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TechTip: Analyze Your Programs and Applications, Part I

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In the first of this series of TechTips, find information about each object in each library.

 

Recently, a friend called me for help. His boss asked him two questions:

  • How much lost or forgotten old RPG or CL do we have?
  • What is the status of the "general review of all the ILE programs" project?

 

He added, "I don't want a bullet-point listing. If you can give me a report in Excel in a normal table with normal filters, such as used by normal users every day, that would be better."

 

Uh oh! Something has changed. It's true that the spools are out of favor these days, even the spools copied into an Excel or PDF file.

 

And of course, the boss didn't want to invest in software for analyzing cross-references. "With all the commands in the OS, there is at least one that gives this info, isn't there?" Unfortunately, my friend's boss had forgotten what command was needed to do the job.

 

"Umm, yes, boss. No doubt, boss."

 

Dear friend, it is the Display Object Description (DSPOBJD) command.

 

The IBM i provides much information about each object in each library. And this command can be used on both the objects manufactured in-house and the objects of purchased software packages. Yep, you can easily find out whether your supplier's management of internal development is perfectly logical or as whimsical as what might have been created in-house.

 

Here's proof. In order to not offend anyone (yet still get my point across), I will demonstrate this on my own toolbox. I have added one old CLP and one old RPG to it for the purpose of this article; otherwise, I cannot show how to locate heritage programs.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig1

Figure 1: Use the DSPOBJD command. (Click images to enlarge.)

 

DSPOBJD OBJ(JPLTOOLS/*ALL) OBJTYPE(*ALL) DETAIL(*SERVICE)

  OUTPUT(*OUTFILE) OUTFILE(JPLTOOLS/OBJS) OUTMBR(*FIRST *REPLACE)

 

If the analysis must include multiple libraries, use the option below to make as many DSPOBJDs as needed by making all DSPOBJDs append to the same file:

 

 OUTMBR (*FIRST *ADD)

 

Unfortunately, DSPOBJD typically provides too much information. For building extractions, STRSQL is a bit overwhelmed by the width of the file. I used iNav Sql instead (Run SQL Scripts from IBM i Navigator).

 

To make access more rapid, add a shortcut to iNav Sql on your desktop:

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig2

Figure 2: Add a shortcut to iNav Sql on your desktop.

 

Right-click Properties:

 

Target="C:\ProgramFiles\IBM\ClientAccess\Shared\cwbundbs.exe"

Folder="C:\ProgramFiles\IBM\ClientAccess\Shared"

 

First trial: Get the raw information.

 

select * from jpltools.objs

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig3

Figure 3: Get the raw data.

 

iNav Sql retrieves data very efficiently, but it's not much for the column headings. With STRSQL in parallel, the gap is filled.

 

Next step: Identify the columns needed—e.g., source file name and date. We have chosen the year of the source code's last update as the marker of reviewed source code. If we were reviewing program recompilation, we would instead have chosen the object creation date. There is so much information in DSPOBJD!

 

Here's the problem: DSPOBJD gives the date of the source code, but it gives it with three columns (all characters): the century, the date, and the time. We seek the four-digit year. SQL can take care of that with the following code.

 

SELECT ODLBNM "Library", ODOBNM "Object" , ODOBTP "Type" , odobat "Attribut",trim(ODSRCL) "Src Lib",  trim( ODSRCF)      "Src PF",  trim(ODSRCM)  "Src Member",case when odsrcc =  '' then ' ' else trim(char( ODSRCC+ 19)) concat substr(ODSRCD , 1 , 2) end as year   FROM jpltools.objs

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig4 

Figure 4: The year is now shown in standard four-digit format. 

 

Much prettier.

 

Note: The ILE *PGM objects have no source. Normally, my ILE programs are created by CRTPGM. The modules will provide the information I'm searching for. If I wanted to analyze an external application, delivered without modules, DSPOBJD would not give me the information I want. In that case, I would have to code a program that uses  the program descriptions API to obtain the  list of the modules and their source code file names. I'll return to that point later.

 

So my friend's boss was right: the information is available. Now, it's just a matter of extracting this information and exporting it to Excel.

 

Note that we found a wealth of information, just with the DSPOBJD command. Having discovered that gives us the opportunity to show many different aspects of the application we are analyzing.  So, in the second part of this TechTip series, we'll pursue the application analysis with some other DSPxxx commands. You'll see all the information that can be extracted by using a few DSPxxx commands.

 

For now, we'll just get the requested information to Excel with the SQL above, and we'll reveal the answers to the questions the boss asked.

 

In Excel, we used the ODBC connection, because it's one of the easier connection modes to implement. Moreover, it's likely that the ODBC declaration to use already exists on your PC.

Creating an ODBC Connection

Click Start > Run: odbcad32.exe.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig5

Figure 5: Call the ODBC administration application. 

 

Click the ADD button.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig6

Figure 6: Create an ODBC connection.

 

Select the Client Access driver.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig7

Figure 7: Select the Client Access ODBC Driver.

