According to ARCAD software the future of IBM i depends on open-source tools

The IBM i (aka iSeries, AS/400) platform has been embedded in the framework of tens of thousands of organizations for over 30 years, creating the systematic bedrock for businesses who rely on the security, dependability and low administration overhead that characterizes the platform.

As a crucial backend system, the IBM i has been kept uniquely relevant through the past decades thanks to IBM’s embracing and integrating of new open-source tools into the platform as they develop.

We can go so far as to say that without tools from the open world, IBM i would risk fading into obscurity while other platforms lead the field in digital transformation and cloud enablement so often facilitated by open source.

The good news is that with every new release, new open-source tools are made available to IBM i users, creating a path forward for years to come. The challenge is choosing compatible tooling and finding solutions to integrate these different tools into your existing IBM i framework.


Historically, IBM i shops have lagged behind in employing modern DevSecOps and integration technologies and techniques, content to maintain the status quo. However things are changing rapidly and ARCAD sets itself apart in this regard thanks to its ability to unite these two worlds – the legacy of the IBM i ecosystem, and the world of open source and cloud, leveraging the benefits of each – a kind of “best of both worlds”.  In large part, this happens through our deep and pragmatic integrations, driven by demand from within our customer base. Using ARCAD technology as a bridge, you don’t have to walk away from the unparalleled security that is inherent with the IBM i platform.   Instead, you can combine the reliability of a proven IBM i system with all the flexibility and multi-platform reach of modern open-source tools.


Over the years we’ve taken the time to develop deep integrations between IBM i and modern standard DevSecOps tools like Git, Jenkins, Jira and more. Openness and automation is a key part of the solution that we’ve developed to help you leverage your legacy. Our goal is to unify tooling across all development technologies in order to bolster productivity and reduce time to value.

Some of the unique tools we’ve developed include:

  • ARCAD Observer, a graphical tool which simplifies the understanding of existing RPG or COBOL applications
  • ARCAD API, a ‘no code’ solution which generates Web services from an existing application for easy integration
  • ARCAD Builder, which automates the recompilation of RPG or COBOL applications
  • ARCAD iUnit, which automates the creation, execution, and management of unit tests for IBM i applications.
  • ARCAD CodeChecker, which provides code quality enforcement and security checks for RPG and CL and soon COBOL.
  • ARCAD Verifier, which delivers functional regression testing for RPG and COBOL applications.
  • ARCAD DROPS, which automates the deployment of applications and data across cloud and on-prem deployment targets.


As new open-source tools emerge and take their due place in enterprise systems, we will continue to create ways to integrate them into your DevSecOps strategy for IBM i. The list of cloud-native technologies available to IBM i is growing all the time, bringing exciting new possibilities. Adaptability coupled with robust and stable core functionality is the goal for all IBM i users and our mission is to help you achieve just that.