25
Thu, Jul
0 New Articles

TechTip: IBM i Access for Web, Part I: Configure It in 30 Minutes or Less

Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

A recent article by Jon Paris and Susan Gantner tells the story of an IBM i user who embarrassingly confessed having to use "the DOS window." It's worth a read.

 

Green-screens? What is this, the 1980s?

 

When I see green, I see red. User perceptions of our systems are that important. We should ensure that those perceptions are that we run modern systems. An easy way to do that is to present users with a modern interface. A simple way to do that, rather than display a traditional green-screen, is to deploy a solution like IBM i Access for Web.

Are green-screens easier to deploy? Not a chance. I can point Web users toward a URL, and they're on the system with no client installation—from a desktop, a laptop, an Apple iPad, a BlackBerry Playbook, or any other device with a Web browser.

Are green-screens more effective for "heads-down data entry?" I'd argue against that. I believe that the benefits of a Web interface outweigh the minor adjustments users have to make in their data-entry muscle memory.

We need to change our perceptions. IBM i Access for Web is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to do it.

IBM i Access for Web is a lightweight solution for accessing IBM i content via a Web browser. If you already have IBM i Access for Windows, you have entitlement for IBM i Access for Web because it's covered under the IBM i Access Family license. If you don't already have it installed on your system, please restore the licensed program and ensure you're up to date on your Program Temporary Fixes (PTFs).

Ready? Let's go!

Simplicity in Configuration

Before you configure anything for IBM i Access for Web, you may want to define a specific IP address on your IBM i and an Active Directory DNS entry to handle Web requests for it. This ensures a clean URL via the use of a standard HTTP port. Please see my previous article about IBM Integrated Web Application Server, where I give instructions on how to set that up. For the purpose of this example, let's assume we pick 192.168.1.25 as the IP address, and a corresponding DNS entry for that IP will be ibmiweb.myserver.com.

First, we'll create an IBM Integrated Web Application Server instance by logging into the IBM Web Administration for i at http://yoursystemname:2001/HTTPAdmin and selecting the Setup tab.

Click on Create Application Server.

On the Create Application Server page, click the Next button.

Under IBM integrated web application server for i, select the option button next to 8.1 or 7.1 (depending on what version you have installed). Click the Next button.

On the Create Integrated Web Application Server page, change the Application Server Name to IWAIAS and click the Next button.

In the First port in range field, take the default port. Click the Next button.

On this screen, enter IWAIAS as the HTTP server name. For the IP address, pick the IP address you defined earlier (192.168.1.25) and select port 80. Click the Next button.

This screen will prompt you for a default user. Leave the default QLWISVR as is. Click the Next button.

Click the Next button again. Wait for the IWAIAS server to be created and come to a running state.

Second, we'll configure IBM i Access for Web to use the IWAIAS Integrated Web Application Server. On a 5250 command line, enter the following command:

QIWA2/CFGACCWEB2 APPSVRTYPE(*INTAPPSVR) INSTANCE(IWAIAS)

Wait for a successful completion message. If you receive an error, check the /QIBM/UserData/Access/Web2/logs directory and review the cmds.log cmdstrace.log files.

The IWAIAS instance must be restarted in order for it to pick up the new configuration. Go back to the IBM Web Administration for i interface and restart the IWAIAS instance by clicking the red "stop" button. Wait for the instance to be stopped and then click the green "start" button. Wait for the server instance to come to a status of "Running."

Now, you can go to http://ibmiweb.myserver.com/webaccess/iWAHome to see IBM i Access for Web in action.

On the left side of the screen, you can see all the great features available from the Web interface (you can easily customize access based on user/group, by the way). For the purposes of this example, the most obvious tool this interface can replace is the traditional green-screen 5250 session.

Click on 5250 and then click Start a Session. On the next screen, you'll enter the familiar information to give you access to your IBM i: System (IP address or FQDN), port, bypass signon, and a few others. Once you've filled these in, click the Start Session button.

092812PitcherFig1 

Figure 1: Start a session.

Voila. Your function key options are now buttons. If you enter a command on the command line, your Web browser caches it so you do a whole lot less typing. HTML-enabled screens offer the ability of clicking on menu links, rather than typing an option and pressing Enter (that's one click instead of two keystrokes).

More importantly, it's so much more modern looking. It doesn't look much like a "DOS window" anymore, does it? And it doesn't take much effort.

Part II of this TechTip will highlight some cool features (like automatic spool-to-PDF conversion), customization techniques, and some creative deployment scenarios for IBM i Access for Web.

Steve Pitcher
Steve Pitcher works with iTech Solutions, an IBM Premier Business Partner. He is a specialist in IBM i and IBM Power Systems solutions since 2001. Feel free to contact him directly This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

$

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: