Everything You Need to Know About the AS400 iSeries (IBM i)

Everything You Need to Know About the AS400 iSeries (IBM i)


How many programmers/developers around you are familiar with or interested in learning about the AS/400 computer system? Few, or even none, may be aware of its origins. Despite being considered outdated, the latest IBM Power systems or IBM iSeries systems are still utilized by many organizations due to their robust and reliable system architectures. Although the AS400 is considered a legacy system, its modified versions have excellent operating systems and documentation.

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What is AS/400?

IBM released an easy-to-use computer series for small businesses and enterprises named AS/400. This mid-range computer series delivered better performance and high data security than other computer systems in the 80s. The AS in AS/400 refers to ‘Application System’ for those unfamiliar with this technology because it relies on applications rather than processors.

The “AS/400 series”, also known as IBM iSeries, was a revolutionary computer system launched by IBM in 1988. It gained widespread popularity among businesses of all sizes globally due to its reliability, security, and ease of use.

Early AS400 system were compact and powerful for their time, often housed in a single cabinet compared to room-sized mainframes of the era. This made them ideal for smaller businesses that lacked space for traditional mainframes.

Early AS/400s were notable for the following key features:

  • Integrated design: The AS/400 simplified setup and maintenance by combining processing power, storage, and I/O into a single unit.
  • RPG programming language: A user-friendly language specifically designed for business applications; RPG (Report Program Generator) made developing software easier for companies.
  • Menu-driven interface: Even non-technical users could use the AS400 because of its simple menu-driven interface.
  • Multi-user support: Businesses could simultaneously share resources and improve efficiency using the AS/400.
  • Reliability and security: Known for its rock-solid reliability and robust security features, the AS/400 was a trusted platform for critical business data.

The AS/400 experienced widespread adoption across diverse industries, playing a pivotal role in transforming essential business functions. In manufacturing, the AS400 became a linchpin for facilitating inventory control, production planning, and quality control. Retailers employed the AS/400 for point-of-sale systems, inventory management, and the establishment of customer loyalty programs, contributing to streamlined and efficient operations. Finance experienced integrating the AS400 into the workflows of banking professionals and financial experts, serving essential functions like account management, transaction processing, and fraud detection. Healthcare institutions, including hospitals and clinics, seamlessly incorporated the AS400 into their operations, leveraging its capabilities for managing patient records, billing, and scheduling. The widespread adoption of the AS400 across these industries underscored its versatility and effectiveness in addressing diverse business needs.

Although the “as400 / i-series” has evolved substantially since its inception, its fundamental tenets of reliability, security, and ease of use remain relevant today. Many businesses continue to depend on the AS400 system for critical business operations, and IBM remains committed to advancing and modernizing the platform for the future.


A Brief History of the AS/400 System

Today, there are more than 18,000 applications that operate on this platform. It is continuously evolving and yet retains support for applications written over 30 years ago that still drive critical business processes at organizations worldwide. Over the years, IBM has changed the name of its operating system and server multiple times. This has caused some confusion and sparked heated conversations within user communities. However, changes were made for a reason: to meet customers’ evolving business needs, showcase new technology, and differentiate this platform from others at IBM.

