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The Display PTF Client/Server Utility

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Brief: Keeping track of the PTFs on a system is a necessary but time consuming task. Keeping multiple systems at the same PTF level is even more challenging. The Display PTF utility is a client/server application to help make that chore more manageable.

Throughout my career, it has often fallen on me to keep multiple AS/400s at the same PTF level. Reviewing the PTFs for even a single system is not as intuitive as I would like it to be. Licensed programs and their associated PTFs are hierarchical data. The display of the PTF data on the AS/400 screen isn't clearly organized that way. The utility I've written solves this problem.

Developing applications for a client/server Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment gives you the opportunity to greatly enhance an application's ease of use. Therefore, I used the Client Access (PC Support) APIs to access the data and Multiple Document Interface (MDI) to show the data from multiple systems. I used the MSOUTLIN Visual Basic Extension (VBX) to organize the data into the hierarchical format I wanted.

There's Got To Be a Better Way

The OS/400 Display Program Temporary Fix (DSPPTF) command allows you to review the PTFs on the system. The command can show you the PTFs for all licensed programs, but it walks you through the licensed programs in a specific order. I felt I could come up with a better way to review the PTFs.

I wasn't satisfied with any of the text screen solutions I came up with. The data could be represented in a hierarchical format, but with such a long list of PTFs, finding your way through the list to the correct licensed program was difficult. I wanted the user to be able to expand and contract the list of PTFs based on the licensed program.

To compare the PTFs on different systems, you're probably going to resort to printing out the PTF listings and comparing them. You could probably use two terminal emulation sessions under Windows, but the two displays get out of sync when a PTF is listed on one system but not the other. After the screens get out of sync, displaying them side by side serves little purpose. Client/server and GUI gave me a better way to do this.

And There Is

The first part of my solution involves getting to the data. I use the Client Access APIs-specifically the transfer function. Rather than showing the PTF data live, I store it in an outfile and update the outfile at the user's request. Because PTFs are not usually put on the system every day, the data isn't volatile. Updating the outfile can be a long process, but since it doesn't change every day, using an outfile is an acceptable compromise.

I've always thought that Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) was superior in many ways to the Client Access APIs. However, I didn't know that empirically. I've been developing client/server software for quite a while now, and I've always used ODBC. One of the reasons I felt ODBC was better was because of the potential to create code that is independent from the back-end database. I also felt that ODBC was better simply because it is easier to use than the APIs, but I wasn't as sure about that part.

Until now. After writing this utility I'm convinced that using the APIs is a vast sinkhole for programmer time. I could have developed the same utility using ODBC in one tenth the time it took me using the APIs. Many people complain about ODBC's performance, but I've learned that I can write software using ODBC with performance close to that of APIs. But that is a topic for a future article. In this case, I used the Client Access APIs for my utility because I don't have access to an ODBC driver. Certain functions, such as checking to see if the Client Access router is active, can only be written with the APIs, so this utility demonstrates how to use them. (For more information, see "PC Support Windows APIs" in this issue.)

The second part of the solution is how to present the data if a user has multiple AS/400s. MDI lets you do that. The "Multiple Document Interface and Visual Basic" sidebar explains the basics of MDI and how to use it in Visual Basic.

The last part of the solution is the MSOUTLIN VBX, which is a custom control included with the Visual Basic Professional Edition. To understand more about VBXs, look for an upcoming article in Midrange Computing. The MSOUTLIN VBX lets you display groups of indented data and allows you to expand and contract the list to show subordinate items. The control can also display a graphic such as a plus sign to indicate that a group can be expanded.

How to Use the Display PTF Utility

When you double-click on the DSPPTF application icon, different things will happen depending on whether or not Client Access is connected to more than one system. If it is connected to only one system, the utility shows you the PTFs for that system. If Client Access is connected to more than one system, you will see a window like the one shown in 1.

When you double-click on the DSPPTF application icon, different things will happen depending on whether or not Client Access is connected to more than one system. If it is connected to only one system, the utility shows you the PTFs for that system. If Client Access is connected to more than one system, you will see a window like the one shown in Figure 1.

This window shows you a list of all the systems Client Access is attached to. You can use the mouse to click on the system with the PTFs you want to see. After selecting one or more systems, you can click on the Show PTFs button.

