Windows to the AS/400 World

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

If you have ever tried to use the batch language of Windows and found it wanting, Windows Script Host (WSH) is your dream come true. Microsoft has taken the functionality of its scripting languages and put it directly into its Windows operating system. This means that you can now write script files that access the operating system and its services as objects, just as you can write macros in Microsoft Word or Excel to control a document or spreadsheet. Using WSH is like using CL on your AS/400; it’s a powerful tool for automating user logins, writing programs to move data, and performing other system administration tasks.

WSH Can Do a Whole Lot!

If you have ever written a Word or an Excel macro, programmed in Access or Visual Basic (VB), or used Active Server Pages (ASP), you are already familiar with what WSH code looks like. WSH can run VBScript or JScript right out of the box, and several third-party vendors sell packages that support Perl, REXX, and other languages inside WSH. WSH can be downloaded from the Web for the Windows 9x and NT 4.0 platforms and will ship standard in Windows 2000.

WSH is basically an interpreter that allows access to operating-system components and programs via the ActiveX object model (i.e., Microsoft’s Component Object Model, or COM, architecture). WSH is based on the ActiveX Scripting Model used in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Information Server (IIS), but WSH has a much smaller memory footprint than those engines.

A WSH script can create an instance of any ActiveX object, set and interrogate object properties, and invoke object methods. Because Microsoft represents most operating-system interfaces as ActiveX objects, a WSH script can map networked drives, work with user accounts and the system registry, connect and change printers, manipulate the file system, and perform other system functions. Since WSH is based on ActiveX, all ActiveX controls or objects are accessible to WSH, allowing it to interact with the AS/400 via ODBC, OLE DB, or the ActiveX controls that come with Client Access. Finally, since most programs that execute under the Windows environment export their internal methods and properties via the ActiveX interface, WSH can also be used to control those programs.

Scripts: The Mechanics of WSH

WSH provides two engines for running a script: the WSCRIPT.EXE and CSCRIPT.EXE programs. You can use WSCRIPT.EXE for executing scripts in the Windows GUI; CSCRIPT.EXE executes scripts from a DOS command prompt window. Within Windows, you can use Windows Explorer to double-click a script file, or you can click Start/Run... and type the name of a script file into the command prompt. From a DOS window, you can run a script by typing CSCRIPT and pressing Enter; is the fully qualified path and file name of the script to run; and are any parameters you wish to apply to the script. See the WSH documentation for more information about the command line options of CSCRIPT or type CSCRIPT /? at the DOS command line.

A script is just another file, as far as the operating system is concerned. The file extension lets WSH know which language the script is written in. WSH comes with the ability to run VBScript or JScript. VBScript scripts have a filename extension of .vbs, while JScript scripts use the .js extension. WSH also has some built-in objects, methods, and properties that are accessible to a running script. Here’s a brief overview of the two most useful objects: the Shell and Network objects.

The Shell Object

The Shell object allows WSH to interact with the Windows environment. The object contains methods for working with registry settings and environment variables, running commands and programs, and changing or viewing the SpecialFolders object. Following are the objects, methods, and collection that are most valuable when working with the Shell object.

• The SpecialFolders object allows a script to access the Windows Start menu and the desktop and personal folders. Using this object, you can create menu entries, desktop icons, folders, or shortcuts to programs and files.

• The Run method allows you to execute Windows commands and programs. It can return the status of the executed command and control the type of window that the command runs in. You can also specify whether control returns to the script after the command finishes executing or as soon as the command is executed.

• The Arguments collection allows a script to access any command-line parameters issued when the script is started. This is useful for including commands whose processing is dependent on user input.

• The Environment object contains properties and methods that let you interact with the user’s computer so you can access things like the operating system and version number, the type and number of processors, the user’s home drive, and the System Path statement.

The Shell object also contains a pop-up method that can be very useful for communicating with the user. This method allows you to display pop-up messages that have complete control over the choice buttons displayed to the user. The pop-up method can return whichever button a user presses or user input variables to the script, so it is very useful for decision points in a script.

The Network Object

The Network object contains methods and properties for interacting with the network to which the computer is connected. You can use the Network object to map a networked drive, add or remove a printer in the user’s printer collection, find out what domain the user is operating in, or set the user’s default printer.

What Can WSH Do for Me?

