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Creating Real-time Interfaces for Data Warehousing and Reporting Applications

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Maintaining timely, consistent, reliable data movement between transaction and reporting systems is an ugly, thankless job, but somebody’s gotta do it. If that somebody is you, read on. This article presents an easy alternative to batch-oriented data replication and transfer that might make your life a little easier and your users a little happier.

 

 

Traditional interface designs tend to be batch-oriented, scheduled to kickoff and “sweep” files at regular intervals or as part of overnight procedures. Transactions that occur throughout the day on the transaction system are not captured and available on the reporting system until the batch collection and transfer process executes. This delay can lead to confusion and frustration in the user community.

 

 

Suppose you could eliminate the batch processing delays and update reporting systems as transactions occur? Reporting systems would always be current to transaction systems, and there’d be no more problems trying to schedule synchronization of the AS/400 and other platforms.

 

 

Without buying third-party software, you can create a seamless interface between two systems, with no modification to your existing software. You can accomplish all this by using a journal receiver to capture transaction file changes, and a concurrent task to monitor, receive, and process these journal entries as they occur.

 

 

Preliminaries

 

 

I will now create the transaction file and reporting table. I’ll set up a simple item file to show you how this system works. The data elements stored in this file are part number, description, unit of measure, and some quantity fields. I’ll refer to this file as the transaction file since it represents the file updated as a result of business transaction processing. The DDS to create the file is shown in Figure 1.

 

 

Now, I’ll create a reporting (“target”) file representing the transaction Part Master in our data warehouse. For simplicity, I’ll keep this new table on the AS/400 and in the same record layout as the transaction file. Bear in mind, however, that this new table represents the replicated item master on some target system, which could be running on the same AS/400, a different AS/400, or a different computing platform altogether. (I used the SQL command shown in Figure 2 to create the reporting table on a Windows NT system running the Oracle RDBMS.)

 

 

Using SQL to update the target file also affords us more flexibility, as when the reporting file is on a database other than DB2/400. If SQL is absent on your AS/400, simply substitute native DDS and I/O operations for the code in this example.

 

 

Using OS/400 to Capture File Changes

 

 

The next step is to start up a journal to capture all changes to the transaction Part Master file. The journal receiver acts as a “transaction ledger,” recording before and after record images of every change to the transaction file. You’ll need to create a journal receiver and then start the journal, using the commands shown in Figure 3.

 

 

Using the journal leaves nothing to chance. It is virtually impossible for the OS/400 system to miss a change to a journaled file; therefore, you can rest assured that your program will be informed of all changes to the file as they occur. It is not necessary to make any modifications to existing programming or files to achieve this real-time function.

 

 

(For more information about journaling, see “SYSOP: Journaling, Part 1,” MC, January 1998, and “SYSOP: Journaling, Part 2,” MC, February 1998.)

 

 

Creating the Control Data Area

 

 

Data area PMP@ is used to control processing of the file monitor by providing information such as the journal name, operational status, exit program name, and last journal sequence number processed. I’ve made the data area name the same as the file name, with the “@” character appended to the end so that file PMP becomes data area PMP@.

 

CRTDTAARA DTAARA(XXX/PMP@) +

TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(1024) +

TEXT(‘control_data_area_+

for_journal_monitor’)

 

I created file JRNCTL to describe the PMP@ data area (see Figure 4). There are three reasons for this:

 

 

• The data area consists of subfields.
• The data area is referenced by three programs.
• Other monitored files also need to use data areas of this description.

 

 

Journal Monitor CLP

 

 

Figure 5 shows the source for JRMONC, the CL program that monitors the journal for changes to the file. This code works as a driver for the exit program named in the PMP@ data area; whenever a journal entry is received, the exit program from the data area will be called to process the entry. In this case, RPG program JRMONR acts as the exit program. It processes the file changes to the target reporting file as they are received and then returns control to the monitor program JRMONC until the next change is received.

 

 

JRMONC has three essential code elements:
• The first element retrieves the control data area used to store information about the file being monitored. By using the monitored file name as the parameter, JRMONC allows the program to serve as a generic driver program for all files being monitored by the system.

 

 

• The second element makes sure the data area status byte is blank. A separate command manipulates this byte to a nonblank condition whenever it is necessary to shut

 

 

down the program. In a complete implementation, this would also be a good spot to insert the code necessary to change the journal receiver. I advise changing the journal receiver frequently—especially on high-transaction volume files.

