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V3R1 Follow-up: An Introduction to Program Binding

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Brief: Binding options for called programs are a key element of the Integrated Language Environment (ILE). Different types of binding allow the application designer to determine when program calls are resolved-at compile time or at run time. By making the right trade-offs, you will be able to design more efficient, more modular programs. This article explores the binding options and the commands that support them.

The Integrated Language Environment (ILE) that was announced on February 16, 1993 provides the basis for a new generation of AS/400 languages. ILE implementations are currently available or announced for C, RPG, COBOL, and CL. For the majority of users, the significance of ILE will not be realized until the general availability of ILE RPG, concurrent with V3R1 later this year.

This article concentrates on features that are inherent to ILE rather than a specific language implementation. The article begins with some general ILE concepts (for more information, see "The Integrated Language Environment," MC, May 1993), but the main focus is ILE's binding facilities.

Binding is concerned with improving CALL performance and giving programmers the flexibility to decide what type of CALL to use. Prior to ILE, most AS/400 languages supported only one type of call-an external or dynamic call. ILE languages and the underlying ILE functions support dynamic calls and two types of bound calls. As you'll see, there are pros and cons to each type of binding.

In general, ILE binding facilities make it more practical to write AS/400 applications in a very modular fashion. The result is smaller, less complex, more maintainable application components. To give you an understanding of how ILE evolved, let's begin with a look at the AS/400 language implementations.

Three programming models now coexist on the AS/400. The program models and their characteristics are illustrated in 1. Keep in mind that the functions of the Original Program Model (OPM) or the Extended Program Model (EPM) are not lost. ILE brings the best features of OPM and EPM into one evolutionary model at a lower level of the operating system. This allows traditional languages and new languages to work and perform well together.

Three programming models now coexist on the AS/400. The program models and their characteristics are illustrated in Figure 1. Keep in mind that the functions of the Original Program Model (OPM) or the Extended Program Model (EPM) are not lost. ILE brings the best features of OPM and EPM into one evolutionary model at a lower level of the operating system. This allows traditional languages and new languages to work and perform well together.

Survival of the Fittest

Let's start with the OPM programming model. Typically, you have a small number of source members against which you run the CRTxxxPGM command, where xxx is the source type (e.g., RPG or CBL). The result of running CRTxxxPGM is a *PGM object. You can call these programs from the command line or from another program. This type of call is referred to as an external call (CALLX internally on the system) or a dynamic call. Experience shows that this type of call is slow, forcing programmers to create applications using a small number of very large programs to reduce the number of external calls.

From a performance standpoint, the underlying problem with using external calls is that the calls are done dynamically. For example, when you call from program A to program B, the system has to resolve the reference to program B by searching the library list. The resolution and other checking performed at run time are very expensive. In ILE, you still have this external call mechanism and you also have a new mechanism referred to as a bound call which is made available through binding.

The bound call has much better performance than an external call since it shifts the overhead of resolving the reference from run time to compile time. The overhead occurs once when the program is created, rather than every time the application is run. ILE RPG reduces the overhead of the RPG fixed-logic cycle when using a bound call. Only the parts of the cycle that are used are initialized.

This gives programmers the flexibility to structure their applications in a modular format without having to pay a penalty in performance. The many benefits to modularity include better maintainability and well-tested reusable parts.

One often-overlooked benefit of modular programming is convenience among a team of programmers working on a single application. If you have a team of programmers and your application is only broken up into two or three parts, chances are that programmers are going to have contention for the parts. This contention forces developers to make copies of parts, change the copies, and then dual-maintain the changes back into the original. This type of activity is error-prone and time-consuming. ILE lets you avoid this situation.

Modules and Binding

One of the great things about ILE is that if you don't want to change, you typically don't have to-you can mix dynamic calls and bound calls within a single application. You can design your applications to take advantage of the strengths of each type of call. ILE provides new objects and commands to help you manage the elements, and each ILE language provides specific support for both dynamic and bound calls.

A module (object type *MODULE) is a new AS/400 object created using the Create xxx Module (CRTxxxMOD) commands (as with the CRTxxxPGM commands, xxx represents the language of the source member). The resulting *MODULE object is a nonexecutable, intermediate representation of the source member. The biggest difference between a *MODULE object and a *PGM object is that you cannot execute a module. However, you can use commands such as copy, delete, and display on *MODULE objects.

What good is a module if you can't execute it? A module is literally the building block for ILE programs. Once you have one or more *MODULE objects, you use the Create Program (CRTPGM) command to create your ILE program.

CRTPGM takes the *MODULE objects that are specified on the command and statically binds them together to form a *PGM. Essentially, static binding- known as linking on some systems-is the process of resolving the symbols between the modules and physically combining the *MODULE objects together to form a *PGM. This type of static binding is also referred to as bind by copy.

In ILE RPG you can choose to dynamically call a program using the CALL op code or perform a bound procedure call using the CALLB op code. You can even mix and match dynamic calls and bound calls within the same program object.

The two-step, program-creation process is illustrated in 2. In this example, the CRTRPGMOD command is run against RPG source members A and B to create two modules. The CRTPGM command is run against the two modules to create an executable program that has physical copies of the two modules within it.

The two-step, program-creation process is illustrated in Figure 2. In this example, the CRTRPGMOD command is run against RPG source members A and B to create two modules. The CRTPGM command is run against the two modules to create an executable program that has physical copies of the two modules within it.

For those of you who do not wish to use a two-step, program-creation process, the new CRTBNDxxx commands can create an ILE program directly from your source. The CRTBNDxxx commands cannot be used to bind multiple modules together. They simply camouflage the create module step for programs containing a single module.

Within each source member, you can use a combination of dynamic and bound calls. ILE RPG implements bound calls with the CALLB op code. To retain backwards compatibility, any program called with the CALL op code will be dynamically called. This retains the call function exactly as it exists in prior versions of RPG. CALLB specifies a bound call that will be resolved at compile time. A bound call is in the range of an order of magnitude faster than an external call.

