Welcome to another edition of Talsco Weekly
- Development: Merlin Brings a Little Magic to Developing on the IBM i. Take a closer look at IBM i’s Merlin. Low-Code Explained in 3 minutes.
- Modernization: The Agile Report.
- Quantum Computing: Mapping the future of Tech.
- AI: Artificial Intelligence in The Future.
Merlin Brings a Little Magic to Developing on the IBM i
What is Merlin? It is a new application development framework that is part of IBM i 7.5.
It is “designed primarily as a lightweight alternative to RDi and running in containers, Merlin could provide a guide for how IBM sources and distributes development tools” in the future.
“The software, which is officially called Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration, is based on a mix of open source and proprietary tools from IBM, Red Hat, and ARCAD Software that’s packaged up to run on the Power server via Red Hat OpenShift containers, and accessed through a Web browser.”
For some, it might seem like magic and the goal “is to provide an environment where customers can create next-generation applications using the modern DevOps paradigm. Merlin provides full coverage of ILE languages, including RPGIII and RPGIV, COBOL, CL, DDS, and SQL, thereby giving developers the familiarity of working creating in these languages while bringing them forward with automated code management and deployment.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg. For more details, dive into Alex Woodie’s breakdown of this exciting development for Full Stack IBM i Developers.
Take a closer look at IBM i’s Merlin
There is nothing like seeing something it action. Here is an overview of Merlin by Tim Rowe, IBM i Business Architect and Tim Clark from ARCAD.
Merlin is a new platform to help businesses using IBM i Applications deal with the hybrid cloud world. These new tools are running with Red Hat OpenShift.
What does Merlin do? It helps developers with modern development practices.
For many in the IBM i, these concepts are new, but for most in the open source world, this is how development is done.
Dive into this quick video that covers the IDE and CI/CO (DevOps) processes.
Low-Code Explained in 3 minutes
Low code is not new; it has been around for a long time, and we are seeing more and more low-code solutions in the IBM i space.
What is low-code?
Low-code is rapid applications development. It gives you the capability of point and click, drag and drop, as well as the opportunity to augment and extend the application with code.
Who is it built for?
Professional developers use it, along with the power users or citizen developers.
You will see low-code in Editors, IDE’s, Web UI’s, connectors, and plugins, which allow you to build connectors to REST APIs and other solutions.
Much like the “State of the IBM i Survey,” there is also a “State of Agile Report.”
The topic of Agile is an important one for the IBM i community. We all know modernization is front and center and part of modernization is to incorporate agile development.
I believe this report is an important read, and if nothing else, take a quick look through the podcast transcript and you will quickly see the relevance for the IBM i community.
Business Agility is Accelerating: Agile methodologies are not only being adopted by IT, but also by other parts of the business. In fact, 86% of organizations use agile for software development.
60 years of Technical archeology: Sound familiar? “It’s very rare to work on something in large-scale environments where you’re completely in white space and it’s a completely greenfield opportunity.”
The challenges of adopting agile approaches: The IBM i community, like others has faced this. It’s normal and can be summed up like this: “Moore’s adoption curve of innovators and early adopters and laggers, like that applies not just to consumers of new technology, but it applies to just change of any sort in any type of organization.”
For the IBM i to Modernize and Transform, the concept of Agile and the sum of all its parts (Tooling, DevOps, etc..) needs to be understood.
Mapping the future of technology is not that easy. This is where IBM and Quantum computing comes in.
IBM has been exploring Quantum Computing for a long time. Here is the most recent roadmap.
The link above is a video that dives into the mix of Hardware and Software that will build the first quantum centric supercomputers.
For a little context, Quantum will never replace classical computing. The power is not in quantum computing alone, but in the combination of quantum and classical. They compliment each other.
Here is a great overview of the Quantum Computing Development Roadmap for 2022.
Artificial Intelligence in The Future
Some in the IBM i community might think that AI is not something they need to pay attention to because it is not part of the development work they do.
While this might be true, I believe we have a moral and ethical obligation to understand the potential benefits and pitfalls of AI.
“While AI is spreading across industries and sectors, it is crucial to examine the positive and negative impacts AI could have on human society.”
The bottom line is there could be “issues with the commons of human knowledge and information. Our digital footprint will be enhanced by AI, which could cause issues with privacy and data security. The future of AI is very uncertain, but it is coming, and we need to be prepared for it.”
This article offers a timestamp on the history of AI, where came from, where it is today and a look at the future.
AI is here to say; where we allow it to take us is up to us. Or is it?
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