  • 1970s: IBM offers a Midrange Computer Line
    IBM introduced System/3, System/32, and System/34 as midrange computer options tailored for general businesses and service provisions to small businesses. Operating on a flat file system, these servers predominantly utilized RPG II. Representing a more compact yet powerful evolution from the room-sized mainframes, these early models laid the foundation for integrated databases prevalent in the 1980s and contributed to developing the AS/400 object-based operating system.
  • 1980s: RPG Takes Flight
    The business-oriented language RPG (Report Program Generator) gains popularity, making programming accessible to non-technical users and driving its adoption across various industries. IBM introduced System 38 for businesses and departments, which operated on an object-based OS and featured a relational database known today as Db2. The AS/400 midrange OS replaced System/38 in 1988, establishing dominance in manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and finance through applications such as inventory control, point-of-sale systems, patient records, and transaction processing. The AS400 system incorporated job management concepts; however, challenges persisted due to limited connectivity and user interface capabilities.
  • 1990s: Modernization Knocks
    AS400 embraces open standards and connectivity like TCP/IP and ODBC. Client/server computing brings graphical user interfaces, but concerns about interoperability with modern IT architectures arise.
  • 2000s: Evolution Through Integration
    IBM rebrands the AS/400 as an “eServer iSeries,” highlighting its integration capabilities and e-business readiness. iSeries (later named IBM i) embraces web technologies, Java integration, and XML. Eventually, IBM merged System i and System p (Power Systems) into a single product line known as IBM Power System. Challenges remain in migrating legacy applications and attracting new developers.
  • 2010s: Expansion of AS/400 Capabilities
    IBMi developers integrated cloud platforms, embracing mobile access, modern development tools, and analytics, including open-source technologies. Security and talent shortages have been addressed throughout the decade but remain vital issues.
  • The 2020s and Beyond Future-Proofing the Legacy
    AI, machine learning, and DevOps tools seamlessly integrate with IBM i. The advent of open-source RPG and modernization frameworks, such as RPG Open, enhances innovation on the platform. A key challenge involves attracting a new generation of IT professionals and showcasing the sustained relevance of IBM i.
Year Hardware OS
1988 AS400 OS400
2000 iSeries OS400
2006 System i i5/OS
2008 Power System IBM i

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Navigating the Transition from AS/400 to iSeries: Overcoming Challenges

  • Early adopters of AS/400 faced difficulties integrating it into contemporary IT environments.
  • Migrating legacy applications posed challenges with the transition to open standards.
  • The perceived gap between IBM i and modern platforms deterred fresh talent from adopting IBM i solutions.
  • Keeping pace with evolving cybersecurity threats demanded ongoing modernization efforts.
  • The search for proficient IBM i professionals became progressively more challenging.

Despite numerous controversies and a perceived lack of interest, “as400 i series” technology possesses its own inherent beauty. One of the most prominent features of the IBM i system is its foundational adoption of object-oriented principles. In contrast to Linux, which regards everything as a file, encompassing devices such as printers, IBM i takes a broader perspective by treating everything as an object.

Languages Supported by AS/400 (IBM i)

The AS400 supports multiple programming languages, and the operating system provides a runtime environment for these languages. Some of the languages supported on the IBM i platform include:

  1. RPG (Report Program Generator):
    RPG is a high-level programming language for business applications. IBM i supports various versions of RPG, including RPG III and RPG IV (ILE RPG).
  2. CL (Control Language):
    CL is a scripting language used for controlling and coordinating operations on the IBMi systems. It is often used for system administration and managing job scheduling.
  3. COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language):
    COBOL is a business-oriented programming language widely used for developing business, finance, and administrative applications.
  4. Java:
    IBM i supports Java, allowing developers to create Java applications on the platform. Java applications can run on the integrated Java Virtual Machine (JVM) on the IBMi systems. Java is widely used for modern web applications and APIs.

Read – RPG to Java on iSeries.

  1. SQL (Structured Query Language):
    SQL is used for database operations on IBM i. The platform includes a relational database management system (RDBMS) called Db2 for i, and developers can use SQL for database access and manipulation.
  2. ILE C/C++: Integrated Language Environment:
    IBM i supports C and C++ programming languages. Developers can write native programs in C or C++ to exploit system resources.
  3. PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor):
    PHP is a server-side scripting language often used for web development. IBM i supports PHP, allowing developers to create dynamic web applications.
  4. Python:
    IBM i also supports Python, an increasingly popular general-purpose programming language. Python applications can be run on the scripting and data science platforms using the appropriate runtime.

These are some significant programming languages supported on the IBM i platform. The flexibility in language support allows developers to choose the language that best fits their application requirements.

