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DB2 Locking and Concurrency for Java Developers

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In recent years, the perception of the database's importance in the application architecture has been slowly eroding. Often, the database is reduced to an ambiguous notion of a persistent data repository. Yet it is really hard to imagine an enterprise-class solution without the services of a robust and scalable database engine.

In this article, I tackle some of the more esoteric issues often encountered when using DB2 for i5/OS in a multi-tier environment. I examine how various cursor attributes and SQL statement clauses impact object-level and record-level locking. I discuss how the DB2 engine detects and resolves deadlocks and how to avoid deadlocks altogether. You'll also learn what happens, in terms of locking and concurrency, when the data is accessed by software components that use different isolation levels. This discussion is backed by Java code samples. However, most of the topics covered in this article are applicable to other programming languages and SQL interfaces.

First Things First

Java jobs and threads use database objects—such as tables, views, and indexes—to perform transactional work. DB2 locks these objects to ensure data integrity and to foster the highest possible level of concurrent access. Thanks to locking, multiple jobs or threads can read the object and perform non-conflicting updates at the same time. The object-level and record-level locks are held for the duration of a database transaction. A transaction allows you to group multiple SQL statements together. You can either commit a transaction, which guarantees that the database changes are completed, or you can roll the transaction back, in which case the changes are backed out. In DB2 literature, a transaction is often referred to as a "unit of work." The current transaction context is called a "commitment definition." The transaction processing, locking, and concurrent access are managed by DB2 commitment control, which is legendary for its mature code base and scalability. In fact, it can handle up to 500 million distinct row changes in a single transaction!

The object-level locks are obtained based on the intended use (read or update) and sharing capability (single or multiple job/thread access). From the i5/OS point of view, SQL tables, indexes, and views are regular operating system objects: physical and logical files. The files and members are always locked with *SHRRD (shared read). The data space, which is a structure that holds the data, can be locked with one of five lock states. Those lock states and the compatibility between them are shown in the table below.

Object-Level Lock States and Compatibility
Object-Level Lock
Object-Level Lock States
Incompatible Locks (locks that cannot be obtained by other processes)
EXCL
Lock exclusive, no read allowed
EXCL, EXCLRD, SHRUPD, SHRNUP, SHRRD
EXCLRD
Lock exclusive, read allowed
EXCL, EXCLRD, SHRUPD, SHRNUP
SHRUPD
Lock shared for update
EXCL, EXCLRD, SHRNUP
SHRNUP
Lock shared, no update
EXCL, EXCLRD, SHRUPD
SHRRD
Lock shared for read
EXCL

Here's an example of how to interpret the info provided in the table: The EXCL lock state reserves the object for the exclusive use of the requesting job/thread. All five lock states are incompatible with EXCL, which means that no other job/thread is able to obtain any of the five lock states as long as the given EXCL is held. So EXCL guarantees a single user access until the work is completed.

The record-level locks are obtained to disallow conflicting updates and prevent reading of uncommitted changes. DB2 for i5/OS supports just two record-level lock types: READ and UPDATE. The following table shows the semantics and the compatibility of the record-level locks.

Record-Level Lock States and Compatibility
Record-Level Lock
Record-Level Lock States
Incompatible Locks (locks that cannot be obtained by other processes)
READ
The record is locked for read. Another job may read the same record but cannot lock the record for update intent. The record cannot be changed by another job as long as one job holds a read lock on the record.
UPDATE
UPDATE
The record is locked for update intent. Another job may read the record but may not obtain a read or update lock on it until the lock is released.
READ


Note: There is another record-level lock called INTERNAL. It is a short-lived read lock obtained by i5/OS to access the record (row). An application program has no ability to control this lock, so I will not further discuss it. Check the help text for the Display Record Lock (DSPRCDLCK) command for more info.

