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How Will IBM DB2 Web Query for System i Benefit Your Shop?

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 Learn about the new IBM query and reporting tool for the i5/OS market.

 

f you have been following recent IT industry trends, you may have noticed that there has been a lot of activity in the area of Business Intelligence (BI). Mergers, major acquisitions, and announcements have dominated the headlines in the past year. IBM has been quite active in this area as well. The recent acquisition of Cognos and the announcement of the Dynamic Data Warehouse Initiative are evidence of this. But IBM's i5/OS investment in and commitment to BI has not just been recent; it has been a point of emphasis in the last several releases, going back to V4R1. Consider some of the following database enhancements that have been built into the operating system over the last decade and beyond:

  • SQL Query Engine (SQE)
  • On Demand Performance Center
  • Database Parallelism
  • Materialized Query Tables
  • Encoded Vector Indexing
  • Remote Journaling
  • Autonomic Indexes
  • Index Advisor
  • Database Monitors
  • OmniFind Text Search Server
  • Grouping functions (cube, rollup, and grouping sets)

While many enhancements have been made in the database, one area where little was done was a query and reporting tool that could take advantage of these enhancements. Until recently, Query/400 was one of the few IBM i5/OS offerings in this area; and while it was a very successful and popular product, it simply wasn't keeping pace with today's demanding BI requirements. For starters, all aspects of the tool's interfaces (report development, end user invocation, and output formats) are text-based and limited to the green-screen. Another major drawback is that all Query/400 requests are processed by the Classic Query Engine (CQE). This query optimizer technology is not taking advantage of the latest in IBM technology, and products like Query/400 that do not leverage standard SQL interfaces will (for the foreseeable future) only be able to use the less "intelligent" and poorer performing CQE. In fact, CQE has received no major enhancements in several years. IBM has been focusing on SQE, a redesigned database engine that is more efficient and provides more features. At this time, only standard SQL requests are processed by SQE. The result is that Query/400 is unable to leverage the latest database technologies and generally exhibits poorer performance, with limited analysis tools to understand the poor performance.

 

Interestingly, Query/400 continues to be used by almost every customer. However, the usage of Query/400 is often relegated to being a data extraction tool in a process of moving the data to another database. Over the past several months, while teaching workshops or presenting at conferences or through Webinars, I often poll the audience to get a count of Query/400 usage. Nearly everyone responds that they are using Query/400. However, when I ask how many are using Query/400 as their primary database analysis tool, the number of respondents is a small percentage! It's quite clear that Query/400, while useful and easy to use, simply does not have the functions and features that customers are looking for. Some of those things include the following:

  • Ability to select a column and drill down to the next level of detail
  • Conditional styling (also known as traffic lighting) to make certain facts in the report stand out
  • Graph generation: Bar charts, pie charts, and other graphical data representations are essential in order to give users the ability to quickly consume and comprehend the data
  • Modern output formats such as spreadsheets, PDFs, and HTML to the Web browser
  • Parameterization and ad hoc report: Ability to allow report consumers to select the information they want to see via selection parameters and then have the report filter the data based on the parameters specified
  • Dashboards: A single view for executives or business analysts to see how the business is performing compared to key performance metrics. The single view is graphical and allows a "one-stop shopping" view for many data points that would otherwise be delivered in an untimely or incomprehensible manner. Information can be complex in nature and can originate from a variety of data sources. Graphical elements such as graphs, gauges, and charts are combined with high-level views to provide a visually rich, single interface so that users can quickly comprehend the information they are looking for.
  • Interactive analysis: When users analyze a report, sometimes the data reveals aspects that raise even more questions. In order to answer those questions, the analyst needs to look at the data in different ways (drilling down, drilling up, "slicing and dicing" the data).

Time for a New Offering: DB2 Web Query

To fill this void, IBM partnered with Information Builders Incorporated to deliver DB2 Web Query for System i to the marketplace. Information Builders is an IBM Business Partner that has been in the information and reporting business for over 30 years and has long been a leader in delivering BI solutions to their customers. In fact, their WebFOCUS product, recognized by Gartner Group (an industry analyst) as a top BI software product, runs on many platforms (including i5/OS).  

 

The DB2 Web Query product is essentially a subset of WebFOCUS, one that runs natively on i5/OS. The product is sold, marketed, and supported by IBM and in fact is packaged as Licensed Program Product (LPP) 5733QU2 and is installed by using the familiar RSTLICPGM interface.

 

It must be stressed that while a very powerful product, DB2 Web Query is not WebFOCUS. There are many features in WebFOCUS that are not included in DB2 Web Query. The objective of this product is to provide a query and reporting tool to meet the majority of the BI needs of most System i shops. WebFOCUS is based on the powerful FOCUS 4GL programming language, which supports, behind the scenes, DB2 Web Query. But for a full 4GL implementation to enable highly customized query or application logic, WebFOCUS would be the recommended solution.   

  

What Is Different About DB2 Web Query?

Unlike many BI solutions, DB2 Web Query was designed as a solution for customers running their business on the System i, with a majority of their data in DB2 for i5/OS, and their IT infrastructure built around that platform. And unlike those other solutions, DB2 Web Query allows you to query your data in DB2 for i5/OS, enabling you to leverage the advantages provided by a database that is tightly integrated with the operating system: database optimization, security, backup, change management, and other procedures and policies. This greatly simplifies the delivery of information to users without a requirement for server farms, data replication, and a completely new set of administration processes and procedures.

 

It is designed as a Web-based product, minimizing client configuration, licensing, and administration. All components of DB2 Web Query reside in a single installation of i5/OS, including the Web application server, the reporting server, the database engine, the metadata files, and the report definitions.