 

 

• The third element is the Receive Journal Entry (RCVJRNE) command. This command monitors the journal, receives journal entries as they are created on the system, and calls the exit program to process each journal entry to the target file. When control is returned from the exit program, the journal monitor will wait until the next journal entry is received and then repeat the process.

 

 

Only record-level changes (journal code R) and user-initiated journal entries (journal code U) are used. All other journal entries are ignored. The RCVJRNE command passes two parameters to the exit program: the receiver data and a 1-byte status code. Whenever the exit program returns a 9 in the status code byte, the RCVJRNE command is ended, allowing the CL program to end normally.

 

 

Because of the structure of the CL program, you simply have to “clone” the RPG exit program to add additional files to your journal monitor system.

 

 

Journal Processor JRMONR

 

 

Figure 6 contains the source code for the journal processor, JRMONR. This program receives the journal changes made in the transaction file and applies them to the reporting file.

 

 

The structure of JRMONR is very straightforward: a mainline routine with first- time and end-of-job subroutines. The program has insert, update, and delete capability over the target file. Prior to updating the target file, the program compares the before and after images of the monitored file to make sure the record really was changed. Although I used SQL to apply the changes to the target file, you may prefer native AS/400 I/O operations if your interface requirements are confined to AS/400 systems.

 

 

The first-time subroutine (*INZSR) is used to define the *ENTRY parameter list. It also defines the SQL add, update, and delete statements and prepares these SQL statements for first use. The End of Job ($EOJ) routine performs cleanup and provides an orderly shutdown.

 

 

Definition specifications—The BEFORE and AFTER data structures are externally defined to the PMP file record layout. The Prefix keyword is used on the BEFORE data structure to substitute the characters XX for the first two characters of each subfield name.

 

 

JRNENT is the data structure of the journal entry passed into the program as a parameter. The first 125 bytes of JRNENT contain journal control information, and the program uses elements of this to update the control data area, PMP@. The receiver data contains the file data starting in position 126. This data is variable length, so I adjusted the length of this data to match the record length of the monitored file. In this case, the file record layout is 62 bytes, so the JNDTA subfield is also 62 bytes. (Setting the parameter length to equal journal entry length is not necessary, according to the CL Reference. If the program parameter length is less than the journal entry, however, journal receiver data is truncated. If the program parameter length is greater, “nonessential information” is placed into the additional parameter positions.)

 

 

Journal code and journal entry types—The detail calculation section of the program examines the journal code and journal entry type and branches accordingly.

 

 

• If the journal entry type field, JNTYP, contains the letters UB (a file image before update), the program places the image in the BEFORE data structure and returns. The before image will be compared to the after image on the next cycle.

 

 

• If JNTYP contains DL, the SQLDELETE statement is executed to remove the record from the target file.

 

 

• If JNTYP is PT or UP, but the before and after images do not match, the program executes an update attempt, via SQLUPDATE, on the target file. If the update is unsuccessful, the program executes SQLINSERT. The structure of this code helps ensure that the target file remains synchronized with the monitored file. Attempting an update first, even when JNTYP contains PT, is analogous to performing a CHAIN in native I/O to make sure a record doesn’t exist before trying to add it. Likewise, if you try an update on the target file and the record doesn’t exist there, you can add the record to the target file even though the journal entry type JNTYP was UP.

 

 

After a successful update to the target file, the program commits the changes to the target database and returns control to the monitor program to await the next change in the monitored file.

 

 

BEFORE and AFTER considerations—When I placed the BEFORE and AFTER comparison data structures into the program, I was thinking of situations in which I don’t want the interface to update a target unless certain field change conditions are met. Many interface applications are interested only in changes to specific fields or even specific values in specific fields; to such applications, a record update carries no meaning. Using the before and after images makes it easy to compare changes to the monitored file, field by field, as a prerequisite for updating the target file.

 

 

This concept can also be counterproductive. Suppose you want to “seed” the target file or run a periodic “sweep” to make sure the target file is synchronized to the monitored file? An easy way to do so would be to perform a database update to each record in the monitored file, thus causing the monitor program to receive an update journal entry on each record. Easy, that is, provided the program will update the target file regardless of the lack of difference between the before and after images! You may want to consider your requirements and remove the BEFORE and AFTER comparisons.

