I Like System i Like Crazy

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"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet." -- Shakespeare, from Romeo and Juliet. Yes, a few weeks ago, IBM announced that they were changing the name of our beloved system from iSeries to System i. Actually, if you want to be technical about it, the previous name was IBM eServer iSeries, and the current generation was called IBM eServer iSeries i5. Now, the current generation is IBM System i5, and the server line is called IBM System i. Our ...

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Discuss this Blog Entry 98

Perry (not verified)
on Apr 10, 2006
Guess there is another guy in the cave with you RD? Both you and Nathan might be working on the last AS400 together some day down the road!!!! .NET is for real. I can't sit still with what IBM is offering today. My customers demand MORE....
on Apr 5, 2006
> What are business's to do? People and organizations sometimes get stuck in a rut, and it may take some stretching to get out of one. Don't become overly dependent on IBM or any other single source. Replace old applications with new ones. Move beyond interim solutions like screen scrapers and Webfacing technologies. Use HTML, Style Sheets, and JavaScript for user interfaces. Learn about AJAX and apply it. Use SQL for set relate queries. Use ILE RPG and record level I/O for transactions and update operations. Use the iSeries Apache based HTTP server. Use CGI. Add new functionality to your interactive screens such as clicking on column headings to reorder result sets, options to export SQL cursors to PC file formats (CSV, XLS, XML, ASCII Text, PDF), and offering a broader range of criteria to filter result sets. Follow a model/view/controller design pattern to make new applications easier to maintain. Add tabs to your screens. Build software from components (write your own if necessary). Modularize. Buy or build models that can be applied multiple subjects. Build new iSeries applications for new users such as customers, vendors, investors, the general public, and people you collaborate with. Integrate applications with a portal. Modernize! The company I work for has experienced triple digit growth for the past three years by building new iSeries applications and incrementally replacing old ones with new ones. Long-time user's are pleasantly surprised to see new user interfaces and uses for a legacy platform.
on Apr 2, 2006
Well, it's just a name; no big deal. If it means coherency across the brand, ok. However, it's not going to improve sales or performance. It's not going to improve awareness or knowledge. And it's especially not going to improve broad IT opinions about the box whether from a technical viewpoint or from a user/buyer viewpoint. So, go ahead, IBM spend your hardearned bucks on nomenclature and forgo any real sales improvements. I love the box but really I can't see the point of actually bothering to change the name. It's not like a lot of people REALLY care; most everyone who's had a AS400 experience tends to "accidentally" refer to their iSeries/i5/System i/"XXXXX" as a AS400 sooner or later. What really counts is what's under the cover and how to get to it; fortunately, it's an awesome system with great applications and tools. Unfortunately, it's got '80s-'90s pricing and sales mentality. Like Ugeerts said, the opposition PC guys are really catching on and IBM System i Division will have a hard time justifying the way they are doing things if their sales continue like the recent past. I think from a new sales point of view, it's almost impossible to justify a small System i box vs. a "generic" 64 bit PC system that seemingly costs far less up front. I happen to love the machine but have to deal with real world small business people who really don't necessarily care that paying more up front can save more later on. They view PCs are 2-3 year throwaway items anyways; if their budgets are virtually annual, whats the big deal? And it's very difficult to get System i applications that can be cheaply/easily built because there's few people out there doing that kind of work. Those that do have nice contracts with big corporations; a really small biz guy just can't compete. If System i can't be attractive to a small business and medium businesses have decent alternatives that work also for small businesses, what is the attraction? The "obvious" rationale for System i familiar people is clearcut simple reliability and recovery options. However, most of the System i ignorant users I talk to don't find that particularily a big deal. It's nice but what about the price and the applications and who's going to fix it? Ouch, that much? Forget it, just buy 2 pc servers and make sure the backup is good. That's what I get. Sorry, System i guys, but somebody just doesn't "get it".
jj (not verified)
on May 1, 2006
Another major account LOSS for the AS400 Fox Sees Sun's Solaris By Laurie Sullivan, TechWeb News The Fox Television Stations Inc. network has tapped Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris 10 operating system (OS), servers, and storage to streamline its advertising traffic and management system, a company executive told TechWeb at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas. The News Corp.'s subsidiary has recently begun to deploy services and hardware from Sun to create a sales, traffic, and programming management system. Fox will use the system, in part, to cross-sell and keep tabs on advertising that runs on television, the Internet and other mediums. Sun Fire E6900 and E4900 enterprise-class servers, Sun Fire x64 servers powered by AMD Opteron processors, the Sun StorEdge 6920s and the L500 tape libraries will support Pilat Media’s sales, traffic and program management software. Fox replaces IBM AS400 servers. "Applications servers will run Pilat Media and database servers will run Oracle," said Katherine Parker, Sun's business development manager of Internet, Media & Entertainment Global Industry sales. "We're providing thin clients called Java stations, which are ideal for customer care environment because they don't have brains. They get the information from the network."
