Simply i › Integrating IBM i CGI programs into Linux Web Server

October 29th, 2014 Comments off
We have been working with a number of clients now who have CGI programs (mainly RPG) that have been used as part of web sites which were hosted on the IBM Apache Server. These programs build the page content using … Continue reading


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Simply i › Pricing for the ISV

October 24th, 2014 Comments off
I recently read through an article about how IBM i ISV’s are apparently wrong in the way that the charge for their products. While I do have some sympathy and do recognize that some pricing practices are not appropriate in … Continue reading


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You and i › You and i Has Moved, Please Update Your Bookmarks

October 14th, 2014 Comments off
You and i has moved to http://www.ibmsystemsmag.com/Blogs/You-and-i/. Please update your bookmark. It’s the same great content but in a new location.


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i Can › i Can Has Moved, Please Update Your Bookmarks

October 14th, 2014 Comments off
i Can has moved to http://www.ibmsystemsmag.com/Blogs/i-Can/. Please update your bookmark. It’s the same great content but in a new location.


Read the original at i Can.

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iDevelop › iDevelop Has Moved, Please Update Your Bookmarks

October 14th, 2014 Comments off
iDevelop has moved to http://www.ibmsystemsmag.com/Blogs/iDevelop/. Please update your bookmark. It’s the same great content but in a new location.


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Bob Cancilla on IBM i › Power System sales decline continues in Q2 of 2014

October 11th, 2014 Comments off
I just realized that I had not read IBM"s Q2 results paper to see how sales of IBM HW had progressed through 2014 after a horrible 2013 year end and a rocky Q1.

Well it was worse than I thought!  As you know IBM has sold its xSeries server business to Lenovo, removing that drain on revenue and profits, but Q2 zSeries sales was down 11% over 2013 sales and the really important note to IBM i customers was a decline of 28% in Power System sales over 2013 sales.

Before you start saying that I am anti-IBM i or negative on RPG or whatever, read the article at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/44397.wss

This article is written by IBM and published on an IBM web site.

IBM is showing improved results in cloud and consulting.

I personally am working on a project moving a large DB2 zOS database implementation to DB2 LUW using Purescale on Linux Redhat intel based processors.  Read no-name Intel based clones.  We are looking at improved performance 24 x 7 availability with no downtime for system maintenance or upgrades (you can literally remove any system in the network at anytime) and you can replicate data across multiple locations...

If you are still running an IBM i with local software, you need to carefully assess what you are doing and why.  Are you dependent on RPG programmers and the language?  It is time to start looking at alternatives.  You don't have to pull the plug on your IBM i based box, but it is most definitely time to say goodbye to RPG and iBM i specific facilities and position yourself so that your system can be easily moved to a new platform not if but when the time arises.

 


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DB2 for i › Trust, but Verify

October 8th, 2014 Comments off
I am often asked about the risk of migrating to a new version/release of IBM i; "should we go to 7.1 or 7.2"?

The same can be said about moving to the latest technology refresh (7.1 TR9 and 7.2 TR1 were just announced by the way).

I prefer to talk about the rewards of keeping up with the advances in technology - keep the tool belt fully stocked so to speak.

So, should you install the latest and greatest?  My usual answer is "yes, and...".

Whether you are configuring new hardware, putting on a new set of group PTFs, installing the latest TR or migrating to IBM i 7.2, my sincere advice is based on an old Russian proverb:

Trust, but Verify

What this really means is, YOU should be testing the new hardware, testing the group PTFs, verifying the TR code or the latest version of IBM i.  And I don't mean give it a spin for a few days on the development system.  I'm talking about proper and adequate testing; a real verification of the features and functions. Find out for yourself, do they behave as advertised?

Now here is the issue...  proper and adequate testing must be based on science, and some art.

SCIENCE, as in, using the scientific method:

  • Purpose or Question
  • Research
  • Hypothesis
  • Experiment
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion

And ART, as in - you have to be clever about how, when and where you apply the science.  If you are not testing the business processes that produce the transactions occurring in the production environment, you are not actually verifying anything, nor are you mitigating any risk. You are just fooling yourself.  And if you cannot pin down the variables and repeat the process consistently, the experiment will be inconclusive, and a waste of time.  I don't know how many times I have been in awkward conversations that go something like this:

DB2 user: "we just upgraded, my queries don't run fast anymore"

Mike: "I'm sorry to hear this... do you have any information captured about how the queries were running prior to the upgrade"?