 

Other available BI solutions also claim to run natively on System i. A key advantage that DB2 Web Query has over some of these is its ability to generate SQL for data access, thereby leveraging the new SQL Query Engine (SQE). Other solutions rely exclusively on data access techniques such as OPNQRYF and the QQQQRY APIs. These technologies are still supported and do a fine job of data retrieval and manipulation, but all of these non-SQL requests are processed by the older CQE technology. The advantages of SQE over CQE are many and are well-documented in other publications (see the IBM Redbook Preparing for and Tuning the SQL Query Engine on DB2 for i5/OS, SG24-6598), but to summarize, here are the primary SQE benefits:

  • Better access methods and smarter techniques to retrieve, sort, join, and group data, which result in better overall performance
  • Ability to use more features: Only SQE can utilize new database technologies such as Autonomic Indexing, Materialized Query Tables (MQTs), and the ability to cache query results.
  • Better optimization and performance tools: Only queries processed by SQE will have their plans stored in the SQE plan cache, an internal matrix-like repository that stores plans and statements processed by the new engine. Tooling available in the System i Navigator product provides an interface to easily access this valuable source of information.

Base Product 5733QU2

The base option for DB2 Web Query includes the development tools and runtime necessary to create a standard, Web-based query and reporting environment. With the base option, you can create reports and graphs that far surpass anything you could do with Query/400.

 

The product follows a pricing model that is based on the server's processor tier. This means, for example, that a company with a P30 tier will pay more for the product than one that installs it on a P10 tier. Each tier comes with a number of entitled user licenses. Every i5/OS user profile that needs to develop or run reports requires a user license and must be registered using the license manager component of the product. If you need more named user licenses than the tier provides, you can purchase more (at a flat fee per license). However, another option exists to support users through a single or a minimum number of user licenses, and that is the Run Time User Enablement option. More information on that option is provided later in this article.

 

When you order product id 5733QU2 base option, the following components are included:

  • Three data adapters to interface with the database
  • Three Web-based report authoring tools
  • DB2 Web Query Reporting Server and meta data storage
  • IBM's Integrated Web Application Server

Three Data Adapters

DB2 Web Query uses three data adapter technologies to access the data in DB2 for i5/OS. Each adapter is used to not only access data, but also create and manage the product's metadata layer (also known as synonyms). Synonyms provide an abstraction layer that describes to DB2 Web Query the overall structure of the data source as well as the specific data elements (field names, field types, etc.). Before you create reports or graphs against any data source, you must first create a synonym for that data source.

 

Depending on your requirements, you will use one or more of the following data adapters:

  • DB2 CLI Adapter: When a synonym is created using the DB2 CLI adapter, the adapter will convert the report specifications (sort columns, display columns, selection parameters, etc.) into one or more SQL statements. This SQL statement is ultimately submitted to the DB2 for i5/OS engine from the DB2 Reporting Server using Call Level Interface (CLI). The use of SQL as the database access method is quite important because when that SQL statement is executed, the database will try to use SQE to process the request. If no SQE inhibitors prevent this from happening, the report will (in most cases) run faster than a request in which the underlying synonym is based on one of the two other adapters. In other words, if you want to take full advantage of SQE, your objective should be to use this adapter for all synonyms. However, this is not always possible, so two other adapters are provided.
  • Query/400 Adapter: This adapter is all about investment protection. It allows shops with many *QRYDFN objects to leverage their significant investment by importing these objects into DB2 Web Query. This will allow most Query/400 objects to be brought into DB2 Web Query unchanged and run through DB2 Web Query. The output can be "Webified" or imported into other modern output formats such as PDF, Active Reports, and Excel spreadsheets. However, as mentioned previously, database access for Query/400 requests is handled by CQE, not SQE. During benchmark testing done in Rochester, we observed some categories of queries that ran more than 10 times faster when the reports were developed based on DB2 CLI adapter synonyms.
  • DB Heritage Adapter: Do your legacy applications use multi-format logical files or multi-member physical files? Did you know that SQL does not support these file types? Fear not, as the DB Heritage adapter allows DB2 Web Query to access and report against these files. This adapter uses the OPNQRYF command as the mechanism to access the files. While, like Query/400, OPNQRYF does not use SQE, this adapter does allow you to protect significant investments made in the multi-format and multi-member file types.

 

Three Web-Based Report Authoring Tools

The base option of 5733QU2 comes with three tools that developers can use to create modern reports and graphs:

 

Report Assistant is a report development tool that provides an easy-to-use, graphical environment for report creation and maintenance. Its intuitive interface eliminates the need for report authors to know database syntax and terminology, allowing them to focus on business logic to quickly create meaningful reports. In addition, its features accommodate several of the BI requirements listed previously. Those features include the following:

  • Drill-down capabilities
  • Conditional styling/traffic lighting
  • Twelve output formats (including HTML, PDF, Excel spreadsheet, XML)
  • On-demand paging to allow users to jump to a specific page in a large report
  • Parameter-driven reporting for ad hoc capabilities

Graph Assistant is development tool for creating and editing graphs. It has the same general look and feel as Report Assistant, and in fact offers the same drill-down, conditional styling, output formats, and ad hoc features that Report Assistant does. But unlike Report Assistant, it includes several additional interfaces for selecting the types of graphs you want, as well as ways to customize the pie slices, bars, and x-y axis properties. If you're looking for a specific kind of graph to impress your management, Graph Assistant has over 120 different kinds of charts and graphs to choose from.

