by Tim Rowe
After many long months of effort by many, the Redbook ‘Modernizing IBM i Applications from the Database to the User Interface and Everything in Between’ has been officially released!
The URL for the book is www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/abstracts/sg248185.html?Open
Now that this book has been published, it is available both for download to your PC or favorite mobile device as well you can now order a hardcopy version!
This Redbook project was a year in the making. A little over a year ago we applied to have this Redbook project approved. Last summer we assembled a team of IBM i industry experts to undertake this project. This project was originally funded for a limited number of full time residence. Since this topic is so huge, we quickly determined that this project needed to be done a bit differently than most. We were able to assemble a very large team where most of the team worked in a remote manner.
To get started, most of the team was able to assemble in Rochester for 1 week. During this week we wrestled with the topics to be covered, the flow of the book and then the fun part, who was going to be assigned to write a specific section or chapter of this project. After that week, the majority of the team when back to their normal existence, working on this modernization project remotely from home. There was a team of 4 that remained in Rochester for an additional few weeks working heads down on their sections. Over the following months the content for the Redbook slowly took form.
Once winter hit here in Minnesota, things slowed way down, might have even frozen solid. Between an influx of our day jobs and several excessive travel schedules the Redbook was set aside for the winter until the schedules cleared. With the dawn of the ‘new year’, a renewed focus and energy was directed at getting this important documents completed. I had the pleasure of reading every single word of this book (for a couple of chapters, multiple times!) along with chasing down all the authors to get their commitments finished. Along the way, I also enlisted the help of a number of technical experts to fill in some key gaps and a few key new topics that surfaced during the review process.
The Draft version was delivered in late March. That alone was a huge accomplishment. Since the draft version has been delivered a great deal has continued happening. First, the draft version was handed over to the professional editing team. You know, the folks that remove all the ‘fun’ stuff and actually ensure that the writing conforms to something much closer to ‘English’. Every image and sentence in the book was reviewed and updated as necessary to be sure to also conform to the Redbook legal and style guidelines.
In the user community, the draft version Redbook has been very well received. Since it was released in draft form over 4500 people have gone to check out the abstract and well over 3100 people have actually downloaded this book. These are great numbers for such a short time frame and considering this is a draft book.
From the beginning this project is something that was very different than most other Redbook projects. Modernizing IBM i applications as I am sure you figured out is a large topic. Within this space there is a very large community of solution providers that provide tools and solutions to help with various aspects of modernization. Including these ISV’s as a part of this book was a key item and something very different from any past Redbooks. First, there were a large number of individual authors from some of these different ISV’s that helped write many sections in this book. In addition, I wanted to give an opportunity for these ISV’s to be able to tell the story of their solution and be able to link from a specific section in the overall Redbook into their solution. I want to point out, this is the last remaining item for the Redbook. The ISV solution guides will be a second companion guide that is currently being processed by the formal Redbook editing team. Once this completes the edit process, we will update this main Redbook to add links to the printed solution guides where it makes sense.
There might be another surprise for many. Advertisements. Yep, the Modernization Redbook does contain a handful of paid advertisements. The creation of a Redbook as you might expect cost a fair about of money. To help with this cost and to help ensure that we can get approval in the future for updates to this book or for other new books on important topics to the IBM i community, I approved the inclusion of advertisements in this book. It gives our ISV’s an additional chance to have include their solutions. I know for some you do not require help in order to successfully modernize an application, but for many, due to many reasons the solutions our ISV’s provide are key to being able to remain successful. Many of these ISV’s provide a great solution at an affordable price. OK, enough from me on that. Look for the finished Solution Guide in the coming weeks.
Now that this book is available, it’s time to read it! Of course, since it’s a book, you could read it cover to cover (I know I did!). But in many ways this book is also a great reference tool. As a reference tool, being able to search and quickly find what you are after is important. I would recommend downloading a copy to your work station. Once there, you can easily leverage the search capability. Speaking of modernization, I have also downloaded the official IBM Redbooks Application to my iPad. The Redbook team has delivered a nice Redbook reader interface. The Redbook mobile interface can be found either out on the Apple iStore or on the Android store. Once you have this free app on your mobile device you can easily search for any IBM Redbook. Go to the ‘Find IBM Rebooks’ link. Clink on either the ‘Just Published’ or the ‘Subject Area’ link, does not much matter. Depending on when you go there, the Just published link has this new book on the first page. If you don’t find it, click on the magnifying glass icon, that brings up the search tab. Click in ‘IBM i’. Nice and simple. The Modernization Redbook will be very near the top of that returned list. Click on the title and you are given a choice to either read it connected or you can save it to your mobile device. Once you have it saved, then you can read it anywhere.
On to the ‘Thank You’ section. As you might imagine with a project of this size, there is large list of folks to thank. First the Authors:
- Nadir K. Amra
- Hernando Bedoya
- Tony Cairns
- Dan Cruikshank
- Rich Diedrich
- John Eberhard
- Mark Evans
- Antonio Florez
- Susan Gantner
- Jesse Gorzinski
- Isaac Ramírez Herrera
- Brian May
- Michel Mouchon
- Jon Paris
- Mike Pavlak
- Trevor Perry
- Pascal Polverini
- Jim Ritchhart
- Tim Rowe
- Jon Rush
- Paul Tuohy
- Jeroen Van Lommel
- Carol Woodbury
Our IBM Sponsor – Alison Butterill
Special thanks to our key ISV’s. These ISV’s contributed people, time, and resources to ensure the success of this book:
- ARCAD Software
- Zend Technologies
- Profound Logic Software
- System i Developer
- ASIST – Belgium
- SkyView Partners
Lastly, a huge thanks to the Redbook team. Especially Megan Gilge. who this project would never have been published without!