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 10, 2006
Go to the bookstore. There are rows and rows of C#, Visual Basic .NET. books. Look for a single CGI/RPG/AS400 book. Not one user would complain with a Windows interface while all would complain with a GREEN screen or Screen Scraper interface. Every student in the class that I took was either an out of work AS400 programmer or their shop sent them there to learn .NET. Getting the message?. What has IBM done for you? OUTSOURCED all our jobs to INDIA!!!!! Left you in the dark? Left you as a SITTING DUCK? Don't underestimate the .NET platform. With the maturing of Release 2 and 3 coming out soon arriving with LINQ(built in DATABASE SUPPORT) I think they have a BIG winner!!!!
on Apr 8, 2006
Too much emphasis being given there on small to medium sized business not choosing to run their business on the "formerly known as the AS/400". Of course we all know that is happening, and I think we agree it was because it was the only major computer system without a GUI interface. The Websphere obsessed executives in IBM made sure of that. But the AS/400 runs very large businesses. Not as many as before SSA pulled an IBM wth BPCS and drove thousands of large companies off of OS/400 to SAP on various OS'es, but still many. Very large companies. I've worked for a few of them. So it's not going away, and it's not a write-off. IBM just doesn't care what OS hopefully runs their Websphere, but everyone else does. rd
on Apr 7, 2006
The entire rebranding is a bit silly. But I guess if you’re in marketing you have to justify your existence somehow. A name more search friendly would have been nice. System i is a pretty obscure term to return practical results of any kind.
Claudio Cuzzi (not verified)
on Apr 7, 2006
Not a bad idea. Who says we must use names choosen by marketeers? Everybody wants "open source" products? And we adopt "open source" names. LONG LIFE TO AS/400!!!!
ugeerts (not verified)
on Apr 5, 2006
I see the same customer resistence towards as/400 in Europe. Whereby it was feasable to sell a small system including green screen accounting to a SMB business (less 500 employees) in 1998, by 2001 such a sale became completely impossible. You'd had better chance selling deepfreezers to the Eskimo people on the Northpole. THE SYSTEM AT THE LOW END DOESN'T SELL ANYMORE, read my lips. Are Ibm or ISV's to blame, I don't care, I just state the facts. As for the high end, in a country like the Netherlands (12 mio people), about 100 systems were sold to large companies in 2005. These are done with their intake of the i5 and now sales are falling of a cliff. Let's see what ibm has to report for 2006/Q1, another 20% drop like in 2005/Q4 maybe? The upcoming figure will be crucial, since 2005 sales were flat after a steady decline from 1998 to 2004. We'll soon know wether we have a turnaround, it's now or never.
rdean (not verified)
on Apr 2, 2006
I would consider the latest rebranding a positive step in correcting the idiocy that started with the "e(logo)Server" debacle. The old names were too long -- you could call it "iSeries", but the ThinkPad had an iSeries too. The new name is appropriate, although the point about not being search engine-friendly is quite true. The naysayers may hate it or use it as another opportunity to troll on the impending death of the platform, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a smarter name for the system.
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 11, 2006
Angel, Nice post and I agree with most if not all of what you said..... I am a REAL systems person a business application developer. I have developed 3 fully integrated RPG/400 applications that are still in production total systems. All developed with less than 4 coders....In fact I developed a Distribution System with one other person using my original code as a starter and we were installed in less than a year to a client that does over 50 million in sales. I have met maybe 3 programmers that I though could design and program in all my years of programming...I can imagine what it's like working on a C# project with the majoity of coders...It must be a joke. I do agree with you that Java and .Net adds and object orientation adds tremendous complexities to programming. Yes there is SOME flexibility to be gained. But th only reason I am converting and I think the reason you see so many people blaming IBM for this and that is that there has been no direction from IBM with regard to the AS400...Tremendous frustrations on the part of people involved with the machine. I have personally come across account after account that refuses to buy an AS400... I print out all the doumentation all the benefits but the world wants WINDOWS and WINDOWS like apps. SO what's left for me is developing at least something I can SELL...I am so tired of walking into an account and discussing the AS400 and nothing else. You won't even be able to demo your product if you fill out a RFP and the as400 Hardware/Software. So sometimes we must do not's what best but what will SELL....It's sad to say that but I must say the it's either convert over and develop a SEXY application or go out of business. I mean we have developed a forum of discussion and the best we could do is talk about a NAME change. So what's a company to do? Have a great product that is BUG free and runs like a CHARM and starts to lose market share becuase of the underlying hardware or develop the latest gizmo that will sell off the hook because that's what people want!!!!!!
on Apr 9, 2006
I wonder if you know anything more about C# .NET than how to spell it? And yes, I'm going to continue to call it the AS/400. I'll call it the System i when they rename themselves Company i. rd
Scott Klement (not verified)
on Apr 3, 2006
Does anyone have any thoughts about the name change? We seem to have strayed a bit from that discussion.
