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MAX400 - An affordable choice for Interactive CPW

MAX400 provides an option for customers in the marketplace who want choice with their Interactive CPW purchase. MAX400  ensures that adequate competition is available, so no one or 'endorsed' vendor/supplier can charge 'ransom' prices for a product they alone can 'manufacture'.  Competition ensures costs are kept low for the consumer who want to stay loyal to the IBM AS400/iSeries platform. We find it unacceptable business practice to stifle natural competition. Furthermore, we have an obligation to our customers to act as their advocates and to insulate them from an out-moded and unfair pricing scheme applied to performance and property they already own.

We hope our customers enjoy the use of our software and support competition and free enterprise.

Here in this section, we answer some commonly asked 'legal' questions:

I. Is IBM's Webfacing product 'illegal'?
II. Why IBM says products like MAX400 are perhaps not 'legal'?

III. Will IBM come to customer and say they are violating IBM's licensing agreement?
IV. How does Max400 position itself  as AS/400 performance tuning/monitoring tool?
V. Is MAX400 is a system State Program (i.e. *SYSTEM)?

I. Is IBM's Webfacing product 'illegal'?

As most of you are aware IBM's Webfacing takes existing green screen/interactive applications and converts them to batch CPW.  However, one needs to have original source code to convert to batch and this may take some time (days, weeks, months) to convert depending on the application.  Then, of course, customer applications sometimes call OS400 commands (e.g. WRKSPLF, WRKSBMJOB) and here is the problem; as IBM cannot give the IBM source code (for conversion), what does IBM's Webfacing product do?  IBM allows the execution of these OS400 Interactive commands without incurring the 'penalty' of CFINT. This is the documented and observed behavior of IBM's Webfacing product.

So this is the logic in the operating system: Is this program executing an OS400 command? Yes.  If so, penalize in CFINT if it is not IBM Webfacing.

  • Does this sound reasonable?

  • Is IBM the only vendor allowed to make software that bypasses CFINT? If so, should one consider such practices as Anti Trust and/or Monopolistic practices?

II. Why IBM implies MAX400 and products like it, are perhaps not 'legal'?

IBM's tenure is that it believes products like MAX400 modify IBM Licensed Internal Code which is a violation of IBM's license agreements with its customers pursuant to which the customer agrees not to modify Licensed Internal Code. Max400 does not modify IBM Licensed Internal Code. After you test/preview MAX400, simply end the MAX400 job and all MAX400 tuning will end. To uninstall the product, simply delete the object. If you IPL your machine, and you wish to continue running MAX400, you must resubmit the MAX400 job, as MAX400 does not make any changes to the original code of your system.

Does that sound like MAX400 is modifying Licensed Internal Code?

As MAX400 does not modify Licensed Internal Code, therefore, we believe customers are not in violation of IBM's license agreements. MAX400 enhances the operating system by 'technology' that enhances the Interactive CPW of the computer system. Of course, MAX400 interactive CPW enhancement technology is a trade secret.

Useful and recent interesting articles are located here:
Fast400 Founder Sues Big Blue : http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh081604-story01.html 

III. Will IBM come to customer and say they are violating IBM's licensing agreement?

Firstly, customers who have not explicitly agreed to purchase Interactive CPW from IBM have no concern about purchasing products like MAX400. Such customers will not be violating any such IBM licensing agreement.

Secondly, IBM will concede to you that their licensing agreements have been modified over time.  IBM will try to tell the customer that the customer perhaps is in violation but the fact is IBM is very unlikely to sue a customer   (especially  based on changing interactive rules made by IBM in the late 80's and early  90's there was no interactive tax.)   Only later IBM changed the rules and lowered interactive on each AS400 model as they built it.  So this is not a   'legal'  position that they want to go to court with. Otherwise they would sue various companies who 'beat' the interactive limit.  All IBM can do is put 'fear, uncertainty, and doubt' with the customer about using a product like MAX400 (e.g. unstable, not modern enough etc..).

Consider this: Imagine if Microsoft Corporation or IBM came to all us Windows users and said they would like to charge customers extra $$ or slow down Windows every time we used DOS on the IBM XSeries servers.  Imagine if IBM said, we would like to charge extra $$ every time a user runs green screen or RPG/COBOL, PL/1, CICs on an IBM zSeries (OS390). Only IBM can sell you the ability to run 'green screen' on any platform??.  Does this sound reasonable? Does this sound like someone trying to abuse its market dominant position?

IV. How does MAX400 position itself  as AS/400 performance tuning / monitoring tool?

IBM typically characterizes the 5250 interface as hardware, supported by an "interactive feature" card (most customers know that 5250 is a software feature). MAX400 enhances the software feature just like IBM Webfacing product. MAX400 is adjusting memory addresses (RAM), just like IBM does.  There is legal precedence around the world to say this is within  the rights of the consumer.  If you look at Windows Tuning or Unix tuning tools, zSeries, there are plenty of products which adjust computer memory addresses. These products are all LEGAL.

V. Is MAX400 is a system State Program (i.e. *SYSTEM)?

Yes. A lot of programs are system state programs e.g. Operations Monitoring and scheduling, security etc. Such programs exist in such a state to ensure it can complete tasks limited by *USER status.


Read more on some attempted monopolistic and anti- competitive practices here:

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or go to MAX400 News Index Here




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