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A lot of people get credit for the work that went into creating IBM midrange systems over the decades, and rightfully so since the creation of such machinery, including the hardware and the software, takes many hundreds or thousands of individuals with each successive generation. It is appropriate to think about them as the AS/400, the forebear of the current Power Systems IBM i system, turns 28.
If you have noticed that Windows Explorer seems to be running especially slow when mapped to your IBM i server, you are not alone. Over the past month, there have been several reports of what appear to be limited denial of service (DOS) attacks against servers running IBM i 7.3. This issue stems from a change in protocols for mapped drives that IBM made with the new operating system, but it appears that Microsoft is on the hook for the fix.
Often we recognize we had expectations about the same time as we recognize those expectations have not been met. The IBM midrange computer, a combination of the IBM i operating system running on Power Systems hardware, exceeds the expectations of a high percentage of organizations that rely on it. Reliability, scalability, and securability are its hallmarks. However, some would describe its analytical capabilities as a weakness. Transactional-based business computers, like this one, are limited in what they can do.
Loyalty to IBM's midrange computer systems is a strong bond for many companies. Those with CA 2E application development environments are a great example. 2E, originally known as Synon, was one of the most successful fourth-generation language (4GL) development environments on the platform and that community continues to number in the thousands. Like other IBM midrange shops, they are concerned with application development, maintenance, and modernization.
In XML-INTO And Optional Elements, I showed a reader how he could use XML-INTO to parse an XML document that effectively contained one of two completely different payloads. As I noted in that article, for this type of "does the document contain X" processing, XML-SAX can be a better choice than XML-INTO. That is the task that I'm going to demonstrate in this tip.
In Formatting Dates with SQL, Take 2, you have shared a great technique. Function overloading is a real boon to SQL programming. Here's another way to handle the same issue with what I believe is less code and less invasive (meaning you won't have to recompile programs that use the FMTDATE service program).
In DB2 for i 7.2 TR4 and IBM i 7.3, IBM has made a special user-defined table function (UDTF) enhancement that should be shouted from the rooftops. This enhancement is referred to as an inline table function.
There has been a flurry of acquisitions in the IBM i marketplace in the past several years--you might even call it a blizzard. That got me to thinking last week about the changes in the OS/400 and IBM i ecosystem that we have seen in the past several decades, which I talked about in an essay last week.
Another IBM midrange earthquake was reported last week as two of the big application modernization vendors joined forces to create a single source of a wide range of products and services. Throughout the IBM i community, windows rattled and light flickered as Fresche Legacy--now known simply as Fresche--announced it was purchasing Quadrant Software. According to Fresche, it now has a client base totaling more than 22,000 IBM i customers.
IBM i shops that are interested in extracting insights from their data under the guidance of automated statistical analysis and machine learning may want to check out a new offering from Rocket Software. Called Rocket Discover for IBM i, the new software combines data discovery capabilities with self-service data preparation, and is aimed at regular business users who find things like Tableau Software's products too geeky or difficult to learn.
Focal Point Solutions Group, an IBM i-based managed service provider specializing in high availability, disaster recovery architectures, and security monitoring has expanded its services to include security assessments and document management in the cloud.
With one way of looking at it, the server market that drives the IT business is very mature and relatively flat, which shows demand for compute (and in some cases storage) remains steady and healthy. But in another way of looking at it, in a world obsessed by growth and often demanding it to drive revenues, profits, and stock prices, the server market has taken a dip and this is bad news.
There is an old adage that it is 10 times as expensive to acquire a new customer as it is to keep an existing one happy. I think that whoever lived in those times and coined that phrase did not live in an economic period dominated by the cheap money that was made available--some would say necessary--to keep the global economy humming along or recovering relatively quickly when it falters.
Despite all the IBM i security vendors that HelpSystems has bought over the years--and there have been at least five of them--the company has lacked one key security capability valued by enterprises: encryption. With last week's deal to acquire Linoma Software, the Minneapolis software vendor has finally obtained that encryption capability for IBM i.
Amidst all the chatter in the IBM midrange community, nothing rises above the catch-all category of modernization. Just about anything that's done to the system, including brushing the dust off an old AS/400, seems to qualify as modernization. But, after separating the wheat from the chaff, there is real modernization being done and with it comes the realization that the IBM i is as modern as you allow it to be.
I've got good news and bad news. I'll give you the good news first. We're never too old to learn something new. The bad news? Don't ever expect to graduate. Learning is a never-ending process, or at least is should be. Taking breaks from learning is a good idea, but calling it quits is not. My mother used to tell me: What counts most is what you allow yourself to learn after you think you know enough.