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      Is AS400 Software same as IBM i? Yes or No, Understand Here!

      AS400 Software

      We are sure you must have heard this question many times…

      Many veterans who have been with and seen this technology from the yester years, still prefer to call the software side as AS400 based applications or AS400 Software.

      However, the latest operating system is known as IBM i.

      To elaborate…

      AS400 reflects the historical software environment of the past.

      IBM i showcases the same platform’s adaptability and longevity by embracing technological advancements and evolving to meet contemporary business demands.

      Comparing AS400 software with IBM i is challenging because they represent distinct phases in the ongoing development and evolution of the same platform.

      IBM i is not just a continuation but a transformation, incorporating legacy strengths while continuously adapting to meet the evolving needs of today’s businesses.

      Depending on the industry you are in, you must be having custom home-grown AS400 software system developed for your custom needs.

      And you are still relying on it…

       …and why not? If it serves your needs to the T.

      Which of the following do you have?

      • AS400 ERP software/system
      • AS400 financial software
      • AS400 RPG accounting software
      • AS400 transportation software
      • AS400 logistics software
      • AS400 inventory management software
      • AS400 trucking software

      You may have AS400 Software for many other processes/tasks/functions in your organization.

      We agree that whatever you prefer to call it – your AS400 Software serves you well.

      as400 iseries

      First, Consider these Questions around your AS400 Software

      You heavily rely on your current AS400 applications for your mission-critical workflows.

      As a technology leader of your organization, you have invested your time, money, energy, and resources to bring it up to speed.

      We understand it’s a legacy system and might sometimes give you issues with regards to its efficiency and performance.

      When you face these issues, the questions you need to go over are given below.

      (Some questions are repeated due to their importance)

      Your Problem – “My Current AS400 Technical Resource is Retiring!”

      • What was this AS400 software developer responsible for?
      • What is your plan to cover those responsibilities after this resource retires?
      • Do you have a person on staff prepared to take on these responsibilities?
      • What is going to happen if you cannot get a resource in place?
      • What AS400 systems or functions will be affected?
      • What would be the impact of delaying the replacement of this resource?
      • Do you have the resources or technical expertise to do this in-house or have you decided you need to look outside for AS400 services?
      • What is your timeline to have this replacement AS400 expert in place?

      Your Upcoming Project – “We are Looking at AS400 Modernization/Upgrade”.

      • What AS400 modernization or upgrade looks like for you?
      • What are the system elements that you will be upgrading?
      • Why have you decided to do these upgrades now?
      • Is this something that you wanted to get done this year or can it wait until next year?
      • What would be the impact of delaying this upgrade?
      • Do you have the resources or technical expertise to do this in-house or have you decided you need to look outside?
      • What is your timeline to have these upgrades completed?

      Your Ambitious Project – “We are Looking for AS400 Migration”.

      • Do you have a brief overview of the migration you are planning?
      • What are the AS400 system elements that you will be migrating?
      • Why have you decided to do this AS400 migration now?
      • Is this something that you wanted to get done this year Or can it wait until next year?
      • What would be the impact of delaying this migration project?
      • Do you have the resources or technical expertise to do this in-house or have you decided you need to look outside?
      • What is your timeline to have this migration completed?

      Contact An AS400 IBM iSeries Software Support Expert

      Your Immediate Project – “We are Looking at Securing our AS400 Systems.”

      • What AS400 systems you are looking to secure?
      • What are the system elements that you feel need to be secured?
      • Why have you decided to do this security upgrade now?
      • What was the impact of that security breach? Was data exposed? Were credentials or passwords exposed?
      • Has your team done a full end to end AS400 systems’ security audit so that all gaps are identified?
      • Is this something that you wanted to get done this year Or can it wait until next year?
      • What would be the impact of delaying this AS400 security upgrade?
      • Do you have the resources or technical expertise to do this in-house or have you decided you need to look outside for an AS400 service provider?
      • What is your timeline to have this security update completed?

      AS/400 systems

      Your Long-term Project – “We are looking for maintenance of our AS400 Software System”.

