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Unless a Federal judge overturns* the deal, IBM is going to be granting amnesty to customers using Power Systems iron who have let their Software Maintenance, or SWMA in IBMspeak, lapse. This maintenance service is available for the systems software, compilers, middleware, and related core software that is used by IBM i or AIX shops, and there are a lot of customers who have falling off the SWMA wagon. IBM wants to get them back on.
Stretched, strained, and even swamped are words that describe IT resources in a great many companies that are leaning on service providers to advance their IT objectives. This is decidedly true when it comes to implementing new technology, where skills and experience are in short supply. The circumstances occur across all platforms, but perhaps is more apparent among the users of the IBM Power Systems running the IBM i operating system, where IT staffing is known to be light.
Rainer Ross, the intrepid IBM i developer that we profiled in The Four Hundred a few weeks ago because he had developed a hotel search engine that mashed up the IBM i platform with Big Blue's Watson cognitive analytics software, has another project he has been working on. And Ross wants to get the word out that all of us need to work to get more applications running on the Power Systems-IBM i combination to ensure the longevity of the platform.
Maintenance and support is an important part of any IT vendor's revenue and profit streams and these services are also what make IT shops more or less comfortable with using a piece of hardware or software for mission-critical work. And generally speaking, maintenance prices tend to rise over time because the cost of people tends to go up, too.
Trying to keep the IBM i relevant in your organization? It probably seems like an uphill battle at times, especially if you have a CIO who knows next to nothing about the platform. Here are five fun facts that may help save the platform at your organization, or at least get the CIO to give it a second look before he kicks it to the curb.
Depending on where you live in the world, there's either a shortage or a surplus of RPG programmers at any point in time, a dynamic we have covered here in IT Jungle. But rarely has the availability of IBM i programming talent so publicly affected a company as it did last week, when the CEO of Computer Sciences Corp. blamed his company's $230 million-plus revenue shortfall in part on a shortage of RPG coders.
In most organizations, work revolves around documents and the movement of those documents. Purchase orders come in from customers and they get approved or denied, which triggers the next step in the process. It's how business has gotten done for decades, but there is room for improvement, according to inFORM Decisions, which two weeks ago launched an IBM i-compatible workflow management product called iWorkflow.
Although it started out as a technology aimed at the financial industry, data encryption has become the standard among all industries. Think about it: health records, social media accounts, and state and local records all contain personal information. At the same time, security breaches are becoming commonplace.
Ten years ago, when Wal-Mart first started mandating that its suppliers use RFID tags in product deliveries, the unit cost of RFID tags was seen as the biggest barrier to adoption. Fast forward to 2015, and improvements in manufacturing have dramatically lowered the cost of RFID. But it's been the adoption of new business models that has led to an explosion of RFID use cases, according to the folks at CYBRA.
What has PHP done to buck the trend in IBM midrange shops to resist change? Fear of disrupting traditional business policies and procedures is not unusual and it's not unique to the IBM i community. Change is scary, but it can also be exciting. PHP has brought about a pretty fair share of change. And in the process, PHP has changed. The IBM i PHP community has changed, too.
A company called OpenLegacy is beginning to gain momentum with a suite of free and open source tools for modernizing IBM i and z/OS applications. Besides giving away most of its technology (it charges for support in its professional edition), the company is also unique with its API-driven approach to giving older apps new life with Web, mobile, and cloud interfaces.
With the new year under way, with IBM shipping a substantially completed Power8-based system lineup, and with the company eager to ramp up its Power Systems sales, it would be reasonable to expect for Big Blue to be wheeling and dealing here in the first quarter of 2015. As it turns out, IBM has been quiet as a mouse on the deal front in the United States and Canada, but the company is cutting deals in Europe to bolster Power System sales. At the same time, paradoxically, and no doubt due to the strengthening US dollar, IBM Europe is raising prices on various storage arrays.
SoftLanding has collaborated with HelpSystems to obtain more modern cross-referencing and documentation tools for SoftLanding's widely used change management tool, TurnOver. The partnership, which was announced last week, involves the integration of a more modern version of HelpSystems' application development tool, called ABSTRACT, with the goal of enhancing software development capabilities for IBM midrange shops using TurnOver.
It is amazing that so many users manually key from a report into a spreadsheet for further analysis. PHPExcel is a tool that you can use to write directly to a spreadsheet for them. Here are the steps that you need to take to install and create a simple spreadsheet from DB2 data using PHPExcel.
If you like mile-long, messy, obfuscated, hard-to-read SQL, the kind that makes sane people want to cuss and spit on everybody and everything, then this tip is not for you. And please don't apply for a job in my shop. But if you have better things to do than debug SQL, then I have a simple but clever technique for you.
In my last article we learned about Ruby methods and encapsulation. During the various exercises there were many code changes made and we didn't really have a simple way to keep track of how the code changed from one version to the next. That's where source change management (SCM) tools like git come into play and is what we will be diving into today.