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Creating Commands

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Take command of the AS/400.

by Ernie Malaga

It doesn't take long to realize that OS/400 has hundreds of commands. That much can be seen by browsing through the CL Reference Guide. It doesn't take long to realize, either, that the operation of the entire system is performed by executing commands; most of these commands can be included in a CL program for serial processing.

Let's imagine for a moment that OS/400 didn't use commands. Depending upon what you want to do, you must CALL different programs. For example, there might be a program called QGENRPG to run the RPG compiler. Because QGENRPG is a program, you must pass the parameters in a certain order which you must either memorize or dig up in the reference manuals. Pretty cumbersome, actually. Picture having to type CALL QGENRPG (PRODLIB/PGMA PRODLIB/QRPGSRC) instead of CRTRPGPGM PGM (PRODLIB/PGMA) SRCFILE (PRODLIB/ QRPGSRC). In the first case, you must remember the correct order of the parameters, and there are no keywords like PGM( ) and SRCFILE( ) to clue you into the correct syntax. Although the second method requires more typing, it is more readily understood. Besides, the parameters have keywords, so you can enter them in any order.

In addition to this, commands offer the command prompter, a powerful feature that creates prompt displays for you. These displays automatically include the basic function keys (F3, F12 and so on) at the bottom of the screen. If you have ever worked on a System/36, you may remember having to create prompt display formats using SDA whenever you created a new procedure to be run interactively. OS/400 doesn't require you to do so; this is automatically taken care of using a standard format, no matter what command is created. This brings another benefit: consistency in the user interface.

Getting Started

To get started writing commands, you'll need to have the QCMDSRC source physical file in the library of your choice. For the rest of this article I will use the name MYLIB for the library; you can replace it with the name of one of your libraries. To create this file, use the CRTSRCPF command:

 CRTSRCPF FILE(MYLIB/QCMDSRC) + TEXT('Command source') 

Okay, let's create a simple command with no parameters, such as Display Current User (DSPCURUSR). This command will display an information message with the current user's profile name. First of all, the command must be entered with SEU into QCMDSRC:

 STRSEU SRCFILE(MYLIB/QCMDSRC) + SRCMBR(DSPCURUSR) TYPE(CMD) ) 

Because this command has no parameters, we need only to enter one statement for this command, as you can see in 1a. This makes up the CDO (Command Definition Object). But then we also need a small program that will actually perform the task; this program is listed in 1b. All that program does is retrieve the user profile name of the current user and send it as a completion message to the requesting workstation. For the record, this program is usually referred to as the CPP (Command Processing Program). After keying in both source members, create the command with the CRTCMD (Create Command) command:

Because this command has no parameters, we need only to enter one statement for this command, as you can see in Figure 1a. This makes up the CDO (Command Definition Object). But then we also need a small program that will actually perform the task; this program is listed in Figure 1b. All that program does is retrieve the user profile name of the current user and send it as a completion message to the requesting workstation. For the record, this program is usually referred to as the CPP (Command Processing Program). After keying in both source members, create the command with the CRTCMD (Create Command) command:

 CRTCMD CMD(MYLIB/DSPCURUSR) + PGM(MYLIB/CUR001CL) + SRCFILE(MYLIB/QCMDSRC) Next, create the CL program: CRTCLPGM PGM(MYLIB/CUR001CL) + SRCFILE(MYLIB/QCLSRC) 

It is the execution of the CRTCMD command which "ties" the CDO and the CPP together. To execute the new DSPCURUSR command, simply type DSPCURUSR and press Enter. If you get a message saying that the command can't be found in the library list, simply add MYLIB to your library list, like this:

 ADDLIBLE LIB(MYLIB) 

Passing Parameters

Of course commands such as DSPCURUSR are not common; most commands have parameters in order to add flexibility. For example, let's see how we could write a command to display either the date or the time of day, or both, again as a message to the requesting workstation. We will call this command Display Date and/or Time (DSPDATTIM). The CDO is listed in 2a, and the CPP is listed in 2b. After you enter them, create the command and the CL program:

Of course commands such as DSPCURUSR are not common; most commands have parameters in order to add flexibility. For example, let's see how we could write a command to display either the date or the time of day, or both, again as a message to the requesting workstation. We will call this command Display Date and/or Time (DSPDATTIM). The CDO is listed in Figure 2a, and the CPP is listed in Figure 2b. After you enter them, create the command and the CL program:

 CRTCMD CMD(MYLIB/DSPDATTIM) + PGM(MYLIB/DAT001CL) + SRCFILE(MYLIB/QCMDSRC) CRTCLPGM PGM(MYLIB/DAT001CL) + SRCFILE(MYLIB/QCLSRC) 

Let's take a minute to analyze the CDO. As you can see, there are two PARM statements after the CMD statement. Each PARM statement describes one parameter and one only. As you can see, they are identical except in their KWD (keyword) and PROMPT (prompt).

KWD (keyword) is the parameter keyword that goes outside the parenthesis when you execute the command or include it in a CL program. It is actually the name of the parameter. TYPE and LEN describe the type of value that the parameter will hold, and how long it can be; these keywords are just like those in a CL program, except that in the CDO, there are many more data types than in CL.

DFT(*YES) indicates that the parameter will default to the value *YES. RSTD(*YES) and VALUES(*YES *NO) specify that the parameters will have restricted values, and that there are only two values acceptable, *YES and *NO. Remember that the value *YES has been defined as the default.

When you type DSPDATTIM and press the F4=Prompt key, the command prompter will create an entry panel for you to complete. Because we indicated PROMPT text for each parameter, that text will appear to the left of the input field. Also, the input field itself will already contain the default value *YES. To the right of the input field, the command prompter will list the acceptable values.

Pressing Enter executes the command. Because the command was created with DAT001CL as the associated CPP, this program receives the parameters from the CDO, one-to-one. For this reason the parameters must match in number, type, and length between the CDO and the CPP. As you can see, like the CDO, the CPP accepts two parameters. And like the CDO, both parameters are TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(4).

That means that in the CL program, the variable &DATE will have either *YES or *NO, and the same thing will happen with variable &TIME. Please notice that because the command has been coded so that only *YES and *NO are acceptable values, the CL program doesn't have to check that for accuracy; the CL program can take for granted that both will have acceptable values. Now program DAT001CL goes about its business of retrieving the system date and/or system time from the system values and creating the &MSGDTA string, which is what is actually sent as a message. Plain and simple.

The command could have been executed without the prompter, of course. Simply type in DSPDATTIM DSPDAT(*YES) DSPTIM(*YES) and press Enter. Notice how the keywords come into play. Also notice that the keyword (name of the parameter) doesn't have to match the name of the variable that receives it in the CPP: the first parameter, for example, is called DSPDAT in the CDO but is called &DATE in the CPP.

Because we defined the parameters as having value *YES by default, both the system date and time will be displayed if you type in DSPDATTIM and press Enter (without parameter values). Finally, the parameters can be entered positionally, without keywords, if so desired: DSPDATTIM *YES *YES.

Adding Variety to the CPP

The CPP can be any type of program, provided that the parameters being received from the CDO are supported in the language being used, and that an interactive program isn't used in a command that is run in batch mode. For example, CL doesn't support binary variables but the CDO does. So, if you create a command that passes binary data, you'll have to write the CPP in another language, which is perfectly alright.

You should use the language that best suits the job to be performed by the command. If you write a command that must update database files, for example, you should consider writing the CPP in RPG or another HLL. Obviously, CL is not the way to do this.

Two New Topics: Qualified Names and Error Messages

You are probably aware that OS/400 references objects by way of a qualified name, meaning that the name of the object is qualified with the name of the library where it resides. Let's suppose you want to create a command to display the first member of a database file. Never mind that the DSPPFM command is already available - we will create our own command just for the fun of it. Let's call it DSPFPFM (Display First Physical File Member). In order to tell the system which file to display, however, we must mention the name of the file and the library where it resides.

Now, you could create the DSPFPFM command using two separate parameters: one for the file and the other for the library. This approach will work, but IBM has devised another method whereby an entire qualified name can be passed in a single parameter. It involves a little more work, but it will make your commands more professional-looking. Let's see how it's done. 3a shows the CDO and 3b the CPP. Notice in 3a that the FILE parameter has been declared as having TYPE(Q1); Q1 is actually a label pointing to the two QUAL statements that further define the parts of the qualified name. When the command is executed, both parts of the qualified name are passed to the CL program in a single parameter. Suppose that you executed the command by typing the following:

Now, you could create the DSPFPFM command using two separate parameters: one for the file and the other for the library. This approach will work, but IBM has devised another method whereby an entire qualified name can be passed in a single parameter. It involves a little more work, but it will make your commands more professional-looking. Let's see how it's done. Figure 3a shows the CDO and Figure 3b the CPP. Notice in Figure 3a that the FILE parameter has been declared as having TYPE(Q1); Q1 is actually a label pointing to the two QUAL statements that further define the parts of the qualified name. When the command is executed, both parts of the qualified name are passed to the CL program in a single parameter. Suppose that you executed the command by typing the following:

