05 July 2013

IBM i is celebrating 25 years


IBM i 25 years


April 2012 IBM introduced PureSystems – built on the all-new Flex System components – creating a new category of “expert integrated system” that strives to offer the simplicity of management and integration of the AS/400 and IBM i, while supporting the breadth of virtualized multi-OS environments that have developed over the last two decades.

IBM PureFlex System offers a single point of control with the Flex System Manager, while supporting both x86 and POWER architectures, a range of hypervisors including PowerVM, KVM, VMware and Hyper-V, and applications across Windows, Linux, AIX, and of course, IBM i. PureFlex essentially allows you to get the best of both worlds: a fully integrated environment for both your IBM i and x86 applications.

This week, IBM is announcing their new IBM PureFlex Solution for IBM i, which is a specially packaged and priced solution for small and midsized IBM i clients. It’s ideal for companies that want to run IBM i on our expert integrated systems, but also want to fully integrate and manage their x86 compute nodes in the same chassis.

So, congratulations and happy 25th birthday to IBM i, and happy first birthday to its integrated descendant, IBM PureSystems.


To read more, check out the IBM PureFlex Solution for IBM i website: www.ibm.com/systems/flex/i/bto/index.html.




 IBM Strategy and Directions:

 IBM i 7.1 Overview:

 Power Systems:


 Video Overview:




An overview of the iSeries and AS/400 systems




A video series that talks about the history of AS400 Systems:


The IBM iSeries (known as AS/400) is a highly integrated, reliable server platform that allows businesses to run multiple operating environments simultaneously. Their integrity and security characteristics allow them to be used in many critical applications.

RPG has evolved from being a simple Report Program Generator, (from which it got its name) into a powerful application development procedural language on iSeries machines. Currently it is supported on the ILE (Integrated Language Environment) on iSeries.

Host servers handle requests from client PCs or other devices running an application as illustrated in Figure AS400 server architecture to enable printing a document and other tasks. The iSeries and AS/400 computers are full function servers capable of performing many tasks at once, including file, database, applications, mail, print, multimedia, fax and wireless communications. Each task server runs as a separate job on the system, and each server job sends and receives data streams on a socket connection.

One of these host servers is the Remote Command and Distributed program call server. This server runs the programs on an iSeries or AS/400 system.

IBM's Toolbox for JAVA has a multitude of packages that handle different functionalities. For example, Access classes manage sign-on information, create and maintain socket connections, and send and receive data, while Command Call classes run iSeries and AS/400 batch commands.

IBM's iSeries adapter uses the Access classes, and Program Call classes to call the RPG program. Data conversion classes provide the capability to convert numeric and character data between iSeries or AS/400 and Java formats.


 Overview of AS/400 client - server architecture

While OS/400 running on an AS/400 is capable of handling many types of tasks, the iSeries adapter only uses the Remote Command and Distributed program call server. This server runs the programs on the AS/400 system.

A diagram of the iSeries adapter connection of the client to the server is shown in diagram below.

 Diagram of the iSeries adapter's connections

Data queues

The data queues on iSeries allow fast communications between jobs. Therefore, it is an excellent way to synchronize and pass data between jobs. With data queues on iSeries:

  • Many jobs can simultaneously access the data queues
  • Messages on a data queue are free format
  • The data queue can be used for either synchronous or asynchronous processing
  • The messages on a data queue can be ordered in one of the following ways:
    • Last-in first-out (LIFO)
    • First-in first-out (FIFO)
    • Keyed

Each message on a keyed data queue has a key associated with it. A message can be taken off the queue only by specifying the key that is associated with it.


The Next 25 Years


While IBM is now celebrating 25 years of the AS/400, it isn't resting on its laurels. There is a planned IBM i 7.2 release set for next year as development and innovation on the platform continue.

One of the areas where IBM expects IBM i to grow is on the PureSystems portfolio. The IBM PureSystems approach itself is an integrated, storage, compute, networking and applications stack.

"PureSystems gives us the ability to run IBM i and Windows workloads or Linux on x86 workloads very efficiently together," IBM said.

From the day that AS/400 debuted 25 years ago to the modern day, IBM stressed that a key component of the architecture is that it has a technology-independent machine interface.

"Effectively what that does is it protects you from technology change," IBM said. "It's difficult to predict the future, except to say that in next 25 years the technology underneath IBM i will fundamentally change."

The promise of the IBM i is that it is able to change as underlying hardware changes. It's a promise that could see the platform survive for the next 25 years.

IBM Quote:

"I'm very confident given that we made a big promise of technology independence 25 years ago with the AS/400 and we delivered on that promise, I'm very confident that people will be running IBM i applications 25 years from now."





IBM I COMMONS Community:




For more information please contact me at:

Drs. Albert Spijkers
DBA Consulting
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