AS400 Blog

July 16, 2020

AS400 Blog | iSeries Blog | IBM i Blog

This blog is about the IBM i System, the older AS400 and iSeries systems and offers hints and tips on program design, functionality, webservices, internet communications and anything else I can think of. Perhaps I will take a quick journey of how the AS400 came to be, when and why, all the following IBM machine types and operating systems.

This blog will take you on a quick journey of when, how and why of AS400, all the subsequent systems like the iSeries, System i and current IBM i Power System.

What is an AS400?

as400 blog

Forty years ago — IBM introduced the IBM AS400 as an easy-to-use computer network for small and medium enterprises.

This machine was an instant success and ruled the Small Business Computer world for over a decade.

When the IBM AS400 was replaced by a new system, the IBM iSeries, the user experience (green screens) still looked the same. So even though the iSeries computer system was brand new, with vastly upgraded hardware and a plethora of brand new internet webserver functions, the user experience of green screen terminals looked and felt the same.

Users continued to refer to their office computer systems as “The 400”

Confusingly, many IT Department’s also continued to call the new iSeries “The 400”.

I think the reason the word “AS400” has stuck around for so long, is when the machine was launched in 1988 it was global game changer in the eBusiness world. This machine was the premier eBusiness System until 2000 (12 years). So, when the AS400 was finally replaced by this newer IBM eServer iSeries model the love for the old 400 system remained.

The phrase “The 400” was born, and regularly used in meetings, boardrooms and emails when talking about the IBM System. It’s still in use today.

Why do people call a brand new 2021 IBM Power System the wrong name? Calling this machine an “AS400” from the 1980’s is a disservice to the machine, it tells business management that we are running our bu9siness on an old crusty system from pre-internet days. It’s plain incorrect. But programmers still call it “The 400” today. Confusing right?

Me. Scratching my head.

When you start investigating development on the IBM-i platform be prepared to get on a roller coaster ride of stories, anecdotes, half truths and blatant #fakenews

The Facts about AS400

What’s in a name – AS400, iSeries or IBMi?

IBM launched the:

  • IBM AS/400 (running OS400) in 1988
  • IBM eServer iSeries (running OS400) in 2000
  • IBM System i (running OS400) in 2006
  • IBM Power System (running IBM i) in 2008

If you are using an IBM Midrange System today it is an IBM POWER SYSTEM. The operating system on this machine is IBM i and it is fully backward compatible to the old AS400 and iSeries operating systems.

What is the future of IBMi (AS400) and IBM Power Systems

AS400 Blog 1

With world-class support for open source software on IBM i, you can keep your developers focused on what they do best: writing great code. With a holistic approach, your team can get support for the solution stack at any stage of software development, whether in the sandbox or in production.

We all know and have worked on AS400 for years, still working when it was called Iseries and working when it was called IBMi. Aside from the changes in the name of many people who are comfortable and uncomfortable with it, there is one question that concerns everyone associated with this wonderful platform – What is the future direction of the platform?

However, for both technology and the benefit of all organizations – It has never been more exciting that this platform is not only market-oriented but also capable of leading new technologies for the future.

Yet, from both a technical as well as from a profitability perspective for all parties – It has never been a more interesting time for this platform to not only stay relevant in the market but have a strong potential to lead future technology innovation

I know RPG, CL and COBOL, does IBM i support other technologies?

Thousands of businesses are using their critical systems in these systems. IBM-i is also fully capable of using many new workloads on other platform applications such as Java for example which have been used on IBM-i for a long time now

Integrated Language Environment® (ILE)Original Program Model (OPM)Extended Program Model (EPM)
C++BASIC (PRPQ)C
CCLFORTRAN
CLCOBOLPASCAL (PRPQ)
COBOLPL/I (PRPQ) 
RPGRPG

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