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Reusing Object Code

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An appliance store in my hometown used to advertise with the slogan "Only the rich can afford cheap appliances." Their contention was that people who spend their money on less than the best appliances would eventually spend more money than they had saved on repair bills and new appliances.

If we were to adapt this slogan to our business, we might say it this way: "Only rich corporations can afford cheap software." However, I doubt it would be true. The largest corporations in the United States have changed a lot in the past few years. They're struggling to stay in business, too. I think we should say it this way: "Nobody can afford cheap software." The money saved by cutting corners, and even more, will eventually be spent scrapping ineffective systems and heavily repairing others. We need to build robust systems, and one way to do that is to reuse proven object code.

Previously, I discussed the philosophy of reusing source code (MC, April 1996). This month, I'm going to talk about reusing object code. Both have the same goal: to help you get the most mileage out of your programming effort. The difference is that reused object code does not have to be compiled.

If you've ever written a CL program, you have reused object code. When you include a Copy File (CPYF) command in the CL program, you run object code that was written and debugged by other people.

Reusing object code saves you time and makes you more productive. Think about how much time you would spend writing utility programs if you didn't have CL commands like CPYF. Since you don't have to write programs that copy records from one file to another, you can concentrate on other things.

Reusing object code allows you to use the best language for each task. RPG III can handle the simple math that makes up most business data processing, but it lacks operators for more complicated math. Let's say you write a program that calculates compound interest (like a mortgage), and you need to raise a number to a fractional power. You could write a program in another language that can handle the exponentiation.

Reusing object code makes it possible for you to simplify programs. Let's say that an AS/400 shop has the convention that the run date is formatted in report headings as the month name, followed by a space, the zero-suppressed day, a comma, and four-digit year, as in "February 8, 1994." Each report program would need an array of month names, along with the necessary calculations to transform an eight-digit numeric date into the shop's standard format. A better alternative would be to write one program that reformats a date and make all report programs call that program. The report programs would no longer need the array of month names or the calculations to reformat the date.

The heart of the philosophy of reusable object code is the construction and use of modules. A module is a unit of object code that accomplishes a task.

A module might be an entire program that allows a person to update vendor information through a terminal. This program might run from menus as a standalone program and could also be called from within accounts payable, purchasing, and receiving data entry programs as operators of these programs need to revise information about vendors.

A module could be a short RPG program that right-adjusts a character string. This module would be called by many programs throughout a system, so that no other program would have to deal with the task of right-adjusting character variables.

The philosophy of modular programming, then, centers on two questions:

1. Have I, or has anyone else, already solved this problem?

2. Can I solve this problem in such a way that I will not have to solve it again in the future?

But don't think code has to be reusable to be eligible for its own module. You may want to put portions of a large program into modules, just to simplify the main program. When you split one large program into four or five smaller programs, each program has fewer lines of code and fewer variables to keep track of. In this case, the modules are not reusable. Since I want to talk specifically about reusability, I won't discuss this use of modules. However, now that the Integrated Language Environment (ILE) is a reality, you may want to give this idea more thought.

A good module should have only one task to do, and it should do it well. A module that right-adjusts character strings and also counts the number of blanks in a string would be something like a CPA firm that paints houses on the side. Most people would wonder if the firm could do either task well.

Modules should be flexible. A module that reformats the system date into some special format is not as useful as one that will reformat any date provided to it through a parameter.

A module should communicate with the outside world only through documented interfaces, such as parameters, files, data areas, and messages. Be careful; programs can communicate with the outside world in ways you may not have thought of. A CL program that changes job attributes, such as the library list, is communicating with the world outside itself. Such programs often produce unforeseen and undesirable side effects.

The programmers who use the module should not have to understand its inner workings. AS/400 programmers don't know how the CPYF command works inside, and they don't have to know. It is sufficient to know what CPYF does and how to use it.

Modules should be documented so that people know how to use them. Documentation should explain the purpose of the module, how to invoke the module, what information the module needs, what information it will return, and what objects it requires.