 

 

Managing the control data area—An important job for the RPG program is to update the control data area with the sequence number of the last entry processed. This facilitates a smooth startup and ensures that each receiver entry will be processed only once under normal conditions. The program compares the journal sequence received with the last sequence number processed as a precondition.

 

 

The program also examines the contents of the status byte, ##STAT, from the data area to see if shutdown has been requested. A nonblank value in the status byte causes the program to execute the $EOJ subroutine, passing a 9 back to the RCVJRNE command (via the STATUS parameter) to indicate that RCVJRNE should terminate.

 

 

Ending the Process

 

 

To complete this application, you need a graceful way to stop the program. Under normal conditions, you want the program to remain operational as long as the subsystem in which it is running is active. Of course, the simplest way to end the journal monitor is to issue the ENDJOB command; however, this solution isn’t very elegant since it usually results in an abend message!

 

 

To shut down the journal monitor cleanly, call the ENDMONC program, shown in Figure 7, passing the name of the monitored transaction file. ENDMONC sets an end-ofjob marker in the control data area and then sends a manual journal entry to the journal to trigger the RCVJRNE command and call JRMONR. When JRMONR sees the manual journal entry, it executes the end-of-job routine at $EOJ and terminates itself.

 

 

Additional Comments

 

 

Obviously, it is important to keep the file journal operational whenever the system is available for user transactions. If you decide to implement a data transfer application

 

 

based on this concept, it’s a good idea to ensure that journals are always active for included files.

 

 

JRMONC (Figure 5) is an asynchronous task. It is intended to be called at system startup and remain active until the subsystem in which it is running has ended. You may want to create a small, dedicated subsystem for this type of program, which is neither truly batch nor interactive, and make JRMONC an auto-start job. Using a dedicated subsystem for asynchronous tasks makes these tasks easier to control and simplifies managing system resources. If you prefer to start the monitor from a command line, use the following command:

 

SBMJOB CMD(CALL JRMONC) +

PARM(PMP) +

JOB(MON_PMP)

 

The Change Journal (CHGJRN) command, which attaches a new receiver to the journal, should be added to the JRMONC monitor program. Remember to change journal receivers frequently, especially with files having high-transaction volumes. The CHGJRN command could use keyword parameters retrieved from the control data area. Including this command in the program means that the journal receiver will be changed each time the program is started. Use the *GEN parameter on the JRNRCV keyword; it allows the system to generate the journal receiver name and saves you the trouble of coding sequence logic.

 

 

To simplify the RPG example, I omitted error handling and additional transaction reporting issues, but they are obviously important considerations. A good option for error management is to write an error log on the AS/400 whenever an SQL error is encountered, and manage the errors on an exception basis.

 

 

You also need to assess the likelihood that the journal sequence number will reach 10 billion and roll over to 1; if this is likely, you will need to create a response for managing this situation!

 

 

You’ve Made the Connection

 

 

Once you’ve created the sample objects in this article, try it out. Remember to “seed” the control data area, and then use DFU or some other file utility to add, change, and delete test records in the PMP file. By the time you’ve started SQL and queried the records in the target file, your information will be waiting for you!

 

 

The OS/400 journal management facility provides a powerful, flexible means for creating real-time, seamless interfaces between systems. If you’ve been frustrated by some of the shortfalls of traditional approaches, try adapting the sample code presented here to your own situation.

 

 

References

 

 

Backup and Recovery V3R2 (SC41-5304, CD-ROM QB3ALE01) Control Language Reference V3R2 (SC41-5722, CD-ROM QB3AUP01)

 

*===============================================================

* To compile:

*

* CRTPF FILE(XXX/PMP) SRCFILE(XXX/QDDSSRC)

*

*===============================================================

A R RF$PM TEXT(‘PART MASTER RECORD’)

A PMPART 15 COLHDG(‘Part’ ‘Number’)

A PMDESC 30 COLHDG(‘Part’ ‘Description’)

A PMIUM 2 COLHDG(‘Inventory’ ‘U/M’)

A PMONHQ 8 0 COLHDG(‘Quantity’ ‘On’ ‘Hand’)

A PMORDQ 8 0 COLHDG(‘Quantity’ ‘On’ ‘Order’)

A PMSHPQ 8 0 COLHDG(‘Quantity’ ‘Shipped’)

