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IT Jungle was created to help you figure out how to survive, adapt, and thrive in this complex IT ecosystem, whether you are an end user of information technology or a vendor of information technology products. We craft a set of online publications that focus on the core information technology platforms in use by enterprises the world over to do daily data processing, from the front-end Web systems to back-end accounting systems. IT Jungle publications are free to our subscribers.
Where's MKS Implementer? Alive and Well At PTC
The Jobs Of The People Who Make IBM i Platforms Work
From Green Screens To Web Services: An ROI Story
App Dev Evolution Opens Doors For Midrange Dynamics
IBM Patches OpenSSH Security Flaws That Impact IBM i
Ain't Nobody's Business But Your Own
Scared of Tests? MIMIX Has You Covered with 'Virtual Switch' Feature
Big IBM i Shops Get Beefier Memory
Yet Another IBM Pricing Scheme For Power MSPs
Coding Is Never Without A Reason; PHP Has 10
Run VisualAge RPG Applications On 64-bit Windows 7, 8, And 10 Over The LAN
Upsert One Row From A Data Structure
Parsing Delimited Text Data Natively in SQL, Part 1
Power Systems Turns In A Full Year Of Growth
What To Do With All Those Spare CPWs
Web Portal Not An IBM i Modernization Bit Player

The Platform

Formula One Racing Can Drive CFD Innovation Faster

Anton Sequel Makes Stronger Case for Custom Supercomputing

Future Systems: What Will Tomorrow's Server Look Like?

IBM Traverses Deeper into Graph Territory

Aiming Object Storage At Hadoop, Hitting Core Enterprise Instead

ARM Momentum Builds for European HPC Set

Technical Debt Could Leave Machine Learning Bankrupt

How Big Banks Thread The Software Performance Needle

The Long Cycles Of Enterprise Networks

How Long Can AWS Keep Climbing Its Steep Growth Curve?

Custom Hardware Sharpens Edge for Deep Learning Future

Containerizing Engineering Simulation for Faster CFD at Trek

Hit this link to see a full chronological listing of The Platform stories.


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It's been years since we could talk about the Big Three of IBM i change management system vendors. Aldon, SoftLanding, and Mortice Kearns Systems have all been gobbled up by bigger software houses whose core business models, alas, do not revolve around the IBM i. And while IT Jungle has kept up with the first two, we haven't delivered any insight on the MKS Implementer product that Parametric Technology Corp acquired several years ago--until now.
We spend a lot of time talking about hardware and software here at IT Jungle, but there is another crucial element to the platform that often gets overlooked: the people who turn the machines into applications and, in turn, money from which they derive their many livings. The systems have evolved on the confluence of Moore's Law advancement curves for their constituent components, but if people want to advance, they have to work hard to keep pace with new technology while maintaining the old.
There are times when we find ourselves in the wrong place, but it turns out to be the right time. Les Peebles can tell you about that. During a presentation on webfacing 5250 screens, a technology that Peebles was not in favor of implementing, he was introduced to a web services option that came to be a solution to the IBM i and Windows integration issues he was grappling with. The wrong place was now the right place.
Application development continues to be the name of the game in IBM midrange shops. What's changing is the integration of development environments. RPG development remains the meat and potatoes, but a growing list of side dish environments are on the table. Change management software helps maintain order as these diverse entities cross paths, but it also takes on more responsibilities beyond the strictly app dev assignments. Take Midrange Dynamics, for example.
IBM last week patched another pair of security vulnerabilities in the OpenSSH client for IBM i. The security flaws, which impact all current releases of IBM i--and very likely older releases that are no longer under maintenance--carry a moderate to severe risk, and could be used to execute arbitrary code on an IBM i server, obtain private cryptographic security keys, or execute a denial of service attack, IBM says.
The distance between the IT department and the executive suite in some IBM midrange shops makes a trip to Mars seem like a hop, skip, and a jump. How do you close that gap? How do you explain to the decision makers the difference that IT can make within the organization? You know what could be accomplished with investments in IT, but executive sign off on IT strategy never materializes. You're spinning your wheels.
Nearly one in five high availability users never test their HA setup, while more than 40 percent aren't sure whether it will work, according to the 2016 State of Resilience report from Vision Solutions. The "set it and forget" mentality has plagued the HA industry for years, but it's something Vision is now addressing with the new "virtual switch" capability in the latest release of MIMIX Availability.
While there is no question that the installed base of OS/400, i5/OS and IBM i machinery in the world--probably something on the order of 150,000 machines--is dominated by small machines with one or two processors and only a couple of cores at most activated, there are still some very, very large customers out there. These companies are driving the performance requirements for Power Systems iron, just like big AIX and Linux shops are doing.
One of the problems with hardware is that it is a sunk capital cost to acquire it, which is why financing and now cloud computing, where you lease or rent the capacity in a server or storage array rather than buy it, is popular. But the service providers building Power-based clouds are not always happy to do financing. They want IBM to offer flexible pricing without them having to take the risk.
PHP is the open source success story for IBM i. Its support by IBM and particularly Zend Technologies has given it quite a boost. And it's proved to be capable of leveraging the IBM i operating system, DB2 for i, and RPG code. Beyond that, it is compatible with almost every operating system and hardware platform you can name, which provides the cross-platform capabilities that demolishes siloed information.
With assurance of continued support from IBM, we used VisualAge RPG (VARPG) to develop modern business applications. Then IBM pulled the plug on VARPG. Nevertheless, we've kept our applications working, and have even managed to find a way to run them under 64-bit Windows from our LAN. Here's how we did it.
I'm attempting to use the SQL MERGE statement to write an "upsert" that stores the data to be inserted or updated in an externally described data structure. Is that possible? Any insight into this would be helpful.
A common task for database developers is to accept a delimited text file, parse it, and dump it into a database table. This tip demonstrates a user-defined table function (UDTF) that can accomplish this task based on delimited text data stored in a CLOB or in an IFS file.
There have been worse years in the Power Systems business than 2015, and in fact, 2014 was one of them. In its latest financial reports, IBM said that that it has turned in four quarters of revenue growth for the Power server unit, no doubt helped by an uptake of Power8 systems as customers do their inevitable upgrades. As the year wound down, IBM was running on its entry and high-end cylinders, the first time in a while when that happened.
If there's one thing that the average IBM i shop with a typical business forecast doesn't need, it's more CPW. The latest generation of Power8 servers offer more than enough computational oomph to get the job done, which raises the question: What should one do with those spare CPWs? With some forward thinking, the average IBM i shop maybe doesn't have to be so average anymore.
The portal piece of modernization projects seldom gets top billing. All eyes are on the graphical user interface and efforts to scour the green screen out of sight from those who believe it is the work of the devil. But dagnabbit, it's the portal that unifies information and applications from a galaxy of diverse sources and displays it in an orderly fashion. It's the key to proprietary information that's shared among authorized users.