Archive for December, 2013

Bob Cancilla on IBM i › The End of i

December 24th, 2013 Comments off
I have been predicting the demise of the IBM i for sometime now.  The primary reason being the lack of revenue to IBM generated from IBM i customers.  Here is a great article by Timothy Prickett Morgan that summarizes what is going on in a nutshell:

The article highlights the decline in Power Systems sales, especially the decline in UNIX (AIX) based systems of over 36%.  This includes a decline in IBM i, but IBM does not report IBM i revenues or sales statistics specifically.  It is all bundled.  Note that the only gain in this area is Linux based systems. Overall IBM has dropped to a second place position behind Dell in midrange server sales.

The fundamental issue is the lack of revenue coming form IBM i.  Most license fee's for the OS are covered under previous agreements and there is no upgrade fee for new releases.  There is an annual maintenance fee (SWMA) but companies have found they only really need that on one small test machine and do not need it on their large (big price) production machines.  You can freely download and distribute PTF's to all of your machines.

Admittedly, IBM got itself into this mess with lack of attention to contracts in the AS/400 and subsequent system arena, but the bottom line is there is very little money coming in.  Add to that companies that have not upgraded to new equipment and/or versions of the OS and the picture gets even more dismal.  Read TPM''s article at the link above for details.

It is time to move away from RPG (because it only runs on IBM i) and become platform neutral so that when not if but "when" IBM pulls the plug on IBM i you are prepared to deal with it and move elsewhere.  Until then, enjoy the best machine ever built and the incredible value for a high performance extremely reliable system.

Read the original at Bob Cancilla on IBM i.

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › use LIBHTTP to talk SOAP to websites using RPGLE on IBM i

December 18th, 2013 Comments off

Thankyou -- Scott Klement!

HTTPAPI (LIBHTTP) on IBM i is the bomb. Luckily I am not boarding a plane at the moment, so I can use that kind of language without getting strip searched by some burly TSA agents.

Firstly, I have never met Mr. Klement but (like almost every IBM i Developer out there) have read many of his excellent articles about programming and tinkering with IBM i systems. Secondly, the man is a genius and I owe him a very large beer. After spending far too long investigating various techniques to get my IBM i system to talk to an external website ( in this case) and being led down many wrong roads... I stumbled across scott's collection of open source RPGLE programs called HTTPAPI.

In Scott's words:

Download HTTP API source:

This is an RPG IV service program that uses socket calls to implement the HTTP 1.1 protocol. The HTTP protocol is the data transfer protocol that is used to transfer documents over the World Wide Web.

This service program can, optionally, also do "https" (HTTP over SSL) requests to an SSL-enhanced web server.

Read the original at Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs.

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › What happened to the Forums?

December 17th, 2013 Comments off

Hello websurfing chaps and chappettes,

Over the years this website has been through many, many changes – from HTML to Flash to Joomla to Wordpress and finally to Drupal. A couple of years ago, I decided to import lots of my old programming and AS400 specific documentation into the website and imported everything in Drupal ‘forums’. Primarily as an easy place to reference old technical articles and because I thought some of the older ‘RPG Programming’ questions just might help the IBM I community out there. Apart from my burbling blogs, the forums are easily the most accessed part of the website.

However, I now find myself spending (wasting) time every day deleting spam, moderating people leaving nasty comments and just basically being annoyed by the inability of some people to have sensible conversations using online forums.

So – whats the solution?

Social media is the answer. Over the last couple of years I've increasingly chosen to use Facebook and Twitter to communicate. I’ve also integrated DISQUS into every article on the website, as it has superb antispam tools built into it. Effectively the entire website is now acting like a forum with facebook and twitter being the new places for chatter and banter.

Read the original at Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs.

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Bob Cancilla on IBM i › My New Book

December 14th, 2013 Comments off
Well, Its finally done and publuished.  My new book entitled "Managing Computer Systems in the 21st Century" is designed to guid business executives through the process to assessing and evaluating both their current systems and their IT staff to determine if both are meeting and supporting today's business enterprise.

I've worked over two years on this book and brought almost all of my 45 years of IT management experience to this work focusing on what has happened to systems and IT organizations today.  I've also taken a look at alternative means of supporting computer systems such as cloud, outsourcing open source.  I have taken a look at the impact of social media, modern devices like tablets and smart phones and a key emerging technology: Big Data.

