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Do you want to secure your JDA software solutions investment while also increasing your company’s business agility? You can accomplish this by having JDA professionals manage, oversee, and maintain your JDA solutions.

JDA Cloud Services reduce development and deployment time and risk while allowing you to quickly and effectively deploy additional capabilities to meet business requirements.

You will profit greatly from solutions that are designed for your specific company requirements with your JDA software application running in the cloud and updates included in your service to ensure that you accomplish and maintain a long-term return on your investment.

Read ahead to learn what JDA software solutions is, and discover the various capabilities and advantages it brings along for your business requirements.

What Is JDA Software Solutions?

JDA software solutions is an information technology consulting firm that focuses on selling products and services of supply chain management to organizations. Currently, its clientele list includes companies from the automobile, food and beverage, and retail industries.

JDA’s software is designed with the objective of assisting its customers to save expenses, boost revenue, shorten execution times, and improve the efficiency of the supply chain. JDA products handle the complexities within distribution, scheduling, demand, collaboration, and delivery as the consumer marketplace evolves by incorporating real-time market metrics concerning buyer purchase intent.

JDA software applications can be acquired independently based on specific needs or in categories depending on the most appropriate industry segment.

JDA’s supply chain products are classified into three categories:

  • Solutions for manufacturing and distribution
  • Solutions for retail
  • Solutions for the service industry

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Are you planning to hire COBOL programmers to modernize your legacy software applications? Companies and organizations are hesitant to replace software that is still functional but age-old. However, finding IT experts and programmers to maintain and upgrade it has become increasingly difficult.

Common Business-Oriented Language, also known as COBOL, was developed in 1959 and widely used in the 1970s and 1980s. COBOL’s popularity has waned, yet it is still vital to institutions and organizations all over the world.

COBOL was taught in programming classes less frequently as computer programming migrated to object-oriented languages like Java and other emerging computer languages.

It seems COBOL is being phased out gradually (which is not at all true). However, several US corporations, including IBM, continue to employ COBOL programming.

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of what you should be looking for before hiring COBOL programmers.

What Is the Role of COBOL Programmers?

A COBOL programmer is someone who develops and maintains software program applications in COBOL. This is their core responsibility, and they are largely associated with business data processing. COBOL developers design, build and implement code for new projects, test those programs to ensure they run on the chosen operating system, and make any necessary improvements.

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Do you ever feel the need to re-evaluate your IBM i security or modernize your legacy IBM iSeries AS400 software application? The concern with legacy software is that they outgrow their original and intended requirements yet continue in service for an extended period.

To keep up with changing business requirements, the systems are constantly updated to the extent that they are no longer recognizable as the initial model. This makes it difficult for IT specialists to understand them and make additional improvements.

To date, many organizations are still shackled by legacy software applications.

The AS400 software systems have been in use for almost three decades.

Although it is a very reliable technology, it does have certain drawbacks, even now.

Organizations that employ AS400 technology that is outdated encounter issues from time to time, which can be related to efficiency or user experience or both.

Let’s get into details of the AS400 technology and learn why must you modernize your outdated systems.

What Is the AS400/iSeries?

In 1988, IBM developed the AS400 systems, which included its proprietary OS/400 operating system and an integrated database. More commonly, it is now known as the IBM System or i-Series. It is adopted not only by medium businesses but also by several Fortune 500 companies.

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Is your company looking to hire asp .NET developers? Organizations handle a variety of important operations on a daily basis. Similarly, a technological and web application development company also works on a variety of development tasks.

Such companies hire offshore development teams to execute large-scale projects due to fierce competition and workload demand.

Outsourcing offshore IT experts is incredibly beneficial to the IT and programming industries, as it is one of the most dynamic and competitive segments of the market.

But what exactly is outsourcing offshore, and how can it benefit your company immensely?

Let’s find out!

What Is Offshore Hiring?

Although the terms “offshore” and “outsourcing” are commonly used interchangeably, they mean entirely different things. Outsourcing occurs when organizations hire external asp .NET developers or software development teams externally for specialized skills or services.

