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AS/400 (Application System/400) is a series of midrange computer systems developed by IBM (International Business Machines Corporation). Also known as IBM iSeries or IBM Power Systems, AS/400 was initially introduced in 1988 as a successor to IBM's System/38 and System/36 minicomputer systems. It gained popularity for its reliability, scalability, and versatility in handling a wide range of business applications.
Key features and aspects of AS/400 include:
Integrated Operating System: AS/400 features an integrated operating system called IBM i (previously known as OS/400). This operating system combines elements of traditional mainframe and minicomputer systems, offering features such as security, transaction processing, database management, and file storage.
Architecture: AS/400 systems use a unique hardware architecture that is designed for high availability and scalability. This architecture includes a single-level storage model that simplifies memory management and provides consistent performance.
Reliability: AS/400 systems are known for their high levels of reliability and uptime. They are designed with built-in redundancy and fault tolerance mechanisms to minimize downtime and data loss.
Virtualization: AS/400 systems support virtualization technologies that allow multiple instances of the operating system to run on a single physical server. This helps in optimizing hardware utilization and managing workloads.
Programmability: AS/400 systems support various programming languages, including RPG (Report Program Generator), COBOL, C/C++, Java, and more. These languages allow developers to create custom business applications.
Database Management: AS/400 includes a relational database management system (DB2 for i) that provides robust data storage and retrieval capabilities. It supports SQL for querying and managing data.
Application Development: AS/400 provides tools and frameworks for developing and deploying business applications. It supports both green-screen character-based interfaces and modern graphical user interfaces (GUIs).
Security: AS/400 emphasizes security features, offering features such as user authentication, role-based access control, and encryption to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with regulations.
Networking: AS/400 systems support networking protocols and connectivity options, allowing seamless integration with other systems and devices.
Legacy Support: Many organizations continue to use AS/400 systems to run critical legacy applications, as the platform is known for its long-term stability and backward compatibility.
Migration Paths: IBM offers migration paths and tools for transitioning from older AS/400 systems to newer versions or other IBM platforms.
AS/400 systems have evolved over the years, and today, they are part of the IBM Power Systems family, offering advanced hardware and software capabilities. While newer technologies have emerged, AS/400 remains relevant for organizations that rely on its robust features and have invested in applications running on the platform.