Sidebar

Java Journal: Ant

Java
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times
When you develop cross-platform applications in Java, you should have a cross-platform build tool. Ant is exactly what you need: a cross-platform build tool for Java applications. In fact, Ant is itself written in Java. I'm only surprised that it was one of the Apache gurus who wrote it and not Sun Microsystems. But don't let the fact that it doesn't come from Sun persuade you that it shouldn't be a core part of your toolset or that it isn't robust. Ant is powerful, easy to use, and--best of all--free.

Most programmers, and I was one of them, are skeptical when they are first introduced to Ant. They think, "Why do I need a build tool? My IDE handles all my build dependencies for me." In fact, one of the first things that attracted me to Java and IDEs was that I no longer had to deal with creating makefiles and figuring out whether or not I had put those pesky tabs in the right places.

However, relying on your IDE to handle builds isn't always a good idea. For one thing, although IDEs automate simple builds and some even do a pretty good job of bundling up J2EE applications, they are often very limited for anything more complicated. For example, if you wanted to pull all your source code from the version control system, build a jar file, sign it, deploy it to a server, and generate your Java doc, you would probably have to go through several rather tedious steps. Another problem is that developers sometimes forget to check into version control the files that the IDE uses to deploy a system. Also, with some IDEs, the files are in a proprietary or binary format, which prevents them from being manually edited or examined, making it difficult to track down errors, especially if multiple developers can make changes to your build configuration. Furthermore, most IDEs don't allow you to reuse or switch between configurations easily, which can be a problem if you have many similar build configurations, as you would if you needed to be able to deploy against several different databases or application servers. Another problem that I ran into recently was that, when my IDE was upgraded from one version to the next, the deployment method had changed so much that I had to throw out my entire deployment configuration and start over.

So Ant takes a very simple approach that solves most, if not all, of these problems. As I mentioned, Ant is written in Java. Thus, it is inherently cross-platform. In addition, it is an open-source project, so in the unlikely event that you need to fix a bug or extend the functionality, you can. Also, most IDEs now have at least a basic level of integration with Ant. This is especially rewarding if you work on multiple IDEs. The syntax for Ant build scripts is in XML, which solves all the problems related to proprietary or non-human-readable formats and provides a nice file or set of files to check into version control.

Projects, Targets, and Task

Ant build files have three key components:

  • Projects
  • Targets
  • Tasks

A project is the ultimate goal of a single Ant build file; therefore, each Ant build file contains exactly one project. Each Ant project consists of multiple targets. A target is a logical step in the build process, like creating a jar file or generating a Java doc. Targets can have dependencies on other targets. The target to create a jar file would probably depend on a target that compiles source code into class files. All the targets on which a target depends are executed before the current target is executed. Targets consist of zero or more tasks. Tasks are the smallest unit of work in an Ant file. For example, the target to clean the build system might consist of multiple tasks that delete all the generated files and directories.

Installation and Configuration

Ant runs on many platforms, including most flavors of Unix, Linux, and Windows as well as Mac OS X and Novell Netware 6. Besides the installer, all that is required is a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Apache recommends JVM 1.2 or higher for the full compatibility. You can download the current binary version of Ant from here. Or since Ant is a typical Apache open-source project, you can also get all of the source code from here, in case you want to add your own extensions or bug fixes or just take a look under the hood. If you download the binary distribution, which is what I recommend for getting started, simply unzip it and set up your environment variables as described in the installation instructions for your particular platform. If you download the binary distribution, you will need to build the source code as well as set up your environment variables. The installation instructions are excellent and will guide you through the process.

Running Ant

To show you what Ant can do, I've provided a handful of examples.

Example 1

I'll start you out with the easiest example possible. You will create a one-class, Hello World-style application and make a build script to build it for you. Here is the source for the application:

// HelloAnt.java
public class HelloAnt
{
    public static void main(String[] argv)
    {
        System.out.println("Hello Ant");
    }
}


To build this mini application, use the following build.xml file:



  
    
  


To keep this example as small as possible, I have stripped out all but the essential commands. In this example, you are declaring that you have a project called the HelloAntProject. The project has only one target, "compile", which consists of one task that invokes the Java compiler to compile all the Java source files in the current directory and then output their .class files to this same directory. You direct Ant to do this simply by invoking it from the command prompt in the directory that contains your build.xml file. Doing so in this example yields the following output:

Buildfile: build.xml

Compile:

BUILD SUCCESSFUL
Total time: 0 seconds


Here, Ant is echoing back the name of the build file used. Then, it lists the targets that were executed in the order in which they were executed. In this case, you just invoked the "compile" target, which is then followed by a success message and elapsed time. This seems pretty easy, but you also could have done it simply by typing javac HelloAnt.java at the command prompt.