A

A K PMPART *===============================================================

* To compile:

*

* CRTPF FILE(XXX/JRNCTL) SRCFILE(XXX/QDDSSRC)

*

*===============================================================

A R FJRNCTL TEXT(‘control data area layout’)

A ##JRNM 10 COLHDG(‘Journal’ ‘Name’)

A ##LIBN 10 COLHDG(‘Library’ ‘Name’)

A ##JNSQ 10S 0 COLHDG(‘Journal’ ‘Sequence#’)

A ##PGMN 10 COLHDG(‘Exit’ ‘Program’ ‘Name’)

A ##STAT 1 COLHDG(‘Operational’ ‘Status’) /*==================================================================*/

/* To compile: */

/* */

/* CRTCLPGM PGM(XXX/JRMONC) SRCFILE(XXX/QCLSRC) */

/* */

/*==================================================================*/

/* SAMPLE INTERFACE JOURNAL MONITOR */

 

Figure 1: Part Master file DDS

 

CREATE TABLE xxx/PART_MASTER

(PART_NUMBER CHAR (15)

NOT NULL,

PART_DESCRIPTION CHAR (30)

NOT NULL,

INVTY_UNIT_MEASURE CHAR(2)

NOT NULL,

ON_HAND_QUANTITY DEC (8,0)

NOT NULL,

ON_ORDER_QUANTITY DEC (8,0)

NOT NULL,

QUANTITY_SHIPPED DEC (8,0)

NOT NULL,

PRIMARY KEY (PART_NUMBER))

CRTJRNRCV JRNRCV(xxx/DWJRN00001)
CRTJRN JRN( xxx/DWJRN) +

JRNRCV(xxx/DWJRN00001)
STRJRNPF FILE(xxx/PMP) +

JRN(xxx/DWJRN) +

IMAGES(*BOTH) +

OMTJRNE(*OPNCLO)

 

Figure 2: SQL command to create the reporting file

 

 

Figure 3: Creating and starting a journal

 

 

Figure 4: JRNCTL—control data area definition

 

PGM &FILE

DCL &FILE *CHAR 10 /* file name */

DCL &EXITPGM *CHAR 10 /* exit program name */

DCL &DTAARA *CHAR 10 /* data area name */

DCL &JRNNAME *CHAR 10 /* journal name */

DCL &JRNSEQ *CHAR 10 /* last sequence # +

number processed */

DCL &STATUS *CHAR 1 /* operational status */

/* retrieve journal receiver information */

CHGVAR &DTAARA VALUE(&FILE *TCAT ‘@’)

RTVDTAARA DTAARA(&DTAARA (1 10)) RTNVAR(&JRNNAME)

RTVDTAARA DTAARA(&DTAARA (21 10)) RTNVAR(&JRNSEQ)

RTVDTAARA DTAARA(&DTAARA (31 10)) RTNVAR(&EXITPGM)

RTVDTAARA DTAARA(&DTAARA (41 1)) RTNVAR(&STATUS)

/* make sure the operation status byte is not set for shutdown */

CHGDTAARA DTAARA(&DTAARA (41 1)) VALUE(‘ ‘)

RCVJRNE JRN(&JRNNAME) EXITPGM(&EXITPGM) TOENT(*NONE) +

JRNCDE((R) (U *IGNFILSLT)) ENTTYP(UP PT +

DL UB ‘00’) DELAY(*NEXTENT *CLS)

ENDPGM *===============================================================

* To compile:

*

* CRTSQLRPGI OBJ( xxx/JRMONR) SRCFILE(xxx/QRPGLESRC)

* RDB(yyy) OPTION((*XREF)) DBGVIEW(*SOURCE)

*

* xxx is the object and source library

* yyy is the relational database name

* (for AS/400, this is ordinarily the system name)

*

* If the target system is not an AS/400, also specify

* OPTION(*SQL)

*

*===============================================================

D* Data structures for “before” and “after” record images

DBEFORE E DS EXTNAME(PMP) PREFIX(XX:2)

DAFTER E DS EXTNAME(PMP)

D* Journal monitor control data area

DCONTRL E DS 1024 EXTNAME(JRNCTL)

D* Journal entry data structure

DJRNENT DS

DJNSEQ 6 15 0

DJNCDE 16 16

DJNTYP 17 18

DJNDTA 126 187

D* Variables

DSQLADD S 250

DSQLCHG S 250

DSQLDEL S 250

DSTATUS S 1

D@COUNT S 5 0 INZ(0)

