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Change the Last-Used Date of an IBM i System Object Arbitrarily

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A practical tool program can achieve that goal.

 

When issuing a DSPOBJD DETAIL(*FULL) command on an IBM i object, you might have noticed the Last used date field in the Change/Usage Information portion of the result display. As its name indicates, the Last used date attribute is the date on which the object was used the last time. As you probably know, the last-used date attribute is not stored in the Object Information Repository (OIR) space of the context in which the object resides. Instead, it's stored in the EPA header of an MI object as a 2-byte field. The last-used date attribute of an external object can be retrieved via the Retrieve Object Description (QUSROBJD) API, and the last-used date attribute of an MI object can be retrieved via the Materialize System Object (MATSOBJ) MI instruction. The Change Object Description (QLICOBJD) API can be used to update the last-used date of an external object to the current system date.

 

However, there is no interface that allows a user program to change the last-used date attribute of an object arbitrarily. This article introduces a technique to achieve that goal so that you can add another practical tool to your toolkit. Many thanks to Gene Gaunt who introduced this technique!

 

The following is quoted from a post by Gene in a discussion thread back in 2002 in the MI400 mailing list, Re: Update Last Day used of a program:

 

Yes MI can change an object last used date. MODSOBJ is the instruction. Operand one is a system pointer to target object. Operand two is a modification options character scalar.

 

If the options position 1, bit X'10', is on, then if the options position 17, bit X'40', is on, then the two bytes in position 27 and 28 are the

first two bytes of an 8-byte system date/time stamp of the last used date that you want. For example, X'8527' = 11/15/2002, and X'8529' =

11/16/2002, get it. Here is an MI example:

 

DCL SYSPTR ?OBJECT   AUTO;

DCL DD     OPTIONS   AUTO CHAR(64);

DCL DD     STAMP2   AUTO CHAR(2);

 

CPYBREP   OPTIONS, X"00";

OR(S)     OPTIONS(1:1), X"10";

OR(S)     OPTIONS(17:1), X"40";

CPYBLA     OPTIONS(27:2), STAMP2;

MODSOBJ   ?OBJECT, OPTIONS;

 

Of course you need code above this to:

(1) Fill ?OBJECT with a system pointer to your target object (RSLVSP is one way).

(2) Fill STAMP2 with the first two bytes of a system date/time stamp of the last used date that you want (QWCCVTDT API with output format '*DTS' is one way).

 

If the translator state blocks MODSOBJ from compiling, then change MODSOBJ to SETDPAT, and compile. SETDPAT generates similar code to MODSOBJ, one byte different. The system call vectored number for SETDPAT is X'0043', for MODSOBJ is X'00A3'. With some tool like Display/Alter/Dump, change the appropriate X'0043' to X'00A3', and there you have a Change Object Last Used Date utility!

 

Gene's technique can be concluded as the following steps:

  1. Resolve a system pointer to the target MI object.
  2. Calculate the 2-byte date value to set as the last-used date of the target MI object.
  3. Prepare the 64-byte modification template (OPTIONS) to pass to the Modify System Object (MODSOBJ) MI instruction, which is a blocked MI instruction.
  4. Replace the MODSOBJ MI instruction in the source code with a Set Data Pointer Attribute (SETDPAT) MI instruction to allow the source program get compiled.
  5. Note: The operands of these two MI instructions are the same, while the SETDPAT instruction is a non-blocked instruction.
  6. In the RISC instruction stream of the created program object, replace the SCV call (with operand 10) function number for the SETDPAT MI instruction (hex 43) with the SCV 10 function number for the MODSOBJ MI instruction (hex A3).

 

To allow the modified program that invokes the MODSOBJ MI instruction to run at security level 40 or above, change the program state of the program from user state to system state, since MODSOBJ is a blocked MI instruction.

 

This article discusses the above-shown technique in detail. A complete example RPG program following Gene's technique is provided at the end of article.

The 2-Byte Date Value

The last-used date field of an MI object is a 2-byte field in the EPA header of the MI object at offset hex B0 from the start of the EPA header (i.e., offset hex D0 from the beginning of the MI object). In the SST dump of an MI object, the last-used date field is named USDAY. After a successful invocation of the MODSOBJ MI instruction on an MI object in order to change the last-used date attribute of the MI object, the USDAY field in the EPA header (EPA.USDAY) of the MI object is set to the 2-byte field in the modification template of MODSOBJ at position 27. The EPA.USDAY field is the first two bytes of an 8-byte system time-stamp in the Standard Time Format. A binary 1 in bit 48 of the system time-stamp is equal to 8 microseconds. Therefore, the minimum time interval that can be represented by a 2-byte date value (i.e., hex 0001) can be calculated via the following formula:

 

min-time-interval = hex 0001,0000,0000,0000 >> 15 * 8 (microseconds)

 

The result is about 19 hours. As you might have noticed, it is possible for a specific date to be represented by two different 2-byte date values.