 

Power Painter is a report and graph creation utility. It can also be used as a layout tool for creating composite reports (reports that show multiple reports and graphs from one interface). Although its primary purpose is for creating reports in the PDF format, it can direct the output to HTML, Active Reports, and Excel spreadsheets. It is based on AJAX and Web 2.0 technologies, which means that there is an extensive amount of activity and communication between the client application and the server. As such, it does consume and require more memory on both the client side and on the server. It may appear that there is some overlap between Graph Assistant and Power Painter. This is somewhat true, but there are some differences. A common question is, "When would you use Power Painter instead of Graph Assistant?" Power Painter should be used when you want do the following:

  • Create composite reports to spreadsheets or PDFs
  • Create graphs that require advanced graphing features that Graph Assistant does not support. Examples of this include customized minimum/maximum values shown in a graph and ability to customize the increments (grid steps) of the graph.
  • Use a development tool that is more of a "What You See is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) type of experience. The Power Painter interface is generally considered more modern and provides this type of experience to the developer.

DB2 Web Query Reporting Server

The DB2 Web Query Reporting Server is the "workhorse" that resides between the DB2 Web Query users and the database. It employs the data adapters to translate user queries and report requests into SQL statements, performs additional tasks to properly format the results, and delivers the content to the specified output format, ensuring ease of use and efficient requests for the database.

 

i5/OS Integrated Web Application Server

In V5R4, IBM made available a Web application server that is integrated in the operating system. DB2 Web Query uses this application server because it is more lightweight and requires a smaller memory footprint than the WebSphere Application Server. It is also easier to administer, start, and stop. In fact, the i5/OS commands provided by DB2 Web Query handle the starting and stopping of both the reporting server and the integrated application server. The implementation used by DB2 Web Query also uses IBM Technology for Java, the 32-bit Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which further reduces the system resources needed and generally results in better overall application performance.

 

Additional Components

The DB2 Web Query base product can essentially be thought of as a more modernized version of Query/400. While it is much more robust and feature-rich than Query/400, its capabilities are primarily for querying and reporting, just as the product it strategically replaces.

 

To take this product to the "next level" requires the implementation of several additional LPP options available from IBM. The powerful features included with these options are what transform DB2 Web Query from a modern reporting tool into a solution that provides true BI capabilities. For example, if you want the ability to enhance the metadata layer and hide the complexity of the database, provide visually rich dashboards to your management, give your business analysts the ability to slice and dice data to solve complex business problems, give your mobile employees access to powerful reports in a disconnected environment, and provide true ad hoc reporting capabilities to empower your end users, you will want take a serious look at these additional options.

 

Most of these options are server-based, chargeable features that, like the base component, follow a processor tier pricing model. The exception to this is 5733QU2 option 3 (Developer Workbench), which is a PC client application with a flat-fee pricing model. You purchase a license for each PC that the tool is installed on. Let's have a look at each of these options.

 

Active Reports (5733QU2 Option 1)

Active Reports is special report output format (specified in the Report Assistant tool) in which the data and the reporting controls are all stored within a single HTML file. These reporting controls provide the user with a variety of built-in data analysis and manipulation features. Here are some examples:

  • Sort: The report can be sorted by any column in ascending or descending order.
  • Filter/highlight: Any column or combination of columns that match specified values can be filtered or highlighted.
  • Calculate: Math functions sum, minimum, maximum, count, and percentage of total can be applied to selected columns.
  • Chart: Line, bar, and pie graphs can be displayed in a pop-up window.
  • Rollup: Values in a selected column can be aggregated by another selected column and results displayed in a pop-up window.
  • Pivot: Column values can be aggregated and results displayed in a cross tab grouped by two or more columns.
  • Visualize: Bar charts of selected columns can be displayed for a visual comparison of column values.
  • Export: Reports and charts can be extracted and immediately exported into other applications.

All these features are built-in and ready to use via a Web browser; no client application is required. In addition, since all the information is encapsulated in a single HTML file, you can do all this in a disconnected mode. The end user works with the data contained in the HTML file and does not require a network connection to the DB2 for i5/OS server.

 

This also means that users do not have to be registered named users. Only the user who originally ran and populated the report needs to be a licensed user (or member of a Run Time User Enablement group). The report can be distributed (emailed) to anyone, and those recipients simply open the HTML file in a Web browser and have the same information and same data manipulation capabilities as the user who originally created the report.

 

OLAP (5733QU2 Option 2)

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) is a component of BI software that provides an interactive experience of working with the data. The user typically runs an initial report to analyze data or examine trends. The report may yield information that leads to more questions, or perhaps it may uncover a problem area within the corporation. To help the user gain more insight on the information, an OLAP application enables the user to extract and view the data at different points of view. This could mean dragging and dropping new fields into the report, filtering the data, re-sorting by a specific column, drilling down to the next level of detail, or pivoting specific columns in the report.

 

To perform this type of function, OLAP tools structure data in a hierarchical design. As such, OLAP is often associated with data that is multi-dimensional (often extracted from cubes or a data warehouse that was designed based on star schema or snowflake schema principles). However, this is not a requirement for DB2 Web Query. Databases that are relational can also be analyzed using the OLAP module in the Report Assistant tool. Once your OLAP dimensions and hierarchies are defined using the Developer Workbench application, report developers can simply "switch on" OLAP to enable these types of capabilities. This feature empowers your users, giving them many ways to dissect and manipulate the data to gain a better understanding of information that is buried within it.

