Configuring 5250 Emulation with OS/2

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It's a common scenario. Your MIS department supports DOS and Windows client desktops. You've finally got the 5250 emulation and PC Support problems solved on these platforms. Everyone has 5250 sessions to the AS/400. New users are set up painlessly, and things are running smoothly.

Enter a renegade faction. A certain group of users has installed OS/2 on their desktops, without following MIS procedures and standards. They need connectivity to the AS/400 pronto, and guess who gets to do the honors?

Reality Bites

If OS/2 is in your future or if the above scenario rings a bell, you may be faced with using Communications Manager/2 (CM/2) for OS/2 to provide 5250 emulation to your AS/400s or S/36s. There is an alternative to CM/2 for the AS/400: Communications Manager/400 (CM/400). You can purchase CM/400 separately for around $100. However, beginning with V3R0M5, IBM bundles CM/400 as part of Client Access for OS/2. Configuration of CM/400 has a lot in common with CM/2 configuration for the AS/400, so much of what you learn here can be applied to the CM/400 product. CM/400 does not include a 5250 emulation feature as CM/2 does. But, beginning with V3R0M5, the RUMBA/400 5250 emulation product is included with Client Access for OS/2. RUMBA/400 5250 emulation configuration is considerably different than CM/2's 5250 emulation. The similarities and differences between using CM/400 and RUMBA/400 versus CM/2 and its 5250 emulation is material for another article. Here, the focus is on 5250 emulation through CM/2.

If you've faced the daunting task of setting up 5250 emulation in an OS/2 environment, you already know it can be intimidating. If you haven't yet had the opportunity, perhaps this article will help you navigate the myriad of screens and decisions that CM/2 holds in store for you. However, before I get into the nuts and bolts of installing 5250 emulation, I'd like to describe the OS/2 environment and some of the pertinent features of CM/2.

How About OS/2?

OS/2 is a nice product for those who like a multitasking graphical environment. It is a software developer's dream come true and an end user's answer to complex task-switching. I utilize OS/2 on all my hardware-home and work, laptop and desktop. I develop OS/2 and DOS applications; on a typical day, it would be common to see two OS/2 windows, two DOS windows, a couple of Windows sessions, a 3270 session, and two or more 5250 sessions on my desktop. Although this arrangement might sound a bit crowded, there's no turning back once you get hooked on it.

CM/2 Overview

Enough OS/2 evangelizing. OS/2 gets the job done, and you'll probably have to deal with it sooner or later. CM/2 is a vehicle that can provide 5250 emulation support for OS/2. CM/2 has a wealth of additional capabilities that might offer solutions to your communication needs.

CM/2 is the core of all communications functions that take place in an OS/2 environment. It includes support for networking, System Network Architecture (SNA), asynchronous communications, terminal emulation, and various configuration services. The focus of this article, 5250 emulation, is just a small part of CM/2.

Let's look at the 5250 side of CM/2. CM/2 provides interactive access to the AS/400 and S/36 in a single-byte character string (SBCS) environment or to the AS/400 in a double-byte character string (DBCS) environment. Access to the S/36 is enabled through Synchronous Data Link Control (SDLC) and token-ring direct connections. In SBCS and DBCS environments, the direct connection to the AS/400 is provided through Ethernet (ETHERAND), twinaxial, X.25, SDLC, token-ring, ISDN Data Link Control (IDLC) using ISDN, and X.25 using ISDN. Other connections are available by routing through network nodes or bridges.

CM/2 emulates a variety of workstations and printers. Consult your CM/2 user's guide if you need more information on supported peripherals.

How High Can You Go?

CM/2 supports a maximum of 26 sessions, 15 of which can be 5250 sessions. The 26-session maximum can include a combination of terminal and printer sessions. The session limit may be reduced, depending on the version of OS/2 you are using and other application resources on your OS/2 platform. For example, if you're using OS/2 2.0 or lower, there is a limit of 16 windows that can be simultaneously displayed.

The 5250 emulation sessions can be configured to any number of AS/400 host systems. You may find it easiest to set them up to a single host and use display station pass-through to access other systems. This lets you use the quick-configure options of CM/2. If you want to connect directly to multiple AS/400s, you must describe additional links, which takes you down in the bowels of advanced CM/2 configuration. I'm no glutton for punishment; I like to keep things as simple as possible.

What Else Can CM/2 5250 Do?

Each emulation session allows additional configuration by utilizing the system pulldown menu. The menu gives you access to a variety of CM/2 functions including keyboard remapping, color and font customizing, mouse hot spots, alarms, printing, and clipboard cut, copy, and paste functions.

The emulator high-level language application program interface (EHLLAPI) provides an interface to 5250 emulation. EHLLAPI gives client application programs a way to obtain information by accessing the workstation's video buffer. The characters displayed on the screen are imported directly into the client program. This process is often used when giving AS/400 legacy applications a graphical user interface (GUI).

