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    IBM i (AS/400) History – The Evolution of Computing

    Let’s explore the evolution of IBM AS/400 

    The IBM i operating system, previously referred to as AS/400 and iSeries, is a dependable and robust system that caters to numerous applications. It is recognized for its user-friendly interface, trustworthiness, and compatibility with previous versions. This makes it possible for businesses to execute essential operations without any issues.

    IBM has updated the server and operating system over time to showcase the platform’s exceptional features. Every version has provided improvements and support for evolving business requirements.

    AS/400 Overhauls and Rebranding

    IBM i’s simplicity, power, and reliability is remarkable. Today, there are more than 18,000 applications that operate on this platform. It is continuously evolving, and yet it maintains support for proven applications written over 30 years ago that are still operating critical business processes at organizations worldwide.

    Over the years, IBM has changed the name of their operating system and server multiple times. This has caused some confusion and sparked heated conversations within the user community, with some questioning “whether the AS/400 is dead”?

    However, these changes were made for a reason – to meet the evolving business needs of customers, showcase new technology in the latest release, and differentiate this platform from others at IBM.

    History of AS400

    Let’s get started.

    Here is a timeline of the history of IBM i series of operating systems developed by IBM for their midrange computers:

    In 1978 – System/36

    IBM introduced System/36 as a midrange computer for general business and to provide services to small businesses. This server was a flat file system, and the primary programming language was RPG II.

    In 1983 – System/38

    IBM introduced the System/38 computer for businesses and departments. It runs on an object-based OS (Operating System) and includes a relational database now known as DB2. The job management concepts were used in the AS/400 system.

    In 1988 – AS/400

    IBM introduced in June the AS/400 as a midrange computer that replaced the System/38 and supported System/36. It had an integrated relational database called Db2 and used an object-based operating system, making it an advanced business computer.

    In 2000 – eServer iSeries

    IBM rebrands the AS/400 as the “eServer iSeries,” highlighting its integration capabilities and e-business readiness.

    In 2006 – System i

    The iSeries server was then called IBM System i (IBM I V5R4) with i5/OS as its operating system. System i, running on the i5/OS operating system, is positioned as a comprehensive Windows alternative for small and medium-sized businesses.

    In 2008 – IBM Power System

    IBM merged System i and System p (Power Systems) into a single product line, known as IBM Power System (IBM i 6.1). i5/O5 was renamed as IBM i, where “i” stands for integration.

    In 2010 – IBM i 7.1

    IBM renamed the platform as “IBM i 7.1” to emphasize its integration capabilities and the significance of the operating system.

    In 2014 – IBM i 7.2

    IBM announced the IBM i 7.2 operating system with enhancements in areas such as security, cloud integration, and analytics.

    In 2016 – IBM i 7.3

    IBM released IBM i 7.3 with features such as enhanced support for open-source technologies and enhanced integration with the cloud.

    In 2019 – IBM i 7.4

    IBM introduced IBM i 7.4, highlighting its modernization capabilities, including enhanced AI and machine learning integration, as well as enhanced security features.

    In 2022 – IBM i 7.5

    IBM announced that the newest IBM i Operating System i 7.5 will be supported up to year 2030 and beyond. IBM is already working on the next version of IBM i, which will help the platform be fully robust until the mid-2030s and introduced several security changes to the operating system.

    Related Posts –

    AS400 iSeries (IBM i) – A Comprehensive Overview

    Embracing IBM AS400 System’s Legacy, Innovation, and Future

    Why Should You Invest in AS400 ERP?

    How AS400 Software is Different from IBMi?

    What programming languages can be used on AS/400?

    Programming languages for the AS/400 include RPG, assembly language, C, C++, Pascal, Java, EGL, Perl, Smalltalk, COBOL, SQL, BASIC, PHP, PL/I, Python and REXX. CA Plex (formerly AllFusion Plex), Synon, IBM Rational Business Developer Extension, Accelerator, LANSA, Uniface and GeneXus are available.

    There is a complete layer called PASE to help to connect anything from AIX to IBM i with minimal effort.

    Final Thoughts…

    The history of the AS/400 overhauls and rebranding efforts showcases IBM’s commitment to meeting the ever-changing needs of businesses.

    From its humble beginnings as the AS/400 to its current status as part of the IBM Power Systems family, this platform has continually adapted to the changing technology landscape.

    As businesses continue to utilize robust computing solutions, exploring the history of the AS/400 and its transformations can provide valuable insight into the evolution of enterprise computing.

    If you are a technology leader or a business owner who has been using this technology, understanding its journey is a fascinating and captivating endeavour.

    Work with Us…

    We are Integrative Systems, an (AS400 iSeries) IBM i consulting and implementation partner to global clients with 20+ years of experience.

    Bring on your AS/400 project ideas and we will create a strategic plan to help you succeed.

    Drop us a line at [email protected] and our experts shall connect with you in the next two business days.

    IBM i Expert

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