If you manage and support an IBM i environment for your employer or clients, 2022 has been one of the busiest in recent memory. Over the past six months, IBM has delivered new Power 10 servers, IBM i release 7.5, eliminated license fees on a long list of commonly used IBM i utilities, unveiled a new subscription pricing plan for small customers, and announced the Merlin application development solution. If that isn’t enough, it announced IBM i 7.5 TR1 and another TR for 7.4 in October.
However, not every IBM announcement or new software application matters equally to every IBM i customer. And for some, by the time they're ready to tackle the news, IBM has moved on to its next topic.
You have a lot to study, analyze, and integrate into your company’s business plans. So before year-end responsibilities and holiday events consume your attention, we encourage you to watch the on demand video playback of our Webinar with Datanational Corporation, where we discussed these recent IBM i announcements.
NGS thanks Derrick Smith of Datanational Corporation for his valuable participation in this video. Datanational Corporation is one of IBM’s oldest, most trusted, and skilled business partners in North America. Derrick and Datanational Corporation have engaged with many IBM Power Systems companies in the delivery of technology solutions, including enterprise infrastructure modernization, resiliency strategies, disaster recovery, cloud-based data protection, business continuity and cyber-attacks.
NGS develops and supports the NGS-IQ query and analytics software, but everyone we support relies on IBM Power and IBM i. We hope this presentation expands your understanding of IBM’s 2022 announcements and helps you guide your company or clients wisely.
WebRunner is built into NGS-IQ, but maybe you haven't had time to get familiar with IQ Client's HTML formatting features.
During this presentation, you'll see five new queries with HTML formatting that we'd like to help you install and run on your own system. We'll also demonstrate using Qport Access with Microsoft OneDrive and WebRunner to link Microsoft SharePoint users to their favorite queries. 55 minutes.
When Microsoft delivers a new way to do something, it often becomes an industry-standard practice - especially if it uses a feature of the Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) product line. The company introduced Power Query as an add-in to Excel in 2010. From there, Microsoft continued to improve and incorporate this technology:
Power Query can access a variety of common data sources through a proprietary Microsoft scripting language called M (short for "mashup"). When you use the Power Query Editor in an Excel workbook to transform and load data, an M script is embedded in the workbook.
So technically, a Microsoft 365 user can connect to Db2 on i through the IBM Access Client Solutions (ACS) ODBC driver. The ODBC driver is included in IBM ACS’ platform-specific package for Windows, and Microsoft’s architecture makes these assumptions:
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. They often require extensive technical support which grows if you provide the software to more people.
If your company runs on IBM i and has Microsoft 365 users who need to see, visualize, and share operational data, we encourage you to watch our video where we discuss the challenges of using Power Query and present our NGS-IQ as a possible alternative.
Check out our webcast from April 27, where we discuss these topics:
In this webcast, learn why so many IBM i customers choose NGS-IQ as their path forward from IBM Query/400 and alternative to Db2 Web Query or other solutions.
We cover the integration and end-user features of the software and show examples of NGS-IQ web reporting:
At the end of the video, we explain the terms of our 40th anniversary promotion.
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.
You may be dependent on offshore resources even if you don’t have contracts or staff members overseas. Well-known software vendors, including some with applications that run on IBM i, have development teams in the Baltics, Ukraine, Armenia, and other at-risk countries. Until recently, the location of these resources may have seemed irrelevant. Now, it is something you may want to ask your vendors to disclose. It’s certainly something to weigh when evaluating new applications for your enterprise.
All NGS product development and technical support are located in the United States.
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.
Fortunately, a very active, informal, global ecosystem of IBM i experts enjoy providing that type of in-depth assistance. Some of the best-known IBM i experts are IBM Business Partners, but many are volunteers who simply love sharing their knowledge. Whether it’s programmers helping others on the midrange.com forum, talented teachers like Simon Hutchinson documenting SQL tips on the RPGPGM.com blog, Torbjörn Appehl updating news through his free, daily newsletter called “Built on Power,” or one of the many others, the IBM i ecosystem is there to help.
Regional user groups like OCEAN in Southern California, the Long Island System User Group, the Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professional Association, or a national user group like COMMON also contribute to the IBM i ecosystem (often at little or no cost).
NGS maintains an IBM i resources page to help you locate the best IBM i websites, blogs, white papers, and user groups. As you begin 2022, we hope you’ll visit this resource page frequently to find the links to the best sites in the ever-changing IBM i ecosystem.
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