The iSeries Blog


January 17, 2008  8:52 AM

On the INITIALIZE statement



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
Programming

The iSeries COBOL programmer explains how to use the INITIALIZE statement for the System i. This is an add-on to an earlier post that had some errors in it, but the new post has corrected them to explain the importance of the function on the platform.

As an example, the post looks at fields within working storage, describing how the INITIALIZE field is meant to reset all of them to either zero if they’re numerical fields, or a space if they’re character fields.

January 17, 2008  8:46 AM

The process of upgrading WebSphere Client Studio



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
Web Development

Chris Hird has a post detailing how he upgraded his WebSphere Development Studio Client, and it’s interesting to see all the steps and downloads he had to endure in order to get there.

Hird said he’d been working with Remote Systems Explorer (RSE), a System i plug-in to WebSphere, for a couple months. The plug-in allows System i users to do such things as view and respond to System i messages from within WebSphere and compare and merge editors for System i source code.

Looking to upgrade was an issue, however, as Hird was having trouble using the upgrade function within RSE’s integrated development environment (IDE). But eventually he figured out a way to do it, although it took some serious time. Check out the post.


January 16, 2008  3:41 PM

i5/OS V6R1: Is the jump worth it?



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
Operating systems

Timothy Prickett Morgan has an article over at the IT Jungle taking a look at product cycles for i5/OS and OS/400 — in particular, how long users can expect to receive support and upgrades on V5 releases when i5/OS V6R1 comes out, which is expected early this year.

Morgan mentions that IBM has stopped upgrades on V5R1 and V5R2 to V5R3 on Jan. 4, but hasn’t announced the stop date for upgrades from V5R2 and V5R3 to V5R4. He estimates that IBM will stop selling V5R4 about a year after announcing V6R1, but could end up stretching that to two years depending on user reaction.

Meanwhile, he sees the release of V6R1, along with some Power6-based blades running i5/OS expected out this year, to be a great opportunity for IBM to get some new customers — particularly SMBs — into the System i fold, as well as convincing existing ones to make the jump.


January 9, 2008  9:20 PM

Managing System i application memory can be tricky



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
Programming, System i software

The way that RPG handles files on the System i requires intricate knowledge of how RPG works in order to make sure that references to a certain record field point where they should.

iDevelop has a good post outlining how pointing to the first of a sequence of fields in a record might be a risky venture. It explains that the data should be defined within a data structure in RPG to ensure “contiguous storage.” Check it out.


January 9, 2008  8:38 PM

System i system management: Where to start?



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
System management

IBM often touts System i as an easy-to-manage platform, and for good reason. But still, IT gets more complex, and complexity can breed chaos without some level of control.

MC Press Online, which just recently redesigned its site, has a good article about systems management of System i. The article is by Andy Kowalsky, a senior product manager at Vision Solutions, so those of you who aren’t crazy about Vision’s customer service may take it with a grain of salt. Still, the article goes into a significant amount of detail on System i systems management, and it’s worth a look. Here’s an overview from the article:

The value of optimization and tighter management of System i is clear, but where should you begin? Start with the tasks that will deliver the utmost impact, with the least effort. This article examines the following five areas that typically provide the greatest benefits:

  • Compression
  • Physical file reorganization
  • QSYS and IFS object clean-up
  • Logical file optimization
  • Data, CPU, and I/O usage monitoring


January 9, 2008  7:50 PM

Bye, Marc Dupaquier



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
System i hardware

In mid-December, we published an interview with Marc Dupaquier, who was the general manager of IBM’s Business Systems division. Well, it looks like it was just a one-year contract. An IBM reorganization at the beginning of this year has altered the Business Systems unit. Big Blue’s System and Technology Group (STG) is now focused around clients: Enterprise Systems, Business Systems, Industry Systems and Microelectronics. Dupaquier isn’t leading any of those groups.

IBM is also divvying up its platforms into mainframes, Power-based systems (System p and i), “modular” systems (System x and BladeCenter), and storage. Dupaquier isn’t heading any of those either. The Power-based systems group will be led by Ross Mauri, who has been heading the System p division.

It will be interesting to see if System i garners significant attention from any of these division heads. It seems like they’re blending System i into System p and letting the System p folks lead it all. We’ll see if that affects System i innovation.


December 19, 2007  4:13 PM

Should your New Year’s resolution be V6R1?



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
Operating systems

Continuing on the trend of looking forward to i5/OS V6R1, IBM Systems Magazine has an article on the new version of the System i operating system due out next year.

The article is about the upcoming features of V6R1, especially when it comes to ease in upgrading programs. The piece suggests reading hte IBM Redbook on the subject and a System i upgrade planning Web site:

With i5/OS V6R1, you’ll step up to a safer, faster, more flexible computing future.


December 12, 2007  5:30 PM

Network security on i5/OS



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
Networking, Security – alerts – compliance

Most people know that the System i and i5/OS are known for solid security features, but do you know what those features are?

I’m sure plenty of you do, but a new IBM Redbook details i5/OS’s native network security features, as well as envisioning some scenarios for network security, password elimination, i5/OS IP packet filtering, and more.


December 12, 2007  5:24 PM

Get ready for V6R1



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
Operating systems

IBM has published a draft for a Redbook on getting ready for i5/OS V6R1, the next version of the System i operating system due out next year.

Much of the Redbook focuses on helping users convert their System i programs to i5/OS V6R1, which is required for the new version. Though this Redbook doesn’t look at the issue, it will also be interesting to see how System i applications and i5/OS run differently, if at all, when running on a blade server, which is also expected to happen next year.


December 12, 2007  5:18 PM

DB2/400 vs. SQL Server



Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
Databases

The System i Network is hosting an interesting thread comparing DB2 native on the System i with SQL Server. Join the fun, or leave your comments here.


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