IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - August 2018 - 20
The Right Language
for the Job
IBM clients are using open-source
languages for tasks such as
configuration, automation and
IBM offers a variety of
open-source packages that can
be installed in minutes to meet
the needs of IBM i and AIX*
clients. And the 2018 IBM i
Marketplace Survey shows that 75
percent of respondents are using
open-source development tools
"Most importantly, we've
delivered IBM i integration with
our open-source tools, which
makes it simple for open-source
technology to interact with
the rest of the IBM i system,"
Gorzinski says. "It's easier for
Python, Ruby, PHP and others to
interact with COBOL, RPG and
Db2*. Clients don't need to rewrite
their core business logic to benefit
from open source."
Gorzinski doesn't recommend
clients replace their current
a variety of
can be installed
in minutes to
meet the needs
of IBM i and AIX
code with open source, but he
does encourage them to use the
best tool for the job. "Clients
can use open source to extend
the abilities they already have,
and that's absolutely huge for
our IBM i clients," he explains.
"The moment you're interacting
with Twitter, Excel or Google
calendars, RPG isn't the right tool
for the job. You should use open
source for that."
An increasing number of
organizations, including Fortune
500 companies, are adopting
open-source languages and also
buying proprietary software,
then open sourcing it. This
has fostered faster growth and
adoption of the languages.
IBM i clients are now using
open-source languages for a
variety of projects, according to
Gorzinski. On the application
development front, the need for
web-based solutions is a popular
reason for open-source languages
being adopted. People turn to
Busting the Security Myth
A common misconception-that open-source languages aren't secure-
prevents some organizations from using and benefiting from them.
"Too many have the false belief that open source makes their systems
inherently vulnerable," says Jesse Gorzinski, business architect, open-source
technology on IBM i, for IBM. The truth is the opposite: Most open-source
projects have proper rules and governance in place, and the security of the
code is verified regularly.
He points out that a large open-source community backs up the languages.
Many of those languages, like PHP (which IBM partnered with 12 years ago),
are mature and well-established.
Sanket Rathi, senior technical staff member at IBM, is seeing the evolution
and support for the languages. IBM is also providing precompiled versions of
these languages for our platform. There's a channel for clients to interact with
IBM if they are having any issues while using these languages, he says.
20 // AUGUST 2018 ibmsystemsmag.com
open source at IBM i shops to
expose RPG workloads and APIs,
and modernize their e-commerce
presence. These languages are
often the tool of choice for the
creation and the consumption of
web pages and web services.
At COMMON's POWERUp18
event in San Antonio, he saw
a lot of interest and emphasis
on the relatively new Node.js,
which is already used in IBM i
"We have a lot of Node.js
sessions available with many
clients doing great things with
it," Gorzinski says. "It's on an
incredible growth path right now.
It'll be really exciting to see where
it goes in the coming years."
IBM has made a significant
investment in Node.js, optimizing
it for IBM hardware. The
open-source language allows
companies to more easily work
with web pages.
"Node.js has a unique value
proposition of allowing the front
end and the back end of a web
app to be written in one common
language," Gorzinski explains.
"We've heard of a number of
shops that run a front-end team
and a back-end team. With
Node.js, it's the same language.
Companies no longer need two
separate teams. There's a lot
of cost savings by having one
language on both sides."
Rathi is seeing clients use
open source to more easily
bring workloads into AIX and to
leverage various types of software.
"These open-source languages
provide parity with other
platforms by helping clients
utilize open-source software,"
he says. "The languages help
clients use open source like
they would on other platforms