Modules need sensible names. Sticking to a naming convention is the best way to achieve this goal. I have seen modular code that was next to impossible to read simply because the names of the modules (program names) it called were poorly chosen.

Modules should not be over-modularized. If a module contains only a few lines of source code, it may not need to be a separate module. For example, qualified object names are passed to CL programs as 20-byte character values. The leftmost 10 characters are the object name, and the rightmost 10 characters are the library name. You could write a subprogram that would handle the common task of extracting the object and library names, but it would be just as easy and more efficient to use two CHGVAR commands instead.

To illustrate these principles, I've included an RPG program, which I'll refer to as NUM001RG, in 1. This is the latest version of a handy program I've used for years to extract numbers from text fields. I've used it a lot for interpreting numbers included in files received via EDI (even the fixed-length translation files built by EDI programs often contain decimal points and signs). It's also good for reading CSV files uploaded from PCs and for character fields in which I've allowed the user to key either a number or a word like "ALL." You can probably think of other applications in which a number is stored in a text field.

To illustrate these principles, I've included an RPG program, which I'll refer to as NUM001RG, in Figure 1. This is the latest version of a handy program I've used for years to extract numbers from text fields. I've used it a lot for interpreting numbers included in files received via EDI (even the fixed-length translation files built by EDI programs often contain decimal points and signs). It's also good for reading CSV files uploaded from PCs and for character fields in which I've allowed the user to key either a number or a word like "ALL." You can probably think of other applications in which a number is stored in a text field.

NUM001RG adheres to the principles for module design that I've outlined.

o It has only one task to do: to extract a number from a string of text.

o It is flexible. It can handle strings of one to forty characters and align the extracted number for zero to nine decimal places.

o It communicates with the outside world in one way only: through five parameters.

o A programmer can use this module without understanding the logic of the code. He only has to know the name of the program and understand the five parameters.

o Whether this program has a sensible name or not depends on the conventions of the shop in which it is used.

In the Original Program Model (OPM), the CL and RPG languages use the CALL command to make other programs run. Since the called program is a separate object, it exists in its own little world. It has its own variables and maintains its own file pointers. It can use other objects, such as data areas and user spaces, independently of the calling program.

Although the calling program and called program exist in separate worlds, they can converse with one another. Any type of object that will store data-files, data areas, data queues, and user spaces-will work, but the common way for modules to communicate is through parameters. A parameter is a variable from the calling program that the called program has access to.

AS/400 programmers are quite comfortable with CALL. There is another way to invoke programs that is unfortunately ignored in many AS/400 shops and under-used in others-creating CL commands. Creating commands to run programs has the advantage that the command interpreter resolves parameter definitions.

One of the things NUM001RG must know is the length of the character string from which the number is to be extracted. Any program that requires the services of NUM001RG must give it this value as a three-digit number. The calling program must pass the value in packed decimal format, occupying two bytes of storage. If you define a command to run the program, as in 2, you can code the numeric value in any format. That is, the value four can be passed as 4; 004; 004.00; 4.0; 0000000004.00000; or any other format. The command interpreter will make sure NUM001RG receives the value in the correct format.

One of the things NUM001RG must know is the length of the character string from which the number is to be extracted. Any program that requires the services of NUM001RG must give it this value as a three-digit number. The calling program must pass the value in packed decimal format, occupying two bytes of storage. If you define a command to run the program, as in Figure 2, you can code the numeric value in any format. That is, the value four can be passed as 4; 004; 004.00; 4.0; 0000000004.00000; or any other format. The command interpreter will make sure NUM001RG receives the value in the correct format.

When a CL program ends and returns control to the program that called it, it ends. Period. It releases any resources it was using, and the operating system removes it from the job's invocation stack. If it is invoked again within the same job, it is reactivated.

RPG programs work the same way if the LR indicator is on in the called program when the program ends. Files are closed, locked data areas are unlocked or written, the program is taken out of the invocation stack, and so on. If LR is off, however, the program remains in the invocation stack, and execution is suspended. Variables (including indicators) retain their values, and file pointers remain intact. When the program is next called within the same job, the RPG program skips initialization routines and resumes execution at the beginning of the detail calculations.

