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IBM has chosen Red Hat OpenShift to modernize IBM i App portfolios

This week IBM announced an IBM i Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration development tool for the IBM i operating system. The new integration makes it simpler to build modern application environments running on IBM Power series servers, according to Container Journal.

Steve Sibley, vice president of IBM Power, says that IBM i Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration, codenamed Merlin, is essentially a “wizard of wizards” that gives developers an integrated development environment (IDE) based on a browser interface optimized to build applications on top of the Kubernetes-based Red Hat OpenShift platform.

He said that approach will make it easier for organizations that rely on IBM i applications to embrace DevOps best practices to both build new applications and modernize existing ones.

This is the first in a series of modernization efforts

The IBM i operating system traces its lineage back to the AS/400 midrange platforms that were first introduced in 1988. In 2008, IBM reengineered them to run on IBM Power servers based on RISC processors. There are still enterprise IT organizations that prefer this platform because an integrated database reduces the total cost of applications.

Sibley said the IBM i Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration tool is the first in what will be a series of efforts to modernize application development on the venerable platform using DevOps best practices. It’s not clear whether IT teams running those applications might use containers to lift and shift IBM i applications to another platform, but Sibley notes that organizations that rely on the platform have already been investing in developing applications for decades.

It’s not likely they will all suddenly abandon the platform simply because they can encapsulate applications in code. Instead, Sibley said, those organizations will mostly look to accelerate the rate at which new applications can be built or existing ones updated.

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