Creating Program-style Menus

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Don't settle for wimpy 1-2-3 menus only because SDA makes them easy.

Brief: Creating your own program-style menus doesn't have to be difficult! Our sample program paves the way, so all that's left is a little customization on your part. Before you know it you'll be exploiting the expanded power and versatility of the program menu.

If there's anything at all you can do to improve the AS/400 user interface, it's creating menus for your end users. Menus are easy to use because the user sees all the options available and can select one by keying in an option number and pressing Enter.

The AS/400 offers two types of menus: display file menus and program menus. Chances are that you've been designing display file menus because SDA makes it easy and convenient. SDA creates display file menus in a snap. In contrast, program menus require more work-but they give you complete control over what the menu looks like and what you can do with it, including making it multi- page.

This article gets you started in the design of program menus. After reading it, you'll see that program menus deliver more power and flexibility to your applications.

Definition of Menu

A menu can be defined in many ways depending on whom you're speaking with. For our purposes, a menu is a panel that shows a list of available options, sometimes identified with a code (usually a number). The user selects an option by keying in the option code and pressing the Enter key, or by highlighting it and signaling to the computer that the selection has been made. Notice that this definition covers both the AS/400 menus and microcomputer-style pull-down menus.

On the AS/400, in particular, menus must also satisfy the following conditions:

The user must be able to access the menu by running the GO command.

The security administrator must be able to give the menu to a user, so that the user sees it when signing on, by using the Initial Menu (INLMNU) parameter in either the Create User Profile (CRTUSRPRF) or Change User Profile (CHGUSRPRF) command.


Many programmers, especially those with a System/38 background, create menus by designing a display file that lists the options and provides an input field for the user to type the option number, and a CL program that runs behind the scenes. The user then CALLs this CL program in order to display the menu.

This is not a true menu. The user cannot access it with the GO command, and the security administrator would have to change the user profile's initial program (INLPGM) parameter-not INLMNU.

Display File Menus

As I mentioned earlier, the first true menu type is the display file menu. This is the easiest type of menu you can create. All you need to do is use SDA's support to create menus, and SDA will take you by the hand. When you're done, SDA will have created a display file menu.

This simplicity has a trade-off: you lose a considerable amount of flexibility. Display file menus must follow a particular format from which you cannot deviate. You cannot define your own function keys-these are defined for you and there's nothing you can do about them.

Furthermore, display file menus can have only one page. There is no way to provide for the Roll keys if you have more options than would fit on a single screen. And finally, all option codes are numeric. You cannot have a menu option like A or B.

When SDA creates the display file menu, you'll have three objects on your system: a display file (*FILE), a message file (*MSGF) and a menu (*MENU). It's the *MENU object you access when you run the GO command.

You can obtain additional information about display file menus in the SDA manual. In this article, we'll concentrate on expanded control with program menus.

Program Menus

Program menus are created differently. You need to create two objects yourself: a display file (*FILE) and a program (*PGM). When you're done, you run the Create Menu (CRTMNU) command to create the *MENU object that ties the display file and the program together.

The biggest advantage of program menus is that you have complete control over them. You can design the display file any way you see fit and you can make your program do anything you want. The option descriptions can be printed "Chinese-style" (top to bottom) if you want and if your users can read it. Also, options can be identified by letters if you'd rather do it that way. Furthermore, the menu can have more than one page!

Figures 1a and 1b show the pages of a sample program menu that we'll use throughout the rest of the article. The user would press the Roll Up key to go from the first to the second page, or Roll Down to go back.

For starters, notice that I have included the system date and time in the top- left corner. I have also included the system name, user profile name (MALERN is my own) and display station name in the top-right corner.

My display file doesn't provide F16 to display the main help menu, F13 for user support, or F24 for more keys-I don't want the user to do any of those. Now notice that the first page shows the ubiquitous "More..." (hey, there's another page following this one), while the second page shows "Bottom" (no more pages, buddy).

Finally, the bottom-right corner has two input fields that I have thrown in just to give you an idea of what you could do. If the user changes the values in the input fields, the system runs the Change Job (CHGJOB) command to change the output queue used in the job. User friendly? You bet.

The Display File

2 shows the DDS for the display file. It uses the message subfile technique to communicate to the user all messages issued by the system as a result of taking menu options or pressing keys. See my article "Easy and Powerful Message Presentation" in the April 1992 issue, which explains the message subfile technique in great detail.

