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Menu Design & Implementation w/ Graphical DDS: #2

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Brief: When you use GDDS to define menu bars and drop-down menus, you can choose from three types of pulldown menus. The first type is a multiple-choice menu. The second type, the single-choice pulldown menu, is the most commonly used and is easy to program and work with. The final choice is a menu that has no choices on it-just the word on the menu bar. This article examines each of these menu types, explains how to code them and addresses the design considerations you face when using them.

In last month's article, we saw that something as seemingly simple as defining a menu bar involves many choices. Because menu-bar and pulldown-menu implementation is primarily a user interface issue and not a programming issue, you must devote most of your effort to designing an easy-to-use menuing system. Users have expectations of how pulldown menus should work. This is not the place to demonstrate technical wizardry by overstepping or ignoring commonly expected practice.

With that in mind, we'll look at three types of menus that you can implement. Last month's DDS and RPG fragments have been expanded to full, operational code, with working examples of multiple-choice, single-choice and "no-choice" menus. By examining the multiple-choice menu in detail, you should see that this menu format is much more complicated to program and use than the preferred single-choice menu format. Within the single-choice format, you must consider the ordering of the menu items, the spacing between them, when to "gray" a menu choice and when not to display a menu choice. The final menu choice, a no- choice menu, is a special case that may be useful in small doses.

Multiple-choice Menu

The first pulldown menu in 1 is the MENU record format. This is an unusual pulldown menu, since you can choose more than one item within the pulldown menu.

The first pulldown menu in Figure 1 is the MENU record format. This is an unusual pulldown menu, since you can choose more than one item within the pulldown menu.

You can define a record format as a pulldown menu by including the record-level PULLDOWN keyword. A pulldown record is a special case of a DDS window. The border used with the pulldown menu can be specified with the WDWBORDER (window border) keyword. In the example display file, WDWBORDER is specified at the file level, so that it applies to all of the pulldown (and other WINDOW) formats within the file. If you want to specify different window borders, you can specify WDWBORDER at the record-format level.

Each pulldown menu format includes at least one input/output (I/O) field. In our example in 1, we use the MSEL field for the MENU format. This is a two-byte numeric field, starting at line 1 position 1. Like the MNUFLD we defined in the MENUBAR record format last month, the selection field is not actually displayed. Instead, the system either formats one or more fields for you to make a selection or displays radio buttons or check boxes depending on the terminal and controller support available at runtime.

Each pulldown menu format includes at least one input/output (I/O) field. In our example in Figure 1, we use the MSEL field for the MENU format. This is a two-byte numeric field, starting at line 1 position 1. Like the MNUFLD we defined in the MENUBAR record format last month, the selection field is not actually displayed. Instead, the system either formats one or more fields for you to make a selection or displays radio buttons or check boxes depending on the terminal and controller support available at runtime.

The MLTCHCFLD field-level keyword associated with the MSEL field makes the MENU record a multiple-choice format. This complicates the format somewhat, because we now need to add coding to indicate which of the choices were selected. On single-choice pulldown menus, the selection can be returned to a HLL program through the selection field. When you use a multiple-choice format, the value returned in the selection field is the number of selections that you made. You need to look elsewhere to determine which items were selected.

You describe your menu-item selections with the CHOICE keyword. Three parameters are used with this keyword. First is the choice identification number. This serves a purpose similar to that of the MNUBARCHC identification number, in that it indicates which selection was chosen. The identifier number is followed by the descriptive text for the menu item. You can also define a mnemonic for menu-item text, by placing a greater than (>) character in front of the character that is to be the mnemonic. Unlike menu-bar items, you do want menu-selection text to be descriptive. You don't need to be overly wordy, but you can certainly use more than one word to good effect.

An optional third parameter of the CHOICE keyword is the special value *SPACEB. This is used to indicate that you want a blank row between consecutive CHOICE specifications. Another way to create spacing between menu choices is shown in the MENU format example. The MENU record format contains five choices: 1, 2, 91, 92 and 99. By assigning nonconsecutive identification numbers (e.g., 2 and 91, or 92 and 99) to sequential menu choices, we force a blank line to be inserted between those choices.

It is desirable to use the spacing capabilities of a menu when you have a number of choices and you can sensibly group choices together. You can see many examples of this grouping of choices in PC programs. For example, choices on the File menu typically include Save categories grouped together and Print categories grouped together. This categorization constitutes far better menu design than simply listing choices in alphabetical or random order. Like the presentation of menu-bar choices covered last month, grouping related options is a design area where you should be consistent between menus. Put similar groupings in similar relative positions on different menus.

The MENU format includes an additional keyword, CHCCTL (choice control), that is required for each choice you define on a multiple-choice menu. CHCCTL has two required parameters and an optional parameter set. The required parameters, shown in the example, are the choice identification and the associated control field. The choice identification corresponds with each item defined in a CHOICE keyword. The control field corresponds with a one-byte, numeric, hidden field that is defined in the same record format. Each CHCCTL keyword must be associated with a unique control field.

The control field is used to set the availability of a menu item when the pulldown menu is displayed and to return the status of the menu item to your program when the format is read. 2 shows the values that are used with the control field. The optional parameter set is used to specify a message to be displayed if the user tries to select an unavailable choice. A default message is displayed if you do not specify a different message.

The control field is used to set the availability of a menu item when the pulldown menu is displayed and to return the status of the menu item to your program when the format is read. Figure 2 shows the values that are used with the control field. The optional parameter set is used to specify a message to be displayed if the user tries to select an unavailable choice. A default message is displayed if you do not specify a different message.

In the example program in 3 (page 104), control field CTL92 is set to a value of 2 (unavailable) in the *INZSR subroutine. That means that even before the program displays the menu bar, we have decided that the "Reset all" menu item should not be available. When you make a menu item unavailable, it is still displayed in the menu but cannot be selected. On monochrome displays, the first character of the menu-item text is replaced by an asterisk. On color displays, the unavailable choice is displayed in a different color. This is sometimes referred to as "graying" the selection.

In the example program in Figure 3 (page 104), control field CTL92 is set to a value of 2 (unavailable) in the *INZSR subroutine. That means that even before the program displays the menu bar, we have decided that the "Reset all" menu item should not be available. When you make a menu item unavailable, it is still displayed in the menu but cannot be selected. On monochrome displays, the first character of the menu-item text is replaced by an asterisk. On color displays, the unavailable choice is displayed in a different color. This is sometimes referred to as "graying" the selection.