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 10, 2006
Steve, I totally agree that C# or Java is no magic bullet for an old time RPG/400 guy like me. It's very very slow learning but I am determined to pick it up and I am. It's no walk in the park. It's a long slow process. But it's something that I must do. I swore I would never be the oldtime "DP" manager that gets phased out...I saw so many down the road going out kicking and screaming about how "this new system" will never work. As professionals we must refresh and reinvent ourselves every 5 years or so. Whatever I learn can be applied to whatever new silver bullet comes out.. I think most AS400 people are in a real rut....they depended on IBM to set a roadmap and they never did...I waited 5 years for an IBM solution that never came...Those are the folks I feel sorry for. AS400, ISERIES any name...THAT won't make a difference to these people. Their last indignity might be training their Indian replacements thanks once again to IBM...I study hours each and every day. I could develop and implement a green screen application in no time....but the market is wide open and NOW calling for these C# or Java apps...for all the hard work at least there might be a payoff. And the golden ring will go to the folks that can offer an easy alternative to the inLIMBO AS400 world...that's the GOLD RING!!!!
on Apr 5, 2006
AS/400 development is still integrated, works just the way it always has from PDM, and more advanced capabilities are available through integrated development in the Eclipse WDSc development environment. I switch back and forth based on the project and which environment I prefer to deal with it in. I get the feeling you don't know much about any of the new capabilities of the i, ps. I've spent a number of years trashing IBM for their obsession with Websphere and lowest common denominator software, along with pushing web pages and not providing a GUI interface for the AS/400 because Websphere is a web server, but they do have that and with the new OS release green screens will be converted to web pages automatically, so it seems to me you don't quite understand some new capabilities are offered but the old remain. Your OO and related comments are all over the map, I have no idea what your point is, but you can write as much or as little in Java or C++ in ILE as you want, or RPG with Java JSP to render web pages, but as far as I know you can do any of those things with IBM offerings for i5/OS, so the points about third parties are a little off as well. It would probably help if you read a little more and complained less. As much as Nathan Andelin posts, it's a little surprising that people come here and complain and have no clue what others have been writing here for years. rd
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 3, 2006
When I said AS400 I meant I series....it does not matter. When they ask you why a BIG DELL server costs 4K or less and then you spring the charges on them...yes I know in the long run it can be cheaper but these are not technical people...they speak to their friends and brothers and anyone that can listen.....when they find out it' s a non Windows product it's like a plague hit them. Most are buying cheap PC server mickey mouse systems....If I converted my software over not only would I have a ton of new customers my company would be bought out in a second...but the fact that the software is written in RPG on an AS400/Iseries is the end of it all....One Indian company after another has offered to convert my system over but I have resisted....but I am leaning towards a C#.Net implementation....Closest competitors have converted over to a non objected oriented Java system and have tripled their revenues in 4 years while I have remained stagnant.... I might add I have a fully integrated accounting bar coded inventory, EDI...the whole works.....my customers are not complaining at all but new ones wont touch what ever you want to call the AS400....and if I did convert all would follow me to the new platform.
