Sidebar

Creating Barcodes on a Budget

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

Brief: You don't need the expense of an IPDS printer to create barcodes on your AS/400. You can use less-expensive, PCL5-capable laser printers like Hewlett- Packard LaserJets and IBM Lexmark LaserPrinters. With the PCL5 printer control language (innate in many PC laser printers) and, in some cases, custom font cartridges, you can create barcodes for less than you might expect.

I had the opportunity to develop a barcode labeling system that included labels for the manufacturing and shipping industry (e.g., raw material, work-in- progress and shipping labels). Prior to the new system, my shop used a third- party, PC-based labeling software package and PC-compatible printers. This package worked with data downloaded to the PC from the AS/400. The PC manipulated it, formatted the label layout and produced the number of labels requested. While it was a workable solution, certain limitations became apparent as the company's labeling requirements changed.

Interpretation of special characters was the main limitation. With the prospect of adding more special characters to the labels, things didn't look very promising. The speed of this application also raised some concerns; it took quite some time for the dedicated PC to generate the labels.

With a good feel for the company's labeling requirements and the limitations of the present system in mind, I started analyzing the options.

The Options

I identified four options for the new labeling system:

1. Use IPDS printers and the DDS BARCODE keyword. 2. Use IPDS printers and Advanced Function Printing Utilities/400. 3. Buy another third-party labeling software package. 4. Develop my own labeling system.

The main requirements for the new system were low cost, quick generation of labels and easy maintenance. The only advantage of the existing third-party labeling software was its use of PC-compatible printers, which are quite inexpensive when compared to IPDS printers. A recent IBM catalog listed an IBM 4039-10R PC printer with PCL5 at $1,599. An IPDS Advanced Function Printing version, IBM 3916-AS1, costs $5,895.

Options one and two were just too expensive for our company. In addition, my previous experience with Advanced Function Printing Utilities/400 was not favorable. When I used Advanced Function Printing Utilities/400 to format material safety data sheets, it added a considerable amount of time to the overall process.

My company operates several plants and warehouses, and every one of them must have a dedicated PC for the label application using the third-party software. Implementation of a new labeling requirement entails installing the new copy of the label layout at every site. Talk about a logistics nightmare-the company's sites span several states. This eliminated option 3.

That left me with the option to develop my own labeling system. Other programmers in my department had already developed some custom forms, using a PC printer control language called PCL5. Most of their experience with PCL5 had been fruitful, and the language appeared to contain all of the features I required. I borrowed a PCL5 Printer Language Technical Reference Manual (Hewlett-Packard part number 5961-0509) and started on my quest. (The technical reference manual for IBM Lexmark LaserPrinters also contains a small section concerning PCL5 emulation.)

My investigations revealed that the only features not built into PCL5 were the actual barcodes or special fonts that I might need. Most laser printers come with several bitmapped and scalable fonts already loaded for easy access. If you need barcodes or special fonts, you can purchase them in the form of cards that slide into the printer. Company logos, signatures and even macros for special forms can be placed on these cards.

My initial application was developed using a Hewlett-Packard LaserJet III with the HP LaserJet Bar Codes & More font cartridge (part number C2053a #C06), available through Hewlett-Packard or an authorized dealer.

Eventually, I decided to use the IBM Lexmark LaserPrinter because of its ability to handle heavy stock. The printer had a PCL5 emulation card installed for labels. No off-the-shelf font cartridge for the Lexmark supported the barcodes and special characters I would need, so I approached a company that could customize a card to meet my requirements. Architext, Inc. developed a cartridge for me that contained a Code 3-of-9 barcode, a trademark symbol, a registered symbol and a Childress 50-point font.

The Software

They say it's best to tackle the worst first. The project which promised to be most challenging was the automotive industry standard level (AIAG) label, which contained several boxes with barcodes inside them. (See 1.) To construct the label, I used PCL5, an RPG program and a printer file created with DDS. To compose the AIAG label in 1, I needed to print more than just the barcode. I printed the following items in the sequence shown:

They say it's best to tackle the worst first. The project which promised to be most challenging was the automotive industry standard level (AIAG) label, which contained several boxes with barcodes inside them. (See Figure 1.) To construct the label, I used PCL5, an RPG program and a printer file created with DDS. To compose the AIAG label in Figure 1, I needed to print more than just the barcode. I printed the following items in the sequence shown:

o The boxes. o The part number. o The part number barcode. o The lot number. o The background shading for the lot sequence.

The RPG shown in 2 is a fragment of the program I used to create the label-it only creates the part number barcode. It is meant to give you an idea of what using PCL5 is like. This is a very simple program created just for this article and does not demonstrate the full potential of PCL5. All the variables in this particular label are alphanumeric, but they can be numeric variables with edit codes.

