We suspect that many end to need an official end-of-life date to give them the impetus to move. So maybe some will finally get moving. After all, 6.1 has been available since 2008 and 7.1 has been around for more than two years. So we're not exactly talking about joining the bleeding edge!
Speaking of 7.1, the other thing that has surprised us is the number of people on V5R4 who tell us they have plans to move to 6.1 soon. Why 6.1? If you've waited this long, surely one advantage of upgrading is that you can short-circuit the process by going directly to 7.1. Why move to 6.1 now just to get caught up to 2008 technology? Of course the great thing about moving to 7.1 is that you will be able to add new functionality by applying technology refreshes--something that has always required a release upgrade in the past.
We know many other reasons--besides inertia--keep shops at V5R4. We've heard of application providers who are charging high prices for versions that will run on 6.1 and later. In some cases this is happening even when the "upgrade" simply requires that a few modules need to be recompiled. And then of course a few applications are in use that can't move to 6.1 at all, because the company is now out of business and the code was compiled prior to 5.1 and has no observability.
Maybe other reasons also exist. We're interested in hearing about what's keeping shops from moving beyond V5R4 after all this time. Hopefully some of you will share your reasons with us in the comments. If you have recently upgraded or are planning to upgrade to 6.1, we're also curious what kept you from going directly to 7.1.
Obviously, there is effort and time involved in the upgrade process--perhaps more so in the move beyond V5R4 than from other releases. But every coin has two sides. There is a cost to staying on an old release as well.
Once IBM support goes away, you may also incur a cost related to your compliance with various standards, such as PCI. And there's the cost of not implementing new features and functions that require later releases.
We've written a lot about the new features in RPG in recent releases, including, but certainly not limited to, RPG Open Access, which can greatly simplify your RPG logic. Database has some great new features to offer as well as well as a long list of other functions supported in 6.1 and those found in 7.1.
So what's keeping you--or other shops you know about--at V5R4? Inquiring minds want to know.