Keep these things in mind when you choose a language for writing a subprogram. Suppose you're writing a program that reads an entire file, and, for each record in the file, calls a subprogram that reformats one of the fields. RPG would be a better choice than CL because it would be linked to the calling program only once per job-the first time it was called. If you wrote the reformatting program in CL, the operating system would waste a lot of time activating and deactivating the subprogram over and over.

It's great to leave a program in memory between invocations, but you have to get rid of it when you're through with it. RPG has a FREE opcode that does that very thing. When you FREE a called program, the operating system removes it from the list of activated programs. However, OS/400 does not do anything to the resources the called program was using, such as files and data areas.

CL's Reclaim Resources (RCLRSC) command will tidy up. It releases the resources used by programs that are no longer active. It doesn't hurt to include a RCLRSC at the end of a CL program that calls programs.

A good practice, one preferred by many programmers, is to clean up the job by passing a parameter to the called program to tell it whether or not to shut itself down upon exit. If the parameter contains a certain value, such as 1 or *ON, the program sets on the LR indicator before returning control to the caller. Any other value, and the program remains active.

NUM001RG uses an OPTION parameter. The value 1 means process the data and terminate the program, 2 means process the data but remain active, and 3 means end the program without processing the data.

It doesn't hurt to use a shutdown parameter followed by RCLRSC. It's something like wearing a belt with suspenders, but it's good to have RCLRSC there to take care of any loose ends you may not have tied up.

Under OPM, the AS/400 supports one type of call-the dynamic call. When program A calls program B, the system looks for program B, establishes linkage between the two, and yields control to program B. The dynamic call is often adequate for business data processing, where programs are usually I/O intensive. It has the advantages that the called program can be specified at run-time and that the called program can be modified and recompiled without having to recompile the programs that call it.

Dynamic calls may not be fast enough in applications that are CPU intensive or that are called very often. Dynamic calls may also be too slow when a program is called very often. One reason IBM introduced ILE was to reduce the amount of time it takes for one program to call another.

Some wag has commented that ILE stands for "It's a Linkage Editor," and that evaluation is not completely untrue. ILE provides a way for programs to establish linkage between one another at compilation time rather than at run-time. Since the linkage does not have to be reestablished every time a job runs, the call is much faster. This is not a new concept. Linkage editing has been around for years.

ILE gives you the choice of creating an executable program, a service program, or a module. In this context, module has a more specific meaning than as I've discussed it earlier in this article-it is a new object type. Modules and service programs are compiled code but cannot be executed alone. They must be called from an executable program.

RPG IV programmers can still use the dynamic CALL, but you now have the bound CALLB option as well. (In CL, the command is CALLPRC, or call procedure.) If you CALLB a procedure that's not in a service program, the compiler brings the object code into the calling program. If you change a module, you have to recompile the caller as well if you want it to benefit from the changes. If you change a service program, you only recompile the callers if the exports have changed. (For additional information on ILE binding, see "An Introduction to Program Binding," MC, August 1994.)

In the past, you may have copied a subroutine or section of code into many programs because the performance of CALLing a subprogram was unacceptable. ILE bound calls give you an intermediate alternative-much faster than dynamic calls without the maintenance overhead of duplicating code.

ILE also offers the advantage of activation groups. An activation group is a division of a job. All OPM programs run in the default activation group, but ILE programs can run in any activation group. If you wish to keep one of your reusable programs free from the overrides controlling other programs in the job, for instance, you can put the program in a different activation group. Using activation groups also gets rid of the dangling resources problem I discussed earlier. When the activation group ends, all resources it used are released.

There is yet another reason to use ILE. IBM has supplied a host of bindable APIs for ILE programs, and all you have to do is use them. See the OS/400 System API Reference V3R1 for more details.

I don't want to go into detail about ILE in this article. I suggest you read the book AS/400 ILE Example V3R1. What I want to get across is that ILE can help you if you reuse object code.

