• Subject: Computerworld article - it's not just the box dummy!
  • From: Scott Cornell <CORNELLS@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 11:24:07 -0400

Having read the very positive front page article on the AS/400 in this
week's Computerworld, I like many others on this list was feeling
pretty pleased.  However, if you dig a little deeper, in the
Corporate Stratagies section (p35 in the hard copy), there's an
article about a construction firm replacing their legacy computer
system with a whiz bang NT/Oracle/packaged business management
software solution.  The old system was described as "storing
information in unconnected files rather than a database," "taking too
much spit and gum to paste together results," and having "sci-fi-like
character commands."  The old system was run on, you guessed it, an
AS/400.

Now, you, me, & everybody else on the list knows that the problems
mentioned probably had more to do with the software package
(described as 10-15 years old, possibly making it a RPGII port from a
s36, thus pre-relational DB technology??)  But, probably nobody
outside our cozy little world knows or cares about that.  All this
construction company VIPs knew is it took too long to get answers out
of it's AS/400.  

I wonder how much of the image problem our favorite box suffers
from stems from a relative lack of quality software solutions (and I
mean real quality, not just the lack of a GUI)?  I know there's
gazillions of apps available for the 400, but how much is garbage
code holding the box back?  God knows I've seen enough junk RPG
programs (from big name vendors even) to last me a life time - and
I've still got quite a bit of life time to live yet (assuming any of us
survive the Y2K disaster :))

Just a thought - what's the list's perception?

Scott Cornell
Mercy Information Systems
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