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Meet Our Speakers

Jose Acosta

Midcore Solutions
President

Jose Acosta is co-founder and President of Midcore Solutions. A consulting firm specializing in helping companies bridge the gap between IBM i and new technologies. Jose has more than seventeen years of Information Technology experience developing custom software solutions for IBM i.  His experience spans in RPG and Web application development, database design, and integrated business applications. 

Internet of Things and Web APIs are two emerging technologies driving business transformation. During this session, you will get an overview of these two technologies and how they can be used in IBM i. We will also review trends in business, IOT devices, and vendor market for IOT and Web APIs. 

Patrick Behr

Cambro
Application Architect

Description coming soon!

William Behr

Kube-Pak

Larry has grown up with computers since his father became a CE in 1967. He obtained a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calvin College in 1982 and soon after began working on IBM midrange equipment with the S/34 and S/36. Larry began working on the AS/400 at its introduction in 1988. 

After spending many years as a developer Larry began working on communications, networking, and systems management tasks. Years of working with SNA, SDLC, SNADS, APPC, APPN followed by Token Ring, Ethernet, and TCP/IP taught strong communications troubleshooting skills. In addition to networking on the IBM side Larry learned the infrastructure components of the network including switches, routers, and firewalls, working chiefly with Cisco equipment. 

In 15 years as an IBM Business partner Larry worked with IBMs systems from design through implementation and migration. He has worked on the smallest and largest and everything in between. He has been involved in many Beta and other early release programs with IBM. Larry has held more than 30 IBM certifications on the AS/400, iSeries, System i and Power Systems, including IBM Certified Advanced Technical Expert and is a contributing author to many IBM Certification tests. 

Larry Bolhuis

Frankeni Technology Consulting

Larry has grown up with computers since his father became a CE in 1967. He obtained a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calvin College in 1982 and soon after began working on IBM midrange equipment with the S/34 and S/36. Larry began working on the AS/400 at its introduction in 1988. 

After spending many years as a developer Larry began working on communications, networking, and systems management tasks. Years of working with SNA, SDLC, SNADS, APPC, APPN followed by Token Ring, Ethernet, and TCP/IP taught strong communications troubleshooting skills. In addition to networking on the IBM side Larry learned the infrastructure components of the network including switches, routers, and firewalls, working chiefly with Cisco equipment. 

In 15 years as an IBM Business partner Larry worked with IBMs systems from design through implementation and migration. He has worked on the smallest and largest and everything in between. He has been involved in many Beta and other early release programs with IBM. Larry has held more than 30 IBM certifications on the AS/400, iSeries, System i and Power Systems, including IBM Certified Advanced Technical Expert and is a contributing author to many IBM Certification tests. 

We'll cover everything from the options and pieces for the HMC comes it's basic usage.  
 

  • We'll discuss installation, software updates, connectivity, user profiles, and user capabilities.

 

  • We'll consider things to watch for and some things NOT to do!

 

  • We'll also discuss updating IBM i's FSP using the HMC.

 

  • When you leave this session, you will be comfortable with what an HMC is, and how to use it locally and remotely.

 
The session is based on HMC code level 7 so if you already have an HMC but would like to see what you're missing in the newer version come on down!  
What we will not cover is the detail of creating and working with partitions, this is an HMC session!  
 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the components and capabilities of the HMC
 
  • Configure the HMC and its users and security.
 
  • Update the HMC software.
 
  • Connect to the HMC remotely to manage IBM i

 

How much disk storage do you have on your system? The most common answer is 'not enough!' Attend this session and find out where all that space went, what you can clean up, and what should be left alone.  

  • Learn about reporting, automating, and managing your disk space in IBM i.

 

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the tools IBM has built into IBM i and how to leverage them to help keep your system clean.

 
Walk away with a solid understanding of how to clean up your disk space, manage your IFS, and reorganize your files.  
 

Learning Objectives:

  • How to determine where all your disk space has gone.
 
  • How to clean up unused space in physical files.
 
  • How to search for object filling up the IFS.
 
  • How to use *nix and PASE tools to work in the iFS.
We've all heard stories of things gone wrong, some were just bad, some were horrible, and some were just plain hilarious! The more you know of these things the more likely you can avoid them.  
 

  • This session will be a user feedback session where the horrible terrible and very bad experieneces of audience members will be added to the speakers experiences and used as educational tools to prevent those problems from killing us.

 
You know the rule, smart people learn from their mistakes, the truly brilliant learn from someone else's. Come make yourself look brilliant!

Learning Objectives:

  • System Admins have every opportunity to be the goat and no opportunity to be the hero. This session will help avoid some of the goat opportunities.
 
In days gone by the IBM Supplied program QSTRUP combined with a couple options on CHGIPLA was good enough for most IBM i shops. It started what seemed to be needed and anything else we stumbled through after each IPL. When it was time to shut down a PWRDWNSYS or ENDSBS command took down whatever was running. We were happy.  
 