The RPG shown in Figure 2 is a fragment of the program I used to create the label-it only creates the part number barcode. It is meant to give you an idea of what using PCL5 is like. This is a very simple program created just for this article and does not demonstrate the full potential of PCL5. All the variables in this particular label are alphanumeric, but they can be numeric variables with edit codes.

The barcode formatting consists of an asterisk (*) at the beginning, followed by the variable and another asterisk at the end. See the highlighted section in 2.

The barcode formatting consists of an asterisk (*) at the beginning, followed by the variable and another asterisk at the end. See the highlighted section in Figure 2.

The AIAG DDS specs in 3 have several of the basic PCL5 command groups hard-coded as literals. They are all preceded by a logical not symbol (), used to represent an ASCII escape character. In my configuration, this is accomplished by using a printer function table in a PC Support printer session. (I will cover this in more detail later, along with possible hardware configurations.) Instead of hard-coding the PCL5 commands in the DDS, all of the PCL5 commands could have been formatted in the RPG program in a variable field and passed to the printer file.

The AIAG DDS specs in Figure 3 have several of the basic PCL5 command groups hard-coded as literals. They are all preceded by a logical not symbol (), used to represent an ASCII escape character. In my configuration, this is accomplished by using a printer function table in a PC Support printer session. (I will cover this in more detail later, along with possible hardware configurations.) Instead of hard-coding the PCL5 commands in the DDS, all of the PCL5 commands could have been formatted in the RPG program in a variable field and passed to the printer file.

The following are explanations of some of the important PCL5 commands which I have embedded into the external printer file shown in 3.

The following are explanations of some of the important PCL5 commands which I have embedded into the external printer file shown in Figure 3.

1. Job Control: This is seen in the Reset statement (label A) and is used to reset the printer and prepare it for further instructions. Other examples: Number of copies, Output bin selection.

2. Page Control: The Paper size (label B) and Landscape printing (label C) statements are examples of this command group. Other example: Paper source selection.

3. Barcode and Font Selection: The Select font statement (label D) falls within this command group. The fonts that are available, whether they are resident or on a font card, pretty much determine your choices.

When creating the printer file, you should be aware that the values you submit with the LPI (lines per inch) and OVRFLW (overflow line) keywords may need adjustment, depending on how complicated your form or label is. 4 contains the actual output sent to the printer for the AIAG label.

When creating the printer file, you should be aware that the values you submit with the LPI (lines per inch) and OVRFLW (overflow line) keywords may need adjustment, depending on how complicated your form or label is. Figure 4 contains the actual output sent to the printer for the AIAG label.

If the line spacing [SPACEA(xxx)] is not set properly, the DDS is almost impossible to debug because of overwriting. The trick is to display the spool file, see if there is any overwriting and correct the line spacing.

The Hardware and PC Support

All of the printers I used (Hewlett-Packard and IBM) are attached to a personal computer on a token-ring network using PC Support for the AS/400 printer emulation. You must change the EBCDIC-to-ASCII table for your PC Support printer session to convert the logical not () into the ASCII escape character of hex(1B). You can convert other characters, such as trademark symbols, in the same manner. (See the PC Support/400 Installation and Administration Guide for DOS or OS/2 for information on changing printer-session options.)

PCL5 printers can also be connected to some twinax workstations with ASCII printer ports and through some emulation boards. But, as with PC Support printer sessions, the EBCDIC-to-ASCII translation tables used by the workstation or emulation board must be modified. For twinax workstations, refer to Appendix B of IBM's AS/400 Workstation Customization Function Programmer's Guide. It provides more information on hooking up an ASCII printer to a twinax display. For emulation boards, refer to the emulation board manufacturer's manual.

Depending upon the printer, you may find that the cards which support extra fonts or special characters are available off-the-shelf. Otherwise, a firm such as Architext, Inc. can develop the card for you. The trick to developing a custom card is to incorporate all of the necessary fonts and special characters in one card and then have it duplicated. It is considerably less expensive to copy the original than to keep creating new cards.

Although I have not run across this problem so far, you should be aware that the printer may not have enough internal memory to process all of the commands. However, most PCL5-compatible printers can receive memory upgrades.

Enhancements

One enhancement I made to this labeling project deserves mention. My company needs an offline manual system for finished goods labels, for times when the AS/400 is incapacitated. At night, we run an AS/400 program to create one finished-goods label for every open shop order, but we omit the escape character () in all commands. This data is then downloaded to a PC and converted into a format that FoxPro can use.

