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Hackernoon logoHow To Modernize IBM i System by@rpgprogrammer

How To Modernize IBM i System

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@rpgprogrammerSaurabh Kumawat

Legacy Languages programmer

IBM i has evolved overtime and organizations are modernizing their existing legacy systems to use the latest updates in IBM i. It is generally considered as old, obsolete and not trending just because it is in existence since 30 years. But replacing IBM i with some other technology is not worth it, instead IT teams must plan to modernize the existing IBM i systems of their organization. Now, modernizing is not as easy as it looks because the confusion here is which approach to choose among numerous options to update IBM i. The way you modernize your IBM I systems will decide the return you get after the updates. Some of the recommendations include unfolding the data and logic, improving the user interface and the software development process.

Let’s consider the three scenarios

1. Unfolding the data and logic

As we all know IBM i is secure, reliable and robust therefore, its integration with the eCommerce system always delivers benefits. While the eCommerce system looks after the selling of products, the IBM i takes care of the safe transactions.

How can you integrate IBM i with e-commerce?

Web Services

IBM i has the capability to create web services and host them within the system. This helps in cost cutting as you do not have to buy any separate system or perform any extra installation .

IBM Web Sphere MQ Series

It is another option to integrate IBM i with eCommerce. It is inexpensive and results into great benefits. IBM Web Sphere MQ is already there on the IBM i and optionally on the external system. Its responsibility is to provide safe and secure message delivery between the two systems.

Mule Enterprise Service Bus

This acts as a middle ware between two systems to carry out the process transactions between the IBM i and e-commerce systems. It is more robust and contains more features than the other options.

These tools can be used to modernize IBM i and create a new system that is perfect as an e-commerce platform.

2. Modernizing the user interface

When we hear about IBM i what comes to our mind is green screen. It can be easily modernized and can lead to increased productivity because working on green screen tends to be monotonous.

  • One of the simple solutions is re-facing which means to transform the green screen into a GUI. Re-facing makes the interface quite user friendly and gives a browser-based look and feel without any programming changes.
  • The common green screen can be enhanced by using RPG Open Access to separate the business logic from the UI, allowing the same business logic to be used on multiple UIs.

Organizations which help you modernize your IBM I system’s interface are Profound Logic, Programmers.io etc.

3. Software Development Process

Modernization mainly depends on updating your approach to development. You can choose this step in order to enhance the existing system. Here are some recommendations:

  • Use new version of RPG, i.e. RPG FreeFormat coding language. It is easier to use as well as increases the productivity of your development team
  • Adopt new tools such as IBM Rational Developer for i. It is used to provide common development and management tools across operating systems and languages. It replaces older versions of tools used for development with newer ones .

Why Modernization is important?

Organizations switch to modernization only when they undergo certain incidents like legacy system failure, serious business impact etc. The delay is mostly because companies do not want to invest in technology or think ‘if the work is going on why we should bother’. This thought, later has serious repercussions.

Therefore, it is recommended to modernize your existing IBM i system to latest versions before it impacts your business.

Modernization does not just happen, you need a proper plan, resources and technology to complete the same. Besides this, you need to have a robust business goal to achieve the same, as results depend on it.

Many organizations go for modernizing the existing system as compared to switching on to entirely new systems as it is more cost effective and also helps their developers to learn faster. They can expand the value of their IBM i investments by modernizing host-based applications to meet today’s user expectations. Programmers provides extensive modernization solutions enabling you to harness the power of IBM i systems, to add new user experiences, workflows, methodologies without any impact to the source code.

Organizations are struggling today to maintain their IBM i applications as IT workers with this expertise are mostly retiring.

They take their deep knowledge of these systems with them. For businesses that are completely dependent on IBM i-based systems, the resulting skills shortage can prevent them from advancing these systems to provide the usability and functionality that are required today.

There is a huge requirement of changing or adapting quickly to the evolving technology so as to keep pace with the emerging customer requirements.

How can Agencies help?

As you know, today’s B2B and B2C users have all gone digital. Their entire business is now handled online, therefore, they expect digital experiences that provide real-time information. For instance-on the go information about account, orders placed, inventory etc. All this is now available to them on their fingertips, they do not want to login into their systems time and again to have a look at these reports and status. If you don’t provide them with suitable technology, someone else will.

To grab this opportunity and modernize their existing systems Programmers has solutions to make it possible for you. Turn IBM i workflows and data from any green-screen application, web service, or data source into RESTful APIs. Hire best expertise to integrate the discrete functionality into new or existing web and mobile applications.

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