 

As Gene suggested in his post, such a 2-byte date value can be obtained by calling the QWCCVTDT API with output format '*DTS'. Another possible way is to convert a time-stamp value into the system time-stamp via the Convert Timestamp (CVTTS) MI instruction (please refer to t173.rpgle for an example of using the CVTTS instruction). Since the maximum time interval represented by the truncated 6 bytes of the original 8-byte system time-stamp cannot exceed 20 hours, it's reasonable to set the time portion of the input time-stamp value to QWCCVTDT or CVTTS to 20:00:00. The following piece of RPG code is an example of how to obtain a 2-byte date value via the Convert Date and Time Format (QWCCVTDT) API.

 

     d dat2           s             2a

      *   Value of the input time-stamp in *YMD format is:

     * 1999-12-31.20.00.00.000000

     c                   eval     input = '0991231200000000'

     c                   call     'QWCCVTDT'

     c                   parm     '*YMD'       in_fmt          10

     c                   parm                   input           16

     c                   parm     '*DTS'       out_fmt         10

     c                   parm                   sys_clock         8

     c                   parm     *allx'00'     ec               8

     c                   movel     sys_clock     dat2

 

Blocked MI Instructions

The key of the technique being discussed here is the MODSOBJ MI instruction, which is one of the blocked MI instructions. An attempt to execute a blocked instruction at security level 40 or above will raise a hex 4401 (Object Domain or Hardware Storage Protection Violation) exception (aka MCH6801). I'm too young to know when and how this limit on the user programs was added. But the forum posts and work of several IBM i (AS/400) gurus reveal some details. Simon Coulter wrote in his post in a discussion thread named AS/400 STILL wearing the undeserved "closed system" moniker in the MIDRANGE-L mailing list in 2001:

 

Lets say you wanted to write your own operating system to replace OS/400. What kind of hoops would you have to jump through to get THAT kind of info from IBM? Or couldn't get them at all?

 

This was certainly possible on the S/38 where documentation in the form of  the S/38 Functional Concepts manual, S/38 Functional Reference Vol 1, and  S/38 Functional Reference Vol 2 would have provided most, if not all, you need to know about the MI level. The proviso is that you would build your OS on top of the LIC.

 

It is harder on the AS/400 because Rochester have blocked the MI instructions they feel we don't need to know about (e.g., source/sink instructions so that pretty much buggers up any I/O routines) and privide only an expurgated version of the MI reference.

 

In Chapter 18, (SCV) Supervisor Call Vectored, of the AS/400 Machine Level Programming e-book, Leif Svalgaard gave an in-depth discussion about how blocked MI instructions are getting stopped when being invoked from a user-state program at security level 40 or above.

SCV 10

According to Leif's AS/400 Machine Level Programming e-book:

 

For the AS/400 implementation IBM introduced two additional (and undocumented) instructions for the PowerPC to allow an efficient way for one SLIC routine to call another or for a user program to call a SLIC routine. These instructions are called "Supervisor Call Vectored" (SCV) and "Return From Supervisor Call Vectored" (RFSCV).

 

When the SCV (Supervisor Call Vectored) instruction is executed with an operand of 10, General Purpose Register 10 holds the function number. ... Most complicated MI-instructions are implemented as SCV calls.

 

The vector with selector value 10 is by far the most common SCV call. Registers from R3 and up are used to pass parameters to the call. Register R10 has a special purpose, as it holds the number of the function to be executed.

 

Leif also provided the function numbers (in R10) for different MI instructions in appendix E, SCV 10 Function Numbers. For example, the SCV 10 function number is 163 (hex A3) for the MODSOBJ MI instruction, 31 (hex 1F) for the Modify Space (MODS1) MI instruction.

 

Leif pointed out that: "There are only a few cases where a function that was earlier executed through SCV 10 is now done differently." And the SETDPAT MI instruction chosen by Gene in his post was one of those "few cases." (Today, the RISC instructions generated for a SETDPAT instruction do not use a SCV call anymore.) Thus in the example shown below, one of the MODS MI instructions (MODS1, MODS2) will be chosen instead of SETDPAT.

A Real RPG Example Program: LASTU

Now let's implement an actual tool program that can be used to set the last-used date of an object arbitrarily following Gene's technique. The following is an ILE RPG program, lastu.rpgle, that accepts a qualified object name, a CHAR(10) object type name, and a 8-byte date value in MMDDYYYY format as its input parameters.

 

LASTU

     /**

     * @file lastu.rpgle

     *

     * Change the last-used date attribute   of an object.

