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The Check Power Off Schedule (CHKPWRSCD) Utility

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Brief: Loss of power can short-circuit the best of applications, but it can be really frustrating if someone simply forgot to change the power on/off schedule.

The power on/off schedule is one of the many great features added to the AS/400 operating system in recent years, but you probably won't think so if a scheduled automatic power off ever cancels one of your critical applications.

Changing the power on/off schedule to accommodate applications that may be active at the time a power off is scheduled is a very easy thing to forget. The purpose of making functions like this automatic is so we don't have to think about them. The problem with this, of course, is sometimes we do need to think about them. That is where the handy little utility presented here comes in.

The Check Power Off Schedule (CHKPWRSCD) command will allow you to build a reminder into your longer-running, mission-critical applications so users on your system won't forget to change the power off schedule.

Why Would I Need It?

Let's establish a fictitious scenario to illustrate how this utility may come in handy. Your monthly close procedure takes six hours to run. Your AS/400 is scheduled to shut down at 11:30 p.m. Normally, the close is not a problem, because all departments know they have to be off the system at 4:30 p.m. on the day the month is closed. The monthly close is started promptly at 5 p.m. once the system backup is complete. This month, however, the operator is out with a cold. The backup operator knows he has to run the month-end close, but does not begin the procedure until 8 p.m. because he's a little behind. At 11:30 p.m., the system powers off as scheduled, and the monthly close does not complete. At 5:15 a.m. you get a phone call from the morning operator. The order entry programs will not run.

The purpose of the utility presented in this article is simple. It checks the power off schedule, compares it to the estimated completion time of the job and issues a warning if there is not enough time for the job to finish. You can embed this utility in the beginning of any of your longer-running programs and it will serve as an early warning system for potential disaster.

How Does It Work?

The CHKPWRSCD command (see 1) passes the estimated number of hours required to complete the job to the command processing program, PWR001RG (see 2). PWR001RG then calculates the job ending date and time. PWR001RG calls CL program PWR001CL (see 3) for each date within the estimated job duration to determine if a power off has been scheduled within the calculated time frame. If the number of hours (maximum of 99) specified carries the job over to future dates, the program will check the power off schedule of the subsequent dates accordingly.

The CHKPWRSCD command (see Figure 1) passes the estimated number of hours required to complete the job to the command processing program, PWR001RG (see Figure 2). PWR001RG then calculates the job ending date and time. PWR001RG calls CL program PWR001CL (see Figure 3) for each date within the estimated job duration to determine if a power off has been scheduled within the calculated time frame. If the number of hours (maximum of 99) specified carries the job over to future dates, the program will check the power off schedule of the subsequent dates accordingly.

PWR001CL determines this by calling the Retrieve Power Schedule Entry (RTVPWRSCDE) command. The input to the RTVPWRSCDE command is a date (&OFFDATE). If a power off is scheduled for &OFFDATE, the output from RTVPWRSCDE is the power off time (&OFFTIME).

If program PWR001RG determines the power off schedule falls within the estimated program duration, it displays a warning screen through display file PWR001DF (see 4). A message (illustrated in 5) is displayed advising the operator that the power off schedule should be changed. The operator can press F3 to cancel, which places the literal "CANCEL" in the RTNCOD parameter. If the operator presses F13 to ignore the warning, the literal "OVRRDE" is placed in the RTNCOD parameter. When there is no conflict with the power off schedule, the RTNCOD parameter will contain the literal "OK".

If program PWR001RG determines the power off schedule falls within the estimated program duration, it displays a warning screen through display file PWR001DF (see Figure 4). A message (illustrated in Figure 5) is displayed advising the operator that the power off schedule should be changed. The operator can press F3 to cancel, which places the literal "CANCEL" in the RTNCOD parameter. If the operator presses F13 to ignore the warning, the literal "OVRRDE" is placed in the RTNCOD parameter. When there is no conflict with the power off schedule, the RTNCOD parameter will contain the literal "OK".

6 contains a sample CL program (TSTPWRCHK) that illustrates how to use the CHKPWRSCD command and also allows you to test it. To run the test program, call it and pass the number of hours you estimate a job needs to complete. Specify the number of hours as a character value enclosed in single quotes. For example, if you think a job will need three hours to complete, pass the literal '03' in paramter one. If the power off schedule is set to shut down the system within three hours, a warning message similar to the one illustrated in 5 will be displayed.