I hope that people find this book valuable and use it to take an in depth introspective look at their IT organizations and the computer systems they are using today.

It is available on -- Click Here

For my AS/400, aka iSeries, aka System i, aka IBM i friends, it is really time to take a close and objective look at the systems you are running to support your company.  Can they be transferred to a different operating system in the future?  What happens when the current staff retires?  If your PO'd at your CIO give a copy your CEO or CFO!

Read the original at Bob Cancilla on IBM i.

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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Alas Poor Boris…

December 12th, 2013 Comments off

This mornings refusal to start was the final straw!

So, after doing the sums and realizing that I've spent nearly fourteen thousand dollars on repair bills since owning this Landrover in just two years, and he's still going wrong on a regular basis, its time to give up. To resign myself to the sad decision to banish Boris to a life in the wilderness, outside the walls of castle Litten. I havent got the heart to sell the car to another owner, or even to trade it into a dealer and be able to look someone in the eye while saying "Yes, this is a reliable little motor and I will be sad to see it go" so its time for the car auctions.... Everybody knows that its a case of 'buyer beware' at Auctions. You can get a steaming deal or a steaming Turd. I know which category I wold put Boris into  :)

Sadly, Boris will leave me in negative equity as I expect to be upside down on my car loan to the tune of something like $9000 when I consider the trade value for 2006 LR3's.

It's time to bite the bullet, and find a cheap but reliable run around until I get the outstanding loan payments cleared. I've already got my eyes on a cheap, little motor that is reported to be reliable, looks funky and fits kids, dogs and other beachlife clutter inside.

More about Herman Later


Read the original at Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs.

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DB2 for i › DB2 for i SQL Classes for 2014

December 11th, 2013 Comments off
The DB2 for i Center of Excellence team has scheduled some high powered classes in Rochester, Minnesota (home of IBM i and DB2 for i) for 2014.  Make your plans now to take advantage of THE experts and in some cases, the folks who wrote the code.

For the data centric application architect and SQL programmer we have the DB2 for i Advanced SQL Workshop. This event is scheduled for February and September.

To view the description, dates and to enroll go  here  and be sure to check out the video overview at one of these sites:

English on YouTube

Spanish on YouTube

English on YouKu  (I have no control over the commercials!)

For the DB2 for i Engineer, or anyone interested in becoming more adept at understanding and solving SQL performance and scalability issues we have the DB2 for i SQL Performance Workshop. This event is scheduled for March and September.

To view the description and to enroll go  here  and check out the video overview at one of these locations:

English on YouTube

Spanish on YouTube

English on YouKu  (again, I have no control over the commercials!)

If you have any questions about the value of attending these workshops, please reach out to me.

If you are interested in bringing these knowledge and skills transfer workshops directly to your organization on a private basis, we can do that too.

Read the original at DB2 for i.

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Alan Seiden Consulting: PHP and IBM i Expertise › PHP Performance on IBM i: Tuesday, Dec. 10 (limited-time discount)

December 5th, 2013 Comments off

Update: a recording of this class is available at


This Tuesday, learn how to Let Your PHP applications fly on IBM i. Busy? You can attend while getting your work done, with three one-hour class segments separated by breaks.

“Our process now runs 30-50% faster, thanks to one tip from Alan’s presentation.”
—Mike Meszaros, Software Developer, Specialty Pipe & Tube

You’ll learn to quickly improve your application’s performance, including:

  • Give your app that “snap” by optimizing its front end as well as PHP
  • Configure Zend Server for performance
  • Diagnose bottlenecks
  • Leverage unique IBM i performance tools
  • Optimize DB2 and the IBM i toolkit

I’ll be there to answer your questions. What’s more, the presentation will be archived for 60 days so you can review the material afterward.

“Alan is the performance guru of PHP on IBM i. When we encountered unexpectedly slow queries and program calls, Alan showed us a configuration change that helped our application run 3x faster, creating happy users. Thanks, Alan!”
—Adam Chuk Shirley, PHP Developer, Sabel Steel Service

What: PHP on IBM i performance eLearning event
When: Tuesday, December 10, 2013: three one-hour segments with two one-hour breaks, starting 11AM and ending 4PM (ET).
Where: Online
Cost: $150 (but discounted to $99 through Friday, Dec. 6)

Details and registration:

Read the original at Alan Seiden Consulting: PHP and IBM i Expertise.