Tools from the Trenches

Change Management
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Soft-coding is writing source code that allows someone to change the behavior of a program without modifying and recompiling. It makes programs more flexible by allowing users to change programs to meet their needs without calling on you.

Soft-coding helps you handle exceptions. For instance, suppose you want all expense reports to automatically go to a specific printer, except for Joe Smith's expense reports, which are to go somewhere else. Maybe you want some purchase orders to go to an output queue to be printed, but you want other purchase orders to go to an output queue where your fax software will read them and send them.

You may be able to benefit from soft-coding techniques if any of these situations applies to you:

? Users tell you they want a program like someone else's, but with some "small" modifications.

? You have cloned programs that differ only slightly from the original.

? Users cannot change the way they do a job without coming to you to change and recompile a program.

? You cannot rename a library or combine two libraries into one, without your applications crashing.

Problems with Hard-coding

Hard-coding creates more work for you, because users have to involve you when they need to make changes. For instance, suppose Joe needs two copies of a report, but everybody else needs one. You might write CL code like that in 1.

Hard-coding creates more work for you, because users have to involve you when they need to make changes. For instance, suppose Joe needs two copies of a report, but everybody else needs one. You might write CL code like that in Figure 1.

This code works fine, but you will have more work to do in the future. When Betsy decides she wants two copies as well, you'll have to modify and recompile the program.

Wouldn't it be nice if each user could tell the program how many copies he needs? Wouldn't it be marvelous if each user could change his mind as often as he likes and never have to notify you? Well, that's what soft-coding is all about.

Soft-coding Using

Programmer-created Objects

Soft-coding stores information in objects the programmer creates, such as files, data areas, and user spaces, rather than in program code. Programs can then access these objects at run-time to get information about how they are to do their job.

Let's look at another approach to users needing differing numbers of copies. You can create a file with three fields?user ID, report ID, and number of copies?uniquely keyed on USER and RPTID. You would use this file to store information about reports.

Next, you would need a simple RPG program, like the one in 2, to retrieve information from the file.

Next, you would need a simple RPG program, like the one in Figure 2, to retrieve information from the file.

Instead of using hard-coded values, the CL program (see 3) calls the RPG program to find out how many copies the user needs.

Instead of using hard-coded values, the CL program (see Figure 3) calls the RPG program to find out how many copies the user needs.

Now you can change how many copies of a report a user gets with a file maintenance program or a utility like DFU. If you write a program that lets users change their own records, the users can control their reports without coming to see you.

You can soft-code information that is common throughout an application. Let's say "ABC Incorporated" appears in your report headings and at the top of your displays. Your plant is sold and renamed "XYZ Corporation, Eastern Division." If you hard-coded "ABC Incorporated" in your output specs and DDS, you groan and kiss the weekend good-bye. However, if your programs retrieve "ABC Incorporated" from a data area, you only have to execute one Change Data Area (CHGDTAARA) command.

Suppose you need more than one "environment" for each user of a single application: say, a training environment and a production environment. Suppose also that, as part of the payroll system security, you restrict each payroll clerk to a certain member of file PRTRAN, set aside for his use alone.

You could write a different front-end program for each payroll clerk. Each program would have a Change Current Library (CHGCURLIB) command to change the current library to the library containing the payroll files. Each program would also have to add a member for that user to file PRTRAN, unless the member already existed, and override file PRTRAN so that all programs would use the member.

To change from the training environment to the production environment, you'd have to modify the CHGCURLIB command in that user's CL program and recompile the program. To add a new payroll clerk, you would copy one of the existing programs, modify it as needed, and compile.

Alternatively, you could set up a control file keyed on user ID. In this file, you would store a value for the user's current library. Then you'd only need one CL program to front-end your payroll system, no matter how many payroll users there were. The program would retrieve the user's record from the control file, then use that file's data to set up the user's working environment.