At this point, the utility checks to see if a PTF outfile exists on all the systems that you've selected. If an outfile doesn't exist, the program displays a message box like the one shown in 2. Creating the outfile takes a few minutes, so the program gives you the option not to create the outfile right away. If you choose to defer outfile creation, you will not see the MDI child window for that system. Once the outfile exists, the utility retrieves the records and displays the list of PTFs.

At this point, the utility checks to see if a PTF outfile exists on all the systems that you've selected. If an outfile doesn't exist, the program displays a message box like the one shown in Figure 2. Creating the outfile takes a few minutes, so the program gives you the option not to create the outfile right away. If you choose to defer outfile creation, you will not see the MDI child window for that system. Once the outfile exists, the utility retrieves the records and displays the list of PTFs.

3 shows the display for two systems. When you click on a plus sign, the utility expands the list and shows you the PTFs for that licensed program. The plus sign then changes to a minus sign. If you click on a minus sign, the utility collapses the list for that licensed program.

Figure 3 shows the display for two systems. When you click on a plus sign, the utility expands the list and shows you the PTFs for that licensed program. The plus sign then changes to a minus sign. If you click on a minus sign, the utility collapses the list for that licensed program.

The Close button closes the MDI child window for that system. If only one window is open, the Close button closes the entire application. You can also double-click on the control-menu box in the upper left hand corner of the child window. To close the entire application without having to close all the child windows, double-click on the control-menu box in the upper left corner of the MDI parent window.

The Update List button recreates the PTF outfile on the AS/400. Because running the outfile update can take several minutes, the program displays a message box asking you to confirm that you want to run this function. When you click the Yes button on the message box, the program recreates the outfile and updates the display.

The Display PTF Utility

Now I will discuss the code. The next section explains the pertinent parts of the forms and modules in the utility. Not all of the code is included with this article. Only the sections that help you understand what I'm doing are printed. You can download the code in its entirety (including a Windows setup program) from the MC-BBS. 4 details the forms and objects used by this utility and their initial property settings.

Now I will discuss the code. The next section explains the pertinent parts of the forms and modules in the utility. Not all of the code is included with this article. Only the sections that help you understand what I'm doing are printed. You can download the code in its entirety (including a Windows setup program) from the MC-BBS. Figure 4 details the forms and objects used by this utility and their initial property settings.

PTFMDIForm-The Headwaters of the Utility

The PTFMDIForm is the startup form. VB transfers control to this form when you start the application. Specifically, VB will go to the MDIForm_Load event. This form does the testing to see if it is okay to continue with the program. In 5, you can see the declaration section of the form. It has the function declarations for the two Client Access APIs that are used by this form.

The PTFMDIForm is the startup form. VB transfers control to this form when you start the application. Specifically, VB will go to the MDIForm_Load event. This form does the testing to see if it is okay to continue with the program. In Figure 5, you can see the declaration section of the form. It has the function declarations for the two Client Access APIs that are used by this form.

First, the code in this form checks to see if the Client Access router is loaded. You can see the code that performs this check in section A of 6. The code uses the EHNAPPC_IsRouterLoaded API. If the router is not loaded, then nothing in the program will work, so the program ends.

First, the code in this form checks to see if the Client Access router is loaded. You can see the code that performs this check in section A of Figure 6. The code uses the EHNAPPC_IsRouterLoaded API. If the router is not loaded, then nothing in the program will work, so the program ends.

Next, the program puts a list of the Client Access-attached systems into a variable. This code segment uses the EHNAPPC_QuerySystems API (section B in 6). The API returns two values. The first is an integer value that contains the number of systems Client Access is attached to. The second is a string value that contains the names of those systems. If there are no Client Access connections to any system, the program ends.

Next, the program puts a list of the Client Access-attached systems into a variable. This code segment uses the EHNAPPC_QuerySystems API (section B in Figure 6). The API returns two values. The first is an integer value that contains the number of systems Client Access is attached to. The second is a string value that contains the names of those systems. If there are no Client Access connections to any system, the program ends.

When you are connected to only one system, the utility works a little differently than when you are connected to more than one system (section C in 6). When you are attached to one system, the program executes the code starting at section D in 6. First, the program checks to see if the PTF outfile exists by running the PTFOutfileExist function (section E in 6). This code uses the EHNSR_SubmitCommand API. The program runs the Check Object (CHKOBJ) command to see if the file MCPTFLIST in the library QGPL exists. If the file is not found, an error message (CPF9801) is returned, which tells the utility that the outfile doesn't exist. The program then displays a message box asking if the user wants to create the outfile.