Procedures

A more subtle concept than bound calls is a procedure. A procedure defines a callable portion of code for ILE languages. In nontechnical terms, a procedure is a sequence of steps used to solve a problem. Generically, you can think of an ILE procedure as a set of high-level language (HLL) statements that perform a particular task. Technically, you need to make distinctions about how procedures are implemented in each HLL.

In ILE RPG, a procedure has a one-to-one correspondence with a module object- in other words, every module is turned into a procedure. In other languages, a module may contain multiple procedures. For example, ILE C equates the C concept of a function to the ILE procedure concept. An ILE C module can contain many procedures, and each one can be called independently.

Any call from one procedure to another (whether the procedure is a C function within the same module or is from a stand-alone RPG module) within an ILE program object is a bound call. Therefore, you will use the CALLB op code when an ILE RPG procedure calls another ILE RPG procedure within the same program. You can also use CALLB to call procedures written in other languages.

Understanding procedures will help you to grasp how multiple languages work together in ILE and particularly how service programs are implemented. I'll discuss service programs in more detail later in this article.

Using Multiple Languages

One other useful feature is the ability to bind (using CRTPGM) module objects created in one language with module objects created in another language. 3 shows an example of how an RPG source member, a C source member, and a CL source member can be combined to create one ILE program. The ability to use different languages together in a seamless and efficient manner opens the doors to many different possibilities.

One other useful feature is the ability to bind (using CRTPGM) module objects created in one language with module objects created in another language. Figure 3 shows an example of how an RPG source member, a C source member, and a CL source member can be combined to create one ILE program. The ability to use different languages together in a seamless and efficient manner opens the doors to many different possibilities.

For example, your application may be predominantly written in RPG, but may benefit by having some functions (procedures) written in C. Now you can have your RPG modules bound to a C module and you can call the C functions using the CALLB op code. Another very good use of this feature would be to bind your CL driver programs directly in with your RPG programs. You can call your RPG procedures using the new Call Procedure (CALLPRC) command in your CL module. This eliminates the external call overhead between CL programs and RPG programs.

You always had the ability to use multiple languages together within an application. However, the external call overhead was high and each language had its own exception handling, storage management, and so on. Using different languages together in ILE does not mean you can ignore the fact that you are using different languages. However, it does reduce the complexity considerably since the languages share a common interface and can use the same memory management and exception management.

In addition, each ILE language has added features that make it easier to work with other languages. For example, module names can only be 10 characters long since this is the size of the name parameter on the CRTPGM command. However, the CALLB op code in ILE RPG allows you to specify names up to 255 characters long. This allows you to call ILE C procedures that have names longer than 10 characters. Remember that procedures in C do not correspond to modules but rather to the C language construct of a function. Therefore, only the module object's name is required to conform with the 10-character limitation.

Another example is the ability to have a return value on the CALLPRC instruction in ILE CL. This allows ILE CL to use the return values from calls to functions (such as in C).

Service Programs

The obvious question at this point is, "What do I do if I have a generic procedure which I want to bind into many different programs? Do I have to statically bind this procedure (*MODULE) to all the different programs, and thus have multiple copies all over the place?" The answer is no; if you had to bind by copy one procedure into many different programs, it would become a maintenance nightmare.

There is a second type of binding mechanism called bind by reference. Bind by reference allows you to call procedures in a dynamic fashion. (The resolution occurs at program activation time-explained in greater detail later.) This capability is made available through a call to a procedure in a service program. A service program (*SRVPGM) is similar to an ILE program in that it is an object created by binding one or more modules together. However, unlike a *PGM, you cannot call a *SRVPGM. You can only call the procedures that are within the service program. The only way to use a service program is by having it bound by reference to an ILE program.

Creating a service program follows the same steps as creating an ILE program. 4 shows an example that has two RPG source members against which you run the CRTRPGMOD command to create modules. Then the CRTSRVPGM command is run against MY_MOD1 and MY_MOD2 to create the service program MY_SRV.

Creating a service program follows the same steps as creating an ILE program. Figure 4 shows an example that has two RPG source members against which you run the CRTRPGMOD command to create modules. Then the CRTSRVPGM command is run against MY_MOD1 and MY_MOD2 to create the service program MY_SRV.

5 shows how to bind by reference to the service program created in 4. The service program, MY_SRV, is bound by reference to the ILE program, MY_PGM, by specifying it on the BNDSRVPGM option of the CRTPGM command. (This option is not available on the CRTBNDxxx commands.) However, unlike a *MODULE object which is copied into the final program object, only the information about the functions and data defined in the service program is stored in the program (MY_PGM). This allows you to have one physical copy of your code made into a service program and referred to by many different programs within your application, as illustrated in 6.

Figure 5 shows how to bind by reference to the service program created in Figure 4. The service program, MY_SRV, is bound by reference to the ILE program, MY_PGM, by specifying it on the BNDSRVPGM option of the CRTPGM command. (This option is not available on the CRTBNDxxx commands.) However, unlike a *MODULE object which is copied into the final program object, only the information about the functions and data defined in the service program is stored in the program (MY_PGM). This allows you to have one physical copy of your code made into a service program and referred to by many different programs within your application, as illustrated in Figure 6.

In this case, if there were a bug in the code that was used to create service program FRED, all that you would have to do is recreate service program FRED and replace it on your system. Then programs ONE, TWO, and THREE and service program JOE would automatically pick up the corrected version of FRED. You would not be required to rebind program ONE, TWO, or THREE or service program JOE unless you change the exports (we'll look at exports later) from service program FRED.

Design Considerations

From a performance perspective, bind by reference is a little more expensive than bind by copy. The actual call itself using bind by reference versus bind by copy is virtually the same. However, when you call the program that your service program is bound to (activate your program), the exports are resolved. Thus, resolution only occurs once at program activation and not every time you call the procedures in your service program.