The control file would consist of only two ten-character fields?USER and LIBR. The file, which we might call PRCTLF, would be uniquely keyed on USER.

Each user would run a CL program like that in 4 to start the payroll application.

Each user would run a CL program like that in Figure 4 to start the payroll application.

Soft-coding lets you switch a user from one environment to the other with one simple change to his control record. You can give other users access to the payroll system simply by adding a record to this file.

It is possible to soft-code your calculations to some degree. For example, employees can have several types of income, such as base salary or wages, overtime pay, tips, vacation pay, bonuses, and severance pay. Some of these pay types are taxable; others aren't. Some of these pay types are included in Worker's Compensation wages; others aren't. The two lists are somewhat different.

Suppose you're writing a report program to show Worker's Compensation gross wages. You could hard-code such pay types into your program (see 5).

Suppose you're writing a report program to show Worker's Compensation gross wages. You could hard-code such pay types into your program (see Figure 5).

Another option you might consider is setting up a table file. Group the codes for each of the pay types into income groups. Set up one income group for W-2 gross income, another for Worker's Compensation gross income, and so forth. 6 illustrates how you would load such a file.

Another option you might consider is setting up a table file. Group the codes for each of the pay types into income groups. Set up one income group for W-2 gross income, another for Worker's Compensation gross income, and so forth. Figure 6 illustrates how you would load such a file.

7 contains code fragments from an RPG program that uses this technique. The EMPINC (employee income) file has a separate record for each income type an employee receives (e.g., regular pay, overtime pay, vacation pay). The INCGRPF file is being used to read only the income types that are grouped under Worker's Compensation gross wages. The program reads the records for these income types, sums up the amount fields, and prints a total line for each employee.

Figure 7 contains code fragments from an RPG program that uses this technique. The EMPINC (employee income) file has a separate record for each income type an employee receives (e.g., regular pay, overtime pay, vacation pay). The INCGRPF file is being used to read only the income types that are grouped under Worker's Compensation gross wages. The program reads the records for these income types, sums up the amount fields, and prints a total line for each employee.

Now the payroll clerk can change the types of income included in Worker's Compensation wages instead of calling MIS to make the change. Also, only one file needs to be changed instead of multiple programs.

Extra files mean more I/O, and unnecessary I/O is expensive and inefficient. You can reduce file I/O by reading codes or code groups into a table, array, or user index at program initialization time and using table lookups to retrieve the information. In this program, array CDE replaces continuous input operations from INCGRPF.

Soft-coding with OS/400 Objects

OS/400 makes heavy use of soft-coding techniques. Think about what the system goes through to determine which output queue to place a report into. The default value of the Create Printer File (CRTPRTF) command's OUTQ parameter is *JOB. This value specifies that the generated output should go to the output queue of the job running the program. Jobs get their values from job descriptions. The default value of the Create Job Description (CRTJOBD) command's OUTQ parameter is *USRPRF. This means that many jobs retrieve their output queue values from the user profile of the user who initiates the job. The Create User Profile (CRTUSRPRF) command's default OUTQ is *WRKSTN, which says that printed output goes to the output queue assigned to the display the user is working from. A display's default output queue is the output queue of the printer specified in the Create Device Description Display (CRTDEVDSP) command's PRTDEV parameter. PRTDEV's default is *SYSVAL, which points back to the system value QPRTDEV. In other words, when a program opens a printer file, the system might search the printer file, a job, a user profile, a device description, and a system value before it can determine which output queue to send the report to.

Clearly, you can specify an output queue name in several places, depending on what you're trying to do. A common way of handling this type of thing is to assign output queues to user profiles. This makes all output for a user go to one place by default. If a user's output queue is not attached to a writer, the user can review printed output and delete it or assign it to another output queue for printing.

