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Automate Daylight Saving Time Changes

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Brief: Using the utility presented here, you can take the worry out of changing your system time twice a year. This utility will schedule a job to do the work for you.

Changing your AS/400's system clock twice a year doesn't sound like much to worry about, yet it's probably something that rarely gets done when it's supposed to. Most areas of the country switch from standard time to daylight saving time at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in April, and back to standard time on the last Sunday in October. But who can remember when it's to be done? And worse, who is willing to make the change at 2 a.m.?

Keeping your system time adjusted properly is critical to most applications. For example, if you have a batch update scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. daily, your users will not be pleased if the job begins at 5 p.m. If you IPL at 7 a.m. each day, an 8 a.m. IPL for even a single day could interfere with users starting their morning tasks. If your system is on a network, the proper order for mail messages may be determined by a date/time stamp.

An additional consideration for mail applications is the setting of the system value QUTCOFFSET. It determines how many hours your system is behind (or ahead of) coordi-nated universal time (UTC). This value is used to synchronize mail with other systems, so that no matter what your local time, the mail you send and receive is posted in the proper chronological order. If you do change the local time on your system in the fall and spring, but you do change the QUTCOFFSET system value, you could end up with user mail problems. (OS/400 does not change QUTCOFFSET when it changes the time.)

It's easy to forget when (or how) to make the changes. Chances are you won't have a system operator standing by at 2 a.m., chomping at the bit to make the changes for you. So, I wrote the Maintain Daylight Saving Time (MTNDST) command (1) to make the changes automatically, each time they are required. The command changes your system time and adjusts the QUTCOFFSET value for you. This helps eliminate problems in your time-sensitive applications. Network mail dates and times will be correct, even if you communicate with systems in other time zones.

It's easy to forget when (or how) to make the changes. Chances are you won't have a system operator standing by at 2 a.m., chomping at the bit to make the changes for you. So, I wrote the Maintain Daylight Saving Time (MTNDST) command (Figure 1) to make the changes automatically, each time they are required. The command changes your system time and adjusts the QUTCOFFSET value for you. This helps eliminate problems in your time-sensitive applications. Network mail dates and times will be correct, even if you communicate with systems in other time zones.

Before You Start

The MTNDST command uses the current value of QUTCOFFSET to determine what season it is. This is much simpler than calculating whether daylight savings time is in effect from the current system date. Before you can schedule the command for the first time, you need to do some preliminary groundwork.

o Before you create the DST001CL program (2), change the initial value of &STDOFFSET to match your time zone. See the comments following the definition of &STDOFFSET for additional information.

o Before you create the DST001CL program (Figure 2), change the initial value of &STDOFFSET to match your time zone. See the comments following the definition of &STDOFFSET for additional information.

o Use the Change System Value (CHGSYSVAL) command to manually change the UTC offset (value QUTCOFFSET) to whatever is correct for your time zone and current season. (This is one hour less than &STDOFFSET if you are currently on daylight saving time, and the same value as &STDOFFSET if you're currently on standard time.)

o Make sure that system value QHOUR is correct on your system.

When you run the command, two conditions must be met. First, MTNDST must be run by a user who has author-ity to the CHGSYSVAL command. Second, the utility must be run at least one week prior to a scheduled time change.

How It Works

The Submit Job (SBMJOB) CL command allows us to schedule jobs in the future and provides the added flexibility of specifying that the job will run on a specific day of the week, or a specific date. We will use this to our advantage in the three programs that automatically adjust the system's time and offset from UTC.

Another approach to designing this utility would be to use the job scheduler. I chose not to use this solution because the job scheduler does not directly support annually scheduled jobs. You would have to schedule a job to run once a month and then have your program decide if it's the month to make the time change.

DST001CL (2), the CPP for the MTNDST command, runs once and determines whether to submit a fall or a spring time change. It retrieves the system values QDATE and QUTCOFFSET using the Retrieve System Value (RTVSYSVAL) command and extracts the current month and day into one field (&TODAY_MD) and the year into another (&TODAY_YR). (If your system has a different date format than *MDY, you will have to modify the code to accommodate your date format.)

DST001CL (Figure 2), the CPP for the MTNDST command, runs once and determines whether to submit a fall or a spring time change. It retrieves the system values QDATE and QUTCOFFSET using the Retrieve System Value (RTVSYSVAL) command and extracts the current month and day into one field (&TODAY_MD) and the year into another (&TODAY_YR). (If your system has a different date format than *MDY, you will have to modify the code to accommodate your date format.)