When designing your application, you have to try to strike a balance between maintainability (which is usually easier if you use service programs) and application start-up performance. If you have a program which is bound by reference to a large number of service programs, there is going to be a noticeable activation-time penalty. However, once your program has been activated, then any call to a procedure in a service program is a bound call, which is very fast.

From an application design perspective, there are many benefits to using service programs. One of the benefits is having a single copy of the executable code on the system (as is illustrated in 6). Another advantage is the ease with which you can maintain any code that is in a service program. With service programs, you just replace the old service program with the new one, and the applications that call it utilize the new version without any recompilation. (Dynamic calls to programs accomplish the same ease of maintenance, but their performance overhead is much greater.)

From an application design perspective, there are many benefits to using service programs. One of the benefits is having a single copy of the executable code on the system (as is illustrated in Figure 6). Another advantage is the ease with which you can maintain any code that is in a service program. With service programs, you just replace the old service program with the new one, and the applications that call it utilize the new version without any recompilation. (Dynamic calls to programs accomplish the same ease of maintenance, but their performance overhead is much greater.)

Another advantage of using service programs within your application is the ability to control resources such as memory and file usage. The ability to control these types of resources involves the concept of activation groups. Activation groups will not be discussed in detail in this article; but suffice it to say that data management resources can be scoped to activation groups, and a service program can run in its own activation group.

Scoping of resources defines how they are shared. A simple example is file overrides. Normally, the extent of a file override is to the call level, so that only programs running lower in the invocation stack of a job are affected. In ILE, file overrides can be isolated to activation groups so that programs running in one activation group of a job are not affected by file overrides created in another activation group within the same job. This gives application designers the flexibility to scope resources in whichever manner they choose, and still get the performance benefit of using bound calls.

Imports and Exports

With any ILE module object, there is the concept of imports and exports. An import is either data or procedures that are referred to in one module or program and defined in another module or program. An export is either data or procedures defined in a module or program and made available to other modules or programs. Thus, for every import there must be a corresponding export.

For C programmers, the concept of imports and exports is well understood due to language constructs such as the extern keyword and static data. For other languages-such as RPG-these concepts were not intrinsic in the language, although they are available in some of the enhancements made in the ILE languages.

7 illustrates how imports and exports work in ILE RPG. The RPG source member GL has a bound call (CALLB) to procedure ACT_REC. Procedure ACT_REC is not defined in module GL, but is only referenced. So procedure ACT_REC is said to be imported in module GL. When you create module ACT_REC from source member ACT_REC, the procedure ACT_REC is available to be used by other modules and is said to be exported from module ACT_REC.

Figure 7 illustrates how imports and exports work in ILE RPG. The RPG source member GL has a bound call (CALLB) to procedure ACT_REC. Procedure ACT_REC is not defined in module GL, but is only referenced. So procedure ACT_REC is said to be imported in module GL. When you create module ACT_REC from source member ACT_REC, the procedure ACT_REC is available to be used by other modules and is said to be exported from module ACT_REC.

At CRTPGM time, the import for procedure ACT_REC in module GL is resolved to the export of procedure ACT_REC in module ACT_REC. In other words, a matching export (procedure ACT_REC) is resolved for the import in GL.

For a simple bound call such as the previous example, imports and exports are only concerned with resolving references to another procedure. However, imports and exports are critical to understanding how service programs work. As mentioned earlier, when you bind by reference to a service program, only the information about functions and external data is copied into the program object-this information defines the service program's export information.

8 illustrates how the export information from a service program is stored in the program object which is bound by reference to the service program. In this example, the imports MOD_A and MOD_B are internally resolved when modules MOD_A and MOD_B are statically bound together at compile time. The imports PROC_1, PROC_2, and PROC_3 are found in service program MY_SRVPGM, and the information about them is stored in program MY_PGM. When program MY_PGM is called, the service program MY_SRVPGM is activated. In other words, when MY_PGM is called, the service program MY_SRVPGM is externally resolved.

Figure 8 illustrates how the export information from a service program is stored in the program object which is bound by reference to the service program. In this example, the imports MOD_A and MOD_B are internally resolved when modules MOD_A and MOD_B are statically bound together at compile time. The imports PROC_1, PROC_2, and PROC_3 are found in service program MY_SRVPGM, and the information about them is stored in program MY_PGM. When program MY_PGM is called, the service program MY_SRVPGM is activated. In other words, when MY_PGM is called, the service program MY_SRVPGM is externally resolved.

The externally resolved import information is stored in the program object. If the service program that is resolved at run time has different exports than it did when it was created, you will receive a signature-violation exception. A signature is a similar concept to a level-check. Every service program is given a signature, unless you explicitly specify that you don't want one generated.

When the user of a *SRVPGM specifies the service program name on the CRTPGM command, the signature of the service program is copied into the program as illustrated in 8. When the program is activated for the first time, the signature stored in the *PGM is checked against the signature of the *SRVPGM. If the signatures differ, a signature-violation exception is raised.

When the user of a *SRVPGM specifies the service program name on the CRTPGM command, the signature of the service program is copied into the program as illustrated in Figure 8. When the program is activated for the first time, the signature stored in the *PGM is checked against the signature of the *SRVPGM. If the signatures differ, a signature-violation exception is raised.

Selective Exporting

The service program examples in this article assume that every procedure was exported from the *SRVPGM. There is a mechanism available through a binder language that lets you specify which procedures and data you want to export from a service program. In essence, the binder language allows you to define an interface to your service programs. The binder language is a simple language which follows CL syntax rules.

An example of the binder language that could be used when the service program in 8 is created follows:

An example of the binder language that could be used when the service program in Figure 8 is created follows:

 STRPGMEXP PGMLVL(*CURRENT) + LVLCHK(*YES) EXPORT SYMBOL('PROC_1') EXPORT SYMBOL('PROC_2') EXPORT SYMBOL('PROC_3') ENDPGMEXP 

The PGMLVL option allows you to specify multiple levels of exports that you wish to support. In this example, *CURRENT is specified to indicate the current list of exports to be used. The LVLCHK option allows you to specify whether or not you wish to have the system check the binding signatures. In this case, *YES is specified, which indicates that signature-checking is enabled. The remainder of the binder language specifications list the exports for the service program. The binder language statements are executed by specifying EXPORT(*SRCFILE) on the CRTSRVPGM command.