Figure 2 shows the DDS for the display file. It uses the message subfile technique to communicate to the user all messages issued by the system as a result of taking menu options or pressing keys. See my article "Easy and Powerful Message Presentation" in the April 1992 issue, which explains the message subfile technique in great detail.

You'll see that the figure has certain areas shaded in pink. You should remove the code contained in the shaded areas if you don't want your users to enjoy the benefits of a command line in the menu. The CL program listed in 3 also has shaded areas for the same reason. Yank them out if you don't want to support a command line.

You'll see that the figure has certain areas shaded in pink. You should remove the code contained in the shaded areas if you don't want your users to enjoy the benefits of a command line in the menu. The CL program listed in Figure 3 also has shaded areas for the same reason. Yank them out if you don't want to support a command line.

The display file is simple enough-it's a very commonplace display file, as it turns out. The "More..." and "Bottom" indicators are actually hard-coded text, since each page of the menu is a different record format. There's no hocus-pocus or surprises.

Field CMDLIN is the input-capable command line field. It's defined as input/output, since the command typed in it must be redisplayed if it is in error, in order to emulate the AS/400's behavior. It also has CHECK(LC) so that the user's input goes in lowercase. It doesn't have to be that way-I did it only because IBM menus do that too.

Before you get to the CL program listing, notice that the menu pages are two separate record formats, named PAGE_1 and PAGE_2 for simplicity. Now let's move on to the CL program.

The CL Program

The program you use in your menu (whether it's written in CL or in another language like RPG/400) must accept three parameters. These parameters let your program be used with the GO command. They are:

The name of the menu (10 characters).

The name of the library (10 characters).

A return code (two characters if you use CL, or a short binary number if you use another language).

The return code tells the system how the user exited the menu (did he press F3 or F12?). You must code your program so that the return code is set to -1 if the user presses F3. In CL, the return code must be set to x'FFFF'. If the user presses F12, the return code must have -2 (x'FFFE' in CL). A value of -4 (or x'FFFC') is supposed to mean that the user pressed the Home key, but since practically no one uses Home to exit menus, I haven't included it in the sample menu. Many users don't know there is a Home key at all.

Here's How It Works

First, the program needs to declare the display file and set the &PGMQ variable to the name of the CL program in order to activate the message subfile support. CL and RPG/400 are two different birds; in RPG/400 you can set the PGMQ variable to an asterisk (*) to activate the message subfile support. For some reason, that trick doesn't work in CL; CL insists on the actual name. Since my CL program example is named #EM001CL, that's the value I move into &PGMQ. You'll have to use different values when you create your own program menus.

For illustration purposes only, I have included several Override with Database File (OVRDBF) and Open Database File (OPNDBF) commands at the beginning of the program, as if the options in this menu required those files. Of course for the sample they don't, but your application probably will. Having files open with their open data paths shared will cut down the time it takes to launch an application program, although your application will have to make sure the right records are processed. The Reclaim Resources (RCLRSC) command is used later to close these files automatically.

The RTVJOBA command that follows the file commands retrieves the job's name (which is the display station name) and the names of the output queue and output queue library. These last two are placed in the display file's variables so that they show when the menu is presented to the user.

To present the menu, I write the message control record first, then the appropriate page of the menu. Since &PAGE has a value of 1 initially, it shows record PAGE_1. Later, when the user presses Roll Up, &PAGE will change to a value of 2, making the program present record PAGE_2.

When the user presses a key, the CL program removes all messages from the program message queue-which clears the message subfile presented in line 24. This way, new messages won't be mixed with other messages already seen by the user.

If the user presses either Roll key, variable &PAGE changes and the menu is presented again without performing any other task.

The program then checks to see if the user has pressed F3 or F12. If he has, it sets the return code to the correct value and ends the program. If the user presses F5, the menu is redisplayed without doing anything and, since F5 is coded in the display file with CA05, all input the user may have entered is ignored. If I had used CF05, the input-capable fields would have changed values. As you can see in 2, the only function key I have coded as a CFxx is F4=Prompt, because the program needs to know what command the user entered.