 DSPFPFM FILE(MYLIB/MYFILE) 

The CL program receives this information in variable &QUALF, in the following

format:

 'MYFILE MYLIB ' 

that is, two 10-character strings put together, with the file name first and the library name second. Why are the components backwards? After all, we typed them in with the library first, a slash, and the file name second. Yet the program receives them the other way around. To answer this question one must remember that OS/400 comes from CPF, the S/38 operating system. On that system, the syntax was reversed and the separator character was not a slash, but a dot. Apparently, IBM copied most of CPF "as is" for simplicity. Reversing the components of the qualified name was a compromise good enough, and they avoided a major rewrite.

The CPP first breaks the qualified name into its two components with the %SST (substring) function, then it checks the existence of the library and the file using the CHKOBJ command. If both checks pass, then the standard DSPPFM command is executed with MBR(*FIRST) so that the first member of the database file is displayed.

I will explain the second topic, sending error messages, through figures 3a and 3b. Notice that the CPP uses the CHKOBJ command to verify the existence of the library and the file. If either doesn't exist, the CHGVAR command is used to set variable &MSGDTA to a certain error message text, and then control is passed by way of a GOTO command to tag ERROR. At this point two SNDPGMMSG (Send Program Message) commands are executed. The first one sends a *DIAG (diagnostic) message using the text we placed in &MSGDTA. Message CPF9898 will copy whatever you put in the MSGDTA parameter plus a period. The second SNDPGMMSG sends an *ESCAPE message CPF0002. Together these two messages will alert the user (whether a person or another program) that there has been a problem with the DSPFPFM command just requested.

Defining Lists in Parameters

Just as a qualified name can be considered a list of two elements (although in reality it is not a list), OS/400 supports lists of any given length in commands. Lists can be divided into three types. Simple lists contain elements of the same type and length, and the order of the elements doesn't necessarily matter. For example, the CHGLIBL (Change Library List) command accepts a couple dozen values in the LIBL parameter. Let's see an actual example:

 CHGLIBL LIBL(MYLIB PRLIB + TESTLIB UTILITY PRODLIB) 

In this example, the LIBL parameter holds five library names. Since each library name can have 10 characters, it is obvious that the CPP would receive the list of libraries in a 50-byte variable, right? Wrong. The CPP will receive the list of libraries in a 52-byte variable. The two extra bytes will contain the number of elements in the list, coded in binary, and will precede the list of values.

Simple lists are easy to code in the CDO. The PARM (parameter) statement must simply have a maximum number of elements code, such as MAX(5) for five elements. The list will then accept any number of elements up to five. If you also code the minimum, like MIN(2), then the list must have at least two elements.

Mixed lists contain elements of different types or lengths, and therefore the elements must be entered in a specific order. For example, the CHGJOBD (Change Job Description) command has a parameter called LOG which describes what to write into the job log. The LOG parameter is a mixed list with three elements: a level number from 0 to 4, a severity code from 0 to 99, and a text description which can have the values *MSG, *SECLVL, or *NOLIST. So it is possible to execute the CHGJOBD command like this:

 CHGJOBD JOBD(QDFTJOBD) + LOG(4 0 *NOLIST) 

Mixed lists are a bit more complicated to code; they require the ELEM statements to be coded for each parameter that is to be considered a mixed list. Let's create a command to change a job description's logging values. We'll call it CHGJOBDLOG. The CDO is listed in 4a, and the CPP is listed in 4b.

Mixed lists are a bit more complicated to code; they require the ELEM statements to be coded for each parameter that is to be considered a mixed list. Let's create a command to change a job description's logging values. We'll call it CHGJOBDLOG. The CDO is listed in Figure 4a, and the CPP is listed in Figure 4b.

Let's see, then, what happens when you execute the command like this:

 CHGJOBDLOG JOBD(MYJOBD) + LOG(3 70 *SECLVL) 

The first parameter presents no problems - it is a simple value, not even a qualified name, although it should have been one to include the name of the library where the job description is found. As it is now, the library list will always be used.