Specifying an export list is the preferred method of specifying which procedures and data are to be exported from a service program. The other method is to specify EXPORT(*ALL) on the CRTSRVPGM command. This causes all external data and procedures to be exported from the service program.

The reason that using a binder language specification is better than using EXPORT(*ALL) is that the signature for the service program is generated based on the exports and the position of the exports. By using an export list, you have much better control of the signatures that are going to be generated, and you have the ability to support multiple versions of exports.

Binding Directory

If your ILE application consists of a large number of modules and service programs, specifying them on the CRTPGM and CRTSRVPGM commands would become very tedious and error-prone. There is a mechanism called a binding directory which solves this problem. A binding directory is a new system object of type *BNDDIR. Binding directories contain the names of modules and service programs that you may need when you create your ILE program or service program.

An important benefit of using a binding directory is that a module or service program will only be bound-either statically for a module or by reference for a *SRVPGM-into your program or service program if it provides an export that matches an unresolved import. The following commands are used with binding directories:

CRTBNDDIR Create Binding Directory

DLTBNDDIR Delete Binding Directory

ADDBNDDIRE Add Binding Directory Entry

RMVBNDDIRE Remove Binding Directory Entry

DSPBNDDIR Display Binding Directory

WRKBNDDIR Work with Binding Directory

WRKBNDDIRE Work with Binding Directory Entry

The entries that you add to your binding directory do not need to exist on the system, since they are only names that will be used later at program or service program creation time.

Bringing It All Together

To summarize, there are two types of calls in ILE: dynamic calls and the much faster bound calls. Dynamic calls are external calls made to programs. Bound calls are calls made to procedures within an ILE program or to procedures in a service program.

ILE programs or service programs are created by binding modules and service programs together. There are two types of binding-bind by copy (static binding) and bind by reference (dynamic binding). Bind by copy is the mechanism where modules are physically copied into a program or service program object. Bind by reference is the mechanism where information about the exports in a service program is stored in the program or service program object and is resolved during program activation time.

I hope that this information helps you see some of the benefits that can be derived from using ILE. However, binding is only one part of ILE, and there are many other benefits to be derived from using ILE. I'll explore some of these features in an upcoming article.

Glen Sakuth is a computer engineer working in the AS/400 Languages Architecture and Design Control Group at the IBM Toronto Lab. He was one of the early developers involved with the C/400 compiler. He then became one of the principle designers and programmers of the CUBE-3 back-end used by all ILE languages. He is currently the architect for the ILE C/400 compiler. He is a frequent speaker at COMMON conferences and can be reached through Internet at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


V3R1 Follow-up: An Introduction to Program Binding

Figure 1 AS/400 Program Models

 Original Program Model (OPM) o RPG/400, COBOL/400, PL/I, CL, and BASIC. o Single entry point into a program. o Single scoping of variables (only global variables). o Access to data only through declared variables (no pointers). o Dynamic call binding. Extended Program Model (EPM) o Pascal and EPM C/400. o Features similar to those of ILE, only not as well integrated with each other or the system. Integrated Language Environment (ILE) o ILE C/400, ILE RPG/400 (also known as RPG IV), ILE COBOL/400, ILE CL. o Multiple external procedures or functions (multiple entry points). o Nested scoping of variables (global, local, block). o Access to data through variables and pointers. o Static and automatic data. o Dynamic storage allocation. o Optimized code generation. o Consistent exception model. 
V3R1 Follow-up: An Introduction to Program Binding

Figure 2 Combining Modules with Static Binding

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V3R1 Follow-up: An Introduction to Program Binding

Figure 3 Creating an ILE Program with Three ILE Languages

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V3R1 Follow-up: An Introduction to Program Binding

Figure 4 Creating a Service Program

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V3R1 Follow-up: An Introduction to Program Binding

Figure 5 Binding by Reference a Service Program to a Progra

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V3R1 Follow-up: An Introduction to Program Binding

Figure 6 The Same Service Program Used by Many Programs

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V3R1 Follow-up: An Introduction to Program Binding

Figure 7 Imports and Exports for a Simple RPG Program

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V3R1 Follow-up: An Introduction to Program Binding

Figure 8 Imports and Exports for a Program

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    Weak passwords, lax system auditing, and overly privileged users leave your server vulnerable to internal and external threats. A data breach caused by a cybercriminal or a negligent insider can cause irreparable damage to an organization of any size.
    The annual State of IBM i Security Study strives to help executives, IT managers, system administrators, and auditors understand the full extent of IBM i security exposures and how to correct them quickly and effectively.

    Order your copy of this year's guide here.

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

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    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!

     

  • Building a Sound Investment Strategy Through Technology

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    Learn how to combine automation software and IBM i to increase revenue and enhance customer experiences. Download the exclusive Help/Systems White Paper “Building a Sound Investment Strategy Through Technology.”

    This free four-page PDF, written by Help/Systems Director of Automation Technology Chuck Losinski, is packed with concise tips for IBM i. You’ll learn why Power Systems running IBM i are the key to a sound investment strategy. You’ll also discover how automation technologies such as batch processing, agent tasks, interactive processes, backups, report management, and system and message monitoring can save your company money while making your operations more reliable than ever.

  • A Successful Approach to Automated Monitoring in a Complex World

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    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, we dissect complex system monitoring by introducing best practices and smart techniques that will help you reduce and simplify your multi-platform monitoring workload.

