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April 12, 2014: Volume 16, Number 15|
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It looks like IBM did not want for IBM i 7.1's Technology Refresh 8 update to get lost in the shuffle of various Power Systems, operating system, and systems software announcements that are no doubt on the way with the impending launch of Power8 processors and systems that use them. Last week, IBM put out TR8 without nary a warning to the usual gang of suspects, including those of us here at the Four Hundred stack of newsletters.
Oracle unveiled a new in-memory Planning Advisor last week that's designed to help JD Edwards EnterpriseOne customers get a centralized view of their orders and their supply chains' capability to fulfill them. The new software has been optimized to run on Oracle's "Engineered Systems," such as Exalogic and Exadata, and likely doesn't run on IBM Power Systems.
Last week's revelation of the Heartbleed security vulnerability in OpenSSL took the world's computing community by storm. Apparently, a bug introduced more than two years ago could enable hackers to eavesdrop on Web sessions encrypted with SSL or TLS, and thereby put people's passwords at risk. Because of the widespread use of SSL and TLS in tens of millions of websites--not to mention IBM operating systems and application code--the situation has been dubbed a computing disaster of epic proportions.
If you feel sick to your stomach from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug, you're not alone. The retailer Target may have lost data on 100 million customers, but that's nothing compared to the billions of supposedly secure online transactions conducted across millions of websites over the past two years that we now know were potentially exposed and could be fodder for hackers. For IBM i customers, who have basked in the shadowy protection that IBM's (mostly) proprietary architecture has afforded them for decades, the question becomes: Can we trust open source to protect us?
Not every business problem is solved by the cloud or managed service providers or social media. That's just like saying not all IBM i application development is dependent on a single language. Both statements are more true than false, but as has often been pointed out to me, each case is different. However, the commonalities are still to be found despite the ever present differences of opinion. How about application development from the Java point of view? Is it better or just different?
New software from Computer Keyes allows users to do something pretty cool. Presented with a PDF document, the user enters his data, presses the "submit" button, and the document is automatically uploaded to the IBM i server where applications can process it. The new capability is the result of updates to two Computer Keyes products, including kLink and KeyesOverlay.
The cat is officially out of the bag. IBM is hosting a big launch event on April 28 and it is all about Power Systems. Well, and Watson and big data and analytics and the manufacturing operations at IBM Microelectronics, from the looks of the agenda. So it may be the long wait for Power8-based systems is finally over.
IBM signaled that it's close to completing its latest effort to move RPG developers to free format coding last week when it announced Rational Developer for i (RDi) 9.0.2. The company also announced withdrawal dates for older releases of IBM's flagship IDE and related products for developing RPG, COBOL, Java, and C applications.
Concerns about intellectual property infringement led Oracle's lawyers to force a JD Edwards support website to shut down. The UK-based website JDEREF.com says it agreed to pull down the content of its site after receiving a threatening letter from Oracle's managing counsel about violations of Oracle's copyright concerning database schemas for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.
IBM i shops that use Bug Busters Software Engineering's Remote Software Facility (RSF) for high availability protection will find improvements in the role swap process with the latest version 10 release. The company also bolstered the base RSF product with new automated update capabilities, which keeps the customer's RSF implementation in lockstep with Bug Busters.
The mainframe, as first embodied in the System/360 and carried forward to the System z, celebrated its 50th birthday last week. And while we technically do not cover the mainframe in this publication, the very fact that IBM created the mainframe and was paranoid about losing this fast-growing and lucrative business is perhaps the very reason that the IBM i platform as we know it exists.
In the first part of this series I discussed why I thought that RPGers should care about the new free-form support. Since you may have seen other articles on the basics of this support, I thought in this tip I'd focus on a few examples of how existing D-specs are converted to the new format so you can see how it all works.
HiT Software is now supporting the latest releases of Microsoft Windows, Windows Server, SQL Server, and Office apps with its ODBC/400 and OLEDB/400 database drivers that provide Windows apps with access to the IBM i OS's DB2/400 database. The company, which is a subsidiary of BackOffice Associates, also shipped a new release of its flagship DBMoto data replication tool.
Multimillion-row tables are more and more common in IBM i shops these days. Querying those monsters can be a strain on the system. Fortunately, IBM gave us some help in DB2 for i 7.1.
IBM is sharpening the knife and plans to slice additional jobs as soon as next week, according to Lee Conrad, who has been organizing the Alliance@IBM local chapter of the Communications Workers of America union for decades.
Last issue, I started outlining how to set up an IBM i incident management plan, going through four of the seven elements that are crucial for IBM i monitoring and response. This issue, let's finish up and discuss the final elements an IBM i incident management template should provide.