     *

     * Parameters:

     *   - CHAR(20) qualified object name. e.g. 'OBJNAME   *LIBL       '

     *   - CHAR(10) object type. e.g. '*USRSPC     '

     *   - CHAR(8) date in form of 'MMDDYYYY'

     *

     * @remark Make sure that the LASTU   program uses a unique

     *         activation group.

     */

 

     /if defined(*crtbndrpg)

     h dftactgrp(*no) actgrp('LASTU')

     /endif

 

     /copy mih-ptr

     /copy mih-undoc

     /copy mih-spc

 

     * Qualified objat name

     d qual_obj_t     ds                 qualified

     d     obj                         10a

     d     lib                         10a

 

     * Propotype of the main procedure

     d i_main         pr                 extpgm('LASTU')

     d     obj                                 likeds(qual_obj_t)

     d     obj_type                   10a

     d     last_used_dt                 8a

 

     * Prototype of procedure rslv_obj()

     d rslv_obj       pr             n

     d     obj                                 likeds(qual_obj_t)

     d     obj_type                   10a

     d     [email protected]                         *

 

     * Prototype of the QWCCVTDT API

     d QWCCVTDT       pr                 extpgm('QWCCVTDT')

     d     in_fmt                     10a

     d     in_var                       1a     options(*varsize)

     d     out_fmt                     10a

     d     out_var                     1a     options(*varsize)

     d     ec                          8a     options(*varsize)

 

     d mdyy_fmt       s             10a     inz('*MDYY')

     d dts_fmt         s             10a     inz('*DTS')

     d mdyy_date       s             17a

     d sys_ts         ds

     d STAMP2                        2a     overlay(sys_ts:1)

     d ec             s             8a     inz(*allx'00')

     d [email protected]           s               *

     d mod_opt         s             64a

 

     d i_main         pi

     d     obj                                 likeds(qual_obj_t)

     d     obj_type                   10a

     d     last_used_dt                 8a

 

     /free

           // [1] Resolve target MI object

           if not rslv_obj(obj : obj_type :   [email protected]);

               // Error handling

               *inlr = *on;

               return;

           endif;

 

           // [2] Convert input date value to   8-byte system time-stamp

           %subst(mdyy_date:1:8) =   last_used_dt;

           %subst(mdyy_date:9:9) =   '200000000'; // 20:00:00

           QWCCVTDT( mdyy_fmt

                  : mdyy_date

                   : dts_fmt

                   : sys_ts

                   : ec );

 

           // [3] Modify the last-used date   of target MI object

           mod_opt = *allx'00';

           %subst(mod_opt:1:1) = x'10';

          %subst(mod_opt:17:1) = x'40';

           %subst(mod_opt:27:2) = STAMP2;

           mods2([email protected]:mod_opt); // STMT   NUM=940

 

           *inlr = *on;

     /end-free

 

     p rslv_obj       b

 

     * Prototype of the QLICVTTP API

     d QLICVTTP       pr                  extpgm('QLICVTTP')

     d     cvn                         10a

     d     sym_type                   10a

     d     mi_type                     2a

     d     ec                           8a

 

     d LIBL           c                   '*LIBL'

     d LIB_QTEMP       c                   'QTEMP'

     d ec             s             8a     inz(*allx'00')

     d cvn             s             10a     inz('*SYMTOHEX')

     d mi_type         s             2a

     d ctx             s               *

     d rtn             s               n   inz(*on)

 

     d rslv_obj       pi             n

     d     obj                                 likeds(qual_obj_t)

     d     obj_type                   10a

     d     [email protected]                         *

 

     /free

           // [1.1] Convert symbolic object   type to hex MI object type

           QLICVTTP( cvn

                   : obj_type

                   : mi_type

                   : ec );

 

           // [1.2] Resolve target MI object

           monitor;

               if obj.lib = LIBL;

                   rslvsp_tmpl.obj_type =   mi_type;

                   rslvsp_tmpl.obj_name =   obj.obj;

                   rslvsp2([email protected] :   rslvsp_tmpl);

               else;

                   if obj.lib = LIB_QTEMP;

                       ctx = qtempptr();

                   else;

                       rslvsp_tmpl.obj_type =   x'0401';

                       rslvsp_tmpl.obj_name =   obj.lib;

                       rslvsp2(ctx :   rslvsp_tmpl);

                   endif;

                   rslvsp_tmpl.obj_type =   mi_type;

                   rslvsp_tmpl.obj_name =   obj.obj;

                   rslvsp4([email protected] : rslvsp_tmpl   : ctx);

               endif;

           on-error;

               rtn = *off;

           endmon;

 

           return rtn;

     /end-free

     p                 e

 

Notes

  • [1] Resolve a system pointer ([email protected]) to the target MI object via the input qualified object name.
  • [1.1] Convert the input symbolic object type name to a 2-byte MI object type code via the Convert Type (QLICVTTP) API.
  • [1.2] Actually resolve the target MI object via the Resolve System Pointer (RSLVSP) MI instruction.
  • [2] Convert the input date value to an 8-byte system time-stamp, the leftmost 2 bytes of which is used as the 2-byte date value to set on the target MI object.
  • [3] Set the 2-byte date value on the target MI object.