  • Achieving Business Value Through VIOS

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, virtualization specialist Glenn Robinson joins Ash Giddings to discuss the use of VIOS in today’s demanding Power Systems environments. VIOS can help you realize real business value by reducing IT expenditure and adding the flexibility to grow and shrink resources according to data center demands through virtualization across IBM Power Systems estates.

  • ​Multi-Platform Application Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Make Application Monitoring Easy Across the IBM i, Windows, AIX, and Linux Platforms in Your Environment
    IT departments are constantly bombarded by information from a wide variety of operating systems, business applications, and critical processes. At the same time, the department must support a complex array of servers and devices running across their entire network.
    With limited resources and the need to keep costs in check, more and more is expected of operational staff to handle this information efficiently.
    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, we’ll dissect complex systems monitoring by introducing best practices and smart techniques that will help you:
    - Ensure vital business applications run smoothly and without disruption
    - Respond swiftly and with appropriate actions
    - Confirm that essential data is received at the right time
    - Prove service levels are maintained
    - Keep contingency and high availability strategies fully operational

  • ​IBM i War Stories from the Front Line

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    IBM i is great at managing varied workloads—the OS offers many built-in work management and system utilities to aid administration.
    But greater customization is sometimes necessary in the line of duty.
    Halcyon has built upon these utilities to deliver a number of advanced functions designed for you to take control of all of your day-to-day IBM i activities.
    During this on-demand webinar, our experts will demonstrate some of Halcyon’s capabilities and describe real-life scenarios that highlight how you can:

    - Reduce your alerting footprint by implementing leading-edge monitoring techniques 
    - Identify both organic growth and spikes in disk space utilization
    - Automate time-consuming housekeeping tasks
    - Take advantage of the powerful IBM i Services
    - Automate literally anything

    Set your sights on having the right monitoring solution, no matter what comes your way. Watch the recording today!

  • Work Smarter: Integrate IBM i and Desktop Applications

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    My desktop application users spend a lot of time manually generating and printing letters using IBM i data.
    Our team copies and pastes information between IBM i applications all the time. Launching a PC application from my IBM i screens is impossible today.
    Sound familiar?
    Too many businesses go through manual efforts to transfer documents and data across IBM i and desktop applications—especially ERPs. Whether you use JDE World, JDE EnterpriseOne, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, or any other ERP, chances are your employees are stuck transferring information manually. And all of that manual effort leads to hours upon hours of wasted time.
    But it doesn’t need to anymore.

    See More

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Let’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. These folks have been managing all areas of your business—often manually and behind the scenes—for decades, everything from IT operations to data and documents to cybersecurity.
    Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    During this 30-minute recorded webinar, 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
    IBM i skills depletion is a top concern for IBM i shops around the world. 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.

    Watch this webcast now

  • IFS Security – Don’t Leave Your Server Vulnerable

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Experts agree that one of the most overlooked areas of IBM i security is the Integrated File System. Available since V3R1, the IFS provides access for users carrying nothing more than a user profile and password, so it better be secure! If you believe nothing important is stored on your server's IFS, think again, because it's a conduit to many things, including the Operating System and all of your application libraries and files.
    Watch this important session to learn about securing the IFS, including:
    Why do we care about the IFS?
    Permissions versus Authority
    Root folder access
    Auditing IFS activities
    Read/Write versus *ALLOBJ
    Anti-Virus Considerations

  • Who’s Afraid of Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS? Not i.

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    This 30-minute recording demystifies Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS and teaches best practice techniques for maintaining and controlling critical processes and applications running on your Linux, AIX, and VIOS environments.

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by the newest member of the HelpSystems team: Debbie Saugen.
    Debbie is recognized worldwide as an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability. For decades, Debbie has helped 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.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC Generic

    In this presentation, Alex Roytman (CEO, Profound Logic) and Liam Allan (2016 COMMON Student Innovation Award winner) 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

    Watch this Webcast NOW!

  • The Truth About Viruses on IBM i

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    Protecting your data from viruses or malicious code is not an unfamiliar concept, but understanding how these threats can affect your Power Systems server may not be as easy to grasp.
    There are many myths about viruses and IBM i—including the belief that the system is immune. Many Power Systems managers still don’t see viruses as a risk because they see them as a Windows threat. While this was once true, today’s connected environments operate under different rules.
    It’s time to take action and protect IBM i and the network that connects to it. This on-demand webinar will help you gain an understanding of the relationships between:

    - Viruses and the integrated file system (IFS)
    - Power Systems and Windows viruses
    - PC-based anti-virus scanning vs native IBM i scanning
    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. Learn the facts to ensure you're fully-protected.

  • Business Process Automation with Robot

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    Automate Process Flow Through the Data Center
    Typical “computerized” business processes are a combination of multiple schedulers, operational scripts, CL programs, and manual file checking, all backed up with the trusty runbook.
    Is there a better way to manage business processes?
    It is a common misconception that a business process cannot be automated if it’s too complicated or requires that someone verify each step. We’re here to tell you there is a better way to manage your business—process automation is possible!
    Take 30 minutes to learn the options for automating your business process flow and how they fit into your data center processing, including cases of:
    - Complex or iterative schedules
    - Event-driven dependencies
    - Multi-platform dependencies
    - Dynamically calculated parameters
    - Exception notification
    - SAP and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne integration
    How do I know business process automation is effective?
    If you have any doubts that automating complex business processes will improve your level of service, you’ll also hear a success story from the senior systems administrator at Trident Seafoods who embraced automation using the Robot solution and is reeling in the benefits!

  • Find Out Why You Should Keep Data on IBM i

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    It’s simple. IBM i is the most reliable, securable, and powerful platform to house your critical business data.
    IBM i was built for business and has added features and functionality over the years to keep up with modern business needs. You can trust it to run your business, access your data in real-time, and keep your data secure. Plus, IBM i can scale to your business and handle all of your critical data.
    Can your other platforms do that?
    We didn’t think so.
    Watch this 30-minute webinar to learn why you should keep your data on IBM i, including:
    - IBM i is reliable
    - IBM i offers fast and secure real-time data access
    - IBM i helps your business prepare for tomorrow
    Plus, we demonstrate how Sequel Data Access helps you modernize IBM i data access and meet your business needs.