Important Characteristics of IBM i

  • Object-Based Foundation:
    As previously mentioned, the AS400 or IBMi OS treats each file or device as an object. This distinctive approach highlights the unique features of the IBM i OS in comparison to other operating systems. One notable feature is single-level storage, ensuring stability and security for enterprise systems.
  • Comprehensive Integrated Offerings:
    The IBM iSeries is notable for integrating essential functions and tools. This integration includes web application servers, web services servers, a file system, Db2, i RDBMS, and other components. This unified system is remarkably robust and efficient, seamlessly handling over 300 tasks spanning backup, recovery, communication, operations, and security with exceptional ease.
  • Administrative Interface:
    When working with Windows or Linux, you often encounter numerous tools to enhance your system’s organizational capabilities. However, with the IBM i system, you can leverage IBM autonomic technologies to handle various low-priority tasks efficiently.
  • PowerVM Integration:
    Including PowerVM across all IBM Power Systems eliminates the need for extensive hardware, streamlining administration complexity and reducing energy expenses. PowerVM is a solution that optimizes workloads, empowering clients to manage costs while enhancing overall performance, availability, flexibility, and energy efficiency.
  • Firmware-Based Virtualization Solution:
    While discussing VMware, XEN, or HyperV, a significant drawback arises from their software-based nature, often resulting in performance degradation. A firmware-based virtualization solution is essential to truly understand and achieve efficiency, and the IBM iSeries stands as the all-encompassing answer.

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Market Share and Associated Challenges of IBM i and AS/400

The IBM i AS/400 system holds a significant market share of 36.3%, which is particularly prevalent in crucial industries such as manufacturing, finance, banking, healthcare, retail, and logistics. Most enterprises heavily depend on the as400 i series (IBM i) in these sectors, with 75-100% of their workload seamlessly operating on this system. This underscores its popularity as a preferred choice for server hardware.

Although IBM i boasts numerous strengths, it encounters challenges in the current IT landscape. Here are some of the most noteworthy:

Talent Shortage: Finding skilled IBMi professionals is becoming increasingly difficult as younger developers gravitate toward modern platforms. This scarcity of talent impedes modernization efforts and can constrain innovation.

Modernization Hurdles: While IBM i has adapted to incorporate modern technologies, migrating legacy applications, and integrating with newer workflows can be complex and time-consuming. This complexity can create a perception of being outdated and discourage potential users.

Security Concerns: Despite IBM i’s robust security foundation, ensuring ongoing protection against evolving cyber threats requires constant vigilance and updates. Striking a balance between solid security and open integration poses a persistent challenge.

Competition from Modern Platforms: Cloud-based solutions and newer platforms offering scalable and agile features attract businesses seeking flexibility and rapid deployment. IBM i must continually demonstrate its value and adaptability to compete effectively.

Marketing and Awareness: Many potential users, especially younger developers, may be unaware of IBM i’s capabilities and modern features. Improved marketing and educational efforts are essential for highlighting its strengths and attracting new talent.

Cost of Entry: Implementing and maintaining IBM i can be costlier than some cloud-based solutions, especially for smaller businesses. Flexible pricing models and ROI demonstrations can help overcome this barrier.

Lack of Open-source Communities: Unlike other platforms, IBM i has a smaller and less active open-source community. This limitation can hinder resources and impede the development of new tools and frameworks.

Despite these challenges, IBM is proactively addressing them through various initiatives. They are investing in:

  • Training programs: Upskill existing professionals and attract new talent to the platform.
  • Modernization tools: Simplify AS400 application migration and integration with modern technologies.
  • Cloud integration: Provide flexible deployment options and leverage cloud services.
  • Security enhancements: Necessary to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats.
  • Community engagement: Foster collaboration and open-source development.

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Current State of the IBM iSeries

The contemporary IBM iSeries has evolved significantly. AS400 systems now can host multiple instances of AIX, Linux, Lotus Domino, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003, extending their reach beyond the IBM i platform. The Power processors, integral to IBM Power systems, are compatible with IBM i, AIX, Linux, and Lotus Domino. The system accommodates either single-processor internal blade servers (IXS) or externally connected multiple-processor servers (IXA and iSCSI) for Windows support. Alongside these capabilities, various other notable features contribute to the widespread popularity of the AS400 platform.

