By Andrew Ireland & Alison Butterill

Microservices, containers, hybrid cloud, CI/CD, DevOps. The list of these “buzzwords” goes on and on. You’ve probably heard a lot of about them recently, especially with all these virtual events taking place the last few years. You’ve also been told you need to use these technologies to modernize your IBM i applications. But how do they apply to your existing RPG-based business applications? And how and where do you get started? Maybe you need the help of a wizard.

That wizard is here. Introducing IBM i Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration, or “Merlin” for short. Merlin is a joint solution from IBM and ARCAD to help streamline new next-generation application development on IBM i and automate modernization of existing ones. It is a set of tools that run in Red Hat OpenShift containers and are accessible for your developers through their favorite web browser. No need to install new software on all their PCs. With Merlin you can:

Enable Cloud for Application Development

Merlin enables your teams to take full advantage of cloud for application development. Spin up an IBM i development environment in seconds and take it down when you’re done. Build new next-generation applications quickly and deploy them faster than ever before, getting to market sooner to gain a competitive advantage. Realize the true value of hybrid cloud with multi-platform CI/CD implementation.

Automate CI/CD and Security

You want to build new applications quickly and get them to market fast, but you need to do it securely at the same time. Merlin ensures applications are written securely across the entire development lifecycle with automated security and testing. Get continuous feedback with a single DevOps pipeline from test to production.

Speed Up Developer Onboarding

New developers coming into your organization don’t want to work with fixed-format RPG. They are used to industry-standard tools like Git for change management, Jenkins for CI/CD, and a browser-based IDE comparable to Visual Studio for writing code. Merlin integrates these technologies and automates the conversion of fixed-format RPG to Free Format.

Additionally, Merlin stores detailed cross-references of your application in the ARCAD metadata repository (relationship between fields, file, programs etc.). This enables developers to quickly get an understanding of the application and the impact of a change. Together these features significantly reduce the learning curve for new team members and increase their productivity immediately.

This first release of Merlin we are announcing today is just the start of a long roadmap for the solution. IBM and ARCAD together are continuously building new capabilities to help our clients modernize their existing applications and build new next-generation ones on IBM i. Get started working with the tools and please provide us with your feedback on what should come next. User feedback is how we started building this solution in the first place, and it is how we will take it into the future. To learn more about IBM i Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration, register for the webcast, head to the product page, or contact your IBM or ARCAD representative.

Alan Ashley

Alison Butterill

WW IBM i Offering Manager, IBM

Alison is the WW Product Manager for IBM i and responsible for the strategy and direction of IBM i. She works with development to set the strategic technical direction for the IBM i Portfolio. Alison spends time reviewing the market, the industry and talking with clients about their specific requirements for IBM i. She is a frequent speaker at events (virtual and face-to-face) all over the world. During her career with IBM, Alison has held a wide variety of positions, including field Systems Engineer, an instructor in Customer Technical Education, national support representative for IBM Canada, and Worldwide Technical Marketing support representative for the development tools and compilers from the IBM Toronto Laboratory.

Alan Ashley

Andrew Ireland

Global Alliances Manager & DevSecOps Business Manager, ARCAD Software

Andrew Ireland is ARCAD Global Alliances Manager and DevSecOps Business Manager at ARCAD Software. With over 30 years’ experience in both technical and commercial roles. During that period he gained experience in application development, CASE Tools, AI and a understanding of best practices around modernisation of legacy applications. The last 10 years he has been helping organisations move toward an agile DevOps environment including integrating their legacy solutions.

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