In DB2, a combination of object- and record-level locks is used to enforce various isolation levels. In addition to the four ANSI standard isolation levels, DB2 for i5/OS supports a non-standard isolation level of NONE. The ANSI SQL isolation level naming differs from the naming adopted by the DB2 family. DB2 for i5/OS, in turn, uses the traditional operating system naming. This is often a source of confusion and misunderstanding. Therefore, I've illustrated the ANSI standard names and their DB2 and i5/OS equivalents in the following table.

Isolation-Level Naming
ANSI SQL Isolation Level
DB2 Isolation Level
I5/OS Isolation Level (Commit Level)

NO COMMIT (NC)
*NC
READ UNCOMMITTED
UNCOMMITTED READ (UR)
*CHG
READ COMMITTED
CURSOR STABILITY (CS)
*CS
REPEATABLE READ
READ STABILITY (RS)
*ALL
SERIALIZABLE
REPEATABLE READ (RR)
*RR

Keep this table handy when analyzing locking and concurrency issues in DB2 for i5/OS. The JDBC interfaces use ANSI naming for isolation levels, while i5/OS utilities such as the Work with Commitment Definition (WRKCMTDFN) command use the i5/OS naming. The semantics of the isolation levels is well-described in an article in the InfoCenter.

When reviewing the isolation-level definitions, please keep in mind that the ANSI isolation-levels specification does not deal with locking. Rather, the ANSI spec defines three phenomena: Dirty Read, Non-Repeatable Read, and Phantom. Then, the isolation levels are defined by the phenomena that are forbidden to occur. The spec doesn't define how a database manager is to enforce the restrictions defined for a given isolation level.

Isolation Levels and Locking

DB2 and most other database managers choose to implement the isolation levels by locking. The locks obtained to enforce isolation levels are governed by commitment control. Commitment control provides additional functionality that does not impact or alter the behavior required by the isolation-levels definition. An example of such a value-add functionality is support for updateable cursors and for the SQL FOR UPDATE clause. Note that neither of those features is a part of the ANSI isolation-level spec. The DB2 locking guarantees the ANSI standard compliance. The type of locks acquired to provide this additional functionality is irrelevant from the ANSI spec point of view as long as the disallowed phenomena do not occur.

Basic SQL Operations

Armed with the basic understanding of DB2 locking and concurrency control, let's now analyze several code samples that illustrate the behavior of the i5/OS database. (The sample Java code discussed in this article can be downloaded from the MC Press Web site.) I use two simple Java programs that test various aspects of locking and concurrency when executed at the same time over two separate database connections:

  • TestLockingWithIsolationLevels.java—This program creates a table called COFFEES, sets an isolation level, and then performs the four fundamental SQL operations: DELETE, INSERT, UPDATE, and SELECT. The run-time attributes, such as current isolation level, database connection keywords, and so on, are controlled by the properties contained in the testlocking.properties file.
  • TestLockingSelectOnly.java—This program sets an isolation level and retrieves a set of rows from the COFFEES table. The program attempts to access the same set of rows that have been modified by TestLockingWithIsolationLevels. The run-time attributes of the program are controlled by the properties contained in the testlockingselectonly.properties file.

The testing methodology is quite straightforward: First, I modify the testlocking.properties file to set the isolation level, cursor attributes, etc. Then, I execute the TestLockingWithIsolationLevels program. I suspend the execution of the program after, for example, the UPDATE statement but before the corresponding COMMIT so that all locks obtained in a current transaction are still held. The following code snippet illustrates these actions:

pu = con.prepareStatement("UPDATE " + tableName
+ " SET SUP_ID = sup_id + 100 ");
pu.executeUpdate();
Thread.sleep(60000); [1]
if (!isAutoCommit)
con.commit();  [2]

So, at [1], the thread (program) execution is suspended for 60 seconds. All locks obtained on behalf of the UPDATE statement are held until the commit is executed at [2]. Once TestLockingWithIsolationLevels reaches the sleep method at [1], I execute the TestLockingSelectOnly, which attempts to select the set of rows that was just updated by the other program. Depending on the isolation level set for the TestLockingSelectOnly program, the SELECT may require locks that are incompatible with the locks obtained for the UPDATE. A robust multi-user application should monitor and handle situations in which these conflicting locks cannot be obtained within the wait-for-record timeout.

