Getting Started with SNADS

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Brief: OS/400 includes extensive intersystem communication capabilities, built upon a foundation of APPC and APPN. Display Station Pass-through, PC Support, OfficeVision mail and System Network Architecture Distribution Services (SNADS) are examples of available products and services. This article explains how to implement a simple SNADS configuration that can be used to send messages and spool files between systems.

If you work with more than one AS/400, chances are you've set up communications between the systems. The most common configuration is a dial-up Synchronous Data Link Control (SDLC) line between two systems. A dial-up SDLC line is the easiest configuration to set up and use because it can be created with the ECS modems.

I'm assuming you have an Advanced Program-to-Program Communications (APPC) configuration available. If you don't have an APPC configuration between your two AS/400s, refer to the sidebar, "Configuring a Remote System on the ECS Modem Line."

Basic Services

Creating an APPC configuration between two AS/400s is similar to having a telephone installed at your house when you move. With the telephone, you can participate in basic services with other telephone users. However, to make more advanced use of the telephone line, you need to order additional services from the telephone company (call waiting, call forwarding) or install and configure options that you control (fax machines, computers with modems).

By itself, APPC simply provides a connection between two machines. Additional functions and services can supplement the connection. OS/400 provides many of those services (Display Station Pass-through, object distribution, APPN); other products are available that make use of the APPC services (PC Support, Communications Utilities, OfficeVision).

One useful service provided with OS/400 is System Network Architecture Distribution Services (SNADS). You can use SNADS to send messages, job streams, spool files, database files or save files between systems. Using SNADS is advantageous if you provide programming support for another system, since you can send objects and data between systems. Although it's not necessary to run DSPT concurrently with SNADS, you'll probably work with SNADS from within a DSPT session initially. In fact, SNADS provides the missing "printer pass through" support that most DSPT users need.

Simple SNADS

Perhaps you've tried and failed to configure SNADS, or maybe you got it to work somehow, but you're not quite sure why. Don't feel too badly; SNADS can be breathtakingly complex to understand. The primary reference manual, Communications: Distribution Services Network Guide, doesn't include much introductory material. But configuring SNADS doesn't have to be difficult. If you follow a few steps, you'll have a working configuration and be in a better position to understand your configuration options.

I'll describe how to configure SNADS so that you can send messages and spool files between two AS/400s. Rather than explain each option in detail, I'll tell you enough about it to get the job done. In future articles, I'll provide additional detail about each configuration decision point.

The Basics of SNADS

Let's trace the process that SNADS uses to send something between systems. First, it verifies that the user requesting the send operation is in fact allowed to send things. Next, SNADS determines where the object is to be sent; it's possible to send multiple copies of the object to the same user or to different users, on the local system or one or more remote systems. Because other distributions might already be in progress, SNADS has a scheduling component, which works similarly to a job queue.

Before actually sending an object to another machine, SNADS verifies that the user that you identified as the recipient exists in the system distribution directory. If the user isn't there, SNADS informs the sender that the distribution can't be sent. If the distribution can be sent, SNADS starts to send it. When transmission completes, SNADS notifies both sender and receiver of the distribution. SNADS must be aware of any communication failures that occur during the sending, so that it can retry the distribution later.

Those are just some of the functions SNADS must perform in order to send objects successfully between systems. Being aware of these factors may help you understand why some SNADS configuration options are required.

I am assuming that you don't have a current SNADS configuration between your machines. If you do (but aren't clear about how it works) you should follow along and create a new configuration. When looked at individually, the configuration options don't readily fall into the big picture. When taken in order, they help you to understand what's required.

Configuring SNADS

What do we need to get a SNADS configuration going? Only a few steps are necessary:

o Obtain a listing of network attributes for each system. o Using the Configure Distribution Services (CFGDSTSRV) command, configure distribution queues. o Also using CFGDSTSRV, configure routing tables. o Use the Work with Directory (WRKDIR) command to add directory entries on each system.

In order to perform the required configuration steps, you need to sign on as QSECOFR or have security administrator (*SECADM) authority on each machine. You'll require an active APPC configuration between the two systems and access to a terminal on each system. An alternative to using two terminals is to use DSPT to access the remote system.

Getting Started: Network Attributes

First, obtain a list of current network attributes for both systems. Surprisingly, even if your AS/400 has never called another AS/400 and the only devices connected to it are dumb terminals, your machine has network attributes and is ready to be linked to other AS/400s.

