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Y2K date solutions seem as varied as the vendors who offer them. One overlooked yet critical piece of logic in Y2K conversion is the Open Query File (OPNQRYF) command. Here are a few OPNQRYF techniques for those of you who have chosen windowing as your Y2K solution.

Many shops have chosen windowing as their solution to the Y2K issue. Consequently, one problem AS/400 sites inevitably encounter is how to use windowing with Open Query File (OPNQRYF). It is rare that an AS/400 shop does not have at least a few of these CL-based front-ends to assist in report processing, and rewriting OPNQRYF commands can escalate costs at a time when your completion deadline is nonnegotiable.

Typically, you use the OPNQRYF command to select a set of records based on certain criteria and place them in the proper sequence. Usually, a high-level language (HLL) program is called to process the data OPNQRYF selects. Common use of the 6-byte date field (YYMMDD) leads to obvious sorting errors after this data crosses the boundary between 1999 and 2000.

The two most common methods of addressing the Y2K problem are database conversion and windowing. Database conversion entails using the date data type, converting 6-byte fields (YYMMDD) to 8 bytes (YYYYMMDD), or some other accepted format. The object-to-database conversion alters the way dates are stored so dates sort chronologically.

In contrast, windowing leaves dates in a two-digit year format, assuming the dates are within a 100-year window (1950-2049, for example). In some cases, however, database conversion entails far more code changes than does windowing. For that reason, many shops have chosen windowing based on time considerations. This article discusses only the windowing conversion of OPNQRYF.

Original Query

To illustrate this technique, assume you have a file of inventory transactions keyed in by item number, as shown in Figure 1. (For this example, ITEMFILE in Figure 2 contains the data.) Figure 3 shows how OPNQRYF selects the data in the file by CHANGEDATE. This code is not ready for 2000.

OPNQRYF selects all records greater than the value passed in through parameter &TSTDATE. You call the ITEMQRYR program to produce a basic report of the records that OPNQRYF filters. Figure 4 shows the results for the original query if &TSTDATE has the value 901210. Note that the dates are printed in standard MMDDYY format.

The problem with OPNQRYF is that it doesn’t select dates from the Year 2000 and beyond, but we know of several ways to fix that problem. Here are a couple.

Query Renovated Using %DATE

You can use the %DATE function to renovate an OPNQRYF command for Y2K. This function converts the date in the field CHANGEDATE. The reformatted CHANGEDATE is then compared with the CL variable &TSTDATE. This is illustrated in Figure 5.

The %DATE returns a date from a given value. Two criteria determine the format of the value: the system date separator and system date format. In the United States, the date separator character is typically the slash (/), and the usual date format is *MDY.

You need to make only two changes in the CL program to renovate it for Y2K. First, you change the format of the variable &TSTDATE and reformat the date to match the standards set by the system date separator and format. For example, &TSTDATE now reads 12/10/90 instead of 901210.

The second change is more complex. You need to create three mapped fields to produce the date field Y2KDATE (Y2KDATE is used in the “greater than” comparison instead of CHANGEDATE):

1. Y2KDATE1. The %DIGITS function converts packed field CHANGEDATE to a character type.

2. Y2KDATE2. Reformat Y2KDATE1 into MM/DD/YY format through substringing and concatenation. Note that this format must use the values of the system date separator and format (/ and *MDY in our example).

3. Y2KDATE. Create the final map field by using the %DATE function on Y2KDATE2. Use of the %DATE function forces a date to be evaluated using the range 1940-2039. Because the value of Y2KDATE occurs in the date window 1940-2039, any date in the proper format compared with it is also evaluated in the window.

The renovated query now selects any records greater than 12/10/1990, based on a 1940-2039 window (see Figure 6). However, a drawback to this approach is the current limit to using 1940-2039 as your date window. Many shops may use a different window or may want more precise control of their window’s range.

Query Renovated Using a Mathematical Calculation

This version of Y2K renovation takes a mathematical approach. You use a simple formula to produce a century field with a value of 19 or 20. This field is then concatenated onto a date YYMMDD to produce a date field YYYYMMDD. The formula is shown below: Take the date 980101, for example (January 1, 1998). The decade of the year is the first digit in a two-digit year. For the year 98, the decade is 9. The pivot decade is the first digit in the two-digit window-beginning year, divided by 10. For a window of 1950-2049, the pivot decade is 0.5.

Therefore, to calculate the century field for January 1, 1998, the system calculates as follows:

1. Century = ((199 - 9) * .1 ) + .5
2. Century = 19.5
3. Century truncated = 19
4. Century appended to sample date = 19980101

Century = ((199 - Decade of Year) * .1) + Pivot Decade

As before, two changes must be applied to renovate the CL. (The revised code is shown in Figure 7.) The first is to alter the &TSTDATE field to the YYYYMMDD format. The second is more extensive.

Use MAP fields to produce a YYYYMMDD-formatted version of CHANGEDATE:
1. Y2KDATE1. The %DIGITS function converts CHANGEDATE to character
2. Y2KDECADE. The decade of the date is extracted.
3. Y2KCENTUR1. The century creation formula is applied. Because a pivot decade of 0.5 has been chosen, the date is forced into a 1950-2049 window.