The second parameter is tricky. If you add up the lengths of the three elements, you obtain 10. Why is the CPP receiving this list into an 18-byte variable? In other words, what are the other eight bytes? Like a simple list, the mixed list contains a two-byte header which has the number of elements coded in binary. In a mixed list, after this header, there is another two-byte binary code for each element in the list, showing the location of the first byte of each element's data, or its "displacement." Because there are three elements in the list, there will be six bytes in binary, plus the two bytes that every list begins with, making eight. So the actual data of the list begins on the ninth byte. This is why the %SST (substring) functions coded in the CPP begin work on byte number 9. The first eight bytes are garbage to us, but they must be accounted for.

Lists within lists are even more complex. Basically speaking, they're simple lists where each element is a mixed list. Got the idea? If you imagine a list as a paper bag, then the list within list is a paper bag containing several smaller bags inside. And before you ask, you cannot nest lists within lists to further levels; two levels is the maximum. Rather than trying to explain how lists within lists are organized, I'd like to refer you to the CL Programmer's Guide, page 9-21, where you'll find a rather good explanation. As a matter of fact, the whole of Chapter 9 is dedicated to the topic of creating commands.

Naming Conventions

IBM did an marvelous job when they came up with the set of commands for CPF on the S/38. This set of commands has been used again on the AS/400, with some modifications as were deemed necessary. You may want to use IBM's command naming conventions in order to keep all commands - yours and IBM's - as consistent as possible.

IBM's naming system has been described before in Midrange Computing, so I won't repeat it here. All the abbreviations used in IBM commands are listed in Appendix F of the CL Reference Guide, Volume 1.

Are Commands Really Necessary?

After reading this article you may have realized the power of commands, and hopefully you'll be eager to create some of your own. On the other hand, you may be thinking along these terms: "Why go through so much work, when my users are accustomed to taking menu options?" This is a valid point. However, you should be aware of the fact that, by forcing your users to take menu options, you're also forcing them to go through the menus in order to reach the very specific task they need to perform. This may involve paging through several (or many) menus.

If commands were used, on the other hand, the user would have the choice of using the menus that he or she is used to, or taking the shortcut of running the command. Imagine for a minute that OS/400 didn't have commands, and everything had to be done through menus, even system operator-type activities. Wouldn't you say that this would be cumbersome, especially for an experienced system operator? The same concept applies to regular users.

Consider, too, the user interface. If you opt for using programs throughout your system, you will have to design panels for interactive tasks, even for requesting things such as reports. That's more work, and no two programmers will come up with panels that look identical. In contrast, when you create commands, the system takes away from you the chore of having to create the panel, and all such panels will look similar. When your users learn how to use one of them, they'll have learned how to use them all.

Conclusion

You can create very flexible commands that can be adapted to almost any activity. They can have meaningful names that will make them easy to remember, and have a consistent user interface provided by the command prompter. And you can include your own commands in CL programs, or execute them from HLL programs with QCMDEXC.

To be sure, this article hasn't covered all there is to say about creating commands. Chapter 9 of the CL Programmer's Guide is an excellent tour on the subject. Chapter 4 of the CL Reference Guide, Volume 1, is also worth reading, although it is meant to be used as reference text, so it can be confusing for the uninitiated.

Try commands. You will learn to love them.


Creating Commands

Figure 1A DSPCURUSR command

 DSPCURUSR: CMD PROMPT('prompt(''Display Current User'')') 
Creating Commands

Figure 1B CL program CUR001CL

 CUR001CL: + PGM DCL VAR(&USRPRF) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(10) RTVUSRPRF RTNUSRPRF(&USRPRF) SNDPGMMSG MSGID(CPF9898) MSGF(QCPFMSG) MSGDTA(&USRPRF) + MSGTYPE(*COMP) ENDPGM 
Creating Commands

Figure 2A DSPDATTIM command

 DSPDATTIM: CMD PROMPT('Display Date and Time') PARM KWD(DSPDAT) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(4) RSTD(*YES) + DFT(*YES) VALUES(*YES *NO) PROMPT('Display- system date') PARM KWD(DSPTIM) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(4) RSTD(*YES) + DFT(*YES) VALUES(*YES *NO) PROMPT('Display- system time') 
Creating Commands