Here's a code example that illustrates these concepts:

int i = 1;
outaHere:
while ( i <= numOfAttempts) { {
  try {
       s = con.
            prepareStatement("SELECT t.* FROM " + tableName + " t " ,
        cursorType,cursorConcur); [1]
       ResultSet rs = s.executeQuery();
       int j = 0;
       while (rs.next()) {
         ++j;
       }
       rs.close();
       if (!isAutoCommit)
          con.commit();
       s.close();
     } catch (SQLException sqlexception) { [2]
       if(sqlexception.getErrorCode() == -913 && i < numOfAttempts{ [3]
       i++;
       System.out.println("SQLState: " + sqlexception.getSQLState());
       System.out.println("Message:  " + sqlexception.getMessage());
       System.out.println("Vendor code: " +
                            sqlexception.getErrorCode());
       System.out.println("Trying to recover. Attempt #: " + i);
 con.rollback();
       Thread.sleep(random); [4]
      } else
         {throw sqlexception;} [5]
     }

At [1], the SELECT statement is prepared. It is assumed that the cursor attributes are set to the default values of ResultSet.TYPE_FORWARD_ONLY, ResultSet.CONCUR_READ_ONLY. (I cover other cursor attributes later in the section about ResultSet attributes and additional SQL clauses.) At [2], SQL exceptions are caught. At [3], I test whether the exception was caused by the lock timeout. If so, at [4], the program waits for a random amount of milliseconds before control is returned to the beginning of the FOR loop. The program then tries to perform the SELECT operation again. In a typical—even a very busy—environment, the number of attempts should not exceed five. The random wait set at [4] should be in the range of one to six seconds. This assumes that the record wait time for the COFFEES table has been set to five seconds. The rationale behind this setting is that even on a busy system, a business transaction should run to completion within five seconds. You may need to adjust this setting for your particular environment. I used the following i5/OS CL command to set the record wait time:

CHGPF FILE(DB2USER/COFFEES) WAITRCD(5)

Finally, at [5], an SQLException is thrown under two conditions: The initial exception caught at [2] has had an error code other than -913 or the program has already reached the maximum number of attempts to re-run the SELECT.

You can check the object-level lock state using the following Work with Object Lock (WRKOBJLCK) CL command:

WRKOBJLCK OBJ(DB2USER/COFFEES) OBJTYPE(*FILE)

Press F6 on the Work with Object Lock screen to see the member-level and data-space-level lock states. Here's the lock info for the COFFEES table when both test programs discussed in this section are running:

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/DB2%20Locking%20and%20Concurrency_NTV4--11220600.png

Figure 1: These are the object-level lock states for the COFFEES table.

In Figure 1, one job obtained the *SHRUPD data-space lock, while the other job acquired the *SHRRD data-space lock. According to the object-level locks table, these locks are compatible, so there is no conflict on the object level.

The record-level locks can be examined with the Display Record Locks (DSPRCDLCK) CL command:

DSPRCDLCK FILE(DB2USER/COFFEES)

Figure 2 shows the record-level lock info for the situation in which the first program updated the records in the COFFEES table but did not commit the changes yet. At the same time, the other program attempts to obtain a short-lived READ lock that is necessary to implement the READ COMMITTED isolation level.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/DB2%20Locking%20and%20Concurrency_NTV4--11220601.png

Figure 2: We have conflicting record-level locks.

As highlighted in Figure 2, one job holds the UPDATE locks, and the other job tries to obtain a READ lock on the first row. According to the table that shows record-level locks, these locks are incompatible, so the second job lock request is put in a lock wait state. If the UPDATE lock does not get released within the specified timeout (five seconds in this case), the second job receives the SQLException with an error code of -913.

I used the methodology outlined in this section to compile a table shown below that illustrates the expected locking behavior for the four fundamental SQL operations and the two most frequently used in Java applications isolation levels: Read Committed and Repeatable Read. Read Committed is the default isolation level used by DB2 for Linux, UNIX, Windows (DB2 LUW), and Oracle while Repeatable Read is the default isolation level used by WebSphere.

