What is an AS400?
The AS/400 (Application System/400) was first introduced by IBM on June 20th, 1988. The AS/400 is a popular family of mid-sized computer systems which can also be used as multiuser computer systems. By this, we mean that a single computer can interact with more than one user at a time.
The AS/400 can be utilized for different business facets. Some models are designed as systems that provide resources to other computers, also known as a "server" in a network of computers, while others are set up for use with terminals or "display stations". OS400 is the operating system for the AS/400. The AS/400 computers offer more compatibility across the product line than the earlier System/3X computers. Hence, the earlier IBM models of the System/36 and System/38 have since been replaced by the AS/400 systems.
IBM has sold over 600,000 AS/400's and over 350,000 of them are still active. From distribution warehouses to hospital administrators, and even manufacturing companies, the AS/400 is a strong component in aiding these companies daily business operations. The AS/400 utilizes a green screen interface, a built in database that resembles DB2, and a vast array of software to provide business solutions for todays business needs.
In October of 2000, IBM rebranded the AS/400 and announced its name as the IBM iSeries 400. In doing this, IBM has shown that it is evolving this mid range family of computers in an attempt to keep in tune with the fast paced demands and changes that the Internet and the e-business world reside in. For the purposes of our tutorial, we will continue to use the term AS400 rather than iSeries, although there is no distinction between the two. As well, since 95% of AS/400's use RPG, we will emphasize using RPG in this tutorial.
To answer the question of "why should you bother to learn to use the AS400", check out some of the job sites on the web, such as computerjobs.com or monster.com, and do a search on AS400 RPG, and see the career possibilities that await you.