 

Note that the MODS2 MI instruction is used here to allow the LASTU program to get compiled. The invocation to MODS2 will be replaced by an invocation to the MODSOBJ MI instruction later. System built-in _MODS2 is prototyped in mih-spc.rpgle.

The SCV 10 Function Number Generated for the MODS2 MI Instruction

A quick way to obtain the SCV 10 function number generated for the MODS2 MI instruction is:

  1. Get a program that issues MODS2 compiled.
  2. Inspect the RISC instruction stream of the program and check the SCV 10 function number generated for MODS2.

 

For example, compile the following tiny ILE C program (scv10mods2.c):

 

# include <stdlib.h>

 

# pragma linkage(_MODS1,   builtin)

void _MODS1(void**, void*);

 

# pragma linkage(_MODS2,   builtin)

void _MODS2(void**,   void*);

 

int main() {

void* p = NULL;

void* a = NULL;

 

_MODS1(&p, p); // stmt num: 3

_MODS2(&p, p); // stmt num: 4

 

return 0;

}

 

Start a System Service Tools (SST) session and choose the following menu items:

 

1. Start a service tool

4. Display/Alter/Dump

1. Display/Alter storage or 2. Dump to printer

1. Machine Interface (MI) object

2. Program (02)

1. Find by object name and context name

 

Enter the program name and library (context) name in the Find by Object Name and Context Name display:

 

                     Find By Object Name And   Context Name

 

Output device . . . . . . :   Display

 

Type choices, press Enter.

 

   Object:

     Type . . . . . . . . . :   (02) - Program

     Name . . . . . . . . . .   ______________________

     Subtype   . . . . . . . .   01   00-FF

 

   Context:                     ______________________

     Name . . . . . . . . . .

     Subtype   . . . . . . . .   01   00-FF

 

   Auxiliary Storage Pool:

     Number . . . . . . . . .     1     1-255

 

Choose menu item 3, Disassembled code, in the Select Format display.

 

Search for RISC INSTRUCTIONS (main to find the RISC instructions generated for the main() procedure of the compiled program in the SST dump result. The RISC instructions generated for the invocations of _MODS1 and _MODS2 (in statements 3 and 4, respectively) might look like the following:

 

RISC INSTRUCTIONS (MAIN ...   ...

LOCATION   OBJECT TEXT       SOURCE STATEMENT                       STATEMENT NUMBERS  BREAKPOINT NUMBERS

... ...

000050     3B9FFFE0         ADDI   28,31,-32                       3                     3

000054     63830000         ORI 3,28,0

000058     E35FFFE6         LQ   26,0XFFE0(31),6

00005C   7B64049C         SELRI 4,27,0,41

000060     3940001F         ADDI 10,0,31

000064     44000141         SCV 10

000068     3B9FFFE0         ADDI   28,31,-32                       4                     4

00006C   63830000         ORI 3,28,0

000070     E35FFFE6         LQ 26,0XFFE0(31),6

000074     7B64049C         SELRI 4,27,0,41

000078     39400138         ADDI 10,0,312

00007C   44000141         SCV 10

 

 

For the MODS1 MI instruction, SCV 10 function number 31 is set into General Purpose Register (GPR) 10 via the Add Immediate (addi) RISC instruction addi 10,0,31 before the SCV 10 call is issued. For the MODS2 MI instruction, SCV 10 function number 312 is set into GPR 10 via an addi 10,0,312 instruction before the SCV 10 call is issued. Now we know the SCV 10 function number for MODS2 is 312 (hex 138).

 

All PowerPC instructions are 4 bytes long and word-aligned (aligned to 4-byte boundaries). The format of the addi instruction is the following:

 

addi   RT,RA,SI

  • bits 0-5: 14 (hex 0E, 00001110b)
  • bits 6-10: RT. Target GPR
  • bits 11-15: RA. Source GPR
  • bits 16-31: SI. An immediate value that represents a 16-bit signed integer.

 

The sum of (RA|0) + SI is placed into register RT. (RA|0) means the contents of register RA if the RA field has the value 1-31, or the value 0 if the RA field is 0.

 

Therefore, an addi 10,0,312 instruction can be assembled like this:

 

  • Opcode of addi: 001110b
  • RT field with the value 10 (hex 0A): 01010b
  • RA field with the value 0: 00000b
  • SI field with the value 312 (hex 0138): 0000000100111000b

 

The resulting 4-byte PowerPC instruction is 0011,1001,0100,0000,0000,0001,0011,1000b (hex 39400138).