Can you imagine a large corporation where everyone refuses to allow anyone else to do anything? Everyone does his own typing, makes sales calls, pays bills, fixes the plumbing, and cleans the restrooms. How long would the company stay in business? Any entity-a corporation, a town, a nation, the world-works best when people specialize in different skills and each person does his part.

Systems should work the same way. Rather than make each program do everything that needs doing, write programs that specialize in different tasks, and have programs call upon them as needed.

Just as a corporation needs to hire people who can do the tasks required to carry on business, programmers need to collect, develop, and call upon existing modules to handle problems that have already been solved.

Ted Holt is an associate technical editor for Midrange Computing. He can be reached by E-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

REFERENCES

AS/400 ILE Example V3R1 (SC41-3602, CD-ROM QBKAQ400).

OS/400 System API Reference V3R1 (SC41-3801, CD-ROM QBKAVD00).


Reusing Object Code

Figure 1: Program NUM001RG-An Illustration of a Module

*========================================================== * To compile: * * CRTRPGPGM PGM(XXX/NUM001RG) SRCFILE(XXX/QRPGSRC) * *========================================================== *. 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 * Extract a number from a character string * * Parameters * STRVAL (I): Character string containing number * STRLEN (I): Length of STRVAL * DECPOS (I): Number of decimal positions in returned number * NUMVAL (O): Number returned to caller * Upon return, caller should MOVE (from right) NUMVAL * into a variable with the number of decimal postions * in DECPOS * ERROR (O): Error code * 0 = Number was successfully extracted * -1 = STRLEN was not between 1 and 40 * positive number = position of invalid STRVAL data * OPTION (I): Run option * 1 = Run program and terminate * 2 = Run program and remain active * 3 = Terminate program * anything else = Run program and terminate * * Sample call, for 7-digit numeric field, 2 decimal positions * * C* LEN has been calculated as the number of characters to examine * C* STRING contains the characters to be examined * C LEN IFGT *ZERO * C CALL 'NUM001RG' * C PARM STRING 40 * C PARM LEN 30 * C PARM 2 DECPOS 10 * C PARM NUMVAL 150 * C PARM ERROR 30 * C PARM '2' OPTION 1 * C MOVE NUMVAL XAMT 72 * C ELSE * C MOVE *ZERO XAMT * C ENDIF * E SV 40 1 STRING VALUE ISTRVAL DS 40 I 1 40 SV C *ENTRY PLIST C PARM STRVAL 40 INPUT STRING C PARM STRLEN 30 STRING LENGTH C PARM DECPOS 10 DECIMAL POSITIN C PARM NUMVAL 150 NUM TO RETURN C PARM ERROR 30 ERROR FLAG C PARM OPTION 1 RUN OPTION C* C* If terminate requested, shut down program C* C OPTION IFEQ '3' C MOVE *ON *INLR C RETRN C ENDIF C* C* Fill in default values for output parameters C* C MOVE *ZERO NUMVAL C MOVE *ZERO ERROR C* C* Is string length valid? C* C STRLEN IFLT 01 C STRLEN ORGT 40 C Z-SUB1 ERROR C RETRN C ENDIF C* C* Ignore trailing blanks and find the last position to process C* C Z-ADDSTRLEN EP 30 ENDING POSITION C SV,EP DOWEQ*BLANK C SUB 1 EP C EP IFLE *ZERO IF ALL BLANK .. C RETRN ... RETURN ZERO C ENDIF C ENDDO C* C MOVE *BLANK SIGN 1 C* C* Ignore leading blanks and find beginning position to process C* C Z-ADD1 BP 30 BEGIN POSITION C SV,BP DOWEQ*BLANK C ADD 1 BP C ENDDO C* C* If there is a leading + OR -, save the sign & skip any blanks C* that immediately follow it C* C MOVE SV,BP CHAR 1 C CHAR IFEQ '-' C CHAR OREQ '+' C BP IFGE EP IF ONLY A SIGN, C RETRN .. RETURN ZERO C ENDIF C MOVE CHAR SIGN C ADD 1 BP C SV,BP DOWEQ*BLANK C ADD 1 BP C ENDDO C ENDIF C* C* If there was no leading sign, look for a trailing sign C* & skip any blanks that immediately precede it C* C SIGN IFEQ *BLANK C MOVE SV,EP CHAR 1 C CHAR IFEQ '-' C CHAR OREQ '+' C MOVE CHAR SIGN C SUB 1 EP C SV,EP DOWEQ*BLANK C SUB 1 EP C ENDDO C ENDIF C ENDIF C* C* Build the number from the characters between positions BP & EP C* C MOVE *ZERO DIGCT 30 COUNT DIGITS C MOVE *ZERO DECCT 30 DECIMAL PLACES C MOVE 'L' DECMAL 1 LEFT OF DEC PT C Z-ADDBP NX 30 C NX DOWLEEP C ERROR ANDEQ*ZERO C MOVE SV,NX CHAR 1 C SELEC C CHAR WHGE '0' C CHAR ANDLE'9' C ADD 1 DIGCT COUNT DIGITS C DIGCT IFGT 15 C Z-ADDNX ERROR C ENDIF C ERROR IFEQ *ZERO C DECMAL ANDEQ'R' IF RIGHT OF PT C ADD 1 DECCT COUNT DEC DIGIT C DECCT IFGT DECPOS TOO MANY? C Z-ADDNX ERROR C ENDIF C ENDIF C ERROR IFEQ *ZERO C MOVE CHAR DIGIT 10 C MULT 10 NUMVAL C ADD DIGIT NUMVAL C ENDIF C CHAR WHEQ '.' DECIMAL POINT C DECMAL IFEQ 'L' C MOVE 'R' DECMAL RIGHT OF DEC PT C ELSE C Z-ADDNX ERROR C ENDIF C CHAR WHEQ ',' IGNORE COMMAS C CHAR OREQ '$' . & DOLLAR SIGNS C OTHER C Z-ADDNX ERROR C ENDSL C ADD 1 NX C ENDDO C* C* Align for number of decimal positions requested C* C NUMVAL IFNE *ZERO C DECCT DOWLTDECPOS C MULT 10 NUMVAL C ADD 1 DECCT C ENDDO C ENDIF C* C* If there was a minus sign, make the number negative C* C NUMVAL IFNE *ZERO C SIGN ANDEQ'-' C MLLZO'J' NUMVAL C ENDIF C* C* If not to remain active, shut down program C* C OPTION IFNE '2' C MOVE *ON *INLR C ENDIF C* C RETRN *. 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7
Reusing Object Code