Figure 6 contains a sample CL program (TSTPWRCHK) that illustrates how to use the CHKPWRSCD command and also allows you to test it. To run the test program, call it and pass the number of hours you estimate a job needs to complete. Specify the number of hours as a character value enclosed in single quotes. For example, if you think a job will need three hours to complete, pass the literal '03' in paramter one. If the power off schedule is set to shut down the system within three hours, a warning message similar to the one illustrated in Figure 5 will be displayed.

Not Just for Interactive Jobs

The example usage of the CHKPWRSCD command in this article is for procedures that begin with an interactive program. When the error condition is encountered, a warning display indicating the problem is sent to the requesting terminal. This program could be adjusted to send a message to the message queue of the end user or system operator instead. If you wish to get fancy, the Retrieve Job Attributes (RTVJOBA) command could be used to retrieve the job type (RTVJOBA parameter TYPE) and determine whether the job was running in an interactive (job type '1') or batch (job type '0') environment and act upon it accordingly. There are two limitations in this utility of which you should be aware:

1. It assumes a date format of MDY. 2. It doesn't handle leap years.

No Apologies Accepted

Employing this utility program may save you from getting that rude early call from the morning operator. You really shouldn't have to endure anything like that until after you've had that first cup of coffee.

Doug Pence is the founder and Ron Hawkins is the research and development manager of Computer Processing Unlimited, Inc. in San Diego, California.


The Check Power Off Schedule (CHKPWRSCD) Utility

Figure 1 The CHKPWRSCD Command

 /*==================================================================*/ /* To compile: */ /* */ /* CRTCMD CMD(XXX/CHKPWRSCD) PGM(XXX/PWR001RG) + */ /* SRCFILE(XXX/QCMDSRC) ALLOW(*BPGM *IPGM + */ /* *BREXX *IREXX) */ /* */ /*==================================================================*/ CHKPWRSCD: CMD PROMPT('Check Power Off Schedule') PARM KWD(RTNCOD) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(6) RTNVAL(*YES) + PROMPT('Return Code:') PARM KWD(HOURS) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(2 0) + PROMPT('Number of hours to + Check for:') 
The Check Power Off Schedule (CHKPWRSCD) Utility

Figure 2 RPG Command Processing Program PWR001RG

 *=============================================================== * To compile: * * CRTRPGPGM PGM(XXX/PWR001RG) SRCFILE(XXX/QRPGSRC) * *=============================================================== *. 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 FPWR001DFCF E WORKSTN * E MAX 12 12 2 0 * I DS I 1 20YY I 3 40MM I 5 60DD I 3 60MMDD ** C *ENTRY PLIST C PARM RTNCOD 6 C PARM HOURS 20 * C MOVEL'OK' RTNCOD P C TIME UTIME 60 C MOVELUTIME UHHMM 40 C HOURS MULT 100 TEST 50 C ADD UHHMM TEST C Z-ADD1 DAYS 20 C TEST DOWGT2400 C ADD 1 DAYS C SUB 2400 TEST C ENDDO * C MOVE UYEAR YY C MOVE UMONTH MM C MOVE UDAY DD * C DO DAYS C ADD 1 CURDAY 20 C MOVELMMDD PWRDAT C MOVE YY PWRDAT C CALL 'PWR001CL' C PARM PWROFF 6 C PARM PWRDAT 6 C PWROFF IFEQ '*NONE' C EXSR INCDAT C ITER C ENDIF C MOVELPWROFF HHMM 40 C MOVELUDATE TODAY 6 C TODAY IFEQ PWRDAT C HHMM ANDLTUHHMM C ITER C ENDIF C DAYS IFEQ CURDAY C TEST IFGT HHMM C MOVE *ON WARNEM 1 C ENDIF C LEAVE C ENDIF C MOVE *ON WARNEM C LEAVE C ENDDO * C WARNEM IFEQ *ON C HHMM IFGE 1200 C MOVE 'PM' OFFAMP 2 C ELSE C MOVE 'AM' OFFAMP C END C HHMM IFGE 1300 C SUB 1200 HHMM C END C HHMM IFLT 0100 C ADD 1200 HHMM C END C MOVELHHMM WORK2A 2 C WORK2A CAT ':':0 OFFTIM C MOVE HHMM WORK2A C OFFTIM CAT WORK2A:0 OFFTIM C OFFTIM CAT OFFAMP:0 OFFTIM C MOVE PWRDAT OFFDAT * C *INKC DOUEQ*ON C *INKM OREQ *ON C EXFMTWARNING C ENDDO C *INKC IFEQ *ON C MOVE 'CANCEL' RTNCOD C ELSE C *INKM IFEQ *ON C MOVE 'OVRRDE' RTNCOD C ENDIF C ENDIF C ENDIF C MOVE *ON *INLR *================================================================ C INCDAT BEGSR *================================================================ C ADD 1 DD C MOVE MAX,MM MMAX 20 C YY DIV 4 CHKLY 20 C MVR REM 10 C MM IFEQ 02 C REM ANDEQ*ZEROS C ADD 1 MMAX C END C DD IFGT MMAX C Z-ADD1 DD C ADD 1 MM C END C MM IFGT 12 C Z-ADD1 MM C ADD 1 YY C END C ENDSR *. 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 ** MAXIMUM # OF DAYS PER EACH MONTH 312831303130313130313031 
The Check Power Off Schedule (CHKPWRSCD) Utility