Example 2

Now, take a look at a slightly more complicated example. For this example, suppose you have an application consisting of several Java source files all in a directory called src. You want the compiled class files to be stored in a directory called build. So the class structure would look like this:

Root dir – this is where build.xml lives
|
+-- src - *.java files
|
+-- build - *.class files

The build.xml for this example looks like this:



  
  

  
    
  

  
    
  

  
    
  


This example shows how you can build more complicated projects by using dependencies. Here, you have three targets: "init", "compile", and "clean". From the command line, you can specify which target Ant should build as a command line argument. Note that, in this example, you have specified a default target of "compile" so that if no command line argument is included, Ant will still build the "compile" target. The "compile" target has a dependency on the "init" target, so the "init" target is built first. In this case, the "init" target just creates the directory for "compile" to store its class files. Once the dependency is satisfied, "compile" compiles all the Java source files in the src directory, generates the class files, and stores them in the build directory. It is important to note here that you declared the src and build properties for the whole project so that they are available within all of the project's targets. This example also includes a third target called "clean" that can only be called by adding it as a command line argument to Ant. The "clean" target simply removes the build directory that contains all the class files, thus forcing the "compile" target to recompile all the source files on its next invocation.

Example 3

In this example, you will add functionality to build all of your source files into a jar file for testing or distribution. To do this, you will add a lib directory to store your jar file. Your new directory structure will look like this:

Root dir – this is where build.xml lives
|
+-- src - *.java files
|
+-- build - *.class files
|
+-- lib - *.jar file


Then, make a few minor changes to your build.xml file so that it looks like this:



  
  
  
  

  
    
    
  

  
    
  

  
    
    
  

  
    
  


Here, you have added a couple of new properties for the lib directory and the jarfile name to the project as well as an extra delete to the "clean" target to remove the jar files directory. Then, you have a new jar target that makes sure you do a "clean" and a "compile" before wrapping up all the classes into a jar file and storing the jar file in the newly created lib directory. Don't forget that the default target is still "compile", so to create the jar file, you will need to specify it by adding it as a command line parameter to the Ant command.

Example 4

A common task that comes up when building Java systems is the need for a person other than a developer to be able to build the system and prepare it for QA testing or final deployment. You can use Ant to automate the whole process. In this example, you will add targets to sign the jar that you have created as well as generate the javadoc for the system. In order to do this, your new directory structure will look like this:

Root dir – this is where build.xml lives
|
+-- src - *.java files
|
+-- build - *.class files
|
+-- lib – unsigned *.jar file
|
+-- doc - *.html generated javadoc files
|
+-- dist – signed *.jar file


The new build.xml file for signing and generating javadoc looks like this:



  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    location="${dist}/HelloAntProject.jar" />

  
    
    
    
    
  

  
    
  

  
    
    
    
    
  

  
    
  

  
    
             alias="myAlias"
             storepass="myPassword"
             signedjar="${signedjarfile}"/>
  

  
    
      
    
  

  
  


Above, you have added properties and directories for both the dist directory, where you will store your signed jar file, and the doc dir, where you will store all of your generated HTML javadoc. To do this, you also created three new targets. The first is "sign", which signs the jarfile and moves it to the dis directory. The second is "doc", which generates all the javadoc. The third is "dist", which depends on both "sign" and "doc" but does no work of its own. As with your other changes, "compile" is still the default target, so to use "dist", you will need to pass it as a command line argument. Also note that, by putting "sign" and "doc" into their own separate targets, you can specify either of them by using a command line argument. This way, if you only want to generate the javadoc, you don't have to do the unrelated task of signing the jar file.

With this example, you are getting pretty close to something that you would use with a real application. However, a full production version of this build script should contain some explanatory comments.

Some Hints

Like most languages, Ant contains literals. Some guides recommend that, if you use a literal in Ant more than once, you should define it in an initialization target. I disagree, but only slightly. I believe you should treat most literals in Ant the same way you would treat a constant in a programming language. In other words, define them in one place. That way, whenever you want to define a new literal, you don't have to search all over the place to see if it has already been defined.

The best place to define literals is, as I have done in my examples, as properties of the project itself. Also, Ant files can be used to call other Ant files, so a good general structure is to break down your total build so that you have one Ant project for each jar file that you generate and one master Ant file that pulls everything together. Ant is a powerful tool, like a chainsaw, so you have to wear safety goggles. You can create an Ant script so that your QA team can do a one-command build that pulls all of the source from version control and then builds, jars, and tests the system automatically. But be sure that you use a separate Ant file from the one that your developers use to build--otherwise, sooner or later, they will wind up pulling all the source code from version control right on top of what they have been working on.