 

Developer Workbench (5733QU2 Option 3)

Developer Workbench is a Windows client-based application that provides additional and advanced features for DB2 Web Query development activities. While synonym creation, as well as report and graph development tasks, can be accomplished by using the other tools, the numerous features provided in this application make it well worth looking into. Some of the highlights include the following:

  • Synonym Editor: This advanced editor includes features to perform impact analysis, data profiling (statistics, patterns, values, and outliers), date decomposition, creation of synonym-level joins, creation of virtual (computed) columns, and the configuration of the dimensions and hierarchies needed for OLAP processing. Developers also have the option of viewing the synonym structure in a tree view, modeling view, or simple text editor.
  • HTML Layout Painter: This component provides an interface from which developers can create layouts by inserting text, images, existing reports and graphs, and input selection parameters (using design elements such as radio buttons and drop-down lists). The tool then generates an HTML file so that this layout can be used as the framework for a Web page. Dashboards, composite reports, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and the front-end page for parameterized reports are developed using this very powerful accessory.
  • SQL Report Wizard: If you prefer to create reports based on your own SQL statements or if you have SQL SELECT statements stored in files in the IFS, the SQL Report Wizard will be a useful tool in your environment.

Runtime User Enablement (5733QU2 Option 4; Available Only with V1R1M1)

In March of 2008, the Run Time User Enablement option was added to the product offering. While it provides no additional features, this option gives customers more licensing flexibility when the majority of the users are run-time only.

 

With the base licensing option of 5733QU2, all users (whether they are report developers or report users) must be explicitly registered as named users using the product's license manager component. Each of these named users consumes a user license. Consequently, a company with many users would be forced to create an environment that is both expensive and difficult to administer. This option was made in response to feedback received from the initial product release based on such environments. With Runtime User Enablement, a company in which the majority of users are run-time only users (perform no report development activities) can license those users under i5/OS group profiles. Each of these group profiles secures a unique set of reports. This means that runtime licensing is based on the number of reports sets being made available rather than the number of uses that access the reports. This can result in significant savings and reduced administration.

The Future

In March of 2008, IBM and Information Builders announced a joint product roadmap for DB2 Web Query. This roadmap provides a glimpse of what is to come in 2008 for this product. Some of the planned product enhancements and offerings included in this announced were:

  • A report scheduling and distribution application that supports the generation and automated email distribution of reports
  • A Software Development Kit (SDK) that will provide the capability for application developers to embed DB2 Web Query content into any application as well as drive report execution and delivery through the previously described report distribution application
  • An Excel plug-in to provide users the ability to execute DB2 Web Query reports from within Excel spreadsheets and pull the report results directly into the spreadsheet

Summary

Query/400 was a very popular product and had a great run. Indeed, many thousands of licenses have been sold since 1988, and customers continue to use it today. But as useful as it was, its time as a primary query and reporting tool has passed. A changing of the guard has occurred, and with it comes a wealth of new features to deliver the information that your users need, in the format that they want, and with additional features that allow them to utilize true Business Intelligence capabilities. All this from a product that is designed to leverage all the good things about i5/OS: security, backup and recovery, and use of the integrated database...and all from a single i5/OS server. This means easier installation, maintenance, problem determination, licensing, and queries that are optimized for DB2 for i5/OS.

 

If you would like more information about this exciting new product, I'd suggest starting with the DB2 Web Query for System i home page.

 

Also take a look at the IBM Redbook Getting Started with DB2 Web Query for System i, which accompanied the product launch. It contains much more information about the product, tutorials to help you easily get started using the product, and performance tips and techniques to maximize your usage of the latest database technologies.

Gene Cobb

Gene Cobb is a DB2 for i5/OS Technology Specialist in IBM's ISV Business Strategy & Enablement for System i group. He has worked on IBM midrange systems since 1988, including over 10 years in the IBM Client Technology Center (now known as IBM Systems and Technology Group Lab Services). While in Lab Services, he assisted customers with application design and development using RPG, DB2 for i5/OS, CallPath/400, and Lotus Domino. His current responsibilities include providing consulting services to System i developers, with a special emphasis in application and database modernization. He can be reached at [email protected]

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    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, virtualization specialist Glenn Robinson joins Ash Giddings to discuss the use of VIOS in today’s demanding Power Systems environments. VIOS can help you realize real business value by reducing IT expenditure and adding the flexibility to grow and shrink resources according to data center demands through virtualization across IBM Power Systems estates.

  • ​Multi-Platform Application Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Make Application Monitoring Easy Across the IBM i, Windows, AIX, and Linux Platforms in Your Environment
    IT departments are constantly bombarded by information from a wide variety of operating systems, business applications, and critical processes. At the same time, the department must support a complex array of servers and devices running across their entire network.
    With limited resources and the need to keep costs in check, more and more is expected of operational staff to handle this information efficiently.
    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, we’ll dissect complex systems monitoring by introducing best practices and smart techniques that will help you:
    - Ensure vital business applications run smoothly and without disruption
    - Respond swiftly and with appropriate actions
    - Confirm that essential data is received at the right time
    - Prove service levels are maintained
    - Keep contingency and high availability strategies fully operational

  • ​IBM i War Stories from the Front Line

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    IBM i is great at managing varied workloads—the OS offers many built-in work management and system utilities to aid administration.
    But greater customization is sometimes necessary in the line of duty.
    Halcyon has built upon these utilities to deliver a number of advanced functions designed for you to take control of all of your day-to-day IBM i activities.
    During this on-demand webinar, our experts will demonstrate some of Halcyon’s capabilities and describe real-life scenarios that highlight how you can:

    - Reduce your alerting footprint by implementing leading-edge monitoring techniques 
    - Identify both organic growth and spikes in disk space utilization
    - Automate time-consuming housekeeping tasks
    - Take advantage of the powerful IBM i Services
    - Automate literally anything

    Set your sights on having the right monitoring solution, no matter what comes your way. Watch the recording today!

