larger pool of developers for IBM i and access to countless reusable open source code packages on npm (Node Package Manager).
    You will see how Profound.js 2.0 allows you to:

    • Provide RPG-like capabilities for server-side JavaScript.
    • Easily create web and mobile application interfaces for Node on IBM i.
    • Let existing RPG programs call Node.js modules directly, and vice versa.
    • Automatically generate code for Node.js.
    • Automatically converts existing RPGLE code into clean, simplified Node.js code.

    Download and watch today!

     

  • Make Modern Apps You'll Love with Profound UI & Profound.js

    SB Profound WC 5541Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love:

    • Transform legacy RPG code to modern free-format RPG and Node.js
    • Deliver truly modern application interfaces with Profound UI
    • Extend your RPG applications to include Web Services and NPM packages with Node.js

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Most business intelligence tools are just that: tools, a means to an end but not an accelerator. Yours could even be slowing you down. But what if your BI tool didn't just give you a platform for query-writing but also improved programmer productivity?
    Watch the recorded webinar to see how Sequel:

    • Makes creating complex results simple
    • Eliminates barriers to data sources
    • Increases flexibility with data usage and distribution

    Accelerated productivity makes everyone happy, from programmer to business user.

  • 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.

     

     

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

    Request your trial now!

  • 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.