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Weaving WebSphere: Getting Started with WDSci

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"Anticipation is making me wait."
--Carly Simon

This is my first article devoted entirely to Version 5 of the WebSphere Studio Development Client for iSeries (WDSci). And "anticipation" is definitely a key word for the entire experience thus far, both pre- and post-installation. I had a few issues getting the software, but the fine folks at IBM got that all straightened out. From what I understand, they simply underestimated the demand these tools would generate. Little did they know just how thirsty we old green-screen dinosaurs are for tools that will help us present a better face for our business logic! As to anticipation during and after installation, that's today's topic.

Once my disks arrived, it was time to install and test the new version of WDSci. While I had planned on installing and then testing several features and letting you know how things went, as it turns out, just installing the software and making sure it's running correctly is a pretty big topic in and of itself. In this article, I will cover...

1. Prerequisites, including how and where to get the required fix packs
2. Installation, Phase 1: Base WDSci
3. Installation, Phase 2: Installing "classic" WDT (CODE and VARPG)
4. Installation, Phase 3: Applying the required fix packs
5. Downloading the IBM WDSci tutorial (didn't know there was one, did you?)
6. Running a demo project using the test environment
7. Deploying a demo project to the host

Remember that there are now two versions of WDSci--Standard and Advanced Edition. This article is geared toward the Standard Edition of WDSci V5. I'm assuming (and that's a dangerous thing) that the Advanced Edition follows a similar course. If anyone who has installed the Advanced Edition sees any glaring omissions, please let me know, and I'll post follow-up information on the forums and in a later column.

Prerequisites

First, make sure you have all the required disks. The disks are labeled "IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries" with "Version 5.0" on the left side. There are four CDs, marked Disk 1 through Disk 4, and a single DVD marked DVD. Here, I'll be using the DVD disk.

The Fix Is In

Before you start installation, you need to have the proper fix pack. Update, upgrade, PTF, whatever you want to call it--this package consists of three files containing over 250 MB of bug fixes that make the shipped software work properly.

Note to IBM: I strongly suggest that you work on getting the first release correct. At the very least, once you have identified required fixes, you should burn new CDs with the latest software. Making us install from CD and then download and apply patches is no way to treat your loyal customers. However, the WDSc team asked that I cut them a little slack because of the sheer amount of new code in this particular release, and I'm inclined to agree with them. I only ask that this not become a trend.

You'll need to go to this page to download the software. You have to download different files, depending on whether you're running the Standard or Advanced Edition. (I'm not sure I like having two editions, but if the Advanced Edition generates additional revenue that helps support the development of the Standard Edition, then I guess we all win.) At the bottom of the page, you will find a table like the one shown below. The files for the Standard Edition are marked in bold.

URL
Release Date
Language
Size (Bytes)
4/30/2003
English
521216
4/30/2003
English
54511895
4/30/2003
English
225174871
4/30/2003
English
58066555
4/30/2003
English
251218496


I've indicated in bold the files that need to be downloaded for the Standard Edition. Beware: This is a lot of code. On a 384K DSL connection, it's two hours of download time. A 56K dialup is 12 to 14 hours.

Make sure to uninstall any other versions of WDSc you might have on your machine. Be prepared: Installing and uninstalling take a long time. On my laptop (which one would expect is a typical environment--2.4 GHz P4, 512 MB memory, 40 GB hard drive), uninstalling the beta version of WDSc Advanced took nearly an hour. This is an unusually long time for such a procedure. Not only that, the Add/Remove Programs box locked up after the uninstall completed. I had to go in and kill a process call "wdtirbot.exe" to get Add/Remove back.

Installation, Phase 1: Base WDSci

Those nits aside, let's return to the installation. I began this process a little after 3:00 p.m., thinking I'd be done by 5:00 at the latest. This was not to be. As I noted, uninstalling the beta of WDSc Advanced took nearly an hour, so it was just after 4:00 when I began the install, which took several hours.

4:05 Cleaned up leftovers from uninstall--registry, folders, and so on.

4:19 Rebooted.

4:21 Started installation. Don't be surprised when you see that you are installing WebSphere Studio Site Developer. Remember, WDSci is a superset of WSSD (which is, in turn, a superset of Eclipse).

4:23 I was prompted for desired features. As shipped, WDSci defaults to only a WebSphere Application Server 5.0 Base environment, but I wanted to include the WAS4 and WAS5X as well. I also included the plug-in development examples.

4:24 The installation process actually began.

5:02 I thought the installation was complete, but instead, another installer window came up. A splash screen identified this as Phase 2 of the installation, and the title on the install window was "Installing IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries."