Note: On the DB2 for i5/OS, we recommend the Read Uncommitted isolation level. This ensures a high level of concurrency and a low level of locking contention. Remember, however, that the Dirty Reads are allowed with an Uncommitted Read. The default setting for the DB2 for i5/OS JDBC driver is Uncommitted Read.

Object and Record-Level Locks for RC and RR Isolation Levels
Isolation Level
SQL Operation
Statement Clause
Member Lock
Data-Space Lock
Record Lock
READ_COMMITTED
DELETE (fast delete)
Without WHERE clause
*EXCL


READ_COMMITTED
DELETE
With WHERE clause (searched DELETE)
*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE deleted rows
READ_COMMITTED
INSERT

*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE inserted rows
READ_COMMITTED
SELECT

*SHRRD
*SHRRD
READ (short-lived at the time cursor is opened)
READ_COMMITTED
UPDATE

*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE updated rows
REPEATABLE_READ
DELETE (fast delete)
Without WHERE clause
*EXCL


REPEATABLE_READ
DELETE
With WHERE clause
*SHRRD
* SHRRD
UPDATE deleted rows
REPEATABLE_READ
INSERT

*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE inserted rows
REPEATABLE_READ
UPDATE

*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE updated rows
REPEATABLE_READ
SELECT

*SHRRD
*SHRRD
READ on open rows cached by the ResultSet implementation; eventually all rows read by the cursors.

ResultSet Attributes and Additional SQL Clauses

As mentioned, DB2 for i5/OS supports all JDBC spec ResultSet attributes, such as scrollable and updatable cursors. In addition, the semantics of a SELECT statement can be modified by adding SQL clauses such as FOR UPDATE or WITH CS KEEP LOCKS. DB2 implements this value-add functionality by modifying its locking behavior. The modified locking, however, never compromises the ANSI isolation-level requirements. In other words, the modified locking always guarantees that the current isolation-level restrictions are satisfied. My experience shows that this topic may cause a bit of confusion—even among seasoned DB2 and Java developers—so I compiled the following table that illustrates object- and record-level locking for various ResultSet attributes and additional SQL clauses.

Object and Record-Level Locking for Different ResultSet Attributes
Line
Isolation Level
Cursor Attributes
Statement Clause
Member Lock
Data-Space Lock
Record Lock
1
READ-COMMITTED
READ_ONLY
FORWARD_ONLY
Blocked Fetch

*SHRRD
*SHRRD
READ short-lived, at the time the SQ fetches the row to build a result set
2
READ-COMMITTED
READ_ONLY
FORWARD_ONLY
1 Row Fetch
FOR UPDATE
*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE the row on which the cursor is currently positioned
3
READ-COMMITTED
UPDATEABLE
FORWARD_ONLY
1 Row Fetch

*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE the row on which the cursor is currently positioned
4
READ-COMMITTED
READ_ONLY
FORWARD_ONLY
Blocked Fetch
WITH CS KEEP LOCKS
*SHRRD
*SHRRD
READ all rows read by the cursor (blocks of rows at a time)
5
REPEATABLE_READ
READ_ONLY
FORWARD_ONLY
Blocked Fetch

*SHRRD
*SHRRD
READ all rows read by the cursor (blocks of rows at a time)
6
REPEATABLE_READ
READ_ONLY
FORWARD_ONLY
1 Row Fetch
FOR UPDATE
*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE all rows accessed by the cursor
7
REPEATABLE_READ
UPDATEABLE FORWARD_ONLY
1 Row Fetch
FOR READ ONLY
*SHRRD
*SHRRD
READ all rows read by the cursor; a batch of locks is obtained
8
REPEATABLE_READ
UPDATEABLE FORWARD_ONLY
1 Row Fetch

*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE all rows accessed by the cursor; locks obtained one row at a time
9
Any
READ_ONLY
FORWARD_ONLY
Blocked Fetch
WITH RS USE AND KEEP EXCLUSIVE LOCKS
*SHRRD
*SHRUPD
UPDATE all rows ready by the cursor; a batch of locks is obtained.