Simply setting CTL92 to the unavailable value does not make the choice unavailable, though. In order to do that, we have to write to the record format containing the field. In *INZSR, this is done by the WRITE statement to record format MENU. This does not cause the pulldown menu to be displayed. The pulldown menu can only be displayed when the menu-bar record format is displayed. Because we have not yet done that, we can initialize our pulldown menu formats before they are displayed. You can see examples of these initializations in the *INZSR subroutine.

When the multiple-choice pulldown menu is displayed, the program first checks the values in the control fields. For fields which contain a value of 0, the associated menu-item text is displayed as available. If the value in the control field is 1, the associated menu-item text is available and the item is marked as selected. On a low-function terminal, the system indicates a selected item by placing a slash (/) character in the associated selection field. A control-field value of 2, as mentioned above, means the menu item is unavaiable.

When the pulldown menu is displayed on a low-function terminal, the user selects an item by tabbing to it and entering a slash character. High-function terminals enable users to select multiple-choice items with the mouse.

On input, the program examines each of the control fields to determine whether or not the field was selected. Your program simply goes through the list of the control fields and checks for the value zero or one. For example, in processing the MENU format, the first control field checked is CTL99, the field associated with the Exit menu-item selection (note that Exit is included on both the MENU pulldown menu and as a separate menu-bar item). We examine this field first because if it was selected, we can immediately exit the program.

Following through the rest of the processing of MENU, you can see how one or both of the additional items can be selected. If you select the "Enable all" option (CTL91), a value of 1 is placed into both CTL01 and CTL02, so that those menu items will be marked as selected the next time the menu is displayed. CTL91 is marked as unavailable by putting a value of 2 into it. This is used to toggle the "Enable all" option off. Later in the code, the "Reset all" option is toggled on. The pulldown menu itself is updated in the WRITE statement to the MENU format, which sets the selection indicators and available or unavailable items.

In the same section, indicators *IN22 and *IN23 are set. These indicators are used to condition menu-bar items in the MENUBAR record format. The updated menu-bar format is displayed when the EXFMT statement at the beginning of the MNUBAR subroutine, is executed again.

Multiple-choice Menu Design Considerations

I can't recall ever having encountered a multiple-choice pulldown menu, and I had to contrive this example to show how one works. Multiple-choice fields in GDDS will more typically be used in what Windows refers to as a "dialog box," not in a menu. The idea with a menu is that the user can make one choice to cause one action. More properly done, this example would have a menu option that perhaps would read "Specify menu-bar options." Selecting that option would pop up a window in which you would make the multiple-choice selections.

Although the capability exists, it should not be used for user-oriented menus. As you can see from the example, a considerable amount of definition and processing is associated with a multiple-choice field, compared to the single- choice menus we will look at next. Also, you introduce an extra step when you use a multiple-choice menu, because you must examine each of the control fields associated with the menu. In single-choice menus, you can determine the menu item that was selected in the menu-bar format itself.

Single-choice Menu

A single-choice menu is the most commonly used type of pulldown menu. A single- choice menu does not limit you to only one choice displayed on the menu. The phrase "single-choice menu" means that you can make one choice from a list of possible choices. Examples of single-choice menus are the USER and OPTN record formats in 1.

A single-choice menu is the most commonly used type of pulldown menu. A single- choice menu does not limit you to only one choice displayed on the menu. The phrase "single-choice menu" means that you can make one choice from a list of possible choices. Examples of single-choice menus are the USER and OPTN record formats in Figure 1.

These formats are pulldown menus by virtue of the PULLDOWN record-level keyword. Because they are pulldown menus, they also define a two-byte, numeric selection field. The field-level keyword that defines these formats is SNGCHCFLD (single-choice field). Like the MENU format, this is followed by a list of CHOICE keywords that define the menu-item choices. You can optionally define and use CHCCTL keywords on a single-choice field, as shown in the USER menu with control field CTL04. (In the example, it is defined in the file but not used in the program.) Remember that in multiple-choice fields, CHCCTL keywords and control fields are required.

Both the USER and OPTN formats contain other features that control how the menu items are displayed. Except for the CHCACCEL keyword, these features can also be used on the multiple-choice field menu format.

The first feature is conditioning indicator *IN31 used in format USER for choice 3. This works similarly to the conditioning indicators used on the menu- bar format. If the indicator is off when the format is displayed, the selection is not displayed and the user cannot select the option. This is in contrast to setting the availability and unavailability of an item with CHCCTL control- field settings.

The second feature is the use of the program-to-system field in format OPTN to specify the text used for a menu item. In that format, the CHOICE keyword specifies field OPTNTX as the field in the same record format containing the text to be displayed for the menu item. As described last month for menu-bar item text, you can use the program-to-system field when you need to change the text for different national language versions. In the example program, the text is being toggled between two settings.

The choice accelerator keyword (CHCACCEL) can only be used for a single-choice menu item. It is used to associate text describing a function key with a menu option. In the example, it is used on the OPTN menu to associate the text "F11" with the CHOICE field identified by number 1. The use of CHCACCEL does not bind the function key to the choice. It is up to your program to make the association between the function key and the related menu item. You can see this in the program by examining both the processing for the OPTN menu (MNUFLD equal to 3) and the processing for F11 (*INKK is on). In both cases, the program calls the same subroutine to perform the processing.

It is important that you define the function key at the level where you want it used. In this case, CA11 (F11) is defined as a file-level keyword, meaning that it is available when any of the record formats are displayed. If you want to limit it to being valid only when the OPTN format is displayed, define it as a record-level keyword. You should generally define function keys used as accelerators at the file level, since your users will expect to be able to use the accelerator at any point.

You cannot condition the CHCACCEL keyword. However, if you want to control the display of the text, you can use the form of the CHCACCEL keyword in which the text is defined in a program-to-system field. That way, you can dynamically "reassign" the function keys (although all you are actually "assigning" is different text) or indicate unavailability of an accelerator by putting blanks into the program-to-system field. It is still up to your program to identify and process the accelerator key.

Design Considerations for Displaying Menu Items

The example menus show two different techniques you can use to control how menu items are displayed. The first method is to condition the CHOICE keyword field. When conditioned, the text is either displayed or not. The second method is to mark a choice as selected, available or unavailable with the CHCCTL keyword.

You should use the first method, conditioning the CHOICE field, when an option may or may not be available depending on certain external criteria. For example, your application might have a menu option for "Change" that users with a certain level of authorization can use. Users with lower levels of authorization will never be allowed to use the Change function. Rather than simply mark the menu item as unavailable for those users, you can condition the choice so that it is never displayed.

