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IBM i 2023: Guided Tours, the 35th and More

Happy New Year, everyone! I’ve decided to start 2023 off right by telling you a bit about what’s coming in 2023, while also telling you a bit about some things we did last year that you might want to know about. Let’s get started.

In 2021 and 2022, IBM started selling Power10-based servers—with IBM i support, of course. Last year, IBM i introduced the 7.5 release, as well as the new IBM i Merlin product. It was a big year. So, with those “big things” still quite new in the market, what will we be doing in 2023? What will you be hearing about from us?

Of course, we will still be developing and delivering new capabilities—the Technology Refresh strategy allows us to get many customer requirements addressed in between major releases, as well as adding new Power I/O and virtualization capabilities. So, you can expect that again in 2023.

But additionally, we plan to use this year to ensure everyone has a chance to learn, in depth, about the value you can already get from IBM i, especially from things we’ve done recently.

2023: What Have We Done for You Lately? Guided Tours!

One of our new approaches to spreading the word about key IBM i capabilities, which started in the second half of 2022, is called Guided Tours. The idea behind Guided Tours is this: IBM i and its related products can do cool things, and sometimes you need to learn more about them than what you can learn in a short blog post, or from an overview presentation which covers dozens of topics. So, we held a couple of series of webcasts on a few topics.

Each Guided Tour consisted of a series of one-hour, topic-specific sessions, and a single session devoted to Office Hours with live Q&A. We did our first on the IBM i Merlin product, and the second on Db2 for i. Many people attended those sessions, and the feedback was great.

Did you miss them? If so, don’t worry! We recorded and published each of the sessions. The entire collection of Guided Tours can be found here.

What will you find there? These are the topics of the two Guided Tours we’ve done so far:

IBM i Merlin

  • Merlin Office Hours: A brief overview followed by answers to questions from the community
  • Merlin – A Modern Ecosystem for Developing ILE Applications: The “IDE” part of Merlin with demos and explanations
  • Merlin – CI/CD for Everyone: The CI/CD DevOps part of Merlin demoed and explained
  • Merlin – Getting Started with Merlin: Demos and descriptions of how to get Merlin up and running

Db2 for i

  • What is IBM Db2 for i?: A great introduction for someone who needs to understand the core concepts of the IBM i integrated relational database
  • Db2 for i and Beyond: Newer capabilities of Db2 for i, including Geospatial support
  • SQL Not Just for Data: How SQL can be used for much more than just querying Db2 data
  • Db2 for i Office Hours: A session of answering questions from the community
  • Db2 for i Analytics: I think you get this one!
  • Continuous Availability of Db2 for i: How Db2 Mirror satisfies the continuous availability requirement

These Guided Tours were so well attended, we have decided we are going to do even more in 2023.

This is one example of what’s coming in 2023—a focus from the IBM i team on making sure that our community has even more ways to learn how to get value from our platform.

2023: The 35th Anniversary Approaches

In June of this year, we’ll mark the 35th anniversary of the platform—using the introduction of the AS/400 as our starting point. We hope to coordinate with conferences and user groups around the world to make this a months-long celebration of the platform, with an eye toward its huge potential today and in the future. I can’t share specifics at this point, but keep listening and reading; we will not pass up this opportunity to “party like it’s 1988!”

More to Come

We have a great team of people who work on getting IBM i out to you, and many of those people are going to be working on additional newsworthy items as the year progresses. We’ll share them as they happen—in person at events, online in blogs and videos, and through social channels. Stay tuned.

Let’s make 2023 another banner year for IBM i and its community!