 

Replacing the SCV 10 function number for MODS2 (hex 0138) with the function number for MODSOBJ (hex 00A3) in the addi 10,0,312 instruction will cause the MODSOBJ MI instruction to be invoked when the program is being run. The replacement for the addi 10,0,312 (hex 39400138) instruction should be addi 10,0,163 (hex 394000A3).

Modify the LASTU Program via the SST

The final step to complete our tool program is to modify two places in the LASTU program using the SST. We need to:

  • Replace the invocation to the MODS2 MI instruction in statement 940 of LASTU to an invocation to the MODSOBJ instruction by changing the SCV 10 function number for MODS2 to the SCV 10 function number for MODSOBJ.
  • Change the program state attribute of LASTU from user state to system state since the invocation to a blocked MI instruction at runtime from a user-state program at security level 40 or above will raise a 4401 exception (MCH6801). It has been mentioned several times in the early 2000s in the MI400 mailing list that the program state field is a 2-byte field at offset hex 105C from the beginning of the program object (or in other words, at offset hex 5C from the beginning of the program header of the program object). The value hex 01 in the lower byte of the state field means user state, and the value hex 80 in the lower byte of the program state field means system state.

 

Now start an SST session and locate the LASTU program as described in the previous section. Choose menu item 3, Disassembled code, in the Select Format display. In the SST dump result, search for RISC INSTRUCTIONS (LASTU to locate the PowerPC instruction stream generated for the main procedure of the LASTU program. The PowerPC instructions generated for the invocation to the MODS2 MI instruction (in statement 940, mods2([email protected]:mod_opt);) might look like the following:

 

RISC INSTRUCTIONS (LASTU   ... ...

     ADDRESS       LOCATION   OBJECT TEXT       SOURCE STATEMENT                       STATEMENT NUMBERS   BREAKPOINT NUMBERS

1234567890 0045B4     000CB4     E21E1226         LQ   16,0X1220(30),6                     940                   940

... ...

1234567890 004644     000D44     62630000         ORI 3,19,0

1234567890 004648     000D48     62840000         ORI 4,20,0

1234567890 00464C     000D4C   39400138         ADDI 10,0,312

1234567890 004650     000D50     44000141         SCV 10

... ...

 

As described in the previous section, to change the SCV 10 function number for MODS2 to the function number for MODS, simply replace the addi 10,0,312 PowerPC instruction (hex 39400138) at address 1234567890-00464C to an addi 10,0,163 instruction (hex 394000A3).

 

In an SST session, choose the following menu items:

 

1. Start a service tool

4. Display/Alter/Dump

1. Display/Alter storage

5. Starting address

 

At the Specify Address display, enter the address of the addi instruction, say 1234567890-00464C, and press the ENTER key. Then change the addi instruction from hex 39400138 to hex 394000A3 at address 1234567890-00464C.

 

Control . . . . . . .   _______

Address . . . . . . .   1234567890 00464C

 

4640   3A7E0430   62630000     62840000 394000A3

 

Next, change the lower byte of the program state field at offset 105C from hex 01 to hex 80 to change the LASTU program to system state.

 

Control . . . . . . .   _______

Address . . . . . . .   1234567890 00105C

 

1050   31BD89BB 9D002567     000000E0 0080C000

 

Now, test the LASTU program by calling it to modify the last-used date of some different types of system objects. For example, the following command changes the last-used date of a save file called OLDMEMORY to May 1, 1990:

 

CALL PGM(LASTU) PARM('OLDMEMORY *LIBL' *FILE '05011990')

 

Issue a DSPOBJD OBJ(OLDMEMORY) OBJTYPE(*FILE) DETAIL(*FULL) command, and the Change/Usage information in the output might look like this:

 

Change/Usage information:

   Change date/time . . . . . . . . . .   :   05/31/13 17:05:15

   Usage data collected . . . . . . . .   :   YES

   Last used date . . . . . . . . . . .   :   05/01/90

   Days used count . . . . . . . . . . :   0

     Reset date . . . . . . . . . . . . :

   Allow change by program . . . . . . :   YES

 

Similar tests can be done on other object types, e.g.:

 

CALL LASTU ('SPCB     *LIBL' *USRSPC '05011990') /* 1934 *USRSPC */

CALL LASTU ('DTAQ01   QGPL' *DTAQ '05021990') /* 0A01 *DTAQ */

CALL LASTU ('DSPF01   QGPL' *FILE '05031990') /* Display file */

/* ... ... */

 

Also as an interesting test, you can call the LASTU program to modify the last-used date of LASTU itself, or you can call LASTU from within a program that changes the last-used date of the program itself.

