Though AS/400 isn’t common as it was in the previous years, financial and manufacturing services still use AS/400 systems. Nowadays, most organizations use the latest IBM iSeries computer systems because the AS/400 Cloud is sound and reliable. The versions of this system have been modified hence a great operating system and documentation.

What is AS/400

IBM released the computer series AS/400 in the 1980s, and its performance was better compared to other computer systems. The aim of releasing AS/400 was to help in the operations of small enterprises and businesses. AS is an abbreviation for Application System, and it’s called so because it’s based on the applications instead of the processor.

History of AS/400 System

Before releasing AS/400, there was a product line of several systems, including System3, System32, System34, and System36. Later, BM launched System38 in 1979 and then released AS/400 in 1988. Its initial first language was RPG and then RPG’s subsequent versions, including OVM, ILE, and RPG IV.

AS/400 system was modified into iSeries in 2000. Then, it was modified to IBM System i in 2006. In 2008, IBM power systems were launched when System i and p products were modified. The operating system of AS/400 is OS400 equal to that of iSeries, System i has an operating system of i5/OS, and the power system has an operating system of IBM i.

AS/400 Mainframe

Though the internal architecture of IBM i is complex, most users enjoy how simple it’s easy to use. It is integrated with several components, including software, hardware, a database, and security. IBM Power system, an advancement if AS/400 can use the latest technologies. The software and hardware are in IBM i are separate, so changing one doesn’t affect the other.

The software programming interface in IBM i is known as Machine Interference (MI). It’s found between the hardware, the operating system, and the application. Because the OS in AS/400/IBM power has an in-built database, the user doesn’t require separate installations. IBM i also has an IFS.

Evolution of IBM i Series from AS/400 to iSeries

AS/400/IBM i supports several tools and languages, including;

  • Assembly language
  • RPG
  • C
  • C++
  • Java
  • Pascal
  • Smalltalk
  • EGL
  • SQL
  • PHP
  • REXX
  • Python
  • Perl

However, some languages such as C++, C, RPG, COBOL, CL, and FORTRAN can’t be used in call procedures and executables written in ILE languages. AS/400/IBM supports several other tools, including;

  • CA Plex
  • Synon Accelerator
  • IBM Rational Business Developer Extension Uniface and
  • GeneXus

Characteristics of IBM i


IBM power systems have PowerVM that prevents hardware usage in large amounts. It’s advantageous because it allows simplicity in administration and also, low cost of energy. The importance of PowerVM is that it allows the user to spend less yet, enjoy high performance, flexibility, availability, and use less energy.

Object-Based Kernel

IBM i operating system has multiple features, a characteristic that other operating systems lack. Enterprise systems that use IBM i are stable and secure because all its storage is in a single level.

Firmware Virtualization Solution

Software-based virtualization such as XEN, HyperV, and VMware have a lower performance, which is a disadvantage to the user. Clients using a firmware virtualization solution enjoy several benefits, including efficiency and high performance.

Administrator Interface

IBM autonomic technologies in IBM i system allows users to perform several least needed tasks. The system doesn’t need any boost for these tasks. However, Linux or Windows require extra tools to boost the administrative efforts of the system.

Integrated Component Offerings

The integration of core functions and tools in the IBM i system makes it unique compared to other computer systems. The system’s efficiency allows it to perform over 300 tasks, including security, communication to operations, backup, and recovery. The tools integrated into this system include DB2, a file system, i RDBMS, web services server, and web applications servers.

Important Features of Today’s IBM iSeries

Common Client-Server Support

Today’s IBM i system is upgraded and can support several common client-server systems, including JDBC and ODBC. These server systems can access its database from several client software such as Microsoft .NET languages and Java.

Logical PARtitioning

LPAR is found in the mainframe computer of an IBM i system. This special feature allows a single IBM System i unit to run multiple OS simultaneously. This task is done in separate partitions; thus, no operating system can affect the other’s resources or memory. Resources are allocated in each LAPR at a particular time where there are unused resources, including CPU time, hard disc memory, and space. LAPR scheme supports several operating systems, including AIX, Linus, IBM i.

Software Integration

Important features integrated into IBM Power systems include a menu-driven interface, DB2 database management system, security, communications, non-programmable terminals (IBM 5250), printers, multiuser support, web-based applications, and a client-server. Almost every software required to operate the IBM System i is integrated into the OS base.

Reasons Why Top Companies Still Use AS/400 and IBM i

  • IBM i can start with a 4 core and later go up to 250 core making it scalable. This makes it efficient for users because its performance increases gradually.
  • IBM i has various enterprise tools and features; hence it’s highly reliable.
  • It’s secure than other computer systems because it has a perfect setup and a correct configuration.
  • IBM i supports various open-source and native languages such as Java, RPG, .NET, C++, PHP, and SQL.
  • As AS/400 was modified to increase reliability and perform better than other computer systems, similarly, the IBM i Series has CPUs that are up to five times better in performance than other brands.
  • Whenever the system is updated, no code migrations show up.

AS/400 cloud is a home for applications, which makes it easy and flexible for users. Though technocrats overlook AS/400, it’s features and characteristics display its high performance and reliability. Though it has lost value over time, it’s still useful in several enterprises such as manufacturing firms and financing companies. Programmers looking forward to pursuing IBM as a career shouldn’t give up because it’s advancing with time, and it will be better in the future.