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Work Management and Performance

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Basic concepts to improve system performance

You're not going to believe it. Last weekend, I was at a shoestore that I think must be IBM's blueprint for the AS/400 operating system's work management. Let me explain this further. You see, this store, All Shoes 4 Dollars (or AS/4), is so efficient that it can sell brand name shoes for only $4. AS/4 has only one salesperson -- Charles Perry Urich (aka C.P.U.). The store also employs one stockperson -- Ingred Ottoman (aka I.O.). If you are getting a little nauseous by now, just bear with me. I will be explaining basic AS/400 work management concepts. Later, I will give some suggestions for improving the performance of your system.

The All Shoes 4 Dollars store layout consists of a showroom floor, an area for wholesale buyers, a huge warehouse, and office containing a cash register and typewriter. C.P.U. is a supersalesman who must juggle sales to several customers at the same time that he handles the wholesale buyers. He also types up sales and inventory reports on request for the store's owner, and handles phone calls. How does he handle all this demand for his time? Well, C.P.U. has devised a brilliant method for managing his work.

The typical customer wants to browse, and maybe try on a couple pairs of shoes. He usually needs some time for deciding whether or not to purchase a pair of shoes. C.P.U. therefore allocates 20 seconds of assistance time per retail customer. If a customer asks to try on a pair of shoes, C.P.U. requests Ingred (I.O.) to pull them from the stockroom. Meanwhile, C.P.U. will move on to the next order of business. If the 20-second period expires before the customer finishes talking with C.P.U., Charles will politely inform the customer that he will be right back with him.

Wholesale buyers and deliverymen are more willing to wait for C.P.U., but normally take more of his time to fill their orders. C.P.U. devotes 50 seconds of his time to the wholesale buyers, but puts greater emphasis on retail customers. As a result, wholesale buyers sometimes have to wait for longer periods than retail customers; wholesale customers and deliverymen must take a number and wait. C.P.U. only works with these people individually, whereas he handles as many of the retail customers concurrently as possible. If wholesale buyers want better service, they can come in after 8 pm, or Saturdays when retail sales are closed.

Not forgetting job number 1, collecting cash and the sales and inventory reports, C.P.U. puts higher priority on those functions than on the retail and wholesale customers. These tasks take a shorter period of time, however, and C.P.U. normally can still satisfy most of his customers.

Measure Your AS/400's Shoe Size

You may think that this store is in the state of Confusion. Normally, though, things work great at All Shoes 4 Dollars. But let's travel out of the city of Analogy and into explaining how the AS/400 manages its work.

Your AS/400 has a wide variety of tasks that it must perform. Interactive and batch user jobs are the most obvious, but OS/400 also manages printing functions, communications, database, and low-level system tasks. The AS/400 allows multiple jobs and their processes to exist in main memory at one time. But AS/400 Work Management must handle contention between these jobs for main memory and CPU time, as well as for disk, printer, and screen I/O.

To designate appropriate amounts of main memory to jobs, the AS/400 divides memory into segments called pools; the AS/400 allows up to 16 pools to be defined. This subdivision of main memory into pools is analogous to the shoestore's building being divided up into rooms. When your AS/400 is shipped it is initially setup with three pools. The first is the machine pool which handles low-level machine functions. The second pool is *BASE, pronounced "star-base." *BASE, at this point, handles all users jobs, both batch and interactive. The last pool is QSPL, which is used for printing functions.

To more efficiently handle memory and CPU contention on the AS/400, the system allows you to subdivide main memory further. Pools are delineated by subsystem descriptions. A subsystem is simply a predefined method of handling the processing and pool allocation of jobs. A subsystem can be defined to share main memory in the *BASE pool. This subsystem's jobs will share the main memory in *BASE with other subsystems that also use *BASE. Normally though, most subsystems are defined with their own separate pools to segregate jobs that have the same types of requirements. Refer to IBM's Work Management Guide for more explicit information on modifying subsystem descriptions.

IBM also has another subsystem configuration predefined. This configuration has subsystems that are designed for specific types of jobs. The system value QCTLSBSD first must be modified to have the value 'QCTL QSYS', instead of 'QBASE QSYS', to begin this method of work management. The next IPL will then bring the system up with no less than six subsystems.