 

Note that for external objects built from multiple MI objects, the LASTU program only changes the last-used date attribute of one of the MI objectsfor example, the last-used date attribute of the *FILE (MI space) object (with MI object type code hex 1901) in a database or device file. Also note that changes to the last-used date attribute (stored in the EPA.USDAY field) of a 1901 *FILE object of a database file would not change the last-used date attribute of the database file (as an external object).

 

So how can we change the last-used date attribute of a database file? I'm not absolutely sure. However the documentation of the QLICOBJD API gives out a useful suggestion:

 

For database files, the last used date and number of days used count are updated for all members in the file.

 

A couple of experiments (in VRM540) on a simple physical file PF01 and a simple logical file LF01 that both have multiple members show that:

  • To set the last-used date attribute of PF01, the EPA.USDAY fields of all data space objects contained in PF01 should be set to the same 2-byte date value that represents the last-used date of PF01.
  • To set the last-used date attribute of LF01, the EPA.USDAY fields of all cursor objects (file members) contained in LF01 should be set to the same 2-byte date that represents the last-used date of LF01.

 

Junlei Li

Junlei Li is a programmer from Tianjin, China, with 10 years of experience in software design and programming. Junlei Li began programming under i5/OS (formerly known as AS/400, iSeries) in late 2005. He is familiar with most programming languages available on i5/OS—from special-purpose languages such as OPM/ILE RPG to CL to general-purpose languages such as C, C++, Java; from strong-typed languages to script languages such as QShell and REXX. One of his favorite programming languages on i5/OS is machine interface (MI) instructions, through which one can discover some of the internal behaviors of i5/OS and some of the highlights of i5/OS in terms of operating system design.

 

Junlei Li's Web site is http://i5toolkit.sourceforge.net/, where his open-source project i5/OS Programmer's Toolkit (https://sourceforge.net/projects/i5toolkit/) is documented.

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  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450

    Mobile 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. The ROI that mobile applications can produce for your business is substantial.

    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!

  • 3 Compelling Drivers for Implementing an HA Solution on an IBM i Cloud with MIMIX

    SB Connectria 5485

    1. Affordable Cloud Solutions

    2. Efficiencies of MIMIX

    3. Rising Cost of Downtime

    This white paper is a collaborative effort between Connectria Hosting, a pioneer in the development of the IBM i Cloud, and Vision Solutions, the leader in High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions including MIMIX®, the standard for complete, scalable HA/DR protection for the IBM i.
    It will provide a review of the core causes and costs of both planned and unplanned downtime and will then provide a detailed discussion of current options for IBM i High Availability and Disaster Recovery in the Cloud.
    Most importantly, as you read you will learn why true HA and DR protection are now within reach of even the smallest of businesses.

    Download 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.

  • 5 Winning Strategies to Combat Information Overload

    SB Halcyon WP 5466

    Today’s businesses must be available 24/7 with fewer people having to manage more complex systems and processes.

    IT departments receive a constant bombardment of information from a diverse variety of operating systems, business applications, and critical processes and support a complex array of servers and devices running across their entire network.

    With tight resources and the need to keep costs in check, more and more is expected of IT operational staff to handle this information efficiently. They need to ensure a swift response with appropriate actions, that essential data is received at the right time, prove service levels are maintained, that contingency and high availability strategies are fully operational, and that vital business activities run smoothly and without disruption.

    See More

  • 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericFor the third annual IBM i Marketplace Survey, HelpSystems set out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform. The past two surveys have sparked many thoughtful conversations about this technology and we’re thrilled to be part of such an engaged community.

    Nearly 500 people from across the globe completed this year’s survey. We’re so happy to share the results with you, and hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

    Sections: IBM i in the Data Center | IT Initiatives & Trends | Outlook for IBM i | Demographics | Resources

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

    SB Maxava PPL 5476

    PRACTICAL 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 today.
    The DR Strategy Guide for IBM i is brought to you by Maxava – innovative global leaders in High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions for IBM i.

  • 2016 State of IBM i Modernization White Paper

    SB Profound 5478

    After surveying 400+ IBM i professionals, we discovered:
      -  The state of IBM i modernization in today's businesses and their goals for the future
      -  The effect legacy applications have on the businesses' internal and external processes
      -  The #1 concern upper managers have with the IBM i, and how to combat it

    ...and much much more!

    Download your copy of The 2016 State of IBM i Modernization today.

  • Virus Got You Down?

    SB SkyView PPL 5418

    Does a virus have your server down? Perhaps it’s the latest worm, Trojan horse, buffer overflow or denial of service attack that’s got you or one of your servers down. While one of these bugs may be affecting one or more of your servers in your enterprise, it is highly unlikely that the server affected is a Power server running IBM i. IBM i may be running your core business applications or it may be hosting your website or running Domino. Whatever its function within your enterprise IBM i has remained unaffected by virus and malware attacks. Why is that?

