IBM iRev Up Your Business Applications

IBM Watson is the cognitive platform for business. You can uncover insights, engage in new ways, make decisions with more confidence and do your best work. The IBM Bluemix cloud platform helps you solve real problems and drive business value with applications, infrastructure and services. You can do all of this today from your existing IBM i environment!

Your business can expand its solutions into the world of cognitive thinking using IBM Watson and IBM Bluemix. How can you integrate these new capabilities – such as language translation, text-to-voice, cognitive searching and Watson analytics – into your existing RPG applications and Db2 for IBM i data?

Don’t let your business idle. Join us on the driveway this September 6th and 7th in Rochester, Minnesota.

Event Details

IBM i Driveway to Watson: Rev Up Your Business Applications

Presented by COMMON and IBM

Dates: September 6 and 7

Location: IBM Executive Briefing Center, Rochester, MN

Price: $299/person


All times Central.

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Arrival and breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. WelcomeAlison Butterill

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Design Thinking and Agile IntroductionPatty Clancy

To be successful in the cloud and cognitive space, you need to adopt new ways of working. IBM Design Thinking and Agile practices can help with your journey. This session will include an overview of both IBM Design Thinking and Agile and start your creative thoughts flowing.

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Intro to Bluemix – Greg Hintermeister

Bluemix is IBM’s public cloud platform where some of the world’s most compelling solutions and innovative ideas run. IBM Bluemix enables organizations and developers to quickly and easily create, deploy and manage applications on the cloud across multiple regions worldwide. In addition to development frameworks, languages and application services, IBM Bluemix offers core infrastructure and is where developers tap into Watson, Analytics and data services, enabling any application to become a cognitive application.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Intro to Watson – Bill Rapp

Watson is the latest offering from IBM to enable organizations and developers the ability to leverage the world of cognitive computing to help solve business problems. Watson consists of a large robust ecosystem with many different APIs, services and analytical engines that can easily be used to combine different sets of data in new and interesting ways. This session will cover some of these aspects of Watson and then also talk about how Watson is used today as part of Watson Health.

12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Connecting Watson to IBM i from Open Source (On-premises vs. Cloud)Jesse Gorzinski

Open source languages offer a key piece of the IBM i application development portfolio, as well as another route for connecting to IBM Watson and Bluemix technologies. In this session, we will discuss how to connect to IBM i (including Db2 and RPG) from these new languages. We will cover various options for talking to IBM i from remote (Linux/Windows/Mac) systems, IBM Bluemix, as well as from applications running on the IBM i that are integrated with Watson.

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Prepping and Untangling Data for WatsonDoug Mack and Rob Bestgen

Using a cloud (Watson/Bluemix) service often means sending data to the service in specific formats and/or receiving data back in non relational forms. Shredding, or untangling JSON (for example), formatted data returned from the service and adding it to an existing set of operational or data warehouse (relational) data smooths the integration of the service with analytics or line of business applications. Automating the cleansing, prepping and untangling of data can be made much simpler through IBM i based DataMigrator ETL tool. Maybe you want to set up a nightly process, kicked off by your IBM i job scheduler, to go get weather related info and add it to your sales data to enhance that for weather related analysis. We’ll show you how with Db2 Web Query DataMigrator for i.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Db2 for i and the Art of the Possible with Watson Services in BlueMixScott Forstie and John Eberhard

A confluence of events and technologies have opened the door to allow IBM i developers to have the ability to directly utilize Watson APIs and Services from Db2 for i. This session will include a technical overview of how a Db2 for i developer can incorporate Watson Services into an IBM i application. Application development considerations, gotchas and pitfalls will be discussed. You will leave this session with a clear understanding of how to use SQL to ask Watson questions. HTTP Functions are a key enabling technology for engaging Watson using SQL. As such, we will spend some time discussing the essential knowledge a database developer needs to have to be successful using HTTP Functions. Further, some Watson Services return a JSON payload. We will include must-have knowledge for using the JSON_TABLE() table function to transform the JSON document into relational data.

5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Retrospecive and Wrap UpPatty Clancy and Alison Butterill

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Networking Reception

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Arrival and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Day 1 Recap and Day 2 OverviewPatty Clancy

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Db2 for i and Watson Analytics – Scott Forstie and Sarah Mackenzie

In April, 2017, the Db2 for i team collaborated with the Bluemix and Watson Analytics (WA) teams to add direct support for moving data from Db2 for i. Bluemix’s Data Connect and Watson Analytics Connection both support Db2 for i as a data source. This session will include a detailed explanation of the setup steps and considerations for moving data into WA. Further, we will explore WA’s capability to analyze data. We’ll see how different perspectives can yield new correlations and insight. We’ll see how IBM Watson Analytics for Social Media can be used to add non-traditional data to Watson. Db2 for i’s capability to access multiple forms of data will be highlighted when we demonstrate how to extract, transform and load Audit Journal detail into Watson. These and other topics related to Watson Analytics with Db2 for i will be featured in this session.

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – Connecting RPG to the WorldPaul Tuohy

One of the key questions is, how easy is it to integrate Watson into my existing RPG applications? In this session, we look at some of the ways that RPG can connect with Watson – and just how simple it is. As well as looking at different methodologies, we will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Rest APIs for IBM iTim Rowe

Rest APIs are a key technology for connecting applications to data without having to know anything about the specifics of the endpoint technologies. Rest APIs allow easy connection from Bluemix into your traditional backend RPG or COBOL applications. This session will look at how easy it is to create and host Rest APIs over your existing programs and service programs and how these can be leveraged in Bluemix with Watson.

12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Client Stories: Real-world Stories and SuccessesAlison Butterill

We will take a look at what other customers are already doing today by leveraging Watson and Bluemix technologies with their IBM i.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Hands on with RPG and Web ServicesPaul Tuohy and Tim Rowe

  1. Compile a RPG program that is calling Watson APIs and test the results
  2. Create a REST API from an RPG program
  3. Call it from Bluemix

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Hands-on with DatabaseScott Forstie

  1. Use HTTP Functions and JSON_TABLES to consume Web Services
  2. Lots of SQL examples

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Hands-on with Open SourceJesse Gorzinski

  1. Deploy a sample Python application on IBM i that talks to Watson
  2. Deploy a sample Node.js application on Bluemix that talks to IBM i

4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Retrospective and Wrap UpPatty Clancy and Alison Butterill


Rochester, MN, is located approximately 80 miles SE of Minneapolis/St. Paul. It is served by Rochester International Airport (RST). Fights can also be booked into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). From MSP, one can rent a car or take a shuttle to Rochester. Shuttle options include GO Airport Shuttle and Rochester Shuttle Service.

A room block has been reserved at the Hampton Inn & Suites Rochester-North. To receive a rate of $104/night, please call 1.507.289.6100 or 1.800.219.9497 and mention IBM Bluemix Driveway.