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IBM i in 2020: 2020 iSight & New Homes for IBM i information

IBMer Steve Will gives a glimpse at what's ahead for IBM i.

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It’s finally time for my first blog post of 2020. I have a couple of things I need to talk about to start the year, so let’s get to them.
 
First, I want to encourage you to read the new 2020 iSight blog. This year, we want to help clients, ISVs, business partners—the whole IBM i community really—see where this platform is headed. We want to provide a clear vision of the future. The 2020 iSight blog will be a place where we can collect the forward-looking thoughts of various members of the community and share news, plus tell stories about the future of IBM i and the people who use it. The initial blog talks about some themes for 2020—continuous availability, cloud and more. Check it out!
 
2020 iSight will also tie to many of the themes you’ll see us use at conferences, user groups, webcasts, etc. And there will be MANY opportunities to see us! Just yesterday we had a planning session to gather up all the requests we’ve had (so far!) for IBM’s IBM i speakers in 2020, and the calendar is already extremely full! In a future post, I’ll talk more about where I’ll be speaking this year.  
 
Between the TRs we’ll deliver this year, the increasing availability of IBM i in various clouds, the impressive innovation stories coming in from clients, and other fun things we have in the pipeline for this year, 2020 is going to be a good year to look forward!
 

IBM i Information Has New Homes

My second topic is one which has caused confusion and quite a bit of unexpected work in the last quarter of 2019 and the first month of 2020: IBM’s move away from developerWorks as a home for much of its information. Initially, people visiting developerWorks pages in early October found banners at the top of those pages telling us that community content housed there would be gone at the end of the year. Ultimately, an extension was approved so that those developerWorks pages would last until the end of first quarter 2020 (but “locked down” so no changes were allowed) while we migrated the content to new homes in the ibm.com domain.

One of the most critical parts of the developerWorks community information our team needed to migrate was the collected descriptions of the enhancements we make—for each major release, and for the technology refreshes. Related pages such as the Db2 Services pages, pages for RPG, Rational Developer for i, Db2 Web Query and many others were also included in this critical list.

As of Sunday, Feb. 2, the migration of that critical documentation to its new homes was complete. While there are three possible homes for former developerWorks community material, most of the technical information I’m talking about ended up under the support part of ibm.com.  

As they landed in their new homes, the pages ended up with fairly “meaningless” URLs. For example, the “IBM i Technology Updates” page, here’s the page with links to descriptions of enhancements for all the major releases and TRs since 7.2.

Now, for that page, someone (Scott Forstie!) created a more meaningful link, which redirects to the right page. But so far, those meaningful names only exist for a few pages.  

What About Searching, Bookmarks and Redirection?

We realize, of course, that the two biggest ways people find our information—even when it was on developerWorks community—is by doing searches or by having bookmarks to key pages. Now that the content has been migrated to its new homes, there’s an opportunity for redirection to help.

For example, when I did a search for “IBM i 7.4 enhancements” one of the top results was the former home on developerWorks, but when I clicked the link, it took me to the new home for the 7.4 base enhancements information

It’s going to be important for people who have created bookmarks (or imbedded links on web pages) to find the new homes for the information they care about and create new bookmarks.

More to Come in 2020

That’s it for this post. In the future, I’ll talk about other topics I think are important for the community to hear: what non-IBMers are saying about IBM i; who the new Fresh Faces are for the spring of 2020; what the next TR contains and so on. Until then, I hope you are looking forward to the year with 2020 iSight!

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