4. Y2KCENTUR2. The result from Y2KCENTUR1 is truncated to two digits.
5. Y2KCENTURY. Y2KCENTUR2 is converted to a character field.
6. Y2KDATE. Y2KCENTURY and Y2KDATE1 are concatenated to produce a date format of YYYYMMDD.

The renovated query now selects any records greater than 12/10/1990 based on a 1950-2049 window (see Figure 8).

Processing Invalid Dates

A disadvantage of these two approaches is that they do not correctly process invalid date values, such as all 0s and all 9s. The %DATE function cannot process invalid date values whatsoever, and the mathematical approach allows invalid values but does not sequence them properly. Typically, a date of all 0s should appear at the beginning of reports and a date of all 9s, at the end.

However, if you’re willing to introduce a little messy code into the MAPFLD parameter, you can account for these special dates.

The revised query in Figure 9 sorts the records by the new MAPFLD SORTFIELD but can easily be changed to do the previous record selection (the CL driver has been slightly modified):

1. Create a physical file WORKFILE with the same fields as ITEMFILE but add one more field, SORTFIELD, defined as 7 alphanumeric. WORKFILE does not contain data and does not have to contain a member.

2. Change the HLL program ITMQRYR to read from WORKFILE rather than from ITEMFILE. The program does not read WORKFILE; it only appears to do so.

3. Change the OPNQRYF to sort on SORTFIELD rather than on the date field.
4. In the MAPFLD parameter, define SORTFIELD as a modified version of CHANGDATE. SORTFIELD comprises other mapped fields:

• SORT1. CHANGEDATE is divided by 999,999, and the result is truncated to a length of one digit. This division produces a 0 for all values except the date 99/99/99, which produces a 1.

• SORTW. CHANGEDATE is divided by itself or one, whichever is greater, and the result is truncated to a length of one digit. This division produces a 1 for all date values except the date 00/00/00, which produces a 0.

• SORT2. Adding 600,000 to CHANGEDATE and keeping the remainder after dividing by 1,000,000 results in a windowed date. Multiplying by SORTW causes dates of all 0s to remain 0 and nonzero dates to keep their windowed values.

Figure 10 shows the output for this OPNQRYF. For this example, two records using 00/00/00 and 99/99/99 have been added. The column entitled “Unprinted Value of SORTFIELD” illustrates the value of SORTFIELD at completion of the query.

Be Creative!

You can use different approaches to prepare OPNQRYF for Y2K. Windowing techniques can lead to a maintenance nightmare, but if time is running out, you can use these tips to maintain business functionality. Some of these methods may prove most practical to address the programs and processes your business relies upon, and you can


find more techniques in the book Y2K Survival Kit for AS/400 Programmers published by Midrange Computing.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to try unfamiliar techniques. Creativity may be the most important tool of all for riding out the Y2K storm.


Figure 1: Physical file ITEMFILE is typical of files used with OPNQRYF.


9999 991231 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 000101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 900101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 490101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 500101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 891225 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 690101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 110228 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 990315 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 050615 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 100917 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 220503 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 300930 BOX CARDBOARD

Figure 2: ITEMFILE contains the following data.





Figure 3: This OPNQRYF routine is not ready for 2000.


9999 12/31/99 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 03/15/99 BOX CARDBOARD

Figure 4: OPNQRYF incorrectly selects 20


-century dates only.






(Y2KDATE2 '%SST(Y2KDATE1 3 2) *CAT "/" *CAT +

%SST(Y2KDATE1 5 2) *CAT "/" *CAT +

%SST(Y2KDATE1 1 2)' *CHAR 8) +



Figure 5: This query has been renovated using the %DATE function.


9999 12/31/99 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 01/01/00 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 02/28/11 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 03/15/99 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 06/15/05 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 09/17/10 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 05/03/22 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 09/30/30 BOX CARDBOARD

Figure 6: Using the %DATE function makes OPNQRYF use the 1940-2039 window.






(Y2KCENTUR1 '(((199 - Y2KDECADE) * .1) + .5)' +

*ZONED 3 1) +





Figure 7: A mathematical calculation renovates this query.


9999 12/31/99 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 01/01/00 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 01/01/49 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 02/28/11 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 03/15/99 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 06/15/05 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 09/17/10 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 05/03/22 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 09/30/30 BOX CARDBOARD

Figure 8: Using this math formula, OPNQRYF uses the 1950-2049 window.



MAPFLD((SORT1 'CHANGEDATE / 999999' *DEC 1 0) +


(SORT2 'SORTW * ((CHANGEDATE + 600000) // 1000000)' +

*DEC 6 0) +




Figure 9: A mathematical calculation using MAP fields renovates this query.


Value of SORTFIELD 9999 00/00/00 0000000 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 01/01/49 0090101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 01/01/50 0100101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 01/01/69 0290101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 12/25/89 0491225 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 01/01/90 0500101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 03/15/99 0590315 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 12/31/99 0591231 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 01/01/00 0600101 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 06/15/05 0650615 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 09/17/10 0700917 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 02/28/11 0710228 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 05/03/22 0820503 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 09/30/30 0900930 BOX CARDBOARD 9999 99/99/99 1599999 BOX CARDBOARD

Figure 10: With this math formula, OPNQRY uses the 1940-2039 window.



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    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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



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

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

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

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



  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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




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

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

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


  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

    SB Profound WC GenericHave you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.
    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.
    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

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

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

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

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

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

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

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

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

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

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

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