If you have reports that you want to send to a certain output queue, no matter who generates them, you can specify the output queue on the CRTPRTF or Change Printer File (CHGPRTF) command. Let's say that you want purchase orders to go to a printer on which preprinted purchase order forms are always mounted. You can change the OUTQ parameter of the purchase order printer file to point to that printer. Other reports generated by the purchase order print job would go to the output queue assigned to the job, but the purchase orders themselves would go to the printer with the preprinted purchase orders.

If you have users who work at various places and want their reports to print out nearby, leave their user profiles with the default value *WRKSTN. Assign a nearby printer to each workstation.

Common soft-coding values used in OS/400 commands are *JOB, *CURRENT, *USRPRF, *WRKSTN, and *SYSVAL. Most soft-coded parameters eventually trace back to a system value.

The Library List

You can enhance your soft-coding techniques by letting the system scan the library list when looking for objects, rather than hard-coding library names in your code. For example, let's say that three factories use your system and that they use the same software. You need to print the plant name at the top of a certain report. You could make three copies of the report program and hard-code the appropriate plant name in the page headings of each one. The problem with that approach is that you have three separate programs to maintain.

Another approach is to create a common library for the objects used by all plants (e.g., programs, display files, and printer files), but have separate libraries for data objects, such as database files. Each user's library list includes the common program library and the data library for the factory he works in.

To put the plant name on displays and reports, you would create a data area called PLANT_NAME in each of the three data libraries and store each plant's name in its data area. The report program would read whichever copy of the data area it found by scanning the library list, and it would print out whatever it found.

Another advantage to using the library list is that you can easily reorganize the objects on your system. If you don't hard-code library names in your programs, you can rename libraries and move objects from one library to another. If you do hard-code library names and have to rename a library, resign yourself to another long weekend at the office.

If a command will not read the library list?for example, the FROMLIB parameter of Create Duplicate Object (CRT-DUPOBJ)?precede it with a Retrieve Object Description (RTVOBJD) command to find the library name. 8 illustrates how you would do this.

If a command will not read the library list?for example, the FROMLIB parameter of Create Duplicate Object (CRT-DUPOBJ)?precede it with a Retrieve Object Description (RTVOBJD) command to find the library name. Figure 8 illustrates how you would do this.

Hard-code library names in as few places as possible. A better approach is to maintain library lists through job descriptions and the system value QUSRLIBL. An alternative is to create a file, keyed on user ID, that contains the library list in a character field 275 bytes long. When a user signs on, his initial program retrieves his record. Then it executes a Change Library List (CHGLIBL) command through QCMDEXC to set the library list of his interactive job and any batch jobs he submits. One nice thing about this approach is that you can easily find out which users have a certain library in their library list by using SQL or Query, or even Display Physical File Member (DSPPFM).

If a user has to use different library lists for different tasks, give him menu options to let him choose the environment he needs. Let the programs behind those menu options, not the application programs, change the library list.

Disadvantages of Soft-coding

Soft-coding also has its disadvantages. First, soft-coded programs are harder to document and understand, because some information is external to the program rather than in the program code. A programmer has to look in more places to decipher a program. There may also be more steps in the program, since you must include code to retrieve and interpret the externally stored data.

Soft-coding is harder to program, or at least it requires more thought. Soft-coded programs are not usually the type that you can write "on the fly."

Soft-coding requires more user training if you plan to turn maintenance of your soft-codes over to your users.

The advantages, however, far outweigh the disadvantages. Soft-coding lets you spend less time doing tedious maintenance programming and more time developing new programs.

Don't Be Hard-headed! Soft-code!

This is not meant to be an encyclopedic reference of soft-coding techniques, but an introduction to the philosophy of soft-coding. You may think of other techniques you can use in your environment.

Change is a law of life. Employees come and go; product lines and prices change; organizations reorganize. Do yourself a favor. Try to write software that allows users to respond to change without programmer intervention.

Ted Holt is an associate technical editor for Midrange Computing.

Sharon Cannon is a programmer/analyst with Drexel-Heritage Furnishings in Drexel, North Carolina.

