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 20% During Manta's
Spring Combo-Pack Sale!
Save 20% off any Manta Combination Package, including the complete IBM i Training Library. The sale ends April 30.
Rather than acquiring a license for one course or one series at a time, most customers are interested in all of the courses that apply to a particular job function. Manta makes these available in the form of a combo pack. Normally, a combo pack sells for 10% less than the courses and series which comprise it. During our spring sale, you save an additional 20%.
In addition to the complete IBM i Training Library, the following combo packages are available:
- Operations Combination Pack (31 courses and exams)
- System Administration Combination Pack (59 courses and exams)
- RPG Development Combination Pack (47 courses and exams)
- COBOL Development Combination Pack (39 courses and exams)
- Program Development Combination Pack (64 courses and exams)
In general, each combo pack includes all of the Manta courses that apply to a specified job function. Each package is self-contained, in that it includes all prerequisites needed by any course in the package. You can click on each package name for a complete list of its contents.
The IBM i Training Library, includes every Manta course. This includes every course within any combo pack plus the System i Access for Windows series, which is the only series not in any combo.
Whether you license one course, a combination package, or the entire Manta library, you receive access to Manta's Student Administration functions at no additional charge. These let you:
- Check your license status
- Create reports detailing students' course progress and Competency Exam results
- Create custom student menus
The last of these can be a particularly powerful tool in controlling which Manta courses can be taken by a given student or group. For example, if certain tasks are reserved for system administrators at your installation, you can remove the corresponding courses from the course menu used by operators. You can also re-sequence the menu items, for example, by putting Free-Form RPG Programming before the fixed-format RPG Programming series.
If you do not use a custom menu, each student has access to every course that you licensed. You can create a custom menu by editing that list or by starting with job-related custom menus that Manta provides.
Optional Curriculum Paths
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. Moreover teaching everything in "historical order" delays the time when the new employee will become a contributing member of the organization.
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. In particular, 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 by covering tools which the student may use rarely or not at all?
Manta's combination pack structure gives you the choice. If you prefer, you can have new employees take courses in the traditional sequence, starting with the text-based interface and progressing through the available graphical user interface(s). Alternatively, you can select curriculum paths that allow students to start from scratch and become proficient IBM i operators and programmers using the available graphical interfaces. Students can learn the text-based interface later, when they have 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, which covers system concepts and basic tasks using either the text-based interface or Navigator for i. After mastering the basics of both interfaces, students can then take either Fundamentals of IBM i Operations (which covers the text-based interface) or Fundamentals of Operations Using Navigator for i. In creating the latter series, we were careful to cover both 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, particularly for shops moving from traditional RPG programming to writing free-form code. All programming students should take Introduction to the IBM i Environment followed by The IBM i Programming Environment, which introduces both PDM and RDi. A more detailed series of courses, called Using Rational Developer for i (RDi), can be taken later as needed.
Once it is time to learn RPG, multiple paths are available:
- The fastest way to get new programmers writing modern, free-form code is to start with the seven-course Free-Form RPG Programming series.
- If students also need to learn the fixed-format version of RPG, you can start with the seven-course RPG Programming series.
- Students who already know fixed-format RPG (or who have finished the RPG Programming series) can quickly learn the free-form version by completing Manta's stand-alone Coding Free-Form RPG course, which covers the differences between the two formats.
A similar option exists among Manta's database courses. Historically, all students learned database concepts using Working with Db2 Databases, which covered the DDL statements and CL commands for working with Db2 databases. Manta's SQL series, Using Structured Query Language (SQL) series, was an optional follow-on. Because most shops now use SQL statements rather than DDL to create and maintain databases, Manta has updated the SQL series so that 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.