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January 17, 2015: Volume 17, Number 03|
January 10, 2015: Volume 17, Number 02
January 3, 2015: Volume 17, Number 01
December 27, 2014: Volume 16, Number 52
December 20, 2014: Volume 16, Number 51
December 13, 2014: Volume 16, Number 50
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The new year is here! Will 2015 be the year IBM i makes a comeback, or will there be another setback? IT Jungle reached out to the IBM i community for predictions and was rewarded with a treasure trove of ideas--some of them serious, some of them zany, but all of them authentic from the people who know the platform the best.
We're never going to entirely eliminate paper in the workplace. People are much too dependent on it for that. But the way S4i Systems CEO Spencer Elliott sees it, companies can take tremendous bite out of their paper consumption--and become more agile and efficient businesses--by transitioning to electronic document management tools, such as the IBM i-based package he sells at S4i.
Conversion of IBM i spool files to a format that readily fits into a business workflow process is a great idea. Lots of companies have done this successfully by starting with a clear and well defined business problem to solve. And now T.L. Ashford, a company best known for its IBM i-compatible barcode software, is in the electronic forms business with a new product called TLA Forms.
Although the company might be called International Business Machines, the real drivers, at least in 2015, are set to revolve around data, cloud, and engagement. That was the message from Martin Schroeter, IBM's chief financial officer, who walked Wall Street analysts through the company's financial results for the fourth quarter of 2014 after the markets closed on Tuesday. While Power Systems and System z servers and various storage products will be a foundation for IBM's business, Big Blue will continue to push its software and services in the pursuit of revenue and profit growth.
In this issue's roundup of IBM i news, we cover the latest AUTOMON offerings from SoftLanding, a new digital signature capture solution from InterForm (which is sold as ArtForm/400 here in the U.S.), and the 2015 edition of Infinite's BABY36.
It is the beginning of a new year, and this is the appropriate time to ponder the things we would like to see happen in the IBM i community over the coming year. As I have said many times, the only way you ever get anything in this world is to ask for it, so I took a few moments to come up with a list of things that I would like to see IBM do in the coming year to help support and extend the IBM i community. Please let us know what you would like to see happen this year, too, and we will let Big Blue know what you are thinking.
The folks at TEMBO Technology Lab knew a tough road was ahead when they set out to fundamentally transform how IBM i shops use DB2. You don't tell IBM i pros that they're doing it wrong with record-level I/O, and not expect to get a funny look or two. But to its credit, when TEMBO encountered resistance to its SQL mantra, the company stepped back, regrouped, and figured out another approach.
I've seen a particularly sharp increase in the use of RDi (or Rational Developer for i) by RPGers this year. I suspect that has a lot to do with the fact that it contains the only editor that supports the new V7 all-free-format version of the RPG language. Even among shops that are not planning to make use of free form D specs right away, this limitation seems to have made people realize that the writing was on the wall and that SEU's day had come and gone.
Every IBM midrange shop needs one of these--a person who goes around the office from desk to desk explaining, in defense lawyer earnest and animation, the magnificence of this built-for-business computer system. What it can accomplish is worthy of attention. What is actually does is largely overlooked and what it doesn't do is overblown and used to plan its execution. What can this system accomplish is the question that most business executives want answered.
I've been reading your SQL articles in hopes of finding a solution to a problem. I need to insert the same data into two tables at the same time in detail form to one table and in summary form to the other. Is such a thing possible?
Back in the old days, the mainframe and midrange divisions of IBM rivalled each other almost as much as they took on competition from outside the walls of Big Blue. But since the mid-1990s, when the company first started converging its system lines and made sure they could all run Java and its application server, the different system units of IBM have been collaborating and converging. Now, after selling off its System x division to Lenovo Group last fall, IBM is down to two system divisions within a single IBM Systems group.
The new year is well under way and all eyes are already turning toward the end of 2015 to try to guess how much the IT market will grow. The good news is that the consensus seems to be that, in the aggregate, IT spending around the world and across all kinds of devices and services will be up this year compared to 2014. The less-than-good news--but still not bad news--is that the U.S. dollar is getting stronger and that actually cuts global IT spending projections.
The new CREATE OR REPLACE feature of SQL has been most helpful to me. It works for aliases, functions, masks, permissions, procedures, sequences, triggers, variables and views. It would be nice if it worked for tables, especially when I'm developing a new application. Here's a workaround.
Big Blue did a lot of changing last year, and CEO Ginni Rometty started off this year by making some organizational and personnel changes that reflect the new shape of its company and the opportunities that it sees ahead of it in the global economy that is also undergoing wrenching change. Information technology and the economy have been changing each other for so long that it is hard to say what is cause and what is effect, but what can be said is that IBM has spent more than 10 decades adapting to such changes.
If you know Domino, you've known the benefits of collaboration software long before they crowded under the umbrella of social networking. Peer inside a Domino shop and you're likely to find an organization that understands the value of workflow and peer-to-peer teamwork. Efficiency? Yes. But for most, it is efficiency based on older collaboration technology. There are indicators that a transformation is taking shape. Keep an eye on this in 2015. And, yes, there are IBM i shops involved.
Just as last year was ending and The Four Hundred went on hiatus for the holidays, the OpenPower Foundation that IBM established a year ago added a bunch of new members and also announced that it would be hosting its first summit for system builders, application developers, and other parties that are interested in creating wares based on the Power architecture.