To get the listing, prompt the Display Network Attributes (DSPNETA) command and select the *PRINT option. Although DSPNETA can be run interactively, it's advantageous to have the printed list available because you're working with two different machines. You'll need the list from each machine.

We use only one value on the listing at this point, although we'll work with several other values later. The value we require is the default local location, or LCLLOCNAME. If your machines' network attributes haven't been changed (with the Change Network Attributes [CHGNETA] command), the local location name is the letter S followed by the machine serial number. You generally won't find it necessary to change this shipped value. However, you might want to change the network attribute for the current system name (SYSNAME on the listing). The current system name, shown in the upper right corner of many OS/400 displays, can help you identify the system you're working on. This system name is useful when you run DSPT, since you might be working on similar displays on the source and target systems.

You can use CHGNETA at any time. If you change any of the network attributes before configuring SNADS, you simply use the new values in your SNADS configuration. If you change the local location name after configuring SNADS, you'll have to update your SNADS configuration. We'll describe that change in a future article; for now, we're working with the current value on the listing.

Working with Configure Distribution Services

The Configure Distribution Services (CFGDSTSRV) command guides you through the steps needed to configure SNADS. Three options are associated with the command. Simply type CFGDSTSRV without parameters and work from the selection display shown in 1. For our SNADS configuration, we'll work with option 1 for distribution queues and option 2 for routing tables.

The Configure Distribution Services (CFGDSTSRV) command guides you through the steps needed to configure SNADS. Three options are associated with the command. Simply type CFGDSTSRV without parameters and work from the selection display shown in Figure 1. For our SNADS configuration, we'll work with option 1 for distribution queues and option 2 for routing tables.

When you select option 1, the next display is Configure Distribution Queues. You use F6 to add a new distribution queue. You're then presented with the Add Distribution Queue display, shown in 2. This display is quite complex, so we'll walk through it step by step.

When you select option 1, the next display is Configure Distribution Queues. You use F6 to add a new distribution queue. You're then presented with the Add Distribution Queue display, shown in Figure 2. This display is quite complex, so we'll walk through it step by step.

A distribution queue is where SNADS places distributions prior to sending them to another system. (Examples of distributions are a message, a spool file or a network file.) For example, you might be working on your local AS/400 when the line to the other system is inactive. Rather than prohibit you from using distribution services, SNADS allows you to queue distributions. When the connection to the other machine becomes available, SNADS can send the queued distributions. This is similar to job or output queues that wait for the availability of a subsystem or spool writer to process entries.

To create a distribution queue, you must enter two fields. The first is the queue name. Unlike other AS/400 object names, distribution queue names can be up to 16 characters long. Because a distribution queue is associated with the target system that you're sending a distribution to, you should assign a name that's indicative of that system. For example, if the current system name from the DSPNETA listing for the target system is CHICAGO, you could also use that as the distribution queue name.

The second field you must fill actually appears as the third parameter on the display, the remote location name. This is the local location name of the target system. It's important that you enter this value correctly, because SNADS will try to send distributions put onto this queue to the system that you specify here. Be clear about this: get the DSPNETA listing for the other system (not the system you are running CFGDSTSRV from), and use the LCLLOCNAME value from that listing as the parameter value.

All other parameters on the Add Distribution Queue display are set to defaults. Several defaults are based on network attributes; if you've made changes to them, you may need to enter additional values on this display. You can safely use the defaults if you haven't changed your network attributes. For now, don't change any of the priority or retry options on the next screen. The default values of these options indicate that SNADS will start sending a distribution as soon as it's placed on the queue, if the communication line is active between the two systems.

After you've entered the queue and remote location names, press Enter. The distribution queue is added to the SNADS configuration. Press F12 to return to the Configure Distribution Queues displays. You should see your newly added queue on the list display. Press F12 to return to the CFGDSTSRV selection display.

Configuring the Routing Table

When you select option 2 (Routing Table) from the CFGDSTSRV display, the next screen contains the Configure Routing Table display. Press F6 to go to the Add Routing Table Entry display, shown in 3.

When you select option 2 (Routing Table) from the CFGDSTSRV display, the next screen contains the Configure Routing Table display. Press F6 to go to the Add Routing Table Entry display, shown in Figure 3.

For system name, enter the local location name of the target system (the same system name that you used in the distribution queue). The group part of the system name isn't used for distributions between two AS/400s; leave it blank. The description parameter is used to describe the routing table entry. You can enter any text you want.

