Sidebar

DB2/400 Referential Integrity

DB2
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Referential integrity (RI) is one of several important new database functions announced in V3R1. RI is inherent in any database integrity scheme, whether it is implemented by an application or by the database software itself. The simplest definition of RI is that it defines a relationship between two files in which one is the parent and one is the dependent (child). Records in the dependent file are joined to a unique key in the parent file. For example, the order header file is a dependent file to the customer master file and must contain a valid customer number.

On the AS/400, data integrity rules have typically been enforced by application programs. RI enforces those same rules at the database level, and there are certain advantages inherent in this approach.

? RI is enforced no matter what application updates the database. Whether you use an RPG program, a client/server application, a DFU, or a query, the rules are enforced.

? RI reduces redundant code, and the remaining code is more standardized because each application is not maintaining the data relationships.

On the other hand, you must take some design considerations into account if you want to use RI effectively. For instance, RI will not function well unless you normalize your database (see "Common Sense Normalization" elsewhere in this issue). Some RI rules require journaling both files to the same journal receiver, and, in general, you'll need to reconsider your use of journaling and commitment control. There is an implicit performance, maintenance, and disk usage overhead in applications that utilize journaling.

Most important of all, using RI requires a level of design discipline that may not be available in your installation. It's up to each application to handle violations of the RI rules. What if somebody assigns RI rules to a file that your program uses and doesn't notify you? The database will enforce the rule, your program will get an error, and the users will call you. If there was ever a clear case for why complex databases require database administrators, this is it.

You must consider these issues before you can use RI effectively, but, in this article, I'll concentrate on how RI is defined and the different ways you can implement it.

Referential Constraints

When the rules that govern the relationship between two files (e.g., the order header file must contain a valid customer number) are implemented at the database level, they are called referential constraints. A single file can have many referential constraints, and one file can be the dependent file for some constraints and the parent file for others. An example is the order header file, which is the dependent file in its relationship with the customer master file but the parent file in its relationship with the order lines file.

Selecting referential constraint rules is the process of determining what you want to do if an application violates the relationship between the two files. For instance, what do you want to do if a user attempts to delete a customer record that has outstanding orders? The answer depends on the particular needs of the business. One company might prohibit such customer deletions; another company might delete all outstanding orders; a third company might run a special report notifying the sales manager of the potential lost sales. DB2/400 does not provide the business rules; it provides programming tools that you can use to enforce some business rules.

On the AS/400, referential constraints can only be defined for physical files, but they automatically apply to any logical file based on the physical files. 1 provides a listing of the AS/400 commands associated with referential constraints.

On the AS/400, referential constraints can only be defined for physical files, but they automatically apply to any logical file based on the physical files. Figure 1 provides a listing of the AS/400 commands associated with referential constraints.

Referential constraints are based on the concept of a database event. A database event is an add, change, or delete to a record in a file. In database terms, add transactions are usually called inserts, and change transactions are almost invariably called updates. I'll use this terminology because it meshes with what you'll find in the IBM manuals and the names and parameters of OS/400 commands.

Some RI terminology makes sense to database designers but seems foreign to many AS/400 programmers. I'll avoid most of this terminology, and I'll define the other terms as I use them. Here are a few that you'll need to get started.

Dependent (or child) file: As you might expect, the dependent file is the "lower" of the two files whose relationship is described by an RI constraint. In our example, the order lines file is a dependent file to the order header file; the order header file is a dependent file to the customer master file; and the customer master file is a dependent file to the salesman file because the salesman code in the customer master file must match a valid salesman number defined by the salesman file.

Parent file: A parent file is the "upper" member of the pair of files described by an RI constraint. The customer master file is the parent file to the order header file because each order header record must contain a valid customer number defined by the customer master file.

Parent key: A parent key is a field or a set of fields used to join the parent file to the dependent file. For example, when a referential constraint defining the relationship between the order header file and the customer master file is established, the customer number in the customer master file is the parent key. An access path must be established for the parent key, and either a primary key constraint or a unique constraint must be defined for the parent key. (Primary key constraints and unique constraints are explained in the next section.)

Foreign key: A foreign key is the field (or fields) in a dependent file that match the parent key of the parent file; an access path must be maintained for this key. Like any OS/400 function, RI will utilize an existing access path if one is available.

Primary Key Constraints and Unique Constraints

There are actually three types of constraints?primary key constraints, unique constraints, and referential constraints. In most cases, when the term constraint is used without qualification, it refers to a referential constraint. Before you can add a referential constraint to a pair of files, either a primary key constraint or a unique constraint must be defined for the parent key.

