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Client Access/400 Expert to AS/400 Network Expert: Will Only the Name Be Changed?

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The air is dripping with change here at Client Access/400 Expert. At the COMMON Conference in early October, IBM released a new Client Access beta product for TCP/IP installations. Dubbed IBM AS/400 Client Access Express for Windows, this product is the heir apparent to Client Access/400 for Windows 95/NT, and it represents the future of IBM’s Client Access efforts. Although the new Express Client is not intended as a replacement for the Windows 95/NT client (which will still be available), all new IBM development effort will focus on the Client Access Express product. This very logical fracturing of the Client Access Windows product line will cause a lot of confusion, explanation, and reconfiguration at AS/400 shops around the world. Is the new product worth it? You be the judge. In this issue, we printed two articles on the product-line split: “The New Client Access Product: IBM AS/400 Client Access Express for Windows” on page 1 and “What Happens to the Client Access/400 for Windows 95/NT Client Now?” on page 7. I’ll be covering these new configurations more in the coming months but—if you download and test the product yourself—please email me with your results so we can keep your fellow readers informed.

Next, Client Access/400 Expert is undergoing a change of its own. As of the January/February 1999 issue, we will be changing our name to AS/400 Network Expert. This change has been a long time coming and was even discussed as far back as Tom Stockwell’s January/February 1998 editorial letter titled “Are We Still the Newsletter of Client Access/400 Experts?”

What does our name change mean to you? As I wrote in the July/August 1998 issue, the threefold mission of AS/400 Network Expert will be the same as the mission of Client Access/400 Expert.

1) We will provide a technical forum for AS/400 client/server professionals. If you look at the front page of this newsletter, you’ll see the banner reads A Technical Forum for AS/400 Client/Server Professionals. This newsletter has always been driven by the needs of its readers. We devote two to six pages per issue to the Email, Pointers, and Advice

department, in which we try to solve reader problems. We fully interact with our readers (you) and work to help you solve your problems.

This is a newsletter of experts. Unlike other publications that discuss AS/400 networking, we don’t rely on the name of a single author to give us credibility. My name isn’t splashed on the masthead, and I don’t write 95 percent of the articles, as frequently happens at some other newsletters. We have a variety of authors with a variety of viewpoints, experience, and knowledge. It’s a rounded newsletter that offers a diverse collection of particular knowledge. It’s a technical forum in the truest sense.

2) We will help networking professionals solve the challenge of connecting the AS/400 to the outside world. There is no such thing as an AS/400-only network, and you are constantly striving to connect different pieces of networked equipment to your AS/400. In AS/400 Network Expert, you can read about how NetWare; Unix; Lotus Notes and Domino; Windows 95, 98, and NT; network computers; network printing; and TCP/IP techniques interact with an AS/400. We cover the wide-area ground of hooking your AS/400 up to the network. We’ll even print articles about technologies that are unpopular or out of fashion if we’re convinced those articles contain information you need to know.

3) We will help networking professionals leverage Client Access/400 and its alternatives to help their organizations become more successful. We will never stop looking at Client Access/400. Too many of our readers use it, and it has too many valuable features. So, don’t expect our CA/400 and alternatives coverage to decrease very much. Client Access is very much the glue that holds an AS/400 network together, and we will continue to cover it.

Above all, like Client Access/400 Expert, AS/400 Network Expert will be a newsletter of practical technical advice that provides information you can use immediately. My hope is that every time you pick up AS/400 Network Expert, you’ll be able to immediately do something in your shop or solve a problem you couldn’t solve before. We publish this newsletter for the technical professionals who need to get their AS/400 networks running and keep them running with absolute minimum downtime. We know you don’t have time for management overview articles or fluff pieces. We’re here to help you do your job running an AS/400 network.

So after all this discussion, the question remains: What does our name change mean for you? Only that we’re continuing our long-standing tradition of providing the best technical information on hooking your AS/400 up to a network. If you want to add to the forum through email questions or by writing articles for your AS/400 networking peers, drop me an email. This AS/400 Network Expert forum welcomes all questions and comments.



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