D@@MXCT S 5 0 INZ(1)

DYES S 3 INZ(‘YES’)

DNO S 3 INZ(‘NO ‘)

DERROR S 3 INZ(‘NO ‘)

DWARNING S 3 INZ(‘NO ‘)

C***********************************************************

C** /MAINLINE **

C***********************************************************

C**

C *DTAARA DEFINE PMP@ CONTRL AARA

 

Figure 5: Journal monitor program JRMONC

 

C *LOCK IN *DTAARA

C**

C ##STAT IFNE *BLANKS

C EXSR $EOJ

C ELSE

C**

C JNSEQ IFGT ##JNSQ

C**

C** Initialize the SQLCA data structure; update the data area

C**

C CLEAR SQLCA

C MOVE JNSEQ ##JNSQ

C**

C** Process receiver data into the data structures

C**

C JNTYP IFEQ ‘UB’

C CLEAR BEFORE

C MOVE JNDTA BEFORE

C RETURN

C ELSE

C**

C CLEAR AFTER

C MOVE JNDTA AFTER

C ENDIF

C**

C JNTYP IFEQ ‘DL’

C/EXEC SQL EXECUTE SQLDELETE USING

C+ :PMPART

C/END-EXEC

C ELSE

C*

C JNTYP IFEQ ‘PT’

C JNTYP OREQ ‘UP’

C BEFORE ANDNE AFTER

C*

C/EXEC SQL EXECUTE SQLUPDATE USING

C+ :PMDESC,:PMIUM,:PMONHQ,

C+ :PMORDQ,:PMSHPQ,:PMPART

C/END-EXEC

C*

C* Test for “record not found” and try to insert if true

C*

C SQLCOD IFEQ 100

C SQLSTT OREQ ‘02000’

C*

C/EXEC SQL EXECUTE SQLINSERT USING

C+ :PMPART,:PMDESC,:PMIUM,

C+ :PMONHQ,:PMORDQ,:PMSHPQ

C/END-EXEC

C*

C ENDIF

C ENDIF

C ENDIF

C*

C* Commit database update if SQL was successful

C*

C ERROR IFEQ NO

C WARNING ANDEQ NO

C/EXEC SQL COMMIT

C/END-EXEC

C**

C/EXEC SQL PREPARE SQLINSERT FROM :SQLADD

C/END-EXEC

C/EXEC SQL PREPARE SQLUPDATE FROM :SQLCHG

C/END-EXEC

C/EXEC SQL PREPARE SQLDELETE FROM :SQLDEL

C/END-EXEC

C ENDIF

C ENDIF

C ENDIF

C*

C OUT *DTAARA

C UNLOCK *DTAARA

C**

C RETURN

C**

C**********************************************************

C** /$EOJ - Last record subroutine **

C**********************************************************

C**

C $EOJ BEGSR

C**

C* Disconnect by releasing the connection and committing

C**

C/EXEC SQL COMMIT

C/END-EXEC

C**

C/EXEC SQL RELEASE CURRENT

C/END-EXEC

C**

C* Update the control data area, set the exit flag, set on LR

C**

C MOVE *BLANKS ##STAT

C MOVE JNSEQ ##JNSQ

C**

C MOVE ‘9’ STATUS

C MOVE *ON *INLR

C**

C XEOJ ENDSR

C**

C************************************************************

C** /*INZSR First time subroutine

C************************************************************

C *INZSR BEGSR

C**

C *ENTRY PLIST

C PARM JRNENT

C PARM STATUS

C*

C*****/EXEC SQL

C*****+ CONNECT TO :OCINST USER :OCUSID USING :OCPWRD

C*****/END-EXEC

C**

C** Establish the SQLADD, SQLCHG and SQLDEL variables

C**

C EVAL SQLADD=’INSERT INTO ‘ +

C ‘PART_MASTER ‘ +

C ‘VALUES(‘ +

C ‘?,?,?,?,?,?)’

C*

C EVAL SQLCHG =’UPDATE PART_MASTER ‘ +

C ‘SET PART_DESCRIPTION = ?,’ +

C ‘INVTY_UNIT_MEASURE = ?,’ +

C ‘ON_HAND_QUANTITY = ?,’ +

C ‘ON_ORDER_QUANTITY = ?,’ +

C ‘QUANTITY_SHIPPED = ? ‘ +

C ‘WHERE PART_NUMBER = ?’

