• Subject: Re: Computerworld article - it's not just the box dummy!
  • From: ericadelong@xxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 15 Jul 98 11:54:34 -0500


Scott,
I would tend to agree with you about the lack of premium quality apps for the 
AS400. Most legacy software that I've been cursed with maintaining suffer from 
"enhancements" or "extensions" that were hastily coded and "patched" into the 
"system". Poor design, no documentation, bad coding practice, lack of education 
or experience, and the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" syndrome all conspire 
to keep these legacy apps from fufilling their promise. I once worked for a 
company that still ran apps developed on the S/3, migrated through S34, S36, and
as400. S36E was their best friend. They were an IBM BP, selling HW/SW 
"solutions" that, IMO, were outdated on the s36. IBM didn't seem to care about 
the quality of the software. I was not a happy camper. Sadly, not much has 
changed between then and now. Different job, new faces, same attitude. If it 
ain't broke......

Dispiritedly yours,
Eric A DeLong

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Computerworld article - it's not just the box dummy! 
Author:  <MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com > at INTERNET
Date:    7/15/98 11:24 AM


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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