Sidebar

EVIs Rapid Response Unit

System Administration
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

With Version 4 Release 3 of OS/400, IBM announced the availability of Encoded Vector Indexes (EVIs). EVIs are a new kind of index. They may sound like some kind of arcane database feature that only a database administrator could love, but they make network administrators happy, as well, by improving user response time.

All relational database management systems (RDBMSs) have some form of B-tree radix indexes. These indexes are, essentially, tree structures that provide very fast retrieval for a small number of rows. Radix indexes were developed years ago when online transaction processing (OLTP) applications were the only thing running on most production systems, and they are well suited to situations in which a fairly simple request results in one or two rows being retrieved from a table.

But with business intelligence, users are running more-complex queries. These queries sometimes retrieve large result sets, and—more importantly—the users are allowed to define ad hoc queries and run them dynamically. The majority of these users are using workstation tools and accessing the data through the network via connectivity protocols such as ODBC. Increasingly, these users are using Web-based data access tools. No matter how they’re issuing the requests, the result is a bottleneck in the database. This is completely transparent to the users; all they see is that response time is slow.

For many types of queries, EVIs can significantly reduce the database bottleneck, thus improving overall response time. Although it is not necessary for network administrators to understand the structure and intricacies of EVIs, it is important that they understand why EVIs improve database performance and recognize the situations in which they will be most useful. This article will provide some background on indexing technologies and provide examples of when and how EVIs help improve performance.

Radix Indexes

Although radix indexes are effective for static queries, they become less effective for ad hoc queries. In a static, or compiled, query, the database administrator already knows all the elements of the query in advance and can create the perfect index to support the query. But in an ad hoc environment, the user is allowed to select the elements of the query at will. In a datamart, for example, the database administrator might know that the user will always select store number and date, but, beyond that, the user might be able to choose from a


broad spectrum of elements, such as revenue, profit, inventory, or item. Given the user’s possible choices, it becomes impossible to define the perfect radix index in advance of the query.

Experts throughout the RDBMS industry have recognized this problem, and various vendors have proposed solutions that can be referred to collectively as bitmapped indexes. The basic concept behind a bitmapped index is that the database generates an array of bits in which each bit represents a row in the table. If the bit is on, the row contains the desired value. So, for example, if you have a customer table and you define a bitmapped index over a column called State that contains each state in the United States, an industry- generic bitmapped index will generate 50 bitmaps. If a user creates a query that includes the predicate where state=“california,” the RDBMS will retrieve the bitmap for California and quickly locate the rows that match the query.

The good news about this kind of index is that, in addition to fast retrieval, bitmaps can be combined using Boolean algebra to further increase ad hoc access. For example, say the database contained bitmapped indexes for the columns State and Month and a user’s query contained the statement where state=“california” and month=“march”.

The RDBMS could “and” the two bitmaps together to create a bitmap in which each set bit represented the combination of the two predicates. In an ad hoc environment, this becomes an extremely powerful tool for supporting users.

The bad news about the generic industry solution is that, since the RDBMS generates a bitmap for each unique value, bitmaps become an ungainly solution for large tables. First, consider the scenario in which you build a bitmap over a column called Gender, which will have two unique values (M and F). The database will build two bitmaps; each bitmap will have one bit for every row in the table. Each time a row is added to the customer table, both bitmaps are rebuilt. When the customer table contains 100,000 rows, this bitmapped index will not be too large or too difficult to maintain.

Now, consider the scenario in which you have thousands of unique values and millions of rows; the bitmapped index quickly becomes huge, and maintaining it becomes costly. Imagine building and maintaining a bitmapped index over a column called Cust_Num when there are 1 million customers, each with a unique customer number! The index would contain 1 million bitmaps, each with a million bits. Because of this scenario, most RDBMS vendors recommend bitmapped indexes only for small tables and columns with a low number of unique values.

EVI to the Rescue!

Aware of the inherent problems with bitmapped indexes, IBM Research developed EVIs, which store information about bitmaps rather than the bitmaps themselves. When a query requires a bitmap, DB2 UDB for AS/400 uses the EVI to generate a dynamic bitmap. Like the generic industry bitmaps, these dynamic bitmaps are used to retrieve rows from the database and can be combined through the Boolean functions and and or to produce a bitmap that perfectly matches the user’s request.

