Celebrating the 25th anniversary of IBM i
IBM i, with its roots dating back to S/36, S/38, and AS/400, is a complete, integrated environment for developing and running business applications. This year as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of IBM i, we are proud to note how vital and modern this platform truly is. As we survey the landscape we see a platform that
- has well over 100,000 customers running IBM i on POWER Servers
- continues to attract a strong ecosystem of hundreds of ISVs delivering business solutions on the platform
- features integrated modern middleware (e.g. DB2 and WebSphere Application Server) and supports not just the venerable and highly productive RPG and COBOL languages but also newer languages like Java and PHP
- is supported by a complete, modern stack of software development tools and infrastructure
This year, many of you who rely upon this unique operating environment are planning upgrades from v5r4 of IBM i, which will reach end of service next September 30. And Rational has been at work for the past couple of years, to do its part to help ensure a smooth transition to IBM i 6.1 or 7.1 and beyond.
- Last year we removed the requirement to separately license the Rational Open Access RPG Edition technology. It is now included as part-and-parcel of the RPG compiler and runtime.
- Last year we also introduced the Application Management Tool Set (AMTS) which provides "green screen" tools for performing common system administration and “power user” tasks, and is licensed per server at very low cost. The availability of AMTS is meant to enable you to free up per-user entitlements to the green screen software development tools (ADTS) so you can use those to trade up to the modern graphical Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that until recently was known as “Rational Developer for Power System Software” (more about this later).
- We have been gradually enhancing that IDE with many feature and usability improvements, and to remain current with changes to the RPG and COBOL languages. (Note that ADTS on the other hand, was stabilized several years ago and is not aware of new language capabilities supported by the 6.1 and 7.1 versions of the IBM i compilers.) In particular, within the past year we have introduced new support for working offline with “live” RPG language support. And there are more exciting updates to RPG and the IDE still on the horizon.
- We have also been gradually strengthening our solution for integrated planning, team collaboration, source control, change control, and build and deployment automation, by introducing numerous enhancements to Rational Team Concert that are specific to IBM i.
- And just recently we announced the new ARCAD-Rational Power Pack offering which adds first class support for automating highly complex dependency-driven builds and deployments, and a strong new application analysis capability.
- We also just announced a simplification of our IDE packaging. We separated the IBM i-specific pieces of “Rational Developer for Power Systems Software” from the AIX and Linux-specific pieces of that offering, and we combined those i-specific pieces with the capabilities of “Rational Developer for i for SOA Construction, to create a new offering: “Rational Developer for i”.
All of this work on the part of Rational is but a small part of a much larger and broader set of investments in the platform that affirm IBM’s strong commitment to delivering innovation and value to IBM i customers.