In this table, the additional FOR UPDATE clause in line 2 is equivalent to the ResultSet.CONCUR_UPDATABLE cursor attribute in line 3. Using the cursor attribute is probably a cleaner approach, because it does not involve changes in the statement text, thus making it more portable. Note how the WITH RS USE AND KEEP EXCLUSIVE LOCKS clause can be used to switch the isolation level for a given statement to REPEATABLE_READ and additionally obtain exclusive (UPDATE) locks for all the rows accessed by the cursor. Use this clause with caution because it has an adverse impact on the concurrent access to data.

To recap: The isolation levels define what phenomena are disallowed. The database manager may choose the method of enforcing the restrictions. The DB2 for i5/OS locking guarantees the ANSI standard compliance. The type of locks acquired to provide additional functionality is irrelevant from the ANSI spec point of view as long as the disallowed phenomena do not occur.

Deadlock Detection, Resolution, and Avoidance

Simply said, deadlock can be described as the circular waiting for resources. For example, Job A owns Resource 1 and is waiting for Resource 2 while Job B owns Resource 2 and is waiting for Resource 1. The database deadlock detection and resolution can be implemented in many ways. With respect to the deadlock detection, DB2 for i5/OS uses a proactive approach. The deadlocks are avoided, because two timeout values are associated with database objects: the maximum file wait time and the maximum record wait time. In case of conflicting lock requests, one or more of the jobs involved will fail after a timeout. As mentioned, you can change these timeout values using the CHGPF or CHGLF commands. For example:

CHGPF FILE(EMPLOYEE) WAITFILE(5) WAITRCD(10)

Note that these timeout values are object-specific. In other words, there is no system value that you could use to change the timeout behavior for all objects on a system.
DB2 for i5/OS also implements so-called "simple deadlock detection," which covers the cases where only two jobs have mutually exclusive locking requests. In this case,
if the lock is not granted after 10 seconds, DB2 tries to figure out if there is another job that holds a required lock and that, in turn, waits for a lock that a current job is holding. If so, one of the jobs will be "booted" out. Again, this works only for two-way conflicts; all other cases are resolved by the timeout values. There is no parameter that you could use to override the simple deadlock detection behavior.

The best strategy to cope with deadlocks is to avoid them altogether. Several application development strategies achieve this goal. I favor the method in which all processes request database resources in a particular order. This effectively prevents any cyclic use of resources. Let's illustrate these concepts with an example.

Handling a DB2 Deadlock

I use the three Java programs to create a deadlock scenario. The tables accessed in the scenario are contained in the DB2 sample schema. The sample schema can be created with an SQL stored procedure call shown below:

call qsys.create_sql_sample('DB2USER')

Here's a short description of the Java program's functionality:

DeadlockExampleConnection1.javaThis class updates a row in a table called DEPARTAMENT and then reads all rows from the EMPLOYEE table for that department (A00). The program pauses between the UPDATE and the SELECT to allow the other program to catch up. The SQL statements executed by this program are shown below:

UPDATE department SET deptname = 'Spiffy Global IT Division' 
WHERE deptno = 'A00'

SELECT empno, firstnme, lastname, workdept FROM employee 
WHERE workdept = 'A00'

DeadlockExampleConnection2.javaThis class updates a row in the EMPLOYEE table. The updated employee belongs to the department A00. So this row is contained in the result set to be returned by the SELECT executed in the DeadlockExampleConnection1 class. Then the program attempts to select a row from the DEPARTMENT table that contains the department info for the updated row. This happens to be the same row as the row updated by the first class. The SQL statements executed by this program are shown below:

UPDATE employee SET salary = salary + 1000 WHERE empno = '000110'

SELECT deptname FROM department WHERE deptno = 
(SELECT workdept FROM  employee WHERE empno = '000110')

ExecuteDeadlockExample.javaThis class contains the main method that creates and starts the threads for the other two classes.