    Viruses and other ailments spread by infecting a host that is vulnerable. Let’s take a look at how IBM i and the applications running on it can remain unscathed by the viruses and malware that are so prevalent today.

    In this white paper, Carol Woodbury of SkyView Partners defines each “ailment” and then describe the defenses and protection mechanisms provided by IBM i to ward off the attack.

  • When Management Turns its Back on Security: The Business Effects

    SB SkyView PPL 5447

    In this white paper we hope to explain why the decision to secure- or not secure – data on the IBM i needs to be a business decision ... not a technical decision.

    Something is preventing management from understanding the need to secure the electronic data. So let’s explore why we think this happens....

  • 2017 State of IBM i Security Study

    SB HelpSystems WP 5453For every breach that makes headlines, dozens of other organizations have had data stolen or corrupted by hackers—or even their own users. Cyberthreats become more sophisticated every year, raising the importance of proper security controls.
    The 2017 State of IBM i Security Study proves once more that many organizations running the IBM i operating system rely on system settings that leave data vulnerable. This is true across all industries for businesses large and small.
    Weak passwords, lax system auditing, and overly privileged users leave your server vulnerable to internal and external threats. A data breach caused by a cybercriminal or a negligent insider can cause irreparable damage to an organization of any size.
    The annual State of IBM i Security Study strives to help executives, IT managers, system administrators, and auditors understand the full extent of IBM i security exposures and how to correct them quickly and effectively.

    Order your copy of this year's guide here.

  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:


    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • Building a Sound Investment Strategy Through Technology

    SB_HelpSystems_WP_5453

    Learn how to combine automation software and IBM i to increase revenue and enhance customer experiences. Download the exclusive Help/Systems White Paper “Building a Sound Investment Strategy Through Technology.”

    This free four-page PDF, written by Help/Systems Director of Automation Technology Chuck Losinski, is packed with concise tips for IBM i. You’ll learn why Power Systems running IBM i are the key to a sound investment strategy. You’ll also discover how automation technologies such as batch processing, agent tasks, interactive processes, backups, report management, and system and message monitoring can save your company money while making your operations more reliable than ever.

  • $100 MC Press Bookstore Gift Card Giveaway

    SB MC Press Bookstore giftcardWe're even giving one lucky person the opportunity to choose their own prize in our "All About Choice" contest for a $100 MC Press Bookstore gift card.

    Visit the MC Webcast, MC White Paper, and MC Software Centers today and select as many of the FREE offerings you would like to receive.

    While there, enter the contest and you may just win a $100 MC Press Bookstore gift card! Next Drawing: February 28, 2018.

    Winner:
    January '18 - Steve Goldman

    February '18 - Kris Short

  • A Successful Approach to Automated Monitoring in a Complex World

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, we dissect complex system monitoring by introducing best practices and smart techniques that will help you reduce and simplify your multi-platform monitoring workload.

  • Achieving Business Value Through VIOS

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, virtualization specialist Glenn Robinson joins Ash Giddings to discuss the use of VIOS in today’s demanding Power Systems environments. VIOS can help you realize real business value by reducing IT expenditure and adding the flexibility to grow and shrink resources according to data center demands through virtualization across IBM Power Systems estates.

  • ​Multi-Platform Application Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Make Application Monitoring Easy Across the IBM i, Windows, AIX, and Linux Platforms in Your Environment
    IT departments are constantly bombarded by information from a wide variety of operating systems, business applications, and critical processes. At the same time, the department must support a complex array of servers and devices running across their entire network.
    With limited resources and the need to keep costs in check, more and more is expected of operational staff to handle this information efficiently.
    In this 45-minute recorded webinar, we’ll dissect complex systems monitoring by introducing best practices and smart techniques that will help you:
    - Ensure vital business applications run smoothly and without disruption
    - Respond swiftly and with appropriate actions
    - Confirm that essential data is received at the right time
    - Prove service levels are maintained
    - Keep contingency and high availability strategies fully operational

  • ​IBM i War Stories from the Front Line

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    IBM i is great at managing varied workloads—the OS offers many built-in work management and system utilities to aid administration.
    But greater customization is sometimes necessary in the line of duty.
    Halcyon has built upon these utilities to deliver a number of advanced functions designed for you to take control of all of your day-to-day IBM i activities.
    During this on-demand webinar, our experts will demonstrate some of Halcyon’s capabilities and describe real-life scenarios that highlight how you can:

    - Reduce your alerting footprint by implementing leading-edge monitoring techniques 
    - Identify both organic growth and spikes in disk space utilization
    - Automate time-consuming housekeeping tasks
    - Take advantage of the powerful IBM i Services
    - Automate literally anything

    Set your sights on having the right monitoring solution, no matter what comes your way. Watch the recording today!