The final four entries that you'll make are the queue name fields in the service level section. Enter the name of the distribution queue that you created four times, once for each of those four fields. Leave the "maximum hops" fields set to the *DFT setting. Press Enter, followed by F12 to return to the previous display.

Although it may seem pointless, there's a great deal of information being described to SNADS on this display. Each of four service levels-fast, status, data high and data low-is used to categorize distributions being sent between systems. You'll generally work with the data high and data low categories; SNADS uses the other two for communications between systems.

What about assigning the same distribution queue name to each of the service levels? A distribution queue is associated with a particular mode description. A look at 2 shows the mode field set to the default value of *NETATR, meaning that the mode is taken from the network attributes. This value appears as DFTMODE on the DSPNETA listing.

What about assigning the same distribution queue name to each of the service levels? A distribution queue is associated with a particular mode description. A look at Figure 2 shows the mode field set to the default value of *NETATR, meaning that the mode is taken from the network attributes. This value appears as DFTMODE on the DSPNETA listing.

A mode is an APPC construct that lets you specify how data should move across your intersystem network. For example, you may have more than one communication line available between two systems. If one of the lines supports a higher speed, it would be appropriate to assign different modes to different distribution queues, which in turn can be assigned to different service levels. (The queue associated with the higher-speed mode is assigned to service levels fast, status and data high. The queue for the lower speed mode is assigned to service level data low.)

Because we're working with only one communication line between the two AS/400s, it doesn't make sense to create additional distribution queues at this point. That's why you enter the same distribution queue name for the four service levels. If you add another communication line in the future, you can create another distribution queue and mode to use the new line. Then change your routing table entry to use the new distribution queue.

Configuring the Other System

Once you've completed the distribution queue and routing table descriptions, go to the other system and repeat the process. This configuration is required if you want to send distributions in both directions. Although the configuration of distribution queues and routing table entries isn't required to receive a distribution, you'll probably find it useful to configure both systems so that they can send to each other. One of the most useful aspects of configuring both systems for distribution is that the target system can return a "received" message to the source system. If the target system isn't configured to distribute to the source system, SNADS has no way to automatically send the confirmation to the source system.

Telling SNADS Who is Sending and Receiving

Now that you've configured the AS/400s, you have to create directory entries on both systems to describe who's sending and receiving. Directory entries are associated with user profiles. These entries are required since every distribution starts with a user and is directed to one or more users on one or more systems.

Directory entries can be the most confusing part of SNADS configuration because you must coordinate the entries between the two systems. Although you can use several options to create directory entries, we'll cover only one option in this article: explicit creation of entries for the sender and receiver on both systems.

The basic rule for directory entries is that you must have a directory entry on the source system for the user profile sending the distribution, and a directory entry on the target system for the user profile receiving the distribution. Also, on the source system you need a directory entry for the recipient on the target system. Although you don't have to include a directory entry on the target system for an originator on the source system, it may be advantageous. That lets you send distributions directly from the target system to an originator on the source system.

Working with WRKDIR

Although the Work with Directory (WRKDIR) command has some parameters, you usually start it by just typing WRKDIR on the command line and pressing Enter. The Work with Directory list display is shown in 4. If you haven't previously added directory entries, the default entries shipped with the system are shown. Don't change or remove those entries; they're used by system functions.

Although the Work with Directory (WRKDIR) command has some parameters, you usually start it by just typing WRKDIR on the command line and pressing Enter. The Work with Directory list display is shown in Figure 4. If you haven't previously added directory entries, the default entries shipped with the system are shown. Don't change or remove those entries; they're used by system functions.

We'll start with adding directory entries on the source system. On the first row of the Work with Directory display, type the number 1 and press Enter. The Add Directory Entry screen, shown in 5, is displayed. The first directory entry we'll create is for a remote user on the target system.

We'll start with adding directory entries on the source system. On the first row of the Work with Directory display, type the number 1 and press Enter. The Add Directory Entry screen, shown in Figure 5, is displayed. The first directory entry we'll create is for a remote user on the target system.

This screen looks complicated, but is really not, as you'll see. The first line, User ID/Address, identifies a user within the system shown on the System name/Group line. The user ID portions can be a user profile name on this AS/400 or another name that you assign to a user. The user ID field length is only eight characters, not ten, so it may not be possible to include user profile names you've established.