C*

C EVAL SQLDEL =’DELETE FROM PART_MASTER ‘ +

C ‘WHERE PART_NUMBER = ?’

C**

C** Prepare SQL statement for first block

C**

C/EXEC SQL PREPARE SQLINSERT FROM :SQLADD

C/END-EXEC

C/EXEC SQL PREPARE SQLUPDATE FROM :SQLCHG

C/END-EXEC

C/EXEC SQL PREPARE SQLDELETE FROM :SQLDEL

C/END-EXEC

C**

C XINZSR ENDSR /*==================================================================*/

/* To compile: */

/* */

/* CRTCLPGM PGM(XXX/XXX001CL) SRCFILE(XXX/QCLSRC) */

/* */

/*==================================================================*/

PGM &FILE

DCL &FILE *CHAR 10 /* file name */

 

Figure 6: Journal processor program JRMONR

 

DCL &DTAARA *CHAR 10 /* data area name */

DCL &JRNNAME *CHAR 10 /* journal name */

/* retrieve the journal control data area */

CHGVAR &DTAARA VALUE(&FILE *TCAT ‘@’)

RTVDTAARA DTAARA(&DTAARA (1 10)) RTNVAR(&JRNNAME)

/* set the data area shutdown flag */

CHGDTAARA DTAARA(&DTAARA (41 1)) VALUE(‘9’)

SNDJRNE JRN(&JRNNAME)

ENDPGM

 

Figure 7: Command processor ENDMONC

 

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  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIBM i is known for its security, but this OS could be more vulnerable than you think.
    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

    SB Profound WC GenericWatch this on-demand webinar and learn how to rapidly and easily deploy mobile apps to your organization – even when working with legacy RPG code! IBM Champion Scott Klement will demonstrate how to:
    - Develop RPG applications without mobile development experience
    - Deploy secure applications for any mobile device
    - Build one application for all platforms, including Apple and Android
    - Extend the life and reach of your IBM i (aka iSeries, AS400) platform
    You’ll see examples from customers who have used our products and services to deliver the mobile applications of their dreams, faster and easier than they ever thought possible!

     

  • Profound UI: Unlock True Modernization from your IBM i Enterprise

    SB Profound PPL 5491Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.

  • Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.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.

    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.

    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).

  • 5 New and Unique Ways to Use the IBM i Audit Journal

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericYou must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data? Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts discuss:


    - Why companies don’t test role swaps when they know they should
    - Whether high availability in the cloud makes sense for IBM i users
    - Why some organizations don’t have high availability yet
    - How to get high availability up and running at your organization
    - High availability considerations for today’s security concerns

  • Profound.js 2.0: Extend the Power of Node to your IBM i Applications

    SB Profound WC 5541In this Webinar, we'll demonstrate how Profound.js 2.0 enables you to easily adopt Node.js in your business, and to take advantage of the many benefits of Node, including access to a much larger pool of developers for IBM i and access to countless reusable open source code packages on npm (Node Package Manager).
    You will see how Profound.js 2.0 allows you to:

    • Provide RPG-like capabilities for server-side JavaScript.
    • Easily create web and mobile application interfaces for Node on IBM i.
    • Let existing RPG programs call Node.js modules directly, and vice versa.
    • Automatically generate code for Node.js.
    • Automatically converts existing RPGLE code into clean, simplified Node.js code.

    Download and watch today!

     

  • Make Modern Apps You'll Love with Profound UI & Profound.js

    SB Profound WC 5541Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love:

    • Transform legacy RPG code to modern free-format RPG and Node.js
    • Deliver truly modern application interfaces with Profound UI
    • Extend your RPG applications to include Web Services and NPM packages with Node.js

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Most business intelligence tools are just that: tools, a means to an end but not an accelerator. Yours could even be slowing you down. But what if your BI tool didn't just give you a platform for query-writing but also improved programmer productivity?
    Watch the recorded webinar to see how Sequel:

    • Makes creating complex results simple
    • Eliminates barriers to data sources
    • Increases flexibility with data usage and distribution

    Accelerated productivity makes everyone happy, from programmer to business user.