This technique, referred to as screen scraping, provides an interface from the client application program to workstation objects such as keyboards, sessions, screens, presentation spaces (the entire physical screen area occupied by an emulation session), the cursor, and the operator information area (OIA) of a host session. The OIA is the area at the bottom of the presentation space that displays row, column, keyboard inhibited, and other operator status information.

User Profile Management (UPM), another function of CM/2, provides the management of group and user facilities. UPM lets you set up user IDs and passwords; then, once you log into UPM for each session, your ID and password are automatically sent to the 5250 emulator and on to the host system for verification.

5250 emulation printer sessions are managed from the Emulator Print Control window. This is a single session that lists and controls all configured printers.

The PC Organizer provides AS/400 emulation sessions with a text editor and is used to start a PC command from an AS/400 host. It can also be used to support DisplayWrite operations. Once a 5250 session is started, CM/2's PC Organizer function can be used without starting up PC Support's PC Organizer function. PC Support and CM/2 do not share PC Organizer configurations so you won't run into any conflicts.

Installation Overview

I'm going to assume you already have CM/2 installed and that you want to utilize the quick configuration option of CM/2. Installing CM/2 and Advanced 5250 Emulation Configuration is beyond the scope of this article. At the end of the article, though, I will discuss some of the advanced configuration options and show why and when you would need to consider them.

I strongly recommend that you read the 5250 emulation part of Chapter 1 and all of Chapter 8 in the IBM Communications Manager/2 Workstation Installation and Configuration Guide. The manual offers a good overview of the installation process and describes the differences between quick and advanced configuration.

If your connection type is a token-ring, Ethernet (ETHERAND), or other local area network (LAN), a PC network, SDLC (non-ISDN), or twinaxial, then Quick Configuration works; otherwise, you need to use advanced configuration. By default, on the initial definition of a configuration, CM/2 uses the quick configuration mode. If you change a value through the advanced configuration method, the quick configuration method may no longer be available.

The Workstation Installation and Configuration Guide outlines the quick configuration parameters and provides a worksheet to record your choices. It shows you the parameters that relate to the connection type you will use. The parameters that need to be gathered for Ethernet and PC network connections are the same as for token-ring.

Time to Install

You've finally come to the fun part! Open up the CM/2 folder by double-clicking on the Communications Manager/2 icon. In this folder, double-click on the Communications Manager Setup icon. When the Communications Manager Setup dialog box appears, select the Setup button to obtain the Open Configuration dialog box. This dialog box allows you to select a configuration file or create a new one. To create a configuration file, key a name for the configuration file in the Configuration text box and a brief description in the Description text box. If configuration files exist, they will be listed in the Configurations list box.

If you select an existing configuration, before you continue, you should make a backup of the configuration file. To do this, start up a new OS/2 session (or go into an existing one) and change to the CMLIB directory on the drive where CM/2 is installed (more than likely, the directory you want is C:CMLIB). You should find a file name that matches the configuration definition name with an extension of .CFG. You may also find additional files with the same name but different extensions. Make a copy of all the files with the same name as the configuration definition. Once you have a backup, go back to the Open Configuration dialog box and single-click on the OK button.

The Communications Manager Configuration Definition dialog box appears. It contains two list boxes. The list box on the left allows you to select the workstation connection type. In the example illustrated in 1, Token-Ring or Other LAN Types is already selected. In the list box on the right, choose 5250 emulation and CM/2 displays a diagram of a token-ring network within the dialog box as illustrated in 1.

The Communications Manager Configuration Definition dialog box appears. It contains two list boxes. The list box on the left allows you to select the workstation connection type. In the example illustrated in Figure 1, Token-Ring or Other LAN Types is already selected. In the list box on the right, choose 5250 emulation and CM/2 displays a diagram of a token-ring network within the dialog box as illustrated in Figure 1.

Choose the Configure button and the quick configuration dialog box appears. In this box, titled 5250 Emulation through Token-Ring, you enter all of your parameters. 2 shows the dialog used in my example.

Choose the Configure button and the quick configuration dialog box appears. In this box, titled 5250 Emulation through Token-Ring, you enter all of your parameters. Figure 2 shows the dialog used in my example.

In the Network ID field, enter your network ID. You can obtain the network ID by executing the Display Network Attributes (DSPNETA) command and using the contents of the Local Network ID (LCLNETID) field. This is the name of the network for which your 5250 emulation sessions will be established.

In the field for Local node name, enter the remote location name of your workstation's APPC device. It becomes the control point (CP) name for your node.

The Local node ID field defaults to a value of 05D 00000. You can accept the default value. (In link station negotiations, these eight characters determine which link workstation is primary and which is secondary. The workstation with the higher value becomes the primary link workstation. If the values are equal, both stations generate a random number to determine which is primary.)

In the Partner LU name field, enter the fully qualified partner name of the AS/400's logical unit (LU) that you will establish 5250 emulation sessions with. This full name consists of the network ID (field 1 of the dialog), a period (.), followed by the local control point name of the remote AS/400. (Use the DSPNETA command on the remote AS/400 to determine the local control point name.)

