Are you considering iSeries integration but not sure how to go about it?
If so, this blog will help you find the answers you are seeking!
Today, AS400 serves as the backbone of business operations for countless organizations, but users of iSeries have long been apprehensive about how it integrates with other business technologies and data sources.
The system is undeniably one of the most reliable systems available today for business organizations, but the capacity for data integrations and synchronization, as well as the user experience it provides, falls short of modern requirements.
With the digitalization of operations and modern client requirements, however, smooth integration with external data sources is the answer to the much-desired digitalization that organizations want in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Read ahead to learn how to go about AS400 application integration and fulfill your business requirements.
Challenges of iSeries Development
When AS400 was first developed in the 1980s, it was intended to be a stand-alone solution, with integration not being a top priority. In retrospect, what now appears to be a shortcoming of the utmost clarity was an unthinkable possibility at the time.
As a result, today’s users are attempting to integrate their AS400 platform with various software applications within the corporation, but they are bound to encounter some significant issues.
- Modern apps and SaaS solutions are incompatible with AS400, requiring patchwork integration and substantial customization.
- The existence of data silos as a result of decades of use makes data sharing and access cumbersome for integration.
- Software modernization or rewriting can make it easy to integrate AS400 with other software applications. However, because it is a complex process, most businesses give up.
- Integrations between cloud systems and on-premises AS400 systems are also causing concern among users since they may jeopardize the security of sensitive data.
- Several users lack the requisite information on the overall architecture of the system, causing them to think twice before considering integration or introducing the system to another.
What Are Different Strategies for a Successful iSeries Integration?
When integrating various endpoints spanning the mobile, web, cloud, and other internal and external platforms, traditional point-to-point legacy software app integration methods might not be the best option.
Such methods are generally pricey and may potentially result in a single point of failure in the long term. Here are some feasible, cost-effective solutions for you to consider:
Developing the AS400 iSeries integration
Because most organizations function on a dynamic AS400 framework, there is a consistent need to develop new integrations periodically.
This enables organizations to customize their AS400 system to meet their unique needs.
On the other hand, this is a huge task requiring extensive coding improvements, extended timeframes, and, of course, the capabilities to maintain the iSeries integration in-house.
Using Integration Connectors
There are unique IBM iSeries integration platforms available that have pre-built application connectors and can be used to implement integrations fast and efficiently.
These connectors generally support thousands of transactions every second and allow AS400 iSeries solutions data and applications to be accessed via a reusable API (application programming interfaces).
Use of APIs
This is the most preferred method of integration since it provides concrete benefits such as lower costs and an improved user experience than the others.
APIs are an efficient method to modernize legacy systems without incurring additional operating costs. Businesses can use APIs to enable secure data transfer from their AS400 iSeries database to consuming applications without affecting or altering the source.
Why Choose Hybrid Integration Strategy for iSeries Integration?
Companies that modernize their iSeries platform deliver better, more significant business outcomes than they could ever achieve by remaining in an outdated legacy system alone.
Such organizations that opt for application modernization also deliver better customer experience, increase the level of security, and achieve an overall superior platform performance.
However, as we previously discussed, the prospect of modernizing your iSeries system can be overwhelming. So, where does one begin?
Well, setting up a hybrid cloud environment is one important method with which businesses can start their iSeries modernization initiative and enjoy the advantages mentioned above.
This method makes it possible to move EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to the cloud easily, among other things.
Top 4 Benefits of Hybrid iSeries Integration
Improved user experience
When you move some software applications off the iSeries platform, one of the first things you’ll notice is how much better the entire user experience is.
This is especially true in the case of an integration strategy, as users often benefit from improved visibility, a better user interface, and ease of coordination and automation for any business operation or transaction.
Supporting more protocols means supporting your business
If your organization is expanding, you will need to accommodate additional business requirements from your ecosystem entities, which will often take the shape of data formats and protocols.
The good news is that modern integration systems support other integration use cases, such as integrations that are API-based and additional protocols.
When it comes to more conventional B2B protocols, you might have to support not only AS2 but also SFTP, FTP, REST, email, Partner Mailboxes, etc.