on Apr 3, 2006
I'm going to attack some assumptions just posted. I agree with rdean and most of the other posters, but the common views some express should be questioned. A large part of .NET programming is Visual Basic. No one says .NET is not new technology even though it is the umpteenth generation of Microsoft Basic, my first language that I wrote Double Deck Pinochle in on the TRS-80 and then later wrote several telecomunications notifications systems for a startup called Melita Electronics, stuff for nuclear plants, cable companies, and school systems, in Compiled Basic under DOS. Similar leading edge software was being written in RPG in the 80's on the predecessors of our latest technology. Basic has come a long way since then. So has RPG. ILE including Java as an ILE language has everything .NET does, and was out there long before .NET. C++ is an ILE language. Speaking of name changes, we should be saying ILE like MS says .NET. Sure they both have proud traditions. And yes, they are both new technologies. I think the RPG is old thing is strictly in RPG veterans heads. There's not that many others who even know what it is to exhibit the behavior that has been posted. With the new release of i I would expect that no one would see a green screen unless they forced a session to a terminal emulator. Going back to the first part of my post, the business world ran on WordPerfect, 1-2-3, and Harvard under DOS, and if we could do that with DOS we can certainly do anything we want with a freakin web page. No one ever talks about the whole failure of client server to start with and how every Windows program to be used has to be installed and configured into place for every person that uses it. Does any of these .NET talkers know what ERP is? Has anyone seen the latest drop back and punt projections from Microsoft for their ERP hopes that Project Green is based on? People just yip and yap about .NET like they never heard of the rise and fall of client server or act like Microsoft has released thousands of Windows programs to run an ERP suite with. They haven't. And what would you do with it when they do? ILE on the i is the latest. It's not Windows, but Windows on the desktop is not Windows running a business. Windows replaced WordPerfect and 1-2-3, much to the disgruntlement of millions of happy users, but it never replaced ERP. The pendulum swung back toward centralization, and the i is system central for running a business. A name is to indicate architecture. The architecture of i is integration, integration of operating systems, communications, languages, and apps, everything to run a business. Everyone else says you can run your business as long as you do it my way. We say you can run your business any way you want and change whenever you want. Run it your way on i. rd
Joe Pluta (not verified)
on Apr 3, 2006
rdean: "Closed systems equate to vendor lock-in and that's not a desirable feature. The platform will only win customers by running open architecture apps better and more cost effectively than other platforms." While I agree that being an effective platform for open applications is a good thing, I will also point out that open architectures (e.g., LAMP) don't easily handle the really large workloads we take for granted on the IBM midrange. Instead, when people point to large-scale systems such as Yahoo or Google, they're almost always talking about proprietary in-house systems. And if you want pure bare metal speed these days, nothing beats RPG. So by having BOTH worlds -- a really great platform for open architecture software AND a really hot native architecture for when performance is at a premium -- the iSeries by ANY name is the premiere platform of this decade. Joe
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 9, 2006
My endless suffering is over on this site. I thought I could come here to get answers to my questions as well as my customers questions. Guess I was wrong. As far as a rewrite. I plan on creating an RPG to C# converter ONCE I see that .NET is ready for my needs. Funny I took a C# course in November. All 10 students were AS400 people either out of work or their companies were looking to convert over their AS400 to a .Net platform. Guess everyone including Microsoft is wrong. At least they have a plan and respond to questions, issues and they have even created a bonus for those converting over from the AS400. All I wanted was answers to my questions about the future of the AS400 name change withstanding. Noone has a clue to that end. And it's amazing to me. Good luck to you RD...at least you don't have too many years till retirement. And with the AS400 world represented by folks like you WHO in their right mind would want to be in it.
on Apr 10, 2006
> I plan on creating an RPG to C# > converter ONCE I see that .NET is > ready for my needs. If history is any indicator, by the time you were half way done with your converter, Microsoft would have completely changed it's development paradigm, and .Net as we know it today would be a thing of the past. You'd be better off getting ILE RPG and CGI under your belt before taking such a drastic step.
rdean (not verified)
on Apr 4, 2006
"Open architectures (e.g., LAMP) don't easily handle really large workloads we take for granted on the IBM midrange. Instead, when people point to large-scale systems such as Yahoo or Google, ..." Yahoo is built on BSD. It was originally built on a custom-developed scripting language (I think they called it y-script or some such). They built some things in LISP (!!) and Python before settling on PHP as a statement of direction. So, it's built primarily on open architecture---but I would say that's an exception to what you said, not the rule. Sites like eBay and Amazon are built to WebLogic and WebSphere on the back-end with Microsoft IIS front-ends. For vendors, it doesn't make sense to put all eggs in a single basket. For customers, which Yahoo or Google would be in this case, it makes perfect sense to take full advantage of the runtime environment if vendor lock-in isn't a concern.
Scott Klement (not verified)
on Mar 30, 2006
What do you think? Post your opinions here.
NewNameLover (not verified)
on Apr 2, 2006
Personally, I think all these name changes to the AS/400 are just plain goofy. People who try to rationalize the purpose of all the new names don't think like customers. IBM must have zero respect or awareness for all of the tag-along companiers who provide support, software, and peripherials. All of these companies must again spend hard earned cash to rebrand their offerings. Customers now must learn about a new computer and wonder if it had anything to do with the old computer. IBM must have some of the dumbest marketing managers in the business.