Both the DeadlockExampleConnection1 and DeadlockExampleConnection2 classes open with the isolation level set to READ COMMITTED. As previously illustrated, a SELECT statement for this isolation level requires a short-lived READ record-level lock. This lock is incompatible with the UPDATE lock obtained by the other class for the UPDATE statement; thus, the SELECT request waits for the UPDATE lock to be released.

In addition to the DSPRCDLCK command discussed in the previous section, you can use the Lock Conflict Report to monitor for excessive locking or deadlocks. For example, I used the following steps to pin down the locking issues caused by the sample Java classes discussed in this section:

  1. Start the performance trace from a CL prompt: STRPFRTRC
  2. Re-create the problem (run ExecuteDeadlockExample).
  3. End the performance trace (by default, the performance data is stored in the QPFRDATA library; you need to choose a member name, for example DLCKTST): ENDPFRTRC MBR(DLCKTST)
  4. Print lock conflict report: PRTLCKRPT MBR(DLCKTST) RPTTYPE(*TOD)

The Lock Conflict Report shown in Figure 3 can be used to analyze the deadlock caused by the cyclic use of the resources.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/DB2%20Locking%20and%20Concurrency_NTV4--11220602.png

Figure 3: This example lock conflict report shows a deadlock scenario.

In Figure 3, the highlighted report section shows that job 214774 was waiting 5.2 seconds for row 1 in the table DEPARTMENT. The lock was held by the job 214773. Conversely, job 214773 waited 3.7 seconds for row 9 in the EMPLOYEE table. This row was locked at that time by job 214774, hence the deadlock. DB2 resolved the deadlock by returning SQL code -913 to the job 214774. The Java class running over the JDBC connection serviced by job 214774 reacted properly by rolling back, thus releasing all locks held. At that point, job 214773 could finish the transaction, because row 9 in the EMPLOYEE table became available. After a random amount of time, job 215774 repeated its requests. This time, it succeeded, because job 214773 was done and no lock conflicts were encountered.

As stated, you can avoid the deadlocks by acquiring the resources in a consistent order. The conflict situation described in this section can be easily eliminated by modifying the order of the SQL statements in one of the classes. For example, you could change the DeadlockExampleConnection2 class so that the SELECT statement is executed before the UPDATE. That way, DeadlockExampleConnection2—similar to DeadlockExampleConnection1—accesses the DEPARTMENT table first and then the EMPLOYEE table. This eliminates the possibility of cyclic use of resources. In fact, the Lock Conflict Report for the modified application proves that no deadlocks were detected and there was no need to restart one of the transactions. This is a desired behavior because less system resources are used and the application response time also improves.

Avoiding Conflict

I hope that this article will help you develop more robust, lock-conflict-resilient Java applications that use DB2 for i5/OS as the back-end database server. Here are some things to keep in mind when designing and implementing such applications:

  • DB2 for i5/OS implements ANSI isolation-level specs by locking. The higher the isolation level, the more restrictive are the locks obtained by the transaction manager.
  • Additional locks may be obtained by the database to implement add-on functionality such as updateable cursors.
  • In a complex application, lock conflicts will occur. A well-written application handles the exceptions caused by lock conflicts by restarting the failing transaction.
  • Deadlocks are eliminated by avoiding cyclic use of resources.

To learn more about the DB2 for i5/OS topics covered in this article, see "Using JDBC in an iSeries Linux Partition."

Jarek Miszczyk is the Senior Software Engineer, ISV Solutions Enablement, IBM Rochester. He can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Jarek Miszczyk

Jarek Miszczyk is a Lead Technical Consultant for System x Virtualization and Cloud Computing at the IBM STG Global ISV Enablement organization. He is located in Rochester, Minnesota. He can be reached by email at jarek@us.ibm.com.

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    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

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    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.

  • A Successful Approach to Automated Monitoring in a Complex World

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    “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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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...

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    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)

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    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.