When you are connected to only one system, the utility works a little differently than when you are connected to more than one system (section C in Figure 6). When you are attached to one system, the program executes the code starting at section D in Figure 6. First, the program checks to see if the PTF outfile exists by running the PTFOutfileExist function (section E in Figure 6). This code uses the EHNSR_SubmitCommand API. The program runs the Check Object (CHKOBJ) command to see if the file MCPTFLIST in the library QGPL exists. If the file is not found, an error message (CPF9801) is returned, which tells the utility that the outfile doesn't exist. The program then displays a message box asking if the user wants to create the outfile.

If the user clicks the Yes button to create the outfile, the program runs the CreateOutfile function (section F in 6). This code uses the EHNSR_SubmitCommand API. The command run by the program is the Display Program Temporary Fix (DSPPTF) command to the outfile MCPTFLIST in QGPL. Then the program uses the EHNSR_StopConversation API to end the conversation started by the SubmitCommand API (section G in 6).

If the user clicks the Yes button to create the outfile, the program runs the CreateOutfile function (section F in Figure 6). This code uses the EHNSR_SubmitCommand API. The command run by the program is the Display Program Temporary Fix (DSPPTF) command to the outfile MCPTFLIST in QGPL. Then the program uses the EHNSR_StopConversation API to end the conversation started by the SubmitCommand API (section G in Figure 6).

If you click the No button to indicate that you don't want the outfile created at this time, the program ends. Because Client Access is attached to only one system, and no outfile exists, there is no point in continuing the program.

At this point in the code, you will see a statement setting the Tag property of a PTFChildren array to 1. PTFChildren is called a form array.

I created a form called PTF_List. For each attached system, the program uses a new instance of that form using the form array PTFChildren. Setting the property of a form instance that isn't loaded implicitly loads and shows the form. The program sets the Tag property to 1 which shows that form instance (section H in 6).

I created a form called PTF_List. For each attached system, the program uses a new instance of that form using the form array PTFChildren. Setting the property of a form instance that isn't loaded implicitly loads and shows the form. The program sets the Tag property to 1 which shows that form instance (section H in Figure 6).

Back at code section C in 6, the program branches based on whether Client Access is attached to more than one system. If it is, the program shows a form called SysList modal. Showing a form modal requires that users close the form before they continue to use other forms in the application. According to that definition, I didn't need to use a modal form, but I used it anyway because it made the window behave the way I wanted it to. The result is that the SysList form is shown by itself. If I had shown this form modeless, it would have displayed with the PTFMDIForm.

Back at code section C in Figure 6, the program branches based on whether Client Access is attached to more than one system. If it is, the program shows a form called SysList modal. Showing a form modal requires that users close the form before they continue to use other forms in the application. According to that definition, I didn't need to use a modal form, but I used it anyway because it made the window behave the way I wanted it to. The result is that the SysList form is shown by itself. If I had shown this form modeless, it would have displayed with the PTFMDIForm.

The last code run under the PTF-MDIForm before it is shown uses the arrange method to tile the MDI child windows vertically. This method sizes all of the MDI child windows so that their combined size fills the MDI parent's client area.

SysList Form-Coffee, Tea, or S1034786

The SysList form shows a list of the Client Access-attached systems. In the Form_Load event, the code loads the list box with the names of all the systems (section I in 7). At the start of the program, the program loads the names of all Client Access-attached systems into the global string gsSysNames. The code loops through that string, and the name of the next system is at each 10-byte offset.

The SysList form shows a list of the Client Access-attached systems. In the Form_Load event, the code loads the list box with the names of all the systems (section I in Figure 7). At the start of the program, the program loads the names of all Client Access-attached systems into the global string gsSysNames. The code loops through that string, and the name of the next system is at each 10-byte offset.

Section J in 8 shows the code that runs every time a user clicks on an element in the list box. This section tests to see if there are any selected items in the list box. Clicking on an item in the list box toggles the item between selected and not selected. If any selected items are in the list box, the program enables the cmdShowPTFs button. Having the button disabled until an item is selected from the list box keeps the code in the button's Click event from executing until at least one system is selected.

