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Weaving WebSphere: Welcome to the VIC!

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"Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship...the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth."
--Peter F. Drucker

In this article, I have tales of wonder and tales of woe. I am going to bring you up-to-date with the problems I've had thus far with Portal Express, and then I'm going to introduce you to a place where we'll all be able to go eventually to get answers.

The Bad and Ugly of Portal Express

I've been hitting some real snags with Portal because there was some miscommunication (or more precisely, lack of communication) between the WDSc team and the Portal team. Consequently, the Portal Toolkit does not work with the standard installation of WDSc 5.1.

As I related in my last Weaving WebSphere column, this was what I was trying to do:

  1. Get WPE for Multiplatforms working
  2. Get the Portlet Test Environment working in WDSc
  3. Create and test a portlet in the WDSc test environment
  4. Deploy that portlet to WPE for Multiplatforms
  5. Get WPE for iSeries working
  6. Deploy the same portlet to WPE for iSeries

I haven't completed step 2 because the standard installation of WDSc creates a folder named "v5.1" (note the embedded period), and the official response from IBM indicates that the version of InstallShield used with Portal Toolkit does not support periods in folder names. I actually opened a PMR on this, and the official response was that IBM hopes to fix this in the next release. For now, the only workaround is to uninstall WDSc and reinstall it with a different folder name.

Since the uninstall/reinstall process for WDSc is measured in days (especially if you have to download the 2 GB of software on anything less than a T1), I tried every other means possible, which meant spending a lot of time seeing if there was a workaround. Please note that IBM support--particularly a gentleman named Fang Feng--worked very hard to try to resolve my problem. Fang tried everything, including some undocumented workarounds, but in the end, he was stymied by the fact that IBM development just doesn't consider this issue a high priority.

I realize that, in the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge issue. But it's a little bizarre to me that while developing the Portal Toolkit--a product whose sole purpose is to enhance WDSc-- nobody thought to ensure that the current version works with the standard installation of WDSc. Not only that, but when the problem was identified, nobody thought fixing it was important. Instead, uninstalling and reinstalling WDSc is the official solution. I'd like IBM to avoid picking up that particular Microsoft habit, especially since WDSc installation and upgrade procedures are not easy.

Author's Note: I received correspondence from IBM development indicating that there is indeed a fix for this problem. For whatever reason, this information was not available to the support team. I am trying to get IBM support to confirm whether or not the fix actually addresses my PMR.

Okay, that's it for the bad and the ugly. You may have guessed that there's also something good somewhere. And you're right.

The Virtual Innovation Center

Welcome to the Virtual Innovation Center! The VIC, as nearly everybody calls it, is an outgrowth of the old Express Enablement Program (EEP). The EEP was a godsend to those of us who were trying to get some of the early WebSphere Express products working; it provided quick access to developers who could answer even the most bizarre user questions in a timely fashion. The success of the EEP led IBM to expand the program to a much more ambitious concept, the VIC. More than just a location for technical information, the VIC provides information on everything--from machine configuration to marketing--for a large and growing number of IBM products, including almost everything in the WebSphere line. The fact that non-Express products are being supported is reflected in the name change from EEP to VIC. Even though the VIC offers a wide variety of services, one of its core functions is still to act as the primary contact point for WebSphere information and support.

Getting Started with the VIC

The VIC is a very user-friendly place, and it's getting friendlier every day. To get started, simply point your browser to the opening page, shown in Figure 1.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/040402%20-%20The%20VICV400.jpg

Figure 1: The login page for the Virtual Innovation Center (VIC) allows you to register online. (Click images to enlarge.)

Note that this is not an IBM site. In fact, if you attempt to access this site from an IBM page (such as the Virtual Innovation Center page), a pop-up box notifies you that you are leaving IBM. The VIC is developed and hosted by a company called Computer Generated Solutions (CGS) located in Canada. IBM's legal mumbo jumbo is a little jarring--"please visit the Virtual Innovation Center, which we neither endorse nor claim responsibility for"--but however you get there, the VIC is a really nice place.

Registering

Right away, you'll find that the VIC is very user friendly. Even the registration page has a Help document. Currently, the Help is a PDF, but I'm assured that this will change to an animated "show me," or what's called a "how-to" in VIC terminology. A how-to is an online document with screen shots that details the steps required to execute a given procedure. The real innovation in this approach is the button at the bottom of each how-to that brings up an animated presentation to guide you through each step of the process.

But for now, the PDF document is fine. Click on "Sign-up now!" and you'll see the screen shown in Figure 2. Once there, click on "Get the Most out of the Virtual Innovation Center" to get to the PDF document (which you can also see by clicking here).

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/040402%20-%20The%20VICV401.jpg

Figure 2: The registration screen for the VIC has its own Help guide.

What's Available?

