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Manta Technologies: Your Resource for IBM i Training

Manta offers a complete library of courses for programmers, operators, system administrators, and users of the IBM i operating system, which runs on IBM Power Systems.

All of our courses are web based and run in all popular browsers.

Save 25% on the Web Development Combination Pack!

Regular visitors to this site know that Manta offers a different combination pack on sale every month. Our combination pack feature for November is the Web Development Combination Pack. Get our complete set of 27 courses and exams at 25% off. The sale ends November 30.

Why Manta? Because you need training everywhere, all the time.

Modern organizations run 24/7/365. They have employees around the world who work in offices, factories, and at home. So why depend on a class that may or may not be held two months from Monday in Atlanta?

Manta's 120 courses and exams are all web based. They can be delivered wherever you are. At home or work. All day, every day. All you need is a PC and a browser. Since bookmarks are stored on our server, you can start a course at work and finish at home or on the road.

Training where you are, ready when you need it. That's Manta.

Check us out. This site includes our complete catalog, as well as a sample session from each of our 120 courses and exams. You'll like what you see.

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From the President

Perhaps the most distinctive elements of a Manta course are the exercises that simulate the IBM i environment. They were unique when Manta was founded over 21 years ago and they are still unique today. Why are they special?

I have been involved in computer-based training (CBT) since 1985. My original company, Hansen Training Systems, Inc. (HTS), develops custom courseware, particularly for large computer companies. In 1985, I was asked by SRA — then an IBM subsidiary — to help select a CBT authoring system to become their vehicle for all new course development. I studied dozens of existing languages. Some were relatively cheap and required the course developer to write "scripts," much like using Microsoft Word to code HTML. Others provided a WYSIWYG experience and better graphic support, but at a huge price. All had a fatal flaw. While they supported standard question types (such as true/false, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank), they were hopeless for simple green-screen simulations.

Why? When you fill in input fields on a typical screen, you press the Enter key only when you have finished the entire screen. For most fields, you will type something and then press Tab, Back-Tab, or an arrow key to move to the next blank. When you are done with a screen, you press Enter or any of the 24 function keys to indicate what you want to do next. In a training environment, that means the software needs to capture not only what was typed in a field, but also what key was pressed to exit the field. Every possible combination of field values and exit keys might result in a different feedback message being displayed.

In 1985, we solved the problem by writing an exit program in PC assembler to capture every keystroke. Then came the problem of detecting mouse clicks to simulate Client Access for Windows and other graphic-based software.

By 1993, HTS had written its own authoring system, called EasyTutor, that had green-screen and mouse-detection support built in. When Manta was founded in 1994, it was an easy decision to use EasyTutor for all of its courses.

In 2001, HTS rebuilt EasyTutor from the ground up to use an XML-compliant scripting language that is interpreted within a browser using JavaScript. Four software generations later, EasyTutor remains the best CBT authoring language for simulating text-based or graphic screens from IBM i or any other operating system. And Manta remains the only training vendor that teaches IBM i tasks from within a controlled simulation environment. I think of it as the flight simulator for the i.

Keep learning,


William A. Hansen, Ph.D.