The iSeries Blog

Sep 3 2009   1:03PM GMT

Bob Cancilla on the future of System i

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

System i fan but realist Bob Cancilla, who runs the i-Nsider blog that has stirred the System i masses as of late, had this to say about the future of the platform while talking to IT Jungle:

“My points are not about the value or the quality of IBM i–the OS. This is about IBM’s commitment to the system. IBM is simply not investing in the OS or products related to or running on the OS. No one is selling IBM i, and a business without new customers is a business that is dying. The IBM i OS is gradually fading away because IBM is not selling it. Since there is no longer an organization to sell IBM i, there can be no turn around or return to prominence. It will simply continue to decline in users and will most definitely be dropped by IBM when the revenue reaches a point where it is no longer feasible to continue supporting it.”

4  Comments on this Post

 
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  • PSUmba
    Correction ... IBM hasn't been "marketing" the i family ... but then, they didn't market the S/34, S/36, S/38, or AS/400 either! I remember seeing ONE ad for the System/38 in Computerworld in 1984 ... that's it!
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  • A4ginatl
    The problem is partially a user problem and partially IBM's. IBM has not made it clear as to their intentions, but has used somewhat vague notions that the IBM i developers should move to new technologies. IBM started the move to Client server more than 15 years ago. The reasoning and direction was truely lacking on IBM's part. Unfortunately, IBM has adopted Java as its mainstream without understanding the place that OS/400 had in business. On the other hand, the users and this includes the major software vendors, never took the lead from IBM and started moving in the client server direction. Some did, but got burnt by trying to be cross platform solutions, scarring the users with their failures to waiting another and another year. To some extent IBM has been correct to adopt the client server approach. The potential number of people who would access a machine is no long a few (10 to 100) to a maybe a thousand in large systems. With the advent of the internet, systems need to deal with thousands of users per hour. 5250 could not cope with this. IBM has provided a number of CGI tools, but failed to train the user community on their use. Once again, another of IBM's best kept secrets. The cost of entry was way too high, while little old Microsoft stole the show with low cost entry and training to their products. The sooner the user community adopts Free form RPG with SQL dropping physical and logical files and adopting PHP or .NET as the front end/workstation, the sooner we will all see the resurgence of the i Family which still remains a great box for the back end work. Darryl Freinkel Assignment 400 Group.
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  • JohnsonMumbai
    i series is slowly picking up in India. I agree marketing has been poor. However Customers are more than satisfied with its performance. Cost is the only detterent factor in the current economic climate.
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  • DanD
    ISeries are also doing well in Europe and South America. While I would move to Europe for an iSeries job, they have fairly restrictive work visa allowances, and I don't see myself going to Mumbai or Bangaloor to stay on the platform.
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