  • Work Smarter: Integrate IBM i and Desktop Applications

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    My desktop application users spend a lot of time manually generating and printing letters using IBM i data.
    Our team copies and pastes information between IBM i applications all the time. Launching a PC application from my IBM i screens is impossible today.
    Sound familiar?
    Too many businesses go through manual efforts to transfer documents and data across IBM i and desktop applications—especially ERPs. Whether you use JDE World, JDE EnterpriseOne, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, or any other ERP, chances are your employees are stuck transferring information manually. And all of that manual effort leads to hours upon hours of wasted time.
    But it doesn’t need to anymore.

    See More

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Let’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. These folks have been managing all areas of your business—often manually and behind the scenes—for decades, everything from IT operations to data and documents to cybersecurity.
    Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    During this 30-minute recorded webinar, 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
    IBM i skills depletion is a top concern for IBM i shops around the world. 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.

    Watch this webcast now

  • IFS Security – Don’t Leave Your Server Vulnerable

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Experts agree that one of the most overlooked areas of IBM i security is the Integrated File System. Available since V3R1, the IFS provides access for users carrying nothing more than a user profile and password, so it better be secure! If you believe nothing important is stored on your server's IFS, think again, because it's a conduit to many things, including the Operating System and all of your application libraries and files.
    Watch this important session to learn about securing the IFS, including:
    Why do we care about the IFS?
    Permissions versus Authority
    Root folder access
    Auditing IFS activities
    Read/Write versus *ALLOBJ
    Anti-Virus Considerations

  • Who’s Afraid of Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS? Not i.

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    This 30-minute recording demystifies Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS and teaches best practice techniques for maintaining and controlling critical processes and applications running on your Linux, AIX, and VIOS environments.

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by the newest member of the HelpSystems team: Debbie Saugen.
    Debbie is recognized worldwide as an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability. For decades, Debbie has helped 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.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC Generic

    In this presentation, Alex Roytman (CEO, Profound Logic) and Liam Allan (2016 COMMON Student Innovation Award winner) 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

    Watch this Webcast NOW!

  • The Truth About Viruses on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Protecting your data from viruses or malicious code is not an unfamiliar concept, but understanding how these threats can affect your Power Systems server may not be as easy to grasp.
    There are many myths about viruses and IBM i—including the belief that the system is immune. Many Power Systems managers still don’t see viruses as a risk because they see them as a Windows threat. While this was once true, today’s connected environments operate under different rules.
    It’s time to take action and protect IBM i and the network that connects to it. This on-demand webinar will help you gain an understanding of the relationships between:

    - Viruses and the integrated file system (IFS)
    - Power Systems and Windows viruses
    - PC-based anti-virus scanning vs native IBM i scanning
    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. Learn the facts to ensure you're fully-protected.

  • Business Process Automation with Robot

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Automate Process Flow Through the Data Center
    Typical “computerized” business processes are a combination of multiple schedulers, operational scripts, CL programs, and manual file checking, all backed up with the trusty runbook.
    Is there a better way to manage business processes?
    It is a common misconception that a business process cannot be automated if it’s too complicated or requires that someone verify each step. We’re here to tell you there is a better way to manage your business—process automation is possible!
    Take 30 minutes to learn the options for automating your business process flow and how they fit into your data center processing, including cases of:
    - Complex or iterative schedules
    - Event-driven dependencies
    - Multi-platform dependencies
    - Dynamically calculated parameters
    - Exception notification
    - SAP and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne integration
    How do I know business process automation is effective?
    If you have any doubts that automating complex business processes will improve your level of service, you’ll also hear a success story from the senior systems administrator at Trident Seafoods who embraced automation using the Robot solution and is reeling in the benefits!

  • Find Out Why You Should Keep Data on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    It’s simple. IBM i is the most reliable, securable, and powerful platform to house your critical business data.
    IBM i was built for business and has added features and functionality over the years to keep up with modern business needs. You can trust it to run your business, access your data in real-time, and keep your data secure. Plus, IBM i can scale to your business and handle all of your critical data.
    Can your other platforms do that?
    We didn’t think so.
    Watch this 30-minute webinar to learn why you should keep your data on IBM i, including:
    - IBM i is reliable
    - IBM i offers fast and secure real-time data access
    - IBM i helps your business prepare for tomorrow
    Plus, we demonstrate how Sequel Data Access helps you modernize IBM i data access and meet your business needs.

  • Mobile Apps for IBM i Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Overnight and weekend support can be a minefield for operations teams tasked with attempting to maintain system availability, especially when they must rely on laptop-based VPN access—where a delayed response can prove costly.
    With over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to use the BYOD movement to your advantage and start managing your IT infrastructure from the palm of your hand. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how Halcyon has modernized this crucial layer of support by introducing mobile applications for IBM i monitoring.
    You’ll hear how one company has used the Enterprise Console mobile app to provide a valuable audit trail and speed up response time. You’ll also learn:
    - The benefits of mobile apps
    - How to respond to critical messages within seconds
    - How to get notifications your way on your device
    - How to set up escalation, ensuring alerts are always handled in a timely fashion
    If your team is responsible for managing IBM i applications and services after regular business hours, you won’t want to miss this one!

