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“AS400” and “green screen” have become synonyms now, and you will get various articles and blogs out there describing the platform – but none of them paint a simple and easy-to-remember picture for the audience. All the information about AS400 is very disorganized and hence difficult to consume or comprehend for a non-technical business reader.

 In this blog, we have deeply analyzed the IBM AS400, i.e., apart from its “green screen” identity, and brought together a lot of different pieces of information on AS400 – so that when you finish reading this blog – you leave better informed. Also, the blog is written by keeping CIOs, CEOs, CTOs, IT developers, and vendors in mind, who think of it still being a green screen software. This single thought has wasted millions of dollars on failed projects, and to some people, has cost their job.

 What Actually AS400 is?

IBM AS400 or IBM iSeries or IBMi is an application server used by large organizations because of its proven scalability, security, robustness, and low cost of ownership (TCO – Total cost of ownership) compared to IBM mainframe (IBM z) Every company that used AS400 wants to reap the benefits of its large volume data storage capacity and valuable information stored in it. Also, the introduction of new technologies forces companies to modernize AS400 systems and harness more excellent value. However, due to some limitations, companies face more significant challenges to update the AS400 systems. 

But in the case of AS/400 systems, IBM does not charge customers based on transactions, i.e. (MIPS – Million Instructions per Second), instead it is a sunk cost. In simple words, it’s not that difficult or expensive to modernize the AS400 systems, and the updated version will deliver benefits like – reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), transparency in hidden data, and increased system responsiveness while delivering enduring business value. The footprints of AS400 are extensive in the IT landscape. Several technologies and supporting software are involved in the process; a one-stop solution provider for AS400 modernization is likely to succeed. 

History of the IBM AS/400

Three decades is a very long time for technology to stay in this competitive world.

The year 1988 was significant in terms of technology when IBM launched AS400 and they have not looked back. AS400 or Application System 400 is very popular among companies that require robustness and scalability on their part. The operating system of AS400 is known by various names like iSeries, OS/400, etc. Like everyone else, we like the original name because it shows what is unique in the system. And, that specialty is –The OS is application-centric and not processor centric. 

In 1979, there was a minicomputer launched by IBM, and they named it System/38. This was for business and departmental use and launched as a complete product line. Different architectures of System/38 were: System/3, System/32, System/34, and System/36. After the launch of this, IBM realized that for thousands of programs written in legacy code, compatibility is the key for uncountable programs developed on legacy code. They released AS400 in 1988. The AS/400 is equipped with a legacy OS: Operating system 400, that enabled the programs written for the older system (System/34 and 36) to move to AS400. 

In the year 2000, the AS400 was named the IBM iSeries. And again, in the year 2006, it was renamed as IBM system i. Furthermore, two years later (2008), the Systemi and p product lines were combined, and now the new product line is known as IBM power systems. Moreover, the operating system was renamed from OS400 to i5/OS and finally to IBM i.


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