Thu, Jul
0 New Articles

TechTip: IBM i Access for Web Part II: Getting Productive Without All the Green Stuff

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


Let's look at some other features of IBM i Access for Web, including how to convert spooled files to PDF and how to manage your IBM i from mobile devices or Lotus Notes.

Written by Steve Pitcher

Last time, we had a look at how to set up IBM i Access for Web and briefly explored the Web-based 5250-style interface. We'll go a little more general this time, showing you how to do some neat things with the product.

Still Printing Oodles of Spooled Files on Tractor-Fed, Greenbar Paper?

Paper, how I loathe thee. The only thing I loathe more than stacks of greenbar is an output queue loaded with spooled files older than three months; it's paper just waiting to happen. And chances are it will! Wouldn't it be great if IBM i offered a quick, native way to convert a spooled file into PDF format?

You can do this with IBM i Access for Web.

Within Print > Printer Output, click on the View PDF button.



Figure 1: Choose to view the PDF.

Then, on the following screen (Figure 2), you can pick the browser (default), personal folder, or output queue as the destination.


Figure 2: Choose the destination.

The spool file gets converted on the fly, and you can delete the spooled file (Figure 3).


Figure 3: Delete the spooled file.

So why print? Do you really need to print? It's right there! On the screen! You can then email it or save it somewhere else for safekeeping.

I showed this feature to a few people I work with. They currently print reports out of IBM i, send them to themselves via the multifunction printer's scan-to-email function, save them to their desktops, rename them with meaningful names, and then email the reports to someone else. The process can take 10 minutes for just a 10-page report. What a waste of time! As you can imagine, they immediately wanted this feature so they could just dump those reports directly to PDF (renaming them in the process) and get them where they need to go in about 10 seconds, no matter if it's one page or 500 pages.

Options for Mobility

Did you notice that all these screen shots were taken on an iPad?

Imagine the possibilities of mobilizing your workforce, from the shop floor to the shipping dock. My company has a number of quality control labs that do product testing. Usually, a lab tech performs a test, writes down some information, walks 25 feet to the computer, and then enters the data again into a system. A tablet with IBM i Access for Web is the real solution here. How much time is taken up just walking? How much time is taken up duplicating the entry of data? Enough to justify a couple of tablets as a proof of concept? You bet!

What About Productivity?

Lotus Notes is my primary work interface. I schedule my meetings, use Notes-based applications, manage email, and even monitor my Twitter and Facebook feeds all from within Lotus Notes.

I manage my IBM i from Lotus Notes too.

It's very simple to do. One of the cool things about Lotus Notes is the ability to incorporate widgets in the righthand sidebar. Widgets are almost like a mini-application inside of the Lotus Notes interface. Web sites that offer a mobile interface fit perfectly inside that sidebar. Since you can configure a widget to point to a Web site, why not configure widgets for both IBM i Access for Web and IBM Navigator for i?

Right-click My Widgets. Choose

Configure a Widget From > A Web Page.

Then, just copy and paste the URL of your IBM i Access for Web or IBM Navigator for i into the address field. Click Next through the default options, and you'll have embedded IBM i management capabilities directly within your Lotus Notes sidebar!

Wait, There's Way More Cool Stuff!

I'm going to continue analyzing IBM i Access for Web in another TechTip, where I'll cover setting up SSL to facilitate secure HTTPS Web sessions plus answer some questions on performance considerations and job management.

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..


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: