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Thanks, Steve. This is indeed something we've been looking forward to, in some cases with great trepidation, for a long time. You talk about how easy it is to move to another release and generally speaking that has been true. The move off of V5R4 is significantly different because of the re-encapsulation issue; the lack of v6.1 support for some vendor software has kept a few folks from making the leap.

So now it's time to make a decision. If you use third party software and your vendor hasn't moved to v6.1 by now they may never do so. So now there's a line in the sand: you have 19 months to find a replacement.

I took another look at

Did you know that the last time we had ANZOBJCVN issues was migrating from CISC to RISC? However there was less than 4 years from GA of the last CISC release, V3R2 and it's end of service. V5R4 will have almost twice this.

Yes, I did change multiple vendors because they were dragging their feet. My maintenance money is not solely there for paying off their mergers and acquisitions.

Joe, I think it will make sense for many customers to look for alternatives, if their software vendor is not supporting 6.1 yet.

An additional consideration is this: now that an End of Service has been announced, those vendors might finally be motivated to "move up." And if you are happy with the vendor's solution except for the fact that they are keeping you back on V5R4, you might be able to go back to them now and get a different response.

If your vendor is interested in keeping your business, they might want to engage our ISV enablement team to figure out how to get past the retranslation step. If so, the e-mail address is [email protected]

We'll point them to the "Getting Ready" redpaper - - but there is additional help they can get by talking to the ISV enablement team.

Thanks for the comment. We are expecting some of the ISVs who have not engaged with IBM for a long time to want some help.

The biggest barrier we saw to the 6.1 move Steve was the cost of obtaining observable versions of software. Often just one or two programs that contain the software license key checks etc.

I have no problem with a vendor wanting to make something for supplying an observable version of a program or two - but the amounts some were asking was nothing short of daylight robbery. Thankfully the Rochester ISV group helped negotiate lower figures in many cases.

Jon, it's true that vendor costs for observable versions were sometimes unreasonably high. There might still be some vendors in that position -- I guess we'll have to work with them (customers and IBM) if they are still out there.

It's also true that some of our common clients were trying to save money by letting their ongoing service contracts expire with vendors, and then when the customer finally went back to the vendor for this "service" they were shocked at the price tag for returning to service.

I guess this relates in some respects to the subject of the blog you and Susan wrote this week. Businesses have to be responsible and realistic - to plan for ongoing expenses associated with modern software & systems. And vendors need to price things in ways that don't alienate our clients.

The e-mail address I gave above can also be used to request help from the ISV Enablement team if a vendor is being inflexible. But really, negotiations between the vendor and customer often do not require IBM to be involved.

Thumbs up from me on this move. It is a good thing for all the reasons you've mentioned and I think IBM has been more than fair in how long they've let V5R4 live.

My dev team finally got on a V7R1 machine and we are loving it for a variety of reasons.

Keep up the good work!

I'm not going to celebrate this announcement, since it will likely be the deathblow for our current server, but I have to agree with Aaron that IBM has been very generous with supporting v5r4 this long.

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