on Apr 6, 2006
We should gradually steer this back on topic, that being the name change, which quite frankly doesn't do anything for me, but then neither did any of the others since AS/400. I could go with AS/400i. rd
on Apr 11, 2006
I believe there is at least one book on the topic by Brad Stone. Go to Amazon and do a title search. Or search and ask questions here http://www.iseriesnetwork.com/isnetforums/forums.php
rdean (not verified)
on Apr 3, 2006
That's not really the customer IBM is after. If someone wants to run on their existing server(s), that's not a hardware sale. If the next question is "Can I run Outlook and use Excel?" then the obvious answer is "Yes, right on your desktop, like you always have." The point about "OLD AS400" versus "NEW TECHNOLOGY" is moot. It wouldn't matter if the technology were new or old. It's the fact that it's another operating system to support that stops most people. IBM's market is people who don't think like that. As far as development of new apps is concerned, any vendor looking to develop a new app should be looking towards open technologies. There is no reason to build platform-specific applications anymore. I can build an app for WebSphere on i5/OS and run it unmodified on WebSphere for SuSE, Red Hat, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, and z/OS. Soon, many PHP scripts -- particularly the ones coded to a db abstraction layer rather than to MySQL directly -- will be in the same boat. Why should a vendor artificially limit their market penetration? The bottom line is that OS/400-i5/OS is not going to win customers because it can run apps no other system can run. Closed systems equate to vendor lock-in and that's not a desirable feature. The platform will only win customers by running open architecture apps better and more cost effectively than other platforms.
on Apr 10, 2006
C# and Java may be more complex than RPG to some but, after spending $5M on an AS400 project to expand the size of one field by two digits, my company is switching to Oracle and Java. ILE is ten years old but, for some reason, the RPG programmers I know won't write reusable RPG-ILE procedures; they duplicate everything and say inline code is faster. It may be but where I work, we've got so much code duplication and so many programs that it is cost prohibitive make to changes. RPG is a good language and the AS400 is a good machine. Why are there no reusable frameworks like Tomcat, Spring, or Rails in RPG?
ugeerts (not verified)
on Apr 8, 2006
No, I don't think so. Too little too late. The "system i" a.k.a. the former as/400 is a write-off. Period.
on Apr 4, 2006
We're all developers, in RPG and Java and various Windows development, Delphi for me, VB for some, .NET for others. The difference is we're not wannabes. I suggested ASNA .NET if you wanted to go that route of a .NET Windows interface that runs against databases on Windows or the i. Just as customers don't care what mix of languages is used for a .NET system, they won't care what mix of ILE languages a strong business system is written in for i5/OS. Write in any mix of RPG, Java, C++, and others in ILE on the i using interface independent code for web pages or the automatic rendering of green screens to web pages in the new i release. rd
on Apr 3, 2006
Instead of selling AS/400's perhaps you should try selling iSeries, i5's or System i hardware. They haven’t made an AS/400 in 6 years or so. I do understand what you are saying though. So what are your customers buying (hardware and software)? Obviously not a proprietary UNIX box.
Perry (not verified)
on May 10, 2006
IBM Entices SMB To Blades With Special Leasing, Entry-Level Switch By Kristen Kenedy, CRN 12:22 AM EDT Wed. May. 10, 2006 IBM Wednesday said it is rolling out financial incentives and a pair of new products intended to make it easier for solution providers to move small- and mid-sized business to a blade infrastructure THANKS IBM!!!!!! Maybe I am missreading the article but Once again the ISERIES takes a back seat....... http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/dailyarchives.jhtml?articleId=187201699
ps (not verified)
on Apr 5, 2006
Nathan, Thanks for the civil answer. As most old AS400 people agree the machine is a great machine. But that brings me to the point that others have posted about here. Knowing that the strengths and audience and majority of market share of the old As/400's that were sold in the late 90's were sold to folks that really had no idea about object orientation and add that to the fact that relearning all the technologies that the techies have mentioned would takes years of study-learning 10 different vendors solutions to the GUI problem, object orientation-What should a company do? Sit around and do nothing and wait until the Iseries goes to the wayside.That is a remore possiblity OR look to other relevant alternatives. It's difficult for me to imagine that developing a .NET app in C# could be as bad or unresponsive as the folks on this website are making it. Maybe it's for a lack of quality implementations or non object oriented design. After all Microsoft is investing millions and even Apple today announced that XP would run on an Apple. The ISERIES used to be the total package, an all emcompassing environment. That is what drew the people to the machine. The performance and the fully integrated work environment. Everything you needed to develop a first class app and do it quickly. Therein lies the problem. The users LOVE the machine but can't sit still waiting for IBM to make decisions regarding their companies future. I mean IBM has said nothing with regard to it's long term commitment to the ISERIES....and to what it might do to improve the situation other than talking about a name change. What are business's to do?
ps (not verified)
on Apr 5, 2006
Nathan, It's fools like you that must be marketing the ISERIES or working for IBM. I am just a customer telling things like it is. Maybe I don't know a lot but I get no direction or help from my vendor, IBM..and what I am speaking about is being spoken throught the community. I guess that if you consider a Wall Street Consultant and small business owner with 14 years AS400 experience as an off the wall poster than maybe I can understand why people are moving off the platform. Listen to the customers and offer constructive criticsm instead of blasting people for offering their HONEST opinion. Your problem is the same problem IBM is suffering from. Geez you must work for IBM!!!!!!!