Companies can outsource professional IT experts within the country. However, it is considered offshore if you hire NET programmers outside the country. Hiring offshore professionals entail coordinating duties with overseas software professionals.

Hiring an offshore .NET development company involves assigning tasks and duties to IT specialists overseas, where talent is more affordable. Furthermore, an organization can leverage offshore development without relying on a third party. They accomplish this by formally forming an in-house staff in another country.

When you hire offshore asp.NET developers, you also get high reliability, performance, and experience(more details in the latter part of the blog). It is not only cost-effective but also a time-saving solution.

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You must have heard this term earlier and might be searching for an answer on the Internet. Well, we are going to answer this for you.

Web service is defined as a program that talks about “something” on the web. The integrated web service for IBMi is a term that describes the following technologies for IBM AS400 RPG:

  • The IWS Server
  • The IWS clients for ILE

The IWS server serves as a fully functional server where ILE-based program entities can be installed as web services.

The IWS client for ILE allows the application to act as web services clients by generating RPG, C, and C++ counterfoils that an ILE program can use. The counterfoils remove the complications of the web service protocols by managing to serialize and deserialize service requests and responses.

Web services provide the ability to represent the database to external developers through APIs and Web services. Even though that thought takes a shiver down the spine of many RPG AS400 developers who learned the proprietary ways of the AS/400, multi-platform incorporation is the latest development path. The stress on integration cannot be exaggerated.

In the era of the Internet, things are changing rapidly, and businesses worldwide are continuously watching at what can be done to make web services modern.

Since IWS’s introduction as part of the V5R4 operating system in 2006, it has been upgraded many times. The most notable enhancement in this series was – SOAP to REST services. Nowadays, most web services development in IBM as400 RPG shops uses REST services, but earlier, the web services were developed using SOAP, and they quickly outnumbered the new web services.

Anyone following the progress of web services must have seen RESTful architecture rise over traditional SOAP architecture. Web development services providers and particularly mobile-based app developing companies, have welcomed REST. To keep up with the increasing demand, Krengel Technologies had launched the 3.2 version of its RPG-XML Suite. The latest version can deliver web services to IBM as400 RPG customers.

The RPG-XML Suite is a collection of programs, commands, and procedures that allow RPG AS400 developers to work XML and JSON, offer web services, and consume IWS remotely.

Krengel developed an RPG-XML suite for RPG AS400 developers involved in developing web services in RPG and JAVA without a well-packaged development toolset.

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The migration of big systems is a tremendous task, but technologies around the world are making it easy for businesses. Mainframe computers are an example of such heavy migration and what makes them worthy is the language on which they run. IBM AS400/i-series has offered COBOL on many platforms since its inception and still doing so. COBOL was introduced in 1959, and after its normalization so many years down the line, it is serving as the backbone of various mainframe systems. COBOL stands for “Common Business-Oriented Language” and had been mainly used by Defence Department. As a result of this, the language started gaining popularity, and nowadays, it has been adopted by various other private and government industry sectors.

Although, with innovation in technology, the fundamental architecture of AS400 COBOL has become outdated, which limited its ability to make use of necessary innovations. But still, AS400 COBOL is widely used for applications development on mainframe computers.

However, several factors are responsible for the steady downfall of COBOL. These factors include – Rise of cloud technology, the retirement of experience AS400 COBOL developers. Still, many DOD systems and other private systems run on this platform, but they lack the flexibility and other advanced features available on most recent language platforms.

So, from a technical point of view, AS400 COBOL is unsuited to advanced OS commonly used in today’s cloud environment.

As a result of COBOL’s limited functionality, IBM AS400 iSeries modernized and transitioned the mainframe system to a Java-based AWS cloud setup. However, the strategies developed applied to Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and major cloud service providers. These service providers will easily allow DOD to migrate setup from COBOL to AS400 cloud and open barriers for them.

