Sometimes you readers are great at playing “straight man.”
Recently a young group of web developers came to me about the cost for a small POWER7 for development. Years ago IBM had special offerings for developers. I was wondering if IBM is offering any special deals for today's POWER7 systems for IBM i developers?
This is not the first time I’ve been asked a question of this type, and the ISV Enablement team gets a version of this question quite often, so I thought “Hey, that would make a good topic for the blog.” So, suppose for a moment you know a group of programmers that wants to build an application for IBM i. What could you tell them? Here is my answer:
All the information below relates to becoming a member of PartnerWorld. There is no cost to become a PartnerWorld member. They would need to register a company, then register as individuals linked to a company. Just visit the PartnerWorld join page.
1. If you want to purchase a system, the PartnerWorld IBM Hardware Mall is also an option for discounts and low lease rates on systems for PW member usage. You would need to review the terms and conditions to see if this applies.
2. If you qualify as an ISV and apply for the necessary PartnerWorld membership options, you can get the software from the IBM Software Access Catalog for a discounted price. All the IBM i software and associated Power products are 100% discounted, but the Rational products are discounted 50%.
3. There is a site that allows ISVs to use, without purchasing anything, the latest hardware and operating systems. That site is the Virtual Loaner Program. There is no cost to PartnerWorld members for using this HW/OS virtual loaner program, for short reservations - a few weeks at a time.
4. If the developers would like to use the Virtual Loaner Program, but need a longer-term environment than the "few weeks at a time for free" model, we do have an incubator project to rent resources for an extended period of time (6-12 months at a time, I think.).
5. We know there are a few businesses out there offering "cloud" IBM i environments. These are not IBM companies. Examples are: timeshare400.com & idevcloud.com, though I believe you cannot develop software for sale on those sites. You’ll have to check that out for yourself, as these are not operated by IBM.
Once you become a Partnerworld member there are a lot of resources you should explore via the PartnerWorld pages. We even have an IBM i web page.
When you have your solution developed - you will want to add it to the IBM Global Solutions Directory to provide some visibility to the product.
By the way, we are also discussing internally how we can better support start-up projects like this. We have some work going on, but for now, the above are the answers I have for you.
If your group wants to work with IBM in particular -- in a way as similar as we can get to the "special offferings" you mentioned from several years ago, you will probably want to go the PartnerWorld route. And if the developers want to talk to someone in our ISV Enablement team, contact them at email@example.com for further information.
Twitter: #ibmi @Steve_Will_IBMi