For choices that are toggled available and unavailable during execution of the program, you should use the CHCCTL method. Although at first this seems to be more work, it is the preferred method of indicating to the user the various program options and their current state.

An excellent example of this is readily available in most word processing programs on the Edit menu. Most programs include Cut, Copy and Paste functions. Those options are usually "grayed" (unavailable) until a section of text is marked in the document. Once the text is marked, the options are available on the Edit menu.

The advantage to marking options as unavailable is that a user can learn about the capabilities of the program by browsing through the menus. For example, if a word processing program's Cut, Copy and Paste options were never displayed until a text selection is made, the user might never realize that such functions are available at some point in the program.

No-choice Menus

The final example is the "no-choice" pulldown menu-the EXIT menu format, in this example. This menu is associated with the Exit! menu-bar item. The concept behind this menu-bar item is that the action (exit) will be performed when the user selects the item. There are no additional options to be selected.

To make this work, we use the optional return-field parameter on the associated MNUBARCHC keyword. Because we want Exit! to show up as a menu-bar item, we have to define a MNUBARCHC keyword. We also have to define a valid pulldown menu for the keyword. We meet the requirement for the valid pulldown menu with the EXIT format, which contains nothing other than the record-format identifier and the PULLDOWN keyword. We tell the system that we want control to return to the program when Exit! is selected by including the EXITRF return field in the menu bar record.

When the user selects Exit!, the value 99 is placed into EXITRF. Fields MNUFLD and OPTION in format MENUBAR are set to zero. As shown in 3, the program can test for that special case.

When the user selects Exit!, the value 99 is placed into EXITRF. Fields MNUFLD and OPTION in format MENUBAR are set to zero. As shown in Figure 3, the program can test for that special case.

You generally will not have any no-choice return fields; if you do, they will probably be for functions similar to the exit function shown here. If you find that you are creating a menu bar with more than one no-choice return field, you should consider putting those choices into their own pulldown menu.

You can also decide if you should in fact create a pulldown menu for just one choice, as shown in the OPTN menu. In that menu, we created a single-item menu because we wanted to have room to describe the option that is available. Rather than take up room on the menu bar itself with a long description, the description is pushed down into the pulldown menu. The design consideration then becomes a matter of looking at your pulldown menus. If you are creating more than one single-item menu, you should consider consolidating those into one menu.

Overall Considerations

The new DDS keywords for menu-bar and pulldown definition make it practical to add these special types of record formats to AS/400 applications. But in order to use menus effectively, you may have to look at your applications and design differently.

As it is, we are used to designing applications within the 24 function keys. You need to allocate room at the bottom of the display for the function-key legend and create code to display additional keys (unless you are using UIM, which takes care of this for you). An additional constraint that is particularly sharp for software vendors is that a great many of those keys are already "assigned" by virtue of SAA/CUA standards. My experience with providing software to customers indicates they are harshly critical of nonstandard function-key usage.

It is unfortunate that DDS menu capabilities are being added at such a late date. At this time, it is difficult to say if it is worth adding the menus to existing applications, since an increasing amount of application development will be done with PC front-ends that already provide this support. However, if you will be maintaining a base of code for quite a while, and especially if you are developing new code, you should look very closely at GDDS menus. It is an advantageous situation for both the application developer and for users. The developer can free himself from the constraints of a function-key model of application design. Users can take advantage of an interface that's easier to use and that still incorporates function keys, by means of using the function keys as "accelerators" for menu items.

When you do start to use GDDS menus, give serious consideration to the idea of putting the menu part of the application into its own program. It is far easier to develop and maintain an application in this manner than the usual technique of bundling all of the interface processing with the code that actually "does something."

Craig Pelkie can be reached through Midrange Computing.

References Creating a Graphical Look with DDS (SC41-0104, CD-ROM (V2R2) QBKA7M00; also available as V2R2 PTF SF12632). DDS Reference (SC41-9620, CD-ROM QBKA7402). Goerdt, Dan. "DDS Goes Graphical," MC, July 1993. Guide to Programming Displays (SC41-0011, CD-ROM QBKA7902).


Menu Design & Implementation w/ Graphical DDS: #2

Figure 1 DDS for Menu-bar and Pulldown-menu Support

 A*=============================================================== A* To compile: A* A* CRTDSPF FILE(XXX/GUI004DF) SRCFILE(XXX/QDDSSRC) A* A*=============================================================== A CA11 A WDWBORDER((*CHAR ' ||---')) A VLDCMDKEY(91 'VLDCMDKEY') A**************************************************************** A* Record format ASSUME - define ASSUME keyword for file A**************************************************************** A R ASSUME TEXT('ASSUME record') A ASSUME A 1 2' ' A**************************************************************** A* Record format MENUBAR - Menu bar definition A**************************************************************** A R MENUBAR TEXT('Menu Bar record') A INDTXT(22 'Enable USER format') A INDTXT(23 'Enable OPTN format') A OVERLAY A MNUBAR A MNUBARDSP(&OPTION) A MNUFLD 2Y 0B 1 2TEXT('Menu choice field') A MNUBARSEP((*DSPATR UL) + A (*CHAR ' ')) A 22 MNUBARCHC( 2 USER '>User') A 23 MNUBARCHC( 3 OPTN '>Options') A MNUBARCHC(99 EXIT 'E>xit!' &EXITRF) A MNUBARCHC( 1 MENU '>Menu') A OPTION 2S 0H TEXT('Selection in PULLDOWN') A EXITRF 2Y 0H TEXT('Return field from Exit') A**************************************************************** A* Record format MENU - Menu pulldown A**************************************************************** A R MENU TEXT('MENU pulldown') A PULLDOWN A MSEL 2Y 0B 1 1TEXT('MENU selection field') A MLTCHCFLD A CHOICE( 1 '>User tasks') A CHOICE( 2 'Set >Options') A CHOICE(91 '>Enable all') A CHOICE(92 '>Reset all') A CHOICE(99 'E>xit') A CHCCTL( 1 &CTL01) A CHCCTL( 2 &CTL02) A CHCCTL(91 &CTL91) A CHCCTL(92 &CTL92) A CHCCTL(99 &CTL99) A CTL01 1Y 0H TEXT('CHCCTL for User tasks') A CTL02 1Y 0H TEXT('CHCCTL for Options') A CTL91 1Y 0H TEXT('CHCCTL for Enable all') A CTL92 1Y 0H TEXT('CHCCTL for Reset all') A CTL99 1Y 0H TEXT('CHCCTL for Exit') A**************************************************************** A* Record format USER - User pulldown A**************************************************************** A R USER TEXT('USER pulldown') A PULLDOWN A INDTXT(31 'Condition WRKACTJOB') A USESEL 2Y 0B 1 1TEXT('USER menu selection') A SNGCHCFLD A CHOICE(1 'Work with >Job queues') A CHOICE(2 'Work with >Output queues') A 31 CHOICE(3 'WRK>ACTJOB') A CHOICE(4 'WRK>SYSSTS' *SPACEB) A CHCCTL(4 &CTL04) A CTL04 1Y 0H TEXT('CHCCTL for WRKSYSSTS') A**************************************************************** A* Record format OPTN - Set Options pulldown A**************************************************************** A R OPTN TEXT('OPTN pulldown') A PULLDOWN A OPTSEL 2Y 0B 1 1TEXT('OPTN menu selection') A SNGCHCFLD A CHOICE(1 &OPTNTX) A CHCACCEL(1 'F11') A OPTNTX 35 P TEXT('Option text field') A**************************************************************** A* Record format EXIT - Exit menu pulldown A**************************************************************** A R EXIT TEXT('EXIT') A PULLDOWN 
Menu Design & Implementation w/ Graphical DDS: #2

