NGS Blog - i View i View

Posts by Bill Langston

Webcast:
Web Reporting Made Easy and
Using NGS-IQ with Microsoft 365

Posted on August 18, 2022 by Bill Langston

WebRunner is built into NGS-IQ, but maybe you haven't had time to get familiar with IQ Client's HTML formatting features. Read more arrow


Webcast:
Microsoft 365 and IBM Db2 on i

Posted on June 28, 2022 by Bill Langston

Technically, a Microsoft 365 user can connect to Db2 on i through the IBM Access Client Solutions (ACS) ODBC driver. But in practice, few Microsoft 365 users understand their company’s Db2 on i database well enough to join tables, select columns, and format the data they need. Read more arrow


A Different Kind of Software Vulnerability:

Ukraine War, Armenia-Russia Alliance Demands New Thinking
About Offshore IT

Posted on March 3, 2022 by Bill Langston 

Hopefully you’ve eliminated your company’s Log4j risks and improved your security practices. Now, world events strongly point to a different security risk: dependence on offshore IT staffing and offshore software development in nations either at risk of attack or aligned with rogue nations. Read more arrow


Discover the IBM i Ecosystem

Posted on January 10, 2022 by Bill Langston

IBM i is a unique and proven enterprise computing platform. IBM announces software, operating system releases, technology refreshes, and new hardware periodically, but often the specific information you need to complete a task or explain a concept effectively isn’t in those announcement letters. Read more arrow


Understanding the Capabilities
of Your IBM i Job Scheduling Utilities

Posted on September 29, 2021 by Bill Langston

Since the earliest days of OS/400, job scheduling has been practiced in IBM i environments, its functionality improving in recent releases. And while you have a great collection of built-in job scheduling features at your disposal, you can do even more if you license the IBM i Advanced Job Scheduler or a third-party utility. Read more arrow


NGS and Connectria Announce Partnership
to Help IBM i Customers

Posted on July 8, 2021 by Bill Langston

We talk to more and more IBM i customers who are evaluating hybrid cloud, co-location, managed services, and third-party hosting options. Our advice to any NGS customer? Make sure you choose a provider with a successful track record of supporting more than just a few IBM i customers. Read more arrow


The NGS Poem

Posted on April 13, 2021 by Bill Langston


You're here in search of answers, and many files you have,
You join them up, you pick some fields, and then you click a tab. Read more arrow


Query and Report Writing Opened Doors
for the First Generation of Women in Information Technology

Posted on March 10, 2021 by Bill Langston


Today, it’s not hard to find a female IT director or software developer. But as we celebrate Women’s History Month, let's recall that for many years women with a technical skillset and a desire to work in IT were often steered into technical support, training, and frequently, query and report writing. Read more arrow


Growing Your Own Power Users

Posted on January 25, 2021 by Bill Langston

IT Managers, IBM i programmers, and operators often express frustration over the challenge of supporting non-technical software users. Many shops succeed thanks to only one or two non-IT staff members who learn quickly and informally. They become the office “power users.”

What? You don’t think you have any of those kinds of people? We say grow your own. Read more arrow


IBM’s Db2 WebQuery Development Partner Sold

Posted on November 24, 2020 by Bill Langston

Information Builders, Inc. (IBI), the company that IBM has partnered with since 2007 to develop, support, and market IBM DB2 WebQuery, is being acquired by Tibco Software.1 Tibco Software is a big data and analytics software company based in Palo Alto, California. They are privately owned by Vista Equity Partners. To date, we have not found any statements from IBM, IBI, or Tibco regarding how this change in ownership will effect IBM DB2 Web Query. Read more arrow


What the Pending IBM Break Up Might Mean for IBM i on Power

Posted on October 14, 2020 by Bill Langston

IBM has announced plans to spin off its Infrastructure Services business unit in 2021.1 Many IBM i customers have minimal or no experience working with this part of IBM, but the entity, tentatively called “NewCo,” will launch with roughly $19 billion in annual revenue, 4,600 customers, and thousands of employees worldwide. Read more arrow


Web Reporting for NGS-IQ Tutoring

Posted on September 3, 2019 by Bill Langston

Web reporting is an integrated feature of NGS-IQ. That's not new. But from surveys, site visits, and technical support calls, we know that some customers haven't gotten very far with our Web reporting features. These customers tend to fall into three groups. Read more arrow


Building Your Business Case for New Query, Reporting and Analytics Software

Posted on June 17, 2019 by Bill Langston

Often, those benefitting the most from new query, reporting, and analytics software are the ones who need to convince a senior manager to let them invest time in evaluating potential solutions. Read more arrow


COMMON IBM i System Administrator Bootcamp
Fills Important Need

Posted on April 23, 2019 by Bill Langston

We periodically hear from companies running IBM i software applications who are concerned about their future ability to support IBM i. With their in-house expert or small IBM i team nearing retirement age, the pool of technical knowledge is gradually shrinking. Read more arrow


Operational Reporting and Analytics:
All-in-One, or Divide and Conquer?