     

  • Speed Up Your Manufacturing and Distribution with Paperless Processes

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Your ERP system —whether it’s JDE World, Enterprise One, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, VAI, or anything else—is essential to maintaining your company’s key business information and processes. But you’re constantly generating and receiving paper and electronic documents, too, and it’s hard to keep everything straight. So, you wind up chasing documents and data around—and keeping your customers and vendors waiting.
    It’s time to make life easier and make your customers happier. With an electronic document management system, you can integrate with your ERP to keep all of your key documents and data in one spot.
    And when all of your documents are stored digitally, you can speed up your processes and get key documents (like purchase orders and invoices) approved faster.
    Watch the webinar and learn how to:
    - Integrate a document management system with your ERP
    - Capture all of your key shop floor, order, and shipment documents in one central repository
    - Improve customer, vendor, and employee response times
    - Accomplish more work without adding additional staff
    It’s time to deliver your shipments faster and keep your customers happy by streamlining your paperwork processes.

  • Dock Door Signing Made Easy

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    How long does dock door signing take your organization? Too long if you’re still using manual processes and paper.
    From generating to collating to printing to routing to signing, manual processes and paper slow down your organization—and your delivery times. Electronic documents and digital signature capture can change all of that. And your organization will be able to create, route, approve (with digital signatures), and retrieve documents faster.
    Learn how digital signature capture helps you:
    - Eliminate steps in your approval processes
    - Improve auditability
    - Reduce customer service time to resolve questions
    Plus, we’ll demonstrate how digitizing signatures and documents will reduce your organization’s costs over the long haul.

  • 5 Reasons Developers Love Robot Schedule

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Why AppDev Should Embrace Automation
    Your application development team is an expensive resource that works hard to improve business processes, yet more and more IBM i shops are putting AppDev in charge of managing day-to-day system operations.
    Instead of taking their attention away from the website, business analytics, mobile, security, SQL data access, and more, streamline operations with automation and build in notifications so your teams have visibility into processing when they need it, and can manage the rest by exception.
    In just 30 minutes, our experts will show how AppDev teams can take advantage of Robot automated operations on IBM i and beyond so they can:
    - Stop programming for multi-platform job and file event dependencies
    - Stop struggling with incorrect parameter values
    - Stop wondering where to fit a process into daily, weekly, or monthly cycles
    - Stop the on-call headaches, the firefighting, and the lack of progress cycle
    - Go ahead, give your AppDev team a productivity boost!

  • Affordable Query Tool for Software Developers

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    NGS’ Software Developer Kit (SDK) gives IBM i developers comprehensive query, dynamic mobile reporting, analytics and Web report design features at an affordable cost. Install and create meaningful outputs for managers in one day! Web page and portal integration, email, FTP are included.
    The $895* SDK includes a one user license, online training, user manuals, one year of software maintenance; toll-free support and online incident reporting.
    - Want to modernize beyond Query/400 and PC files transfers?
    - Need a Web reporting solution without the learning curve and overhead of DB2 Web Query?
    - Have many reporting needs, but a tight budget and small staff?
    View the demo and request a FREE TRIAL of the SDK.
    * Limited time offer.

  • Your introduction to RCAC and Authority Collection

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    IBM has provided us with two powerful and very exciting security enhancements in the last two versions of IBM i.

    Scott Forstie of IBM joins Carol Woodbury to demonstrate and describe the V7R2 feature called Row and Column Access Control (RCAC), which extends how you define which users have access to specific rows in a database file. RCAC also provides a way to mask data for all or selected users.

    The recently released V7R3 adds Authority Collection. Authority Collection provides organizations and vendors with the ability to know exactly what authority is required to perform a task, eliminating the guesswork. Gone is the need to set *PUBLIC authority on database files to *ALL or to automatically grant service accounts *ALLOBJ special authority just because you’re unsure of what authority is required.

    Watch Scott and Carol as they discuss these and other new security features delivered in V7R2 and V7R3.

  • ​Getting Started with IBM i Security: Event Auditing

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Learn why event auditing is necessary and how to configure it
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This second session of the series introduces event auditing, with Robin Tatam covering the basics and more:
    - Why auditing is necessary
    - Determine if IBM i auditing is currently active
    - How to configure auditing with one simple command
    - What audit events are recorded (and which are missed!)
    - How high availability (HA) applications often make critical events disappear
    - Event reporting and real-time alerting

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Securing PC Access

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Protect your system from unauthorized network access through readily available PC tools

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    This on-demand webinar will show you how well-known services like FTP and ODBC enable users to access sensitive data without oversight or restrictions. Robin Tatam will also explain what exit programs are and how you can use them to protect your organization.

  • No Time for IBM I Security? No Problem

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    “Security” is definitely on your IT staff’s to-do list, but how often does this item get checked off?

    IT doesn’t have enough time for security—the 2016 IBM i Security Study proves it. The trouble is that data security isn’t a set-and-forget project. Data security on your IBM i requires on-going attention and expertise.

    In this on-demand webinar, you’ll learn how to save time and work more effectively. We’re cutting to the core of IBM i security by outlining the simple strategy developed by our experts.

    You’ll see a straightforward approach to understanding and addressing risk to your IBM i data. We’ll also show you how our world-class security services help people protect business-critical data when they don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to tackle IBM i security on their own.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: System Values

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Set the tone for data protection with security-relevant system values

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    The series opens with an introduction to security-relevant system values.