  • Mobile Apps for IBM i Monitoring

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    Overnight and weekend support can be a minefield for operations teams tasked with attempting to maintain system availability, especially when they must rely on laptop-based VPN access—where a delayed response can prove costly.
    With over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to use the BYOD movement to your advantage and start managing your IT infrastructure from the palm of your hand. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how Halcyon has modernized this crucial layer of support by introducing mobile applications for IBM i monitoring.
    You’ll hear how one company has used the Enterprise Console mobile app to provide a valuable audit trail and speed up response time. You’ll also learn:
    - The benefits of mobile apps
    - How to respond to critical messages within seconds
    - How to get notifications your way on your device
    - How to set up escalation, ensuring alerts are always handled in a timely fashion
    If your team is responsible for managing IBM i applications and services after regular business hours, you won’t want to miss this one!

     

  • Speed Up Your Manufacturing and Distribution with Paperless Processes

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Your ERP system —whether it’s JDE World, Enterprise One, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, VAI, or anything else—is essential to maintaining your company’s key business information and processes. But you’re constantly generating and receiving paper and electronic documents, too, and it’s hard to keep everything straight. So, you wind up chasing documents and data around—and keeping your customers and vendors waiting.
    It’s time to make life easier and make your customers happier. With an electronic document management system, you can integrate with your ERP to keep all of your key documents and data in one spot.
    And when all of your documents are stored digitally, you can speed up your processes and get key documents (like purchase orders and invoices) approved faster.
    Watch the webinar and learn how to:
    - Integrate a document management system with your ERP
    - Capture all of your key shop floor, order, and shipment documents in one central repository
    - Improve customer, vendor, and employee response times
    - Accomplish more work without adding additional staff
    It’s time to deliver your shipments faster and keep your customers happy by streamlining your paperwork processes.

  • Dock Door Signing Made Easy

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    How long does dock door signing take your organization? Too long if you’re still using manual processes and paper.
    From generating to collating to printing to routing to signing, manual processes and paper slow down your organization—and your delivery times. Electronic documents and digital signature capture can change all of that. And your organization will be able to create, route, approve (with digital signatures), and retrieve documents faster.
    Learn how digital signature capture helps you:
    - Eliminate steps in your approval processes
    - Improve auditability
    - Reduce customer service time to resolve questions
    Plus, we’ll demonstrate how digitizing signatures and documents will reduce your organization’s costs over the long haul.

  • 5 Reasons Developers Love Robot Schedule

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    Why AppDev Should Embrace Automation
    Your application development team is an expensive resource that works hard to improve business processes, yet more and more IBM i shops are putting AppDev in charge of managing day-to-day system operations.
    Instead of taking their attention away from the website, business analytics, mobile, security, SQL data access, and more, streamline operations with automation and build in notifications so your teams have visibility into processing when they need it, and can manage the rest by exception.
    In just 30 minutes, our experts will show how AppDev teams can take advantage of Robot automated operations on IBM i and beyond so they can:
    - Stop programming for multi-platform job and file event dependencies
    - Stop struggling with incorrect parameter values
    - Stop wondering where to fit a process into daily, weekly, or monthly cycles
    - Stop the on-call headaches, the firefighting, and the lack of progress cycle
    - Go ahead, give your AppDev team a productivity boost!

  • Affordable Query Tool for Software Developers

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    NGS’ Software Developer Kit (SDK) gives IBM i developers comprehensive query, dynamic mobile reporting, analytics and Web report design features at an affordable cost. Install and create meaningful outputs for managers in one day! Web page and portal integration, email, FTP are included.
    The $895* SDK includes a one user license, online training, user manuals, one year of software maintenance; toll-free support and online incident reporting.
    - Want to modernize beyond Query/400 and PC files transfers?
    - Need a Web reporting solution without the learning curve and overhead of DB2 Web Query?
    - Have many reporting needs, but a tight budget and small staff?
    View the demo and request a FREE TRIAL of the SDK.
    * Limited time offer.

  • Your introduction to RCAC and Authority Collection

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    IBM has provided us with two powerful and very exciting security enhancements in the last two versions of IBM i.

    Scott Forstie of IBM joins Carol Woodbury to demonstrate and describe the V7R2 feature called Row and Column Access Control (RCAC), which extends how you define which users have access to specific rows in a database file. RCAC also provides a way to mask data for all or selected users.

    The recently released V7R3 adds Authority Collection. Authority Collection provides organizations and vendors with the ability to know exactly what authority is required to perform a task, eliminating the guesswork. Gone is the need to set *PUBLIC authority on database files to *ALL or to automatically grant service accounts *ALLOBJ special authority just because you’re unsure of what authority is required.

    Watch Scott and Carol as they discuss these and other new security features delivered in V7R2 and V7R3.

  • ​Getting Started with IBM i Security: Event Auditing

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    Learn why event auditing is necessary and how to configure it
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This second session of the series introduces event auditing, with Robin Tatam covering the basics and more:
    - Why auditing is necessary
    - Determine if IBM i auditing is currently active
    - How to configure auditing with one simple command
    - What audit events are recorded (and which are missed!)
    - How high availability (HA) applications often make critical events disappear
    - Event reporting and real-time alerting

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Securing PC Access

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    Protect your system from unauthorized network access through readily available PC tools

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    This on-demand webinar will show you how well-known services like FTP and ODBC enable users to access sensitive data without oversight or restrictions. Robin Tatam will also explain what exit programs are and how you can use them to protect your organization.

  • No Time for IBM I Security? No Problem

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    “Security” is definitely on your IT staff’s to-do list, but how often does this item get checked off?

    IT doesn’t have enough time for security—the 2016 IBM i Security Study proves it. The trouble is that data security isn’t a set-and-forget project. Data security on your IBM i requires on-going attention and expertise.