Section J in Figure 8 shows the code that runs every time a user clicks on an element in the list box. This section tests to see if there are any selected items in the list box. Clicking on an item in the list box toggles the item between selected and not selected. If any selected items are in the list box, the program enables the cmdShowPTFs button. Having the button disabled until an item is selected from the list box keeps the code in the button's Click event from executing until at least one system is selected.

When the user clicks on the Show PTFs button, the program loops through all the items in the list box. The program counts how many systems are selected, and the form array PTFChildren is redimensioned to the correct number of form instances (section K in 9).

When the user clicks on the Show PTFs button, the program loops through all the items in the list box. The program counts how many systems are selected, and the form array PTFChildren is redimensioned to the correct number of form instances (section K in Figure 9).

The program then loops through the list of systems in the list box. For each selected system, the program checks to see if the outfile exists using the PTFOutfileExist function (section L in 9). If the outfile doesn't exist, the program shows a message box asking the user if he wants it created now. If the user clicks the Yes button, the program creates the outfile (section M in 9).

The program then loops through the list of systems in the list box. For each selected system, the program checks to see if the outfile exists using the PTFOutfileExist function (section L in Figure 9). If the outfile doesn't exist, the program shows a message box asking the user if he wants it created now. If the user clicks the Yes button, the program creates the outfile (section M in Figure 9).

If the user clicks the No button, or if there is some other problem, the program sets the FormDeleted array element equal to True. The program uses this array to keep track of deleted form instances. Setting the FormDeleted element to True later causes the program not to display the form. This approach is a fairly common way to keep track of form instances. It allows you to conserve memory by writing code to reuse "deleted" form instances instead of creating new ones.

At code section N in 9, the program implicitly loads and shows the form instance by setting the Tag property. The value of the Tag property is the index of the element (or instance) of the form array. The program loops through this code until all appropriate MDI child windows are created.

At code section N in Figure 9, the program implicitly loads and shows the form instance by setting the Tag property. The value of the Tag property is the index of the element (or instance) of the form array. The program loops through this code until all appropriate MDI child windows are created.

PTF_List MDI Child Window-A PTF List Even I Can Understand

Once the program implicitly loads the form instance, it transfers execution to the Form_Load event of the PTF_List window instance. The first thing it does is try to open the PTF outfile (section O in 10).

Once the program implicitly loads the form instance, it transfers execution to the Form_Load event of the PTF_List window instance. The first thing it does is try to open the PTF outfile (section O in Figure 10).

The OpenPTFFile function uses the EHNTF_STF API (section P in 11). This API works a little differently than most others. The API has many functions built into it. Instead of calling different APIs for each function, you pass this API an integer value that tells the API what you want it to do. For the specific details of all the APIs used in this utility, see the PC Support/400 API Reference.

The OpenPTFFile function uses the EHNTF_STF API (section P in Figure 11). This API works a little differently than most others. The API has many functions built into it. Instead of calling different APIs for each function, you pass this API an integer value that tells the API what you want it to do. For the specific details of all the APIs used in this utility, see the PC Support/400 API Reference.

In this case, the program passes the API a transfer request 1, which says that the program wants to open a transfer request. The API then runs an SQL statement, but doesn't return any records, just a return code. Later the program will use the API with a different transfer request that says it wants to get a record returned by the SQL statement.

If there is a problem opening the PTF file, the return code will not be zero. If the return code is non-zero, the PTF file is closed and the MDI child window for this system will not be displayed.

The LoadOutline subroutine loops until it gets a non-zero return code. The program calls the GetPTFRecord function. The program uses the EHNTF_STF API with a transfer function code of 3. The API returns a single record into a buffer. This buffer is outside the memory accessible from Visual Basic, so you need to use another API to get to the data.

To copy the data to a Visual Basic variable, the program uses the EHNDT_MemCopy API (section Q in 12). This API is contained within the PCSMCPY.DLL Dynamic Link Library (DLL) which IBM supplies as part of QIWSTOOL. If you download the code for the PTF utility from MC-BBS, the PCSMCPY.DLL file is included and will be installed by the setup program. The MemCopy API copies the record to a string; then the program uses string functions to get the actual field values based on the known lengths of the fields.