Because of the way EVIs are stored internally, their use is far broader than that of a generic bitmapped index. Because DB2 UDB for AS/400 does not have to maintain a bitmap for each unique value, EVIs are a powerful tool for very large tables. And improving performance for very large tables is exactly why network administrators will love EVIs as much as database administrators will. But, not knowing the intricate details of how a database optimizer works, these network administrators may want to know how EVIs improve performance. The simple answer is this: EVIs reduce the number of rows that the database must access. Of course, the simple answer requires more explanation.

As stated previously, the best way for a database to fetch a few rows for a given query is to build an index over the columns used in the query. But when a few rows become a lot of rows, the performance of a radix index begins to fall. Without EVIs, the only option is what database administrators call a full table scan. This is the process


whereby the database must access every row in the table and check to see if it meets the query’s criteria.

A full table scan is not a problem for small tables, but for large tables—say, hundreds of millions of rows—a full table scan becomes a tremendously large, time- consuming task. Even on the AS/400, where parallel I/O and symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) work in concert to deliver some of the fastest table scans in the industry, full table scans can drag down the performance of a query.

Without EVIs, a database optimizer must choose between a radix index and a full table scan. If there is no radix index to match the query, the database has no choice but to use a full table scan. EVIs provide a third solution: The optimizer can combine several EVIs to create a dynamic bitmap that tells the system exactly which rows to retrieve and which rows to skip. This kind of data retrieval is called skip sequential processing. It uses the power of the AS/400’s parallel I/O subsystem while avoiding the need to access every row in the table.

Performance Testing EVIs

To verify the viability of EVIs, the AS/400 Teraplex Integration Center, a customer testing facility dedicated to high-end business intelligence, set up a test that exercised the three major data access methods: radix indexes, EVIs, and full table scans. At the outset, the hypothesis was that the database would use EVIs and skip sequential processing when an intermediate percentage of rows were being returned. Figure 1 describes how experimenters thought EVIs would be used, relative to other data access methods. As the chart shows, researchers expected that, even when EVIs were available, the database would continue to use a radix index when a small percentage of rows were being retrieved. They also expected to see full table scans used for a large percentage of returned rows.

The purpose of the test was to quantify, at least for one query, where and when the database would stop using one access method and begin using another. To do this, the Teraplex Center researchers created a 512 GB, 2.1 billion-row table representing a distribution business. Figure 2 shows how they defined the query. With the query defined, the team could then build the “perfect” radix index and a set of EVIs that would match the query. The perfect radix index, which is an index built specifically for the query at hand, was built over the columns Year, ReturnFlag, Shipmode, and CustKey because these were the columns used to select which rows would be retrieved. In addition, the team built single-column EVIs over the same set of columns. That is, it defined indexes in the following way:

CREATE ENCODED VECTOR INDEX STARDB/YEAREVI +
ON STARDB/ITEMFACT (YEAR) +
WITH 333000 DISTINCT VALUES

Similar indexes were created for the other columns. By changing the value of the variable custkey_value in the query, the number of rows returned could be controlled. In the first iteration, 152 rows were returned. The value of custkey_value was systematically increased with each run of the query until all 2.1 billion rows were returned. The table in Figure 3 describes the results.

The results follow the general pattern described in Figure 1. However, the Teraplex team learned a couple of important points from this test. For one, when 0.05 to 25 percent of the rows were retrieved, DB2 UDB for AS/400 chose to use a radix index and skip sequential processing. The database has had this capability since V4R2, and the Teraplex team has seen it used effectively many times. In this case, it was not expecting to see this combination of index and access method used more often than a radix index with key row positioning. These results are a testament to the effectiveness of skip sequential processing.

Second, the system consistently used no more than three EVIs for any query, even though seven EVIs were defined over the table. The optimizer analyzes the cost of using all


the EVIs, and, in this case, it determined that using three of the seven EVIs provided the most efficient access to the required rows.