DB2 user: "no"

Mike: "can you tell me how the queries were running prior to the upgrade"?

DB2 user: "yes, fast"

Mike: *heavy sigh*



When it comes to DB2 data integrity and data processing, three fundamental things need to be tested and verified:

  1. Correct results
  2. Performance
  3. Scalability

Correct results is obvious - did my request or process produce the expected answer or result?

Performance gets a lot of attention - did my request or process complete in the time expected?

Scalability is much more difficult to understand - did my request or process complete in the time expected when running with the full data set and under the stress of all the normal production activity?

My recommendation is that you get in a position to test (and verify!) that the new hardware and/or software meets your requirements BEFORE implementing anything in the production environment.  And with that said, verify your rollback strategy if something does slip by.

When it comes to testing and verifying DB2 for i, the point person should be your database engineer. If you don't have one, now is a good time to establish the position, install the candidates, and provide training and support. Don't forget to give them clear responsibility and authority to do the job.

If you don't have, or don't want to invest in a full fledged testing environment, or you want the subject matter experts to look over your shoulder, make a visit to IBM Rochester, Minnesota and embark on a performance and scalability engagement.

If you would like to discuss the science and art of verifying DB2 for i, please contact me.  We are here to help you be successful, and to mitigate risk.


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Alan Seiden Consulting: PHP and IBM i Expertise › Zend Framework 2 performance optimization: it works

September 26th, 2014 Comments off

Zend Framework 2 (ZF2) provides optimization techniques that are often overlooked by published performance tests. One excellent source for such techniques is a presentation by Gary Hockin. I was thrilled when my client and friend King Harrison IV of K3S began testing the effect of these techniques on his ZF2 application running on IBM i.

King’s initial tests produced a 600ms reduction in load time, obtaining respectable performance for his database-heavy application. He plans to update his blog post with further speed improvements as he implements them.

Read King Harrison IV’s blog post about ZF2 performance improvements.


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

Alan Seiden Consulting: PHP and IBM i Expertise › Save your fingers when using PHP-CLI

September 12th, 2014 Comments off

In Batch PHP I showed how to call PHP from a command line. For example, with Zend Server 6 or 7 on IBM i, one would launch a PASE command line using the command CALL QP2TERM, or launch QShell using QSH, then type a command such as this:

/usr/local/zendsvr6/bin/php-cli myscript.php

For those of us who use PHP-CLI often, the above command can be a finger-buster. Let’s shorten the path by creating a symbolic link:

cd /usr/bin
ln -s /usr/local/zendsvr6/bin/php-cli phpc

I created the symbolic link in /usr/bin, a directory that is likely to be in any user’s path.

Now try the shortened command:

phpc myscript.php

To test the shortcut without a PHP script, use the -v switch, which requests version information (‘v’ for version) about your PHP installation.

phpc -v

The above command will return version information that starts out something like this:

PHP 5.3.6 (cli) (built: Apr  7 2011 09:37:14)                                
Copyright (c) 1997-2011 The PHP Group                                        
Zend Engine v2.3.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2011 Zend Technologies                
    with Zend Extension Manager v5.1, Copyright (c) 2003-2010, by Zend Techno
logies                                                                       
    - with Zend Data Cache v4.0, Copyright (c) 2004-2010, by Zend Technologie
s [loaded] [licensed] [disabled]                                             
    - with Zend Guard Loader v3.3, Copyright (c) 1998-2010, by Zend Technolog
ies [loaded] [licensed] [enabled]                                            
    - with Zend Job Queue v4.0, Copyright (c) 2004-2010, by Zend Technologies
 [loaded] [not licensed] [disabled]

By creating a symbolic link to the PHP-CLI binary, practitioners of PHP can speed their work while saving their fingers.

For more about symbolic links, see my article Link up with QShell.


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iDevelop › Tidbits on Java Programmers and Apple Announcement

September 11th, 2014 Comments off
Training the Next Generation of RPGers We just finished delivering the second part of an introductory RPG class to the group of Java programmers that...


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