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IBM DB2 Web Query for i: New and Improved!

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Version 1.1.2 of DB2 Web Query is teeming with product improvements. New features such as InfoAssist, the JD Edwards adapter, and RIA can help you create eye-popping reports.

 

On December 10, 2010, a new and improved version of DB2 Web Query for i was made generally available to the IBM i community. Packaged as 1.1.2, this exciting new release is chock-full of improvements and goodies that will make your experience using this product even more enjoyable than before. A major emphasis in this release was to improve the "out of the box" experience by making the development tools easier to use while improving query performance, but other areas were addressed as well. In fact, there are so many new features that I cannot describe them all in this article. So I am going to focus on the following major product improvements:

 

  • InfoAssist development tool
  • JD Edwards application adapter
  • Performance improvements
  • Join improvements
  • Option to select output format at run time
  • New output formats
  • Ability to create rich Internet applications
  • Simplified work management
  • DB2 Web Query extensions (from IBM Lab Services)

 

As with all other DB2 Web Query product upgrades, this release is available at no charge for those customers that are current on their DB2 Web Query Software Maintenance Agreement.

InfoAssist Development Tool

For those of you wondering why IBM has a separate Software Maintenance Agreement (SWMA) for DB2 Web Query, the answer lies in our commitment to continually reinvest in the product and deliver enhancements that improve and evolve the product. The proof of this can be found in the introduction of InfoAssist, an exciting new development tool that is so much fun to use, you just might have a hard time putting it away to work on other projects.

 

InfoAssist is the strategic DB2 Web Query development tool that combines most of the features of Report Assistant and Graph Assistant (as well as many of the features in Power Painter) into a single integrated development tool. It is a Web-based development tool that uses Bindows libraries and Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) technology to provide a Rich Internet Application (RIA) for report development. With InfoAssist, you can create simple queries—as well more sophisticated reports, charts, and dashboards—from multiple sources. You can convert reports to charts and vice versa as well as instantly convert both charts and reports into documents to create business intelligence dashboards.

 

Because InfoAssist is the strategic DB2 Web Query development tool going forward, it will receive all the new features and functions. It is important to understand that those same enhancements may not be included in future releases of Report Assistant, Graph Assistant, and Power Painter.

 

Improved Interface

The first thing that you will notice about the InfoAssist tool is the general user interface: it is a vast improvement over its predecessors. Similar to the Microsoft Office products, it uses a ribbon graphical user interface (GUI) that provides a way to pack many options and features into a simple interface. Also referred to as a "Multi-Level Cluster toolbar," the concept of a ribbon GUI is to provide a toolbar with various high-level control elements. Each element, when selected, reveals a secondary set of icons within icon groups that are functionally relevant to the element selected. This "ribbon" design reduces the overall number of clicks, keystrokes, and mouse movements that are required to build a report.

 

Consider the two screenshots shown below. In Figure 1, the report developer has selected the Format control element; therefore the underlying ribbon exposes settings that relate to report format options, such which output type to direct the output to, the destination type (report or graph), and navigation features such Pages on Demand and Table of Contents.

 

011011CobbFig1

Figure 1: The "ribbon" feature shows the options relevant to the menu item selected. (Click images to enlarge.)

 

In Figure 2, the developer has switched to the Data control element; thus, the underlying ribbon changes to reveal data-specfic options such as creating define and compute fields, specifying file join specifications, and adding report filtering options.

 

011011CobbFig2

Figure 2: This example of the ribbon feature shows a different selection and therefore a different list of options.

 

With this approach, the developer is quickly and easily able to find specific features and settings. In the previous development tools, those settings might have been buried deep in a hidden Properties panel, and the developer might have had difficulty finding them.

 

Visual Design

The report development experience for InfoAssist will be a more enjoyable one for many. Because it employs a visual design that is often referred to as "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG), report developers can build reports by dragging and dropping columns into the Interactive Design View pane and instantly see the results. As shown in Figure 3, they can even create instant reports with minimal effort by holding down the keyboard's Ctrl key, selecting multiple columns, and dragging them over.