The Transformation of COBOL

When we talk about digital transformation, this is the right time, and let us tell you why?

COBOL is one of the oldest languages available for IBM iSeries AS400 developers, and primarily all mainframe implementations run on AS400 COBOL.

Unfortunately, most of the IT professionals and technical experts who know the functioning of COBOL are on the verge of retirement. Moreover, very few developers are interested to learn COBOL or learn working on mainframes.

So, How Popular is COBOL?

On an estimate, over 200 billion lines of COBOL codes are running on mainframes. These numbers are proof of how deeply the language is rooted in business systems developed over the decade. Furthermore, enormous business risks are common especially when someone tries to deploy them on the cloud. Also, moving COBOL to AS400 CLOUD is faster, easier, and the best decision.

And, if you put the digital transformation of AS400 COBOL on hold a few years later, you won’t be able to find skilled developers to work on the existing setup. And to be honest, your risk won’t be limited to locating source code or accessing applications. But tasks like troubleshooting, replacing the mainframe system would be impossible in the long term. Also, the cost of the operations will increase with time.

However, modernization is not the critical goal of DOD, i.e., they don’t want AS400/iSeries COBOL migration to have a shiny system on board; their only goal is to increase the system’s overall effectiveness. The old system lacked various modern features like reliability, scalability, and many more modern services.

Modernization Process

The project needed an extensive modernization process that can be completed in an affordable hosting environment, low data loss, minimal downtime, and minimal risk of security threats.

The process began by identifying and assessing different arrangements made for meeting the end goal. There was various option included in the process:

Option A:

In this option, all the codes and manuals needed to be re-written. But the process was going to take lots of time and involves a high risk of failure. Also, it was increasing costing.

Option B:

In this option, the plan was to replace the inside and outside security framework, but this was clashing with Defence rule manuals, so it was dismissed.

Finally, a COBOL emulator arrangement was considered as a makeshift measure, and IBM has chosen a COBOL-to-Java code mechanism to carry out the process:

Phase One

included automated code conversion using COBOL-to-Java refactoring to run on an Intel x86 platform.

Phase Two:

The second phase was intended to refactor the Java code to remove any remaining fragments of COBOL and enhance maintenance.

Phase Three:

All the remaining infrastructure was migrated to the AS400 cloud in the third phase. The cloud service also enhanced DOD’s stringent cybersecurity requirements.

The most important thing was to address the primary guard’s difficulties and deliver data whenever needed. There were many more things included, like:

  • Reduction of security risks and technical debt
  • Cost-saving due to low hosting expenses
  • Ability to incorporate new application functionality such as AI and ML
  • The preservation of DOD’s business logic and use of AS400 COBOL cloud services
  • Enabling the transition towards an Agile DevSecOps approach to managing system

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Well, to clear your confusion and help you select the best services, we have prepared this guide. After going through it, you will understand software outsourcing and why it’s beneficial for your business. Outsourcing can save a lot of resources, time, and opportunity costs of brainstorming new ideas.

Before moving to the benefits of outsourcing, let us start with some basic terms. Do you know what software outsourcing means?

Well, the term implies – that “when a business delegates its custom software development projects to another third-party company, it is known as outsourcing.”

Advantages of Custom Software Development Outsourcing

1- Skilled Workforce

Custom software development outsourcing gives the ability to an organization to gain access to highly skilled software professionals. Outsourcing simply means you are free to choose the best custom software development company from the market to fulfill your company’s needs. Workforce recruitment, training, and upscaling a difficult tasks, and by merely outsourcing your needs, you will be able to find the best developers and designers.

2- Emphasizing Core Business

R&D is the core of many business work models. As we are in a highly advanced tech era, companies should focus on strengthening their core business strategies. It can be difficult for many organizations to manage both internal business operations and software development. Outsourcing your requirements to third-party custom software development companies can be an excellent way for organizations to emphasize their core business.

