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Bridge the Legacy-to-Java Transition with DB2 for i5/OS Distributed Transactions

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In my 20+ years experience in the software development field, I've met only a few (lucky) system architects who had the luxury to design new software solutions from scratch. More often, a system architect faces a challenge of integrating existing software components developed in legacy programming languages with new components written in modern languages such as Java. For complex applications, the transition from legacy code base to Java may take months if not years. In addition, rewriting existing software components may be impractical or impossible. In this case, a business process implementation can be split between legacy code and Java. For example, you may wish to retain a robust order processing module and augment it with a Java module that allows the customers to place orders over the Internet. Both modules work on the same transactional resources (customer, order, and stock data) and ideally should be able to share the same transaction context. In this article, I present a multithreaded framework that allows for concurrent execution of Java and legacy components that access and manipulate shared database resources.

The Distributed Transaction 101

The improved transaction processing architecture, implemented back in V5R2, allows i5/OS to fully and efficiently support the transaction model represented by the X/Open Distributed Transaction Specification (DTS) and the Java JTA specification. The cornerstone of this improved architecture, sometimes referred to as New Transaction Services (NTS), is the decoupling of transactions from threads, processes, and activation groups. An internal MI object, a transaction object, has been added to facilitate the separation of a transaction context from a given activation group.

In the NTS, the locks and commit blocks are scoped to a transaction object. The associated space of a Transaction Object contains the commitment definition for the transaction.

The association of a transaction object to an XA thread of control is temporary. To accommodate both X/Open DTP and JTA specifications, i5/OS implements the concept of the XA thread of control in two ways:

  • A system thread acts as the XA thread of control. This is the default behavior. When a global transaction represented by its global transaction identifier (XID) is activated—for example by the xa_start(XID) function—the transaction handle (a unique identifier) and the associated transaction object's address are set in the calling thread's Thread Control Block (TCB). After the thread has been associated with a transaction, each SQL statement processed in that thread uses the transaction context associated with that thread. The thread can be disassociated from the transaction by calling the xa_end(XID) function. At this time, the transaction information in the Thread Control Block is set to NULL.
  • In V5R4, a second method was formalized in which the SQL connection acts as the XA thread of control. The application servers implementing JTA—such as WebSphere, as well as clients that call XA through ZDA, DRDA, or XDA servers—use this connection thread of control model. When using connection as the thread of control natively on i5, transaction associations are started and ended via the SqlSetConnectAttr CLI API rather than the xa_start and xa_end APIs.


These concepts are illustrated in Figure 1.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/DB2%20Distributed%20Transactions%20-%20Bridging%20the%20Legacy%20to%20Java%20Transition%20V3--05090700.png

Figure 1: The transaction is decoupled from an XA thread of control. (Click images to enlarge.)

According to the X/Open DTS specification, only one thread can be associated with a transaction context at any given time. This means that multiple threads can work on the same transaction, but this work needs to be multiplexed. In some environments, this may fulfill the requirements. For example, a Java client attaches to a new global transaction, performs some transactional work, and detaches from the transaction. The transaction is then passed to a legacy program that attaches to this transaction, performs some additional transactional work, and detaches from the transaction. At this point, a transaction monitor may decide to complete the transaction. This works fine since the locks and the commitment definition are scoped to a given transaction object. In the high volume transactional systems, however, there are typically multiple threads that wish to manipulate overlapping sets of resources.

The simple multiplexing scenario described above does not provide the required concurrency levels. The threads need to wait for their turn to attach to the transaction or spawn another transaction, which often results in lock conflicts and deadlocks. These issues are addressed by loosely coupled transactions that share locks.

Huh? OK, let me explain. The global transactions are said to be "loosely coupled" when the transaction identifiers (XIDs) of two transaction branches have the same global transaction identifier (GTRID) but different branch qualifiers (BQUALs). By default, loosely coupled transaction branches do not share locks. On DB2 for i5/OS, this means that there are two separate transaction objects for these two branches. Starting with V5R4, however, there is an option that allows loosely coupled transactions to share locks. In other words, multiple loosely coupled branches can now share the same transaction object. In this case, each thread can have its own transaction branch within a resource manager. Multiple threads can continue transactional work on the same resources without ever running into lock conflicts.