 

011011CobbFig3

Figure 3: The WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop capability makes creating reports easy.

 

Based on the data type of the column, InfoAssist will automatically attempt to define the sort and measure columns of the report. For example character fields are assumed to be the Sort By (dimension) columns in the report, while numeric fields are assumed to be measures that are summed by each of the Sort By columns. However, if this is not the desired outcome (for example, you would like to sort by a numeric field), you can easily modify the report accordingly.

 

Transforming Reports to Charts

If you have ever created a report with various columns and selection criteria and later wished you had used those same specifications to create a graph instead, you will love the transform feature. As shown in Figure 4, such a transformation is but a mere click away by selecting the Chart icon.

 

011011CobbFig4

Figure 4: It's simple to create a graph from your report data.

 

Once the interactive design view is refreshed, you see the report converted into a bar chart, as shown in Figure 5. This chart can be easily changed to a different type, such as a pie or line chart, by clicking on the appropriate icon in the Format ribbon.

 

011011CobbFig5 

Figure 5: Choose the type of chart you'd like to see.

 

Conversely, graphs can be instantly converted to reports by utilizing the Report icon. In addition, the developer can create a dashboard by converting both graphs and reports to documents, inserting new reports/graphs, or referencing existing ones. An example of a dashboard created in the manner is shown in Figure 6.

 

011011CobbFig6 

Figure 6: Create a dashboard that shows your data in a variety of ways.

 

Table of Contents

An InfoAssist feature that I think end users will really like is the Table of Contents. When run, a report (with this setting activated) will display a Table of Contents pop-up menu. As demonstrated in Figure 7, this menu displays each of the sort fields in a collapsed mode and allows the user to expand, select, and "jump" to a specific sort value in the report. When you jump to a specific sort value in the report, that value will even blink to draw your eyes to that area of the report.

 

011011CobbFig7 

Figure 7: The Table of Contents displays the sort values.

 

From the Table of Contents, users can also select options to view the entire report or to remove the table of contents.

 

Other InfoAssist Features

Other new features that users will find immensely useful are advanced row filtering, data visualization bars, and graph reference lines (to show goals, objectives, etc). I could go on and on, but in summary, this new tool can be described as powerful yet so simple and fun to use!

JD Edwards Application Adapter

On the IBM i platform, there are literally thousands of clients that run the Oracle JD Edwards applications OneWorld and EnterpriseOne using DB2 for i as the back-end database. Consequently, we have had many requests from these clients to simplify data access of these applications from DB2 Web Query. While it was certainly possible to create DB2 Web Query reports, graphs, and dashboards over JDE data, it was up to the administrator to manually apply the specific JDE business logic to the DB2 Web Query metadata. This included the following:

 

  • Decimal notation
  • User Defined Codes (UDCs)
  • Date conversions
  • Column titles
  • Security

 

Manually applying this logic to the metadata of potentially hundreds of JDE tables and views was a daunting task for many administrators. Enter version 1.1.2 and the new JDE data adapter! This adapter supports both JDE World (versions 7.x–9.x) and EnterpriseOne (all supported versions) and allows the administrator to reference JDE catalogs to create what is referred to as a DB2 Web Query "metadata repository." Information in this metadata repository is then used during an automated conversion process to update existing DB2 Web Query metadata files. The result is metadata with columns that have JDE-specific logic and the JDE-specific security model applied. Administrators and report developers no longer need to apply this logic manually!

Change in Default Behavior to Improve Performance

In version 1.1.1 of DB2 Web Query, there are instances where default settings and inherent processes, without manual intervention from an administrator or report writer, caused the "out of the box" experience to be less than optimal for some queries. In 1.1.2, we've addressed many of those offending issues to create a better out-of-the-box experience—mostly performance-related.