This terminology would be easier to understand if a unique constraint was called a unique key constraint. In fact, that is what a unique constraint is?a unique key to the parent file. The difference between a primary key constraint (*PRIKEY) and a unique constraint (*UNQCST) is defined in the following paragraphs.

Primary key constraint: A parent file does not necessarily have to have a primary key; it is a special case of the unique key. A logical way to define a primary key is as the most commonly used unique key for any file. Examples include the customer number for the customer master file and the order number for the order header file. In many cases, only a primary key constraint will be defined for the parent file; no unique constraints will be defined.

Unique constraint: A unique constraint is any unique key to a parent file other than the primary key. The usual purpose is to define the key in the parent file that specifies the relationship with the dependent file.

There are two major differences between primary and unique keys.

1. There can be only one primary key for a file, but as many unique keys as necessary (up to the maximum of 300 constraints per file) can be defined.

2. Null values are allowed for unique keys but not for primary keys.

Primary key and unique constraints define keys in the parent file that will be used by referential constraints. A primary key or unique constraint is required before a referential constraint can reference a parent file.

In some cases, OS/400 will create a primary key or unique constraint automatically when a referential constraint is defined. Regardless of whether the constraint that defines the parent key is a primary key constraint or a unique constraint, defined explicitly or defined automatically by OS/400, it must exist before a referential constraint can be defined.

Primary key and unique constraints are included in the maximum of 300 constraints allowed for a file and are displayed when you run the Work with Physical File Constraints (WRKPFCST) command for the parent file.

Defining Referential Constraints

Three constraint rules describe the relationship between each dependent file and its parent file. If you assign referential constraints to a file at all, you must define a rule for each transaction type?insert, update, and delete. Each transaction type may use a different rule.

To illustrate a simple example of RI, I'll use a customer master file and an order header file. The logical relationship between these files is familiar to most AS/400 programmers, and the rules that I'll be implementing using RI are usually implemented using application programs. The advantage of RI is that I can implement the rules once and be confident that OS/400 will always enforce them.

The Insert Rule: Inserts are the simplest type of constraint. Only one possibility is valid: a record cannot be added to the dependent file unless there is a matching key in the parent file. In this example, an order cannot be added unless it contains a valid customer number. The name of this rule is "No Action." No Action is used repeatedly to describe RI constraints that forbid completion of a transaction.

The Update Rules: Update constraints are also relatively straightforward. There are two possible values: No Action or Restrict. Both prevent any update that results in a dependent file record that has no matching record in the parent file.

In our example, this means two things: it is invalid to change a customer number in the order header file to a customer number that does not exist; and (less obviously) it is invalid to change a customer number in the customer master file if any orders exist for the old customer. This second rule is seldom enforced because most applications do not allow changes to a file's key. However, part of the benefit of implementing RI at the database level is that OS/400 enforces the rules regardless of any misbehavior by an application.

The difference between No Action and Restrict is subtle and doesn't become entirely clear until you look at applications that use both RI and triggers. (Triggers are another new database function introduced in V3R1. OS/400 automatically calls a trigger program when a specific database event occurs. For more information, see "Referential Integrity & Triggers in DB2/400," MC, November 1994.)

For the sake of definition, the difference between No Action and Restrict is that Restrict checks whether the relationship between the parent file and the dependent file is valid before other database events (e.g., a trigger program) occur; No Action checks for a constraint violation after other database events have completed.

For a quick illustration of the difference between No Action and Restrict, consider the situation in which an order is updated and the new customer record doesn't exist yet. If the No Action rule is used, the order header file update could fire a trigger program that creates the new customer record before the constraint is checked.

The Delete Rules: Delete rules are the most complex referential constraints. You should consider delete rules from the perspective of the parent file because any record can be deleted from the dependent file without violating any referential constraint. Restrictions for deleting records are less straightforward than for inserting or updating. For example, a No Action rule for insert and update transactions raises no logic issues. It is invalid to have orders for customers that don't exist. The only issue is how new customers should be added during order entry.

A No Action restriction for delete transactions poses other problems. It may be perfectly logical to delete a record from the parent file, but if the delete is simply allowed to take place, the relationship between the parent file and the dependent file that was previously enforced is invalidated. The other delete constraint rules give the application designer options so that records can be deleted from the parent file when necessary. The net result in all cases is that records in the dependent file are not allowed to point at a parent file record that has been deleted.

