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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.

Combo Pack Improvements

Manta's Combination Packages have always been a great deal, saving you 10% off the price of the individual components. We recently reviewed the combo pack offerings and made several changes that will make them even better.

First, we significantly reduced the number of packages, making the offerings easier to understand and aligning them more with typical IBM i job functions. In addition to the complete IBM i Training Library (which has a built-in 35% discount), the following combo packages are now available:

As part of the effort to more closely align each package with a job function, we made sure that each package was self-contained. No course in any package requires a prerequisite that is not also in the package. This had the biggest effect on the system administration curriculum, which assumed students had already completed the operations curriculum. To correct this problem, we essentially deleted the old System Administration Combination Pack and replaced it with what had been the System Administration and Operations Super Combination Pack.

To guarantee that all courses are part of some combination package, we added our three query courses to the three programming combos:

As a result, the only courses that are not currently in some package are those in the System i Access for Windows series. This will be addressed when this series is replaced with a new series covering the IBM Access Client Solutions (ACS) product.

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New Curriculum Paths

In addition to examining Manta's combination package offerings, we are re-examining our recommended curriculum paths and course prerequisite relationships in response to a major change that we see happening in customer sites. Since Manta's first courses in the early 1990s, the entire IBM i community has followed a similar training model. We would train new students like we were taught, beginning with the traditional text-based (green-screen) interface.

Today, more and more organizations are hiring IBM i programmers and operators who have never seen a green screen. These students question why they need to learn an interface that they may never use on the job. While we can debate whether new employees will "never" need to use the text-based interface, there is no longer a question that better graphical interfaces are now available. IBM Navigator for i is more than sufficient for basic operations. And IBM's Rational Developer for i (RDi) is a far superior tool for program development that the Program Development Manager (PDM). So why begin training using tool the student may not use?

Manta's plan is to support curriculum paths that allow students to start from scratch and become proficient IBM i operators and programmers using the available graphical interfaces. While the green-screen courses will not go away, we will provide optional paths that let students bypass these courses for now, and return to them later if they should find a need.

So what does this mean in practice? In the case of system operators, for example, all students start with Manta's Introduction to the IBM i Environment series. We have already replaced the Using System i Navigator course in this series with Using Navigator for i. In the past, students would then take Fundamentals of IBM i Operations, which covers basic operational tasks using the text-based interface (in particular, using basic commands and the menus of the Operational Assistant). Today, new operators can replace Fundamentals of IBM i Operations with Fundamentals of Operations Using Navigator for i. In creating this series, we were careful to cover not only the hands-on skills needed to use the web console, but also the operational concepts that someone new to IBM i would need.

The situation is more complex on the programming side. Manta's various programming curricula have offered RDi as an alternative to PDM for years. In the case of RPG training, programmers new to RPG can take the seven-course Free-Form RPG Programming series, while students who know older version of RPG can take a stand-alone "differences" course, Coding Free-Form RPG. Our next task is to enhance the Using Structured Query Language (SQL) series, so that the DDL-based series, Working with DB2 Databases, is no longer a prerequisite.

Manta has always seen its core function as converting new students into proficient IBM i professionals. With our revised curriculum paths, we are laying the foundation to continue this role in the decades ahead.

For more information, follow the links on this page to see detailed course descriptions and sample sessions.