Figure 2: The Extract Number (XTRNUM) Command

 /* ========================================================= */ /* To compile: */ /* */ /* CRTCMD CMD(XXX/XTRNUM) PGM(XXX/NUM001RG) + */ /* SRCFILE(XXX/QCMDSRC) ALLOW(*BPGM *IPGM) */ /* ========================================================= */ CMD PROMPT('Extract a number from a string') PARM KWD(STRVAL) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(40) MIN(1) EXPR(*YES) + PROMPT('String containing a number') PARM KWD(STRLEN) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(3 0) MIN(1) + PROMPT('Length of string') PARM KWD(DECPOS) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(1 0) CONSTANT(0) PARM KWD(NUMBER) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(15 0) RTNVAL(*YES) MIN(1) + PROMPT('Extracted number . . . .(15 0)') PARM KWD(ERROR) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(3 0) RTNVAL(*YES) MIN(1) + PROMPT('Error code . . . . . . .( 3 0)') PARM KWD(OPTION) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(1) RSTD(*YES) DFT('2') + VALUES('1' '2' '3') PROMPT('Option') 
Ted Holt

Ted Holt is IT manager of Manufacturing Systems Development for Day-Brite Capri Omega, a manufacturer of lighting fixtures in Tupelo, Mississippi. He has worked in the information processing industry since 1981 and is the author or co-author of seven books. 


MC Press books written by Ted Holt available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Complete CL: Fifth Edition Complete CL: Fifth Edition
Become a CL guru and fully leverage the abilities of your system.
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Complete CL: Sixth Edition Complete CL: Sixth Edition
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IBM i5/iSeries Primer IBM i5/iSeries Primer
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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.