QCTL - the controlling subsystem

QINTER - handles interactive jobs

QBATCH - handles batch jobs

QCMN - handles communications jobs

QSPL - handles printing functions

QSNADS - handles SNADS network and IBM-supplied transaction programs

I say "no less than six," because you can create your own subsystems or implement some of the other ones that IBM supplies but does not activate. These six subsystems are started automatically by the system during each IPL, with the program QSTRUP in QSYS. To have other subsystems started automatically on your next IPL, you have to modify this program or retrieve the CL source into a source file and modify it there. If you would like to use a startup program other than the one in QSYS/QSTRUP, you need to change the system value QSTRUPPGM. You can also easily start or end subsystems at any time with the commands STRSBS and ENDSBS. Make sure that all critical jobs that are running in the subsystem you are trying to end have completed before using the ENDSBS sommand.

The WRKSYSSTS screen can be toggled to display the subsystem name associated with each of the user pools 3 to 16 with command key 14. In figure 2, the WRKSYSSTS display shows the number 2 beside each of the subsystem names under the column for "Subsystem Pools" 1. The number 2 here refers to the system pool 2 or *BASE. The numbers 4, 3, and 5 beside QBATCH, QINTER, and QSPL refer to user pools defined to the system with their respective subsystem descriptions. 1 then, more succinctly displays the system pool definitions. Notice that the subsystems QCMN, QCTL, QPGMR, and QXFPCS all have *BASE defined as their shared pool.

The WRKSYSSTS screen can be toggled to display the subsystem name associated with each of the user pools 3 to 16 with command key 14. In figure 2, the WRKSYSSTS display shows the number 2 beside each of the subsystem names under the column for "Subsystem Pools" 1. The number 2 here refers to the system pool 2 or *BASE. The numbers 4, 3, and 5 beside QBATCH, QINTER, and QSPL refer to user pools defined to the system with their respective subsystem descriptions. Figure 1 then, more succinctly displays the system pool definitions. Notice that the subsystems QCMN, QCTL, QPGMR, and QXFPCS all have *BASE defined as their shared pool.

The QCTL subsystem basically uses the strategy that Charles P. Urich used in the shoestore to control jobs. It supervises system processes and the other active subsystems.

The QINTER subsystem controls interactive jobs. These jobs are similar to retail customers. Interactive users want to browse through the database and perhaps do some maintenance. Usually there is more "think time" than actual CPU time. Interactive users, though, expect good response times on their jobs, and obviously there are always numerous jobs running at any given time.

Batch jobs are handled with the QBATCH subsystem. Batch functions can be compared to the requests of wholesale customers and delivery personnel. These jobs do not demand immediate response, but they do require a high degree of CPU usage to handle extensive file manipulation and report generation.

The QSPL subsystem supervises writer and printer activity like Charles' typewriter work did, and QCMN could be considered similar to Charles' handling phone calls and inquiries.

The All Shoes 4 Dollars shoestore had certain amounts of C.P.U.'s time allotted for each function. The AS/400 also does just that. Subsystems have an attribute known as time slice. What is a time slice? A time slice is the amount of processor time a job is allowed before other waiting jobs are given the opportunity to run. The time slice for interactive jobs is initially set to 2 seconds, while batch jobs have a time slice of 5 seconds. This normally works fine since, as I said earlier, the CPU time required for batch jobs is significantly higher than interactive's.

Charles also put a higher emphasis on certain functions. In this way he knew what work to do next. The AS/400 handles this by having a priority definition in the subsystem. Priorities are numerical, the lower number having the higher the priority. The shipped system has the following priorities set:

 System Jobs 0 Operator Jobs 10 Spool/Printer Jobs 15 Interactive Jobs 20 Batch Jobs 50 

These priorities define which jobs get CPU time first. If a job's intermediate task is not completed in the allotted time slice, it loses its position and must wait for its next chance to run along with the other jobs in the system. The next job is then selected to run based on the highest-priority job waiting for time.

The AS/400 will try to keep as many jobs in main memory as possible at one time. Obviously, there is a ceiling to the number of jobs that can be physically in main memory. This is superficial to us since the AS/400 simply purges or "pages" interactive jobs to disk. (Charles tried using the parking lot for this function but the customers didn't go for it.) Each job has what is known as a PAG or process access group. It is the PAG that gets purged to disk. A job's PAG contains objects that it's using, but aren't being shared with other jobs. Program variables, file overrides, open data paths, and record buffers are all examples of PAG objects. Programs are not a part of the PAG, because AS/400 programs are reentrant. Reentrant programs allow one copy of a program, that is in main memory, to be shared among many jobs. This is one method that the AS/400 uses to improve performance.