3- Cost Saver

Outsourcing your custom software development requirements is an excellent way for organizations to reduce business operations costs. An outsourcing company may be located in another part of the world, but they will get your work done at a reduced price without compromising quality. Organizations cutting their costs in half is one of the most significant benefits of custom software development outsourcing.

4- Reduce Time to Market

In business, time is money. More than 94% of companies use outsourcing in their various business operations.

Also, in-house software development can be delayed due to various reasons, and this delay can result in lost business productivity. Custom software development outsourcing will help you effectively reduce the product’s time to market. The software development company will accelerate your project as per requirement and assign the tasks to highly experienced developers.

5- Minimize Business Risk

When you have lots of internal business projects going on, it’s not a good idea to scarifying quality and productivity. By outsourcing your requirements to custom software development companies, you can effectively reduce the risk you take on your own company.

Models of Custom Software Development Outsourcing

1- Location-based Models

– Onsite / Onshore

– Nearshore

– Offshore

2- Relationship-based Models

– Staff Augmentation

– Managed & Dedicated Team

– Project-based

3- Contract-based Models

– Time & Material

– Fixed Price

1- Growth of AI

Computers around the globe are getting digitized and smart. Advanced AI trends in the computing world have allowed computers to think about themselves. According to some research around the world, 8 out of 10 companies are investing in artificial intelligence. Furthermore, artificial intelligence has scope in the field of custom software development also. With AI technology, developers can make modern and unique websites or applications and convert ideas into reality. Today, the AI algorithm in software ensures your groceries are delivered to your doorstep, and even drive your car without human intervention.

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Every RPG programming and development services provider must have been familiar with SEU. Although it was introduced around fifty years ago, but it was the standard code editor for IBM AS400 and iSeries.

In 2008, with the launch of IBM i V6.1 in a significant OS upgrade process, IBM announced to withdraw the support for old SEU. This move was intended because IBM wanted people to adopt their flagship code editor, i.e., RDi. But SEU has not ended completely, it is still in use, it’s just that updates are longer available for the same. For more than a decade, SEU syntax checking was part of IBM V6, and now it is a nightmare to write new IBMi codes on SEU, as it counts the latest features as an error.

IBM RDi is also a code editor for RPG developers. Earlier, RD was known as WDSC (WebSphere Development Studio Client), but after the complete revamping of IDE, it was re-branded by the name of RDi. If you are not using IDE code editor for RPG programming, your RPG developers are probably stuck with years-old text-based code editors. In this modern era, it’s time for you to make a switch to modern code editing software.


IBM SEU (Source Entry Utility)

The STRSEU command is used to create, display, change or print a member. Also, IBM SEU is a part of the RDi licensed program.

If you use SEU to enter the source in a database file, it will add the sequence number and data field to every record. Also, you can edit or delete that record anytime.

Let’s understand this with an example – Suppose you are adding a source record between 0002.00 and 0003.00, then the record sequence will be 0002.01. SEU will automatically make entries for the newly added records. Sadly, IBMi ended all the enhancement of SEU with IBM I v6.1. But still, it’s commonly used by various IBMi service providing companies.


IBM Rational Developer for IBMi

Rational Developer for IBMi or RDi is the official tool for RPG development. It’s a good tool, but very expensive and very extensive. IBM rational developers is IBM’s code editor used in the software development process. It provides an integrated development environment (IDE) to develop, maintain, and modernize IBM iSeries software. It is integrated with development tools, like – search, built, edit, and code debugging. RDi is built on the Eclipse framework and offers faster and easier application development.

IBM continuously releases the RPG programming language enhancement, so rational developers is the only tool that can allow RPG developers to stay updated with IBMi Services syntax changes and enable rapid code development.

Visual Studio Code

VS Code is fast and lightweight. It feels like NOTEPAD++ on steroids. It’s free, open-source, and comes with multi-OS compatibility. Through its plugin, you can work on various languages within the same IDE. Most importantly, all the major programming languages are supported by VS Code. It supports – RPGLE, SQL, PHP, Python, HTML, JavaScript, C++, and many more. Visual Studio Code also has a complete Git Integration.