No Action and Restrict for delete constraints are very similar to the update rules. You cannot delete a record from the parent file if any records in the dependent file are associated with it.

The Cascade rule deletes all associated dependent file records when a record is deleted from the parent file. The Cascade rule provides programmers with a very powerful function, but it also creates design and performance considerations.

The Set Null and Set Default rules are very similar to each other. In both cases, foreign key values (the values that point from the dependent file to the parent file) are reset when the parent file record is deleted. Because deleting a single parent file record may affect multiple dependent file records, Set Null and Set Default are subject to performance considerations similar to those for the Cascade rule.

The values that the foreign keys are set to depend on whether Set Default or Set Null is used and what the default values for the foreign key fields are. Default values, including null, can be specified in DDS. If no defaults are specified in the DDS, the defaults for the field type are used (e.g., character fields are set to blanks). Set Default will be processed only if the default values result in a valid key to the parent file.

For example, suppose a salesman leaves the company; you can use the Set Default constraint to assign his orders to the house account. This is a four-step process.

1. Define the house account in the salesman master file.

2. Make the salesman number of the house account (e.g., 001) the default for the salesman number in the order header file.

3. Use RI to define the relationship between the order header file and the salesman master file. Use a delete constraint of Set Default.

4. Delete the salesman's record from the salesman master file. His accounts will be set to salesman number 001 based on the default value assigned to the order header salesman number field.

Set Null only makes sense for foreign key fields defined as null-capable (i.e., ALWNULL keyword specified in the DDS field definition). Currently, null-capable fields are fairly rare in AS/400 databases. Set Null is included as a valid constraint to improve conformance with other databases and to allow for future changes to the database.

Assigning Constraints

On the AS/400, all types of constraints?primary key, unique, and referential?are defined using the Add Physical File Constraint (ADDPFCST) command. The ADDPFCST panel is shown in 2. This command is central to the implemen-tation of RI on the AS/400.

On the AS/400, all types of constraints?primary key, unique, and referential?are defined using the Add Physical File Constraint (ADDPFCST) command. The ADDPFCST panel is shown in Figure 2. This command is central to the implemen-tation of RI on the AS/400.

Several rules apply to all constraints?primary key, unique, or referential.

? Constraints can only be defined for physical files, although referential constraint rules will be enforced if a physical file is updated through a logical file.

? The files involved in a constraint definition can have a maximum of one member each. The file must be defined as MAX-MBR(1). No more than one member can actually exist.

? Constraint names must be unique in a library.

? Constraints cannot use a file in the QTEMP library.

Four parameters of the ADDPFCST command are used to define primary key or unique constraints.

FILE: This parameter designates the file you are defining an access path for.

TYPE: *UNQCST defines a unique key, and *PRIKEY specifies that the fields entered for the KEY parameter make up the primary key of the file.

KEY: This parameter designates the field or fields that are used to build the access path.

CST: Use this parameter to designate the constraint name. The special value *GEN will generate a constraint name, but I recommend that you name your constraints.

A primary key or unique constraint may be created implicitly by OS/400 when a referential constraint is added if a unique keyed access path already exists on the designated parent key.

Referential constraints are attached to the dependent file and are assigned using the ADDPFCST command.

FILE: The first parameter of ADDPF-CST designates the dependent file for RI constraints.

TYPE: An entry of *REFCST specifies a referential constraint.

KEY: For a referential constraint, the field or fields entered in this parameter determine the foreign key in the dependent file that points to the parent key (either a primary key constraint or a unique constraint) in the parent file.

CST: This parameter can be used to assign a name to a constraint.

PRNFILE: This parameter designates the parent file for a referential constraint.

PRNKEY: This parameter defines the key to the parent file used to enforce the referential constraint. You can specify one or more fields. The default is the special value *PRNKEY.

A value of *PRNKEY will use the primary key if one has been defined for the parent file. It can also use a unique constraint if only one is defined for the parent file. If more than one unique constraint is defined for the parent file and no primary key constraint is defined for the parent file, specifying *PRNKEY generates an error message.

UPDRULE and DLTRULE: These two parameters are used to designate the referential constraint rules to be used for updates and deletes, respectively. The insert rule is not explicitly defined because only one value is valid for an insert constraint?No Action. When you add constraints to a physical file, all three types?insert, update, and delete?are added with a single ADDPFCST command. You cannot add just an insert constraint. Therefore the UPDRULE and DLTRULE parameters are required if the TYPE parameter is *REFCST.

