IBM i is an integrated operating system that runs on IBM Power Systems hardware. It is known for its robust and highly secure architecture, designed to support mission-critical business applications. This operating system offers an extensive range of built-in tools and services, including database management, web services, and application development, which enables businesses to effectively handle and process their data.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “IBM I” is: Aye Bee Em Aye

Key Takeaways

  1. IBM i is a powerful, scalable, and reliable operating system designed for mission-critical applications on IBM Power Systems hardware.
  2. It offers built-in security features, database integration, and support for a wide range of industry-standard programming languages and tools.
  3. IBM i is designed with a focus on simplicity, efficiency, and a high level of integration, allowing businesses to develop, deploy, and maintain applications with ease and flexibility.


The IBM i is an important technology term as it refers to an integrated operating system and hardware platform, originally named AS/400, which is specifically designed for business applications and known for its exceptional reliability, security, and performance.

Developed by IBM, this system provides a unique architecture, combining database, application, and communication servers within one unified environment, enabling efficient management of business processes.

Over the years, the IBM i platform has undergone significant improvements and updates, resulting in a versatile and robust system that handles a wide range of tasks, including data management, automation of IT operations, and handling complex workloads.

With a large community of developers and a myriad of software solutions built around IBM i, this platform continues to play a crucial role in the smooth running of many organizations across various industries, making it a valuable asset in the world of technology.


IBM i is a powerful and highly integrated operating system designed to facilitate simplified and efficient environments for businesses. It’s purpose lies in providing a platform that is known for its exceptional reliability, security, and scalability, allowing organizations to quickly adapt to evolving business needs. Leveraging the robust IBM Power Systems hardware, IBM i is capable of running a wide range of applications used for critical tasks like data processing, analytics, and cloud-based services.

This flexible technology is intended to support traditional, modern, and emerging applications by seamlessly integrating open-source software with built-in IBM i services, allowing companies to focus on growth and innovation rather than worrying about managing their IT infrastructure. IBM i is extensively used across various industries, such as retail, distribution, manufacturing, and finance, to streamline operations and manage massive amounts of data effectively. The platform boasts integrated systems management features, which simplify the administration of complex business applications.

This enables businesses to control costs, reduce downtime, and enhance productivity through swift data processing and applications management. Additionally, IBM i is designed to support modern programming languages, such as Python, Node.js, and Ruby, alongside traditional languages like RPG and COBOL, offering a versatile environment that keeps pace with contemporary software development practices. By enabling consistent and secure access to applications and data via centralized platforms, IBM i has proven to be an invaluable technology for businesses looking to stay ahead in today’s fast-paced, data-driven world.

Examples of IBM I

Case Study: North Carolina State University (NCSU)North Carolina State University adopted IBM i to support their infrastructure, working with the IBM i-based ERP system (Ellucian Banner Software). NCSU uses several applications that run on IBM i, including their finance management, human resources, and student administrative systems. The adoption of IBM i has allowed NCSU to manage its IT infrastructure efficiently, provide high availability, and enhance the overall user experience for the university’s faculty, staff, and students.

Case Study: DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse)DSW, one of the largest shoe retailers in the United States, implemented the IBM i platform to enhance their warehouse management system. By adopting IBM i, DSW was able to streamline its supply chain and improve inventory management. The system also helped DSW to consolidate multiple platforms and applications onto a single IBM i system, resulting in significant cost savings, enhanced security, and increased operational efficiency.

Case Study: K3S-Replenish (Inventory Management Software Provider)K3S, a software company that specializes in inventory management solutions, utilized the IBM i platform to develop their Replenish application. This application provides retailers and wholesalers with accurate, real-time data to optimize inventory levels and minimize stockouts. By using IBM i, K3S was able to build a highly reliable, robust, and scalable solution, offering their clients the ability to manage inventory with precision and efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about IBM i

What is IBM i?

IBM i is a highly reliable and secure operating system used primarily on IBM Power Systems servers. It is known for its robust integrated database management, virtualization capabilities, and ease of administration. It supports a wide range of business applications and is designed to provide a strong foundation for modern workloads.

What are the main advantages of IBM i?

Some key advantages of IBM i include excellent system availability, security, scalability, and a strong ecosystem of applications and tools. Additionally, the platform provides energy efficiency, ease of administration, and excellent support for mixed-language environments and modern programming languages.

Which programming languages are supported by IBM i?

IBM i supports a wide variety of programming languages, including RPG, COBOL, C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, Node.js, PHP, and .NET through the open-source community and third-party solutions. This flexibility allows organizations to keep their existing legacy applications running while also adopting modern languages for new development efforts.

How do I start developing applications on IBM i?

To start developing applications on IBM i, you will first need access to an IBM Power Systems server running the IBM i operating system. You can utilize the available integrated development environments (IDEs) or development tools on the platform to write, compile, and debug your applications in the programming language of your choice.

What is the difference between IBM i, AS/400, and iSeries?

AS/400, iSeries, and IBM i refer to different generations of the same platform introduced by IBM. AS/400 (Application System/400) was the original name when the platform was launched in 1988. The name was later changed to iSeries in 2000 during a hardware refresh. IBM i is the latest and current version of the platform, focusing on the operating system and software components, running on IBM Power Systems hardware since 2008.

How do I maintain and manage my IBM i systems?

IBM i systems can be managed through the IBM Navigator for i, a browser-based interface that allows you to manage your hardware, software, and system performance. You can also use IBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS) to manage and interact with your IBM i systems. Additionally, IBM offers various system monitoring tools and third-party solutions to help manage and maintain your servers.

Related Technology Terms

  • AS/400 (Application System/400)
  • RPG (Report Program Generator)
  • DB2 (Database 2)
  • ILE (Integrated Language Environment)
  • Power Systems (IBM’s server line for IBM i)

Sources for More Information


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