“The IBM i is dead”; “IBM i is old and on its way out”; “IBM i lacks a sustainable competitive advantage.” There are many opinions and thoughts on where IBM and the i are headed. Last week, I attended the 2018 Michigan IBM Power Systems Technical Education Conference (#MiTEC18), and have a very different view of what’s to come. IBM i has been around for 30 years and I don’t see it going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
At #MiTEC18, I sat in on two of Alison Butterill’s sessions – “Watson Case Studies” and “IBM i: 30 years of innovation and we’re just getting started”. The i’s 30th anniversary is focused on the future and moving forward, thus the new logo and slogan from IBM. As part of this new campaign, Alison and her team created 48 case studies from 28 countries on how Watson is being used. These case studies show some of the many different uses for Watson. What many probably don’t know is how Watson is available to anyone who is already on IBM i. The only cost to get Watson working for your company is the development time to get it running.
Technical resources from Arbor Solutions focused their sessions on Open Source and PHP on the i. You may be surprised to know open source isn’t a new concept. The first open source project on the i was 20 years ago (in 1998). Since then, IBM has dedicated resources specifically to open source projects. Here are some of the projects Big Blue is working on:
|• OpenSSL||• OpenSSH|
|• swift-itoolkit||• nodejs-idb-connector|
|• git||• Node.js|
|• python-itoolkit||• ruby-itoolkit|
|• ibmichroot||• xmlservice_examples|
|• db2util||• OSSILE|
|• Python||• -ibmi_netstat_py|
|• Node.js||• python-for-IBM-i-examples|
|• Python-ibm-db||• yum|
Open source continues to grow in popularity and acceptance. There are many reasons for its growth, including security, modernizing applications, and more. Check back next month for more in depth information on open source!A tool that caught our staff’s attention was DB2 Web Query for i. This tool has recently been updated and offers enhanced capabilities over Query/400, allowing users to build data warehouse infrastructures to support analytics/BI. As the name would suggest, there is a browser-based user interface that can be customized to empower users. Reports/Delivered Data is available in many formats such as spreadsheets, PDF, or in browser HTML. A cool feature that IBM has added enables Web Query to gather performance data of your system when it installs, so the user can immediately see data. If you are interested in getting more information about this product, give us a call!
MiTEC18 was a valuable investment for Arbor Solutions and myself. Our team was able to get useful and applicable information in a short amount of time, and at a relatively small monetary investment. I encourage you to consider going to the conference next year or sending your staff. I look forward to seeing you there next year!