    In this on-demand webinar, you’ll learn how to save time and work more effectively. We’re cutting to the core of IBM i security by outlining the simple strategy developed by our experts.

    You’ll see a straightforward approach to understanding and addressing risk to your IBM i data. We’ll also show you how our world-class security services help people protect business-critical data when they don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to tackle IBM i security on their own.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: System Values

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    Set the tone for data protection with security-relevant system values

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    The series opens with an introduction to security-relevant system values.

    System values are one of the fundamental elements of IBM i security. The security system values enable you to “set the tone” of security on your IBM i, enforce password composition rules, and enable auditing. Watch this on-demand webinar to see Carol Woodbury describe these system values and provide guidance on their best practice settings.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    The IFS is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of IBM i security
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This recorded session has Robin Tatam introducing IFS security:
    - Defining IFS
    - How the IFS is configured
    - Common IFS security mistakes
    - What a virus can do to IBM i through the IFS
    - Tracking user activity

  • ​7 Habits of Highly Secure Organizations

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    Everyone knows that cyber security is important, but getting started on the road to data protection and compliance can be confusing and intimidating. Understanding common vulnerabilities helps you focus your attention and resources on the areas that need the most help.
    We all want “best-practice” security, but what are top organizations doing to achieve and maintain it?
    Watch this webinar to learn the details about how to develop the seven habits that are part of daily life for secure organizations. You’ll learn how to:
    - Break the Ostrich Syndrome
    - Develop a Security Policy
    - Assess Current Standing
    - Perform Security Event Logging and Review
    - Use “Best of Breed” Technologies
    - Monitor for Ongoing Compliance
    - Plan for the Future
    This on-demand webinar examines what each of these habits means to IBM i, and helps you make sure that you don’t become the next security statistic.

  • An Introduction to PCI Compliance on IBM Power Systems

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    "From the world's largest corporations to small Internet stores, compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is vital for all merchants who accept credit cards, online or offline, because nothing is more important than keeping your customer’s payment card data secure.” — PCI Security Standards Council
    Complying with the PCI standard is a normal part of doing business in today’s credit-centric world. But, PCI applies to multiple platforms.
    The challenge becomes how to map the general PCI requirements to a specific platform, such as IBM i. And, more importantly, how can you maintain—and prove—compliance?
    Watch this webinar to understand:
    - How PCI requirements relate to IBM i systems
    - IBM i-specific barriers to compliance
    - How PowerTech security solutions help you fulfill PCI requirements, meet compliance guidelines, and satisfy auditors
    You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to evaluate PCI compliance requirements and prepare your IBM i system for today’s regulatory challenges.

  • Implementing Multiple Layers of Defense

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Your IBM i holds a massive amount of data. In most organizations, that data constitutes a mission-critical and high-value asset.

    How do you adequately protect the data residing on your IBM i, given its value to your organization? IBM has provided us with many options for protecting our data, but it’s now always clear how to select and implement the best options for your circumstances.

    This recorded webinar describes IBM i’s different data security options, along with implementation recommendations and tips for getting started. Carol Woodbury, one of the world’s top IBM i security experts, also provides considerations to help you determine how many layers of security are right for your organization.

  • 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 Generic

    Watch 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!
    Watch this Webinar Now!

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

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    Modern, 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.
    We will demonstrate how Profound UI:
    - Goes beyond simple screen-scraping to truly modernize your RPG applications
    - Uses RPG Open Access and your own RPG code and development talent to modernize
    - Supports rapid development with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop Designer
    - Integrates with our on-the-fly modernization, mobile development, and Enterprise Modernization solutions

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

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericHigh availability for IBM i has been a hot topic in 2017, jumping 20% from our 2016 survey to take the #2 seat on IT priority lists just behind cybersecurity. And no surprise with these two topics so closely tied to your most valuable asset: your irreplaceable business data.
    With major airline outages last year and the recent ransomware attacks, you 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—Tom Huntington, Matt Staddler, and Cole Ragland—deliver lively discussion around the top high availability issues of today, including:

    • 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

    There are no do-overs when it comes to your data. Once it’s gone, it’s gone...unless you have a data replication layer in place to protect it. Learn the value of these strategic solutions and how you can implement them in a hurry—watch now!

     

  • 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 5541Roses are red, your UIs are green...It's time to make your apps proud to be seen!
    Whether 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.
    In this webinar, you'll learn how you can use both Profound UI and Profound.js to:

    • 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

    This webinar will include a live product demonstration and Q&A with the presenters.

    Download and watch today!

  • 2017 IBM i Marketplace Revealed

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    IBM i is one of technology’s best-kept secrets, with little information available about what IBM i users are doing on this server. Even companies that use this technology struggle to explain to their own teams what IBM i stands for and who else is using it.
    The IBM i Marketplace Survey—now in its 3rd year—was designed to solve this problem. Watch this on-demand webinar for the exclusive results of the 2017 survey. IBM i Champion Tom Huntington is joined by a panel of technology experts to discuss year-over-year trends and new insights. The panel will discuss:

    • What other platforms do you run alongside IBM i?
    • What programming and Open Source languages are you using?
    • What are your top IT issues?
    • What version of POWER and what OS level is most prevalent?
    • Are you expanding your usage of IBM i?
    • Is IBM i a good ROI?

    The expert panel will provide industry insight and comments about the results. When the webinar concludes, you’ll get access to the full results.

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

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    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

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    Everyone wants a piece of your business data. But keeping up with data access requests in the era of constantly growing data is a challenge. As a result, your IT department can be overwhelmed, inundated, and constantly needing to play catch-up.
    It’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 in 2018.
    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

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    Let’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 noted 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...

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    There’s a better way to run your queries. With an advanced query tool like Sequel Data Access, you can deliver the IBM i data your organization needs quickly and efficiently—without the hang-ups.
    In this session, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access and distribution trends, and help you understand what to look for in a more advanced query tool.
    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
    • Watch the webinar and learn why you shouldn’t just settle for Query/400.