Finally, the full table scan was not used until 63 percent of the rows were returned. Without EVIs, the optimizer will often choose a full table scan when 20 percent of the rows are returned. On AS/400s with large memory configurations, like the ones in the Teraplex Center, a full table scan may be used when as few as 10 percent of the rows are returned because the system can preload data into memory in parallel.

Although full table scans are very efficient for a high percentage of returned rows, it’s important to understand the cost of using them for all queries. The Teraplex Center team took the same query described in Figure 1 and ran it three different ways, returning 152 rows each time. First, it ran the query with no indexes present, forcing the system to use a full table scan. Then, it ran the query with the seven EVIs defined over the table. Finally, it dropped all the EVIs and ran the query with only a radix index present. Figure 4 illustrates the results of these tests. As expected, with such a small number of rows returned, a radix index was still the most efficient method for processing this query. But more important than that is the dramatic difference between using an EVI and using a full table scan. The full table scan is much slower than an EVI.

The Results Speak for Themselves

The results of the Teraplex tests illustrate the power of EVIs in an ad hoc query environment. These users demand performance, and EVIs are another tool for meeting the performance demand.

Response Time/ System Resources

Skip sequential with EVIs and dynamic bitmaps

Sequential full table scan Few Many Number of rows accessed

Keyed with "perfect" rapid index

Figure 1: This graph shows how experimenters thought EVIs would be used relative to other data access methods.

SELECT CUSTKEY, LINENUMBER
FROM ITEM_FACT
WHERE YEAR = 1998
AND RETURNFLAG = "R"
AND SHIPMODE = "AIR"
AND CUSTKEY <= custkey_value


Figure 2: The experimenters defined the query for the test with this SQL statement.

Percent Rows Returned Index Used for Access Access Method

rows < 0.05 Radix Key Row Positioning
0.05 < rows < 25 Radix Skip Sequential 25 < rows < 63 3 EVIs Skip Sequential rows > 63 none Full Table Scan The table was 512 GB and contained 2.1 billion rows. The test was run on a model 740, 12-way system with 40 GB of memory. These results are particular to a given query on a given configuration. Your results will vary.

Figure 3: This table describes the results after all 2.1 billion rows were returned.

Time

(in minutes)

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

49.43

Full Table Scan EVIs Perfect Index

3.98 0.33

Figure 4: The team also analyzed the time costs of using just one access method for all queries.


With Version 4 Release 3 of OS/400, IBM announced the availability of Encoded Vector Indexes (EVIs). EVIs are a new kind of index. They may sound like some kind of arcane database feature that only a database administrator could love, but they make network administrators happy, as well, by improving user response time.

All relational database management systems (RDBMSs) have some form of B-tree radix indexes. These indexes are, essentially, tree structures that provide very fast retrieval for a small number of rows. Radix indexes were developed years ago when online transaction processing (OLTP) applications were the only thing running on most production systems, and they are well suited to situations in which a fairly simple request results in one or two rows being retrieved from a table.

But with business intelligence, users are running more-complex queries. These queries sometimes retrieve large result sets, and—more importantly—the users are allowed to define ad hoc queries and run them dynamically. The majority of these users are using workstation tools and accessing the data through the network via connectivity protocols such as ODBC. Increasingly, these users are using Web-based data access tools. No matter how they’re issuing the requests, the result is a bottleneck in the database. This is completely transparent to the users; all they see is that response time is slow.

For many types of queries, EVIs can significantly reduce the database bottleneck, thus improving overall response time. Although it is not necessary for network administrators to understand the structure and intricacies of EVIs, it is important that they understand why EVIs improve database performance and recognize the situations in which they will be most useful. This article will provide some background on indexing technologies and provide examples of when and how EVIs help improve performance.

Radix Indexes

Although radix indexes are effective for static queries, they become less effective for ad hoc queries. In a static, or compiled, query, the database administrator already knows all the elements of the query in advance and can create the perfect index to support the query. But in an ad hoc environment, the user is allowed to select the elements of the query at will. In a datamart, for example, the database administrator might know that the user will always select store number and date, but, beyond that, the user might be able to choose from a


broad spectrum of elements, such as revenue, profit, inventory, or item. Given the user’s possible choices, it becomes impossible to define the perfect radix index in advance of the query.