If the value of QUTCOFFSET (&OFFSET) is the same as the value declared for &STDOFFSET, then we can assume that standard time is in effect. Therefore, the next time change moves us to daylight saving time and the program jumps to label SPRING. Otherwise, the program assumes daylight saving time is in effect and jumps to label FALL.

In either case, the next task is to determine the correct date for the next scheduled job-either April 1 or October 25. The code at label SPRING determines whether to advance the year or not. The value of &YEARNUM is increased by 1 if the month and day are greater than or equal to April 1. Otherwise, the year remains the same as the current date.

The offset value (&OFNUM) is used to change the QUTCOFFSET system value. QUTCOFFSET represents the difference between UTC and your local time. The program adds 100 (one hour) to it in the spring and subtracts 100 from it in the fall. This value is passed as a parameter to the program that actually changes the QUTCOFFSET system value.

Next, the program concatenates the character values for the date statement to get the first possible date of change. The program submits a scheduled job to run at midnight on that date (using the SCDDATE and SCDTIME parameters of the SBMJOB command). The submitted job does nothing but call the second CL program, DST002CL (3).

Next, the program concatenates the character values for the date statement to get the first possible date of change. The program submits a scheduled job to run at midnight on that date (using the SCDDATE and SCDTIME parameters of the SBMJOB command). The submitted job does nothing but call the second CL program, DST002CL (Figure 3).

When DST002CL is called (at midnight on the first possible day of change), it submits another job to run on the first occurrence of Sunday [SCDDATE(*SUN)] at 2 a.m. [SCDTIME(020000)]. This job runs DST003CL (4) which performs the actual changes to the system values. It is not necessary to alter the system value QTIME; all we have to do is add or subtract one hour from QHOUR and add or subtract 100 from system value QUTCOFFSET, depending on the season.

When DST002CL is called (at midnight on the first possible day of change), it submits another job to run on the first occurrence of Sunday [SCDDATE(*SUN)] at 2 a.m. [SCDTIME(020000)]. This job runs DST003CL (Figure 4) which performs the actual changes to the system values. It is not necessary to alter the system value QTIME; all we have to do is add or subtract one hour from QHOUR and add or subtract 100 from system value QUTCOFFSET, depending on the season.

When DST003CL finishes altering the QUTCOFFSET and QHOUR values, it calls DST001CL, which will submit a job for the next change (approximately six months later). In this respect, the utility is an "endless loop." Once the initial program, DST001CL, is run, the series will run indefinitely. The only way to stop it is to end the job DSTCHANGE from the job queue. If you want to prevent it from running the next time, you have up to six months to make up your mind.

Your System Won't Forget

The many parameters of the SBMJOB command can be used to your advantage to make your programming easier. In this case, I didn't even have to write a single line of RPG code! All the work is done for me by facilities already built in to IBM's CL language. So, the next time you try to remember when the time change occurs and to change it on your system, stay where you are and relax! Your system will remember and set its clock for you.

Francis Lapeyre is a programmer/analyst at a commercial collections firm in Louisiana.


Automate Daylight Saving Time Changes

Figure 1 MTNDST Command

 /*===============================================================*/ /* To compile: */ /* */ /* CRTCMD CMD(XXX/MTNDST) PGM(XXX/DST001CL) + */ /* SRCFILE(XXX/QCMDSRC) */ /* */ /*===============================================================*/ CMD PROMPT('Maintain Daylight Savings Time') 
Automate Daylight Saving Time Changes