Tools from the Trenches

Figure 1: Hard-coded Printer Override

Tools from the Trenches

Figure 2: Program to Retrieve Printer Override Values

 * Retrieve number of copies a user gets of a report * FPRTOVR IF E K DISK I SDS I 254 263 SUSER C *ENTRY PLIST C PARM PUSER 10 User ID C PARM PRPTID 10 Report ID C PARM PCOPIE 30 Copies * * If no user specified, assume current user * C PUSER IFNE *BLANKS C MOVELPUSER USER C ELSE C MOVELSUSER USER C ENDIF C MOVELPRPTID RPTID * C KEY1 KLIST C KFLD USER C KFLD RPTID * C KEY1 CHAINPRTOVRR 11 * * If user has no record for this report, look for default values * C *IN11 IFEQ *ON C MOVEL'*DEFAULT'USER P C KEY1 CHAINPRTOVRR 11 C ENDIF * C *IN11 IFEQ *OFF C Z-ADDCOPIES PCOPIE C ELSE C Z-ADD1 PCOPIE Assume 1 copy C ENDIF * C SETON LR 
Tools from the Trenches

Figure 3: Soft-coded Printer Override

Tools from the Trenches

Figure 4: Payroll Front-end Program

Tools from the Trenches

Figure 5: Hard-coded Payroll Calculations for Worker's Compensation Report

Tools from the Trenches

Figure 6: File INCGRPF

Tools from the Trenches

Figure 7: Soft-coded Payroll Calculations for Worker's Compensation Report

 E CDE 99 5 * C PAYKY KLIST C KFLD EMP# C KFLD INCCDE 5 * ... (more code) C Z-ADD1 X C X DOWLECOUNT C MOVE CDE,X INCCDE * process all records for this employee and pay code type C PAYKY SETLLEMPINCR C PAYKY READEEMPINCR 53 * C *IN53 DOWEQ'0' * ... (code to process one record) C PAYKY READEEMPINCR 53 C ENDDO C ADD 1 X C ENDDO * C WRITETOTAL 51 * ... (more code) * C *INZSR BEGSR * * Load payroll codes for workman's comp into array CDE C MOVEL'WCWAG' GROUP C OPEN INCGRPF C Z-ADD1 X 30 C GROUP SETLLINCGRPR C X DOWLE99 C GROUP READEINCGRPR 53 C *IN53 IFEQ '1' C LEAVE C ENDIF C Z-ADDX COUNT 20 C MOVE INCCDE CDE,X C ADD 1 X C ENDDO C CLOSEINCGRPF * C ENDSR 
Tools from the Trenches

Figure 8: CRTDUPOBJ with Soft-coded Library Name

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.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale

Complete CL: Sixth Edition Complete CL: Sixth Edition
Now fully updated! Get the master guide to Control Language programming.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale

IBM i5/iSeries Primer IBM i5/iSeries Primer
Check out the ultimate resource and “must-have” guide for every professional working with the i5/iSeries.
List Price $99.95

Now On Sale

Qshell for iSeries Qshell for iSeries
Check out this Unix-style shell and utilities command interface for OS/400.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale







  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

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

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

    Get your copy today!

  • Automate IBM i Operations using Wireless Devices

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

    Order your copy here.

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


    Download your free copy of DR Strategy Guide for IBM i from Maxava today.


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

    SB Profound WP 5539

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

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

    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!


  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results


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

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

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

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

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


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

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.

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

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

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

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

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

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


  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

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


  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

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

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

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


  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

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

    Watch the webinar today!


  • Easy Mobile Development

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Download and watch today!


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

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

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


  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel


    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


    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 as a pre-built development environment



  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.


  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

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

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.



  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

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

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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



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

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

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

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



  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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




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

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

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


  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

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

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

    Request your trial now!

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

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

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

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

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

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

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

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

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

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

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