At this point, you may be asking what good WSH is to your organization. One of the most prevalent uses of WSH is the coding of user login scripts in the Windows environment.

Although you can program a batch file to execute when a user logs in to a Windows system, WSH gives you programmatic access to the operating system and network environments.

Another use of WSH is automating routine commands or processes that you have to perform at your organization. One of my favorite scripts is the example in this article. It is a script that automates the creation of new user accounts on both Windows NT 4.0 servers and the AS/400 at my company.

Downloading and Installing WSH

Since WSH does not come with Windows 9x or NT, you need to go to Microsoft’s Web site and download the required files to run WSH. My sample script uses ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), Active Directory Services, and WSH. The following is a list of URLs for getting the required elements to download and install WSH on your system:

• Go to to get the WSH components.

• Go to default.asp to get Active Directory Services Interface (ADSI). (Although this Web address specifies the Windows NT server, this download also installs ADSI object on Windows 9x machines.)

• Go to to get ADO via Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC). (If you already have ADO installed on your system, you do not need to download the MDAC elements.)

A WSH Script for Windows NT-AS/400 Maintenance

When a new user account is created at my company, I must create an NT home directory for the user, an AS/400 login, and an NT user account. To facilitate this process, I have created the script shown in Figure 1 to automate these functions for me.

The script needs two pieces of information in order to run: the user ID created and the full name of the user. This information is gathered by making a call to the InputBox function. At this point, the script adds a new Windows NT user to the specified domain.

I’ll leave you to review the Windows NT user and home directory creation parts of the code on your own, but let’s take a minute to discuss how this script automates the process of adding a new AS/400 user.

The script initiates a call to the AS/400 via ADO in order to issue the Create User Profile (CRTUSRPRF) command. The OPEN method of the ADOCON object initiates a connection with the AS/400 using QSECOFR so I have authority to issue a CRTUSRPRF command. In my script, I am relying on an OLE DB connection using the TCP/IP host name of my AS/400. Anyone’s OLE DB provider can be used. For the purposes of this article, I tested with the IBM OLE DB provider that comes with Client Access Express for Windows.

The only interesting thing to note about the CRTUSRPRF command is that you must provide the library and name of the default job description because the QCMDEXC program does not have access to the complete library list when running from a remote connection. After the Execute method is run against the ADOCMD object, the user profile is created. At this point, the script creates a message box to let the user know that the process is complete.

Scripting Your World

For more information about WSH and script programming, visit the following URLs:

• Go to for login script examples.
• Go to for WSH information.
• Go to for more than 300 script examples. I have found WSH invaluable in the support of my Windows desktops. If you spend some time experimenting with it, you will probably find it invaluable, too. Play

around with the Network object to get a feel for how you can control your users’ world, and don’t forget that ADO and Client Access objects allow your scripts access to the AS/400. Scripting can definitely save you time, and I think it is well worth the small amount of time you spend learning it. Script on, dude!

'Get the user name and user id
UserName = InputBox("Enter the full name of the user")
UserID = InputBox("Enter the User ID")
'now lets get an NT ADSI container
Set Container = GetObject("WinNT://HOWARD")
'Now we create a user account object for UserID
Set NewUser = Container.Create("user", UserID)
'Set the full name of the user
NewUser.FullName = UserName
'create a home directory path
DirP = "howardcdrvusers"" & UserID
'create an instance of the shell object and then create a directory
'with the md command
Set WshShell = Wscript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
'Run the command, 6 makes a minimized window
'true indicates to wait for command to finish
WshShell.Run " /C md " & DirP ,6,TRUE
'Set the homedirectory property of the user
'to the newly created directory
'write the user account object to the nt active directory
'set the users password
'make ado objects to connect to 400
Set ADOCON = wscript.createobject("ADODB.Connection")
Set ADOCMD = wscript.createobject("ADODB.Command")
'log into AS400 via OLEDB with a profile that has QSECOFR authority
'construct a string of the crtusrprf command
CRTUPT = "crtusrprf usrprf(" & UserID & ") password(" & UserID & ") "
CRTUPT=CRTUPT & "astlvl(*basic) JOBD(qgpl/qdftjobd) "
CRTUPT=CRTUPT & "pwdexpitv(45) lmtdevssn(*yes)"
'put the string in nice AS400 format for calling via ODBC
ADOCMD.CommandText = mkruncmd(CRTUPT)
'execute the command to create the user profile