 

A major contributing factor for less-than-optimal report performance was the result of a condition called the "multiplicative effect." The multiplicative effect is a form of a Cartesian product that is an aggregation from two or more tables, resulting in multiple matching rows; when the Cartesian product occurs, the result could be what is best described as "plausible yet incorrect" results. The multiplicative effect can be rather hard to detect because it can occur for even seemingly simple queries and the data may look right at first glance. To provide an extra layer of protection against this, DB2 Web Query tended (by default) to pull all of the data in from each of the joined files and performed the merging and filtering in the reporting server component, where it had the ability to handle this condition and provide the correct results. However, this extra layer of protection comes at a price in performance, because in almost all cases, joins handled by DB2 for i will yield better performance. Report developers did have the ability to override this default protection by selecting an option in the development tools to use SQL joins and suppress the multiplicative effect protection. By specifying this setting, DB2 Web Query pushed the join logic down to the database engine, clearing the way for better query performance.

 

While the multiplicative effect is still out there (and is something you need to be aware of), the product now turns this protection setting off by default, allowing queries to run faster. However, if you have reports that are based on multiple table joins, you should always check your reports to verify that the multiplicative effect is not occurring! You can do this by toggling the SQL join setting and comparing the run results.

Performance and SQL Translation

Joining tables is not the only database function that the DB2 Web Query reporting server will sometimes perform over DB2. For better performance, row selection (filtering), aggregation, and sorting are other processes that are best handled by DB2, but depending on the report specifications, the reporting server will sometimes attempt to perform these tasks. The DB2 Web Query development team is working to identify the most common "culprits" that lead to this behavior and address them.

 

Substring, Concatenation, and Date Difference Functions

In 1.1.2, we have made great strides in this area by fixing string functions such as substring and concatenation. If you were performing selection against a database column and using one of those functions, the result was often a full table scan while the reporting server performed the filtering. These functions will now use SQL functions to perform these tasks, thereby pushing the logic down to DB2 and resulting in faster-running queries. In addition, the DATEDIF function (which returns the difference between two dates) now generates SQL functions to perform the necessary arithmetic.

 

Legacy Date Conversion

Another example of improved SQL translation that many customers will benefit from is legacy date conversion. The practice of storing dates values as numeric and/or character data types is a very, very common one (mainly because the date data type was not available in early releases of OS/400). Because DB2 Web Query does not know these fields are dates, you need to create define/virtual fields in your metadata or reports to convert them to dates. Prior to 1.1.2, DB2 Web Query was not using SQL functions to perform this conversion. Consequently, this logic was perform by the reporting server, not the database engine. If these converted fields were used as sort or join fields, then that would in turn mean a loss in DB2 optimization. The result, again, was a query that was not achieving maximum performance. In 1.1.2, the DATECVT function now uses SQL functions to translate many legacy date formats, thereby greatly improving performance of reports that use these converted date fields.

 

Decomposed Date Columns

A very useful feature in the synonym editor of the DB2 Web Query Developer Workbench is "Decompose Date." This feature breaks down your date fields into individual virtual columns for year, quarter, month, and day. Prior to 1.1.2, these decomposed date fields were not making use of SQL functions, but they are now! To take advantage of this improvement, you need to delete any existing decomposed fields in your metadata and run the decompose feature over the date fields again.

Improved Join Support

Another point of emphasis in this release was to improve the tool's database join support. Specifically, this meant beefing up support and functionality for left outer joins (for those reports in which you need to include both matching and non-matching rows) and providing the ability to create what many of us refer to as "exception" joins (when you want to include only non-matching rows in a report). Exception joins can now be implemented without the need for an SQL view. Simply specify a left outer join, and in your selection criteria, test a secondary file column for a null value.

User-Selected Output Format at Runtime

Another common request for enhancement was the ability for users to specify their preferred output format at run time. This decision had to be made during report development, so, for example, if Chris in the sales department wanted his report output in HTML format while Sue in accounting preferred a spreadsheet, the developer had to make two copies of the report, one for each output format. This requirement has been greatly simplified in version 1.1.2, which supports an output format option named "User." This option (shown in Figure 8) delays this decision until run time and eliminates the need for duplicate report definitions.

 

011011CobbFig8

Figure 8: With the "User" option, users can choose different ways to view a report.

 

Now when the report is run, users are presented with a prompt control from which they can select their preferred output format from a drop-down list. An example is shown in Figure 9.