    System values are one of the fundamental elements of IBM i security. The security system values enable you to “set the tone” of security on your IBM i, enforce password composition rules, and enable auditing. Watch this on-demand webinar to see Carol Woodbury describe these system values and provide guidance on their best practice settings.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    The IFS is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of IBM i security
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This recorded session has Robin Tatam introducing IFS security:
    - Defining IFS
    - How the IFS is configured
    - Common IFS security mistakes
    - What a virus can do to IBM i through the IFS
    - Tracking user activity

  • ​7 Habits of Highly Secure Organizations

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Everyone knows that cyber security is important, but getting started on the road to data protection and compliance can be confusing and intimidating. Understanding common vulnerabilities helps you focus your attention and resources on the areas that need the most help.
    We all want “best-practice” security, but what are top organizations doing to achieve and maintain it?
    Watch this webinar to learn the details about how to develop the seven habits that are part of daily life for secure organizations. You’ll learn how to:
    - Break the Ostrich Syndrome
    - Develop a Security Policy
    - Assess Current Standing
    - Perform Security Event Logging and Review
    - Use “Best of Breed” Technologies
    - Monitor for Ongoing Compliance
    - Plan for the Future
    This on-demand webinar examines what each of these habits means to IBM i, and helps you make sure that you don’t become the next security statistic.

  • An Introduction to PCI Compliance on IBM Power Systems

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    "From the world's largest corporations to small Internet stores, compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is vital for all merchants who accept credit cards, online or offline, because nothing is more important than keeping your customer’s payment card data secure.” — PCI Security Standards Council
    Complying with the PCI standard is a normal part of doing business in today’s credit-centric world. But, PCI applies to multiple platforms.
    The challenge becomes how to map the general PCI requirements to a specific platform, such as IBM i. And, more importantly, how can you maintain—and prove—compliance?
    Watch this webinar to understand:
    - How PCI requirements relate to IBM i systems
    - IBM i-specific barriers to compliance
    - How PowerTech security solutions help you fulfill PCI requirements, meet compliance guidelines, and satisfy auditors
    You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to evaluate PCI compliance requirements and prepare your IBM i system for today’s regulatory challenges.

  • Implementing Multiple Layers of Defense

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Your IBM i holds a massive amount of data. In most organizations, that data constitutes a mission-critical and high-value asset.

    How do you adequately protect the data residing on your IBM i, given its value to your organization? IBM has provided us with many options for protecting our data, but it’s now always clear how to select and implement the best options for your circumstances.

    This recorded webinar describes IBM i’s different data security options, along with implementation recommendations and tips for getting started. Carol Woodbury, one of the world’s top IBM i security experts, also provides considerations to help you determine how many layers of security are right for your organization.

  • 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 Generic

    Watch 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!
    Watch this Webinar Now!

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

    SB Profound PPL 5491


    Modern, 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.
    We will demonstrate how Profound UI:
    - Goes beyond simple screen-scraping to truly modernize your RPG applications
    - Uses RPG Open Access and your own RPG code and development talent to modernize
    - Supports rapid development with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop Designer
    - Integrates with our on-the-fly modernization, mobile development, and Enterprise Modernization solutions

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

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericHigh availability for IBM i has been a hot topic in 2017, jumping 20% from our 2016 survey to take the #2 seat on IT priority lists just behind cybersecurity. And no surprise with these two topics so closely tied to your most valuable asset: your irreplaceable business data.
    With major airline outages last year and the recent ransomware attacks, you 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—Tom Huntington, Matt Staddler, and Cole Ragland—deliver lively discussion around the top high availability issues of today, including:

    • 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

    There are no do-overs when it comes to your data. Once it’s gone, it’s gone...unless you have a data replication layer in place to protect it. Learn the value of these strategic solutions and how you can implement them in a hurry—watch now!

     

  • 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 5541Roses are red, your UIs are green...It's time to make your apps proud to be seen!
    Whether 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.
    In this webinar, you'll learn how you can use both Profound UI and Profound.js to:

    • 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

    This webinar will include a live product demonstration and Q&A with the presenters.

    Download and watch today!

  • 2017 IBM i Marketplace Revealed

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM i is one of technology’s best-kept secrets, with little information available about what IBM i users are doing on this server. Even companies that use this technology struggle to explain to their own teams what IBM i stands for and who else is using it.
    The IBM i Marketplace Survey—now in its 3rd year—was designed to solve this problem. Watch this on-demand webinar for the exclusive results of the 2017 survey. IBM i Champion Tom Huntington is joined by a panel of technology experts to discuss year-over-year trends and new insights. The panel will discuss:

    • What other platforms do you run alongside IBM i?
    • What programming and Open Source languages are you using?
    • What are your top IT issues?
    • What version of POWER and what OS level is most prevalent?
    • Are you expanding your usage of IBM i?
    • Is IBM i a good ROI?

    The expert panel will provide industry insight and comments about the results. When the webinar concludes, you’ll get access to the full results.

  • 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_Generic

    Everyone wants a piece of your business data. But keeping up with data access requests in the era of constantly growing data is a challenge. As a result, your IT department can be overwhelmed, inundated, and constantly needing to play catch-up.
    It’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 in 2018.
    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_Generic

    Let’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 noted 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_Generic

    There’s a better way to run your queries. With an advanced query tool like Sequel Data Access, you can deliver the IBM i data your organization needs quickly and efficiently—without the hang-ups.
    In this session, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access and distribution trends, and help you understand what to look for in a more advanced query tool.
    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
    • Watch the webinar and learn why you shouldn’t just settle for Query/400.

     

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    Capturing documents means scanning and filing—which takes you away from tasks that actually matter to the business. Managing documents means sorting through an endless sea of shared folders or filing cabinets—and sometimes documents can’t be found. Distributing documents means following a frustrating, manual process for routing documents internally and sending them to vendors and customers.
    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_Generic

    Get 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.

