You and i

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I'm looking for data mapping tools that are compatible with IBMi (as/400). Something that will display directories, joined file relationships, and all file keys. Does such a tool exist?

Hello Gerri,
I have a few IBM tools for your consideration.

1) System i Navigator has good facilities for graphical navigation of the IFS file systems and DB2 for i. I particularly like the ability to drag and drop a file directly from my PC to an IFS directory. iNav also has robust support for Schema level navigation and action, as well as something called Database Navigator Map which allows you to select objects and see and work with relationships.

System i Navigator has plenty of other features too.

2) Infosphere Data Architect - this is a database specific product.

Highlights include:
- Enterprise data modeling and management
* Compare & synchronize
* Version Control
* Forward & reverse engineering
- Model analyzer for enterprise standard conformance
- Database development – SQL and Java Procedures and Functions

Regards, Scott Forstie




You hit the nail on the head, Steve, with your first sentence: “Did you know that the biggest business applications in the world are available and optimized on IBM i?”

IBM i is a wonderful platform and with it comes the reliability, scalability, versatility, and overall bulletproof nature of the software.

My issue, however, is with the premise that an ERP implementation lives up to its promise, particularly at a scale for any organization that places a premium on the core benefits of IBM i. Real-time capabilities, the ability to see what is going on within your company as it happens, and facilitating operational coordination across departments have been at the heart of the ERP pitch. The problem is, in practice ERP falls woefully short of those promises and its customers that pay for those shortcomings.

Just last month, IDG New Service chronicled “10 biggest ERP software failures of 2011.” ( In elaborating on such misfortunes as cost overruns, software incompatibilities, and legal claims and counterclaims, the story concluded that 2011 “was another year filled with high-profile problem ERP projects.”

I’m not writing to simply torpedo ERP, but to challenge the all-too-prevalent assumption that ERP is THE way to go. In its place, consider a best-of-class strategy that allows a company flexibility about the best software to install, how to configure, and (very importantly), how to plan for the inevitable changes that companies are certain to encounter (IDC puts the cost of changing an ERP system at $1.2 million, with downstream costs that are significantly higher). This is in stark contrast with the real-world findings IBM i/Coda Financials customers have experienced, where IBM i users have continued to use a world-class operating systems that still delivers while replacing their out of date and inadequate financial system with the best-of-class power of Coda Financials.

Don’t just take my word for it – check out this video on the high cost of change:

Steve Pugh, CEO of UNIT4 CODA, Inc.

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