Generally, a transaction branch can be in one of the five states: Active, Idle, Prepared, Rollback Only, and Heuristically Completed. The allowable state transitions are defined in Table 6-4 in Distributed Transaction Processing: The XA Specification. Note that the lock-sharing functionality for loosely coupled transaction branches is not architected by XA. Rather, it is an extension to the spec. In DB2 implementation, the last transaction branch to be completed commits or rolls back the changes for all the transaction branches with the same GTRID. The xa_prepare requests for the other transaction branches complete those transaction branches and return XA_RDONLY. However, changes made and locks acquired for those transaction branches remain pending until the last transaction branch with the same GTRID runs to completion. If xa_rollback is requested for one transaction branch while others are not yet completed, DB2 handles the request by marking the other branches rollback-only. So it is not possible for some branches to commit while others roll back. The xa_commit requests for other transaction branches receive a XA_ROLLBACK return code if xa_rollback was already requested for one or more of the loosely coupled transaction branches that share locks. Note also that it is not valid to request xa_rollback for one of the transaction branches before all are prepared because the transaction manger must carry out a two-phase commit if there are multiple transaction branches.

Sample Application Walkthrough

I will illustrate how to take advantage of the loosely coupled transactions that share locks using a sample application. The application consists of several major components:

  • JTAMonitor.java—This is a Java class that uses JTA to manage global transactions. It creates new branches, passes them to other components, and completes them. It also contains logic that can be used to complete orphaned transactions or query the status of global transactions.
  • JInsertCoffees.java—This is a Java class that inserts a new row into a database table called COFFEES. The insert is performed in the context of an existing global transaction that has been previously started by JTAMonitor.
  • CUpdCoff.c—This is a native ILE C program that updates the row previously inserted by JInsertCoffees. The update is performed in the context of a global transaction started by JTAMonitor.
  • CUpdateCoffeesWrapper.java—This is a wrapper class that uses Program Call Markup Language (PCML) implemented in the IBM Toolbox for Java to call the native CUpdCoff program from Java.
  • TestXATransactions.java—This is the main Java program that calls various components to perform transactional work.

The application also contains a number of Java helper classes that are necessary to perform such mundane tasks as configuring a DB2 for i5/OS data source, creating new XID object, printing out the list of global transactions, and so forth. You'll find a short description of those classes in the readme.1st file that is contained in the downloadable material that accompanies this article.

For illustration purposes, the global transaction identifier (GTRID) and branch qualifier (BQUAL) are passed to the software components as input parameters. In the test scenario, the JTAMonitor starts three transaction branches with the same GTRID but different BQUALs. Next, a row is inserted through Java. The C program is executed twice, each time within a different transaction branch. So the row is updated two times. If all components execute successfully, JTAMonitor commits the transaction. Otherwise, a rollback is requested.

Let's examine the source code to see how these tasks get accomplished. Here's a code excerpt from TestXATransactions.java (most of the error-handling was removed for clarity):

public static void main(String[] args) {
   CoffeeBean newCoffee = new CoffeeBean(10, "Colombian Select",
                                      150, (float) 9.95, 0); [1]
   CoffeeBean updtCoffee1 = new CoffeeBean(10, 100); [2]
   CoffeeBean updtCoffee2 = new CoffeeBean(10, 200);
   AS400JDBCXADataSource ds1 = new AS400JDBCXADataSource(); [3]
   XADataSourceConfigurator.configAS400JDBCXADataSource(ds1); [4]
   JTAMonitor monitor = new JTAMonitor(); [5]
   ExecutorService pool = Executors.newFixedThreadPool(3); [6]
...
   try {
        monitor.setXads(ds1); [7]
        monitor.beginTransaction("0100000000000000","0000000000000000" ); [8]
        monitor.beginTransaction("0100000000000000","0100000000000000" );
        monitor.beginTransaction("0100000000000000","0200000000000000" );
        JInsertCoffees insCof = new JInsertCoffees(0,
                       "0100000000000000","0000000000000000",newCoffee); [9]
        insCof.setXads(ds1);
        Future t0 = pool.submit(insCof); [10]
        try {
              TrnsWorkResult twResult = t0.get(); [11]
        } catch (InterruptedException ex) {
          ex.printStackTrace();
        } catch (ExecutionException ex) {
          ex.printStackTrace();
          TrnsMonitorException tmex = (TrnsMonitorException) ex.getCause();[12]
          throw tmex; [13]
        }
        Future t1 =
            pool.submit(new CUpdateCoffeesWrapper(1,
                       "0100000000000000","0100000000000000",updtCoffee1)); [14]
        Future t2 =
            pool.submit(new CUpdateCoffeesWrapper(2,
                       "0100000000000000","0200000000000000",updtCoffee2)); [15]
        try {
             TrnsWorkResult twResult = t1.get();
             twResult = t2.get();
        } catch (InterruptedException ex) {
        } catch (ExecutionException ex) { ...}
        monitor.prepareTransaction("0100000000000000","0000000000000000" );[16]
        monitor.prepareTransaction("0100000000000000","0100000000000000" );
        monitor.prepareTransaction("0100000000000000","0200000000000000" );
        try {
             monitor.commitTransaction("0100000000000000","0000000000000000" );[17]
             System.out.println("bqual0 - Commit successful.");
        } catch (TrnsMonitorException tmex) {...}
        try {
             monitor.commitTransaction("0100000000000000","0100000000000000" );
            } catch (TrnsMonitorException tmex) {...}
        try {
             monitor.commitTransaction("0100000000000000","0200000000000000" );
        } catch (TrnsMonitorException tmex) {...}
       } catch (TrnsMonitorException tmex) {
            System.out.println("Error occured in JTAMonitor.");
             try {
                monitor.rollbackTransaction(
                       "0100000000000000","0000000000000000" ); [18]
                monitor.rollbackTransaction(
                       "0100000000000000","0100000000000000" );
                monitor.rollbackTransaction(
                       "0100000000000000","0200000000000000" );
               } catch (TrnsMonitorException tmex2) {
              ...
                try {
                    TransactionList.
printTransactionList(monitor.
retrieveTransactionList()); [19]
                } catch (TrnsMonitorException tmex3) {...}
            }
         }
    }

