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You have to be running at least V5R4 to load DB2 Web Query, and there are some PTFs to install. But help is just a phone call away.
Those folks at Centerfield Technology certainly are on their toes. An opportunity arises in their field (which is databases), and they're on it. This week the company introduced a new service: installing, configuring, and verifying the functionality of DB2 Web Query for System i.
When I saw the Centerfield announcement, I was a bit puzzled because I had been reading about the application's features and how easy Web Query is to use: so easy, it's said, even a manager can do it (just kidding!). I never dreamed, however, that it would require a consultant to install and configure it.
Centerfield gives a big two thumbs up to the query tool itself, calling DB2 Web Query an "exciting" product and one that is very affordably priced. It acknowledges that a lot of shops will choose to install it themselves but suggests that there will be a few more IPLs than one might like to see going forward and hints that do-it-yourselfers could encounter a few inevitable "gotchas." Having someone do it who knows what to expect is going to save not only time and likely frustration, but money as well.
Centerfield is estimating eight hours to get the job done, and presumably that is telephone support with you sitting there downloading software and doing what they tell you because they say, "in most cases" opting for their service will "eliminate the requirement for an on-site consultant." (Have you ever noticed how people are afraid of having someone actually come over to the job site anymore? Cost? What cost? Who ever worries about the cost? Come on over, buddy!)
I looked at the list of services, and I thought, OK, sounds reasonable: identification of the required software and PTFs, installation of the right version of the operating system (V5R4), installation of the PTFs for the right version of the operating system, "other required software," and the DB2 Web Query product. Then there is checking to make sure everything is going to work plus recommendations for optional fix packs that "may improve the reliability" of the Web Query installation.
I thought, well, that doesn't look too hard; let me check out what's involved. So I went to the IBM Web site, and it began to dawn on me why Centerfield is offering this convenient service. A document called APAR #II14318 outlines all the prerequisites for running DB2 Web Query. Of course, if you're not on V5R4, forget it. It's not compatible with any prior release. Here's a list of the items that must be installed and tasks that must be done on your system before you attempt to load DB2 Web Query:
•· 5722SS1 Option 3 - Extended Base Directory Support
•· 5722SS1 Option 30 - Qshell
•· 5722SS1 Option 33 - PASE
•· 5722JV1 Option 6 - Java Developer Kit 1.4
•· 5722JV1 Option 7 - Java Developer Kit 5.0
•· 5722JV1 Option 8 - J2SE 5.0 32 bit
•· 5722DG1 - IBM HTTP Server for i5/OS
•· 5722JC1 - IBM Toolbox for Java
•· PTFs - SI29102 and SI29567 are required for Integrated
•· Application Server 7.1 enablement, which DB2 Web Query uses
Oops, looks like there are actually a few more PTFs to install: SI27813, SI27814, and SI28336.
Note: After PTFs are applied, the HTTP ADMIN server must be ended and restarted before installing DB2 Web Query:
ENDTCPSVR SERVER(*HTTP) HTTPSVR(*ADMIN)
STRTCPSVR SERVER(*HTTP) HTTPSVR(*ADMIN)
Okey dokey, so that's all done, and you're now ready to proceed to the good stuff. So you go to IBM DB2 Web Query for System i V1R1MO Install Instructions, and there you'll find both good news and bad news. The good news is that there are only six steps. The bad news is that those six steps take eight pages to explain. There are issues of language code page, issues of registering all your users, and issues of setting the default numeric formatting or doing your own thing with custom settings. Then there are the currency and date format issues. And finally, there is a code-page mapping-table appendix to help you get straightened out if you ran the translation services generation utility and somehow picked the wrong code page.
Hey, it's not brain surgery. It's just loading software. But will it work after the installation? Well, actually, perhaps not, because now you have to apply a few more PTFs to DB2 Web Query itself. Here is a list of those PTFs (as of 1/24/08, but check for a later version).
MRI PTF: There will be multiple MRI PTFs. The one to apply (2924SI29225...2998SI29323) depends on the language installed. See the above-referenced IBM installation document for a complete list.
