Fri, Jul
4 New Articles

2017 State of IBM i Modernization

Development Tools
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

The IBM i (aka AS/400 and iSeries) market has seen some remarkable changes over the last decade. New capabilities, including graphical user interfaces and support of open source languages, have ensured that the platform is more than capable of supporting the needs of today's businesses.

Editor's note: This article introduces the white paper 2017 State of IBM i Modernization, which is free to download from the MC White Paper Center.

However, the use of these modern capabilities on IBM i varies from business to business. "Modernization", the umbrella term for utilizing the newest capabilities on IBM i  - including transitioning from green screens to web GUIs, and updating legacy RPG source code to a newer format or open source language - has not been universally embraced.

For the second year in a row, Profound Logic reached out to the IBM i community to take part in the "State of IBM i Modernization" survey. The purpose of the survey is to attempt to uncover how widely businesses have adopted modernization, and gauge what their plans are for the platform in the future.

The response rate for this year's survey surpassed last year's by 20%, with over 500 IBM I professionals taking the survey. The survey asked respondents a range of questions based on their role in the business (technical, business management, or both). The survey was broken up into three sections: Current state of IBM i; Current attitudes toward IBM i; and, Future of IBM i in the business. The analysis of the findings was conducted by IBM i Champions and community experts.

Survey Findings

A positive finding in this year's survey is that more businesses have upgraded to the latest versions of IBM i and RPG compared to last year. Those companies that are remaining on the platform are embracing the many options they have to optimize IBM i for their modern enterprise: Web GUIs, mobile development, and Open Source development are all listed as projects businesses took on in 2017.

Another finding is that more businesses have shifted slightly away from in-house development and toward packaged applications. The downside to this development is that the majority of those applications either entirely or partially use green-screen interfaces, which respondents list as a roadblock to developer and end-user productivity.

Compared to last year, confidence in the future of the platform appears to have taken somewhat of a downturn. More respondents are concerned that their management's negative view of the IBM I will stand in the way of future use, let alone any modernization efforts. And more respondents this year believe that their business doesn't see a future at all in the platform.

Based on the total responses, it appears that, while some companies have solidified their decision to leave the platform, even more companies have doubled down on the platform and embraced making it a modern powerhouse for future business development.


If your business plans to remain on the IBM i, now is the time to give your system a health check. IBM releases frequent technology refreshes, and if you're running on an OS older than version 7.3, you should seriously consider an update.

IBM i also supports the capabilities that many businesses need, if the responses to this survey are any indicator. Cloud, IoT, Open Source development, Mobile - all of these can be accomplished with IBM i. Once again, respondents to this survey listed "outdated green screens" and "diminishing developer pool" as top concerns about IBM i.

The good news here is that both of these problems can be easily addressed. With the right tools, green screens can be transformed into modern web and mobile interfaces, and new developers can start working on IBM i more easily with Free Format RPG or Node.js, which is JavaScript (the most popular development language in the world) and supported on IBM i.

Unfortunately, many respondents still struggle with a poor perception of the platform as a roadblock for future development. Rather than look at this as a challenge, we encourage developers to make the case for the IBM i by listing the many benefits of the platform singled out in this survey, including: stability, security, ease of use, and ease of maintenance.

Want to learn more? Download the free white paper 2017 State of IBM i Modernization, which is free to download from the MC White Paper Center.

0 0

Profound Logic is the only IBM i technology partner that takes you beyond modernization and into AI-enhanced futurization. For over 25 years, we've equipped IT teams with cutting-edge solutions in natural language AI, system transformation, API creation/management, and application development. With Profound Logic, the future is flexible, and coexistence is always built-in.


To find out more about Profound Logic Software, Inc. and its products see their listings in the MC Showcase Buyer's Guide.



Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: