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AS/400 Software & Systems

In 1988 International Business Machines (IBM) rolled out the AS/400 computer system. It was revolutionary at the time with an integrated hardware, operating system (OS/400) and core functions that included a proprietary database. Through the AS/400 lifespan the hardware and software have evolved into today's IBM i Systems and iSeries before that.

Today's AS400 SOFTWARE GUIDE for IBM i, iSeries & AS400 Systems

The IBM System i now includes an extensive library-based operating system, IBM i, and is also capable of supporting multiple instances of AIX, Linux, Lotus Domino, Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. While IBM i, AIX, Linux and Lotus Domino are supported on the POWER processors, Windows is supported with either single-processor internal blade servers (IXS) or externally linked multiple-processor servers (IXA and iSCSI). iSCSI also provides support for attachment of IBM Bladecenters. Windows, Linux, and VMware ESX(VI3) are supported on iSCSI attached servers.
 
Midland encourages companies to download and compare AS400 software products, because it is important to know what you are buying before it is too late.

Please contact us to schedule a product demonstration, download AS400 software trials or to get prices for budgeting.

 
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Security and Data Protection Solutions

Industry leading IBM AS400 Software for IBM i, iSeries and AS400 System security, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), SIEM and SYSLOG forwarding, DB2 database encryption, Privileged Access Management (PAM), Password Self-Service (PSS), Ticket System integration like ServiceNow, Big Data Analytics Integration like Elastic, High Availability, Disaster Recovery, disparate platform and database replication and conversion tools for MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL, DB2, Oracle, Informix, Sybase and Teradata. Midland is a Platinum AS400 software and service provider for enterprises requiring turnkey solutions that reduce IT costs. Choosing the best of breed AS400 software is as important as choosing a reliable solution provider for implementation, training and support.

AS400 Software for Security Access Controls

Securing exit point access to the AS400, DB2 database file and commands is critical where sensitive data rests. The AS400 has many access paths in which must be audited and secured for various internal and external access vulnerabilities, threats and regulatory compliance requirements. We provide a variety of AS400 security tools to secure AS400 exit point access using exit programs, DB2 Access and Changes, Command Controls, Port Security and Multi-Factor Authentication to ensure your security policies are being enforced, and industry leading reporting technologies to satisfy auditors and event log forwarding and integration tools for SIEM and ticketing systems.

Encryption, Masking, Scrambling and Tokenization

Any AS400 DB2 database file with sensitive data should be encrypted or have a similar data protection mechanism in place to mask or hide the original data. AS400 encryption using AES256 algorithm is the safest and most accepted security measure for protecting sensitive data at rest. If variables or other circumstances exist where some DB2 fields cannot use encryption and a compensating control is approved for masking, scrambling or tokenization, we have all the tools necessary to protect your AS400 database in one suite of data protection tools. Our AS400 encryption software is validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for IBM i AES database encryption. Encryption software includes a key management system and supports third party OASIS KMIP-compliant key management solutions.

Auditing, SIEM and Ticket System Integration Software

The AS400 system has many different event log sources that contain security, operational, performance and application event details that may be required to identify and isolate critical incidents, which may need to be incorporated into your corporate SIEM or Ticketing System. Our AS400 software can automatically format and forward event logs in real-time from the follow log sources for integration with key infrastructure tools: QAUDJRN (system security journal), QHST (history log), DB2 Database (journals), Application Server logs (network access), Commands, SQL Statements, Message Queues (history, subsystems, traces), Open Source tools (like JSON, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Open Query, XCOM), Socket Exit Programs (secured ports), Privilege Access Management (profile swap, adopted authorities and other elevated authority events), MFA, Static data (user profile, system values, authorities, objects and IFS properties), Performance data (CPU, memory, disk, jobs) and Flat Files (HTTP, 3rd party applications)

Our AS400 software can integrate with any SIEM, SYSLOG Server, Ticketing System or other monitoring tools that support and ingest the following event log formats: JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), Log Event Extended Format (LEEF), Common Event Format (CEF), LogRhythm SIEM (LOGR), Generic Message Format (GENR), User Defined Format USRD), SYSLOG Message Format (RFC5424). Some third-party plug and play AS400 integrations include Splunk, QRadar, LogRhythm, DataDog, ArcSight, SolarWinds, AlienVault, Exabeam, ServiceNow Discovery and other tools used for security and operations monitoring, using certified APIs or supported formats that enables immediate integration to display dashboards, run reports and trigger alerts.

Database Replication, Conversion, Migration and ETL Projects

Our database replication tools can convert data to and from almost any database format on different OS and hardware platforms, and keep the disparate databases synchronized in real time and without locking source or target database files. Our database replication software updates the remote target database like any other insert, update and delete operation. There are many use cases for replicating a production database to a different database type for long term analytics, reporting and ETL projects, or one-time conversion projects to migrate to a new database platform. No matter the business case, most will require uninterruptable access to the production and target database. Our database replication and conversion software allows applications and users to access and update both production and target database files without disruption.

Disaster Recovery and High Availability Software

The AS400’s exceptional reliability is not a scapegoat for companies to not take necessary precautions to implement a business continuity plan. Ensuring mission critical applications remain available in the event of planned and unplanned downtime events will undoubtedly save a company money in the long run. Unplanned disasters are typically not the costliest or even common TCO measurement. Availability events that cause the most disruptions and affect business continuity on a AS400 system, are almost always related to planned downtime events. With the exception of IBM z Mainframe systems, IBM i Power and AS400 Systems have ranked number one in availability for 12 years in a row according to the ITIC. In fact, the most recent Global Server Hardware Server OS Reliability statistics results show the IBM Power system platform averaged only 1.54 minutes of unplanned downtime per server as a result flaws in IBM hardware.

 


AS400 HISTORY

The IBM System i, then known as the AS/400, was the continuation of the System/38 database machine architecture (announced by IBM in October 1978 and delivered in August 1979). The AS/400 removed capability-based addressing. The AS/400 added source compatibility with the System/36 combining the two primary computers manufactured by the IBM Rochester plant. The System/36 was IBM's most successful mini-computer but the architecture had reached its limit. The first AS/400 systems (known by the development code names Silverlake and Olympic) were delivered in 1988 under the tag line "Best of Both Worlds" and the product line has been refreshed continually since then. Guy Dehond from Inventive Designers was one of the beta-testers of Silverlake. The programmers who worked on OS/400, the operating system of the AS/400, did not have a UNIX background. Dr Frank Soltis, the chief architect, says that this is the main difference between this and any other operating system.
 
The AS/400 was one of the first general-purpose computer systems to attain a C2 security rating from the NSA (Gould UTX/C2, a UNIX-based system was branded in 1986[6]), and in 1995 was extended to employ a 64-bit processor and operating system.
 
The 1995 change-over from 48 to 64-bit required that all programs be 'observable', i.e. that the debugging information had not been stripped out of the compiled code. This caused problems for those who had bought third-party products that had no source and no observability. In 2008, the introduction of V6R1 caused similar problems, although this time IBM preferred to call it a "refresh".
 
In 2000 IBM renamed the AS/400 to iSeries, as part of its e-Server branding initiative. The product line was further extended in 2004 with the introduction of the i5 servers, the first to use the IBM POWER5 processor. The architecture of the system allows for future implementation of 128-bit processors when they become available.
 
Although announced in 1988, the AS/400 remains IBM's most recent major architectural shift that was developed wholly internally. Since the arrival of Lou Gerstner in 1993, IBM has viewed such colossal internal developments as too risky. Instead, IBM now prefers to make key product strides through acquisition (e.g., the takeovers of Lotus Software and Rational Software) and to support the development of open standards, particularly Linux. It is noteworthy that after the departure of CEO John Akers in 1993, when IBM looked likely to be split up, Bill Gates commented that the only part of IBM that Microsoft would be interested in was the AS/400 division. (At the time, many of Microsoft's business and financial systems ran on the AS/400 platform, something that ceased to be the case around 1999, with the introduction of Windows 2000.
 

Logical PARtitioning

LPAR (Logical PARtitioning), a feature introduced from IBM's mainframe computers, facilitates running multiple operating systems simultaneously on one IBM System i unit. A system configured with LPAR can run various operating systems on separate partitions while ensuring that one OS cannot run over the memory or resources of another. Each LPAR is given a portion of system resources (memory, hard disk space, and CPU time) via a system of weights that determines where unused resources are allocated at any given time. The operating systems supported (and commonly used) under the LPAR scheme are IBM i, AIX, and Linux.

DB2

Other features include an integrated DB2 database management system, a menu-driven interface, multi-user support, non-programmable terminals (IBM 5250) and printers, security, communications, client–server and web-based applications. Much of the software necessary to run the IBM System i is included and integrated into the base operating system.

Common Client-Server Support

The IBM System i also supports common client–server systems such as ODBC and JDBC for accessing its database from client software such as Java, Microsoft .NET languages and others.
 

AS400 Programming

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

Integrated Language Environment

The ILE (Integrated Language Environment) programming environment allows programs from ILE compatible languages (C, C++, COBOL, RPG, Fortran, and CL), to be bound into the same executable and call procedures written in any of the other ILE languages.
 
The IBM System i fully supports the Java language, including 32- and 64-bit Java Virtual Machines (JVM).
Commands in the Control Language (CL) are promptable using the keyboard F4 function key, and most provide cursor-sensitive help to make specifying command parameters simpler. All command names and parameter keywords are based upon uniform standardized and mostly 3-letter abbreviations for verbs and subjects, making for easy rendering and interpretation by the application developer, as opposed to other operating systems with often cryptic or inconsistent command names for related functions or command parameter switches. For instance, the parameter keyword to apply a text description to any object to be created or changed is spelled the same way for all such commands.
 
Examples:
 
  • CRTUSRPRF, DSPUSRPRF, CHGUSRPRF, DLTUSRPRF - create, display, change, and delete user profile
  • CRTLIB, DSPLIB, CHGLIB, DLTLIB - Create, display, change and delete a library
  • ADDLIBLE, RMVLIBLE, CHGLIBL - Add or remove library list entry or change library list
  • CPYF, CRTF, DSPF, CHGF, DLTF - Copy, create, display, change, and delete file
  • WRKACTJOB - Work with Active Jobs
  • WRKSYSSTS - Work with System Status
  • STRSST, STRPASTHR, STRSBS - Start System Service Tools, start pass through (remote login), start subsystem
  • VRYCFG - Vary configuration, bring interfaces up or down
  • PWRDWNSYS - Power Down System
  • WRKSPLF - Work with spooled files

    For traditional business programming languages such as RPG, COBOL, and C, the IBM System i provides an interface to the integrated database that allows these languages to treat database tables much like other platforms treat ISAM or VSAM files.
Support for 5250 display operations is provided via display files, an interface between workstations, keyboards and displays, and interactive applications, as opposed to batch processing with little or no user interaction. ASCII terminals and PC workstations are equally and well supported, also via internet or LAN network access supplemented by either IBM or non-IBM communication software, for example TELNET or TELNET 5250.
IBM systems may also come with programming and development software like Programming Development Manager.

AS400 DATABASES

Distributed file and relational database services
In 1986, System/38 announced support for Distributed Data Management Architecture (DDM). This enabled programs to create, manage, and access record-oriented files on remote System/36, System/38, and IBM mainframe systems running CICS. This support was extended into the AS/400 and its follow-ons. It was enhanced to support additional services that had been defined by DDM and to support AS/400-specific extensions, as allowed by DDM.
In 1990, the AS/400 announced support for Distributed Relational Database Architecture, which is based on DDM.
 
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