Figure 2 Values Used for CHCCTL Control Fields

 Value Output Input 0 Available Unselected 1 Selected Selected 2 Unavailable 
Menu Design & Implementation w/ Graphical DDS: #2

Figure 3 RPG Code for Menu-bar and Pulldown-menu Support

 *=============================================================== * To compile: * * CRTRPGPGM PGM(XXX/GUI004RG) SRCFILE(XXX/QRPGSRC) * *=============================================================== *. 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 FGUI004DFCF E WORKSTN I 'Enable WRKACTJOB in -C ENATXT I 'User menu' I 'Disable WRKACTJOB - C DISTXT I 'in User menu' C* C *ON DOWEQ*ON C EXSR MNUBAR C ENDDO C* C***************************************************** C* Initialize program, set choices in menu formats C***************************************************** C* C *INZSR BEGSR C Z-ADD2 CTL92 *Disable Reset C WRITEMENU *Initialize fmt C* C MOVEL*OFF *IN31 *Disable WRKACT C WRITEUSER *Initialize fmt C* C MOVELENATXT OPTNTX *Set OPTN text C WRITEOPTN *Initialize fmt C ENDSR C* C***************************************************** C* Display/process menu bar C***************************************************** C* C MNUBAR BEGSR C EXFMTMENUBAR C SELEC C* C***************************************************** C* Process Valid Command Key - across all menus C***************************************************** C* C *IN91 WHEQ *ON *VLDCMDKEY C EXSR CMDKEY C* C***************************************************** C* Process MENU format - must read for MLTCHCFLD C***************************************************** C* C MNUFLD WHEQ 1 *MENU format C READ MENU 9999*99 - ERR/EOF C* C CTL99 IFEQ 1 *EXIT C MOVEL*ON *INLR C RETRN C ENDIF C* C SELEC C CTL91 WHEQ 1 *Enable all C Z-ADD1 CTL01 *Selected C Z-ADD1 CTL02 *Selected C Z-ADD2 CTL91 *Unavailable C* C CTL92 WHEQ 1 *Reset all C MSEL OREQ 0 *No selections C Z-ADD0 CTL01 *Available C Z-ADD0 CTL02 *Available C Z-ADD0 CTL91 *Available C Z-ADD2 CTL92 *Unavailable C ENDSL C* C SETOF 2223 *Do not display C* C CTL01 IFEQ 1 *USER menu C SETON 22 *Display C Z-ADD0 CTL92 *Enable Reset C ENDIF C* C CTL02 IFEQ 1 *OPTN menu C SETON 23 *Display C Z-ADD0 CTL92 *Enable Reset C ENDIF C* C WRITEMENU *Update menu C* C***************************************************** C* Process USER menu C***************************************************** C* C MNUFLD WHEQ 2 *USER menu C* C***************************************************** C* Process OPTN menu C***************************************************** C* C MNUFLD WHEQ 3 *OPTN menu C SELEC C OPTION WHEQ 1 *Selected Opt 1 C EXSR SETOPT C ENDSL C* C***************************************************** C* Process EXIT menu C***************************************************** C* C EXITRF WHEQ 99 *EXIT menu C MOVEL*ON *INLR C RETRN C ENDSL C* C ENDSR C* C***************************************************** C* Process valid command keys C***************************************************** C* C CMDKEY BEGSR C *INKK IFEQ *ON *CF11 C EXSR SETOPT C ENDIF C ENDSR C* C***************************************************** C* Set options for USER and OPTN menu C***************************************************** C* C SETOPT BEGSR C CLEAROPTNTX *OPTN text C* C *IN31 IFEQ *OFF *WRKACT disabld C MOVEL*ON *IN31 *Enable WRKACT C MOVELDISTXT OPTNTX *Set text C ELSE *WRKACT enabled C MOVEL*OFF *IN31 *Disable WRKACT C MOVELENATXT OPTNTX *Set text C ENDIF C* C WRITEUSER *Update menu C WRITEOPTN *Update menu C* C ENDSR *. 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 
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    Does a virus have your server down? Perhaps it’s the latest worm, Trojan horse, buffer overflow or denial of service attack that’s got you or one of your servers down. While one of these bugs may be affecting one or more of your servers in your enterprise, it is highly unlikely that the server affected is a Power server running IBM i. IBM i may be running your core business applications or it may be hosting your website or running Domino. Whatever its function within your enterprise IBM i has remained unaffected by virus and malware attacks. Why is that?

    Viruses and other ailments spread by infecting a host that is vulnerable. Let’s take a look at how IBM i and the applications running on it can remain unscathed by the viruses and malware that are so prevalent today.

    In this white paper, Carol Woodbury of SkyView Partners defines each “ailment” and then describe the defenses and protection mechanisms provided by IBM i to ward off the attack.

  • When Management Turns its Back on Security: The Business Effects

    SB SkyView PPL 5447

    In this white paper we hope to explain why the decision to secure- or not secure – data on the IBM i needs to be a business decision ... not a technical decision.

    Something is preventing management from understanding the need to secure the electronic data. So let’s explore why we think this happens....