5:07 After Phase 2 finished, another installer window came up. I assume (although I saw no message to that effect) that this was Phase 3 of the installation. It was also titled "Installing IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries."

5:13 Installation completed! It was time to register the product. Interesting--no place in "type of business" for "Software Development," so I chose "Consulting." And no, I didn't want to register information about my machine. Besides, the program seemed to think that Windows 2000 is "Windows NT5 Build 2195."

5:16 Reboot.

5:19 Ready to rock and roll with Installation, Phase 2.

Installation, Phase 2: Installing "Classic" WDT

I was ready to go ahead with the patches when a window popped up. It gave me several options, including start the product, install CODE and VARPG, or check for PTFs. Well, I wasn't expecting that, so I returned to the DVD to bring up the documentation. There's no documentation per se on the disk--just the setup program--so I ran that and went through the Readme. Nothing there. But the installation notes had more pertinent information. Inside, I read that CODE and VARPG were no longer automatically installed and that I would need to do this myself if I wanted to enable them. I'm not sure why these options aren't included with the normal "select features" part of the installation wizard, but no big deal. So I closed the window. And unfortunately, in so doing, I somehow managed to close the window that was asking me to install CODE. And there was no clear way to bring that particular screen back up. So I rebooted, hoping the product would sense that it had not finished the installation process, but no dice.

Luckily, though, there was an option in the Start menu under the newly added IBM WebSphere Studio group that would allow me to complete that installation. I got a kick out of the fact that the option is called setup.exe in a folder called "wdscinstallclassic." "Classic" WDT...love it! I selected that option.

The time was 5:31.

What came up was another standard Windows installer with the title "IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries." It began its process, and I sat and waited. During the first few minutes, the status bar made it seem that this might take some 30 minutes. Luckily, that wasn't the case; it only took seven minutes. That does bring up a disturbing statistic, however: Installing the classic pieces took seven minutes, while installing WDSci took 58. This is not a trend I'd like to see continue.

Installation, Phase 3: The Fix Packs

So now I was on to the next bit. Following the instructions on the IBM Web page I mentioned earlier, I created the appropriate folders and started the updates.

5:43 I created folder "wdsc install" on my desktop and created subfolders i1, i2, and i3 in that folder. I moved wdsc50sp0.exe to i1, wdsc501.zip to i2, and wssitedev_501.zip to i3.

5:50 After reading the Web page several times, I decided it was safe to install the first piece. Using Windows explorer, I went into the i1 folder and double-clicked on wdsc50sp0.exe. When the self-extraction dialog came up, I clicked on unzip, and the package unzipped itself. It then ran something without my intervention (I could tell because at least one command window popped into and out of existence). So that part was done.

5:51 Next, I set up the other two folders. This part was very confusing, so there's a little lag here. The confusion is that the patch includes two files, one named wdsc501.zip and one named wssitedev.zip. However, the instructions point you to a page (click on "Method 1 – Installing from CD") that talks about installing three types of fixes: WebSphere Development Studio Client, WebSphere Studio Site Developer, and WebSphere Studio Site Developer Product. What is the difference between the last two options, and which does wssitedev.zip fall under? Nothing on the page makes this clear, and even though I did some reading to try to figure it out ahead of time, there was no information. I decided to continue on and see if something would present itself.

6:03 A tickle in my head told me that maybe wssitedev.zip was supposed to be used for both of the last two steps, although there was absolutely nothing corroborating this sudden insight.

6:06 By now, I had expanded everything and was ready to go. I started the tool by using the option on the Start Menu. It asked me where I wanted my workspace to be, and I told it to use the default directory.

6:08 Up came the screen. It was time to start the update. I followed the instructions on the update page, except that I pointed to my temporary folder rather than the CD-ROM. That meant going to "C:Documents and SettingJoe PlutaDesktopwdsc installi2" for the WDSci updates. After triple-checking everything, I started the update. Step 8 was counterintuitive because it told me specifically not to check the unchecked box. But I didn't, and everything seemed to install just fine. I also did not take the option to restart the workbench. I would do this after installing the third patch.

6:17 With the installation complete, I moved on to the WebSphere Studio Site Developer zip file in the i3 folder. As it turns out, my insight was correct: The zip file contains the patches for both WebSphere Studio Site Developer and WebSphere Studio Site Developer Product. (Much worrying about nothing.) I began to install the WSSD Base fixes.

6:19 Done. I began to install the WSSD Product fixes (this is quite a bit bigger).

