It is well known that a good number of AS/400 (iSeries/System i) users indicate they feel their existing AS/400 apps, particularly ERP’s, are out of date and modernization was planned or underway.

Therefore, successful modernization projects are started and guided by business drivers and needs. In general terms, there exist some important drivers for modernization:

Firstly, the integration of the application and their business processes.Then, the necessity of improving user’s experience
Secondly, improving the user experience with a more efficient environment and finally, re-architecting core applications to support new developments and business opportunities.

Why Modernize AS/400 Applications?

Some benefits of AS400 modernization are described as follows:

Improvement of User Productivity: Modern interfaces can be more productive, informative and provide a better experience for today’s workers. Some people still maintain that 5250 interfaces are better for heads down data entry, but they are not being realistic about the power and productivity of a modern Windows interface.

Even for data entry, a purpose-built Windows interface will leave a 5250 interface behind, simply because of its ability to respond to individual keystrokes rather than block mode entry fields.

Reduction of Training Costs: Almost everyone under 35 years of age can use a Windows-style interface. People under 20 have been using them since their early school years. Almost no one knows how to drive a 5250 interface without specific training.

Improvement of Application Image: 5250 applications  and the AS400 platform that supports them sometimes suffer from an image problem, especially in large organizations. For Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) with an existing solution with a 5250 interface, getting new customers and retaining existing ones may be an increasingly challenging task. A modernized user interface combined with the performance and reliability of the IBM i platform can improve the image of an application and produce an excellent combination.

Adaptation to Present and Future technologies: Some AS/400 sites and ISVs have an important need to deliver a modernized version of their application to restore confidence and prove to existing and new customers or end-users that the application has a demonstrable and well thought out future. Add modern features: Email, video, voice, Web browser interfaces and desktop integration are usually not possible in applications with green screen interfaces. These newer technologies and the many ways they can enhance business processes remain a closed world to 5250 applications.