iCan Blog Archive

I thought it’d be good to start by reviewing the IBM i documentation and online resources available. Most of the technical topics that I’ll be sharing via this blog are already documented in some manner – the issue is knowing where to find the documentation and then finding the time to read all it all!

IBM i Knowledge Center

This is the formal documentation repository for each release. The Knowledge Center has a tremendous amount of documentation but built-in search capabilities do leave a little to be desired. The English version of the Knowledge Center is updated periodically; national language translated versions are not.

IBM Power Systems Knowledge Center

This is where the hardware information is documented, and you need to find the appropriate pages for your generation of POWER hardware. Depending upon where you navigate to, you may end up taking links that lead you back to the IBM i Knowledge Center.

IBM i Web presence  

This is the IBM Web site for IBM i marketing information. It’s mostly overview information that reviews the key features and benefits. These Web pages generally link to the IBM i Knowledge Center for technical documentation. There’s an amazing amount of information within the IBM i Web presence – but once again, finding it is the challenge! However, the Web pages do have a method to the madness. Each major topic area follows the same standards for organization, high-level content and layout. 

I’ve solicited favorite links from my peers in the lab to build the following list:


Redbooks, Redpapers and Technotes are great technical resources. They’re generally focused on a specific topic and cover conceptual as well as task-oriented documentation. That is, Redbooks not only tell you how to do something, but also describe why you want to do something. Redbooks are produced only for a small set of topics that IBM i supports. Within the Redbooks Web site, you’ll find a Power Systems under IT Infrastructure and IBM i information can be found under Power Systems.

IBM Publications Center

If you have a need to see if you can find some of the really old documentation, this site may be useful. It does not have all the old documentation, but it may have that one old set of documentation you need to locate.

IBM Support Site

The link I have provided is the System i support link – not the Power Systems support link. The Power Systems support page doesn’t have all the popular links that the System i support page has – and I think those popular links are pretty good. In addition, through this Web interface you can “Search Support,” which includes more documents when going through the System i support page. Searching through the support site has the really nice feature of searching through multiple repositories – Redbooks, Software Knowledge Base, Hardware and Software Information Centers, educational information, PTFs and APARs, and more. While on the topic of the support Web site, I want to specifically discuss the Software Knowledge Base.

I want to highlight a specific Web page that is important for planning ahead. The future software upgrade planning information is the Web site where IBM makes planning statements so you can be aware of potential future changes and plan for them.

No wonder we have a hard time knowing all that’s available! Just trying to summarize the main Web information turned out to be surprising difficult; but what’s really amazing is that I’ve just scratched the surface in this brief review of IBM i online information. Each and every one of these links is just the starting point for a wealth of information, not to mention the fact that I’ve only identified a subset of the topics that we document on the Web. This just confirms why it’s so hard to know about all the capabilities of i and why we need this blog!

Next week’s blog will be on to the technical topics. Stay tuned. 

This blog post was originally published on IBMSystemsMag.com and is reproduced here by permission of IBM Systems Media.

This blog post was edited for currency on January 25, 2020.