Enter the mode name in the Mode name field. The mode name most often used with PC Support is QPCSUPP. If you are not using PC Support, the mode name is usually #INTER. You supply the name of the mode that controls the 5250 emulator session. Mode names are assigned to sets of commonly grouped transmission characteristics like class of service and session routing.

For this example, select the AS/400 button for the Host type information entry.

For the LAN Destination Address, enter the address of the adapter on your network's communications controller or gateway. To find the address of your AS/400's token-ring adapter, start with the Work with Hardware Resources (WRKHDWRSC) command and specify *CMN in the TYPE parameter. Find the token-ring port in the list and use option 5 (Work with configuration descriptions). A list of configuration descriptions for the token-ring port will appear. Use option 5 (Work with description) for any of the configuration descriptions on the list. The Work with Line Descriptions panel will appear. Use option 5 (Display) on any of the line descriptions on the list. You'll find the Local adapter address near the bottom of the display.

In the Number of Terminal Session field, specify how many 5250 emulation sessions you want to have available. Each one becomes a separate window on your desktop when CM/2 is loaded. In the Number of Printer Sessions field, specify the number of AS/400 printer sessions you want.

Finally, click OK to return to the Communications Manager Configuration Definition dialog. When you click the Close button, CM/2 verifies your configuration. If CM/2 is currently active on your OS/2 machine, you will be asked, "Would you like to dynamically update your SNA resources?" Select Yes to update the currently running SNA resources with the changes you made during the configuration. When this process completes, select Close from the Communications Manager Setup dialog box.

If CM/2 is currently running on your machine, open up the CM/2 folder and double-click the Stop Communications Normally icon. Give CM/2 time to terminate. If CM/2 is not running on your machine, continue on. Double-click the Start Communications icon in the same folder. Assuming that your local node IDs are configured on the AS/400 (or if the AS/400 is set up for auto- configuration), you will have one 5250 emulation session for each one you requested. You will be presented with the Node Logon dialog. Enter your user ID and password, and you should receive the AS/400's sign-on screen in each emulation session.

When Do I Need to Use Advanced Configuration?

In most cases, any changes made after the quick configuration must be made in advanced mode. (Click the Advanced button on the 5250 Emulation Through Token- Ring dialog). In fact, you will probably never see the quick configuration section again, although its parameters are recorded in the advanced section.

For some tasks, including those in the list that follows, you can and in some cases must use the advanced configuration method.

o Changing the long session/LU name. o Changing 5250 session definition default values. o Selecting the mode for a session. o Defining a partner LU alias. o Changing or creating a terminal session keyboard profile. o Changing or creating a terminal session color profile.

If you feel adventurous, you might want to explore advanced configuration. There's no way to cover it all in this article, but you can try it out and read the manual to get an idea of the capability provided.

Some attributes of a 5250 session can be changed while running an emulation session. These include color, keyboard, or printer definitions.

If you want to configure your session attributes, use the menu bar of your session window. Examples of some of the available attribute configurations are shown in 3. If you have questions about these options, refer to Chapter 8 of IBM Communications Manager/2 Workstation Installation and Configuration Guide.

If you want to configure your session attributes, use the menu bar of your session window. Examples of some of the available attribute configurations are shown in Figure 3. If you have questions about these options, refer to Chapter 8 of IBM Communications Manager/2 Workstation Installation and Configuration Guide.

Ok, Give Me the Bad News

CM/2's 5250 emulation has a few minor inconveniences. CM/2 does not support file transfer within 5250 emulation, a feature that is provided within CM/2's 3270 emulation. Configuring complex environments (simultaneous sessions with multiple hosts) is a bit overwhelming at first, but this is probably true with any 5250 emulation platform. The IBM Communications Manager/2 Scenarios guide is helpful should the need arise.

It's a Wrap!

You can see that OS/2's CM/2 provides a wide set of capabilities and features. You may not need all of them, but some are sure to come in handy. I hope you agree that it is not all that difficult once you know how to navigate the Communications Manager Setup dialog boxes.

Take some time to enjoy the environment available with the sophisticated, multitasking operating system of OS/2. You should find yourself much more productive than when using other 5250 emulation platforms or products.

Mike Davenport is an associate technical editor for Midrange Computing.

REFERENCES Communications Manager/2 User's Guide (SC31-6108). Communications Manager/2 Workstation Installation and Configuration Guide (SC31-7169). IBM Communications Manager/2 Scenarios (SC31-6174).

Configuring 5250 Emulation with OS/2

Figure 1 Selecting a Connection Type

Configuring 5250 Emulation with OS/2

Figure 2 5250 Emulation Quick Configuration

Configuring 5250 Emulation with OS/2

Figure 3 Session Attribute Configurations



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    • 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 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.



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

    SB Profound WC GenericHave 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).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

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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.