Posted on February 12, 2019 by Bill Langston

In our experience, a single staff member rarely has the knowledge and skill required for both ETL and data visualization. Managerial, technical, and analytical staff usually team up to complete these steps. NGS highly values this need to work together—our software supports each step but also recognizes the optimal way to modularize functions, allowing people with different skills and job duties to work both as a team and independently. Read more arrow


IBM and Red Hat – What’s It all About?

Posted on November 13, 2018 by Bill Langston

Most people who work on IBM i don’t have much exposure to the LINUX operating system or familiarity with how the LINUX software marketplace is organized. Given that, you might not know what to make of IBM’s plan to pay $34 billion for the software company known as Red Hat. Read more arrow


Overcome Software Support Phobia

Posted on August 14, 2018 by Bill Langston

Every time NGS product specialists spend time with new users, we encourage them to call our technical support hotline or use our online incident reporting system when they have questions. We spend a lot of time training non-technical, business users of our query, reporting, and financial software, and many of them tell us they never knew they had those options. Yes—they, and you, do.

Just as frequently, we discover people whose encounters with other vendors have caused them to develop a disabling condition we’ll call “software support phobia” (SSP). Read more arrow


Power from Versatility

Posted on June 26, 2018 by Bill Langston

One of the most interesting aspects of meeting with NGS-IQ customers is seeing all of the different ways people use the software. It’s a testament to the versatility of NGS-IQ that it can help users satisfy such different requirements. Read more arrow


Structured Query Language (SQL) and
Query/Reporting Software—
A Marriage of Convenience

Posted on May 7, 2018 by Bill Langston

Through the years, IBM has steadily enhanced Structure Query Language (SQL) for the IBM i environment and encouraged software developers to use SQL to define and manipulate their DB2 on i database. Read more arrow


IBM Power Finds Its Place in the Cloud

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Bill Langston

Technology vendors and consultants love to invent and use new terminology to differentiate their products and expertise. In recent years, I’d argue the most frequently used and redefined term in the computing industry is “cloud.” There is a lot to know and not all clouds or providers are alike. We encourage you to attend this Webinar and learn what's possible. Read more arrow


Finding an Audience

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Bill Langston

As a software vendor focused exclusively on the IBM i market, we often read or hear IBM i IT professionals complain about IBM marketing or the way competing vendors have managed to surround and discredit IBM i in their company. The general theme of most these discussions is that IBM i is the Rodney Dangerfield of computing platforms. We understand the sentiment, but our perspective on it might surprise you. Read more arrow


Enterprise Software and Real Estate—Surprisingly Similar

Posted on October 13, 2017 by Bill Langston

The region where NGS is based is growing rapidly and experiencing a real estate boom. Of course, every buyer needs a seller and nearly every seller must become a buyer. For long-time residents of this area, rising home prices mean that the price of buying a smaller home is very likely equal to or greater than the price of selling a larger one; buying a new home comparable in size to the one being sold will cost substantially more. Read more arrow


IBM User Groups: COMMON and SHARE

Posted on August 23, 2017 by Bill Langston

As you may know, COMMON is the largest IBM user group providing education to IT professionals who work on IBM POWER systems. SHARE is a similarly organized user group for IT professionals working on the IBM Z or “mainframe” platform. A friend at another company recently mentioned they were attending the SHARE conference. That casual comment lead me to do some research. Read more arrow


There Is Still Time to Learn

Posted on July 11, 2017 by Bill Langston

NGS customers who are current on maintenance can take advantage of a variety of valuable, free, and educational offerings. These offerings include online tutoring sessions, share and learn Webinars, on demand videos, and even onsite product reviews with NGS product specialists traveling in your area. Most of these offerings only require an hour or two of your time. I hope you or your coworkers have taken advantage of some of these services and found them very helpful. Read more arrow


IQ Client + WebRunner: Bridge Builder

 Posted on September 15, 2016 by Bill Langston

Are you an NGS-IQ query developer who hasn’t had time to get familiar with our Web reporting features? You’ve probably seen us demonstrate WebRunner and IQ Client’s HTML design features, but up to now, your company has left Web software development and support in the hands of a separate person or team that views your IBM i environment as an uncharted island, best avoided. Maybe you feel the same way about that team’s strangely named Web servers, languages, and development tools. There’s a lot to be gained by connecting these islands. Read more arrow


What Is the Cloud?