So now that you know how easy it is to register, the question becomes "Why should I?" The answer is that there is a ton of information available. The VIC is a portal to all of IBM's educational material. If you've ever tried to find information about a specific product on the IBM Web site, you understand what a quandary it can be. We in the iSeries world are lucky to have the Infocenter, but trying to find information for things like WebSphere Portal can be very daunting. The VIC is designed to allow access to all things related to these products.
And that's not limited to technical support, either. The VIC provides access to the various marketing tools IBM makes available. I was amazed by the amount of information available online from IBM. The VIC has complete guides on subjects ranging from financing a product to creating a marketing plan. There are sales tools, demos, you name it. And even though much of this information has been available for a long time, this is the first time it's all been organized in a simple, easy-to-use interface.

There is literally too much content to cover in a single column. I will do my best to present you the highlights of the various offerings, but it's really up to you to get online and start learning more. If it suits you, take a guided tour; to find out more about those, contact the VIC sales support team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Basics

There are really two sets of basic information. The first has to do with registering for "projects" and "products," while the second is the standard information that's available for each product category. You start by registering for support. Once you've logged in, you will immediately see a screen that allows you to start exploring more options. But on that first screen, you will see tabs for, among other things, System Requirements, Add Project, and Add Product, as shown in Figure 3.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/040402%20-%20The%20VICV402.jpg

Figure 3: The VIC home page shows the System Requirements tab, among others.

The System Requirements tab allows you to make sure you have sufficient horsepower in your desktop machine to access all the features of the VIC. For a pleasant change of pace, the VIC requirements are relatively light, as shown in Figure 4, requiring only a 133 MHz CPU and 64 MB of RAM. For those behind a firewall, the System Requirements page details exactly which ports are needed for the various VIC features.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/040402%20-%20The%20VICV403.jpg

Figure 4: The system requirements for accessing the VIC are relatively light.

Before I go on, I'd like to point out a few things about the lower row of tabs (Figure 3). When you're on the home page, that tab row represents the common features available throughout the VIC:

  • The Add Project tab allows you to add projects: These are projects at your company that have to do with porting or designing solutions that use the various supported products. For example, if you plan to port a legacy application to use WebSphere Express, you'd register a project for that. If you were designing a tool to work with Portal, you'd register a project for that. Once you've registered a project, you may qualify for additional free support.
  • The Add Product tab, on the other hand, allows you to identify those IBM products that you are interested in--either because you need them or because you just want to get to know them. An interesting byproduct of this is that adding new products adds new tabs to the top row of your interface. If you refer back to Figure 3, you'll see that there are tabs for DB2 Information Management and WebSphere. That's because I have registered interest in both DB2 and WebSphere products. There are similar tabs for Lotus and Tivoli, and my guess is there will probably be more as the VIC expands.
  • Problems & Support brings up a pop-up window that allows you to report problems, both in the supported products and in the VIC itself. The terminology is a little unusual; problems with the VIC are reported as "Participation Issues," while actual IBM product problems are "Product Issues." Once you get past the terminology, though, the Problems & Support tab is actually a nice incident tracking system.
  • Newsletter accesses a bi-weekly online newsletter.
  • Help pops up a nice online FAQ with lots of information on basic operation of the VIC.

 

The Rest of the VIC

The home page offers a number of other things as well, largely announcements and the like. Now it's time to dig into the meat of the application. Returning to Figure 3, you'll see that there are a number of tabs across the top; these are product categories. Some are always available, and some appear only if you register for products in that category. The On Demand and Sales & Marketing tabs always appear, while the DB2 Information Management and WebSphere tabs are visible only because I have expressed interest in related products. The tabs share a common base layout, so I'll use the first one, the "On Demand" tab, as a general introduction.

The On Demand Category

The On Demand tab is a new entry, thus the bright red "New!" label. However, it is very much like the other areas of the VIC in content and navigation. I don't have enough space to go into all of the features of the various VIC categories, but I'd like to at least touch on a couple of them. If, like me, you find this to be an intriguing new offering, the fine folks at the VIC are eager to get you acclimated and productive.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/040402%20-%20The%20VICV404.jpg

Figure 5: This is the initial screen for the On Demand category.

Figure 5 shows the screen for the On Demand category. The first thing you'll notice when you enter a category is the "e-support" tab (which will shortly change to "Live Support"). This simple tab opens up one of the coolest features of the VIC, the online chat room, as shown in Figures 6 and 7. Each category has at least one chat room. The product-based categories have more, each one focused on a specific product.

Chat Rooms


http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/040402%20-%20The%20VICV405.jpg

Figure 6: Selecting "e-support" pops up this window (On Demand has only one chat room).

 http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/040402%20-%20The%20VICV406.jpg

Figure 7: There's nobody home on Sunday, but this screen shot gives you the flavor of the chat interface.