  • 2017 State of IBM i Security Study

    SB HelpSystems WP 5453For every breach that makes headlines, dozens of other organizations have had data stolen or corrupted by hackers—or even their own users. Cyberthreats become more sophisticated every year, raising the importance of proper security controls.
    The 2017 State of IBM i Security Study proves once more that many organizations running the IBM i operating system rely on system settings that leave data vulnerable. This is true across all industries for businesses large and small.
    Weak passwords, lax system auditing, and overly privileged users leave your server vulnerable to internal and external threats. A data breach caused by a cybercriminal or a negligent insider can cause irreparable damage to an organization of any size.
    The annual State of IBM i Security Study strives to help executives, IT managers, system administrators, and auditors understand the full extent of IBM i security exposures and how to correct them quickly and effectively.

    Order your copy of this year's guide here.

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

    SB Profound WP 5539

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

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:


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


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • Building a Sound Investment Strategy Through Technology

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    Learn how to combine automation software and IBM i to increase revenue and enhance customer experiences. Download the exclusive Help/Systems White Paper “Building a Sound Investment Strategy Through Technology.”

    This free four-page PDF, written by Help/Systems Director of Automation Technology Chuck Losinski, is packed with concise tips for IBM i. You’ll learn why Power Systems running IBM i are the key to a sound investment strategy. You’ll also discover how automation technologies such as batch processing, agent tasks, interactive processes, backups, report management, and system and message monitoring can save your company money while making your operations more reliable than ever.

  • $100 MC Press Bookstore Gift Card Giveaway

    SB MC Press Bookstore giftcardWe're even giving one lucky person the opportunity to choose their own prize in our "All About Choice" contest for a $100 MC Press Bookstore gift card.

    Visit the MC Webcast, MC White Paper, and MC Software Centers today and select as many of the FREE offerings you would like to receive.

    While there, enter the contest and you may just win a $100 MC Press Bookstore gift card! Next Drawing: February 28, 2018.

    Winner:
    January '18 - Steve Goldman

    February '18 - Kris Short

  • A Successful Approach to Automated Monitoring in a Complex World

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, we dissect complex system monitoring by introducing best practices and smart techniques that will help you reduce and simplify your multi-platform monitoring workload.

  • Achieving Business Value Through VIOS

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, virtualization specialist Glenn Robinson joins Ash Giddings to discuss the use of VIOS in today’s demanding Power Systems environments. VIOS can help you realize real business value by reducing IT expenditure and adding the flexibility to grow and shrink resources according to data center demands through virtualization across IBM Power Systems estates.

  • ​Multi-Platform Application Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Make Application Monitoring Easy Across the IBM i, Windows, AIX, and Linux Platforms in Your Environment
    IT departments are constantly bombarded by information from a wide variety of operating systems, business applications, and critical processes. At the same time, the department must support a complex array of servers and devices running across their entire network.
    With limited resources and the need to keep costs in check, more and more is expected of operational staff to handle this information efficiently.
    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, we’ll dissect complex systems monitoring by introducing best practices and smart techniques that will help you:
    - Ensure vital business applications run smoothly and without disruption
    - Respond swiftly and with appropriate actions
    - Confirm that essential data is received at the right time
    - Prove service levels are maintained
    - Keep contingency and high availability strategies fully operational

  • ​IBM i War Stories from the Front Line

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    IBM i is great at managing varied workloads—the OS offers many built-in work management and system utilities to aid administration.
    But greater customization is sometimes necessary in the line of duty.
    Halcyon has built upon these utilities to deliver a number of advanced functions designed for you to take control of all of your day-to-day IBM i activities.
    During this on-demand webinar, our experts will demonstrate some of Halcyon’s capabilities and describe real-life scenarios that highlight how you can:

    - Reduce your alerting footprint by implementing leading-edge monitoring techniques 
    - Identify both organic growth and spikes in disk space utilization
    - Automate time-consuming housekeeping tasks
    - Take advantage of the powerful IBM i Services
    - Automate literally anything

    Set your sights on having the right monitoring solution, no matter what comes your way. Watch the recording today!

  • Work Smarter: Integrate IBM i and Desktop Applications

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    My desktop application users spend a lot of time manually generating and printing letters using IBM i data.
    Our team copies and pastes information between IBM i applications all the time. Launching a PC application from my IBM i screens is impossible today.
    Sound familiar?
    Too many businesses go through manual efforts to transfer documents and data across IBM i and desktop applications—especially ERPs. Whether you use JDE World, JDE EnterpriseOne, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, or any other ERP, chances are your employees are stuck transferring information manually. And all of that manual effort leads to hours upon hours of wasted time.
    But it doesn’t need to anymore.

    See More

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Let’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. These folks have been managing all areas of your business—often manually and behind the scenes—for decades, everything from IT operations to data and documents to cybersecurity.
    Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    During this 30-minute recorded webinar, 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
    IBM i skills depletion is a top concern for IBM i shops around the world. 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.

    Watch this webcast now

  • IFS Security – Don’t Leave Your Server Vulnerable

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Experts agree that one of the most overlooked areas of IBM i security is the Integrated File System. Available since V3R1, the IFS provides access for users carrying nothing more than a user profile and password, so it better be secure! If you believe nothing important is stored on your server's IFS, think again, because it's a conduit to many things, including the Operating System and all of your application libraries and files.
    Watch this important session to learn about securing the IFS, including:
    Why do we care about the IFS?
    Permissions versus Authority
    Root folder access
    Auditing IFS activities
    Read/Write versus *ALLOBJ
    Anti-Virus Considerations

  • Who’s Afraid of Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS? Not i.

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    This 30-minute recording demystifies Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS and teaches best practice techniques for maintaining and controlling critical processes and applications running on your Linux, AIX, and VIOS environments.

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by the newest member of the HelpSystems team: Debbie Saugen.
    Debbie is recognized worldwide as an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability. For decades, Debbie has helped 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.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC Generic

    In this presentation, Alex Roytman (CEO, Profound Logic) and Liam Allan (2016 COMMON Student Innovation Award winner) 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

    Watch this Webcast NOW!

  • The Truth About Viruses on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Protecting your data from viruses or malicious code is not an unfamiliar concept, but understanding how these threats can affect your Power Systems server may not be as easy to grasp.
    There are many myths about viruses and IBM i—including the belief that the system is immune. Many Power Systems managers still don’t see viruses as a risk because they see them as a Windows threat. While this was once true, today’s connected environments operate under different rules.
    It’s time to take action and protect IBM i and the network that connects to it. This on-demand webinar will help you gain an understanding of the relationships between:

    - Viruses and the integrated file system (IFS)
    - Power Systems and Windows viruses
    - PC-based anti-virus scanning vs native IBM i scanning
    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. Learn the facts to ensure you're fully-protected.