Figure 2B CL program DAT001CL

 DAT001CL: + PGM PARM(&DATE &TIME) DCL VAR(&DATE) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(4) DCL VAR(&TIME) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(4) DCL VAR(&SYSDAT) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(6) DCL VAR(&SYSTIM) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(6) DCL VAR(&MSGDTA) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(20) IF COND(&DATE *EQ '*YES') THEN(DO) RTVSYSVAL SYSVAL(QDATE) RTNVAR(&SYSDAT) CHGVAR VAR(&MSGDTA) VALUE(&SYSDAT) ENDDO IF COND(&TIME *EQ '*YES') THEN(DO) RTVSYSVAL SYSVAL(QTIME) RTNVAR(&SYSTIM) CHGVAR VAR(&MSGDTA) VALUE(&MSGDTA *BCAT &SYSTIM) ENDDO SNDPGMMSG MSGID(CPF9898) MSGF(QCPFMSG) MSGDTA(&MSGDTA) + MSGTYPE(*COMP) ENDPGM 
Creating Commands

Figure 3A DSPFPFM command

 DSPFPFM: CMD PROMPT('Display First File Member') PARM KWD(FILE) TYPE(Q1) MIN(1) PROMPT('Name of the + file') Q1: QUAL TYPE(*NAME) LEN(10) MIN(1) QUAL TYPE(*NAME) LEN(10) MIN(1) PROMPT('Library') 
Creating Commands

Figure 3B CL program FPFM001CL

 FPFM001CL: + PGM PARM(&QUALF) DCL VAR(&QUALF) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(20) DCL VAR(&FILE) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(10) DCL VAR(&LIB) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(10) DCL VAR(&MSGDTA) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(10) CHGVAR VAR(&FILE) VALUE(%SST(&QUALF 1 10)) CHGVAR VAR(&LIB) VALUE(%SST(&QUALF 11 10)) CHKOBJ OBJ(&LIB) OBJTYPE(*LIB) MONMSG MSGID(CPF9801) EXEC(DO) CHGVAR VAR(&MSGDTA) VALUE('Library not found') GOTO CMDLBL(ERROR) ENDDO CHKOBJ OBJ(&LIB/&FILE) OBJTYPE(*FILE) MONMSG MSGID(CPF9801) EXEC(DO) CHGVAR VAR(&MSGDTA) VALUE('File not found') GOTO CMDLBL(ERROR) ENDDO DSPPFM FILE(&LIB/&FILE) GOTO CMDLBL(ENDPGM) ERROR: + SNDPGMMSG MSGID(CPF9898) MSGF(QCPFMSG) MSGDTA(&MSGDTA) + MSGTYPE(*DIAG) SNDPGMMSG MSGID(CPF0002) MSGF(QCPFMSG) MSGTYPE(*ESCAPE) ENDPGM: + ENDPGM 
Creating Commands

Figure 4A CHGJOBDLOG command

 CHGJOBDLOG: CMD PROMPT('Change Job Description Logging') PARM KWD(JOBD) TYPE(*SNAME) LEN(10) MIN(1) + PROMPT('Job description name') PARM KWD(LOG) TYPE(L1) PROMPT('Job logging') L1: ELEM TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(1) DFT('4') RANGE('0' '4') + PROMPT(LEVEL) ELEM TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(2) DFT('00') RANGE('00' '99') + PROMPT(SEVERITY) ELEM TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(7) RSTD(*YES) DFT(*NOLIST) + VALUES(*MSG *SECLVL *NOLIST) PROMPT(Text) 
Creating Commands

Figure 4B CL program JOB001CL

 JOB001CL: + PGM PARM(&JOBD &LOGLIST) DCL VAR(&JOBD) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(10) DCL VAR(&LOGLIST) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(12) DCL VAR(&LEVEL) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(1) DCL VAR(&SEVERITY) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(2) DCL VAR(&TEXT) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(7) CHKOBJ OBJ(&JOBD) OBJTYPE(*JOBD) MONMSG MSGID(CPF9801) EXEC(DO) SNDPGMMSG MSGID(CPF9898) MSGF(QCPFMSG) MSGDTA('Job + description not found') MSGTYPE(*DIAG) SNDPGMMSG MSGID(CPF0002) MSGF(QCPFMSG) MSGTYPE(*ESCAPE) GOTO CMDLBL(ENDPGM) ENDDO CHGVAR VAR(&LEVEL) VALUE(%SST(&LOGLIST 3 1)) CHGVAR VAR(&SEVERITY) VALUE(%SST(&LOGLIST 4 2)) CHGVAR VAR(&TEXT) VALUE(%SST(&LOGLIST 6 7)) CHGJOBD JOBD(&JOBD) LOG(&LEVEL &SEVERITY &TEXT) ENDPGM: + ENDPGM 
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    - 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

    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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    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

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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.