     

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

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    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    Capturing documents means scanning and filing—which takes you away from tasks that actually matter to the business. Managing documents means sorting through an endless sea of shared folders or filing cabinets—and sometimes documents can’t be found. Distributing documents means following a frustrating, manual process for routing documents internally and sending them to vendors and customers.
    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

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    Get 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.

  • Monitor VIOS (and AIX) from Your IBM i

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    Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) runs on AIX and allows you to share input/output resources across logical partitions. The health of your VIOS server is critical to the performance of all your Power server partitions, so monitoring it is a must.
    Our 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results uncovered a cool trend: an increasing number of IBM i shops are running AIX instances alongside IBM i on Power Systems servers. We like to see these systems playing nicely together on the same server, though it does shine a spotlight on shared resources.
    During this 30-minute recording, our experts demonstrate the new VIOS and AIX monitoring capabilities in Robot Monitor. You’ll learn about:

    • The top AIX metrics that impact VIOS
    • Real-time monitoring with dashboard displays
    • Threshold and notification options
    • Identifying trends to better allocate resources

    With VIOS/AIX running alongside IBM i, you need visibility into your entire Power environment.
    Watch now to see how Robot Monitor can get you there!

     

     

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

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    You’re responsible for looking after Windows, Linux, AIX, and VIOS, but you worry that you don’t understand their complexities well enough to make your job effective—or easy.
    No problem! Simplify the management of multiple operating systems and applications without becoming experts in each area.
    In 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 and shows how easy monitoring multiple operating systems and applications can be using point-and-click technology.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

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    When IBM i disk space pulls its notorious disappearing act, you don’t have time to waste figuring out how the trick is done. You need to know when disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer.
    Looking behind the curtain to keep a close eye on disk space—especially in a multi-partition environment—can have its challenges, but every good admin can have an ace up their sleeve. 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

    Start seeing through the sleight of hand and get instant visibility into disk usage. Add advance warning of potential threats and—abracadabra!—you’ll reduce the risk of disk space depletion and curb the sudden flurry of activity to clean things up.

     

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

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    Still following manual processes for extracting and transferring data across platforms? You’re not alone. Many business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation. And that leads to a lot of manual effort.
    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, you’ll see a demonstration of how data automation software from HelpSystems will help you finally stop re-keying data.

     

  • Survey Results: 2018 Top Cybersecurity Risks and Mitigation Strategies

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    Protecting your organization from cyberthreats has never been more important—or more difficult.
    IT pros have many tactics to choose from, but time (and budgets!) are not unlimited. The key is prioritizing risks and identifying the most effective ways to mitigate the danger.
    In 2018, HelpSystems surveyed more than 600 IT and cybersecurity professionals to find out what security exploits loom largest and what strategies they’re turning to for protection.
    In this on-demand webinar, our team of cybersecurity security experts analyzes results. You’ll learn about:

    • Security strategies your peers are most interested in implementing
    • How managers and executives prioritize security
    • Who is responsible for cybersecurity at organizations around the world
    • Where IT pros turn for assistance with security

    You'll also get practical tips for using this data to drive cybersecurity conversations at your organization.

     

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

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    When it comes to IBM® Rational® Open Access: RPG Edition (also known as RPG Open Access), 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"

    This Webinar features IBM i expert Alison Butterill, and Profound Logic’s Brian May and Alex Roytman.

     

    Watch the On-demand Webinar Now!

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

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    Do your users keep paperwork on their desk until it's processed?
    Are people constantly removing documents from filing cabinets?
    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Too much paper is wasted—approximately 1,000 pages per month per worker.
    Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets drive your employees crazy.
    And distributing documents to customers, vendors, and business partners 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

    Plus, our experts will provide a live demonstration of how implementing a document management solution will quickly solve your paper-based problems, so you can be more

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

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    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

     

  • TRY the One Package That Solves All Your Document Design and Printing Challenges

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    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. Why support 5 different products, when you can do it all with MarkMagic?

    - Drive over 450 different printer types.
    - Create invoices, statements, checks.
    - Set dynamic rules that transform output on the fly.
    - Conditionally distribute via Email, fax, or PDF.
    - Integrate with your current applications in minutes.
    - Preview printing on screen.
    - Native System i, Windows, AIX, Linux.

    Try MarkMagic today for free

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) 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 5413

    Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. 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
    Keep your critical applications and data available. Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    The thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot 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

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    For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. brKey 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.

  • MS Office Connector for Query/400...FREE Trial!

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    NGS' Qport Office enables Windows users to run IBM Query/400 queries to:
    - Create and update Excel spreadsheets and Access databases
    - Create Word documents
    - Send to Windows screen and PC printers
    No query conversion is required. Works with i5/OS V5R1 & above. Installs in minutes!
    If you don’t have a budget to replace IBM Query/400, but want your users to have one click enhanced output of their queries.... Request the online license agreement and product download instructions today!
    Offer good through December 31, 2016.

  • Control and Monitor User Access from Desktop PCs (ODBC, FTP)

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    Protect your company by monitoring network traffic to your IBM i servers with the industry-leading exit program, PowerTech Network Security.
    Without visibility into IBM i's exit points, your users could be viewing, changing, or even deleting sensitive data—and you wouldn’t know!
    Network Security lets you monitor and control access to over 30 exit points, including:

    - ODBC
    - FTP
    - DDM
    - Remote command
    - Fileserve (mapped drives to IFS)
    It’s easy to set up custom access rules and get notified in real-time when security events occur.
    Stop “back door” access today. Try Network Security free for 30 days.

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

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    More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. Managing the complexities of today's operating systems, business applications, and networks challenges even the most knowledgeable IT professionals. The cost to an enterprise of unplanned downtime, loss of human expertise during sick leave or vacation, and system/application or environmental failure can be devastating. 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 (and staff) efficiency.