The address field can be confusing. Think of this field as "user ID part 2" rather than "address." You can enter the user's surname or another value in this field, such as a department or system that is used. It's important that you give some thought to these first two fields, since they are used with the various send commands to identify the recipients of your distribution.

The problem with these fields is that there may be no easy way to remember them when you want to send a distribution. The send commands don't provide a prompt option. Unless you create programs to supply prompting of directory entries, you have to use some other method to remember the two part identifier. Another problem is that the two part identifier may be confining when you create directory entries for an organization with many users who will receive distributions.

For now, enter a user ID and address that describes yourself, since you want to work through the SNADS sending process. There are additional options and considerations when creating directory entries, but we won't include them in this article.

The next field, description, is used to enter a text description of the user. You can spell out the user's name here and include other information such as a telephone number. This is a required field.

The next two lines contain very important fields. The System name/Group line is used to indicate the system where the user ID resides. For a remote user (the user on the target system who receives distributions), enter his system name in the first field. You'll find this name on the DSPNETA list (the LCLLOCNAME field). You can also press F4 to prompt for the system name field and select the system name from the list of systems known to the source system.

How does your source system get the names of the target systems? From the routing table entry previously described in the CFGDSTSRV command, option 2.

Leave the Group part of this line blank; it's not used when communicating between two AS/400s.

Those are all of the entries required for a remote user. Don't enter the user profile for the remote user. The network user ID is generated by the system. You can fill in the additional information for the remote user, shown on the rest of the display and on following displays. You don't need to change the value for the indirect user field, shown on a subsequent display. (An indirect user is a user that never signs on, but to whom distributions can be sent.)

While you're on the source system, you should also add a directory entry for yourself, as a sender of distributions. Enter your User ID, address and description. The system name field should be set to the current system name; don't change that value and don't enter anything into the group part of the field. You must enter your user profile name on the line below the system name. You can use F4 to prompt for user profile names known to your system. By leaving the system name set to your system and entering the user profile, you've identified yourself to the directory as a local user. Since you're listed in the directory, other people on your system or on remote systems can now send distributions to you. You can continue to enter additional information about yourself, or simply press Enter to add the directory entry.

When you're done on the source system, you should have added at least two directory entries. The first is for the intended recipient, the remote user on the target system. That user could be yourself. For example, if you're programming on both systems, using DSPT to work on the remote system, you can define a directory entry on the source system to send data to yourself on the target system.

The second directory entry you add is for yourself on the source system. That entry is used when you or other SNADS users send data to you.

Repeat this process at the target system. When you add a remote user (remote to the system you're typing on), specify the system name and leave the user profile blank. When you add a local user (local to the system you're typing on), leave the system name set to the default and enter the user profile.

Once you've made the directory entries, you're at the point where you can try object distribution with SNADS.

Distributing and Working with SNADS

Sending a distribution with SNADS is fairly easy, since most of the work with SNADS is done during the configuration. Before trying to send a distribution, verify that your APPC communications line between the two systems is active. Also, verify that subsystem QSNADS is active on both systems by using the Work with Subsystems (WRKSBS) command. QSNADS is included in the shipped system, meaning that you don't have to configure it. You should probably not make any changes to it until you become familiar with SNADS.

The two simplest distributions you can send are network messages and network spool files. We'll see how those distributions are sent. Sending network files is more involved, since you have to receive the file on the target machine.

The two commands that we can try, once communications is up and QSNADS is active, are Send Network Message (SNDNETMSG) and Send Network Spooled File (SNDNETSPLF). Try SNDNETMSG first.

The first parameter of SNDNETMSG is the text of the message. The second parameter is TOUSRID, where you specify the user ID and address you entered as directory entries. TOUSRID is a list parameter; you can send the same message to multiple users. The users can be on your source system or on one or more target systems. For the test, send a message to yourself on both the source and target systems, within the same execution of the command. The message is sent to the message queue associated with the user profiles of both the local and remote users. Since you're on the source system, you can use the Display Message (DSPMSG) command with the message queue name to see the message on the source system, and use DSPT to access the remote system to see the message over there.