  • Business Process Automation with Robot

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Automate Process Flow Through the Data Center
    Typical “computerized” business processes are a combination of multiple schedulers, operational scripts, CL programs, and manual file checking, all backed up with the trusty runbook.
    Is there a better way to manage business processes?
    It is a common misconception that a business process cannot be automated if it’s too complicated or requires that someone verify each step. We’re here to tell you there is a better way to manage your business—process automation is possible!
    Take 30 minutes to learn the options for automating your business process flow and how they fit into your data center processing, including cases of:
    - Complex or iterative schedules
    - Event-driven dependencies
    - Multi-platform dependencies
    - Dynamically calculated parameters
    - Exception notification
    - SAP and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne integration
    How do I know business process automation is effective?
    If you have any doubts that automating complex business processes will improve your level of service, you’ll also hear a success story from the senior systems administrator at Trident Seafoods who embraced automation using the Robot solution and is reeling in the benefits!

  • Find Out Why You Should Keep Data on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    It’s simple. IBM i is the most reliable, securable, and powerful platform to house your critical business data.
    IBM i was built for business and has added features and functionality over the years to keep up with modern business needs. You can trust it to run your business, access your data in real-time, and keep your data secure. Plus, IBM i can scale to your business and handle all of your critical data.
    Can your other platforms do that?
    We didn’t think so.
    Watch this 30-minute webinar to learn why you should keep your data on IBM i, including:
    - IBM i is reliable
    - IBM i offers fast and secure real-time data access
    - IBM i helps your business prepare for tomorrow
    Plus, we demonstrate how Sequel Data Access helps you modernize IBM i data access and meet your business needs.

  • Mobile Apps for IBM i Monitoring

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    Overnight and weekend support can be a minefield for operations teams tasked with attempting to maintain system availability, especially when they must rely on laptop-based VPN access—where a delayed response can prove costly.
    With over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to use the BYOD movement to your advantage and start managing your IT infrastructure from the palm of your hand. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how Halcyon has modernized this crucial layer of support by introducing mobile applications for IBM i monitoring.
    You’ll hear how one company has used the Enterprise Console mobile app to provide a valuable audit trail and speed up response time. You’ll also learn:
    - The benefits of mobile apps
    - How to respond to critical messages within seconds
    - How to get notifications your way on your device
    - How to set up escalation, ensuring alerts are always handled in a timely fashion
    If your team is responsible for managing IBM i applications and services after regular business hours, you won’t want to miss this one!

     

  • Speed Up Your Manufacturing and Distribution with Paperless Processes

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Your ERP system —whether it’s JDE World, Enterprise One, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, VAI, or anything else—is essential to maintaining your company’s key business information and processes. But you’re constantly generating and receiving paper and electronic documents, too, and it’s hard to keep everything straight. So, you wind up chasing documents and data around—and keeping your customers and vendors waiting.
    It’s time to make life easier and make your customers happier. With an electronic document management system, you can integrate with your ERP to keep all of your key documents and data in one spot.
    And when all of your documents are stored digitally, you can speed up your processes and get key documents (like purchase orders and invoices) approved faster.
    Watch the webinar and learn how to:
    - Integrate a document management system with your ERP
    - Capture all of your key shop floor, order, and shipment documents in one central repository
    - Improve customer, vendor, and employee response times
    - Accomplish more work without adding additional staff
    It’s time to deliver your shipments faster and keep your customers happy by streamlining your paperwork processes.

  • Dock Door Signing Made Easy

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    How long does dock door signing take your organization? Too long if you’re still using manual processes and paper.
    From generating to collating to printing to routing to signing, manual processes and paper slow down your organization—and your delivery times. Electronic documents and digital signature capture can change all of that. And your organization will be able to create, route, approve (with digital signatures), and retrieve documents faster.
    Learn how digital signature capture helps you:
    - Eliminate steps in your approval processes
    - Improve auditability
    - Reduce customer service time to resolve questions
    Plus, we’ll demonstrate how digitizing signatures and documents will reduce your organization’s costs over the long haul.

  • 5 Reasons Developers Love Robot Schedule

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Why AppDev Should Embrace Automation
    Your application development team is an expensive resource that works hard to improve business processes, yet more and more IBM i shops are putting AppDev in charge of managing day-to-day system operations.
    Instead of taking their attention away from the website, business analytics, mobile, security, SQL data access, and more, streamline operations with automation and build in notifications so your teams have visibility into processing when they need it, and can manage the rest by exception.
    In just 30 minutes, our experts will show how AppDev teams can take advantage of Robot automated operations on IBM i and beyond so they can:
    - Stop programming for multi-platform job and file event dependencies
    - Stop struggling with incorrect parameter values
    - Stop wondering where to fit a process into daily, weekly, or monthly cycles
    - Stop the on-call headaches, the firefighting, and the lack of progress cycle
    - Go ahead, give your AppDev team a productivity boost!

  • Affordable Query Tool for Software Developers

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    NGS’ Software Developer Kit (SDK) gives IBM i developers comprehensive query, dynamic mobile reporting, analytics and Web report design features at an affordable cost. Install and create meaningful outputs for managers in one day! Web page and portal integration, email, FTP are included.
    The $895* SDK includes a one user license, online training, user manuals, one year of software maintenance; toll-free support and online incident reporting.
    - Want to modernize beyond Query/400 and PC files transfers?
    - Need a Web reporting solution without the learning curve and overhead of DB2 Web Query?
    - Have many reporting needs, but a tight budget and small staff?
    View the demo and request a FREE TRIAL of the SDK.
    * Limited time offer.

  • Your introduction to RCAC and Authority Collection

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    IBM has provided us with two powerful and very exciting security enhancements in the last two versions of IBM i.

    Scott Forstie of IBM joins Carol Woodbury to demonstrate and describe the V7R2 feature called Row and Column Access Control (RCAC), which extends how you define which users have access to specific rows in a database file. RCAC also provides a way to mask data for all or selected users.

    The recently released V7R3 adds Authority Collection. Authority Collection provides organizations and vendors with the ability to know exactly what authority is required to perform a task, eliminating the guesswork. Gone is the need to set *PUBLIC authority on database files to *ALL or to automatically grant service accounts *ALLOBJ special authority just because you’re unsure of what authority is required.

    Watch Scott and Carol as they discuss these and other new security features delivered in V7R2 and V7R3.

