Getting Started with NODE JS on IBM i

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February 8, 2024

Getting Started with NODE JS on IBM i

By NickLitten

February 8, 2024


What is NodeJS and does it work on my IBM i System?

Node.js is an open-source project based on the Google Chrome JavaScript Engine. It provides a platform for server-side JavaScript applications that can run without browsers. Developers often choose Node.js for real-time applications due to its event-driven architecture and non-blocking I/O API. The IBM i platform supports Node.js, allowing it to run on this system. Additionally, extensions have been created to enable Node.js applications to access IBM DB2® for i objects and other IBM i system resources.

PASE (Portable Application Solutions Environment) is another technology on the IBM i platform. It provides a runtime environment for open-source software, including languages like Node.jsPython, and PHP. PASE allows you to run these applications on IBM i, bridging the gap between traditional IBM i applications and modern open-source tools.

In summary:

  • PASE: Environment for running open-source software on IBM i.
  • Node.js: An Opensource Server-side JavaScript platform for real-time applications.

Grab the IBM manual on Node.JS over here

What is PASE?

PASE is an acronym for Portable Application Solutions Environment (after being initially called the Private Address Space Environment).

PASE is an integrated runtime environment that allows you to run most AIX programs without any difficulty, on IBM i! It is not an emulation environment, nor is it interpreted. It is essentially an AIX runtime with access to the entire IBM i OS and all its resources.

The IBM I Operating System supports a number of different scripting languages.

  • IBM PASE for i shells and utilities – IBM Portable Application Solutions Environment for i (IBM PASE for i) includes three shells (Korn, Bourne, and C Shell) and provides many utilities that run as PASE programs. IBM PASE for i shells and utilities provide an extensible scripting environment that includes a large number of industry-standard and defacto-standard commands.
  • Qshell – a command environment based on POSIX and X/Open standards.
  • Net.Data – a server-side scripting engine that allows you to easily create dynamic documents using live data from a variety of sources such as relational and non-relational database management systems (DBMSs), including Db2® databases that can be accessed through DRDA, files, and native applications written in programming languages such as RPG, Cobol, Java™, C, C++, and REXX.
  • Node.js – an open source project based on the Google Chrome JavaScript Engine. It provides a platform for server-side JavaScript applications running without browsers.
  • PHP – Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) is one of the world’s most popular server-side scripting language for building dynamic, data-driven Web applications.
  • Python – an agile, expressive, open source programming language that supports multiple programming philosophies, including procedural, object-oriented, and functional.
  • REXX – A little known scripting language (much like CL) which has been around since the last century and long before the internet was imagined.

NOTE: PASE and IBM I work very well together. Access programs in ILE is easy and sharing many resources across what would seem to be an entirely different technology ecosystem. PASE gives us an AIX environment to easily run other software written on other platforms.

Node.js runs in the PASE environment on IBM i.

Installing PASE

You install PASE on your IBM I System using the Install Licensed Programs menu or command (optional). The product is 5770-SS1 Option 33.

Getting started with node js on ibm i 1

and then confirm PASE is installed:

Getting started with node js on ibm i 2

I have PASE installed, now what?

Let’s dive in and play with it. Let’s download, install and play with Node.JS

Fun Times!

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