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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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    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.

     

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    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by Debbie Saugen. Debbie is an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability, helping IBM i shops build and implement effective business continuity plans.
    In today’s business climate, business continuity is more important than ever. But 83 percent of organizations are not totally confident in their backup strategy.
    During this webinar, Carol and Debbie discuss the importance of a good backup plan, how to ensure you’re backing up your security information, and your options for encrypted back-ups.

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC GenericIn this presentation, Alex Roytman and Liam Allan will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications. Learn how Agile Modernization:
    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

     

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIBM i is known for its security, but this OS could be more vulnerable than you think.
    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

    SB Profound WC GenericWatch this on-demand webinar and learn how to rapidly and easily deploy mobile apps to your organization – even when working with legacy RPG code! IBM Champion Scott Klement will demonstrate how to:
    - Develop RPG applications without mobile development experience
    - Deploy secure applications for any mobile device
    - Build one application for all platforms, including Apple and Android
    - Extend the life and reach of your IBM i (aka iSeries, AS400) platform
    You’ll see examples from customers who have used our products and services to deliver the mobile applications of their dreams, faster and easier than they ever thought possible!

     

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

    SB Profound PPL 5491Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.

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

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.

    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).

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

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericYou must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data? Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts discuss:


    - Why companies don’t test role swaps when they know they should
    - Whether high availability in the cloud makes sense for IBM i users
    - Why some organizations don’t have high availability yet
    - How to get high availability up and running at your organization
    - High availability considerations for today’s security concerns

  • Profound.js 2.0: Extend the Power of Node to your IBM i Applications

    SB Profound WC 5541In this Webinar, we'll demonstrate how Profound.js 2.0 enables you to easily adopt Node.js in your business, and to take advantage of the many benefits of Node, including access to a much larger pool of developers for IBM i and access to countless reusable open source code packages on npm (Node Package Manager).
    You will see how Profound.js 2.0 allows you to:

    • Provide RPG-like capabilities for server-side JavaScript.
    • Easily create web and mobile application interfaces for Node on IBM i.
    • Let existing RPG programs call Node.js modules directly, and vice versa.
    • Automatically generate code for Node.js.
    • Automatically converts existing RPGLE code into clean, simplified Node.js code.

    Download and watch today!

     

  • Make Modern Apps You'll Love with Profound UI & Profound.js

    SB Profound WC 5541Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love:

    • Transform legacy RPG code to modern free-format RPG and Node.js
    • Deliver truly modern application interfaces with Profound UI
    • Extend your RPG applications to include Web Services and NPM packages with Node.js

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Most business intelligence tools are just that: tools, a means to an end but not an accelerator. Yours could even be slowing you down. But what if your BI tool didn't just give you a platform for query-writing but also improved programmer productivity?
    Watch the recorded webinar to see how Sequel:

    • Makes creating complex results simple
    • Eliminates barriers to data sources
    • Increases flexibility with data usage and distribution

    Accelerated productivity makes everyone happy, from programmer to business user.

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIt’s time to develop a strategy that will help you meet your informational challenges head-on. Watch the webinar to learn how to set your IT department up for business intelligence success. You’ll learn how the right data access tool will help you:

    • Access IBM i data faster
    • Deliver useful information to executives and business users
    • Empower users with secure data access

    Ready to make your game plan and finally keep up with your data access requests?

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericLet’s face facts: servers don’t hack other servers. Despite the avalanche of regulations, news headlines remain chock full of stories about data breaches, all initiated by insiders or intruders masquerading as insiders.
    User profiles are often duplicated or restored and are rarely reviewed for the appropriateness of their current configuration. This increases the risk of the profile being able to access data without the intended authority or having privileges that should be reserved for administrators.
    Watch security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses a new approach for onboarding new users on IBM i and best-practices techniques for managing and monitoring activities after they sign on.

  • Don't Just Settle for Query/400...

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhile introducing Sequel Data Access, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access, distribution trends, and more advanced query tools. Plus, you’ll learn how a tool like Sequel lightens IT’s load by:

    - Accessing real-time data, so you can make real-time decisions
    - Providing run-time prompts, so users can help themselves
    - Delivering instant results in Microsoft Excel and PDF, without the wait
    - Automating the query process with on-demand data, dashboards, and scheduled jobs

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhat happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    You don’t need to stick with status quo anymore.
    Watch the webinar to learn how to put effective document management into practice and:

    • Capture documents faster, instead of wasting everyone’s time
    • Manage documents easily, so you can always find them
    • Distribute documents automatically, and move on to the next task

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

    SB_PowerTech_WC_GenericGet actionable info to avoid becoming the next cyberattack victim.
    In “Data breach digest—Scenarios from the field,” Verizon documented an AS/400 security breach. Whether you call it AS/400, iSeries, or IBM i, you now have proof that the system has been breached.
    Watch IBM i security expert Robin Tatam give an insightful discussion of the issues surrounding this specific scenario.
    Robin will also draw on his extensive cybersecurity experience to discuss policies, processes, and configuration details that you can implement to help reduce the risk of your system being the next victim of an attack.

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this 30-minute recorded webinar, our experts demonstrate how you can:

    • Manage multiple platforms from a central location
    • View monitoring results in a single pane of glass on your desktop or mobile device
    • Take advantage of best practice, plug-and-play monitoring templates
    • Create rules to automate daily checks across your entire infrastructure
    • Receive notification if something is wrong or about to go wrong

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericYou need to know when IBM i disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer. Our experts will show you how Robot Monitor can help you pinpoint exactly when your auxiliary storage starts to disappear and why, so you can start taking a proactive approach to disk monitoring and analysis. You’ll also get insight into:

    • The main sources of disk consumption
    • How to monitor temporary storage and QTEMP objects in real time
    • How to monitor objects and libraries in real time and near-real time
    • How to track long-term disk trends

     

     

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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericMany business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop re-keying data between IBM i and other applications? Or if you could stop replicating data and start processing orders faster? Or what if you could automatically extract data from existing reports instead of re-keying? It’s all possible. Watch this webinar to learn about:

    • The data dilemma
    • 3 ways to stop re-keying data
    • Data automation in practice

    Plus, see how HelpSystems data automation software will help you stop re-keying data.

     

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

    SB_Profound_WC_GenericWhen it comes to IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition, there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

    In this Webinar, we'll address some of the biggest myths about RPG Open Access, including:

    • Modernizing with RPG OA requires significant changes to the source code
    • The RPG language is outdated and impractical for modernizing applications
    • Modernizing with RPG OA is the equivalent to "screen scraping"

     

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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericToo much paper is wasted. Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets.And distributing documents is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM’s Steve Will talks AS/400, POWER9, cognitive systems, and everything in between

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

    IBM i was built on the same foundation.
    Watch this recorded webinar with IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will and IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington to gain a unique perspective on the direction of this platform, including:

    • IBM i development strategies in progress at IBM
    • Ways that Watson will shake hands with IBM i
    • Key takeaways from the AS/400 days

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption

     

     

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

     

     

     

  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

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    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

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    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

    Request your trial now!

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.