Other important features

  • Logical PARtitioning (LPAR)
    Logical Partitioning, commonly known as LPAR, is a distinctive feature of IBM i, also recognized as AS/400. It enables the simultaneous operation of multiple operating systems on a single IBM System i unit. Configured explicitly for running diverse operating systems in separate partitions, LPAR ensures that one operating system cannot infringe upon the memory or resources allocated to another. Each LPAR is assigned a specific portion of system resources, including memory, hard disk space, and CPU time. This allocation is determined by a system of weights that dictates the distribution of unused resources at any given time. The operating systems supported under the LPAR scheme include IBM i, AIX, and Linux.
  • Software Integration
    In addition to LPAR, updated IBM Power systems encompass several crucial features. These include a Db2 database management system, a menu-driven interface, support for multiple users, non-programmable terminals (IBM 5250), printers, robust security measures, communication tools, and the capability to run client-server and web-based applications. Numerous concealed programs stored within AS400 systems are accessed through API integration. The software essential for running the IBMi System is included and seamlessly integrated into the base operating system.
  • Common Client-Server Support
    The upgraded IBMi systems also support typical client-server systems such as ODBC and JDBC to access its database from client software such as Java, Microsoft .NET languages, and others.

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Since its inception, AS400 has promised reliability and security. Is it true?

The AS400 server’s operating system, OS/400, initially offered security settings with values of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50. However, the 10-value setting was obsolete and removed from the latest IBM i system. The remaining four settings, 20, 30, 40, and 50, are still in use based on business requirements. Here’s a breakdown of each setting:

Level 10: This setting, which provided no security at all and did not require a password for terminal session login, has been eliminated due to its lack of security.

Level 20: Offering sign-on password security, this setting grants users access to all objects on the system once logged in. It was once the default setting in the system.

Level 30: Providing object authority to users, this setting necessitates object-level access planning and implementation.

Level 40: Now the default setting in all IBM i systems, this level ensures integrity protection and separates the user domain from the system domain. It restricts requests from unapproved interfaces.

Level 50: This setting adds additional integrity protection features to meet the U.S. Department of Defense “C2” security requirements.

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It is recommended that organizations go for the highest security settings to ensure foolproof data protection. Well, it ultimately depends on your system capabilities and software, so make sure your software runs on the OS with level 40 security settings, as it is the default in every system.

If not Level 40, Level 30 can be used if you have software issues implementing Level 40. But while using level 30, you should be confident enough to implement object access controls. One of the best ways to maintain object-level access controls is by properly using OS/400 Group Profiles. Break up your user community, create specific group profiles for each set, and then implement your access controls on the group profiles rather than providing coding controls for each user profile. Beware when dealing with the group profile *PUBLIC, as this can spoil all your planning efforts.

Security issues arise when we talk about Level 20; therefore, avoid this level when possible.

But what if you use a legacy system set at level 20 or 30?

There’s nothing to worry about, as moving from level 30 to higher is easy; you must change the system value. If you are uncertain about using third-party software on the upgraded system, you can activate audit logging a few weeks before changing the level to see any problems. This process makes it easier to switch from level 30 to above.

In the case of moving from level 20 to level 30, the process can be a bit tedious. Generally, the issue arises with legacy systems as those previously depended on application security and menu controls as their primary safeguards.

Insights into IBM i Security for 2024

In 2024, IBMi security remains crucial and ever-evolving. As businesses increasingly rely on the platform for mission-critical data, the importance of robust security measures has never been higher. Here are valuable insights into the current IBMi landscape:

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Evolving threats: Cyberattacks are increasing in sophistication and frequency, targeting vulnerabilities in both traditional and modern aspects of IBM i.
  • Modernization push: While modernization introduces agility and innovation, it brings new attack surfaces and integration challenges. Striking a balance between openness and security becomes crucial.
  • Talent shortage: The demand for skilled IBMi security professionals is high, making it difficult to maintain and update security postures effectively.
  • Compliance complexities: Navigating a complex web of evolving compliance regulations adds another layer to security management.

