Midrange News for the IBM i Community

Posted by: Bob Cozzi
Rogue Programmer
Cozzi Productions, Inc.
#IBMi @25 or Happy Anniversary IBM AS/400
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Published: 21 Jun 2013
Revised: 24 Jun 2013 - 3986 days ago
Last viewed on: 21 May 2024 (7539 views) 

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#IBMi @25 or Happy Anniversary IBM AS/400 Published by: Bob Cozzi on 21 Jun 2013 view comments(1)

I thought I'd discuss the merrits of IBM i over other platforms.

25 years ago (or more like 30 to 35 years ago) IBM System/38 and CPF introduced the first integrated Database File system or "DBMS" to the world. They had no compitition in that market space but then again, most companies were using flat-file systems, like S/34/36 and non-IBM platforms.

The 2nd advantage IBM i has and that was also introduced in System/38 as CL (Control Language) and batch processing. The ability to submit tasks/jobs to a batch subsystem and free up the interactive workstations was and is, a wonderful feature. Even today, while there are similar features, none provide the power and simplicity of the SBMJOB command with a CL program.

As the decades have pass just about every platform has a database. Nearly every one is SQL based, including IBM i DB2 for i. So the advantage of an Intagrated Database has moved from a feature and capability set, to one of simply marketing and price. You can get one for any platform and many are no-charge. Does it still matter if it is integrated or inlcuded if it is "free" on other platforms? Sure but not as much as it use to.

Today IBM i suffers from the single biggest bad decision IBM Rochester ever made. In the mid-1990s, they decided they couldn't do a Graphical User Interface (GUI) on this platform.

Imagine if they had said that about single-level storage, or 16-byte pointers, or on and on. Today some 35 years after being introduced, the IBM i operating system has more innovations in it than any other operating system. But as we all know, good looks sell, and without a native GUI or GUI scripting language, the IBM i is just the ugly dog that nobody wants to take home. Sad, but true.

While most other platforms have a less performing database, or poor Application Programmer-oriented CL tools, at the end of the day, the end-user wants their Order Entry app to work on their Browser, or GUI, or tablet or phone. Have you used Green Screen on an iPhone or Windows Phone? You can do it, but its not meant to be.

At the end of the day, we all earned a living with IBM i and its predecessors. But without a native GUI built-into the operating system, it may be time to move along.




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Posted by: clbirk
Premium member *
Comment on: #IBMi @25 or Happy Anniversary IBM AS/400
Posted: 10 years 10 months 29 days 10 hours 25 minutes ago

Did I miss something? You said no native gui !--script--ing language... what is php? PHP runs great on the ibmi, will interconnect with rpg modules, etc. PHP is open source, etc.