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Big Things Coming for IBM i in 2022

Well, well, well. Back again! It’s been about six months since I published a blog post, and about two years since I worked with the good people at TechChannel. I’m happy to bring the “You and i” blog back “home.” Of course, if I only post once every six months, it won’t mean much … so it’s a good thing we’re in 2022. There will be so much to post about!

Big IBM i Announcements Coming Soon

It’s time to hint at things that I can’t come right out and say now. Ready?

For the last three years or so, this has been the IBM i roadmap for deliveries:

I expect most of you will recognize it. I use this chart in almost all of my presentations, I’ve put it in my blog, and there’s a version of it in the IBM i strategy and roadmap whitepaper.

When I talk about this chart, one thing that I almost always say is that major releases become available about every three years. Yes, there was a longer gap between 7.1 and 7.2, and a shorter gap between 7.2 and 7.3—so three years is approximate. However, I also often tell my audiences that our community was pretty clear that two years was too short, and four years was too long. Consequently, our strategy is to produce a major release every three years, unless something significant makes us change that.

Well, dear readers, when was our last major release? IBM i 7.4 in 2019? What year is three years after 2019? (This simple math problem is left as an exercise for the reader.)

Often, when we announce major releases, we also announce other big product-related things. In 2019, for example, we announced IBM Db2 Mirror for i, which was and still is a big thing for this platform. So, when we announce our next major release of IBM i, you might expect another big thing—and you’d be right. I can hardly wait to start talking about it.

And at what time of year do we announce major releases? Historically, it’s been in the second quarter of the year, and typically before the Spring COMMON events, giving us the chance to talk about the release and any other big thing at the events.

Speaking of events …

Big Events Happening Soon, in Person

Though things can change quickly, (we’ve learned that lesson over the past two years, haven’t we?) all signs point to the community gathering for large events again—and IBMers participating in person! This has begun, in fact, for a handful of events already in 2022. The WMCPA iCon event, for example had a number of us attending in person (not me, but I’m sure I’ll get back there someday).

Soon, however, the big events start happening, and I encourage everyone reading this to find a way to attend one—or one of the local user group or business partner events which will follow after. Let’s take a look at what’s on the horizon:
COMMON POWERUp 2022, May 23-26, New Orleans

We are excited to get together with the large number of you who typically attend COMMON’s spring conference, and we truly encourage anyone who participates every other year, or every third year, to make this the year to attend. In addition to the conference proper, we’ll participate in the accompanying IT Executive Conference and an ISV Advisory Council meeting which will precede the conference. You’ll see us at the evening events, the expo and just walking the halls.
COMMON Europe Congress 2022, June 13-16, Alicante, Spain

We are also planning to attend the COMMON Europe Congress (CEC). This conference always lands in a truly great European location, and this year it’s in Alicante, Spain. I was briefly in Alicante for a COMMON Iberia event a few years back and didn’t really get to see the sights. Perhaps this time I will have the opportunity. In fact, I’m sure I will. The CEC always includes a dinner event at a local point of interest. While I don’t know which that will be, Alicante seems to have many!

We’ll be talking about all of the new announcements and giving educational presentations about the key topics, alongside our many community speakers who are experts in IBM i. If you’re in Europe, and/or if you really want to see some of Spain, please join us!

Big Messages

This post is already getting to be pretty long, so let’s wrap this up and let you know a bit about what’s coming in “You and i.”

Now that my blog is back “home,” there are some topics I want to write about so you know what I see in the market, what key pieces of our strategy and key parts of IBM i’s portfolio really ought to be focus areas for the community, and so you have up-to-date resources as announcements are made.

We’ll need to refresh roadmaps and strategy whitepapers, and I will want to include some of the key messages we weave throughout our “Strategy and Directions” presentations. That way, if you can’t attend them at a conference or webinar, or if you attended them but want a succinct restatement of part of our strategy, you can find it here.

Topics I plan to write about in my “You and i” blog, (in addition to the upcoming announcements) include:

  • IBM i Next Gen Apps: what they are, why they matter and how to start
  • New Navigator (and the imminent demise of the old one)
  • The rise of (modern) RPG
  • Lessons from the HelpSystems Survey
  • Strategic alignment (IBM i, Power and IBM)
  • Emulators and translators, and the promises they can’t keep

As was my habit in the past, I am also willing to accept topic ideas from the community. If you have an idea, send me a DM on Twitter (@Steve_Will_IBMi) or on LinkedIn.

So until next time, be well, and do great things!