Emerging Trends and Solutions

  • AI and machine learning for threat detection: Utilizing AI and ML to analyze system activity and identify anomalous behaviour can proactively mitigate risks.
  • Continuous vulnerability scanning and patching: Automating vulnerability scans and patching processes helps eliminate potential attack vectors.
  • Identity and access management (IAM) improvements: Granular access control and multi-factor authentication are essential for securing user access and preventing unauthorized data breaches.
  • Data encryption at rest and in transit: Encrypting sensitive data both on the system and during transmission provides an additional layer of protection.
  • Cloud integration security: Ensuring secure connections and data protection when integrating IBMi with cloud services is vital.
  • Open-source security initiatives:Increased collaboration and open-source development of security tools can benefit the entire IBM i community.

IBM’s Strategic Direction and Plans

  • IBM is currently making substantial investments in fortifying IBM i security features, enhancing encryption, intrusion detection, and vulnerability management.
  • The company is dedicated to equipping users with tools and resources that facilitate modernization while effectively addressing security concerns.
  • IBM’s commitment to collaboration with security vendors and the IBM i community is cultivating robust security solutions and promoting the adoption of best practices.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, the security landscape for IBMi poses a multi-faceted challenge that demands a proactive and layered approach. Users can effectively navigate the evolving threat landscape and ensure the ongoing security of their data on the platform by adopting emerging technologies, investing in skilled personnel, and fostering collaboration within the ecosystem.

Additional Insights

  • Consider a risk-based approach, prioritizing critical assets and vulnerabilities.
  • Regularly audit and test security controls to maintain effectiveness.
  • Stay informed about evolving threats and update security measures accordingly.
  • Leverage partnerships and professional AS400 services for expertise and support.

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More Power to the ‘POWER Processors’

The first power processor saw its existence in the AS400 servers. Gradually, these processors improved and found their way to the IBM Power systems. The latest processors can run AIX, IBM i, and Linux. 2018 saw the rise of IBM power9 servers, launched with the 9th generation of POWER processors.

IBM i is widely used in organizations and industries where the top priorities are reliability, efficiency, and security. It is mainly used for ERP and many mission-critical assignments. The latest versions of AS400 and the IBM power systems are helpful for SAP users and Oracle database users.

What Are the Advantages of AS400 iSeries Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting for AS400 iSeries offers numerous advantages that cultivate a flexible and agile IT environment, resulting in unparalleled business resilience and a considerable competitive edge. This solution brings benefits such as cost reduction, increased flexibility and scalability, simplified IT operations, improved change management processes, and a reinforced competitive position. Additionally, it allows organizations to eliminate database licensing costs. These benefits enable businesses to establish a more agile and efficient IT infrastructure, empowering them to pursue and achieve their business goals effectively.

With the widespread adoption of cloud hosting, the IBM i Cloud is crucial in providing robust support. IBM collaborates closely with its channel partners to deliver optimal solutions tailored to the needs of its users. Additionally, IBM has been the sole provider of cloud-based power systems until recently, when Google partnered with IBM to operate IBM power systems on Google Cloud, expanding the available options for users.

It is still the heart of large-scale organizations.

Previously known as AS400, the updated IBMi has undergone modifications to align with modern technology while maintaining its foundation. Emphasizing data security and authenticity, this legacy technology finds application in various industries such as finance, logistics, insurance, manufacturing, transportation, and more, embracing a modernized approach.

According to Enlyft , over 35,000 companies, with a majority in the United States, are utilizing IBM i. The report provides detailed industry-wise segmentation of IBM i users on a global scale.