 

011011CobbFig9

Figure 9: This user has chosen to see the report in HTML format.

 

New Output Formats

The list of supported output formats was expanded in 1.1.2 to include Active Flash, Active PDF, and Excel pivot tables. Active Flash and Active PDF are based on the Adobe Flex technologies and offer sharper graphics with higher resolutions and some animation. These types of outputs are especially useful when creating reports and graphs that will be seen by upper-level management. Examples are shown in Figure 10.

 

011011CobbFig10

Figure 10: Output formats now include Active Flash, Active PDF, and Excel pivot tables.

 

Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)

One of the new enhancements was a fairly late discovery for me, and it's one that I am particularly excited about. This "hidden gem" is the ability to generate RIAs with DB2 Web Query. An RIA enables you to create an interactive Web page experience inside a browser. Enhancements made to DB2 Web Query Developer Workbench (specifically the HTML Composer tool) now allow you to use rich and powerful graphics and themes to create these RIAs in DB2 Web Query. Two RIA controls that will really jazz up your reporting environment are the accordion and window controls. When you create an accordion control, three pages are generated: the first one is expanded by default, and the remaining two are collapsed. As a developer, you can insert reports and graphs in each of the pages, allowing users to select a specific page to see the report or graph on that page.

 

Similarly, a window control allows you to insert a report or graph in a window (which remains in the foreground). The user can resize the window, minimize it, maximize it, and drag it to another area on the screen. It provides a useful way for users to position and size windows just as they want, allowing them to view multiple reports at once and perform size-by-side comparisons and analysis!

 

Consider Figure 11. This example has an accordion control with four pages and two window controls. When the user selects this HTML file to run, the report in page one of the accordion control is displayed as are the graphs in the two window controls.

 

011011CobbFig11

Figure 11: Jazz up reports with accordion and window controls.

 

However, because this HTML file was built with the RIA controls, users have the ability to change things around to suit their needs. As shown in Figure 12, the user clicked on page 4 of the accordion to display another report on that page, minimized the graph in the upper window control, and moved the graph in the lower window control toward the top of the screen.

 

011011CobbFig12 

Figure 12: Rearrange the view to show up the way you want it.

 

Simplified Work Management

Yet another common request that we implemented in this release was to create a dedicated subsystem that all of the DB2 Web Query jobs could run within. While your users may not fully appreciate the benefits of work management simplifications, you administrators out there surely will! Those benefits include the following:

 

  • Allows you easily allocate and adjust system resources—For example, if you have other long-running and high-priority jobs that are hogging the system resources and not allowing your reports to run, you can simply bump the priority of the class object (QWEBQRYCLS), and all jobs in the subsystem will use the new run priority.
  • Simplifies starting and stopping of DB2 Web Query jobs—The STRWEBQRY command will start the subsystem and all of the  jobs. Similarly, the ENDWEBQRY command will end the jobs and bring down the subsystem.
  • Provides one place to look for all DB2 Web Query jobs
  • Provides more control of monitoring system resources being consumed by DB2 Web Query jobs

 

Figure 13 shows an example of the jobs that run in the QWEBQRY subsystem.

 

011011CobbFig13

Figure 13: These types of jobs run in the QWEBQRY subsystem.

 

Notice that the prestart server side CLI jobs named QSQRSRVR also run in this subsystem. These are the jobs that perform the actual database requests.

 

Note: There are still three WQLWI77 jobs that will run in the QHTTPSVR subystem.

Lab Services Offerings to Simplify Integration and Fill In Functionality Gaps

While not part of the DB2 Web Query product offering, I am excited about some of the new assets that the IBM STG Lab Services team has delivered to greatly extend the ability to call and integrate reports and graphs from various interfaces. These assets are extensions built on top of DB2 Web Query and make heavy use of the DB2 Web Query Software Development Kit (SDK). So what are the benefits of these extensions? In a nutshell, they greatly simplify the integration of DB2 Web Query functions into existing or customized applications—in some cases without requiring coding at a 3GL programming level. There are currently two extension offerings: the Integration Toolkit Extension and the 5250 Reporting Extension.