The second command, SNDNETSPLF, is almost never run directly from the command line. A better alternative is already included on the Work with Output Queue (WRKOUTQ) display. Execute WRKOUTQ for an output queue that you know has some spool files in it. Option 1 is send. Type a 1 next to a spool file and press Enter. The next display is the command prompter for the SNDNETSPLF command. The only parameter you'll enter here is TOUSRID. Again, you can send the spool file to one or more users on your local or remote systems. The spool file is sent to the output queue associated with the user ID on the target system. When you send a spool file, the original copy remains in the source system output queue.

An additional SNDNETSPLF parameter you should be aware of is the Data Format (DTAFMT) parameter. The default value of *RCD-DATA lets you send the spool file to all systems that support SNADS (S/36, S/38, AS/400s and mainframes). This value doesn't preserve all of the attributes of a spool file. If you're sending spool files to other AS/400s at V1R3M0 or higher, you can use the value *ALLDATA for this parameter to preserve the attributes. If all of your spool- file sending occurs within an AS/400 network, you might want to consider changing the default value for the parameter.

Monitoring SNADS

You keep track of SNADS activities with the Display Distribution Log (DSPDSTLOG) command. Whenever a distribution is sent or received, or a configuration change is made to a SNADS object, a journal entry is made to the currently attached QSNADS journal receiver. You can use the Display Journal (DSPJRN) command to view the currently attached receiver, but DSPDSTLOG is much more useful. It formats the SNADS journal entries so that they're more meaningful.

If you're able to do so, you might want to run the Change Journal (CHGJRN) command and generate new journal receivers on both the source and target systems before running a distribution test. This gives you a clean journal on each system. Send a distribution, wait for it to be received on the target and then run DSPDSTLOG on both systems. You can track how SNADS goes about sending the distribution and returning the confirmation message to the sender. Also, if the distribution fails (assuming that you didn't have any communications line failures) the DSPDSTLOG display tracks the source of the failure. Most failures you'll initially encounter will probably occur because of invalid directory entries on the source or target systems.

And Much More!

By now, you should have created the simple SNADS configuration described in this article and have successfully sent messages and spool files. Although the configuration isn't trivial, it's not difficult to do if you break it into small pieces.

We'll describe many more SNADS features in future articles. For example, there are many more ways to set up directory entries, and there's the Send Network File (SNDNETF) command. Although many communication functions are very confusing when first starting out, we'll rapidly build on your knowledge and experience of what happens between two systems.

Craig Pelkie can be reached through Midrange Computing.

ReferencE Communications: Distribution Services Network Guide (SC41-9588, CD-ROM QBKA1B02).

Configuring a Remote System on the ECS Modem Line

To use SNADS between two systems, you need an APPC line configured. If you do not already have such a configuration, you can quickly create one using the communications configuration function of Operational Assistant. Menus and instructions are provided that prompt you through the creation process for the local system. At the conclusion of the process, printed instructions are provided that you use to configure the remote system.

This example assumes that you will be configuring two AS/400s using the ECS modems. Before you start, you need the remote system name and the telephone numbers that are used for both the local and the remote location modems. To get the remote system name, use the DSPNETA command on the remote system and record the value of the "Default local location" parameter (LCLLOCNAME).

Start the process by entering GO CMNCFG at a command line. There are three options on the menu; select option 2 to configure a remote system. On that display, type option 1 in the first line of the list and enter a name to assign to the communications line that will be created. Press Enter after typing the line name.

The next display prompts you for the type of configuration to create. Select option 3, "SDLC switched point-to-point", and press Enter.

You then specify the communications port used. For most ECS modems, this is port LIN011. The next series of displays prompts you for the local system telephone number, then the remote system name, remote system type and remote system telephone number. After entering those parameters, press Enter. The communications line is created and a display tells you to look for the printed instructions that you will use to configure the remote system.

After printing those instructions, you can configure the remote system. On the remote system, use the GO CMNCFG menu and select option 3, "Remote systems using printed instructions". You simply follow the steps given in the printed instructions, entering parameter values as shown.

When you are done, you have a dial-up line created on each system, along with the associated controllers. The line is defined as an APPC line with APPN- capable controllers. That means that you do not have to configure APPC devices for the controllers; the devices are automatically created for you as needed. Simply vary on the line at either system to have it contact the other system. Once the lines, controllers and devices are active, you can start using APPC based functions, such as SNADS and Display Station Pass-through.