Experts throughout the RDBMS industry have recognized this problem, and various vendors have proposed solutions that can be referred to collectively as bitmapped indexes. The basic concept behind a bitmapped index is that the database generates an array of bits in which each bit represents a row in the table. If the bit is on, the row contains the desired value. So, for example, if you have a customer table and you define a bitmapped index over a column called State that contains each state in the United States, an industry- generic bitmapped index will generate 50 bitmaps. If a user creates a query that includes the predicate where state=“california,” the RDBMS will retrieve the bitmap for California and quickly locate the rows that match the query.

The good news about this kind of index is that, in addition to fast retrieval, bitmaps can be combined using Boolean algebra to further increase ad hoc access. For example, say the database contained bitmapped indexes for the columns State and Month and a user’s query contained the statement where state=“california” and month=“march”.

The RDBMS could “and” the two bitmaps together to create a bitmap in which each set bit represented the combination of the two predicates. In an ad hoc environment, this becomes an extremely powerful tool for supporting users.

The bad news about the generic industry solution is that, since the RDBMS generates a bitmap for each unique value, bitmaps become an ungainly solution for large tables. First, consider the scenario in which you build a bitmap over a column called Gender, which will have two unique values (M and F). The database will build two bitmaps; each bitmap will have one bit for every row in the table. Each time a row is added to the customer table, both bitmaps are rebuilt. When the customer table contains 100,000 rows, this bitmapped index will not be too large or too difficult to maintain.

Now, consider the scenario in which you have thousands of unique values and millions of rows; the bitmapped index quickly becomes huge, and maintaining it becomes costly. Imagine building and maintaining a bitmapped index over a column called Cust_Num when there are 1 million customers, each with a unique customer number! The index would contain 1 million bitmaps, each with a million bits. Because of this scenario, most RDBMS vendors recommend bitmapped indexes only for small tables and columns with a low number of unique values.

EVI to the Rescue!

Aware of the inherent problems with bitmapped indexes, IBM Research developed EVIs, which store information about bitmaps rather than the bitmaps themselves. When a query requires a bitmap, DB2 UDB for AS/400 uses the EVI to generate a dynamic bitmap. Like the generic industry bitmaps, these dynamic bitmaps are used to retrieve rows from the database and can be combined through the Boolean functions and and or to produce a bitmap that perfectly matches the user’s request.

Because of the way EVIs are stored internally, their use is far broader than that of a generic bitmapped index. Because DB2 UDB for AS/400 does not have to maintain a bitmap for each unique value, EVIs are a powerful tool for very large tables. And improving performance for very large tables is exactly why network administrators will love EVIs as much as database administrators will. But, not knowing the intricate details of how a database optimizer works, these network administrators may want to know how EVIs improve performance. The simple answer is this: EVIs reduce the number of rows that the database must access. Of course, the simple answer requires more explanation.

As stated previously, the best way for a database to fetch a few rows for a given query is to build an index over the columns used in the query. But when a few rows become a lot of rows, the performance of a radix index begins to fall. Without EVIs, the only option is what database administrators call a full table scan. This is the process


whereby the database must access every row in the table and check to see if it meets the query’s criteria.

A full table scan is not a problem for small tables, but for large tables—say, hundreds of millions of rows—a full table scan becomes a tremendously large, time- consuming task. Even on the AS/400, where parallel I/O and symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) work in concert to deliver some of the fastest table scans in the industry, full table scans can drag down the performance of a query.

Without EVIs, a database optimizer must choose between a radix index and a full table scan. If there is no radix index to match the query, the database has no choice but to use a full table scan. EVIs provide a third solution: The optimizer can combine several EVIs to create a dynamic bitmap that tells the system exactly which rows to retrieve and which rows to skip. This kind of data retrieval is called skip sequential processing. It uses the power of the AS/400’s parallel I/O subsystem while avoiding the need to access every row in the table.

