Talsco Weekly: Data Fabrics, Data Meshes, and the IBM i

Welcome to another edition of Talsco Weekly

Development:  An introduction to Git. What Is Git & Why Should You Use It?
PTF:  IBM i, SAP and Required PTF Lists. SOAP Web Services Error.
Data:  Data Fabrics, Data Meshes, and the IBM i.


An introduction to Git

“Git is an Open Source Distributed Version Control System.”

Breaking it down:

Control System: Git is a content tracker.

Version Control System: New code changes the existing code in Git. Multiple developers can write code simultaneously. Version Control System manages this by tracking changes.

Distributed Version Control System: Git has a server repository and a developer’s local repository. This means that the code is not only saved in a central server, but also the whole copy of the code is present in all the developers’ computers. Since every developer has the code, Git is a Distributed Version Control System.

Why is Git useful?

Multi-developer projects are common. Git is used to avoid code conflicts amongst developers.

Project needs vary frequently. A version control system lets developers revert to a previous code versions.

Finally, parallel projects may share a codebase. In this scenario, Git branching is crucial.

The linked article offers a full introduction to Git, including and overview of the concepts, as well as easy-to-follow examples.

What Is Git & Why Should You Use It?

“From web developers to app developers, Git is useful to anyone who writes code or tracks changes to files.”

In fact, many of the clients in the IBM i community that we represent are asking candidates in the interview process, “Tell us about your experience using Git?”

While you might not be using Git today, there is a good change you will in the future. So, here is a quick overview to help familiarize you with the terminology.

What is Git?

“Git is the most commonly used version control system. Git tracks the changes you make to files, so you have a record of what has been done, and you can revert to specific versions should you ever need to.”

Ways to use Git:

“Git is software that you can access via a command line or a desktop app.”

When using Git, you will use a “Git repository” that contains all of the project files. It keeps track of, or a list of, the changes to files.

An online host like GitHub or Bitbucket lets you upload and download updates to your Git repo, making it easier to collaborate with other developers. You can push your files and revision history to a remote repository as well as pull remote modifications into your local repo.

Benefits of Git

“Git lets you branch out from the original code base. This lets you more easily work with other developers, and gives you a lot of flexibility in your workflow.”


IBM i, SAP and Required PTF Lists

For those running SAP on IBM i:

IBM I 7.5 TR1 and 7.4 TR 7 were launched on December 2, 2022, together with Db2 for I PTF Group SF99950 Level 3 and 23.

SAP Support Required PTF Lists, formerly Information APARs, now include these new levels. The Technology Refreshes, Db2 for I PTF groups, cumulative PTF packages, and High Impact/Pervasive PTF groups were upgraded. For IBM I 7.3, the PTF groups were upgraded with mostly bug fixes, while for 7.2, the Hiper PTF group was updated with the newest security fixes.

SOAP Web Services Error

If you haven’t installed the October 2022 HTTP Group PTF fixes for the WebSphere Liberty web application server on your IBM i machine, you may be lucky.

As IBM explains, “This vulnerability affects all platforms and is introduced with IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty and later fix pack levels.”

There are a couple of workarounds highlighted in this short article.


Data Fabrics, Data Meshes, and the IBM i

Everyone is talking about data. Legacy data is one thing, but to have a future with “digital transformation promises breakthroughs in analytics, machine learning, and IoT,” that’s “more of a pipe dream than a reality” for many companies because their data is so messy.

Data fabrics and data meshes are two new ways companies are seeking to find a path through the data management and governance problems of the future.

Data Fabrics are a series of technologies that include data access, discovery, security, integration, governance, lineage, and orchestration.

In other words, “data fabric is a technology-centric approach for addressing data management and governance concerns arising from mass data silo-ization.”

Companies can make their own data fabric by putting together different tools, or they can buy a data fabric suite from vendors like Informatica and Talend whose ETL solutions have worked with IBM midrange systems.

IBM is optimistic about data fabrics and sells a data fabric product called Cloud Pak for Data. The OpenShift-based offering has a number of tools to meet the different needs of a data fabric.

Why are data fabrics useful?
They offer a balance between “decentralization and globalization.” In other words, they function as the virtual connecting point between data endpoints, solving hybrid data management problems.

What can data fabrics do?
AI can be used to continuously learn patterns in how data is changed to automate data pipelines, which makes it easier to find data and “automatically enforces governance and compliance.”

The Data Mesh

The data mesh, like the data fabric, helps simplify having “different data access, quality, and security standards, especially when moving data between data warehouses and data lakes.”

The Differences

The data mesh is focused on enabling independent teams of developers to work in a decentralized manner.
The data fabric, on the other hand, is more technology-centric.

In Summary:

IBM i has a role to play in the new generation of data fabrics and data meshes. The data fabric’s roots in ETL and data security make the connection with IBM i more apparent. Data fabric and IBM i have a clear future together, though opportunities are less obvious at this point.


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