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How To Turbocharge Integration Modernization For IBM i Solutions?

by | Jul 5, 2022 | IBM i, IBM i Modernization

In the age of digital transformation, modernization and technical innovations are continuously in demand across almost all enterprise tech layers and applications. Surprisingly, though, many companies still consider improving IBM i solutions to be a top priority. They decide to modernize fundamental activities first since their effectiveness is important to their business. In this regard, businesses prefer to use the low-code platform that plays a vital role in modernizing the existing application or creating new apps.

Low-code platform vendors want their clients to be able to deliver software entirely without ever handling very much code. In some cases, especially when developing simple applications, this can boost productivity. However, there may be instances where you need to use both traditional and low-code development strategies to offer the best results. However, to connect your IBM i solutions to the modern world, the use of the Visual LANSA hybrid low-code platform is one of the best choices.

In this article, we will discuss how to get turbocharged integration for IBM i solutions.

What are the IBM solutions, and what are they used for?

For its AS/400 series of systems, IBM originally developed the well-known IBM i operating system. The original name of this IBM i solution was the OS/400. In 2004, IBM changed the name of this solution to i5/OS, but in 2008 it experienced another name change to become IBM i. Its name begins with an ‘i’ that signifies “integrated” systems.

The IBM i, iSeries, System i or AS/400 (sometimes known as just “the 400”) platform is popular for running integrated applications. These are the line of midrange computers, where “AS” stands for “Application System,” introduced in 1988. IBM developed the AS/400 to replace the System/36 and System/38 platforms. When the OS/400 operating system AS/400 midrange computers were introduced, they achieved great success in the computer market, mainly due to their better performance and lower cost than their predecessors.

What are the benefits of the IBM i AS400 architecture?

This powerful solution had specific benefits at its time:

  • It offers a high level of security.
  • It requires minimum or no maintenance.
  • It emphasizes service quality and availability. Moreover, it executes a core line of business applications securely and reliably.
  • It provides one of the lowest TCO in terms of integrated on-premises solutions.
  • The AS/400 has had virtualization capabilities since 1999.

What are the key principles of IBM i AS400 architecture?

The AS400 IBM architecture offers five important features that form the basis of this platform and its ultimate large market success.

  1. Technology Independence
  2. Software integration
  3. Object-based design
  4. Single-level store
  5. Hardware integration

You can also explore more information about all features in detail from our previous article: What is IBM i?

Why do IBM I solutions need modernized integration?

The AS400 was a good solution for enterprise computing needs in the 1980s and 1990s. That is the main reason why so many businesses decided to become IBM shops. However, the IBM i AS400 confronts many challenges in meeting the demands of modern corporate technology.

The IBM i applications have built up mountains of technical debt over time, suffered from poor reuse, an unmanageable web of point-to-point interfaces, and, last but not least, an outdated green screen UI. So, these issues are widespread in businesses that use on-premises legacy systems like the AS/400; in these companies, extending and maintaining legacy system capabilities occupies most of the IT resources, leaving little time for innovation.

Additionally, IT businesses are finding it difficult to afford the time and resources required to maintain legacy systems due to the quick adoption of new technologies (such as SaaS, mobile, and IoT). The fact that there are more requests for data from legacy systems and that many of the professionals skilled at using these systems are retiring. In other words, legacy IBM i solutions frequently make it increasingly challenging for IT to support business goals.

Learn more about what came before today’s existing IBM i applications in this article about IBM S 36.

How do you can modernize your integration for IBM i solutions?

visual lansa bankingCompanies that employ the AS400 are not the only ones who seek to modernize their legacy applications to better serve the needs of modern businesses. The following elements are required for modernizing IBM iSeries solutions:

What can a modernized integration solution offer?

A good integrator solution simplifies exchanging data between applications and transferring files and documents between businesses. It enables bi-directional flows of data and/or files in almost any format. A good integrator solution is strategic middleware that provides tools and services to enable:

  • Application-to-application data exchanges.
  • Business-to-business document transfer and data interchanges.
  • Automating manual business data integration.
  • Simplified ata integration solution design and reduced development effort.

How can I improve Customer Experience or modernize our UI?

Users may want a modern user experience (UX) for both mobile and web clients. Visual LANSA’s unmatched hybrid low-code development platform enables the rapid building, deployment, and operation of the apps that make your business run. Eliminate silos between IT and development. You can use some good modernization tools to transform the green screens of IBM i applications into a modernized UI.

A low-code, quick application development solution is Visual LANSA which allows for the development of enterprise-grade mobile, web, and desktop applications. With the help of LANSA’s platform, hundreds of businesses have completed IBM i modernization projects over the years. Furthermore, businesses of all sizes may develop new apps from scratch or integrate them with other components of their IT infrastructure using their existing development resources.

How can I modernize our databases?

Modernization tools like LANSA Composer includes a powerful visual mapping tool for defining data transformations that can be directly integrated into your business processes. Simply map data points between source(s) and target(s).

  • EXTRACT INFORMATION from corporate databases to send as XML, EDI, and other document formats to trading partners
  • TRANSFORM INCOMING data files and write directly to your database for processing by existing applications, and much more.
  • EDI SUPPORT with many of the common EDIFACT and X12 mappings is already preloaded.
  • EASY-TO-USE drag-and-drop graphical user interface for point-and-click data transformation mapping.

Is incremental modernization an option?

Whether you’re looking for more efficiency and modernization in your current IBM i 5250 application or simply in the market for a tool that envelopes simplicity, speed, and migration, and is easily scalable with the right tools.

The Rapid Application Modernization Process (RAMP) is a technique and solution of incremental modernization that incorporates the best features of both refacing existing applications and new development. Within RAMP’s application framework, you can have the applications that you want without having to throw everything away by integrating various functionality with new capabilities.

How can IBM i solutions connect to the modern world using LANSA IBM i modernization tools?

LANSA incorporates several powerful tools as mentioned above, including several advanced features that are specifically designed for modernizing the IBM i platform. These IBM i modernization tools make the modernization of IBM i apps and related systems as simple as possible.

The aXes tool is popular for modernizing the IBM i solutions. It automates the development of IBM i apps that support the web. Moreover, it enables businesses to quickly convert their existing IBM i 5250 apps into modernized web pages without changing the source code.

If you want to connect your IBM i solutions to the modern world, in this case, LANSA modernization tools will help you.

Learn more about the different strategies you can use on this article on IBM i AS400 application modernization.

Get in touch with us to start utilizing Visual LANSA for your app development and modernization needs.