iModernize - The Profound Logic Software Blog

IBM i Pulse: September 29th, 2017

Posted by Tim Losee on Sep 29, 2017 9:00:00 AM


Glad to have you back for this week's IBM i Pulse! Each week we will be taking a deeper look at this week's IBM i news. This week we are looking at Practical uses with Watson and your IBM i, a look at large corporations and their use of Node.js, and a new IBM i development tool.

But First... 

Here is a great interview with IBM Vice President Ed Harbour on everything you need to know about Watson.


Watson In The Real World

by Dan Burger

Innovation is nothing new to the IT world, there is always new and exciting technology coming out. But using that new and exciting technology in practical real world scenarios is something completely different. That has been the feeling recently with IBM i shops with Watson. "That is cool that it can win Jeopardy, but how can it benefit me and my business?"

IBM set out to fix this issue earlier this month by holding their "IBM i Driveway to Watson" event. This event was solely focused on showing real world concepts to how Watson can benefit IBM i shops today. IBM lately has put a huge emphasis on Watson and the cognitive power it holds, they are determined to show everyone how Watson can better their company, and the IBM i community is no different. 

Profound Logic CEO Alex Roytman has been one of the leaders in creating Watson/IBM i integration projects, so it was a natural fit that he would be asked by IBM to showcase some of the ideas and uses for Watson for the IBM i. Alex presented 3 separate practical uses for Watson that IBM i shops could implement today.

Facial Recognition Capabilities:

Using Watson's facial recognition abilities, Alex created an RPG application that tracked employee clock in and clock out times, avoiding having anyone clock in for another employee. Watson helps you determine one employee from the other. He also talked about how the application was created with Watson's APIs and HTML5, which is used to capture images. Watson compares the image from the camera with other pictures it has been given as reference. Watson Visual Recognition Training Tool is what it uses to help compare the images.

Natural Language API:

Using our newest product, Profound.js 2.0, Alex was able to demonstrate how Node.js can integrate with Watson's natural language API. First he began with logging into IBM Bluemix and installing the Watson developer cloud package. Alex then showed how to use the keyword feature by bring in the API. He was able to show how to set up parameters within the Watson API and what type of information you can expect to get from Watson. He also showcased how to define database tables for the searchable keywords, building a keyword list as well as creating a proxy program.

Image Recognition:

Watson's image recognition API was one of the first Watson/IBM i integration examples that Profound Logic has been giving to IBM i shops. In this example Watson is being used to recognize images for an insurance company. As images are uploaded, Watson is able to determine certain parameters based on the data base of images it has on file (is the image of a flat tire, a motorcycle, etc.) helping speed up the process of insurance claims. 

Along with Alex's examples, there were plenty of other real world examples and hand's on demonstrations on Watson's capabilities for the IBM i community.


How Massive Companies Use Node.js at Scale

by Tierney Cyren

More and more large scale organizations are seeing the potential that Node.js has and are beginning to adapt the language into their systems. They see the potential and eventuality of the language and are leading the way when it comes to how to utilize Node.js to its fullest. Here are some examples of massive companies and what they are doing with Node.js.

Capitol One

 Being one of the largest Financial Technology companies in the United States, Capitol One is a huge player in the finance world and they are going all-in on Node.js. Using the OSS ecosystem that has grown up around Node.js and its tooling, Capitol One has deployed thousands of developers to work on producing applications for them. 

The Node.js Foundation did a Case Study with Capitol One that comes highly recommended as well. This type of commitment to Node.js proves the current and future worth that this language has!


Yes... you heard right... NASA is using Node.js. The space giant uses Node powered spacesuits. The NASA team began looking for a solution when they experienced a scary systems failure during one of their space walks and they quickly found Node.js was the the best way to unify spacesuit systems data. 

The article also includes another case study down with NASA with the Node.js Foundation, along with a great video on Node.js and space travel.


 Most of Walmart's e-commerce systems are actually powered by Node.js, which can see millions of users over just a few hours of online shopping. That is just a normal day, shopping days like "Cyber Monday" require a system that can scale up quickly and effectively without breaking anything. 

Walmart actually migrated a massive Java-based application stack to modern Node using hundreds of developers an almost a dozen applications. The Node.js Foundation also did a case study with Walmart that showed great insight on their experience with Node.js.

The fact that massive companies like Capitol One and Walmart, along with government programs like NASA are using Node.js to help solve their needs and grow their business should show you the value that Node.js has. If you are an IBM i shop that is interested in using Node.js to help modernize your system, check out how you can get started with Profound.js quickly!


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A Fast Idle for IBM i Development

by Alex Woodie

Our own Liam Allan has been hard at work helping to develop a tool that can make things a bit easier for other developers. Currently there are many tools to help in the IBM i development world (especially when dealing with Open Source). Environments for creating PHP, Node.js or Java apps are a plenty, but when it comes to working in the the native languages of IBM i (RPG, COBOL, C, C++) tools are a little more scarce. RPG is an especially popular language that works closely with IBM i as a language and a run time environment can get. 

Currently there are two big players in creating environments: SEU and RDi. SEU has been a favorite for a long time, but it is showing its age as a green-screen utility. RDi is a great tool, but some people have concerns about the cost and the size of the program itself. In comes Liam!

Liam has created a lightweight ILE development tool named Idle. Idle's main goal is to be able to find the perfect blend of functionality and responsiveness that IBM has missed with RDi. “A developer might use this if they’re learning RPG/ILE, if they want something that will let them get the job done quickly, or if they don’t want any hassle from their environment, I am not trying to compete with RDi, instead I am trying to offer something that will do almost the same stuff at no cost.”

Some of the main features of Idle are:

  • Syntax Highlighting for RPG, COBOL, CL, C, and C++
  • Source Member Browsing/Editing
  • Inline Error Listing
  • Basic Fixed-to-free RPG Conversion
  • CL Formatting Functionality
  • Allows Developers to Generate Service Programs

To read more about Liam's work and how it can benefit you, click on the link below to read Alex Woodie's full article, or you can visit Liam's website here to see for yourself.


November 15th-17th Profound Logic will be hosting our 2nd annual PLUS Seminar for their customers. Get the most value from your Profound Logic investment and assure your modernization success. Register here today!

One of our focuses for 2017 is the continued adoption of Node.js in IBM i shops. Click here to read our white paper on Why Node.js Is The Solution Your Company Needs.

Also, Profound.js 2.0 has been released! See how Profound.js 2.0 can help modernize your IBM i today!

And there, you're all caught up! Sounds like we have an interesting 2017!

Topics: Events & Education, Application modernization, IBM i applications, Node.js, Profound.js, IBM i, RPG, AS400 modernization, IBM i Modernization, Agile modernization, iSeries, Legacy Modernization

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