If Developer Workbench was purchased, the code level on the PC client should be at a corresponding code level for the Web Query server.
Developer Workbench PTF Corresponding Web Query PTF: SI28392
In addition, keeping up on the latest i5/OS fixes will reduce problem rediscovery. In particular, the following Group packages should be installed (which can be checked with WRKPTFGRP):
•· SF99504 - DB2 fixpack level 10 or higher
•· SF99114 - IBM HTTP Server fixpack level 9 or higher
•· SF99291 - Java fixpack level 9 or higher
OK, we're all finally set, right? Well, maybe. There are a few known problems, as it turns out. Most of them have been resolved, and all you have to do is...what? Right! Apply a few more PTFs! Here is a list of the known issues:
- ENDWEBQRY does not end all jobs. Circumvention: End the job that is still running. Issue: WRKACTJOB SBS(QHTTPSVR). Look for the following job: QP0ZSPWP QWEBQRYADM BCI. End this job and the Web Query environment will be stopped. Fixed with SI28719.
- Mixed-case passwords are not allowed. For systems that have security level of 20, users' passwords must be in uppercase. Fixed with SI28719.
- NLS setup: When going to URL http://sysname:11331/webquery_html/wfconsole.htm and signing on with QWEBQRYADM profile and clicking on the Configuration Section and then NLS setting, you will see HTTP 500 error. No circumvention available. Fixed with SI28719.
- Unable to add a filter with NLS field in Power Painter. Fixed with SI29569.
- Euro symbol becomes a question mark (?) in Text Component of Power Painter. Fixed with SI29569.
- Unable to search Euro in a report with on-demand paging in Report Assistant. Fixed with SI29569.
- Web Query HELP cannot be displayed using Internet Explorer. Fixed with SI29569.
- Users are unable to sign on to DB2 Web Query due to a 19114 license error. The users are valid licensed users. This situation can occur if there is a valid license and an expired grace period listed under WRKLICINF for 5733QU2. Fixed with SI29941.
- Column headings show unreadable characters when using DBCS and the Query/400 adapter. Program QZDFMDB2 is used to get the column headings and field text information; this performs the same function as WRKQRY option 6=Print definition.QZDFMDB2 is creating a temporary printer file to print the definition information, which is then used by Web Query. Because the printer file is being created as IGCDTA(*NO), which is the default for CRTPRTF, Web Query cannot get DBCS information correctly. Circumvention: Use CHGCMDDFT CMD(CRTPRTF) NEWDFT('IGCDTA(*YES)') to force the printer file to be created properly so the correct data is passed to Web Query.
As you can see, even item 9 has a workaround, so if your column headings in Web Query show unreadable characters, relax! You've got the fix right here.
So if you've had a bad day driving to work or your kid just broke his arm playing ball in school, and you really don't want to hassle with all this stuff, it's nice to know there's a competent company out there that has offered to take it all off your hands. Let's face it; it doesn't look good to the boss to be stuck in front of the computer for a day, maybe two days, loading a single program and then not have it work. Who needs it?
Chris Smith was the Senior News Editor at MC Press Online from 2007 to 2012 and was responsible for the news content on the company's Web site. Chris has been writing about the IBM midrange industry since 1992 when he signed on with Duke Communications as West Coast Editor of News 3X/400. With a bachelor's from the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in English and minored in Journalism, and a master's in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Chris later studied computer programming and AS/400 operations at Long Beach City College. An award-winning writer with two Maggie Awards, four business books, and a collection of poetry to his credit, Chris began his newspaper career as a reporter in northern California, later worked as night city editor for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and went on to edit a national cable television trade magazine. He was Communications Manager for McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Long Beach, Calif., before it merged with Boeing, and oversaw implementation of the company's first IBM desktop publishing system there. An editor for MC Press Online since 2007, Chris has authored some 300 articles on a broad range of topics surrounding the IBM midrange platform that have appeared in the company's eight industry-leading newsletters. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.