Today though we often see dozens of subsytems running many web servers, other needed batch jobs and services. We see monitors and queue processing jobs and many writers. For security purposes we should be starting only the TCP servers that we need, not all of them. Likely we should not start IPV6 and start things in sequence as well.  
 
Further considerations may be needed in an HA environment. These include not starting jobs until iASPS are available and starting different IP interfaces and services depending on production or backup mode of the server. We may want to handle special startup modes while doing PTFs, backups or other system maintenance.  
 
In this session we will work with customizing that startup. We'll discuss staring PASE jobs with QSH, web server jobs and more. We'll discuss prestart jobs and autostart jobs. And finally we will also work with sequencing the shutdown of the system. As part of this we'll discuss some simple ways to know what needs to be shut down and smoothly handling that. 

Learning Objectives:

  • 1. Learn how to control which startup program will run on your IBM i.
 
  • 2. Examine the various servers to start and how to control them.
 
  • 3. Learn options for starting different services.
 
  • 4. Consider ways to control the startup of your server in different operting modes.
 
  • 5. Understanding an orderly shutdown of your IBM i server.

Chris Bremer

Dynamic Solutions International
Chief Technology Officer

Chris Bremer holds a Business Administration degree from John Carroll University. His history in engineering data storage software gives him a unique perspective on cyber security. He has 35 years of experience in the tech field and still lives and breathes technology. If he is not skiing, he is either thinking about how to make a product better or coming up with a new product.

Ever wondered what the difference between compression and deduplication is?  We will explain the differences and leave you with a working knowledge of deduplication.

With the recent announcement by IBM of the discontinuance of the Protectier product line, we will discuss the DSI VTL product line which is the official replacement for Protectier.

Erwin Earley

Rogue Wave Software, Inc.
Sr. Solutions Consultant

With over 20 years working in the IBM i community, previously at IBM and now with Rogue Wave Software, Erwin has worked with a number of technologies on the POWER platform including cloud (PowerVC), Dev/Ops solutions (Docker, Chef), Open Source technologies (Linux, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP). Erwin has expertise in a variety of technologies including virtualization, storage, networking, and operating systems including AIX, IBM i, and Linux. Erwin is a frequent speaker at various user groups and technical conferences and has authored numerous articles on Linux, PHP, virtualization, and systems management.

Open Source solutions continue to be in vogue for businesses large and small and you might be surprised at the wealth of open source solutions that are available for you to leverage directly on the IBM i platform.  This session will explore IBM’s adoption of open source packages and repositories as well as open source solutions available on IBM i including PHP, SAMBA, node.js, Python, and Ruby.    Along the way we well also explore how to install/enable tools such as bash, git, zip, perl and others in the PASE environment.  This session will open your eyes to what is possible on your IBM i

John Gay

Syncsort
Senior Manager, Sales Engineering

Overview of reasons why you need real-time data and how to solve the problems surrounding the issue.

Charlie Guarino

Central Park Data Systems
President

Charles Guarino has been an Information Technology consultant for the vast majority of
his career. He is also the founder and President of Central Park Data Systems, Inc., a Long Island and New York City area based IBM midrange consulting and corporate
training company. In addition, he is a professional speaker presenting at technical
conferences and events across the United States and Europe. He is a frequent
contributor of articles and webcasts for the IBM i community, with topics covering a
broad range of IT topics and strategies. Charles is a member of COMMON’s Speaker
Excellence Hall of Fame and The Long Island Software and Technology Network’s
Twenty Top Techies. Recently Charles became the proud recipient of the Al Barsa
Memorial Scholarship Award. Additionally, he currently serves as a board member of
COMMON and also participates on COMMON’s Strategic Education Team (SET). Other professional endeavors have included being the president and monthly Q&A host of the Long Island System User’s Group LISUG

Once you have a solid basic understanding of RDi you will want to attend this advanced session that
demonstrates many of the finer points of application development. Here is where you can truly
customize RDi to watch your development time shrink and performance soar.

What if I told you there is a tool that plugs in to RDi that adds a boat load of features, so many 

that you will never know how you got this far without them? And what if I also told you these tools 

not only exist but are free?

 

Welcome to the world of iSphere, a collection of RDi enhancements that further cements RDi's place 

as the leader in IBM i application development.  It provides much of the “missing” functionality 

that today’s developers need.

This session features a step by step review of these features.