Figure 2: This is the source code of TestXATransactions.java.

In Figure 2, at [1] a CoffeeBean is instantiated. This bean contains the information about a new coffee brand to be inserted into the COFFEES table. At [2], another CoffeeBean is instantiated. This time, I use a constructor that accepts just two parameters: cof_id, and sales. This bean is later used to update an existing row in the table. The cof_id is used to locate the row in the table and sales to update the SALES column. The AS400JDBCXADataSource object is created at [3]. This object is contained in the IBM Toolbox for Java, and it implements the XADataSource interface. The data source is configured at [4]. The XADataSourceConfigurator helper class sets the data source's properties—such as system name, user ID, and user password—necessary to connect to System i. In addition, it sets the XALooselyCoupledSupport property to 1 to enable the loosely coupled transactions that share locks. This is shown in the following code snippet:

ds1.setXALooselyCoupledSupport(1);   

The data source is used by other software components to produce XAConnection and XAResource objects. At [5], the JTAMonitor is created. As mentioned, this class is responsible for the distributed transaction management. I discuss the JTAMonitor implementation in the section below.

The main purpose of the sample application is to illustrate how to perform concurrent transactional work on the same set of resources. This requires that multiple threads are created and executed in parallel. To implement this behavior, I use a new concurrency framework that has been introduced in Java 1.5, which is based on ExecutorService, Callable, and Future interfaces. An ExecutorService object executes submitted Callable tasks. It contains a pool of worker threads that run the tasks concurrently and asynchronously. A Callable task implements the Callable interface, which is similar to Runnable in that both are designed for classes whose instances can be executed by another thread. A Callable, however, returns a result and may throw an exception. The result and the possible exception returned from a Callable are encapsulated in a Future object that is produced by the ExecutorService upon return from a worker thread. So, at [6] an ExecutorService object is instantiated, and its worker thread pool size is set to 3. At [7] the reference to the previously configured data source object is passed to the JTAMonitor. The beginTransaction method is called on the JTAMonitor at [8] to start the first branch of the global transaction. Then, two other branches are also started. Note that all three transaction branches have the same transaction identifier (GTRID) but different branch qualifiers (BQUALs). At [9] an JInsertCoffees object is created. Since this class implements Callable, it can be submitted to ExecutorService for execution at [10]. The result is returned at [11] by calling the get method on the Future object. If an exception is thrown in JInsertCoffees, it gets encapsulated in an ExecutionException and returned to caller. The original exception can be extracted by calling getCause method on the ExecutionException object as shown at [12]. The original exception that can be thrown in JInsertCoffees is actually a custom exception called TrnsMonitorException. It is a wrapper that allows me to return XA, SQL, and application-specific exceptions. It is re-thrown at [13] to force a rollback. At [14] and [15] I use the same pattern as at [10]. This time, however, two update requests are submitted concurrently. Note that both updates attempt to modify the same row (cof_id = 10). The loosely coupled support guarantees that there are no locking conflicts. In the very unlikely case where two threads attempted the update at the very same instance of time, the access conflict would be resolved by DB2 through the internal seizes. The rest of the TestXATransactions flow is pretty straightforward. If the control reaches [16], the insert and two updates must have succeeded, so all three branches are prepared. Then at [17] a commit is attempted. The commit needs to be in the try-catch block, because two branches are completed at the prepare time. In the DB2 for i5/OS implementation, all three transaction branches share the same transaction object. Two branches are marked as read-only, and only one branch is marked as read-write. According to the XA DTP spec, the read-only branches get completed at the prepare time (since, by definition, there is nothing to commit). So, all transactional work is indirectly (through the associated transaction object) scoped to the read-write transaction branch. Only this transaction branch can be committed. In a typical scenario, where there is a pool of loosely coupled transactions, the last transaction that was prepared can also be committed. At this point, the transactional work represented by the transaction object is committed, the locks released, and the object purged from the system. If errors occur during the TestXATransactions execution the program attempts to gracefully complete the outstanding branches, as shown at [18]. Should the rollback fail, the list of existing transactions is printed to the console at [19] so that the administrator can take an appropriate action.