6:23 All patches were applied, so I restarted the workbench.

6:25 Went into Help "About Eclipse" and saw that I was still at Version 5.0. A little concerned at this point, I clicked on "Feature Details" and saw at the top of the list that WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries was at Version 5.0.1. It would be kind of nice to see this in the first screen, especially since other IBM features are at release 5.0.2 or even 5.0.3!

Finished! The product was installed. It took nearly 3.5 hours, and at several points the process was not particularly intuitive. However, I managed. The next thing was to actually use the product. But first, I wanted to give the Update Manager a chance. I decided to use the "New Updates" feature to see if any new updates were available.

I ran the option Help/Software Updates/New Updates menu option, and was surprised to see that there were indeed updates available--for Version 5.0.1! Evidently, I don't understand how this works, so I decided to stop playing around and get more information. (I'll run this past my IBM contacts and see what they say.) But for the time being, I decided to just move on.

Those Darned PTFs

Remember, one of the panels disappeared before I could finish using it, and one of the options on that panel was "Check for required PTFs." I couldn't see anywhere obvious that told me how to check for PTFs so I tried the Help menu. The Help system is shipped without an index, so the first time you try to search for something, you must build the index. This took nearly 10 minutes on my laptop. My guess is this is largely a function of the relatively slow disk drives inherent with laptops. However, it's a one-time cost, and once the index is in place, the search is very fast.

I did the search, and it turned out I was indeed missing a few PTFs. So I used the wonderful IBM iPTF system. I say this without sarcasm--I love iPTF. I use it regularly, and I've never had a problem with it. Until this time. Yes, you guessed it, iPTF was unable to help me. I've downloaded entire group PTFs using this, but the WDSc PTFs are too much for it to handle. After a couple of minutes of waiting, I got the following error:

Your order is incomplete. An error has occurred, the error message is:
Remote support application failed. PMR : 43772 The return code is 2D210000, module is ROC3MGR , macro is PMOPENCALL.

PTF
Status
Product Description
 SI08021
 Not Available Electronically 
 5722WDS 
 SI08016
 Not Available Electronically 
 5722SS1 
 SI08015
 Not Supported 
 5722SS1 


Evidently, the WDSc PTFs are unavailable. I have no idea what "Not Supported" means. According to the mailing lists, I'm not the only one with this problem. So now I'm a bit unsure as to the next step in the process. Once again, I'll fire the information off to my IBM contacts and see what they come up with.

Author's Note: The WDSc team acknowledged some issues with the Update Manager, and they are planning to address those in the very near term.

Can We Salvage the Day?

OK, there is no joy in Mudville regarding PTFs. But there weren't a ton of them, so I hoped that no horribly evil things would happen. In fact, the Preventive Service Planning database shows that two of them don't even exist--there are no cover letters for either SI08016 or SI08021. So go figure. It was after 9:00, but I chose to take my chances and see if I could do something with the product.

The Tutorial--Installation and Configuration

Many people have asked about a tutorial for some or all of the WDSci functions. The good news is that IBM has one. The bad news is that it's not clear what the status of this tutorial is. It was recently upgraded for Version 5, but the problem is that at least one object may have been missed. The question is being hashed out in one of the mailing lists as I write this.

However, the object in question is only an issue on one of the four tutorials, and the last one at that. Figuring the first three should be fine, I continued on. You can get the tutorial from its location on IBM's FTP site.

Once you've downloaded all the pieces, the scenario.pdf file will walk you through the steps required to install the demo (in good IBM tradition, there are instructions in 11 languages). Because the instructions are very good, I won't go into a blow-by-blow account as I did with the installation process.

After about an hour of installation, I was ready to test. There were only a couple of bumpy spots, mostly because it's still difficult to deploy an application from one machine to another. Anything that was related to the iSeries (such as host name or user ID and password) had to be manually reconfigured for each project. Then these values (including password) were stored in the clear in the web.xml file, which would never fly in the real world. I'm still getting used to some of the places where the J2EE world and the iSeries world don't quite mesh. I don't have an answer right now, but I know I don't like it.

Some Worked, Some Didn't

By 11:00, I was finally achieving some results. The first tutorial program came up in the test environment without a hitch, and I was happy to see a storefront type of program. A nice list of images came up, showing the available options.

The administrative application was less successful because of a missing step in the tutorial. On page 15, steps 5 and 6 tell you to change the value of the configuration parameter WFDefaultHost to your host name. After this, two more steps need to be inserted to change the value of the parameter Host1 to the same name. After that, the View Store Inventory application worked fine. (View Outstanding Orders had a different problem that I haven't had time to resolve yet.)