  • ​Getting Started with IBM i Security: Event Auditing

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    Learn why event auditing is necessary and how to configure it
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This second session of the series introduces event auditing, with Robin Tatam covering the basics and more:
    - Why auditing is necessary
    - Determine if IBM i auditing is currently active
    - How to configure auditing with one simple command
    - What audit events are recorded (and which are missed!)
    - How high availability (HA) applications often make critical events disappear
    - Event reporting and real-time alerting

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Securing PC Access

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    Protect your system from unauthorized network access through readily available PC tools

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    This on-demand webinar will show you how well-known services like FTP and ODBC enable users to access sensitive data without oversight or restrictions. Robin Tatam will also explain what exit programs are and how you can use them to protect your organization.

  • No Time for IBM I Security? No Problem

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    “Security” is definitely on your IT staff’s to-do list, but how often does this item get checked off?

    IT doesn’t have enough time for security—the 2016 IBM i Security Study proves it. The trouble is that data security isn’t a set-and-forget project. Data security on your IBM i requires on-going attention and expertise.

    In this on-demand webinar, you’ll learn how to save time and work more effectively. We’re cutting to the core of IBM i security by outlining the simple strategy developed by our experts.

    You’ll see a straightforward approach to understanding and addressing risk to your IBM i data. We’ll also show you how our world-class security services help people protect business-critical data when they don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to tackle IBM i security on their own.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: System Values

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Set the tone for data protection with security-relevant system values

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    The series opens with an introduction to security-relevant system values.

    System values are one of the fundamental elements of IBM i security. The security system values enable you to “set the tone” of security on your IBM i, enforce password composition rules, and enable auditing. Watch this on-demand webinar to see Carol Woodbury describe these system values and provide guidance on their best practice settings.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    The IFS is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of IBM i security
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This recorded session has Robin Tatam introducing IFS security:
    - Defining IFS
    - How the IFS is configured
    - Common IFS security mistakes
    - What a virus can do to IBM i through the IFS
    - Tracking user activity

  • ​7 Habits of Highly Secure Organizations

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Everyone knows that cyber security is important, but getting started on the road to data protection and compliance can be confusing and intimidating. Understanding common vulnerabilities helps you focus your attention and resources on the areas that need the most help.
    We all want “best-practice” security, but what are top organizations doing to achieve and maintain it?
    Watch this webinar to learn the details about how to develop the seven habits that are part of daily life for secure organizations. You’ll learn how to:
    - Break the Ostrich Syndrome
    - Develop a Security Policy
    - Assess Current Standing
    - Perform Security Event Logging and Review
    - Use “Best of Breed” Technologies
    - Monitor for Ongoing Compliance
    - Plan for the Future
    This on-demand webinar examines what each of these habits means to IBM i, and helps you make sure that you don’t become the next security statistic.

  • An Introduction to PCI Compliance on IBM Power Systems

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    "From the world's largest corporations to small Internet stores, compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is vital for all merchants who accept credit cards, online or offline, because nothing is more important than keeping your customer’s payment card data secure.” — PCI Security Standards Council
    Complying with the PCI standard is a normal part of doing business in today’s credit-centric world. But, PCI applies to multiple platforms.
    The challenge becomes how to map the general PCI requirements to a specific platform, such as IBM i. And, more importantly, how can you maintain—and prove—compliance?
    Watch this webinar to understand:
    - How PCI requirements relate to IBM i systems
    - IBM i-specific barriers to compliance
    - How PowerTech security solutions help you fulfill PCI requirements, meet compliance guidelines, and satisfy auditors
    You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to evaluate PCI compliance requirements and prepare your IBM i system for today’s regulatory challenges.

  • Implementing Multiple Layers of Defense

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Your IBM i holds a massive amount of data. In most organizations, that data constitutes a mission-critical and high-value asset.

    How do you adequately protect the data residing on your IBM i, given its value to your organization? IBM has provided us with many options for protecting our data, but it’s now always clear how to select and implement the best options for your circumstances.

    This recorded webinar describes IBM i’s different data security options, along with implementation recommendations and tips for getting started. Carol Woodbury, one of the world’s top IBM i security experts, also provides considerations to help you determine how many layers of security are right for your organization.

  • 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 Generic

    Watch 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!
    Watch this Webinar Now!

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

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    Modern, 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.
    We will demonstrate how Profound UI:
    - Goes beyond simple screen-scraping to truly modernize your RPG applications
    - Uses RPG Open Access and your own RPG code and development talent to modernize
    - Supports rapid development with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop Designer
    - Integrates with our on-the-fly modernization, mobile development, and Enterprise Modernization solutions

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

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericHigh availability for IBM i has been a hot topic in 2017, jumping 20% from our 2016 survey to take the #2 seat on IT priority lists just behind cybersecurity. And no surprise with these two topics so closely tied to your most valuable asset: your irreplaceable business data.
    With major airline outages last year and the recent ransomware attacks, you 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—Tom Huntington, Matt Staddler, and Cole Ragland—deliver lively discussion around the top high availability issues of today, including:

    • 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

    There are no do-overs when it comes to your data. Once it’s gone, it’s gone...unless you have a data replication layer in place to protect it. Learn the value of these strategic solutions and how you can implement them in a hurry—watch now!

     

  • 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 5541Roses are red, your UIs are green...It's time to make your apps proud to be seen!
    Whether 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.
    In this webinar, you'll learn how you can use both Profound UI and Profound.js to:

    • 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

    This webinar will include a live product demonstration and Q&A with the presenters.

    Download and watch today!

  • 2017 IBM i Marketplace Revealed

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    IBM i is one of technology’s best-kept secrets, with little information available about what IBM i users are doing on this server. Even companies that use this technology struggle to explain to their own teams what IBM i stands for and who else is using it.
    The IBM i Marketplace Survey—now in its 3rd year—was designed to solve this problem. Watch this on-demand webinar for the exclusive results of the 2017 survey. IBM i Champion Tom Huntington is joined by a panel of technology experts to discuss year-over-year trends and new insights. The panel will discuss:

    • What other platforms do you run alongside IBM i?
    • What programming and Open Source languages are you using?
    • What are your top IT issues?
    • What version of POWER and what OS level is most prevalent?
    • Are you expanding your usage of IBM i?
    • Is IBM i a good ROI?

    The expert panel will provide industry insight and comments about the results. When the webinar concludes, you’ll get access to the full results.

