I have a question. Why is IBM i (ignorant people still calls it AS/400, iSeries or other old names..) seen as an outdated platform for running business applications by some?
Even 5250 is more sophisticated than all other system admin interfaces on the planet. But let’s focus on the extremely innovative system IBM i in this article… To do that we have to go back to the early 1970’s or even a bit before that.
From the book “Inside the AS/400” by Chief Architect Frank Soltis : “During the 1960s, MIT engineers and computer scientists worked on a department of Defense project called MULTICS. Companies such as Digital, Data General and IBM’s New York laboratories hired graduates from MIT and other eastern universities. The computers and operating systems designed at these companies borrowed much from projects such as MULTICS. The Unix operating system from Bell Laboratories came out of this environment. Because designs from these companies were variations on the same themes, they pretty much looked alike. It was highly unlikely that a revolutionary new design would ever come from one of these facilities. The IBM i (AS/400 in the book)history is very different…”
It was highly unlikely that a revolutionary new design would ever come from one of these facilities. The IBM i (AS/400 in the book)history is very different
So, already now we know that IBM i is the most innovative operating system on the planet not just a copy past of ideas from the same source. But it will be better. Let’s read more in that brilliant book.
“In the late 1960s and early 1970s, IBM considered a radical redesign of their entire product line to take advantage of the much lower cost of computer circuitry expected in the 1980s. The major objectives of the FS project were consequently stated as follows:
- make obsolete all existing computing equipment, including IBM’s, by fully exploiting the newest technologies
- diminish greatly the costs and efforts involved in application development and operation
- provide a technically sound basis for re-bundling as much as possible of IBM’s offerings (hardware, software and services)
It was hoped that a new architecture making a heavier use of hardware resources, the cost of which was going down, could significantly simplify software development and reduce costs for both IBM and customers“
The project failed because of several reasons, but many of the innovative ideas and concepts used in that project ended up in IBM i via System/38, AS/400, iSeries, System i…
IBM i has been mocked by competitors since the 1990’s, not at least from Microsoft. But after a bit googling, I can say it was because they were jealous and nothing more. Well, they were obviously very pleased that the majority looked only at the GUI layer when they decided where to put their business applications. This alone was their success if you ask me..
One of the most innovative technologies that even defines the operating system (which is much more than an operating system) is the built in relational database. I repeat, built into the operating system. Cannot be removed (doesn’t have to be installed either..) and this is the native file system if you would like. You install IBM i, logging in with the supersmart 5250 interface and you type CRTTBL and the TaBLe is CReaTed (you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the command structure of the system). How cool isn’t that?? There are good reasons why you should create your schemas etc with better interfaces but we leave that out in this article.
You install IBM i, logging in with the supersmart 5250 interface and you type CRTTBL and the TaBLe is CReaTed (you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the command structure of the system). How cool isn’t that??
If it is that cool, why didn’t the competition do the same thing in their solutions?? Well they tried but it is not so very easy if you don’t have the smartest people on the earth as IBM had.
“WinFS (short for Windows Future Storage) was the code name for a canceled data storage and management system project based on relational databases, developed by Microsoft and first demonstrated in 2003 as an advanced storage subsystem for the Microsoft Windows operating system, designed for persistence and management of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. WinFS includes a relational database for storage of information, and allows any type of information to be stored in it, provided there is a well defined schema for the type.”
“Before it’s time”hahahahaaaaa… Bill old Bill…
Ok, what else. Oh yeees! This one is good.
Single Level Storage (or somethings just Store) This is a brilliant technology implemented (not invented) in IBM i and Microsoft also really wanted. Really. 12 (2003-2015) years of development isn’t just a hobby project..
We shall not mock MS anymore. They are heavily under attack after all. I participated a online course by MIT earlier this year where the professors said “Microsoft probably doesn’t exist 15 years from now..”
So where does the attack comes from? Containers and “cloud native development”… This god’s solution to all problems in the IT industry. Please learn how libraries, subsystems, memory pools and objects on IBM i all work together and you will be ashamed if you thought containers were such a good idea for enterprise business applications. And ask your CFO which application architecture he or she think will be the most cost effective the next coming 3, 5 and 10 years… Be ready to invest in an IBM i environment *immed if you don’t have that already.
I stop here but could go on for another 10 pages or so. But please agree with me, the IBM i “sophisticated business application environment” deserves a better place in the IT landscape of today.