Once you create a referential constraint for a file, you cannot change it; you can only remove it by using the Remove Physical File Constraint (RMVPFCST) command.

You can view all constraints for a dependent file by using the Display File Description (DSPFD) command.

RI Design Errors

When you run the ADDPFCST command, all the relationships between existing records in the two files are verified. A check pending condition occurs when the existing data in the file violates the referential constraint rules. In this case, the ADDPFCST command issues an error. The constraint is added to the file, but it is immediately disabled.

By running the Work with Physical File Constraints (WRKPFCST) or the Display Check Pending Constraint (DSPCPCST) commands, you can see the records that caused the check pending situation. In most cases, these records actually contain invalid data that other data validation techniques did not catch. You can eliminate the check pending condition by using a DFU or an application program to correct the data, and then using the WRKPFCST or Change Physical File Constraint (CHGPFCST) command to enable the constraint.

Deciding When to Use RI

Like any other development tool, RI is useful in some situations and harmful in others. There is no set of specific rules that you can use to make these design decisions. The most important design consideration for RI is whether to use it at all. A more complex overall application design and more stringent database administration are intrinsic in the use of RI.

Should you use it? I believe the answer is yes. However, RI is no magic bullet. If difficulties can occur because each applications programmer has implemented a business rule differently, imagine the potential havoc inherent in interpreting the business rules and enforcing them using RI.

Before you can take full advantage of RI, you should be able to draw a diagram of the relationships between all the files on your system. Not that you necessarily need to actually produce the diagram, it's just that you need that level of understanding about how the data elements interact.

You'll also have to deal with some database design issues. At a minimum, you'll need to implement journaling for the specific cases that require it. (In 3, the rules that require journaling are shown in red.) More realistically, you must completely examine your journaling and commitment control strategy.

You'll also have to deal with some database design issues. At a minimum, you'll need to implement journaling for the specific cases that require it. (In Figure 3, the rules that require journaling are shown in red.) More realistically, you must completely examine your journaling and commitment control strategy.

Before RI is implemented for any pair of files, make sure that you know all the applications that affect those files and that you have a good mechanism in place so that new applications will be designed with the RI constraints in mind.

A key issue is ongoing development. Once you've added referential constraints to a pair of files, the constraints will always be enforced. Your developers must include error-handling routines in every application?whether it is host-based or client/server, interactive or batch. (An upcoming article will illustrate RI error-handling.)

Next, there are performance issues. As an example, if an average customer has 1,000 open orders, you may not be able to use a delete Cascade constraint even though it accomplishes your logical goal. You probably don't want to delete 1,000 orders interactively when you delete a customer number. In this case, you might consider using a trigger program that calls a batch process instead. Again, the specific situation governs the design decision.

As a rule of thumb, use RI when the relationship between two files is inviolable. For instance, order line records must be associated with an order header record, but you may allow situations where the customer number is assigned after the order is created. If this is your application design, the relationship between order line file and the order header file is a prime RI candidate, but the relationship between the order header and the customer master may require a different solution.

Don't let these restrictions scare you off. It's easy to start small with RI because any referential constraint involves only two files. This point is worth reiterating because the overall database design involves much more complex relationships. For example, the relationships between the order line file, the inventory file, the order header file, the sales analysis file, the customer master file, the salesman file, and a variety of code files actually describe the entire order entry application and may have implications for accounts payable as well. If you attempt to resolve all these relationships before you start using RI, you may end up with a stalemate. My recommendation is to bear in mind the big picture but to go ahead and start using RI in specific applications when you are confident that you have defined all the relationships between a pair of files.

RI exists because it makes more sense to control database relationships at the database level than to let each applications programmer try to implement the rules. Like any component of your programming toolkit, you cannot put it to work until you've learned its strengths and weaknesses. Properly used, RI can help ensure the integrity of your data and implement your business rules more consistently.

Sharon Hoffman is the editor of Midrange Computing.

References

Database 2/400 Advanced Database Functions (GG24-4249, CD-ROM GG244249).

OS/400 CL Reference V3R1 (SC41-3722, CD-ROM QBKAUP00).

OS/400 DB2/400 Database Programming V3R1 (SC41-3701, CD-ROM QBKAUC00).


DB2/400 Referential Integrity

Figure 1: Referential Constraint Commands

Add Physical File Constraint (ADDPFCST)

Assign the constraint rules for insert, update, and delete to a pair of files.