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

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    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_Generic

    Everyone wants a piece of your business data. But keeping up with data access requests in the era of constantly growing data is a challenge. As a result, your IT department can be overwhelmed, inundated, and constantly needing to play catch-up.
    It’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 in 2018.
    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_Generic

    Let’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 noted 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_Generic

    There’s a better way to run your queries. With an advanced query tool like Sequel Data Access, you can deliver the IBM i data your organization needs quickly and efficiently—without the hang-ups.
    In this session, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access and distribution trends, and help you understand what to look for in a more advanced query tool.
    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
    • Watch the webinar and learn why you shouldn’t just settle for Query/400.

     

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    Capturing documents means scanning and filing—which takes you away from tasks that actually matter to the business. Managing documents means sorting through an endless sea of shared folders or filing cabinets—and sometimes documents can’t be found. Distributing documents means following a frustrating, manual process for routing documents internally and sending them to vendors and customers.
    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_Generic

    Get 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.

  • Monitor VIOS (and AIX) from Your IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) runs on AIX and allows you to share input/output resources across logical partitions. The health of your VIOS server is critical to the performance of all your Power server partitions, so monitoring it is a must.
    Our 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results uncovered a cool trend: an increasing number of IBM i shops are running AIX instances alongside IBM i on Power Systems servers. We like to see these systems playing nicely together on the same server, though it does shine a spotlight on shared resources.
    During this 30-minute recording, our experts demonstrate the new VIOS and AIX monitoring capabilities in Robot Monitor. You’ll learn about:

    • The top AIX metrics that impact VIOS
    • Real-time monitoring with dashboard displays
    • Threshold and notification options
    • Identifying trends to better allocate resources

    With VIOS/AIX running alongside IBM i, you need visibility into your entire Power environment.
    Watch now to see how Robot Monitor can get you there!

     

     

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    You’re responsible for looking after Windows, Linux, AIX, and VIOS, but you worry that you don’t understand their complexities well enough to make your job effective—or easy.
    No problem! Simplify the management of multiple operating systems and applications without becoming experts in each area.
    In 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 and shows how easy monitoring multiple operating systems and applications can be using point-and-click technology.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    When IBM i disk space pulls its notorious disappearing act, you don’t have time to waste figuring out how the trick is done. You need to know when disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer.
    Looking behind the curtain to keep a close eye on disk space—especially in a multi-partition environment—can have its challenges, but every good admin can have an ace up their sleeve. 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

    Start seeing through the sleight of hand and get instant visibility into disk usage. Add advance warning of potential threats and—abracadabra!—you’ll reduce the risk of disk space depletion and curb the sudden flurry of activity to clean things up.

     

  • Stop Re-keying Data Between IBM I and Other Applications

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Still following manual processes for extracting and transferring data across platforms? You’re not alone. Many business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation. And that leads to a lot of manual effort.
    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, you’ll see a demonstration of how data automation software from HelpSystems will help you finally stop re-keying data.

     

  • Survey Results: 2018 Top Cybersecurity Risks and Mitigation Strategies

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Protecting your organization from cyberthreats has never been more important—or more difficult.
    IT pros have many tactics to choose from, but time (and budgets!) are not unlimited. The key is prioritizing risks and identifying the most effective ways to mitigate the danger.
    In 2018, HelpSystems surveyed more than 600 IT and cybersecurity professionals to find out what security exploits loom largest and what strategies they’re turning to for protection.
    In this on-demand webinar, our team of cybersecurity security experts analyzes results. You’ll learn about:

    • Security strategies your peers are most interested in implementing
    • How managers and executives prioritize security
    • Who is responsible for cybersecurity at organizations around the world
    • Where IT pros turn for assistance with security

    You'll also get practical tips for using this data to drive cybersecurity conversations at your organization.

     

  • The Top Five RPG Open Access Myths....BUSTED!

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    When it comes to IBM® Rational® Open Access: RPG Edition (also known as RPG Open Access), 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"

    This Webinar features IBM i expert Alison Butterill, and Profound Logic’s Brian May and Alex Roytman.

     

    Watch the On-demand Webinar Now!

  • Time to Remove the Paper from Your Desk and Become More Efficient

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Do your users keep paperwork on their desk until it's processed?
    Are people constantly removing documents from filing cabinets?
    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Too much paper is wasted—approximately 1,000 pages per month per worker.
    Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets drive your employees crazy.
    And distributing documents to customers, vendors, and business partners 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

    Plus, our experts will provide a live demonstration of how implementing a document management solution will quickly solve your paper-based problems, so you can be more

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

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    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

     

  • TRY the One Package That Solves All Your Document Design and Printing Challenges

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    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. Why support 5 different products, when you can do it all with MarkMagic?

    - Drive over 450 different printer types.
    - Create invoices, statements, checks.
    - Set dynamic rules that transform output on the fly.
    - Conditionally distribute via Email, fax, or PDF.
    - Integrate with your current applications in minutes.
    - Preview printing on screen.
    - Native System i, Windows, AIX, Linux.

    Try MarkMagic today for free

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) 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 5413

    Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. 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
    Keep your critical applications and data available. Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    The thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot 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 5413

    For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. brKey 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.

  • MS Office Connector for Query/400...FREE Trial!

    SB NGS PPL 5130

    NGS' Qport Office enables Windows users to run IBM Query/400 queries to:
    - Create and update Excel spreadsheets and Access databases
    - Create Word documents
    - Send to Windows screen and PC printers
    No query conversion is required. Works with i5/OS V5R1 & above. Installs in minutes!
    If you don’t have a budget to replace IBM Query/400, but want your users to have one click enhanced output of their queries.... Request the online license agreement and product download instructions today!
    Offer good through December 31, 2016.

  • Control and Monitor User Access from Desktop PCs (ODBC, FTP)

    SB PowerTech 5422

    Protect your company by monitoring network traffic to your IBM i servers with the industry-leading exit program, PowerTech Network Security.
    Without visibility into IBM i's exit points, your users could be viewing, changing, or even deleting sensitive data—and you wouldn’t know!
    Network Security lets you monitor and control access to over 30 exit points, including:

    - ODBC
    - FTP
    - DDM
    - Remote command
    - Fileserve (mapped drives to IFS)
    It’s easy to set up custom access rules and get notified in real-time when security events occur.
    Stop “back door” access today. Try Network Security free for 30 days.

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

    SB DDL Systems 5429

    More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. Managing the complexities of today's operating systems, business applications, and networks challenges even the most knowledgeable IT professionals. The cost to an enterprise of unplanned downtime, loss of human expertise during sick leave or vacation, and system/application or environmental failure can be devastating. 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 (and staff) efficiency.