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 11, 2006
Nathan, With all your proficient technical writing you should be smart enough to understand that business sells to business not IT departments. Maybe in your world where IT departments make business decisions in a vacuum your assumption is correct. The people I deal with are real people management and owners of business that sell merchandise, apparel and other things. They manufacture and distribute these things. Tehy pay HARD cash for these things and yes their world has been tainted by an aggressive Microsoft advertising program and have you looked lately...THEIR DESKTOP. BTW...My software runs without the need for layers of inefficent programmers. In most cases there is no longer a need for an IT department but I choose not to tell them that. We are a mere service oriented business JUST AS IBM should be a SHOULD be a SERVICE oriented business to us THEIR CUSTOMERS. Speaking of passe there should be no need in todays world for a local user group meeting. A simple visit to a Barnes and Noble should give me all the hard copy I need. But I tried that and while there are shelves of other offerings the only decent publication is a 800 suite of ONE BOOK and ONE COURSE. And I guess all the rumblings on this site including every THREAD created on many topics (it's funny how it always ends up the same) about IBM's missteps are all missguided and the fact I passed Steven's suggestion of a book to over 10 IT departments JUST today is my responsibility. You can go back to your CAVE now. Thanks but no thanks to your thoughts and ideas about IBM's responsility in all of this!!!!.
ugeerts (not verified)
on Apr 8, 2006
Ralph, Ibm should be concerned about their hardware. They've concentrated to much on services lately as a means to generate cashflow to the benefit of shareholders and wall street. On the hardware front, especially for midrange, we see a year over year retrenchement from the small (less 50 employees) to medium (less 500 emp) business. That retrenchment continues as everyone agrees. For example, we all know the PC business is sold to chinese mfg Lenovo. Where will it end? Until the retrenchement reaches the size of mainframe customers, the banks, insurances, gov.? Ibm either goes into a state of denial (which they're appearently doing right now) with the consequences they won't manufacture NO, NADA hardware anymore in the next decade, or they start to fight the fight of their life. From my perspective, in todays ICT landscape, ibm is the big looser. PS. breaking news, breaking news: "IBM" is not more, they've changed their name to lower case "ibm".
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 11, 2006
Change the name of IBM to the CIA. Everything is a big secret. Case in point. A buddy is trying to learn about CGIDEV2. Poor guy...Imagine he has to use these API's with no documentation. Anyone know of a book or place to get more info on how to make this CGIDEV2 work? Specifically the pointer definitions?
NewNameLover (not verified)
on Apr 3, 2006
Taken from bottom of this page: iSeries is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation and is used by Penton Media, Inc., under license. iSeriesnetwork.com is published independently of International Business Machines Corporation, which is not responsible in any way for the content. Penton Media, Inc., is solely responsible for the editorial content and control of the iSeries Network. Reminder: Don't forget to update this prose with references to the new IBM naming conventions. Unless you are covered by a grace period, you may not be authorized to commonly refer to the System i.
ps (not verified)
on Apr 5, 2006
Name change is not going to matter one bit. What would matter is if IBM got back to creating a complete suite of integrated tools to work off the ISERIES.the real value of the AS400 was the "integrated" environment. One person could do it all...There was SEU for Screen Work. CL for command language...RPG for business application logic DB2 for GREAT simplistic database logic and access.It was all there in front of you. So good that deployment was a snap. Yes many of you technical people have given alternatives. Use Hat's, Ansa, WEBSPHERE(too bloated and expensive) but you have all missed the point about what made the AS400 so great. If it has becomes ANOTHER alternative to a .NET or other environment then why develop on it? IBM could have updated and properly informed it's audience what was happening with a plan and done things like updating it's SEU to include a bit more with regards to a GUI. But they chose not to. While Microsoft has developed a nice IDE with 2005 .NET express IBM has chose not to do a thing but let outside vendors create the environment. As a result there are too many choices and too many ways of doing things, confusing the users. Not everyone working on an AS400 is a technical guru. That is what made is so popular. The standardization that IBM forced on the AS400 was what made it the box IT WAS.