Change Physical File Constraint (CHGPFCST)

Change the status of a referential constraint from enabled to disabled or vice versa.

Display Check Pending Constraint (DSPCPCST)

Display the records causing the check pending condition for a constraint that is in check pending status.

Edit Check Pending Constraints (EDTCPCST)

Display constraints in check pending status and schedule reverification of the constraint relationships.

Remove Physical File Constraint (RMVPFCST)

Delete the constraint relationship assigned with an ADDPFCST command.

Work with Physical File Constraints (WRKPFCST)

Display and edit constraints including files and records in check pending status.

DB2/400 Referential Integrity

Figure 2: The ADDPFCST Command



DB2/400 Referential Integrity

Figure 3: Journaling Requirements for Constraints

 Insert Update Delete Constraints Constraints Constraints No Action No Action No Action Restrict Restrict Cascade Set Default Set Null ? Requires Journaling 
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450Mobile computing is rapidly maturing into a solid platform for delivering enterprise applications. Many IBM i shops today are realizing that integrating their IBM i with mobile applications is the fast path to improved business workflows, better customer relations, and more responsive business reporting.

    This ASNA whitepaper takes a look at mobile computing for the IBM i. It discusses the different ways mobile applications may be used within the enterprise and how ASNA products solve the challenges mobile presents. It also presents the case that you already have the mobile programming team your projects need: that team is your existing RPG development team!

    Get your copy today!

  • Automate IBM i Operations using Wireless Devices

    DDL SystemsDownload the technical whitepaper on MANAGING YOUR IBM i WIRELESSLY and (optionally) register to download an absolutely FREE software trail. This whitepaper provides an in-depth review of the native IBM i technology and ACO MONITOR's advanced two-way messaging features to remotely manage your IBM i while in or away from the office. Notify on-duty personnel of system events and remotely respond to complex problems (via your Smartphone) before they become critical-24/7. Problem solved!

    Order your copy here.

  • DR Strategy Guide from Maxava: Brand New Edition - now fully updated to include Cloud!

    SB Maxava PPL 5476PRACTICAL TOOLS TO IMPLEMENT DISASTER RECOVERY IN YOUR IBM i ENVIRONMENT

    CLOUD VS. ON-PREMISE?
    - COMPREHENSIVE CHECKLISTS
    - RISK COST CALCULATIONS
    - BUSINESS CASE FRAMEWORK
    - DR SOLUTIONS OVERVIEW
    - RFP BUILDER
    Download your free copy of DR Strategy Guide for IBM i from Maxava today.

     

  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:
    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    HelpSystems

    This year marks the sixth edition of the popular IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, HelpSystems sets out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. Year over year, the survey has begun to reveal long-term trends that give insight into the future of this trusted technology.

    More than 500 IBM i users from around the globe participated in this year’s survey, and we’re so happy to share the results with you. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

    With so many organizations depending on AIX day to day, ensuring proper security and configuration is critical to ensure the safety of your environment. Don’t let common threats put your critical AIX servers at risk. Avoid simple mistakes and start to build a long-term plan with this AIX Security eCourse. Enroll today to get easy to follow instructions on topics like:

    • Removing extraneous files
    • Patching systems efficiently
    • Setting and validating permissions
    • Managing service considerations
    • Getting overall visibility into your networks

     

  • Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.

    Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    HelpSystemsIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    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:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC GenericLet’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    Our panel of IBM i experts—Chuck Losinski, Robin Tatam, Richard Schoen, and Tom Huntington—will outline strategies that allow your company to cope with IBM i skills depletion by adopting these strategies that allow you to get the job done without deep expertise on the OS:
    - Automate IBM i processes
    - Use managed services to help fill the gaps
    - Secure the system against data loss and viruses
    The strategies you discover in this webinar will help you ensure that your system of record—your IBM i—continues to deliver a powerful business advantage, even as staff retires.

     

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by Debbie Saugen. Debbie is an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability, helping IBM i shops build and implement effective business continuity plans.
    In today’s business climate, business continuity is more important than ever. But 83 percent of organizations are not totally confident in their backup strategy.
    During this webinar, Carol and Debbie discuss the importance of a good backup plan, how to ensure you’re backing up your security information, and your options for encrypted back-ups.

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC GenericIn this presentation, Alex Roytman and Liam Allan will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications. Learn how Agile Modernization:
    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

     

  • 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.

     

     

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY 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.

    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.