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIt’s time to develop a strategy that will help you meet your informational challenges head-on. Watch the webinar to learn how to set your IT department up for business intelligence success. You’ll learn how the right data access tool will help you:

    • Access IBM i data faster
    • Deliver useful information to executives and business users
    • Empower users with secure data access

    Ready to make your game plan and finally keep up with your data access requests?

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericLet’s face facts: servers don’t hack other servers. Despite the avalanche of regulations, news headlines remain chock full of stories about data breaches, all initiated by insiders or intruders masquerading as insiders.
    User profiles are often duplicated or restored and are rarely reviewed for the appropriateness of their current configuration. This increases the risk of the profile being able to access data without the intended authority or having privileges that should be reserved for administrators.
    Watch security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses a new approach for onboarding new users on IBM i and best-practices techniques for managing and monitoring activities after they sign on.

  • Don't Just Settle for Query/400...

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhile introducing Sequel Data Access, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access, distribution trends, and more advanced query tools. Plus, you’ll learn how a tool like Sequel lightens IT’s load by:

    - Accessing real-time data, so you can make real-time decisions
    - Providing run-time prompts, so users can help themselves
    - Delivering instant results in Microsoft Excel and PDF, without the wait
    - Automating the query process with on-demand data, dashboards, and scheduled jobs

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhat happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    You don’t need to stick with status quo anymore.
    Watch the webinar to learn how to put effective document management into practice and:

    • Capture documents faster, instead of wasting everyone’s time
    • Manage documents easily, so you can always find them
    • Distribute documents automatically, and move on to the next task

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

    SB_PowerTech_WC_GenericGet actionable info to avoid becoming the next cyberattack victim.
    In “Data breach digest—Scenarios from the field,” Verizon documented an AS/400 security breach. Whether you call it AS/400, iSeries, or IBM i, you now have proof that the system has been breached.
    Watch IBM i security expert Robin Tatam give an insightful discussion of the issues surrounding this specific scenario.
    Robin will also draw on his extensive cybersecurity experience to discuss policies, processes, and configuration details that you can implement to help reduce the risk of your system being the next victim of an attack.

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this 30-minute recorded webinar, our experts demonstrate how you can:

    • Manage multiple platforms from a central location
    • View monitoring results in a single pane of glass on your desktop or mobile device
    • Take advantage of best practice, plug-and-play monitoring templates
    • Create rules to automate daily checks across your entire infrastructure
    • Receive notification if something is wrong or about to go wrong

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericYou need to know when IBM i disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer. Our experts will show you how Robot Monitor can help you pinpoint exactly when your auxiliary storage starts to disappear and why, so you can start taking a proactive approach to disk monitoring and analysis. You’ll also get insight into:

    • The main sources of disk consumption
    • How to monitor temporary storage and QTEMP objects in real time
    • How to monitor objects and libraries in real time and near-real time
    • How to track long-term disk trends

     

     

  • Stop Re-keying Data Between IBM I and Other Applications

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericMany business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop re-keying data between IBM i and other applications? Or if you could stop replicating data and start processing orders faster? Or what if you could automatically extract data from existing reports instead of re-keying? It’s all possible. Watch this webinar to learn about:

    • The data dilemma
    • 3 ways to stop re-keying data
    • Data automation in practice

    Plus, see how HelpSystems data automation software will help you stop re-keying data.

     

  • The Top Five RPG Open Access Myths....BUSTED!

    SB_Profound_WC_GenericWhen it comes to IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition, there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

    In this Webinar, we'll address some of the biggest myths about RPG Open Access, including:

    • Modernizing with RPG OA requires significant changes to the source code
    • The RPG language is outdated and impractical for modernizing applications
    • Modernizing with RPG OA is the equivalent to "screen scraping"

     

  • Time to Remove the Paper from Your Desk and Become More Efficient

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericToo much paper is wasted. Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets.And distributing documents is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM’s Steve Will talks AS/400, POWER9, cognitive systems, and everything in between

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

    IBM i was built on the same foundation.
    Watch this recorded webinar with IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will and IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington to gain a unique perspective on the direction of this platform, including:

    • IBM i development strategies in progress at IBM
    • Ways that Watson will shake hands with IBM i
    • Key takeaways from the AS/400 days

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.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. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption

     

     

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

     

     

     

  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

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    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

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    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.

    Request your trial now!

  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine 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:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. 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:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot 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:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.