Figure 2 CL Program DST001CL

 /*===============================================================*/ /* To compile: */ /* */ /* CRTCLPGM PGM(XXX/DST001CL) SRCFILE(XXX/QCLSRC) */ /* */ /*===============================================================*/ DST001CL: + PGM DCL VAR(&NXTJOBDTE) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(6) DCL VAR(&OFFSET) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(5) DCL VAR(&OFNUM) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(5 0) DCL VAR(&SEASON) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(1) DCL VAR(&STDOFNUM) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(5 0) DCL VAR(&STDOFFSET) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(5) VALUE('-0800') /* + Change this value to what your system's value should be for + Standard Time: -0800 for PST; -0700 for MST; -0600 for CST; + and -0500 for EST. See the Work Management Guide for further + details. */ /* Earliest possible dates for DST changes in spring and fall */ DCL VAR(&SPRG1STDTE) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(4) VALUE('0401') DCL VAR(&FALL1STDTE) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(4) VALUE('1025') DCL VAR(&TODAY) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(6) DCL VAR(&TODAY_MD) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(4) DCL VAR(&TODAY_YR) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(2) DCL VAR(&YEAR) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(2) DCL VAR(&YEARNUM) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(2 0) GETFROMSYS: + RTVSYSVAL SYSVAL(QDATE) RTNVAR(&TODAY) RTVSYSVAL SYSVAL(QUTCOFFSET) RTNVAR(&OFFSET) EXTRACT: + CHGVAR VAR(&TODAY_MD) VALUE(%SST(&TODAY 1 4)) CHGVAR VAR(&TODAY_YR) VALUE(%SST(&TODAY 5 2)) /* CONVERT TO NUMERIC */ CVTNUM: + CHGVAR VAR(&YEAR) VALUE(&TODAY_YR) CHGVAR VAR(&YEARNUM) VALUE(&TODAY_YR) CHGVAR VAR(&OFNUM) VALUE(&OFFSET) CHGVAR VAR(&STDOFNUM) VALUE(&STDOFFSET) SELECT: + IF COND(&OFFSET *EQ &STDOFFSET) THEN(GOTO CMDLBL(SPRING)) ELSE CMD(GOTO CMDLBL(FALL)) /* We don't want to increment the year if we're already into + next year */ SPRING: + IF COND(&TODAY_MD *LT &SPRG1STDTE) THEN(CHGVAR VAR(&YEAR) + VALUE(&YEARNUM)) ELSE CMD(CHGVAR VAR(&YEARNUM) VALUE(&YEARNUM + 1)) CHGVAR VAR(&YEAR) VALUE(&YEARNUM) CHGVAR VAR(&NXTJOBDTE) VALUE(&SPRG1STDTE *CAT &YEAR) CHGVAR VAR(&OFNUM) VALUE(&OFNUM + 100) CHGVAR VAR(&OFFSET) VALUE(&OFNUM) CHGVAR VAR(&SEASON) VALUE('S') GOTO CMDLBL(CALL002) FALL: + CHGVAR VAR(&YEAR) VALUE(&YEARNUM) CHGVAR VAR(&NXTJOBDTE) VALUE(&FALL1STDTE *CAT &YEAR) CHGVAR VAR(&OFNUM) VALUE(&OFNUM - 100) CHGVAR VAR(&OFFSET) VALUE(&OFNUM) CHGVAR VAR(&SEASON) VALUE('F') CALL002: + SBMJOB CMD(CALL PGM(DST002CL) PARM(&OFFSET &SEASON)) + JOB(DSTCHANGE) JOBD(QGPL/QBATCH) JOBQ(QBATCH) + SCDDATE(&NXTJOBDTE) SCDTIME(000000) END: + ENDPGM 
Automate Daylight Saving Time Changes

Figure 3 CL Program DST002CL

 /*===============================================================*/ /* To compile: */ /* */ /* CRTCLPGM PGM(XXX/DST002CL) SRCFILE(XXX/QCLSRC) */ /* */ /*===============================================================*/ DST002CL: + PGM PARM(&OFFSET &SEASON) DCL VAR(&SEASON) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(1) DCL VAR(&OFFSET) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(5) CALL003: + SBMJOB CMD(CALL PGM(DST003CL) PARM(&OFFSET &SEASON)) + SCDDATE(*SUN) SCDTIME(020000) END: + ENDPGM 
Automate Daylight Saving Time Changes

Figure 4 CL Program DST003CL

 /*===============================================================*/ /* To compile: */ /* */ /* CRTCLPGM PGM(XXX/DST003CL) SRCFILE(XXX/QCLSRC) */ /* */ /*===============================================================*/ DST003CL: + PGM PARM(&OFFSET &SEASON) DCL VAR(&HOUR) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(2) DCL VAR(&HOURNUM) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(2 0) DCL VAR(&OFFSET) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(5) DCL VAR(&SEASON) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(1) RTVSYSVAL SYSVAL(QHOUR) RTNVAR(&HOUR) CHGVAR VAR(&HOURNUM) VALUE(&HOUR) IF COND(&SEASON *EQ 'F') THEN(CHGVAR VAR(&HOURNUM) + VALUE(&HOURNUM - 1)) IF COND(&SEASON *EQ 'S') THEN(CHGVAR VAR(&HOURNUM) + VALUE(&HOURNUM + 1)) CHGVAR VAR(&HOUR) VALUE(&HOURNUM) CHANGE: + CHGSYSVAL SYSVAL(QUTCOFFSET) VALUE(&OFFSET) CHGSYSVAL SYSVAL(QHOUR) VALUE(&HOUR) CALL001: + CALL PGM(DST001CL) END: + ENDPGM 
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    • Key takeaways from the AS/400 days

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

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

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

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

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

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

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

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

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

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

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

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

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

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

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

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

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

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

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

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

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