Now that the flow of the sample application was outlined, let's focus on the most critical coding techniques used in various components:

JTAMonitor implements methods to start, prepare, commit, and roll back transaction branches. All these methods follow a very similar logic. For example, here's an excerpt from beginTransaction method:

public void beginTransaction(String globalID, String branchID)
  throws TrnsMonitorException {
  TrnsMonitorException tmex = null;
  try {
       Xid xid = new XidImplQZDA(globalID, branchID); [1]
       XAConnection xaConn1 = getXads().getXAConnection(); [2]
       XAResource xaRes1 = xaConn1.getXAResource(); [3] try {
            xaRes1.start(xid, XAResource.TMNOFLAGS); [4]
         } catch (XAException xae) {...}
       try {
            xaRes1.end(xid, XAResource.TMSUCCESS); [5]
        } catch (XAException xae) {...}
  } catch (Exception ex) {...}
}

Figure 3: This is the beginTransaction method implemented in JTAMonitor.java.

In Figure 3, at [1] an Xid object is instantiated. This object represents the transaction context and is used by the resource manager (DB2, in this case) to identify a specific global transaction. At [2] the XADataSource produces an XAConnection. In a DB2 for i5/OS implementation, the transactional work submitted over a given connection is actually executed by one of the database prestart jobs. Since the sample application utilizes the IBM Toolbox for Java JDBC driver, the database connections are served by QZDASOINIT jobs. At [3] the XAConnection, in turn, produces an XAResource object. At [4] the newly created XAResource object is used to start a new global transaction with GTRID and BQUAL values encapsulated in the Xid object. The start method not only creates a new transaction context on the resource manager but also automatically associates the current connection with the transaction context. The transaction state is changed to active. The beginTransaction method performs no transactional work. Its purpose is to initiate a new transaction branch. The transactional work is performed by other specialized classes such as JInsertCoffees. So at this point, I disassociate the current thread from the transaction context. This is accomplished at [5]. The transaction status changes from active to idle. For example, JInsertCoffees uses the transaction branch started by the beginTransaction method to insert a new row into the COFFEES table. Here's a code fragment that represents the core functionality of the JInsertCoffess class:

try {
     Xid xid = new XidImplQZDA(globalID, branchID); [1]
     XAConnection  xaConn1 = xads.getXAConnection(); [2]
     XAResource    xaRes1  = xaConn1.getXAResource(); [3]
     try{
         xaRes1.start(xid, XAResource.TMJOIN); [4]
     } catch (XAException xae) {...}
     c1 = xaConn1.getConnection(); [5]
     String sqlinstr = "INSERT INTO coffees VALUES(?,?,?,?,?,?)";
     pstmt = c1.prepareStatement(sqlinstr); [6]
     pstmt.setInt(1, aCoffee.getCof_id());
     ...
     int count = pstmt.executeUpdate(); [7]
     try{
         xaRes1.end(xid, XAResource.TMSUCCESS); [8]
     }  catch (XAException xae) {...}
} catch (Exception e) {...}

Figure 4: This pseudo code illustrates the core functionality of JInsertCoffees.

In Figure 4, at [1] the Xid implementation object is created. At [2] the XADataSource produces an XAConnection. The necessary XAResource object is instantiated at [3]. This is a pattern that you'll see throughout the sample application. It allows me to make the classes that manipulate the data resource manager independent. At [4] the XAResource is used to associate the transactional work performed by JInsertCoffees with a transaction context represented by a given Xid. Remember that at this point the transaction branch status is changed from Idle to Active. At [5] a logical database connection is obtained from XAConnection; an SQL INSERT statement is prepared at [6] and executed at [7]. Finally, at [8] the thread is disassociated from the branch so that other threads can gain control over it.

A similar logic is employed in the legacy CUPDCOF program. In this case, however, I use the XA APIs implemented in C rather than JTA APIs in Java. Let's quickly examine the relevant excerpt from the C source:

#define FORMATID           4478019                                         [1]

char   xa_info[1024]= "tmname=TMJAREK rdbname=*LOCAL tblcs=S

Jarek Miszczyk

Jarek Miszczyk is a Lead Technical Consultant for System x Virtualization and Cloud Computing at the IBM STG Global ISV Enablement organization. He is located in Rochester, Minnesota. He can be reached by email at jarek@us.ibm.com.

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

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    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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    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.