Top industries that use IBM Power System

Top IBMi industries

Source: https://enlyft.com/tech/products/ibm-as-400

Examining these statistics makes one thing abundantly clear: this technology hasn’t faded away; rather, it remains an integral component for numerous major tech corporations. While businesses anticipate modernization, they also seek ways to preserve the invaluable RPG business logic. Among the various AS400 modernization Services, API integration stands out as one of the most widely pursued.

Read our article: Integrating APIs with your IBM i System – Is it Beneficial?

The following are key reasons why top companies continue to place their trust in the robustness of AS400 and IBM i:

  • Scalability: IBM i exhibits impressive scalability, starting from a 4-core server and seamlessly expanding to accommodate 250-core machines.
  • Security: With the correct configuration and setup, IBM i stands out as one of the most secure systems.
  • Reliability: Boasting a high availability of enterprise features and tools, IBM i is renowned for its reliability.
  • Language Support: IBM i easily supports both native and open-source languages like RPG, Java, PHP, C++, .NET, and SQL.
  • Avoidance of Code Migrations: AS400 is designed to sidestep code migrations whenever the system undergoes updates, ensuring a smoother transition.
  • Redundancy and Reliability: Developed with a focus on delivering high redundancy and reliability, the CPUs in the IBM i Series outperform those of other brands by three to five times.

These factors underscore the enduring appeal and continued reliance on AS400 and IBM i in the tech landscape.

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AS400 architecture is well-designed and frequently used for ERP and other mission-critical tasks, as well as heavy workloads in industries that require extreme reliability. IBM Power Systems are extensively popular among SAP users and database management systems like Oracle Database. Also, with the growth of the AS400 cloud, the IBM architecture has become an increasingly popular cloud solution. This means you can use AS400 to host anything in 2020 and in years to come. The only requirement will be the deployment, depending on the use cases of that particular industry or organization. For instance, a manufacturing company might need a hybrid AS400 cloud, while a retailer might need a cost-control and scalable cloud-only solution.

Integrations of IBM i

IBM i provides versatile integration capabilities with a broad spectrum of systems, facilitating seamless communication and data sharing throughout your IT infrastructure. Below is a list of potential integration points:

Internal Systems

  • Databases: IBM i is compatible with various databases, including Oracle, SQL Server, Db2, MySQL, and other enterprise and open-source databases.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems: IBM i supports integration with ERP systems such as SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, Microsoft Dynamics, and others.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems: Integration with CRM systems like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, and others is feasible.
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems: IBM i allows integration with SCM systems such as JDA, Oracle SCM Cloud, Manhattan Associates, and others.
  • Human Resource Management (HRM) systems: Integration is possible with HRM systems like Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, Oracle HCM Cloud, and others.
  • Other internal applications: IBM i supports integration with various internal applications, including accounting systems, file servers, web applications, legacy systems, and more.

External Systems

  • Cloud platforms: IBM i is compatible with major cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and others.
  • Mobile devices: Integration with mobile platforms like iOS, Android, and others enables access to data and applications.
  • Social media platforms: IBM i supports integration with popular social media platforms, including Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and others, for social media marketing and customer engagement.
  • E-commerce platforms: Integration is possible with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, Amazon Marketplace, and others for online sales and order processing.
  • Financial institutions: IBM i facilitates integration with banks, payment gateways, and financial data providers for secure transactions and financial reporting.
  • Third-party services: Integration with logistics providers, shipping companies, data vendors, and other service providers through APIs and web services.

Integration Methods

  • APIs (Application Programming Interfaces): Whether pre-built or custom, APIs facilitate seamless data exchange and process orchestration between systems.
  • Middleware: Dedicated tools and infrastructure in integration middleware products manage complex integrations effectively.
  • File transfers: Secure file transfers enable data exchange in structured formats like CSV or XML.
  • Web services: RESTful and SOAP web services empower online communication and data exchange.
  • Direct database connections: IBM i can establish direct links to other databases for real-time data access and manipulation.