 

Integration Toolkit Extension 

The DB2 Web Query Integration Toolkit Extension provides a URL-based interface to integrate DB2 Web Query reports and graphs into custom applications. This interface greatly simplifies integration, providing an easy-to-use interface to the DB2 Web Query SDK functions from any application.

 

Here's how it works: each DB2 Web Query report and graph has a unique URL. All your application has to do is invoke the URL that represents the report you want to run. If your report has input parameters, you simply pass the parameters in the URL string. From an integration perspective, it really doesn't get much easier than that!

 

Often these URLs can be fairly lengthy and can exceed the length limitations of several interfaces, such as the STRPCCMD command. So, for example, if you wanted to run a report from a 5250 application (written in CL and RPG)  and have the results displayed immediately by launching the Web browser, you could do this by passing the URL string to the STRPCCMD like in the following code example:

CHGVAR VAR(&PCCMD) VALUE('START' *BCAT &URL *TCAT '"')             

STRPCCMD PCCMD(&PCCMD) PAUSE(*NO)  

                               

The PCCMD parameter of the STRPCCMD cannot exceed 123 characters, so any URL longer than this maximum cannot be passed to the command. To address this limitation, the Integration Toolkit Extension has a "tiny URL" implementation. Rather than specifying the full URL, the extension allows you to pass a tiny URL (that represents the longer version).

 

Another nice feature is the Integration Toolkit Extension's ability to detect if a report requires input parameters and (if none were passed in the URL) to build an auto-prompt drop-down list or text box to prompt the user for the input parameter value at run time.

 

Bottom line: You can spend a great deal of time during the integration process finding, researching, and dealing with these types of challenges. The Integration Toolkit Extension will save you time and effort because it already has solutions in place.

 

5250 Reporting Extension 

The DB2 Web Query 5250 Reporting Extension allows DB2 Web Query reports to be executed from a 5250 command line by invoking the command RUNWQFEX. This command can be executed to run a report using any of the supported output formats and send the results to an email address, a specified directory on the IFS, or even a remote location using the FTP option. While the base DB2 Web Query product does include a RUNWEBQRY command, it's limited to the output options database file and spooled file. The RUNWQFEX command in the Reporting Extension has no such limitations: you can direct output to all the supported DB2 Web Query formats, including HTML, Active Reports, PDF, and Excel spreadsheets.

 

Again, I would like to point out that these extensions, while extremely useful and easy to use, are not part of the formal product offering. If you are interested in obtaining one or more of these extensions, you can contact the Lab Services team by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A Basketful of Gifts!

As you can see, this new release is packed full of gifts and goodies (and fittingly enough, its GA date was right before the holiday season!). So I encourage you to upgrade to this new version and take advantage of all the enhancements!

 

I would also like to invite you to visit our IBM developerWorks Web site for DB2 Web Query. We launched this Web site in 2008 in order to provide a way for customers to reach out to the experts, ask questions, access technical documentation, and get tips and techniques with the goal of building up their DB2 Web Query skill base. Questions can be posted to the forum, which is patrolled by several experts on a daily basis. Every effort is made to answer questions posted. While it is not intended to be a support site, it does provide a way for you to ask questions to determine if a specific requirement can be done, and if so, how. This site also has links to our KnowledgeBase database (with technical notes and tips), a Wiki that contains our repository of DB2 Web Query articles and white papers, and links to download all of our DB2 Web Query manuals (installation, functions, new features, etc.). If you have read this article to this point, I would say it's definitely a Web site that you will want to bookmark!

as/400, os/400, iseries, system i, i5/os, ibm i, power systems, 6.1, 7.1, V7,

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 cobbg@us.ibm.com.

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

    Download and watch today!

     

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

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

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

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

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

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

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

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

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

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

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

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

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

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

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

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

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

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

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

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

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

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

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

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

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

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

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

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

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

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

     

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

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

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

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

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

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

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

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

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

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

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

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

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

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

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

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

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  • 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.