Figure 3 CL Program PWR001CL

 /*==================================================================*/ /* To compile: */ /* */ /* CRTCLPGM PGM(XXX/PWR001CL) SRCFILE(XXX/QCLSRC) */ /* */ /*==================================================================*/ PWR001CL: PGM PARM(&OFFTIME &OFFDATE) DCL VAR(&OFFTIME) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(6) DCL VAR(&OFFDATE) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(6) RTVPWRSCDE DAY(&OFFDATE) PWROFFTIME(&OFFTIME) ENDPGM: ENDPGM 
The Check Power Off Schedule (CHKPWRSCD) Utility

Figure 4 Display File PWR001DF

 *=============================================================== * To compile: * * CRTDSPF FILE(XXX/PWR001DF) SRCFILE(XXX/QDDSSRC) * *=============================================================== *. 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 A DSPSIZ(24 80 *DS3) A CA03 A CA13 A R WARNING A 1 27'Power Off Schedule Conflict' A DSPATR(HI) A 3 11'Current date is' A 3 27DATE EDTCDE(Y) DSPATR(HI) A 5 11'Current time is' A 5 27TIME DSPATR(HI) A 7 11'The job you are attempting to run - A requires' A HOURS 2Y 0O 7 54DSPATR(HI) A 7 57'hours to run.' A 9 11'WARNING!' A DSPATR(HI) A DSPATR(BL) A 11 11'Your system is currently scheduled- A to shut down at' A OFFTIM 8A O 11 62DSPATR(HI) A 12 11'on' A OFFDAT 6Y 0O 12 14DSPATR(HI) EDTCDE(Y) A 12 23'.' A 12 26'You should change your power off s- A chedule' A 13 11'before proceeding with this proced- A ure.' A 15 11'If you want to continue at your ow- A n risk, you may ignore' A 16 11'the warning by pressing F13.' A 23 2'F3=Exit' COLOR(BLU) A 23 13'F13=Ignore' COLOR(BLU) *. 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 
The Check Power Off Schedule (CHKPWRSCD) Utility

Figure 5 Warning Message Display

 UNABLE TO REPRODUCE GRAPHICS 
The Check Power Off Schedule (CHKPWRSCD) Utility

Figure 6 CL Program TSTPWRCHK (Tests the CHKPWRSCD Command)

 /*==================================================================*/ /* Test Check Power Off Schedule (CHKPWRSCD) command */ /*==================================================================*/ /* To compile: */ /* */ /* CRTCLPGM PGM(XXX/TSTPWRCHK) SRCFILE(XXX/QCLSRC) */ /* */ /*==================================================================*/ TSTPWRCHK: PGM PARM(&CHRTIM) DCL VAR(&RTNCOD) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(6) DCL VAR(&CHRTIM) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(2) DCL VAR(&ESTTIM) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(2 0) CHGVAR VAR(&ESTTIM) VALUE(&CHRTIM) CHKPWRSCD RTNCOD(&RTNCOD) HOURS(&ESTTIM) IF COND(&RTNCOD *EQ 'OK') THEN(GOTO + CMDLBL(START)) ELSE CMD(IF COND(&RTNCOD *EQ 'CANCEL') THEN(GOTO + CMDLBL(ENDPGM))) ELSE CMD(IF COND(&RTNCOD *EQ 'OVRRDE') + THEN(SNDPGMMSG MSGID(CPF9898) + MSGF(QCPFMSG) MSGDTA('You have chosen to + override the warning that there may not + be enough time to run this job') + MSGTYPE(*COMP))) START: /* Job commands would go here */ ENDPGM: ENDPGM 
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    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.