Performance Testing EVIs

To verify the viability of EVIs, the AS/400 Teraplex Integration Center, a customer testing facility dedicated to high-end business intelligence, set up a test that exercised the three major data access methods: radix indexes, EVIs, and full table scans. At the outset, the hypothesis was that the database would use EVIs and skip sequential processing when an intermediate percentage of rows were being returned. Figure 1 describes how experimenters thought EVIs would be used, relative to other data access methods. As the chart shows, researchers expected that, even when EVIs were available, the database would continue to use a radix index when a small percentage of rows were being retrieved. They also expected to see full table scans used for a large percentage of returned rows.

The purpose of the test was to quantify, at least for one query, where and when the database would stop using one access method and begin using another. To do this, the Teraplex Center researchers created a 512 GB, 2.1 billion-row table representing a distribution business. Figure 2 shows how they defined the query. With the query defined, the team could then build the “perfect” radix index and a set of EVIs that would match the query. The perfect radix index, which is an index built specifically for the query at hand, was built over the columns Year, ReturnFlag, Shipmode, and CustKey because these were the columns used to select which rows would be retrieved. In addition, the team built single-column EVIs over the same set of columns. That is, it defined indexes in the following way:

CREATE ENCODED VECTOR INDEX STARDB/YEAREVI +
ON STARDB/ITEMFACT (YEAR) +
WITH 333000 DISTINCT VALUES

Similar indexes were created for the other columns. By changing the value of the variable custkey_value in the query, the number of rows returned could be controlled. In the first iteration, 152 rows were returned. The value of custkey_value was systematically increased with each run of the query until all 2.1 billion rows were returned. The table in Figure 3 describes the results.

The results follow the general pattern described in Figure 1. However, the Teraplex team learned a couple of important points from this test. For one, when 0.05 to 25 percent of the rows were retrieved, DB2 UDB for AS/400 chose to use a radix index and skip sequential processing. The database has had this capability since V4R2, and the Teraplex team has seen it used effectively many times. In this case, it was not expecting to see this combination of index and access method used more often than a radix index with key row positioning. These results are a testament to the effectiveness of skip sequential processing.

Second, the system consistently used no more than three EVIs for any query, even though seven EVIs were defined over the table. The optimizer analyzes the cost of using all


the EVIs, and, in this case, it determined that using three of the seven EVIs provided the most efficient access to the required rows.

Finally, the full table scan was not used until 63 percent of the rows were returned. Without EVIs, the optimizer will often choose a full table scan when 20 percent of the rows are returned. On AS/400s with large memory configurations, like the ones in the Teraplex Center, a full table scan may be used when as few as 10 percent of the rows are returned because the system can preload data into memory in parallel.

Although full table scans are very efficient for a high percentage of returned rows, it’s important to understand the cost of using them for all queries. The Teraplex Center team took the same query described in Figure 1 and ran it three different ways, returning 152 rows each time. First, it ran the query with no indexes present, forcing the system to use a full table scan. Then, it ran the query with the seven EVIs defined over the table. Finally, it dropped all the EVIs and ran the query with only a radix index present. Figure 4 illustrates the results of these tests. As expected, with such a small number of rows returned, a radix index was still the most efficient method for processing this query. But more important than that is the dramatic difference between using an EVI and using a full table scan. The full table scan is much slower than an EVI.

The Results Speak for Themselves

The results of the Teraplex tests illustrate the power of EVIs in an ad hoc query environment. These users demand performance, and EVIs are another tool for meeting the performance demand.

Response Time/ System Resources

Skip sequential with EVIs and dynamic bitmaps

Sequential full table scan Few Many Number of rows accessed

Keyed with "perfect" rapid index

Figure 1: This graph shows how experimenters thought EVIs would be used relative to other data access methods.

SELECT CUSTKEY, LINENUMBER
FROM ITEM_FACT
WHERE YEAR = 1998
AND RETURNFLAG = "R"
AND SHIPMODE = "AIR"
AND CUSTKEY <= custkey_value


Figure 2: The experimenters defined the query for the test with this SQL statement.