      • What systems you want to be maintained?
      • What are the system elements that need to be maintained?
      • Why have you decided to get support for AS400 maintenance now?
      • Have there been any issue related to maintenance?
      • What was the impact of those issues? Did it affect business operations? Did it cost the company money?
      • Is this something that you wanted to get done this year Or can it wait until next year?
      • What would be the impact of continuing maintenance as you have as you have been doing it?
      • Do you have the resources or technical expertise to do this in-house or have you decided you need to look outside?
      • What is your timeline to get support on AS400 system maintenance?

      Your Visionary Project – “We are Looking for AS400 Support”.

      • Which AS400 systems you want to be supported?
      • What are the system elements that need to be supported?
      • Why you decided to get additional AS400 support resources now?
      • Have there been any issue related to support?
      • What was the impact of those issues? Did it affect business operations? Did it cost the company money?
      • Is this something that you wanted to get done this year Or can it wait until next year?
      • What would be the impact of continuing with your current support resources?
      • Do you have the resources to do this support in-house or have you decided you need to look outside?
      • What is your timeline to get additional support resources in place?

      Your Next Project – “We are Looking for Automation on our AS400 Software”.

      • What type of automation you are planning to implement?
      • What are the AS/400 system elements that you want to automate?
      • Why have you decided to do this automation now?
      • Is this something that you wanted to get done this year or can it wait until next year?
      • What would be the impact of delaying this automation?
      • Do you have the resources or technical expertise to do this in-house or have you decided you need to look outside?
      • What is your timeline to have this automation project completed?

      After you give a deep thought and decide that you have the need to look outside for an AS400 services provider or a technology partner – simply ask this one final question.

      “What were you hoping for service provider to do to support you on your projects?”
      As you answer the question above….

      Let us introduce ourselves – We are Integrative Systems – One of the Best AS400 Software Service Providers who prioritizes your success, extends the capabilities of your in-house team, and helps you achieve the AS400 vision for your organization.

      How we help Technical Leaders Succeed with their AS400 Software and Systems?

      We work with CIOs / CTOs / Technology Leaders:

      • Who are struggling to improve their customer and user experience as their AS400 software and systems are not upgraded.
      • Who identify and want to seize critical business gaps due to the lack of integration between multiple AS400 software that act in silos.
      • Who are suffering from data redundancy due to a lack of AS400 automation.
      • Worried due to errors in data owing to too much reliance on manual work.
      • Who cannot report their AS400 data on a unified and modern-looking dashboard.
      • Who are managing an in-house IT team but must be responsible for unbilled AS400 resources.
      • Who are frustrated with project ROI’s being less than 5% due to frequent project creeps or delays.
      • Who are worried about the higher total cost of ownership due to the cost of maintenance of AS400 legacy systems.
      • Who are worried about the costs and risks associated with hiring wrong or bad AS400 hires.
      • Worried about landing the wrong AS400 technology partner due to inadequate due diligence and hasty decision making.
      • Who were burnt in the past when working with a technology partner.
      • Who are facing difficulties in optimizing their business processes and workflows due to inadequate AS400 documentation.
      • Who are facing a shortage of niche IT AS400 talent in the market and have not been able to recruit the right talent.
      • Who are losing their sleep over high availability and disaster recovery of their AS400 systems as they don’t have a right talent for it.
      • Who are anxious about the cost-benefit equation of their AS400 projects as they have been hit with hidden charges by other AS400 service providers without delivering real value.

      Did you ponder over the points given above?

      Now, let’s get to our primary topic where we distinguish between AS400 Software and IBM i for you

      Due to several name changes, confusion has persisted that AS400 and IBM i are the same things. And this confusion between AS400 software and IBM i has been a significant growth obstacle for enterprises in the market considering IBM technology.

      Both are like two different fruits or in technical terms it’s like comparing hardware to software.

      AS400 is the physical server developed by IBM in 1980s, and IBM i is the latest OS for today’s version of AS400, i.e., IBM Power Systems.

      The IBM iSeries software running on the operating system/400 has a long history. And with the long history come several terms and terminology that tend to be “sticky.” And the event is not uncommon.

      Most of us have minicomputer in our pockets that we call smartphones, though today’s phones hold little similarity to the old generation stationary rotary phone.

      Today we might call electrical burners as stove, but they have gone through a total evolutionary in those decades and reached here from the original cast-iron stoves. But we still use and misuse (sometimes) the names of several products in our daily life.