More protocol support enables businesses to manage the various needs of the company, whether it is dealing with new demand from an internal stakeholder or an outside requirement from clients.
Protocol support is vital because, without it, businesses risk disappointing their stakeholders, whether they be clients, collaborators, transporters, or co-workers, jeopardizing business relationships that are important for boosting revenue.
Reducing your overall business risk
When going “all-in” on the iSeries, there are several business risks to consider. One of the major risks that business owners worry about is the security factor.
According to IT Jungle, security is the biggest IT concern for 75 percent of iSeries enterprises. Another survey says that three out of every four enterprises that use the iSeries are concerned about the system’s lack of security or their inability to secure the iSeries.
Recently, there has been a spike in malware attacking the transport and logistics industries. Part of this is due to the hacking community targeting on-premise environments in the hope of gaining faster access to company systems.
Hybrid cloud architecture provides a significantly better secure environment for your company, potentially eliminating or at least reducing security vulnerabilities.
In the situation when your internal, on-premises system is compromised, having your integration in the cloud assures that your sensitive B2B transactions are not jeopardized.
Cloud-based EDI systems provide strong availability and reliability as well as a tested disaster recovery plan. This kind of flexibility and protection can reduce some of your iSeries security concerns.
Improving customer experience
Customer experience is the most powerful growth factor in any organization. History and research suggest that excellent customer services result in satisfied and loyal clients, higher margins, and lower long-term business expenditures.
We’ve all seen the statistics probably, but the most recent one was a Walker study that discovered that 86 percent of consumers are prepared to spend more for a superior customer experience.
While this isn’t breaking news, the best part is that there are several particular ways cloud-based integration can help any company strive for the best customer experience.
The goal is to provide real-time visibility to your client workforces, such as customer support or sales representatives.
To meet all customer satisfaction targets, modern integration solutions provide these staff members with a totally web-based experience that includes end-to-end visibility, partner scorecards, and comprehensive transaction reports.
Your teammates can also create or share reports with external stakeholders and internal team members to encourage interaction, promote collaboration, escalate situations, or simply report status (all actions that improve customer experiences).
By giving your teams the power of visibility, they will be able to act with flexibility and guarantee that your customer relationships remain strong.
Visibility, in particular, can enable these employees to respond to your external key stakeholders’ questions directly and effectively monitor critical industry trends.
It will also help employees work at the personal partner level and eliminate communication barriers between the client and your company by minimizing resolution time on errors.
Plan for a Successful iSeries Application Integration
Consider all your options
If you choose AS400 iSeries integration as an iSeries user, you have to be specific about the domains you intend to improve and your expected outcomes from the transfer. Aside from estimating expenses and establishing a timeframe, the integration tools and procedures to be used must also be determined.
Make a thorough plan
Once the procedures to target have been established, a thorough plan must be implemented that includes crucial variables such as the data types to be retrieved and transferred, data flow nature (one-way or two-way), data backup plan, and synchronization (one-time or ongoing), etc.
Hire an experienced AS400 iSeries integration expert
Because most AS400 organizations lack RPG professionals, it is preferable that a critical operation like integration be performed by experienced AS400 systems development experts. A developer with experience in third-party integration can complete the task effectively and accurately.
But where to find experienced professionals who can adapt to your business’ requirements quickly?
Don’t worry; we’ve got your back!
How Can Integrative Systems Help You with AS400 Support Services?
Integrative Systems’ only purpose as an AS400 iSeries development company is to help you achieve your goals by providing exceptional AS400 support services.
We are an IBM silver business partner and have been in this industry for over 25 years. Therefore, you can trust us with AS400 software applications of any complexity.
We have vast experience in moving systems from AS400 to other technologies such as Microsoft Dot Net, PHP, Java, or any open source such as Linux or UNIX.
To improve and expand your internal workforce, you can recruit AS400 iSeries personnel from Integrative Systems. You will have complete control over selecting people who match your needs and work culture.
So, what are you waiting for?
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your organizational goals and requirements!