The program then checks to see if the user has pressed F3 or F12. If he has, it sets the return code to the correct value and ends the program. If the user presses F5, the menu is redisplayed without doing anything and, since F5 is coded in the display file with CA05, all input the user may have entered is ignored. If I had used CF05, the input-capable fields would have changed values. As you can see in Figure 2, the only function key I have coded as a CFxx is F4=Prompt, because the program needs to know what command the user entered.

Pressing F9 to Retrieve

I must confess that I took the easy way out with the F9 key. Supporting the F9 key requires creating a dynamic array of unlimited size, capable of holding an entire command string (perhaps as long as 3,000 characters) in each element of the array. Well, there was no way I was going to do that! So, instead, I redefined F9 so that it retrieves only the last command executed by the user.

But even this presents a problem of a different nature. When the user types a command on the command line and presses Enter, the command string is easy to identify: it's whatever the user typed. However, the user can also press F4 to prompt for the command. When he presses F4, the system builds the command string for you-and it can end up being a very long string indeed, one that would go beyond the 150 characters I allocated for it on the display file.

IBM must have come across the same problem. Their solution is elegant, so I adopt it. They keep the command string in an internal variable (one that's long enough), and write to the display file as much of it as it will fit, putting an ellipsis (...) at the end. It's a way of saying "this is not all- there's more to this command."

To support a last command retrieval function key, I store the last command (full length, 3,000 characters) in variable &LASTCMD. When the user presses F9 to retrieve it, I need to know if I have to put the ellipsis on the screen or not. So I check for characters beyond position 150. If I find anything, I move the first 147 characters to the display file command line, concatenated with an ellipsis. That completes the 150 characters. If there's nothing beyond position 150, it's a straightforward copy. Either way, the menu is redisplayed.

Changing the Output Queue

At this point, I check if the user has changed the output queue fields. Since the display file uses the CHANGE keyword to sense user input into these fields, all I do is check indicators 51 and 52. If either one is on, the user has made changes. The code that follows decides between two possible formats for the CHGJOB command.

To choose between the two CHGJOB formats, we need to determine if the user has entered a special value in &OUTQ (such as *DEV); in this case, the CHGJOB command cannot have a qualifying output queue library name or the CHGJOB command will fail. On the other hand, if the user entered an actual name, we want to make sure that the name is qualified or we may access the wrong output queue. If the user blanked out the &OUTQLIB field, the program assumes *LIBL.

Notice that after the CHGJOB command has been executed, the program does not redisplay the menu-it continues processing. This way, the user can type both a new output queue name and a command-and press either F4 or Enter-and the program will honor both requests.

Responding to F4 for Prompt

If the user presses the F4 key, the program should present the command prompter for whatever command is in the menu's command line. If the command line is empty, my program sends a diagnostic message and redisplays the menu. An OS/400 menu would have shown the MAJOR menu, but I didn't want mine to emulate IBM that far.

The "long command" and "visible command" duo haunts us here for the second time. I am going to use the &LONGCMD variable to invoke the command prompter, since the user could have pressed F4 immediately after F9-and F9 could have brought back a command so long that it ends in an ellipsis (...).

To invoke the command prompter, I put a question mark before the command string and call QCMDCHK. QCMDCHK may fail if the command on the command line doesn't exist or has an invalid syntax, or because the user pressed F3 or F12 from the prompter. All such occurrences are reported by monitoring for CPF0000 and redisplaying the menu. Since the menu has the message subfile, it doesn't have to do anything special to display the messages! If the command fails, only the command is returned to the command line-no entries made through the prompter are returned.

If everything went okay, I call QCMDEXC to execute the command. Again, monitoring for CPF0000 traps any errors that may occur during execution time (perhaps the user wants to delete a file, but the file doesn't exist); in this case, the menu is redisplayed.

If all goes well during execution, I save the command line in variable &LASTCMD for future use if the user presses F9. Then I erase the menu command line (&CMDLIN) and redisplay the menu.

Processing the Enter Key

Finally, we come to the section of the program that deals with the Enter key (it's about time). If the command line is not empty, it compares the first two characters against 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 13, or 90-the options listed on the menu-and executes the appropriate command in each case.

If none of the options listed has been selected, we assume the user has entered a command at the command line and pressed Enter. For the third time we need to deal with the long command and visible command duo in order to feed the correct one to QCMDEXC, which executes the command. Monitoring for CPF0000 traps any errors produced during execution of the command (including "command not found"); in this case, the menu is redisplayed and the error message appears on line 24.

