The iSeries Blog

August 8, 2007  11:36 AM

Q&A with Mark Shearer

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

MCPress has a lengthy interview with Mark Shearer, the former System i general manager and now the VP and business line executive for all IBM Power-based systems.

Of course, Shearer puts a happy face on the recent IBM reorganization, which has led the System i division to be split up. For those of you that are worried at all about the survival of i5/OS, you probably shouldn’t be. Shearer talks a lot about moving i5/OS forward, including to other hardware envelopes such as a Power6-based blade server later this year.

August 8, 2007  11:27 AM

SAS drives to be available in System i

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Serial attached SCSI (SAS) drives will be available in System i servers, starting with the Power6-based System i5 570 coming out later this year.

The story has some interesting comments about how it’s good to get SAS on System i, but annoying that it appears that there will be a price premium attached to it — that is, a price premium compared to getting SAS on other IBM server platforms.

August 7, 2007  8:50 AM

iSeries utility FROG user review, pt. 3

Adam Trujillo Profile: Atrujillo

We recently asked users to review Innovative Systems’ iSeries database utility F.R.O.G. Here is one of the responses we received.

I saw this utility and downloaded it. It is better than WRKDBF and DBU. The best thing I like is the Windows component added to this utility.In this era of windows, green screen is becoming obsolete and people like windows based applications and utilities. So FROG is the answer to all users using green screen based utilities for files.

I would give 5 out of 5 to the developers.

Keep up the good work. Thanks.


August 7, 2007  8:40 AM

iSeries utility FROG user review, pt. 2

Adam Trujillo Profile: Atrujillo

We recently asked users to review Innovative Systems’ iSeries database utility F.R.O.G. Here is one of the responses we received.

Did not like it.

It kept giving me decimal data errors, so I unstalled it.


August 7, 2007  8:16 AM

iSeries utility FROG user review, pt. 1

Adam Trujillo Profile: Atrujillo

We recently asked users to review Innovative Systems’ iSeries database utility F.R.O.G. Here is one of the responses we received.

I’ve been using FROG for iSeries for almost 2 years now. It is an excellent tool and has been upgraded a couple times. Jonas’ tech support has always been very responsive.

I wrote to the editors of System i News about this shareware in response to an article they wrote about iSeries freeware. My response was published.

Bottom line, I hope others readers saw my response and gave the product a try. We’ve found it to be very useful in certain situations.–M.M.

August 1, 2007  7:48 AM

System i to get VMware virtualization

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Timothy Prickett Morgan has an interesting story at IT Jungle about how IBM is working on developing VMware server virtualization support on the System i.

Morgan gets the information from IBM’s Redbooks Residency program, which allows developers anywhere to come together and write manuals on future IBM technologies. In this case, IBM indicates that afuture release of i5/OS will support VMotion from VMware on the System i.

Does that mean that VMware will supplant logical partitions as the virtualization standard on the System i? Morgan thinks not. VMotion — which is just one of the features of the VMware Infrastructure 3 software — allows for a so-called “hot migration.” Using VMotion, users can migrate one virtual machine to another virtual machine that sits on a separate physical server.

Morgan hypothesizes that the VMotion support on the System i will mainly be used for disaster recovery and backup purposes with connected System x servers. That remains to be seen, but it is interesting that IBM is opening up to supporting VMware virtualization on Power-based hardware.

August 1, 2007  7:29 AM

System i development software gets Web reporting and dashboard

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

A System i software company has added Web-based reporting and dashboards to its existing Web development application.

PlanetJ Corp., based in San Diego, announced that its WOWFusion Charts would integrate with the WOW (Web Object Wizard) software to add Flash-based Web reporting and a graphical dashboard tool.

The software can run on top of WebSphere Application Server and Apache Tomcat. WOWFusion Charts has been in beta testing with customers and is now available for a 30-day trial.

July 29, 2007  8:55 PM

IBM’s System i strategy is a stumble in the right direction

Adam Trujillo Profile: Atrujillo

The following is a response from one of our readers, John DeCoville, to Mark Fontecchio’s article IBM System i division filing for divorce. Thanks for the insight, John.

I think that IBM only has it partly right. The perception has been for a long time that IBM allowed its i-Products to lag behind its competitors.

First: WDSc 6.1 and 7.0 do not have a good “Fit and Finish” compared to the expensively developed MS Visual Studio for VB.NET. WDSc takes a long time for initial loads of source members.It is Balky and not integrated.

Second: DB2 has lagged behind Oracle and even MS SQL-2000. MS SQL-2005 is integrated into MS’s Studio. Unlike MS SQL-Server and Oracle, the developer cannot place an index on a view. Indexes not only improve performance in the Oracle and MS world but allow the DB developer to make views available to more traditional developers where they can work with an access they are familiar with.

Using a cursor is a bit of a leap for developers, not yet retired, who have difficulty using proto-types.

Lastly: The i5xx/ AS/400 has now some new features that do not have good “Fit and Finish” nor good integration that the older AS/400 used to have and Microsoft Developers now does have.

Appearances and Perception are 90% of reality and management is not buying.

Please, IBM, work to dispel the impression that WDSc is incomplete! Please integrate DB2 into the whole mix! Get your Client-Access turbo-charged! Please give the i-family a good fit and finish so it doesn’t come off like Colombo’s Dorky 60’s Peugeot!

I also think that IBM has been poorly represented by their Sales Management and Staff who are plainly clueless.


Now get to work!

July 25, 2007  10:18 AM

BCD puts new version of Web application development software in beta

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Business Computer Design International Inc. announced today that it is putting the newest version of its WebSmart ILE System i Web application development software into beta.

BCD says WebSmart ILE is part of more than 1,700 System i organizations. Version 6.5 includes a new HTML editor, an FTP client to manage Web development files, and the ability to open multiple files in one window using tabs. Other new features include increased support for editing JavaScript files, as well as templates and support to run in more languages.

The software ranges from $5,800 to $11,500. The WebSmart ILE 6.5 beta is available for download now.

July 25, 2007  10:05 AM

System i user groups instrumental in platform changes

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

The COMMON Americas Advisory Council, which is part of the COMMON System i users group, played a big part in the changes made to the IBM System i platform and its operating system in recent weeks, according to the group and IBM.

The users group had a say in features being introduced in the new version of i5/OS, due out next year, as well as on getting System i servers with the Power6 processor on the market.

“The members of the System i user groups were the inspiration for many of the product features and enhancements we announced today,” said Mark Shearer, the head of IBM Power-based systems, in a COMMON press release. “This is a community that knows the unique values that the System i platform provides to clients and they help IBM determine how it needs to adjust and improve to support changing technology needs.”

If COMMON did in fact affect the System i product line — and I have no reason to believe it didn’t — then that’s good news. If you want to effect change on the System i, get involved with COMMON. Get deeply involved.

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