 

Enter a name for your connection and specify the system to connect to. Leave the other settings on their default values.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig8

Figure 8: Name your connection and specify the system log.

 

The ODBC connection is available.

Import the Information into Excel

I used Excel 2007, but with Excel 2003, the method is similar. Open Excel. In the Data menu, choose Get External Data > From Other Sources > From Microsoft Query. Then follow the steps shown below.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig9

Figure 9: Select a data source and deactivate the Query Wizard.

 

Close the Add Tables view.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig10

Figure 10: Close Add Tables.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig11 

Figure 11: Choose the SQL editor.

 

Paste in the SQL query shown below. Note that the query syntax here is simple, and ODBC will accept it. This is not always the case. When a query is too complex to manipulate with this very small editor window, you must run the SQL statement batch on the server (e.g., with a STRQMQRY with output OUTFILE) and then read the result with ODBC.

 

SELECT ODLBNM "Library", ODOBNM "Object" , ODOBTP "Type" , odobat "Attribut",trim(ODSRCL) "Src Lib",  trim( ODSRCF)      "Src PF",  trim(ODSRCM)  "Src Member",case when odsrcc =  '' then ' ' else trim(char( ODSRCC+ 19)) concat substr(ODSRCD , 1 , 2) end as year   FROM jpltools.objs

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig12 

Figure 12: Paste in the SQL query. 

 

Click OK.

 

MS Query is a little confused by what is asked. Don't worry about that. Click OK.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig13

Figure 13: Yes, continue!

 

MS Query retrieves and displays information. Continue to import to Excel.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig14

Figure 14: Choose Return Data to Microsoft Office Excel.

 

The information has been received. Choose how you want to view it.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig15

Figure 15: Choose how to view your data.

 

And voila!

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig16

Figure 16: Your data is now in an Excel spreadsheet.

 

With this table in Excel, we will now easily answer the questions we were asked:

 

First question : How much lost or forgotten old RPG or CL do we have?

 

The answer is very simple to provide. Just click on the column labeled Attribute:

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig17

Figure 17: Object attributes are revealed.

 

The answer is clear: there are objects with CL and RPG attributes. Select just these objects' attributes to get the detailed list.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig18

Figure 18: Select RPG and CLP.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig19

Figure 19: Details are revealed.

 

Second question: What is the status of the "general review of all the ILE programs" project? 

 

For the answer, we must first filter the objects, keeping only the * MODULE, * PGM, and * SRVPGM objects in which the year is not blank. Remember: we are working on the year of the source update date. Some objects have no source.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig20Left               

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig20Right

Figure 20: First, we filter.

 

Then, we sort by year.

 

120911JpProgramAnalysis1Fig21

Figure 21: Now we sort.

 

We now have an Excel sheet containing the information the boss asked for.If we had worked on ODCCEN plus ODCDAT (i.e., the object creation date) instead of ODSRCC plus ODSRCD (the source update date), we would have gotten a review of a general recompilation project.

 

The SQL extraction targeted only the year. It could also seek the full date by replacing

 

concat substr (ODSRCD, 1, 2) 

 

with

 

concat ODSRCD

 

in the SQL statement:

 

SELECT ODLBNM "Library", ODOBNM "Object" , ODOBTP "Type" , odobat "Attribut",trim(ODSRCL) "Src Lib",  trim( ODSRCF)      "Src PF",  trim(ODSRCM)  "Src Member",case when odsrcc =  '' then ' ' else trim(char( ODSRCC+ 19)) concat substr(ODSRCD , 1 , 2) end as year   FROM jpltools.objs

 

This first part of this TechTip series ends with the import into Excel of the first statistics on the status of programs' compilation. You have seen that generating the requested information is done simply by using the appropriate system command. You have also seen that, with a few clicks, you can insert these statistics into Excel, which is much more comfortable to use than a spool. Imagine how long it would take to produce these statistics without SQL or ODBC!

 

You also saw that we came across a wealth of information. In the second part of this series, you'll see all the types of information we derive from the other DSPxxx commands.

Jean-Paul Lamontre

Jean-Paul Lamontre has been working on IBM machines since 1976. His first was a 3/15 with 128K RAM (the biggest machine of the county). His first program was an RPG program, no more than 15 lines. It never compiled, and nobody ever understood why.

 

Currently, Jean-Paul divides has work time between two companies.

 

For Cilasoft, which offers the Cilasoft Audit and Security suite, he is the director of development. The Cilasoft suite is a cornerstore to any company's compliance process.

 

For Resolution, which offers Xcase, a database engineering suite, he is the CTO of the IBM i department. Xcase allows developers to modernize a DDS database to DDL, discover and implement implicit relationships, and manage SQL databases using an advanced GUI.

 

Jean-Paul also publishes some free tools on his personal Web site. Most popular are SQL2XLS, SPLF2PDF, and MAIL.

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

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

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

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

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

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

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

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

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

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

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

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