Creating the Menu

To create the program menu, you need to enter the source listed in Figures 2 and 3, and compile them (in that order) as indicated at the bottom of each figure. Then run the following command:

 CRTMNU MENU(xxx/SAMPLE) + TYPE(*PGM) + DSPF(xxx/#EM001DF) + PGM(xxx/#EM001CL) 

You can then display the menu by executing GO SAMPLE (or GO xxx/SAMPLE if you have another menu called SAMPLE).

The Change Menu (CHGMNU) command lets you change certain attributes of the menu, and the Display Menu Attributes (DSP-MNUA) is pretty self-explanatory.

Menus have a neat feature. They can change your current library or your product library for as long as the menu is active (that is, until you exit it). For example you could change menu SAMPLE to CURLIB(QGPL). Whenever you display menu SAMPLE, your job's current library will change to QGPL. When you exit the menu (F3 or F12), your job's current library returns to its original value. How's that for convenience?

Create Your Own!

Is this too much work? Perhaps it is. Display file menus are so much simpler to create, but they don't provide as much functionality (and flexibility) as program menus. Besides, I have done most of the work for you! All you need to do is design your display file, copy my program and change the areas I have shaded in green, which are different for every menu. These green areas are:

The name of the display file in the DCLF statement.

The name of the program, in the very first CHGVAR statement.

The names of the record formats in the SNDRCVF statements.

The segments that process each menu option.

The OPNDBF and OVRDBF commands at the beginning of the program.

Program menus do give you flexibility. Perhaps you can use them in those applications that require the added flexibility, and use display file menus everywhere else. At least you have a choice! Either way, your users will love you for making their lives easier.

Creating Program-style Menus

Figure 1A Image of menu, page 1

 Figure 1a: Image of Menu, Page 1 6/03/92 14:16:11 Sample Menu MC_PGMR MALERN Select one of the following: EDTDSP05S1 1. Go to the Command Entry panel 2. Start PDM 3. Display QSYSOPR messages 4. Work with active jobs 90. Sign off More... Your option: ===> __________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ F3=Exit F4=Prompt F5=Refresh F9=Last command F12=Cancel Output queue: MGTLIB____ / PGMROUTQ__ 
Creating Program-style Menus

Figure 1B Image of menu, page 2

 Figure 1b: Image of Menu, Page 2 6/03/92 14:16:24 Sample Menu MC_PGMR MALERN Select one of the following: EDTDSP05S1 11. End all subsystems 12. Send a break message 13. Power down the system 90. Sign off Bottom Your option: ===> __________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ F3=Exit F4=Prompt F5=Refresh F9=Last command F12=Cancel Output queue: MGTLIB____ / PGMROUTQ__ 
Creating Program-style Menus

Figure 2 Display file #EM001DF

 A DSPSIZ(24 80 *DS3) A PRINT A CA03(03 'Exit') A CF04(04 'Prompt') A CA05(05 'Refresh') A CA09(09 'Last command') A CA12(12 'Cancel') * * The following two record formats define the message subfile. A R MSGRCD SFL A SFLMSGRCD(24) A MSGKEY SFLMSGKEY A PGMQ SFLPGMQ * A R MSGCTL SFLCTL(MSGRCD) A SFLDSP A SFLDSPCTL A SFLINZ A N81 SFLEND A SFLSIZ(0020) A SFLPAG(0001) A PGMQ SFLPGMQ * * This record format defines the first page of the menu. A R PAGE_1 A ROLLUP(31 'Display second page') A BLINK A OVERLAY A 1 2DATE A EDTCDE(Y) A 1 12TIME A 1 35'Sample Menu' A DSPATR(HI) A 1 71SYSNAME A 2 71USER A 3 2'Select one of the following:' A COLOR(BLU) A DSPNAM 10A O 3 71 A 5 8'1. Go to the Command Entry panel' A 6 8'2. Start PDM' A 7 8'3. Display QSYSOPR messages' A 8 8'4. Work with active jobs' A 10 7'90. Sign off' A 17 74'More...' A DSPATR(HI) A 18 2'Your option:' A 19 2'===>' A CMDLIN 150A B 19 7CHECK(LC) A 22 2'F3=Exit F4=Prompt F5=Refresh - A F9=Last command' A COLOR(BLU) A 23 2'F12=Cancel' A COLOR(BLU) A 23 43'Output queue:' A OUTQLIB 10A B 23 57CHANGE(51) A 23 68'/' A OUTQ 10A B 23 70CHANGE(52) * * This record format defines the second page of the menu. A R PAGE_2 A ROLLDOWN(32 'Display first page') A BLINK A OVERLAY A 1 2DATE A EDTCDE(Y) A 1 12TIME A 1 35'Sample Menu' A DSPATR(HI) A 1 71SYSNAME A 2 71USER A 3 2'Select one of the following:' A COLOR(BLU) A DSPNAM 10A O 3 71 A 5 7'11. End all subsystems' A 6 7'12. Send a break message' A 7 7'13. Power down the system' A 9 7'90. Sign off' A 17 74'Bottom' A DSPATR(HI) A 18 2'Your option:' A 19 2'===>' A CMDLIN 150A B 19 7CHECK(LC) A 22 2'F3=Exit F4=Prompt F5=Refresh - A F9=Last command' A COLOR(BLU) A 23 2'F12=Cancel' A COLOR(BLU) A 23 43'Output queue:' A OUTQLIB 10A B 23 57CHANGE(51) A 23 68'/' A OUTQ 10A B 23 70CHANGE(52) 
Creating Program-style Menus