Other Cool Ant Features

Ant can be easily extended. Each Ant target is object-based; in other words, there is an instance of a Java class that handles each target. So you can create your own targets fairly easily. Probably one of the most powerful features of Ant is that it can be used along with JUnit to fully automate your unit testing. Ant also provides a filtering mechanism that you can use to do string replacement in your source files. This can be very useful at build time for configuring which database server an application will connect to or the password for the server itself. Ant also has a built-in timestamp mechanism that can be handy when you need to create uniquely named files.

Synopsis

Ant is a cross-platform build tool that is essential to Java development. It overcomes many of the problems associated with using the automated build systems within IDEs by being simple, XML-based, and open-source. The three key concepts to an Ant build file are projects, targets, and tasks. Complicated application builds can be accomplished through a divide-and-conquer technique whereby each jar file in an application has its own build file, and then a master Ant build file ties them all together. Because Ant is powerful, it can also be dangerous. Take care when implementing targets that are destructive. Ant also has a lot of other cool features such as integration with JUnit for automated unit testing as well as filtering and timestamps.

Want More Information?

For more information about Ant, I recommend Java Tools for Extreme Programming: Mastering Open Source Tools Including Ant, JUnit, and Cactus, by Richard Hightower and Nicholas Lesiecki, or Java Development with Ant, by Eric Hatcher and Steve Loughran

Final Thought

So I've left you with one nagging detail about Ant. Where did the name come from? Well, according to Ant's original author, James Duncan Davidson, Ant is an acronym for Another Neat Tool, and I'm sure you will agree that it is.


Michael J. Floyd is an Extreme Programmer and the Software Engineering Technical Lead for DivXNetworks. He is also a consultant for San Diego State University and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Michael Floyd

Michael J. Floyd is the Vice President of Engineering for DivX, Inc.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450Mobile computing is rapidly maturing into a solid platform for delivering enterprise applications. Many IBM i shops today are realizing that integrating their IBM i with mobile applications is the fast path to improved business workflows, better customer relations, and more responsive business reporting.

    This ASNA whitepaper takes a look at mobile computing for the IBM i. It discusses the different ways mobile applications may be used within the enterprise and how ASNA products solve the challenges mobile presents. It also presents the case that you already have the mobile programming team your projects need: that team is your existing RPG development team!

    Get your copy today!

  • Automate IBM i Operations using Wireless Devices

    DDL SystemsDownload the technical whitepaper on MANAGING YOUR IBM i WIRELESSLY and (optionally) register to download an absolutely FREE software trail. This whitepaper provides an in-depth review of the native IBM i technology and ACO MONITOR's advanced two-way messaging features to remotely manage your IBM i while in or away from the office. Notify on-duty personnel of system events and remotely respond to complex problems (via your Smartphone) before they become critical-24/7. Problem solved!

    Order your copy here.

  • DR Strategy Guide from Maxava: Brand New Edition - now fully updated to include Cloud!

    SB Maxava PPL 5476PRACTICAL TOOLS TO IMPLEMENT DISASTER RECOVERY IN YOUR IBM i ENVIRONMENT

    CLOUD VS. ON-PREMISE?
    - COMPREHENSIVE CHECKLISTS
    - RISK COST CALCULATIONS
    - BUSINESS CASE FRAMEWORK
    - DR SOLUTIONS OVERVIEW
    - RFP BUILDER
    Download your free copy of DR Strategy Guide for IBM i from Maxava today.

     

  • 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!

     

  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    HelpSystems

    This year marks the sixth edition of the popular IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, HelpSystems sets out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. Year over year, the survey has begun to reveal long-term trends that give insight into the future of this trusted technology.

    More than 500 IBM i users from around the globe participated in this year’s survey, and we’re so happy to share the results with you. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

    With so many organizations depending on AIX day to day, ensuring proper security and configuration is critical to ensure the safety of your environment. Don’t let common threats put your critical AIX servers at risk. Avoid simple mistakes and start to build a long-term plan with this AIX Security eCourse. Enroll today to get easy to follow instructions on topics like:

    • Removing extraneous files
    • Patching systems efficiently
    • Setting and validating permissions
    • Managing service considerations
    • Getting overall visibility into your networks

     

  • Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.

    Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    HelpSystemsIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC GenericLet’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    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
    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.

     

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    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.

     

     

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

    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.