What is As400 (IBM AS/400)? AS400 Meaning

IBM AS400 is an incredibly secure, stable, and dependable platform for web and mobile business applications. First introduced in 1988 as the IBM 9404 and IBM 9406 B-series models, this application system has been a resounding success over its decades of existence; by 1997 alone, it had already reached half a million shipments! With scalability that can’t be beaten, AS/400(Application System/400) provides Small to Medium Enterprises with invaluable user-friendly computing resources.

Understanding AS400 Meaning with Key Notes

  • AS400 is an application system, where the “AS” stands for “Application System.”
  • The industry that stores and processes sensitive data simultaneously uses it because it is multiuser, multitasking, and secure.
  • It integrates DB2, menu-driven interfaces, multi-user support, security, communications, client–server, and web-based applications.
  • It’s best for mid-level industries like pharmaceuticals, banking, malls, hospital administration, manufacturing, distribution, finance, e-commerce, and more.
  • IBM debuted the AS/400 (Application System/400) on June 21, 1988, renaming it eServer iSeries in 2000 and System I in 2006. Power system merged System I and System P in 2008.
  • AS400 uses Layered machine architecture. It lets users switch hardware without affecting their applications.
  • The AS/400 offers a wide array of programming languages, such as RPG, assembly language, C++, Pascal, Java, and Smalltalk, to name only a few.
  • AS400 is built on a multi-layered machine architecture, allowing users to transition to more innovative hardware technology effortlessly and without jeopardizing app programs.
  • The system stores and retrieves everything as “objects.” AS400 only recognizes defined object types. It cannot identify unknown items. It boosts system security.
  • By leveraging the power of contiguous memory between main storage and disk storage, users can easily add more disk space to their system, no matter how large or small.
  • AS400 stores sensitive data securely. It has multilevel security. Users can only access/process certain system data.
AS 400 IBM System

History of AS400 System

  • 1988: In June, IBM launched the IBM Application System/400, an easy-to-use computer family for small and medium-sized businesses. IBM and IBM Business Partners globally introduce over 1,000 software packages in the largest simultaneous applications announcement in computing history.
  • 1989: IBM launched the B70, a high-end Application System/400 variant, in early 1989. It has a faster processor and main memory, expandable disc storage, and more local workstations and communications lines.
  • 1990: In August, IBM introduced two low-cost AS/400 processors for small enterprises and departments of bigger companies. Application System/Entry now has a low-end processor. Operating system upgrades, new data storage devices, more memory, better systems availability, and hundreds of upgraded applications strengthen the AS/400 family.
  • 1991: With 11 processors, the AS/400 series is revamped. The AS/400 introduces a $12,000 entry-level machine and a new operating system.
  • 1992: In February, IBM upgraded the Application System/400 product line with a new operating system and 13 powerful E-model processors that raised system performance by up to 70% and introduced 16-million-bit memory chips to the industry.
  • 1993: The new F model Application System/400 is 60% more powerful and 26% cheaper. Later in the year, three high-performance AS/400 Server Series models—9402 Model 100, 9404 Models 135, and 140—were released.
  • 1994: In May, the AS/400 Advanced Series—the AS/400 Advanced System, Server, and Portable—is released. The AS/400 Advanced 36, a PowerPC-based 64-bit RISC processor-based replacement for the IBM System/36, and the Portable One Model P02, a fully functional portable AS/400, are released.
  • 1995: An affordable, portable version of AS/400 is introduced as the AS/400 Advanced Portable.
  • 1996: IBM launches the AS/400 Advanced Series, which supports Lotus Notes and provides quick Internet connection, AS/400 Advanced Entry for small firms, and the AS/400 Advanced 36 business computer.
  • 1997: In August, the company launched a new family of AS/400e series servers to allow small and medium-sized businesses and departments of large enterprises to take advantage of Internet business potential.
  • 1998: In February, the AS/400e servers 170 and 150 were released, followed by the model S40, 650, and 170 in August. IBM delivered an AS/400 every 12 minutes in 1998.
  • 1999: IBM unveils a powerful new range of AS/400e servers with faster processors, improved performance, and the ability to handle various application workloads on one server.
  • 2000: IBM presents the IBM eServer, a new generation of servers with as400 mainframe class dependability and scalability, extensive support of open standards for application development, and capacity on demand to meet the extraordinary needs of e-business.
  • 2001: World Access, a global telecommunications company, buys the largest IBM eServer iSeries system, the i840, to charge more than 100 million phone calls daily. IBM launches iSeries Connect, an integrated software tool that connects small and mid-sized businesses to global e-marketplaces.

Characteristics of IBM AS400

Scalability and Security with Object-based OS

AS400 systems are designed with an object-based kernel that offers a variety of unique capabilities, such as single-level storage that cannot be found in any other operating system. These features provide businesses with increased stability and security, making them essential for their success.

AS 400 Component comes with Broad integration

The components of an AS400 system are designed to work together for maximum efficiency. This integration provides businesses with a broad range of capabilities that can be used to their advantage, including integrating applications and data from different sources.

AS400 provides Efficient Apportioning

Server applications like VMware, Hyper-V, and Xen have constraints. It implies software-based virtualization. It means your assigned features won’t be integrated as closely with your system, which will degrade performance. A firmware virtualization solution like AS400 systems is needed to maximize it.

AS400 gives Simplified Interface

If you’re working on a Windows or Linux OS, getting the most out of your systems administrator requires comprehensive tools from multiple suppliers. With AS400 systems, you can rest assured that your regular tasks will be conducted effortlessly while enjoying a simplified interface for your organizational needs.