  • Monitor VIOS (and AIX) from Your IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) runs on AIX and allows you to share input/output resources across logical partitions. The health of your VIOS server is critical to the performance of all your Power server partitions, so monitoring it is a must.
    Our 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results uncovered a cool trend: an increasing number of IBM i shops are running AIX instances alongside IBM i on Power Systems servers. We like to see these systems playing nicely together on the same server, though it does shine a spotlight on shared resources.
    During this 30-minute recording, our experts demonstrate the new VIOS and AIX monitoring capabilities in Robot Monitor. You’ll learn about:

    • The top AIX metrics that impact VIOS
    • Real-time monitoring with dashboard displays
    • Threshold and notification options
    • Identifying trends to better allocate resources

    With VIOS/AIX running alongside IBM i, you need visibility into your entire Power environment.
    Watch now to see how Robot Monitor can get you there!

     

     

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

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    You’re responsible for looking after Windows, Linux, AIX, and VIOS, but you worry that you don’t understand their complexities well enough to make your job effective—or easy.
    No problem! Simplify the management of multiple operating systems and applications without becoming experts in each area.
    In 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 and shows how easy monitoring multiple operating systems and applications can be using point-and-click technology.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

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    When IBM i disk space pulls its notorious disappearing act, you don’t have time to waste figuring out how the trick is done. You need to know when disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer.
    Looking behind the curtain to keep a close eye on disk space—especially in a multi-partition environment—can have its challenges, but every good admin can have an ace up their sleeve. 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

    Start seeing through the sleight of hand and get instant visibility into disk usage. Add advance warning of potential threats and—abracadabra!—you’ll reduce the risk of disk space depletion and curb the sudden flurry of activity to clean things up.

     

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

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    Still following manual processes for extracting and transferring data across platforms? You’re not alone. Many business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation. And that leads to a lot of manual effort.
    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, you’ll see a demonstration of how data automation software from HelpSystems will help you finally stop re-keying data.

     

  • Survey Results: 2018 Top Cybersecurity Risks and Mitigation Strategies

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    Protecting your organization from cyberthreats has never been more important—or more difficult.
    IT pros have many tactics to choose from, but time (and budgets!) are not unlimited. The key is prioritizing risks and identifying the most effective ways to mitigate the danger.
    In 2018, HelpSystems surveyed more than 600 IT and cybersecurity professionals to find out what security exploits loom largest and what strategies they’re turning to for protection.
    In this on-demand webinar, our team of cybersecurity security experts analyzes results. You’ll learn about:

    • Security strategies your peers are most interested in implementing
    • How managers and executives prioritize security
    • Who is responsible for cybersecurity at organizations around the world
    • Where IT pros turn for assistance with security

    You'll also get practical tips for using this data to drive cybersecurity conversations at your organization.

     

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

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    When it comes to IBM® Rational® Open Access: RPG Edition (also known as RPG Open Access), 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"

    This Webinar features IBM i expert Alison Butterill, and Profound Logic’s Brian May and Alex Roytman.

     

    Watch the On-demand Webinar Now!

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

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    Do your users keep paperwork on their desk until it's processed?
    Are people constantly removing documents from filing cabinets?
    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Too much paper is wasted—approximately 1,000 pages per month per worker.
    Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets drive your employees crazy.
    And distributing documents to customers, vendors, and business partners 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

    Plus, our experts will provide a live demonstration of how implementing a document management solution will quickly solve your paper-based problems, so you can be more

  • TRY the One Package That Solves All Your Document Design and Printing Challenges

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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. Why support 5 different products, when you can do it all with MarkMagic?

    - Drive over 450 different printer types.
    - Create invoices, statements, checks.
    - Set dynamic rules that transform output on the fly.
    - Conditionally distribute via Email, fax, or PDF.
    - Integrate with your current applications in minutes.
    - Preview printing on screen.
    - Native System i, Windows, AIX, Linux.

    Try MarkMagic today for free

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

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

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    Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution.
    Key features include:
    - 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
    Keep your critical applications and data available. Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

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

    - 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

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

  • MS Office Connector for Query/400...FREE Trial!

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    NGS' Qport Office enables Windows users to run IBM Query/400 queries to:
    - Create and update Excel spreadsheets and Access databases
    - Create Word documents
    - Send to Windows screen and PC printers
    No query conversion is required. Works with i5/OS V5R1 & above. Installs in minutes!
    If you don’t have a budget to replace IBM Query/400, but want your users to have one click enhanced output of their queries.... Request the online license agreement and product download instructions today!
    Offer good through December 31, 2016.

  • Control and Monitor User Access from Desktop PCs (ODBC, FTP)

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    Protect your company by monitoring network traffic to your IBM i servers with the industry-leading exit program, PowerTech Network Security.
    Without visibility into IBM i's exit points, your users could be viewing, changing, or even deleting sensitive data—and you wouldn’t know!
    Network Security lets you monitor and control access to over 30 exit points, including:

    - ODBC
    - FTP
    - DDM
    - Remote command
    - Fileserve (mapped drives to IFS)
    It’s easy to set up custom access rules and get notified in real-time when security events occur.
    Stop “back door” access today. Try Network Security free for 30 days.

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

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    More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. Managing the complexities of today's operating systems, business applications, and networks challenges even the most knowledgeable IT professionals. The cost to an enterprise of unplanned downtime, loss of human expertise during sick leave or vacation, and system/application or environmental failure can be devastating. 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 (and staff) efficiency.