Remote Deployment

This is a little more complex, because you have to actually have a WebSphere Express server configured and running on your iSeries. Given the fact that most of the respondents to my poll on the last column indicated that deployment is a huge issue, I think that perhaps an entire column devoted to creating a simple server and deploying the tutorial application is a good idea. If you agree, please drop me an email and/or respond in the forum to this article.

Installing both EAR files on WebSphere Express took an hour or so. There are several steps, including exporting the EAR files to the IFS and installing the applications into the WebSphere Express server. Also, I created a separate WebSphere Express server to test the WDSci deployment, so that required some additional time. Finally, you have to start the server. Each step is relatively short, between five and 15 minutes, but combine five or six steps, and they start to add up. I think this needs to be addressed. Since there is no way to deploy a net change in the current J2EE model, you must redeploy the entire application. If deploying an application takes 20 minutes or more, you are going to have a very long test cycle.

Once I finished installation, I was able to run the applications with no problem. There is an initial delay the first time you run an application, but that's typical of the Web application server environment. Response time for the first program after initial load was very good. Then, I had to redeploy the WebFacing application because of the host name problem. The five-step process--export EAR, stop server, uninstall application, reinstall application, start server--took over 20 minutes. I probably could have copied just the XML file or even gone in manually and fixed it myself, but I would have had to know where it was, and I would still have had to shut down and restart the server. This process needs improvement, especially since the application is unavailable during this entire period.

So Where Are We?

Right now, the basic creation/deployment pieces are in place, but it still takes some work to get all the pieces to a state in which you can use them. When I presented my findings to the WDSc team, the response to most issues I raised was "We are aware of your concern." I'm not sure what exactly that means, but I hope it means they will be addressed in future releases. In the meantime, this article should help make it relatively easy to install and configure WDSci. Also, it points you to the IBM tutorial that walks you through many of the basic functions of Web application deployment in the new J2EE world. However, where the iSeries specifically comes into play, a number of issues need to be addressed. Security and QSYS object deployment are still not handled very well, and I'll review those issues in later columns.

The tutorial applications run. They are definitely tutorial applications, but even on a smaller box like mine, they take a relatively long time to deploy. This is the same box where I can deploy a green-screen application in minutes. In fact, throughout the process, installing and uninstalling takes an inordinately long time. I hope IBM hasn't decided that this is acceptable because it's only a "one-time" cost. That's simply not the case. Web applications need to be deployed repeatedly in a real environment, and even the tools need to be uninstalled and reinstalled on occasion. An installation time of an hour for any tool seems excessive.

Aside from the deployment issues, though, the basic functions worked pretty well. I'm happy with the result, and I'm looking forward to more stringent testing of the tutorial and the entire WDSci/WAS5X product suite. And even with the issues I found, I can honestly say I was able to install WDSci and the tutorial and get an example project running all in one day!

Joe Pluta is the founder and chief architect of Pluta Brothers Design, Inc. He has been working in the field since the late 1970s and has made a career of extending the IBM midrange, starting back in the days of the IBM System/3. Joe has used WebSphere extensively, especially as the base for PSC/400, the only product that can move your legacy systems to the Web using simple green-screen commands. Joe is also the author of E-Deployment: The Fastest Path to the Web and Eclipse: Step by Step. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Joe Pluta

Joe Pluta is the founder and chief architect of Pluta Brothers Design, Inc. He has been extending the IBM midrange since the days of the IBM System/3. Joe uses WebSphere extensively, especially as the base for PSC/400, the only product that can move your legacy systems to the Web using simple green-screen commands. He has written several books, including Developing Web 2.0 Applications with EGL for IBM i, E-Deployment: The Fastest Path to the Web, Eclipse: Step by Step, and WDSC: Step by Step. Joe performs onsite mentoring and speaks at user groups around the country. You can reach him at joepluta@plutabrothers.com.


MC Press books written by Joe Pluta available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Developing Web 2.0 Applications with EGL for IBM i Developing Web 2.0 Applications with EGL for IBM i
Joe Pluta introduces you to EGL Rich UI and IBM’s Rational Developer for the IBM i platform.
List Price $39.95

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WDSC: Step by Step WDSC: Step by Step
Discover incredibly powerful WDSC with this easy-to-understand yet thorough introduction.
List Price $74.95

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Eclipse: Step by Step Eclipse: Step by Step
Quickly get up to speed and productivity using Eclipse.
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    • 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.

     

     

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

    SB Profound WC GenericHave 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).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

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  • 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.