on Apr 5, 2006
No, I'm not employeed by IBM, or even by a company that sells the iSeries (or any other kind of hardware), though I guess my post could have left that impression. I'm employeed by a small company that develops software for the K-12 education market. Last week, a fairly large school district in Virginia invited me to teach a fast paced course on HTML, Style Sheets, JavaScript, ILE RPG, and other tools that we use internally for development. I found myself standing at a podium in a modern training facility lecturing and working through related exercises with their entire staff of developers for about seven (7) hours a day, for an entire week. It struck me that the students could spend that much time with me when their normal offices and day jobs were just across the hall. Actually, one student was pulled away and missed the training on Friday afternoon. After hours I went back to their computer room where he was working late on a problem with a Windows based application that went down that afternoon. He showed me a 6 foot rack of Wintel servers that hosted just the one application and explained that he just got off the phone with the vendor who confirmed a "known problem", but wasn't very well prepared to deal with it quickly. A small iSeries model 520 hosted the majority of their Student, HR, Financial, other business applications, and hundreds of users with outstanding reliably. Well, that explains why all their developers could break away from their day jobs to spend a week with me. Some of the complaints about IBM homogenizing all of their platforms are valid, but switching to Wintel is not the answer.
Mick (not verified)
on Apr 20, 2006
IT'S OBVIOUS!!!!! They changed the name because we were JUST getting used to iSeries!!! Why not iSystems if they must change. At least it would still work with a search engine.
perry (not verified)
on Apr 18, 2006
ISERIES by any other name took a 22% hit in quarter http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/dailyarchives.jhtml?articleId=185303886
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 9, 2006
Edge, Believe me. I don't want to get off the plaform. AS400 is what I shall refer to it again. But why is IBM not the ones telling me that? Why not put one AS400 directional message. A 5 year plan. What are business's supposed to do? Yes there are many business still runnng the AS400. Go into a bank, a casino....But IBM is a huge company. The AS400 is one little piece of their pie. Add to the fact IBM is racking up consulting dollars profits big time by outsourcing to India. Their fees have not come down...Still charging 250 per hour and paying the outsourcers 15-30 dollars an hour. But small companies like myself can't sit around and wait until IBM announces their direction. Right now there is very little choice for these companies that are in LIMBO and if we add the fact that most of the IT departments of these corporations are run by 400 Loyalists....As the regimes start to change and newer YOUNGER people start coming in things might start going the other way to newer things.....and AS as I study these new application environments I do believe we are getting much CLOSER to other things that could challenge these IN LIMBO companies to make a change......and when someone does offer a SOLUTION it might be too late for IBM to counter....I don't believe the C# .NET environment is too far away!!!!!
rdean (not verified)
on Apr 3, 2006
Using the name change as a basis for decrying the platform's fortunes seems silly. IBM's intention is to do what so many people have suggested on the various forums before: change the name of the system and hope that keeps the customer from cutting off the conversation. Customers don't want to have to buy a whole new platform to run something...and the instant they realize you're trying to sell a different platform requiring different platform skillsets, you've lost them. The "i" can only get the foot in the door by being able to run existing Linux, UNIX, and Windows workloads, as well as i5/OS workloads. IBM's theory is sound, even if they miss on the implementation. The trouble is that theory doesn't keep the platform alive.
dzarder (not verified)
on Apr 7, 2006
SteveK, I am totally with you on marketers justifying their existence. And if we really need to change the name, how about just switching it back to the original "AS/400"? In our shop, we never stopped calling it that in the first place.
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 4, 2006
OK guys...that's it for me. Enough posting and trying to convince a few people that the PERCEPTION of the AS400/ISeries is not very good and the fact that the box is lacking an inherent GUI interface is a detriment to selling it. Adding to the fact IBM has no clear direction with regards to anything other than WEBSPHERE as it's internet solution...It's certainly no wonder to me that the busines application programming population has thinned out considerably and that boiler rooms in India are without hesitation embracing newer technologies and companies like IBM and Microsoft are making bigger profits by reducing programming costs. No one is questioning the merits of the AS400 as an extremely dependable and powerful industrial strenght box. But what people are questioning is IBM's plan for the box. And with that no large application vendor or even a small software consulting company is going to start developing NEW AS400 code. And when loyalists such as myself start feeling this way(18 years S/36/S38/AS400) it's time for IBM to take notice. I fought the VAX challenge in the early 90's, fought the report writer fanatics of the mid 90's fought the client/server challenge of the late 90's, fought the business intelligence groups in early 2000.....While others modified their systems I chose to be loyal to the AS400 and IBM. I won't fight anymore. IT's not worth it...IBM has abandoned us. NAME CHANGE or NOT!!!! It's not going to make a difference.