To copy the data to a Visual Basic variable, the program uses the EHNDT_MemCopy API (section Q in Figure 12). This API is contained within the PCSMCPY.DLL Dynamic Link Library (DLL) which IBM supplies as part of QIWSTOOL. If you download the code for the PTF utility from MC-BBS, the PCSMCPY.DLL file is included and will be installed by the setup program. The MemCopy API copies the record to a string; then the program uses string functions to get the actual field values based on the known lengths of the fields.

If the program didn't get an error getting the PTF record, it converts the code for the status of the PTF to a text description (section R in 13). The outfile has a text description of the status, but I couldn't find a way to shorten the description to the length I needed and still have it be meaningful. So I decided to have the program convert the code to a text description.

If the program didn't get an error getting the PTF record, it converts the code for the status of the PTF to a text description (section R in Figure 13). The outfile has a text description of the status, but I couldn't find a way to shorten the description to the length I needed and still have it be meaningful. So I decided to have the program convert the code to a text description.

After the PTF status code is converted to text, the program is ready to add the data to the outline in the LoadOutine subroutine using the AddItem method. For the outline control, you also need to specify the indent level.

The program uses the variable sSaveLicPgm to handle a level break situation for licensed programs. When the program reads a PTF record for a new licensed program, it adds an item to the outline at indent level 1 for the licensed program. Then the program adds the PTF item to the outline at indent level 2 (section S in 14). Return code 8191 indicates the end of file, and the program exits the LoadOutline subroutine.

The program uses the variable sSaveLicPgm to handle a level break situation for licensed programs. When the program reads a PTF record for a new licensed program, it adds an item to the outline at indent level 1 for the licensed program. Then the program adds the PTF item to the outline at indent level 2 (section S in Figure 14). Return code 8191 indicates the end of file, and the program exits the LoadOutline subroutine.

The program then uses the ClosePTFFile function. The code again uses the EHNTF_STF API. It uses transfer function 5 (section T in 15). At this point, you are ready to show the outline.

The program then uses the ClosePTFFile function. The code again uses the EHNTF_STF API. It uses transfer function 5 (section T in Figure 15). At this point, you are ready to show the outline.

A button on the MDI child window is labeled "Update List." This button gives the user a way to update the outfile on the system. It can take a while to run the update of the outfile, so instead of making the data live (updating the outfile every time the program runs), I used this button. The code for the button is in the cmdUpdate_Click event.

Because this can be a long-running function, the program displays a message box to confirm that the user really wants to do this. If the user presses the Yes button, the program clears the outline using the Clear method (section U in 16-page 46). Then the program runs the CreateOutfile function. After that, the program runs the OpenPTFFile, LoadOutline, and ClosePTFFile functions just like in the Form_Load event.

Because this can be a long-running function, the program displays a message box to confirm that the user really wants to do this. If the user presses the Yes button, the program clears the outline using the Clear method (section U in Figure 16-page 46). Then the program runs the CreateOutfile function. After that, the program runs the OpenPTFFile, LoadOutline, and ClosePTFFile functions just like in the Form_Load event.

Future Enhancements

This utility could be improved in many ways. You could display the descriptions for the licensed programs instead of their code. You could add a menu item to let you display the PTFs for additional systems after the initial selection. What you choose to do at this point is up to you. My hope is that you can see how some of the decisions are made in client/server design, and that you will walk through the code to see how they are implemented. In doing so, you will see some of the issues involved in designing applications using an event-driven language and issues involving database access. From there, you can create your own client/server success stories.

Jim Hoopes is a senior technical editor for Midrange Computing.

REFERENCE PC Support/400 API Reference (SC41-8254, CD-ROM QBKA6102).


The Display PTF Client/Server Utility

Figure 1 The Select Systems Window

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The Display PTF Client/Server Utility

Figure 2 The PTF Outfile Creation Confirmation Message Box

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The Display PTF Client/Server Utility

Figure 3 The PTF Display

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The Display PTF Client/Server Utility

Figure 4 Forms Controls and Their Properties

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The Display PTF Client/Server Utility

Figure 5 Figures 5 - 16

 All components for this utility are contained in the self-extracting file: DSPPTPKG.EXE This file can be found in the download area of the MC-BBS. 
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  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

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    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Download and watch today!

     

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

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

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

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

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

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

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

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

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

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

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

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

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

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

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

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

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

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

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

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

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

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

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

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

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

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

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

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

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

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

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

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

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

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

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

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

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

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

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

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    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

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

    Request your trial now!

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

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

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

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

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

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

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

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

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

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

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