At some point, the amount of work that Charles is expected to do for the shoe store becomes excessive. This can be handled easily by hiring more help and expanding the store. Perhaps, the overload is just an influx of customers. Maybe though, the store just can't afford another salesperson or stockperson.

The AS/400 can have the same overload problem. At that point the system goes into a state known as "thrashing." This occurs when the AS/400 spends more of its time paging jobs to disk then doing actual work. Certainly, IBM will be ready to sell more main memory or disk to solve this problem. But we really need to understand the demand imposed on the system and alternatives for controlling it before throwing money at the problem.

Activity levels for a subsystem are one method of controlling thrashing. An activity level is the number of jobs that can run simultaneously in a storage pool. Very often this number is either too low or too high. If the figure is too low, the memory allocated to a pool is underallocated. If it is too high, the memory is overallocated and thrashing occurs. Activity levels can be set with the POOLS parameter in the subsystem definition or on the fly through the WRKSYSSTS display. Typically, the interactive subsystem definition allows an unlimited number of users to sign on, but the actual number of jobs that are in main memory at one time must be evaluated periodically.

The amount of memory allocated to each pool is another area that needs to be analyzed. Very often memory sits idle in one pool while another pool is choked with too much work and not enough memory. Refer to the other article in this issue on system performance for more information on pool sizes and activity levels.

I have oversimplified, somewhat, the concepts of subsystem descriptions and their corresponding time slices, priorities, and activity levels. Subsystem descriptions are actually a little more complex. They point to other objects each of which has its own purpose in work management. 4 shows the Create commands for each of the objects pertaining to the QBATCH subsystem. Refer to that figure as well as the Work Management Guide to gain further understanding of job control. Appendix B of that manual lists all the shipped subsystems already in use or that may be implemented with little effort. QPGMR is a good example of a usable subsystem. By implementing this subsystem, you can separate programmers' compiles and batch testing from the QBATCH subsystem.

I have oversimplified, somewhat, the concepts of subsystem descriptions and their corresponding time slices, priorities, and activity levels. Subsystem descriptions are actually a little more complex. They point to other objects each of which has its own purpose in work management. Figure 4 shows the Create commands for each of the objects pertaining to the QBATCH subsystem. Refer to that figure as well as the Work Management Guide to gain further understanding of job control. Appendix B of that manual lists all the shipped subsystems already in use or that may be implemented with little effort. QPGMR is a good example of a usable subsystem. By implementing this subsystem, you can separate programmers' compiles and batch testing from the QBATCH subsystem.

How To Put Track Shoes on Your AS/400

Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of work management on the AS/400, let's get down to the specifics of accelerating the operation of your machine. You can improve the performance of your system in a number of areas. Some of these changes can be implemented immediately; some take a certain amount of time and effort; others are application design methods that you may have heard before, but are worth repeating.

Pool Rules

When segmenting your main memory into pools to separate job functions there are a couple of basic rules you need to follow. First, try to use only one priority per pool. Second, in pools allocated for batch jobs, use single-threading. Single-threading can be achieved by setting the POOLS parameter of the subsystem definition to specify an activity level of 1. Having only one job queue for the batch subsystem with the MAXACT parameter set to 1 is another alternative. Thirdly, if a batch subsystem is in use, less than 50 percent of time, start and stop the subsystem as needed. Refer to article two in this issue for more specifics on pool sizing.

Rethink Batch Work

Review the daily runs of batch jobs, many of which should be scheduled to run at night. Ask users for suggestions on what batch functions could be added to your night schedule. Alternatively, you could put batch job queues on hold and release them at night or, better yet, use QUSRTOOLS' Submit Time Job command. These last two methods of rescheduling batch jobs will still allow user control and responsibility of batch job submission.

Be aware of the effect of ad hoc requests on normal processing. Move those ad hoc reports to night runs, if possible. Also, fully test ad hoc programs and queries with subsets of the data, and have the requesting user OK the resulting format of the report before submitting the run. You can waste hours of processing time only to have the user reject the report because of invalid selection criteria that he probably gave you, or improper calculations. Also watch out for poorly performing Querys that are run often -- rewrite them either with better query logic or a program. I might also suggest that everyone read the appendix of the AS/400 query manual. This brief but well-written section gives excellent suggestions for designing efficient selection logic and file linking. These tips can be used for SQL and OPNQRYF as well as for AS/400 Query.