Percent Rows Returned Index Used for Access Access Method

rows < 0.05 Radix Key Row Positioning
0.05 < rows < 25 Radix Skip Sequential 25 < rows < 63 3 EVIs Skip Sequential rows > 63 none Full Table Scan The table was 512 GB and contained 2.1 billion rows. The test was run on a model 740, 12-way system with 40 GB of memory. These results are particular to a given query on a given configuration. Your results will vary.

Figure 3: This table describes the results after all 2.1 billion rows were returned.

Time

(in minutes)

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

49.43

Full Table Scan EVIs Perfect Index

3.98 0.33

Figure 4: The team also analyzed the time costs of using just one access method for all queries.


BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450Mobile computing is rapidly maturing into a solid platform for delivering enterprise applications. Many IBM i shops today are realizing that integrating their IBM i with mobile applications is the fast path to improved business workflows, better customer relations, and more responsive business reporting.

    This ASNA whitepaper takes a look at mobile computing for the IBM i. It discusses the different ways mobile applications may be used within the enterprise and how ASNA products solve the challenges mobile presents. It also presents the case that you already have the mobile programming team your projects need: that team is your existing RPG development team!

    Get your copy today!

  • Automate IBM i Operations using Wireless Devices

    DDL SystemsDownload the technical whitepaper on MANAGING YOUR IBM i WIRELESSLY and (optionally) register to download an absolutely FREE software trail. This whitepaper provides an in-depth review of the native IBM i technology and ACO MONITOR's advanced two-way messaging features to remotely manage your IBM i while in or away from the office. Notify on-duty personnel of system events and remotely respond to complex problems (via your Smartphone) before they become critical-24/7. Problem solved!

    Order your copy here.

  • DR Strategy Guide from Maxava: Brand New Edition - now fully updated to include Cloud!

    SB Maxava PPL 5476PRACTICAL TOOLS TO IMPLEMENT DISASTER RECOVERY IN YOUR IBM i ENVIRONMENT

    CLOUD VS. ON-PREMISE?
    - COMPREHENSIVE CHECKLISTS
    - RISK COST CALCULATIONS
    - BUSINESS CASE FRAMEWORK
    - DR SOLUTIONS OVERVIEW
    - RFP BUILDER
    Download your free copy of DR Strategy Guide for IBM i from Maxava today.

     

  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:
    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    HelpSystems

    This year marks the sixth edition of the popular IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, HelpSystems sets out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. Year over year, the survey has begun to reveal long-term trends that give insight into the future of this trusted technology.

    More than 500 IBM i users from around the globe participated in this year’s survey, and we’re so happy to share the results with you. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

    With so many organizations depending on AIX day to day, ensuring proper security and configuration is critical to ensure the safety of your environment. Don’t let common threats put your critical AIX servers at risk. Avoid simple mistakes and start to build a long-term plan with this AIX Security eCourse. Enroll today to get easy to follow instructions on topics like:

    • Removing extraneous files
    • Patching systems efficiently
    • Setting and validating permissions
    • Managing service considerations
    • Getting overall visibility into your networks

     

  • Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.

    Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    HelpSystemsIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC GenericLet’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    Our panel of IBM i experts—Chuck Losinski, Robin Tatam, Richard Schoen, and Tom Huntington—will outline strategies that allow your company to cope with IBM i skills depletion by adopting these strategies that allow you to get the job done without deep expertise on the OS:
    - Automate IBM i processes
    - Use managed services to help fill the gaps
    - Secure the system against data loss and viruses
    The strategies you discover in this webinar will help you ensure that your system of record—your IBM i—continues to deliver a powerful business advantage, even as staff retires.

     

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by Debbie Saugen. Debbie is an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability, helping IBM i shops build and implement effective business continuity plans.
    In today’s business climate, business continuity is more important than ever. But 83 percent of organizations are not totally confident in their backup strategy.
    During this webinar, Carol and Debbie discuss the importance of a good backup plan, how to ensure you’re backing up your security information, and your options for encrypted back-ups.

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC GenericIn this presentation, Alex Roytman and Liam Allan will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications. Learn how Agile Modernization:
    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

     

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIBM i is known for its security, but this OS could be more vulnerable than you think.
    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Download and watch today!

     

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

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

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

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    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.

     

     

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

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

    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.