Getting to this point has taken a long time...
The idea of creating a blog to share my insights and perspectives on DB2 for i and related topics has been simmering on the back burner for months. Well, the pot is boiling now. This is due in part to the frustration of visiting yet another IBM i shop this week who are in the process of developing - rewriting really - an application to support a line of business that is expected to grow significantly in the next couple years. Lots of data, big transaction volumes, high profile users. So what's the big deal?
After 20+ years of using AS/400, iSeries, System i and now IBM i they are seriously considering abandoning the platform for WinTel - lock, stock and barrel. Let me be clear, this is not the issue. There are many solutions in the current world of IT. My frustration is based on the fact that the architects, developers, SQL Server DBAs and their managers are basing the decision to move, on the use of 15 year old applications! That is to say, they are comparing "current" WinTel server technology and capabilities against the technology of ye old AS/400. Comparing "green screen" views of text to graphical web pages. Sound familiar?
Unlike many we call upon, these folks are relatively up-to-date with IBM technology, running Power 6 processors and in the throws of moving from IBM i 6.1 to 7.1. And yet they are willing to throw out the tried and true infrastructure that got them here because of darkness. Darkness that hides all of the new and advantageous capabilities delivered over the last five releases. Capabilities that can provide significant benefits. Capabilities bought and paid for. Capabilities sitting dormant and idle within the recesses of a system once perceived as elegant and energetic.
My goal is to illuminate the data management features, functions and benefits of what I consider to be the best business system ever created. After all, most of what our illustrious system does, and does well, is handle data. To help shine the light of awareness and understanding, I will use the blog primarily as a clearing house. And much like Shakespeare's Touchstone, act as the wise fool (mostly the latter) who guides or points the way.
To get started take a look at all the papers here. Yea, some seem dated, but they are still relevant and informational.
And as a fun and foolish exercise, read Craig Mullins' January 26, 2012 blog entry titled "A Forced Tour of Duty". As you're reading, replace the word "mainframe" with "AS/400", or "iSeries", or "IBM i".
Too much of a good thing... is a good thing.