Doesn’t need so many Physical Servers

Virtualization solutions like PowerVM show you don’t require as much data center infrastructure. Management and momentum costs are simplified. Processor, memory, and I/O can be balanced. An x86 server cannot do that routinely. Your overall capacity will increase.

Who still uses the AS400 System?

Although many businesses have upgraded to newer systems, AS/400 is still utilized by some companies. iDatalabs reports that IBM I holds 10.1% of the market share in server popularity, narrowly trailing HP’s lead. Specifically attractive to manufacturing and IT fields, this product from IBM has remained a steady preference for decades due to its reliable system capabilities. The AS 400 operating system is widely used across multiple industries around the globe. Take Robert Bosch, a German multinational entity: they are one of the leading users of IBM Power Systems. In addition, this platform caters to organizations regardless of size or scope – small businesses and large enterprises can benefit from its usage!

Why do companies still use IBM AS400?

Although IBM is said to not provide technical support for companies embracing cloud computing, and some believe that as/400 technology has become outdated, many businesses still use this system. In particular, those who run it as an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system commonly find success with its mainframe capabilities in SAP and database management applications. Nevertheless, when speaking of wholesale distribution business especially – they have begun transitioning to a more accessible, accurate yet cost-efficient cloud ERP instead.

Reasons companies continue using the AS/400 system

AS/400 cloud is an invaluable tool for many businesses, and its scalability and cost-effectiveness make it even more attractive to retailers. But that’s not all; there are several other reasons companies continue using the AS/400 system. Here are a few of them…

  • The Power Systems iseries still demonstrates the same excellence and dependability as its predecessor, the AS/400. Remarkably, this original platform boasted CPUs that ran three to five times faster than their contemporaries!
  • Organizations of any size and budget can find the perfect system to meet their needs with IBM. From entry-level systems for small businesses to powerful servers for large data centers, there is an IBM product ideal for you. Moreover, a range of operating systems is available such as IBM I and RedHat Enterprise Linux – giving users complete flexibility in managing their IT infrastructure.
  • Retaining AS400 System, I is cost-effective. Current AS/400 servers support 1988 programs. Switching from IBM hardware to another may seem inexpensive. However, implementing new hardware may interrupt operations too much. Moving from the AS/400 requires expensive software installation, configuration, and updates. After years on the same platform, changing may seem disruptive.
  • AS/400 is the total package. The AS400 overview indicates that it’s a comprehensive solution, even in this cloud computing age where customers only pay for what they use. With its wide range of services and capabilities, AS/400 provides users with an all-inclusive system to meet their business needs.

Benefits and Challenges of AS400

The foremost perk of as400 is that it doesn’t require regular rebooting, providing a more dependable and robust system.Although this system can be a costly investment compared to other hardware systems, its price is contingent on the scope of your business – whether you are aiming for entry-level or large-scale success.
Establishing secure integrations is a breeze with AS/400 databases and programming languages.Misconceptions regarding IBM AS400 have been widely spread, but those beliefs are far from the facts. People often think this system is most suitable for well-established organizations and too costly to implement in smaller companies; nonetheless, none of these assumptions relate to its commands or functions.
Not only are AS400 accounting systems and other similar operating systems object-oriented, but they also possess the ability to ward off viruses. This makes them incomparably safe compared to any other system out there. 

AS400 Web Services

Combining Integrated Web Services for I and the IBM ILE applications makes it easier to unlock your organization’s vital business assets. With this powerful combination of web services and SOA technologies, organizations can take their existing resources and easily augment them to ensure they meet modern demands. Upgrade your capabilities while relying on the same essential components that have served you well up until now with this convergence of cutting-edge tools!

In today’s interconnected world, APIs are fast becoming a digital representation of any organization. Whether you prefer to refer to them as web services or web APIs, it has never been easier for IBM i users to get started than with Integrated AS400 Web Services for I. Simply put, businesses that need flexibility must have IT systems that can offer such versatility – and this is precisely what modern web services and SOA provide!

AS400 Operating System

OS/400 is the operating system running on AS/400 systems also called as AS400 operating system. It provides an integrated database, security, and application development environment. IBM i also supports multiple languages, including RPG, CL, SQL, QCL, and others. Additionally, it includes a system object model (SOM) feature to enable developers to create applications that can access databases, programs, and objects on the server. With SOM, applications can also be built with a modular approach to leverage existing components.

AS/400 Database

Db2 (formerly Db2 for LUW) is a sophisticated, intelligent relational database that can power transactional workloads. Its powerful features include superior data management, actionable analytics capabilities, and increased availability and reliability across Linux, Unix, and Windows operating systems – all designed to bring outstanding performance!

The AS400 Database software features powerful capabilities like IBM BLU Acceleration in-memory technology, sophisticated management and development tools, storage optimization strategies, workload management abilities, actionable compression powerhouses, and continuous data availability with IBM pureScale.

AS/400 Programming Language

The AS/400 mid-range system, renowned for its success worldwide, has traditionally employed Report Program Generator (RPG) as the main programming language. In the past year, though, IBM has sought to synchronize it with its other servers by adopting Java, XML, and Websphere. Even so, this transition will require some time due to RPG’s dominance in business applications that are intensely incorporated with DB2 UDB/400, those which don’t mainly use Cobol or C/C++ instead.


IBM AS400 is a powerful system used by businesses of all sizes for decades. It offers a range of features, including web services, an operating system, database software, and various programming languages. IBM AS400 provides a robust platform to support your business needs while providing security and reliability. With its scalability and flexibility, IBM AS400 is a great choice for organizations that need an efficient and reliable system to help them stay competitive in today’s dynamic market.

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