Look for interactive jobs that should be run in batch. Every system seems to have at least one program that is in this category, especially applications converted from the S/36. AS/400's work management system simply wasn't designed for I/O-intensive applications to be run out of the QINTER subsystem. Even some online transaction and file maintenance programs could be converted to run in a semibatch mode. Heavy updates and complex maintenance work could be more efficiently handled by shorter interactive programs that send information to data queues. Asynchronous jobs can then do the heavy processing.

Logical Use of Files

OPNQRYF is more efficient than logical files when using its select/omit logic. But if the selection is static, a logical file could be a better choice. Perhaps you could try using the select field as a key and use SETLL to process. Use existing key structures in your OPNQRYF key selection, since the database manager will use any access paths found that are like the OPNQRYF key fields.

Don't go to extremes creating logicals over your database. Every access path added to a file adds in overhead when that file is updated. Even if the added logicals are not open during the update of the physical file, the system defaults to maintaining the "sort" of all the logicals. The AS/400 allows you to specify exactly when access paths should be updated. The default access path maintenance option is IMMED, but there are also two more options. Setting the maintenance to DELAY causes the system to update access paths "when it gets the time." The third option, REBLD, is used basically for batch jobs when the path gets completely rebuilt on open. Use the IMMED option for the primary access path over the unique key, DELAY for secondary access paths and REBLD for batches, or use OPNQRYF for those batch jobs.

When using select/omit in logicals, set the DYNSLT parameter to static only for those logicals that are used heavily mostly for interactive use. Set the DYNSLT to dynamic for logicals used in batch runs of less- used interactive requests. The DYNSLT parameter specifies whether the select/omit access path should be maintained immediately on any update of that file, or if it should be delayed until a read request. DYNSLT of dynamic cuts down on access path maintenance overhead, but it does slow down retrieval time for those select/omit logicals.

Fine-tuning programs could significantly improve response times. This may appear to be an insurmountable task, but just use the old 80/20 rule. 20 percent of the programs are used 80 percent of the time. Some of those heavily used programs may have been written poorly or perhaps were converted from systems that didn't have the advantages that the AS/400 has.

Write it Right

Normalize that database. If you don't have the expertise in your shop, or even if you do, have someone else who does review your design. Normalized databases improve the efficiency of the system. There is some argument about what normal form should be used for files. Some feel that second normal form should be used for transaction files, and that varying levels of normal forms from second to fourth be used for master files. Nevertheless, this is a highly technical issue, and everyone should at least be cognizant of the need for this expertise.

Structured applications can run significantly better than unstructured ones. Your code should flow logically from top to bottom, no goto's to far flung sections of code. Commonly used code should be grouped together, for example input-output processing. Error handling should be put in subroutines, or better yet, in separate programs. Writing small modular programs can improve performance. The number of times a program is to be called and the type of processing it will be doing can affect the amount of improvement, however . With the AS/400's reentrant programs, having numerous small programs allows a greater chance for the sharing of program code in main memory. But when returning from called programs that may be used again in that job, don't set on LR, instead use the RETRN opcode. When subprograms are no longer needed for that job, use the CL command RCLRSC to remove the allocated objects for that program.

Review disk arm activity and capacities periodically. Utilization should be 40 percent or less of average disk arm utilization or less than 10 disk I/Os per second per arm. If disk utilization gets too high, first review your database. Often, shops keep more information than is required on their systems. Purge those database files regularly. Disk capacity should not be much greater than 70 percent for a system's disk to run efficiently. Your IBM representative will gladly sell you more DASD once disk performance diminishes. Happily, new low- cost disks are now becoming available with a greater disk arm-to- megabyte ratio.

Several system values should also be checked. The QACTJOB system value should be approximately the figure that is displayed in the "active jobs" section of the WRKACTJOB screen during heavy use. If this value is too low, the system arbitrator uses some 35 percent of the system's resources to adjust workload definitions when the total number of active jobs exceeds this value. The QTOTJOB system value should also be set at what is in the WRKSYSSTS screen's "Jobs in System" value during heavy- use periods.

