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3 reasons why your EDI solution is in good hands on IBM i

Abstract - Availability, security, performance - there are many reasons why IBM i is a good choice as an operating system for companies. IBM i also plays to its strengths when it comes to EDI.

Thursday, 07. April 2022
EDI IBM i Blog

EDI – The technical basis matters

Electronic data interchange itself is a relatively simple process in purely practical terms: it involves sending, receiving and converting messages. But it is critical to success. If orders are not forwarded properly, shipping notifications are created incorrectly, or invoices are not sent, this has an impact on sales and reputation. So how should you best technically implement your EDI solution?

Basic IT protection is aimed primarily at small and medium-sized companies that have a normal need for security. If there is a special need for protection, the recommendations are not sufficient.

The systemic requirements for EDI are again high: message exchange should be reliable and secure, large volumes of data should be processed efficiently, it should be possible to adapt the message transfer flexibly and - last but not least - the system must run 24/7 or should at least be able to do so. For the implementation you need a powerful operating system. In our view, IBM i is an excellent choice for this, primarily for three reasons.

1. Availability

Power Systems run core applications such as the ERP system. EDI solutions can be set up on IBM i close to the server to avoid unnecessary data movement and reduce the risk of errors in messaging.

Leveraging other features of IBM i increases efficiency: for example, if you also use DB2 Mirror, you ensure continuous availability of the EDI solution. Since database updates are mirrored across independent nodes, recovery time in the event of data center failures is close to zero and EDI operations can continue seamlessly.

2. Reliable, secure, fast

Unlike other Windows-based IT systems, IBM Power Systems and IBM i often run continuously for many months. Reboots are rarely necessary, and maintenance requirements are generally low. All the best prerequisites for running system-critical software such as EDI solutions.

What also points in IBM's favor is that the vendor traditionally focuses on data processing performance, rather than business application development. For EDI deployment, these are exactly the right priorities. In addition, the operating system is not used by the broad mass of users, which makes it rather uninteresting for cybercriminals. The security risks are relatively low, at least compared to Windows systems.

3. Durability

EDI solutions are purchased for a long period of time. 5 to 15 years is the average deployment period. EDI will likely run on IBM i for the same amount of time on the operating system. This is because, compared to other operating systems and servers, IBM Power Systems and IBM i are designed to run for such long periods of time. This doesn't mean that updates won't happen over the years, but applications on IBM i run much more robustly and are designed to be more upgradeable than their Linux or Windows counterparts. In terms of total cost of ownership, IBM Power Systems and IBM i are therefore considered unbeaten.

Bottom line: A perfect match

Four out of five "Forbes 100" companies use IBM Power Systems. Unsurprisingly. After all, in terms of performance, availability, security and robustness, IBM's technology has been setting standards in its industry for decades. In this respect, IBM's products are similar to EDI solutions: they do not serve current hypes, but they are essential for smooth business operations.

Of course, EDI solutions can run on other technologies as well. You can get to your destination in a used Golf just as easily as in a Porsche. With IBM i, companies can simply move into the future with a touch more composure, knowing that they are operating from a stable, future-proof technical base and will be able to quickly integrate further developments, not only in the EDI area.

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