I've used the chat interface a couple of times in trying to track down Portal Toolkit information. This chat room should be thought of as a front-line interface; don't use it if you've already entered a PMR. Instead, come here first to attempt a quick resolution to the problem. If the folks here can't find the answer, your problem will then escalate up to actual IBM support personnel, at which point it is out of the hands of the VIC. As long as the incident is here, though, you can track it through the Problems & Support tab mentioned earlier.

Other Category Features

Referring back to Figure 5, you'll see two common attributes of all categories: the enablement options and the announcements. Announcements are what you would expect, while the enablement options section is the basic navigation tool for the rest of the category. On Demand has only one option (like chat room options, other categories may have more enablement options, depending on the number of products you have registered). If you click on that option, a whole submenu appears, as in Figure 8.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/040402%20-%20The%20VICV407.jpg

Figure 8: Here are some of the many options available in the On Demand category.

Selecting the option "IBM on demand Overview" brings up the screen in Figure 9, which shows the general layout of many of the other options in the VIC.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/040402%20-%20The%20VICV408.jpg

Figure 9: This is the standard interface to the information in the VIC for a category.

This page is known as the Enablement Desktop for a given subcategory, and it is really an exciting concept. The three simple panes in this desktop provide access to a wealth of information. The right side is pretty straightforward, providing Announcements as always and then one or more education units. Depending on the subcategory you chose in the previous page, there could be dozens of links to various forms of online education. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The real treasure is on the left side.

You'll see I've clicked on a link marked Discussion Forums. This provides access to standard threaded forum discussions about the On Demand topic. I've done a little scrounging; there are dozens of these forums. And while the content is still a little sparse, I'm sure that the amount of information will grow as more people begin to participate.

Each category has a FAQ. Some of those reference blogs, such as the On Demand blog. There are also tips, tricks, and traps. Lots of really good information can be found in those. For example, here's a typical trap for WebSphere, under the subheading Servlets: "If you override an init method that accepts a ServletConfig as an argument then be sure that the first line is a call to super.init()." Excellent practical advice, if a little bit light on the theory side.

CGS is particularly proud, though, of the "How do I?" guides. I mentioned them earlier: illustrated guides that walk you through every step of a procedure. The guides show you what to type and which buttons to press and even allow you to interact with the tutorial presentation to make sure that you know exactly what to do. While not all the bugs have been worked out (occasionally the wrong tutorial comes up), the potential is enormous.

Not Just for Geeks

The truly innovative thing that I've found about the VIC so far is the fact that it manages to provide all of the features a technician would want but at the same time isn't solely dedicated to technical issues. Entire areas of each category are devoted to the sales and marketing of products, areas that may be just as valuable to product managers as the other areas are to technicians.

For example, the Solutions section provides detailed documents for implementing solutions using the various products. Roadmaps provide guides to developing, porting, and marketing applications. Case Files provide real-world guides to accomplishing various goals in your organization, from partnering with IBM to providing training and education to your employees and users.

The Sales & Marketing Tab

This brings me finally to perhaps the most unique part of the VIC, at least for an old techie like me. The Sales & Marketing tab is a little different than the other tabs in that it is not really product-related. Instead, it provides a portal into the many Sales and Marketing programs IBM offers. There is, for example, an entire section on financing. Another section provides a list of helpful guides to developing and implementing a marketing plan. Much of this information has been available for a long time, but the VIC provides a central jumping-off point for locating all of these great documents.

The Cups

And I would be totally remiss if I went through an entire introductory article on the VIC without mentioning the IBM Cups. Cups are competitions designed to promote education among IBM's clients. There are Cups in each category of the VIC, and the general idea is to study education courses and then take tests. You get points for each test, and weekly prizes are awarded. The winner for the entire event gets the Grand Prize. These prizes aren't exactly cheap, either--one of the weekly prizes, the Garmin eTrex GPS, is a $99.99 value, while one of the grand prizes is an NEC 19-inch LCD monitor. Nothing to sneeze at certainly.

Wrapping It Up

I've not had a great time with Portal. Given the fact that I think that portal technology is so important to the future of WDSc, I'm really a bit disappointed. Of all the things I'd think IBM would want to get right, I would think that getting Portal and WDSc working together would be paramount. I'm in the process of a similar project with Web Services, and I find the WDSc integration is very good. The whole Web Service architecture has some serious problems, which I will address in an upcoming column, but unlike the problems with the Portlet Toolkit and WDSc, the issues with Web Services are not IBM's fault.

On a brighter note, though, the VIC is a great new concept. I have a couple of reservations, which I'd rather keep to myself for now. Instead, I'd like you all to hop on the VIC and take it for a test drive. I'm looking forward to getting your feedback on it. I've even created a short poll to allow you to register your initial impressions. After we've all pounded on it a while, we can compare notes. Send me your thoughts, and we'll try to make a little compendium in a later column.

Until then, enjoy the new technology. IBM is trying to make it accessible, so take them up on their offer!

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.
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    - 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.