Getting Started with SNADS

Figure 1 Initial Display of Configure Distribution Service

                          Configure Distribution Services 
   Type choice, press Enter. 
     Type of distribution services 
       information to configure  . . .    _        1=Distribution queues 
                                                   2=Routing table 
                                                   3=Secondary system name table 
   F3=Exit      F12=Cancel 

Getting Started with SNADS

Figure 2 Add Distribution Queue Display

                               Add Distribution Queue                 Page 1 of 2 
   Type choices, press Enter. 
     Queue  . . . . . . . . . . .   __________        Name 
     Queue type . . . . . . . . .   *SNADS__          *SNADS, *RPDS, *SVDS, *DLS 
     Remote location name . . . .                     Name 
     Mode . . . . . . . . . . . .   *NETATR_           Name, *NETATR 
     Remote net ID  . . . . . . .   *LOC____          Name, *LOC, *NONE 
     Local location name  . . . .   *LOC____          Name, *LOC 
     Normal priority: 
       Send time: 
         From/To  . . . . . . . .   __ : __  __ : __  00:00-23:59 
         Force  . . . . . . . . .   __ : __           00:00-23:59 
       Send depth . . . . . . . .   __1               1-999, blank 
     High priority: 
       Send time: 
         From/To  . . . . . . . .   __ : __  __ : __  00:00-23:59 
         Force  . . . . . . . . .   __ : __           00:00-23:59 
       Send depth . . . . . . . .   __1               1-999, blank 
   F3=Exit      F12=Cancel 

Getting Started with SNADS

Figure 3 Add Routing Table Display

                               Add Routing Table Entry 
   Type choices, press Enter. (At least one queue name is required.) 
     System name/Group  . .   ________  ________ 
     Description  . . . . .   __________________________________________________ 
     Service level: 
         Queue name . . . .   ________________  Distribution queue name 
         Maximum hops . . .   *DFT              Number of hops, *DFT 
         Queue name . . . .   ________________ 
         Maximum hops . . .   *DFT 
       Data high: 
         Queue name . . . .   ________________ 
         Maximum hops . . .   *DFT 
       Data low: 
         Queue name . . . .   ________________ 
         Maximum hops . . .   *DFT 
   F3=Exit      F12=Cancel 

Getting Started with SNADS

Figure 4 Work with Directory Display

                                Work with Directory 
   Type options, press Enter. 
     1=Add      2=Change   4=Remove   5=Display details   6=Print details 
     7=Rename   8=Assign different ID to description   9=Add another description 
   Opt  User ID   Address   Description 
    _   ________  ________ 
    _   QDOC      QDOC      Internal Document Owner 
    _   QLPAUTO   QLPAUTO   Licensed Program Automatic User 
    _   QLPINSTL  QLPINSTL  Licensed program install 
    _   QPGMR     S1034786  QPGMR Directory entry 
    _   QSECOFR   MC.DST    Product Distribution 
    _   QSECOFR   QSECOFR   Security Officer 
    _   QSYS      QSYS      Internal System User Profile 
    _   QTCP      QTCP      IBM User created to support SMTP restart 
    _   QUSER     QUSER     Default user for PC Support 
    _   RCVOBJ    MC        Receive object handler on MC production system 
    _   RCVOBJ    MC PGMR   Receive object handler on MC PGMR development sys. 
    _   RCVOBJ    MC SHIP   Receive object handler on MC SHIP shipping system 
   F3=Exit      F5=Refresh   F9=Work with nicknames   F10=Search directory 
   F12=Cancel   F13=Work with departments   F17=Position to   F24=More keys 

Getting Started with SNADS

Figure 5 Add Directory Entry Display

                                Add Directory Entry 
   Type choices, press Enter. 
     User ID/Address . . . .   ________  ________ 
     Description . . . . . .   __________________________________________________ 
     System name/Group . . .   MCPGMR__  ________     F4 for list 
     User profile  . . . . .   __________             F4 for list 
     Network user ID . . . .   _______________________________________________ 
       Last  . . . . . . . .   ________________________________________ 
       First . . . . . . . .   ____________________ 
       Middle  . . . . . . .   ____________________ 
       Preferred . . . . . .   ____________________ 
       Full  . . . . . . . .   __________________________________________________ 
     Department  . . . . . .   __________             F4 for list 
     Job title . . . . . . .   ________________________________________ 
     Company . . . . . . . .   __________________________________________________ 
   F3=Exit   F4=Prompt   F5=Refresh   F12=Cancel   F14=Add X.400 O/R name 
   F18=Display location details 


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    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


    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


    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


    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 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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    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.

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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.