 

XML has quickly become a standard method of encoding data. It can be used for full document
transmittals or data provided via a web service. The extraction of this data into useable
information is called parsing. RPG provides two different methods for parsing. This session goes
step by step through the entire process of receiving an XML document to successfully parsing it to
a database file. The XML- INTO and XML-SAX statements will be reviewed. The challenges and
requirements of both statements will be discussed. At the end of this session, you will be able to
identify which parsing method works best for your particular situation. Included with this session
are program listings that you can take back and put to use immediately. Updates to this session
include i7.1 TR6’s exciting SQL XML processing.
Learning Objectives:
1) Gain a basic understanding of XML syntax
2) Learn how XML parsing has been implemented into RPG.
3) See live examples of the XML parsers at work.

A web service extends your applications in a way that no traditional programming can. They allow
you to get real time information for almost any requirement. We’ll discuss what web services are,
how they function and how you can begin using them on your own system. Get step-by-step
instructions on the entire Web service process from receiving an XML or JSON document to
successfully parsing its information to a display or database file.
See working RPG code of an XML parsing program and watch how we consume a RESTful web service.
Updates include i7.1 SQL enhancements which make consuming web services a snap. This session
includes source code to get started using dynamic Web services today!

Barbara Harris

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.
Director, IT Business & Financial Systems

Wim Jongman

Remain Software
Chief Technology Officer

Wim Jongman has been working in open source since 2005. Wim is an occasional contributor to the open source Eclipse Git projects, committer for various other projects and the project lead for Eclipse Nebula which provide rich user interface elements.

 

In this session, Wim is going to explain what a REST is and how this technology has disrupted the way we do business. You have already been using REST more than you think and Wim is going to unveil exactly where. After it is clear what REST is we are going to explore, by example, some of the mechanisms that underpin REST.

  • What is a Rest Service
  • Jason who?
  • What does “State” have to do with REST
  • How  does REST bind IT systems together
  • The REST API as the binding glue
  • All fine and dandy Wim, but we are on the AS/400!
    • How can this be translated to RPG

The take away for this session is that it has demystified the REST concept and how it can be translated to the IBM i.

In this session Wim is going to introduce Jenkins. Jenkins was intended to compile programs but it’s abstraction makes it much more versatile and you could possibly also use it as our next job scheduler. Wim is going to explore the traditional use of Jenkins and then dive into some other uses of the tool.

  • What is Jenkins?
  • What is CI?
  • Download and run Jenkins locally
  • Download and Run Jenkins on the IBM i
  • Examples:
    • Create a compile job
    • Use it as a Job Scheduler

Mike Pavlak

Fresche Solutions
IBM i Strategist

Mike Pavlak has been working with IBM midrange solutions since 1992 and IBM Mainframes before that. After years of developing applications using RPG, CL and PHP he managed IT development and IT for power protection manufacturer Tripp Lite. Mike joined Zend as a Solutions Consultant in 2008 working with the sales team and spreading the news about Zend solutions in the IBM midrange arena. Mike lives in suburban Chicago with his wife, five kids, two dogs, three cats, a leopard spotted gecko, Russian tortoise, two rabbits, half a dozen fish and a fancy mouse.

Does Python on IBM i have a practical use or is this just a solution looking for a problem? In this session we will explore the typical use cases for Python in the open source community and apply some to IBM i. In addition, specific IBM i centric use cases will be explored to give the attendee the opportunity to judge for themselves how to best leverage Python in the combined open source and IBM i space.

Learning Objectives:

1) Learn how Python is used in Open Source environments.
2) Explore how Python can be exploited in IBM i centric environments
3) See several examples of open source Python applications in action

Come get your first look at Python and learn some of the basics! Also, learn about the product offerings that enable you to do software development with the language on the platform. Upon completing this class, you will be able to acquire, install, and use the language on IBM i, as well as extend its power using contributions from the larger open source community. We will also explore Db2 Data Access and IFS file system access as primary use cases for Python on IBM i.

Learning Objectives:

1) Installation of Python on IBM i.
2) Multiple methods of use and access
3) Db2 data access from Python

Python is a language that has been perceived as infrastructure or plumbing in the IT department, much like CL. While this is an excellent use for Python, it has emerged as a strategic language for application development, too. In this workshop we’ll explore the implementation, syntax and application use cases of Python on IBM i. From a fundamentals perspective you will get hands on experience using the command line, shell environment, script creation, storage and execution. As we progress through the workshop we will delve into Db2 data access and program calls using XML Service as well as a brief tour of frameworks. Then we’ll wrap things up with how open source applications built in Python can add value to your IT environment by creating real spreadsheets in seconds, etc.

Doug Mack

IBM - Analytics Consultant, Db2 for i

Doug Mack is a DB2 for i Analytics Consultant in IBM’s Power Systems Lab Services
organization, employed by IBM in the United States. Doug currently leads the Analytics team for the DB2 for i Lab Services team delivering Query/400 modernization, DB2 Web Query, Data Warehouse design, skills transfer, and implementation guidance services worldwide.