Perry (not verified)
on Apr 9, 2006
RD, One thing I know for sure. You have a lot to learn about dealing with people and the business world!!!! You are one arrogant FOOL!!!!!
edge (not verified)
on Apr 7, 2006
Perry: Hopefully you will see this.. You said: ==And when loyalists such as myself start feeling this way(18 years S/36/S38/AS400) it's time for IBM to take notice. I fought the VAX challenge in the early 90's, fought the report writer fanatics of the mid 90's fought the client/server challenge of the late 90's, fought the business intelligence groups in early 2000.....While others modified their systems I chose to be loyal to the AS400 and IBM. I won't fight anymore. IT's not worth it...IBM has abandoned us. NAME CHANGE or NOT!!!!== I agree with you 100% as I came from the 38 as well, but I must say based on some recent meetings I've been involved with. IBM has taken notice and there are changes being made both in new customer deployment, marketing, and getting the machine noticed by the next generation of computing wizards. We may not see changes overnight, but I believe we will see some positive changes in market perception.
Joe Pluta (not verified)
on Apr 3, 2006
Well, up until now IBM has had a pretty consistent track record on midrange marketing: miserable, but consistent. And yet the S/3x line all the way down to the System i has done quite well. So marketing isn't killing the machine. Now, you may be having problems either in your specific market or more particularly even in your own company. I know people locked into death struggles to keep the iSeries box afloat; we just saw an article in this magazine about a school district htat wants to tank it's 10-year-old AS/400... for a $360,000 PC system! Hell, you can get a LOT of iSeries for $360K! And IBM really needs to get involved in these situations. I could just imagine a bunch of blue suits walking into the administration offices of this school district with price points and TCO charts. It wouldn't cost IBM much and it would be a fantastic sales story. And that's what we really need IBM to do. Go out and win a few high-profile deals. Some new business, some saving business, some getting back lost business. And then create ads out of those sales. Show WHY people need the "i". These days it's almost a reversal of the 80s, when nobody got fired for buying IBM. Now nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft (or to a lesser degree Linux). IBM needs to put some fear into the idea of buying Microsoft. But a lot of the problem is the people on this list and on other lists -- people who SHOULD be staunch supporters of the box and who instead continue to nitpick on things like name changes and the lack of a native GUI. I don't say you necessarily have to be a rah-rah (although in this day of Dennis Miller and David Letterman, I guess anybody who doesn't bash something is a rah-rah -- people call ME a rah-rah, and I've taken some serious stands against IBM decisions over the years). But whenever someone brings up something like the name change, counter with "that's just branding; it's still the same machine, getting better -- by the way, did you hear we have...". Because it is just branding. Heck, Java still has a hard time figuring out what to call its next release. In the end, it may be up to us (meaning the rank and file) to come up with a good name for the box. Remember, WE popularized the term Wintel, not Microsoft. How about: The Integrator (spoken with a heavy Schwarzenegger accent) UDS - Universal Data System (what can Blue do for you?) Put your suggestion here, and become part of the solution! Joe
ps (not verified)
on Apr 5, 2006
Ugerts, Did you see the revolt at the current COMMON town hall meeting about the name change?. ISERIES users went bonkers and the name shall remain ISERIES. But that level of frustration was really not due to the name change issue but to the fact that what made the AS400 great(the integrated features that I mentioned in my earlier post) were no longer being developed or driven by IBM. That ISeries people had no easy mechanism to develop WEB apps.Websphere was not an option to most. And the other alternatives were far too complicated for the common Joe that used the AS400 to develop industrial strength apps... It's like if we change the name we can put the As400 in a witness protection program and everything will be fine. Very sad how the machine has been abandoned by IBM. The box in the late 90's had everything the serious developer needed. And the reliability was second to none. All the .Net features that I am reading about now have been in the AS400 for the past 15 years. Adding to that the new self proclaimed ISERIES experts on this site denegrate and mock people questioning the direction of the ISERIES....when it's clear that most if not all of the AS400 community feel this way is MINDBOGGLING!!!!!
perry (not verified)
on Apr 3, 2006
Steven...this is the last I will post on the topic. As I mentioned it's perception that matters...and most of the AS400/Iseries people feel as if IBM has deserted them.... has left them in the dark about the future..so it's not only misinformation about the box it's no information. Even John Conte has gotten disgusted with way IBM is handling things with regard to the box and COMMON...So even if you knew the Iseries is a great choice but the customers want something else....what do you do...still guard the fort 30 years after the war ended...does it not worry you that IBM has not set a roadmap for the box not seems interested in pushing for new business...Look at Microsoft....they are pushing to convert over Iseries customers...offering hard cash....It's a bad situation.....somethings got to give and anyone that is putting all their chips in the AS400 basket is making a very RISKY bet...IMHO.....I wish the AS400 was the place to be but I can't wait until IBM decides which direction it will take.

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