      Similar is the case with AS400, AS400 software and IBM i. These are two different iterations of the same technology.

      But the truth is that they refer to different things, which has caused a lot of confusion. This confusion between AS400 software and iSeries software has been a falling block to digital transformation for enterprises in the market considering IBM technology.

      What Really is AS400 Software?

      AS400 software are usually home-grown software built using RPG, COBOL, CL, Java, or other compatible programming languages and are run on AS400 servers. They are also referred to as AS400 applications.

      They are known for their reliability, scalability, and security. Some businesses might have evolved or migrated to newer technologies, but those who haven’t still believe in the AS400’s robustness for executing established workflows.

      When we talk about AS400 Software or applications – they are used in a wide range of business functions like –

      • AS400 ERP Software includes various systems like BPCS and offer modules for finance, HR, manufacturing, and supply chain management.
      • CRMs on AS400 manages customer data, interactions, and sales pipelines.
      • AS400 inventory software for supply chain management can handle inventory, procurement, warehouses, and demand planning.
      • AS400 Software for trucking and transportation can overlook freight/fleet/shipping management.
      • Business Intelligence tools on AS400 software collect, analyze, and present data for informed decision-making.
      • AS400 Accounting Software enables financial reporting, budgeting, invoicing, and payroll.
      • Numerous healthcare institutions use AS400 software for patient management, billing, and medical record-keeping.
      • AS400 manufacturing and planning applications can oversee production scheduling, quality control, and shop floor management.
      • Retail businesses running on AS400 software can manages sales, inventory, and customer transactions.

      AS/400

      What is the IBM i Platform?

      The IBM i platform is an integrated operating environment designed for running business-critical applications. It’s an evolution of IBM’s AS400 systems, retaining compatibility and building on the foundation of OS400.

      IBM i platform continues to evolve, incorporating modern technologies and capabilities while retaining the stability and reliability that have been its hallmark. It is designed to support a wide range of AS400 software and databases.

      IBM i boasts of an in-built database management system called ‘DB2 for IBM i’

      It also includes middleware components that can seamlessly facilitate various integrations and application development.

      It is a highly secure platform that has robust backup and recovery mechanisms.

      IBM i platform is capable of being backwards compatible with legacy applications developed in RPG and COBOL, while supporting modern development languages and newer architectures.

      IBM i vs AS400: Why They Can’t be Compared?

      Long story short, comparing AS400 Software with IBM i is like comparing apples with oranges. To understand more, you need to know a little bit about the history of what is AS400 software. This will clear the confusion.

      In the past three decades, the AS400 evolved multiple times. First, it became the iSeries and then was eventually renamed “System i.” So, the machine came to be referred to as IBM iSeries.

      Currently, the setup is known as “IBM Power Systems” and “Power Series.”

      The operating system for Power Series is IBM i, and it’s the grandchild of OS/400, which went through many iterations.

      IBM i represents the progression of the AS400 system. The term “AS400” denoted a specific hardware series and software environment of its time.

      IBM i embodies the modern version of AS400 platform, maintaining backward compatibility while embracing contemporary technologies and enhancements.

      AS400 software was synonymous with the OS400 operating system and applications developed for that environment.

      IBM i, on the other hand, has evolved to include newer versions of the operating system, additional features, expanded capabilities, enhanced security protocols, and compatibility with modern programming languages and applications.

      Specific ways of talking about technology exist, even if the technology changes.

      Significantly, people who have worked with IBM technology in the past are comfortable to speak about the applications written for AS400 as AS400 software.

      And the people who have joined this technology field later talk about the application written for IBM i, particularly when discussing the application should run on a public cloud or hybrid cloud.

      In summary, IBM i now has more life than the AS400 did…

      We Know this about the AS400 Technology

      At Integrative Systems, we have had meetings with various industry leaders for upgrading their IBM AS400. Many times, these leaders think AS400 is not efficient & robust enough.

      Factually, those industry leaders were running the older machines, but didn’t realize what they could achieve by running on newer upgrades – it would require some modernization and they would be good to go.

      The IBM AS400/iSeries framework is an open working framework, and it integrates incredibly well with the other systems. That is what the “i” in IBM AS400/iSeries represents – integration.