Doug is a regular speaker at customer events including COMMON, IBM Technical Conferences and Executive Briefings, and has written many articles and white papers on the attributes of DB2 for i for analytics.

You can follow Doug on Twitter @mckdrmoly or via his blog at db2webqueryi.blogspot.com

The new version of Db2 Web Query continues the evolution of this IBM i based Business Intelligence and data warehousing tool set. Powerful new ways to visualize data expand on classic BI capabilities to enhance the end user and report developer experience. New use cases are popping up all the time for the DataMigrator ETL (Extract, Transformation, and Load) component of the product set. This session will cover the latest with BI for i.

With the end of 7.1 nearing, you may want to jump straight to 7.3 and take advantage of the many new enhancements in Db2 for i capabilities. Temporal tables, SQL OLAP Extensions, JSON support, and enhancements for the database engineer in Access Client Solutions (including an easy way to download ACS and stay current as new function is added each quarter). Come learn about the power of Db2 for i that comes with the OS!

A significant enhancement in IBM i 7.2 is the ability to secure your most critical asset - your data - with built in Row and Column Access Control (RCAC). Control who can access what data within a table/file, or who should see PII data or have that automatically masked for others. RCAC protects your data from any application or database interface, whether its RPG, ODBC, or web based apps trying to get access. For those responsible for ensuring you can meet security or audit requirements, a new tool from IBM Lab Services can simplify your ability to quickly assess compliance across over 1000 IBM i security attributes. The PowerSC Compliance and Reporting Tool (CART) is a low cost dashboard solution to monitor compliance.

Lloyd Mason

Avalara
Strategic Alliance Manager

Lloyd is both manager the Strategic Partnership between Infor and Avalara. They work directly with Infor’s customers and partners to help Manufacturing and Distribution companies save resources and mitigate risk by automating sales tax compliance with Avalara’s End to End Sales Tax Compliance Suite.

Get the inside scoop on:

  • The sales tax landscape: why it is more complex than ever and what that means in mitigating risk
  • Economic Nexus Laws and how they could impact your business
  • The importance of exemption certificates (reseller certificates) in sales tax compliance—even if you think you don’t owe sales tax
  • How Avatax and Infor seamlessly integrate to apply the proper sales tax every time to invoices, manages exemption certificates, files and remits returns while providing “Accuracy Guaranteed"audit protection

Learn how Avalara delivers end-to-end cloud-based (real-time data) sales tax automation, including rate determination, return filing, remittance and exemption certificate management!

John Valance

Division 1 Systems

John Valance has worked on the IBM midrange platform since 1983 and on web development since 1998. With a strong background in both RPG and web development, John enjoys sharing his knowledge with the IBM midrange community. He has extensive programming experience in RPG, Java, PHP, and JavaScript, and he enjoys explaining new programming concepts to RPG programmers. John is a frequent presenter at user groups across North America. John is the founder and CTO of Division 1 Systems, a software services firm based in Burlington, Vermont USA (www.div1sys.com). John can be reached at johnv@div1sys.com.

While PHP allows for both a procedural as well as an object-oriented coding style, today most
professional PHP application packages are created using object-oriented techniques. Why? – because this results in code that is more organized, easier to maintain and extend, with fewer bugs. This session will start with a review of PHP functions and data scope – concepts that are fundamental to understanding objects. It will then cover the basics of creating classes and instantiating objects. The concepts, syntax, and terminology will be introduced using a very simple Person class, and an application that makes use of this class. We will cover constructors and other magic methods, public vs. private visibility, setter and getter methods, the "$this" object, error handling, exceptions and try/catch blocks. After covering all the basics, we'll step it up a notch and present a more realistic example: creating an HTML form input class, which can be used to build an input form for displaying and updating database record contents. This is an introductory session on OO – no prior OO experience is required, but a familiarity with PHP syntax and web application development is helpful.

Among the many modernization technologies available on IBM i, SQL is perhaps the one best known by RPG developers. This session won't focus on how to write SQL statements, but rather how to write scripts that combine SQL statements together into procedures that encapsulate database access and core business logic for use in a myriad of modern applications. We'll discuss how stored procedures fit into a modernization strategy, and why they are such a good fit for RPG programmers who want to participate in modernization projects. They're also a great fit for anyone new to IBM I who needs access to its database for applications in PHP, Java, Crystal Reports, IBM Web Query, Excel, Web Services, conversion projects, etc.

SQL is often embedded in other languages, such as RPG, PHP, Java, etc. But IBM provides the SQL Procedure Language (SQL/PL), which can be used to code complex or multiple SQL statements into procedures that can form the backbone of a service oriented architecture. These procedures can be called from any programming language. This can simplify the database access code in PHP, Java, and other host languages, while taking full advantage of DB2-specific SQL features.  

Come and learn about the many features and benefits of SQL stored procedures, how to code them, and how to use them in your modernization strategy.

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