 Posted on August 3, 2016 by Bill Langston

IBM, Oracle, HP, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, SAP, and virtually every other major technology company want you and your company to use their cloud. Each quarter, these companies release new products and acquire companies to bolster their cloud offerings and grow their cloud revenue. Industry analysts forecast remarkable growth in cloud spending. Yet, global spending on information technology has been nearly flat for several years now and Gartner expects it to remain that way for the rest of this decade. So what is the source of all this cloud growth? Read more arrow


Perceptions Aren’t Reality Until Your Data
Says So

 Posted on May 12, 2016 by Bill Langston

In the 1980’s a political consultant coined the phrase “perception is reality,” and over the past 30 years that phrase has become widely used and accepted in both business and social settings to help explain or justify behavior. But in fact, perceptions we can’t verify through data provide a very weak foundation on which to make business and personal decisions. Read more arrow


IBM i ERP Migration—Exit with Caution

Posted on April 6, 2016 by Bill Langston

Many NGS customers run customized or internally developed enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Given how long many of these ERP systems have been in place, it’s no surprise that every year a few customers tell us they are actively looking for a new system or have already begun a migration that their company expects to complete in the coming year or two. Read more arrow


Essential, Invisible Enterprises and IBM i

Posted on February 19, 2016 by Bill Langston

NGS supports customers of all sizes and across all industries. These companies create, distribute, and provide products and services that we all rely on or consume on a daily basis – engine parts, steel, agricultural products, snack foods, pest control services, groceries, medical devices, containers, tools, paint, lighting, carpet, newspapers, clothes, healthcare services, tires, financial services, sporting goods, education, and on and on. The bond they share is their decision to run their core business on IBM i. Read more arrow


Qport Office for IBM Query/400 Users—
Really, There’s No Catch

Posted on February 5, 2016 by Bill Langston

Most of us have a strong degree of skepticism about how companies market their products and services. We see “FREE!” and our eyes narrow and our minds say, “Don’t believe it!” Often that caution is warranted, but every once in a while, it isn’t. NGS’s offer of Qport Office is one of those rare times. Read more arrow


Virtual Education Overcomes the Time, Cost and Travel Barrier

Posted on November 17, 2015 by Bill Langston

We regularly hear customers say they need and want ongoing education but can’t leave their office to attend a conference, user group meeting, or training class. This problem might be due to job duties, budget, or family obligations. We certainly understand. Read more arrow


Social Media and the Enterprise IT Professional

Posted on November 3, 2015 by Bill Langston

We’re contacted every day by companies who tell us we should hire them to help us gain a competitive advantage and reach new customers through social media. These consultants and vendors say it’s critical for us to have a strong presence on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. because social media is where our customers and potential customers are spending their time and seeking information. It’s an interesting theory, but our experience tells us this isn’t the case. Read more arrow


“NGS Customer Success Program” = Education
AND ≠ Selling

 Posted on October 20, 2015 by Bill Langston

NGS devotes considerable resources to sending product specialists into the field to meet face to face with our customers.  We initiated this effort, which we call our “Customer Success” program, several years ago to proactively connect with new users who have often never received training and with long-time users who are increasingly wearing multiple hats and spending less time keeping up with new releases. Read more arrow


The Value in Developing New Skills at Every Age

Posted on September 24, 2015 by Bill Langston

From time to time, nearly all of us resist or postpone developing new skills and learning how to take advantage of new technology. This can be especially true as we age, even among information technology professionals who have had long and successful careers in an ever changing environment. Read more arrow


IBM i, iSeries, AS/400, System i—What Do You Search For?

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Bill Langston

If you use Google to search for information related to IBM i, what terms and product names do you enter?  IBM i, iSeries, System i, AS/400?  Google's own search statistics indicate pretty clearly that many people still use them all.  As software vendors, we must know what words and phrases people search on because we want our own information and search advertising to appear frequently. Read more arrow


It’s Just Another Day, But Do You Know What Your Reports Are Doing?

Posted on August 24, 2015 by Bill Langston (MC Press)

Programmers are taught early in their career to simplify program maintenance by carefully documenting their work. Companies invest significant time and money developing business continuity and disaster recovery plans in the hope they can minimize risk and reduce recovery time if the enterprise is threatened. But many of these same organizations never document their reports and reporting processes. Knowledge of these practices is frequently overlooked until the environment changes and someone stops receiving a report or file they rely on to monitor and guide their daily operations. That's a bit too late. Read more arrow

Posted in Enterprise Software | Comments

twitter logoFollow us on Twitter.

Categories

arrowAnalytics (5)
arrowDeveloper Tips (3)
arrowEducation (26)
arrowEnterprise Software (19)
arrowIBM i Marketplace (15)
arrowBusiness Partners (1)

Recent Posts

Archives

Subscribe to our blog

How we protect your information