The popularity of Visual Studio Code is increasing rapidly, but it is not limited to IFS. Its plugins can enhance the code capabilities and allow access to native IBM iSeries RPG web services and the database structure of LIBS and files. At Integrative Systems, we can integrate several RPG plugins.

Visual Studio Code (IBM iSeries Language Syntax Checking Plugin)

This is a decent plugin for highlighting languages like RPG, MI, RPGLE, CL, and DDS.

NOTE: This plugin was separated from RPG Language Plugin

Visual Studio Code – Plugin for RPG Language

This plugin offers RPG source highlighting and ILE syntax checking for free if you have RPG version 7.1 and above.

ILEDITOR 2 – Code for IBMi

This is the best IBM iSeries software development plugin. With this code from Visual Studio, you will be able to manage your RPGLE, COBOL, CL, and C/CPP. It comes with various excellent features like:

  • Object Browser
  • IFS Browser
  • Errors are shown up automatically
  • Member browser and Editor
  • Easy Settings

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The resurgence of COBOL is of no surprise. Expanded as Common Business Oriented Language, COBOL might not even feature in the university curriculum, and that’s why there are fewer COBOL developers. But the matter is that this programming language is used by legacy systems on which the world still depends, for their day-to-day transactions. Almost 70 to 80 percent of worldwide present-day business transactions are done on IBM iSeries. A 2017 research study uncovered billions of lines of COBOL codes, which are still in use today.

But there is a gap that needs to be bridged. Legacy AS/400 systems that run COBOL applications need COBOL developers. for regular maintenance and new application development. Existing legacy server infrastructures that run on AS/400 are irreplaceable. Government institutions, large banks, public services companies, insurance companies, etc. – all of them are unwilling to stop AS/400 systems and upgrade to the newer IBM Power Systems.

Their argument is simple – when something is running super-fine, why change just for the sake of change?

Why cannot COBOL be Replaced?

AS/400 COBOL applications are used all over the world, and there is always a need for COBOL developers. Considering that more than 100,000 AS/400 customers exist, one can imagine the enormity of COBOL application deployments and the increasing need for COBOL developers.

  • More than 60 million patients are treated and cared for with applications developed on AS/400 COBOL apps. Thanks to the efforts of the COBOL programmer.
  • Most ATM transactions, at least 90% of them are powered by COBOL application.
  • Every year, almost 96% of vacations are booked using systems built on COBOL developers of all ages.
  • Social Security Administration has more than 60 million lines of code written in COBOL.
  • IRS uses COBOL applications; about 50 million lines of COBOL code are used at this single entity.

Has Something Better Come Along?

The answer is – that it is not required. For so many business applications, COBOL has been a rock-solid foundation. COBOL applications haven’t broken, are resilient, and secure. So, the need to replace it does not arise because if a system is working fine, then there is no need to tinker with it. Another point of consideration is that COBOL has explicitly been designed for business applications. Other low-level programming languages such as Fortran and LISP are better suited to solve scientific problems and create artificial intelligence applications.

Grace Hopper’s Graceful Language Has Come a Long Way

At the beginning of the computer age, banks, government organizations, and insurance companies started creating machine-specific programming languages with the help of COBOL developers. Due to the high cost and time involved in running and maintaining these applications, a universal solution was needed in place. And Grace Hopper was instrumental in bridging, this gap by creating COBOL. The programming language was universal and capable to run on all business systems.

COBOL’s syntax is an output of Grace’s reasoning that the syntax of programming languages should be close to spoken languages. That’s why COBOL syntax was considered a wordy one by COBOL developers. The era of verbose English-like programming languages has dawned again, starting with Python. Grace’s reasoning of yore is now very relevant because the humanization of computing increases the possibilities of unlimited programmatic expressions.


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The IBM iSeries cloud is one of the most common and easily understandable technologies in the business world. Today, many companies are moving towards cloud solutions, but the big question arises: Why? What is the big deal? Or at what cost are they moving? Why is a cloud solution so important?