Figure 3 CL program #EM001CL

 #EM001CL: + PGM PARM(&MNU &MNULIB &RTNCDE) DCL VAR(&DSPNAM) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(10) DCL VAR(&LASTCMD) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(3000) DCL VAR(&LONGCMD) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(3000) DCL VAR(&MNU) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(10) DCL VAR(&MNULIB) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(10) DCL VAR(&PAGE) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(1 0) VALUE(1) DCL VAR(&RTNCDE) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(2) VALUE(' ') DCLF FILE(#EM001DF) /* The following CHGVAR statements activates the message subfile */ CHGVAR VAR(&PGMQ) VALUE('#EM001CL') /* Obtain the display station name and the current output queue + setting */ RTVJOBA JOB(&DSPNAM) OUTQ(&OUTQ) OUTQLIB(&OUTQLIB) /* Show menu */ AGAIN: + SNDF RCDFMT(MSGCTL) IF COND(&PAGE *EQ 1) THEN(SNDRCVF RCDFMT(PAGE_1)) ELSE CMD(SNDRCVF RCDFMT(PAGE_2)) RMVMSG PGMQ(*SAME) CLEAR(*ALL) /* Change menu page as requested by Roll keys */ IF COND(&IN31 *OR &IN32) THEN(DO) IF COND(&IN31) THEN(CHGVAR VAR(&PAGE) VALUE(2)) IF COND(&IN32) THEN(CHGVAR VAR(&PAGE) VALUE(1)) CHGVAR VAR(&IN31) VALUE('0') CHGVAR VAR(&IN32) VALUE('0') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* If F3=Exit, set return code to x'FFFF' and exit program */ IF COND(&IN03) THEN(DO) CHGVAR VAR(&RTNCDE) VALUE(X'FFFF') RETURN ENDDO /* If F12=Cancel, set return code to x'FFFE' and exit program */ IF COND(&IN12) THEN(DO) CHGVAR VAR(&RTNCDE) VALUE(X'FFFE') RETURN ENDDO /* If F4=Prompt, prompt for command */ IF COND(&IN04) THEN(DO) /* Ignore request if no command has been entered */ IF COND(&CMDLIN *EQ ' ') THEN(DO) SNDPGMMSG MSGID(CPF9898) MSGF(QCPFMSG) MSGDTA('No command + entered; F4=Prompt ignored') TOPGMQ(*SAME) MSGTYPE(*DIAG) GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* If the menu's command line doesn't end in '...', use the + menu's command line instead of the internal variable + &LONGCMD to build the command string */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 148 3) *NE '...') THEN(DO) CHGVAR VAR(&LONGCMD) VALUE(&CMDLIN) ENDDO /* Append the command string after a question mark and call + QCMDCHK to activate the command prompter */ CHGVAR VAR(&LONGCMD) VALUE('?' *CAT &LONGCMD) CALL PGM(QCMDCHK) PARM(&LONGCMD 3000) MONMSG MSGID(CPF0000) EXEC(GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN)) /* If an error + occurs (even pressing F3/F12 from the prompter), redisplay + the menu */ /* Execute the command */ CALL PGM(QCMDEXC) PARM(&LONGCMD 3000) MONMSG MSGID(CPF0000) EXEC(GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN)) /* If an error + occurs during execution, redisplay menu */ /* Save command string for F9=Retrieve use, and clear the + menu's command line */ CHGVAR VAR(&LASTCMD) VALUE(&LONGCMD) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(' ') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* IF F5=Refresh, simply redisplay the PANEL record */ IF COND(&IN05) THEN(GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN)) /* If F9=Retrieve, retrieve last command */ IF COND(&IN09) THEN(DO) /* If the command string is longer than 150 characters, show + the first 147 characters of &LASTCMD followed by '...' */ IF COND(%SST(&LASTCMD 151 2850) *NE ' ') THEN(DO) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(%SST(&LASTCMD 1 147) *CAT '...') ENDDO /* Otherwise, simply retrieve the last command saved */ ELSE CMD(DO) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(&LASTCMD) ENDDO GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* Enter key: if user has entered a new output queue name, + change