Function MkRunCmd(CmdToRun)
'A simple dodge to make the properly formated call to QCMDEXC
'Get the length of the passed in string
StringLen = Len(CmdToRun)
'Get the number of spaces that the length of StringLen will take
DisplayLen = Len(CStr(StringLen))
'Make the decimal number fo the command length as a string
DecimalLen = Mid("0000000000", 1, 10 - DisplayLen) & CStr(StringLen) & ".00000"
MkRunCmd = "CALL QSYS.QCMDEXC('" & CmdToRun & "'," & DecimalLen & ")"
End Function

Figure 1: This script creates a user account on Windows NT and on my AS/400.



Support MC Press Online





  • 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!


  • Profound Logic Solution Guide

    SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation.
    Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects.
    The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the companyare not aligned with the current IT environment.

    Get your copy of this important guide today!


  • 2022 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    Fortra2022 marks the eighth edition of the IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, Fortra captures data on how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT and cybersecurity initiatives it supports.

    Over the years, this survey has become a true industry benchmark, revealing to readers the trends that are shaping and driving the market and providing insight into what the future may bring for this technology.

  • Brunswick bowls a perfect 300 with LANSA!

    FortraBrunswick is the leader in bowling products, services, and industry expertise for the development and renovation of new and existing bowling centers and mixed-use recreation facilities across the entertainment industry. However, the lifeblood of Brunswick’s capital equipment business was running on a 15-year-old software application written in Visual Basic 6 (VB6) with a SQL Server back-end. The application was at the end of its life and needed to be replaced.
    With the help of Visual LANSA, they found an easy-to-use, long-term platform that enabled their team to collaborate, innovate, and integrate with existing systems and databases within a single platform.
    Read the case study to learn how they achieved success and increased the speed of development by 30% with Visual LANSA.


  • Progressive Web Apps: Create a Universal Experience Across All Devices

    LANSAProgressive Web Apps allow you to reach anyone, anywhere, and on any device with a single unified codebase. This means that your applications—regardless of browser, device, or platform—instantly become more reliable and consistent. They are the present and future of application development, and more and more businesses are catching on.
    Download this whitepaper and learn:

    • How PWAs support fast application development and streamline DevOps
    • How to give your business a competitive edge using PWAs
    • What makes progressive web apps so versatile, both online and offline



  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks



  • Why Migrate When You Can Modernize?

    LANSABusiness users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.
    In this white paper, you’ll learn how to think of these issues as opportunities rather than problems. We’ll explore motivations to migrate or modernize, their risks and considerations you should be aware of before embarking on a (migration or modernization) project.
    Lastly, we’ll discuss how modernizing IBM i applications with optimized business workflows, integration with other technologies and new mobile and web user interfaces will enable IT – and the business – to experience time-added value and much more.


  • UPDATED: 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

    FortraIT 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


  • 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 as a pre-built development environment



  • 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.

  • 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.



  • Encryption on IBM i Simplified

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDB2 Field Procedures (FieldProcs) were introduced in IBM i 7.1 and have greatly simplified encryption, often without requiring any application changes. Now you can quickly encrypt sensitive data on the IBM i including PII, PCI, PHI data in your physical files and tables.
    Watch this webinar to learn how you can quickly implement encryption on the IBM i. During the webinar, security expert Robin Tatam will show you how to:

    • Use Field Procedures to automate encryption and decryption
    • Restrict and mask field level access by user or group
    • Meet compliance requirements with effective key management and audit trails


  • Lessons Learned from IBM i Cyber Attacks

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDespite the many options IBM has provided to protect your systems and data, many organizations still struggle to apply appropriate security controls.
    In this webinar, you'll get insight into how the criminals accessed these systems, the fallout from these attacks, and how the incidents could have been avoided by following security best practices.

    • Learn which security gaps cyber criminals love most
    • Find out how other IBM i organizations have fallen victim
    • Get the details on policies and processes you can implement to protect your organization, even when staff works from home

    You will learn the steps you can take to avoid the mistakes made in these examples, as well as other inadequate and misconfigured settings that put businesses at risk.



  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    SB PowerTech WC GenericWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks



  • 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.

  • 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

    FortraRobot 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

    FortraRobot 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.