A FoxPro program prints the label lines and inserts the ASCII escape character, CHR(27), before each command. If the AS/400 becomes unavailable, the FoxPro program can produce a label that looks as if it were generated by the AS/400.

The Bottom Line

Last but not least is the financial aspect of this approach to barcoding. The cost to create the first custom card for the IBM Lexmark printers-with the trademark symbol, the registered symbol, the Code 3-of-9 barcode and the special font-was $350. Copies of this card cost me $125 each. I needed one original and eight copies, for a total of $1,350.

My old printers were targeted for replacement because of rising maintenance costs, and the ASCII printers are much less expensive than IPDS printers. The fact that I did not need third-party labeling software or IBM's Advanced Function Printing Utilities/400 also helped to keep costs down.

Programming changes for five different types of labels took about three to four weeks to complete.

If you own a PCL5-capable printer (e.g., HP LaserJet or IBM Lexmark), the technology for barcodes, special characters and even certain graphic elements such as boxes and shading is already available. All you have to do is use it. Richard Romanek is a senior programmer/analyst and has been actively involved in the midrange computer industry since 1988.

REFERENCES

AS/400 Workstation Customization Function Programmer's Guide (SC41-0056, CD-ROM QBKA3A01). PC Support/400: DOS Installation and Administration Guide (SC41-0006, CD-ROM QBKA6302). PC Support/400: OS/2 Installation and Administration Guide (SC41-0007, CD-ROM QBKA6802).

VENDOR SOURCE Architext, Inc., 121 Interpark Blvd., Suite 208, San Antonio, TX 78216-1808. Voice: 210-490-2240; fax: 210-490-2242.


Creating Barcodes on a Budget

Figure 1 AIAG Label Created on a PCL5 Printer

 UNABLE TO REPRODUCE GRAPHIC 
Creating Barcodes on a Budget

Figure 2 LABAIAG RPG Program

 ... 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 H************************* H* AIAG LABEL USING PCL5 * H************************* FLABAIAGOO E PRINTER C* ENTRY PARAMETERS C *ENTRY PLIST C PARM PART# 15 PART NO. C* PART NO. C MOVELPART# PARTN1 C* PART NO. - BARCODE FORMAT C MOVE *BLANK WRK17A 17 C MOVEL'*' WRK17A C CAT PARTN1:0 WRK17A C CAT '*':0 WRK17A C MOVELWRK17A PART1A C* PRINT LABEL C WRITELABELA1 C* C MOVE '1' *INLR ... 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 
Creating Barcodes on a Budget

Figure 3 LABAIAGO DDS Specifications

 ... 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 A******************** A* LABEL LAYOUT * A******************** A R LABELA1 A SKIPB(001) A* RESET A 1'E' A SPACEA(001) A* SIZE A 1'&l2A' A* LANDSCAPE A +1'&l1O' A SPACEA(001) A******************* A* PART NUMBER * A******************* A* SELECT FONT A 1'(8U(s1p12.00v0s0b4101T' A* POSITION CURSOR A +1'*p350x250Y' A* A +1'PART NO.:' A* POSITION CURSOR A +1'*p350x290Y' A* A +1'(P)' A SPACEA(001) A* SELECT FONT A 1'(8U(s1p24.00v0s3b4148T' A* POSITION CURSOR A +1'*p600x310Y' A* PART NUMBER A PARTN1 15A +1 A SPACEA(001) A******************** A* BAR CODES * A******************** A* SELECT BAR CODE A 1'(0Y(s0p4.69h12.0v0s0b0T' A SPACEA(001) A************************** A* PART NO BAR CODES * A************************** A* POSITION CURSOR A 1'*p400x400Y' A* PART NO. BAR CODE 1 A PART1A 17A +0 A SPACEA(001) ... 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 
Creating Barcodes on a Budget

Figure 4 LABAIAG Output

 E &l2A &l1O (8U(s1p12.00v0s0b4101T *p350x250Y PART NO.: *p350x290Y (P) (8U(s1p24.00v0s3b4148T *p600x310Y 103478 (0Y(s0p4.69h12.0v0s0b0T *p400x400Y*103478* 
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

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

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

    Get your copy today!

  • Automate IBM i Operations using Wireless Devices

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

    Order your copy here.

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

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

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

     

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

    SB Profound WP 5539

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

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


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    HelpSystems

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

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

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

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

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

     

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

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.

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

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

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

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

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

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

     

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

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

     

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

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

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

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

     

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

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

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

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

     

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

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

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

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Download and watch today!

     

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

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

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

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

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

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

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

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

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

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

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

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

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

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

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

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

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

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

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

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

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

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

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

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

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

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

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

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

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

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

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

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

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

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

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

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

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

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

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

    Request your trial now!

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

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

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

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

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