Back to Selling Shoes

If you are still confused about how the system manages work on your system and don't have any new ideas for use of subsystems; if you tried at least some of the performance guidelines above without improving your system, let me know. I'll go back to selling shoes for a living.


Work Management and Performance

Figure 1 WRKSYSSTS system status screen

 Figure 1: WRKSYSSTS System Status Screen Work with System Status DONLEE 05/13/91 01:22:27 % CPU used . . . . . . . : 1.3 System aux stg . . . . . : 2202 M Elapsed time . . . . . . : 0:00:43 % aux stg used . . . . . : 80.7904 Jobs in system . . . . . : 60 Total aux stg . . . . . : 2202 M % perm addresses . . . . : 2.604 Current unprotect used . : 238 M % temp addresses . . . . : 1.012 Maximum unprotect . . . : 267 M Sys Pool Rsrv Max -----DB----- ---Non-DB--- Act- Wait- Act- Pool Size K Size K Act Fault Pages Fault Pages Wait Inel Inel 1 3000 2358 +++ .0 .0 .0 .3 .0 .0 .0 2 6352 0 4 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 3 2000 0 10 .0 .0 .0 .2 1.3 .0 .0 4 5000 0 1 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 5 32 0 4 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0 Bottom ===> F11=Display pool data F21=Expand views 
Work Management and Performance

Figure 2 WRKSYSSTS subsystems screen

 Figure 2: WRKSYSSTS Subsystems Screen Work with Subsystems System: DONLEE Type options, press Enter. 4=End subsystem 5=Display subsystem description 8=Work with subsystem jobs Total -----------Subsystem Pools------------ Opt Subsystem Storage (K) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 QBATCH 5000 2 4 QCMN 0 2 QCTL 0 2 QINTER 2000 2 3 QPGMR 0 2 QSPL 32 2 5 QXFPCS 0 2 Bottom Parameters or command ===> F3=Exit F5=Refresh F11=System data F12=Cancel F14=System status 
Work Management and Performance

Figure 3 Performance guidelines

 Figure 3: Performance Guidelines Pool Rules one priority per pool single thread batch pools batch subsystem use < 50% of time - start and stop as needed. Rethink Batch Work Move daily batch work to night Control Ad Hoc requests Convert interactive jobs that should be run in batch Logical use of files OPNQRYF if select/omit not static Use logic file if Select/omit is static Make select field a key and use SETLL Use existing key structures on QPNQRYF MAINT(IMMED) for primary access path MAINT(DELAY) for secondary access paths MAINT(REBLD) for batch work or use OPNQRYF DYNSLT as static for heavy interactive use DYNSLT as dynamic for less used or batch work Fine Tuning Programs 80/20 rule Write it Right Normalize that data-base Structure applications Small modular programs Hardware disk arm utilization should be <= 40% disk capacity should be <= 70% purge data-bases buy more DASD System Values QACTJOB = WRKACTJOB "active jobs" QTOTJOB = WRKSYSSTS "jobs in system" 
Work Management and Performance

Figure 4 Create commands for QBATCH

 Figure 4: Create Commands for QBATCH CRTSBSD SBSD(QGPL/QBATCH) POOLS((1 *BASE) (2 500 1)) + MAXJOBS(*NOMAX) TEXT(' Batch Subsystem') CRTCLS CLS(QGPL/QBATCH) TIMESLICE(5000) PURGE(*NO) + DFTWAIT(120) TEXT('Batch Class') CRTJOBD JOBD(QGPL/QBATCH) USER(QPGMR) LOG(4 0 *NOLIST) + RTGDTA(QCMDB) TEXT(' Batch Job Description') CRTJOBQ JOBQ(QGPL/QBATCH) TEXT('Batch Job Queue') ADDJOBQE SBSD(QGPL/QBATCH) JOBQ(QGPL/QBATCH) MAXACT(1) ADDRTGE SBSD(QGPL/QBATCH) SEQNBR(9999) CMPVAL(*ANY) + PGM(QSYS/QCMD) CLS(QGPL/QBATCH) 
Don Denoncourt

Don Denoncourt is a freelance consultant. He can be reached at dondenoncourt@gmail.com.


MC Press books written by Don Denoncourt available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Java Application Strategies for iSeries and AS/400 Java Application Strategies for iSeries and AS/400
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    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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    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.