Benefits of Integration

  • Improved efficiency and productivity: IBMi streamlines workflows, automates tasks, and eliminates manual data entry.
  • Enhanced decision-making: IBM i provides real-time access to data from various sources for accurate and timely insights.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: IBM i delivers a seamless, personalized customer experience across touchpoints.
  • Greater agility and responsiveness: IBM i integrates new technologies quickly, efficiently adapting to changing market demands.
  • Reduced costs: Eliminating data silos and redundant processes, IBM i optimizes resource utilization.

Key Considerations:

  • Identify your integration needs: Clearly articulate the specific data and process flows you want to achieve with IBM i.
  • Select the appropriate integration method: IBM i evaluates your requirements and skillset to choose the optimal tools and technologies for your tasks.
  • Prioritize security and compliance: Guarantee secure data exchange and compliance with relevant regulations.
  • Implement data governance: Establish data quality and ownership policies, ensuring accuracy and consistency.
  • Plan for continuous maintenance: Strategize for ongoing monitoring and updates to sustain reliable integrations.

By harnessing its flexible integration capabilities, IBM i can serve as the central hub of your IT infrastructure, connecting diverse systems and empowering your business to operate efficiently and effectively.

Is AS/400 Still Used? Here’s Why

  • IBM Power Systems leverage the features of AS400: The IBM AS400 was built to be robust with hardware redundancy. The CPUs of AS400 were high-performing and 3 to 5 times more powerful. AS400, IBM Power Systems is now specially built to handle heavy enterprise applications. Therefore. It is still the most widely used system.
  • Many options exist: IBM power systems are available in every range, from entry-level to high-power, scalable models for ever-expanding data centers. The IBM iSeries also supports multiple operating systems, including AIX, IBM i, SUSE, and RedHat Enterprise Linux.
  • Worth the price: IBM Power Systems has a higher price per core than competitors, but this price is worth it as the core has higher performance and immense capability to handle large workloads.

AS400 might not be in the picture as it is, but it makes the foundation for power systems integrated with IBM i. For organizations that have their foundation on IBM i, for them migrating to other platforms just because it is a legacy technology and is costlier is not recommended. They can quickly get their AS400 (IBM i) applications developed and hosted by offshore teams.

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Careers in IBM i and AS/400

Given industries’ continued reliance on IBM i AS400 systems worldwide, job opportunities in this field will still be very much alive in 2024. Here are some roles you might consider:

  • IBM i System Administrator
  • IBM i Programmer/Developer
  • IBM i Database Administrator
  • IBM i Business Analyst
  • IBM i Support Specialist

Read: IBM i Careers -Where Skills Meet Demand

IBM i: Embracing the Now and Shaping the Future

Despite the perception among technocrats that AS400 is obsolete, a closer examination of its current facts and characteristics reveals the undeniable significance of this system in its updated format. While it has experienced a decline in value over time, AS400 remains a vital component for enterprises, manufacturing industries, finance, and more. Young RPG programmers aspiring to build their careers in IBM i should not be discouraged because this system, rooted in the past, is evolving alongside us.

Every version of the hardware and operating system has undergone modifications, incorporating the latest features and technology, surpassing the offerings of many other systems. Moreover, the IBM i cloud is gaining prominence, posing a challenge to other cloud platforms in the market.

The recent announcement of Google collaborating with IBM to operate power systems on Google Cloud highlights enterprises’ growing demand for cloud-based power systems. Many organizations hesitate to use the AS400 systems due to maintenance and enhancement challenges. Faced with limited expertise, companies now prefer outsourcing services to third-party vendors to maintain focus on their in-house projects. If you are also seeking AS400 support and Maintenance services, Programmers.io has you covered.

With over a decade of experience, we have served numerous Fortune 500 companies on the AS400/iSeries platform. Our services are highly flexible to meet all your staff augmentation requirements. As a registered IBM business partner, many of our employees are recognized in IBM Fresh Faces. At Programmers.io, we strive to exceed customer expectations and enhance their overall experience.

Feel free to contact us. we would be happy to help!