job accordingly */ IF COND(&IN51 *OR &IN52) THEN(DO) /* If &OUTQ has special value, don't qualify it in the CHGJOB + command to avoid syntax errors */ IF COND(&OUTQ *EQ '*SAME' *OR &OUTQ *EQ '*USRPRF' *OR &OUTQ + *EQ '*DEV' *OR &OUTQ *EQ '*WRKSTN') THEN(DO) CHGVAR VAR(&OUTQLIB) VALUE(' ') CHGJOB OUTQ(&OUTQ) MONMSG MSGID(CPF0000) EXEC(GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN)) ENDDO /* If &OUTQ has specific name, qualify with &OUTQLIB */ ELSE CMD(DO) /* If &OUTQLIB not entered, assume *LIBL */ IF COND(&OUTQLIB *EQ ' ') THEN(CHGVAR VAR(&OUTQLIB) + VALUE(*LIBL)) CHGJOB OUTQ(&OUTQLIB/&OUTQ) MONMSG MSGID(CPF0000) EXEC(GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN)) ENDDO ENDDO /* Enter key: if user has entered anything at the command line, + process it */ IF COND(&CMDLIN *NE ' ') THEN(DO) /* Option 1 selected */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 1 2) *EQ '1 ') THEN(DO) CALL PGM(QSYS/QCMD) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(' ') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* Option 2 selected */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 1 2) *EQ '2 ') THEN(DO) ? WRKMBRPDM MONMSG MSGID(CPF0000) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(' ') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* Option 3 selected */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 1 2) *EQ '3 ') THEN(DO) DSPMSG MSGQ(*SYSOPR) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(' ') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* Option 4 selected */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 1 2) *EQ '4 ') THEN(DO) WRKACTJOB OUTPUT(*) SBS(*ALL) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(' ') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* Option 11 selected */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 1 2) *EQ '11') THEN(DO) ? ENDSBS MONMSG MSGID(CPF0000) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(' ') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* Option 12 selected */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 1 2) *EQ '12') THEN(DO) ? SNDBRKMSG MONMSG MSGID(CPF0000) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(' ') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* Option 13 selected */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 1 2) *EQ '13') THEN(DO) ? PWRDWNSYS MONMSG MSGID(CPF0000) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(' ') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* Option 90 selected */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 1 2) *EQ '90') THEN(DO) SIGNOFF ENDDO /* None of the numeric options selected. Assume the user has + entered a command string in the command line. If the last + 3 characters are not '...', the menu's command line + contains the complete command string to be executed. + Otherwise, use internal variable &LONGCMD */ IF COND(%SST(&CMDLIN 148 3) *NE '...') THEN(DO) CHGVAR VAR(&LONGCMD) VALUE(&CMDLIN) ENDDO /* Execute command */ CALL PGM(QCMDEXC) PARM(&CMDLIN 150) MONMSG MSGID(CPF0000) EXEC(GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN)) /* Redisplay + the menu if any errors found at execution time */ /* Save command for F9=Retrieve use, blank out the menu's + command line, and redisplay menu */ CHGVAR VAR(&LASTCMD) VALUE(&CMDLIN) CHGVAR VAR(&CMDLIN) VALUE(' ') GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDDO /* Redisplay menu in all other cases */ GOTO CMDLBL(AGAIN) ENDPGM 






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    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.



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    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.