You must be having a similar question about IBM iSeries cloud services. Just go through the blog, and you will get to know about the deal.

What Has Changed Now?

Cloud computing service utilizes the internet’s power to give ultimate data accessibility and flexible storage facility to companies. The large organizations have been taking advantage of IBM iSeries cloud services for years, and now the small and medium companies have got on board.

According to Gartner – “Global organizations refer to cost, innovation, and agility as some of the top reasons for making a switch to the IBM iSeries cloud platform.”

They no longer need to deal with the complicated data storage management system by moving to the automated cloud platform. As an alternative to this, enterprises gain the proficiency of the iSeries cloud and simplified and centralized data management.

IBM iSeries cloud solution is a complete game-changer as traditional tape storage is becoming less effective (in terms of primary backup strategy), and generally, it is used for long-term data maintenance or in legal proprietary issues. Moreover, disaster recovery and data storage plans are rarely left for traditional mediums.

No matter what, today’s data recovery and backup plans include IBM AS400 cloud solutions to some extent, whether alone or in combination.

The Challenges Companies Forget About

The IBM iSeries cloud migration might seem an ideal solution to you, but there are lots of challenges that most companies are not aware of. Have a look here:

  • Users are not aware of the storage location of their data
  • Users don’t know who exactly has the access to their data
  • How do migrate data to the cloud from legacy systems?
  • How do establish a reliable network and send data?

These challenges boil down to the difference between public, and private cloud solution providers. Public cloud solutions may be cheaper but can’t guarantee company data security; that’s why companies opt for private IBM iSeries cloud providers.

1. Migrating is not Worth the Risk

Due to this strong misconception, some companies are not able to integrate cloud services. Well, without any doubt, migration requires strong efforts, and if you are working with older servers, you will need more steps. But get going with a trusted and experienced IBM iSeries cloud service provider, and the migration process will be easy.

2. The IBM iSeries Cloud Is Too Expensive

If you feel this is true, you must not be seeing a flood of companies migrating to the iSeries cloud. Uncountable companies are moving towards the cloud and saving lots of money because of this. Cloud hosting services increase business efficiency, agility, and adaptability as per market needs. Also, another important aspect is that the need to maintain on-prem servers gets removed.

3. Administrators will Be Replaced by the Cloud

The IBM iSeries cloud provides automation to a certain degree, and it does not mean that your data will not require manual support. The cloud solution is just like a service, and administration and management are entirely different issues. For example, if you benefit from the private cloud service provider, you can get services like customized backup, data archiving facility, disaster recovery, and management for securing the application access, but managing all this would still need some level of manual intervention. So, administrators would still be required in their jobs.

4. The Cloud Must Be Close to Be Efficient

This myth seems legit, but the myth becomes irrelevant if you have the right networking solution.

Well, it is right that you must have a clear connection between your primary location and host location, as you cannot neglect the importance of bandwidth and data transfer speed. However, with the right IBM iSeries cloud service provider, all such issues will be eliminated.

5. IBM AS400 iSeries Cloud Hosting Gives Less Control to Companies

With the IBM iSeries cloud solution, you could gain more control over your IBM AS400 system than earlier you had in-house. Moreover, you will get the support of your cloud service provider, and you will be able to customize your cloud processing power and storage capabilities as per your requirements. Apart from this, you will be able to optimize your iSeries cloud solution concerning disaster recovery, customized backup, and much more.

6. Cloud Computing Will Interfere with Regulatory Compliance

Cloud computing can in fact help you meet regulatory compliance, but there is another case where the public vs. private cloud distinction makes all the difference.

The most important concern for the agreement is knowing where your data is stored and who has access to that data. If your organization is audited, it will be necessary to provide exact data location, but you can deny answering the questions in the case of the public cloud.

The organizations for whom it’s necessary to meet regulatory compliance, the IBM iSeries cloud services offer an enhanced level of security and control levels.


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