      From open-source authorized programs to progressing toward the cutting-edge RPM model of software management, IBM AS400/iSeries has adopted the actual value of the open-source.

      IBM AS400/iSeries is More Secure

      The security levels of IBM AS400/iSeries have grown consistently, from dropping old protocols to adding new codes into the access control. The new architecture is designed to keep high-security needs in mind.

      The security features have been trending upward, and so is the users’ confidence. From the latest figures, the number of organizations feeling confident in IBM AS400/iSeries security is 63 percent.

      This is because of the increased focus on security in the last few years. Though application modernization has been a focal point of IBM AS400/iSeries for the last 15 years, security enhancement has not been forgotten.

      It’s just about lack of awareness, but now the fraternity is understanding how secure the IBM i Series is.

      IBM AS400/iSeries is More Modern

      We have heard jokes that the IBM AS 400 system died before the first camera phone was released. Or before the USB or Bluetooth was invented?

      Not Really! The AS 400 system is still relevant & in a new avatar. The IBM AS400/iSeries server is now known as ‘Power Systems’

      And the modern IBM AS 400/ i-Series applications are open to upgrades. From the user interface to data base and source code, everything can be modernized.

      The new AS400/i Series can be plugged & played into an AI system to do the image recognition and even work on smartphones.

      The age of “green screen is the best for data entry” is long gone.

      Now, the latest AS400 system can write and read data to and from a database automatically, and no data entry person is needed in this process.

      Your Future with IBM’s AS400 Technology

      According to the 2023 IBM i marketplace survey, several organizations are interested in upgrading their IBM i footprints.

      Many are also migrating their AS400 applications to a hybrid cloud environment.

      So, what does it mean potentially for your organization? It generally means considering 3 main aspects – talent, bare metal, and digital transformation.

      Talent

      Organizations are continuously looking for talent and expertise in the IBM iSeries or AS400 software field.

      For every other company that leaves the platform, another company is looking for talented people to leverage its IBM i footprints and develop new applications.

      A talent crisis occurs as specialists of the technology retire and cannot be replaced instantly by the younger generation. Due to this, most of the companies turn to third party AS400 service providers instead of hiring in-house talent.

      Bare Metal

      Often, the less expensive cloud platforms are multi-tenant. It means that customers share the resource, and sometimes the physical server sharing results in a debate over resources.

      Though having an abstraction layer between physical hardware and applications can be useful, but there are times when companies want complete control over their “bare metal” server.

      For example – Big data applications used in healthcare institutions and organizations having high-transaction workloads like banking can do better when they have direct control over a bare-metal cloud as they cannot tolerate latency.

      In bare-metal competition, IBM is ahead of its rivals as it has one of the largest bare metal presences. The IBM servers are often the first choice for hybrid cloud solutions, too.

      The only drawback of bare metal is, when it comes to optimization and hardware configuration, clients need a lot more.

      Only having a trusted AS400 partner can help in experiencing the power of bare metal servers.

      Digital Transformation

      AS400 is the clear choice of organizations worldwide with humungous data storage needs.

      Hence, nowadays most enterprise-sized companies are moving to the cloud with AS400 cloud version. We have seen a surge in the demand of AS400 applications to be migrated to cloud.

      An organization’s upgrade of legacy apps is not a bad idea, but it can be costly and time-consuming.

      Furthermore, if those applications are mission-critical, the organizations cannot afford the downtime that transformation would require.

      So, if you are looking for an AS400 software development company to get new software implementation or upgrade the older one, you have landed at the right place.

      Did we get you thinking?

      Solve the Challenges of your AS400 i series!

      IBM iSeries AS400
      • If you are facing problems due to the lack of IT talent.
      • Looking for a partner to get help for your AS400 projects?
      • Not able to find a partner with strong technological expertise?

      At Integrative Systems, we often ask one fundamental question to our customers.

      “What do you want to achieve with your AS400 Software, and by when?”

      “WHAT” and “WHEN” is what we take note of, and “HOW” is entirely handled by us.

      Integrative Systems is IBM’s Silver business partner and has more than 20 years of experience in providing AS400 software services and solutions.

      Want to start your AS400 journey with us? Feel free to share your requirements at [email protected]

      AS400 software services

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