  • Work Smarter: Integrate IBM i and Desktop Applications

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    My desktop application users spend a lot of time manually generating and printing letters using IBM i data.
    Our team copies and pastes information between IBM i applications all the time. Launching a PC application from my IBM i screens is impossible today.
    Sound familiar?
    Too many businesses go through manual efforts to transfer documents and data across IBM i and desktop applications—especially ERPs. Whether you use JDE World, JDE EnterpriseOne, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, or any other ERP, chances are your employees are stuck transferring information manually. And all of that manual effort leads to hours upon hours of wasted time.
    But it doesn’t need to anymore.

    See More

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Let’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. These folks have been managing all areas of your business—often manually and behind the scenes—for decades, everything from IT operations to data and documents to cybersecurity.
    Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    During this 30-minute recorded webinar, our panel of IBM i experts—Chuck Losinski, Robin Tatam, Richard Schoen, and Tom Huntington—will outline strategies that allow your company to cope with IBM i skills depletion by adopting these strategies that allow you to get the job done without deep expertise on the OS:
    - Automate IBM i processes
    - Use managed services to help fill the gaps
    - Secure the system against data loss and viruses
    IBM i skills depletion is a top concern for IBM i shops around the world. The strategies you discover in this webinar will help you ensure that your system of record—your IBM i—continues to deliver a powerful business advantage, even as staff retires.

    Watch this webcast now

  • IFS Security – Don’t Leave Your Server Vulnerable

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Experts agree that one of the most overlooked areas of IBM i security is the Integrated File System. Available since V3R1, the IFS provides access for users carrying nothing more than a user profile and password, so it better be secure! If you believe nothing important is stored on your server's IFS, think again, because it's a conduit to many things, including the Operating System and all of your application libraries and files.
    Watch this important session to learn about securing the IFS, including:
    Why do we care about the IFS?
    Permissions versus Authority
    Root folder access
    Auditing IFS activities
    Read/Write versus *ALLOBJ
    Anti-Virus Considerations

  • Who’s Afraid of Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS? Not i.

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    This 30-minute recording demystifies Linux on Power, AIX, and VIOS and teaches best practice techniques for maintaining and controlling critical processes and applications running on your Linux, AIX, and VIOS environments.

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

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

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC Generic

    In this presentation, Alex Roytman (CEO, Profound Logic) and Liam Allan (2016 COMMON Student Innovation Award winner) will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications.
    Learn how Agile Modernization:


    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

    Watch this Webcast NOW!

  • The Truth About Viruses on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Protecting your data from viruses or malicious code is not an unfamiliar concept, but understanding how these threats can affect your Power Systems server may not be as easy to grasp.
    There are many myths about viruses and IBM i—including the belief that the system is immune. Many Power Systems managers still don’t see viruses as a risk because they see them as a Windows threat. While this was once true, today’s connected environments operate under different rules.
    It’s time to take action and protect IBM i and the network that connects to it. This on-demand webinar will help you gain an understanding of the relationships between:

    - Viruses and the integrated file system (IFS)
    - Power Systems and Windows viruses
    - PC-based anti-virus scanning vs native IBM i scanning
    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. Learn the facts to ensure you're fully-protected.

  • Business Process Automation with Robot

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Automate Process Flow Through the Data Center
    Typical “computerized” business processes are a combination of multiple schedulers, operational scripts, CL programs, and manual file checking, all backed up with the trusty runbook.
    Is there a better way to manage business processes?
    It is a common misconception that a business process cannot be automated if it’s too complicated or requires that someone verify each step. We’re here to tell you there is a better way to manage your business—process automation is possible!
    Take 30 minutes to learn the options for automating your business process flow and how they fit into your data center processing, including cases of:
    - Complex or iterative schedules
    - Event-driven dependencies
    - Multi-platform dependencies
    - Dynamically calculated parameters
    - Exception notification
    - SAP and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne integration
    How do I know business process automation is effective?
    If you have any doubts that automating complex business processes will improve your level of service, you’ll also hear a success story from the senior systems administrator at Trident Seafoods who embraced automation using the Robot solution and is reeling in the benefits!

  • Find Out Why You Should Keep Data on IBM i

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    It’s simple. IBM i is the most reliable, securable, and powerful platform to house your critical business data.
    IBM i was built for business and has added features and functionality over the years to keep up with modern business needs. You can trust it to run your business, access your data in real-time, and keep your data secure. Plus, IBM i can scale to your business and handle all of your critical data.
    Can your other platforms do that?
    We didn’t think so.
    Watch this 30-minute webinar to learn why you should keep your data on IBM i, including:
    - IBM i is reliable
    - IBM i offers fast and secure real-time data access
    - IBM i helps your business prepare for tomorrow
    Plus, we demonstrate how Sequel Data Access helps you modernize IBM i data access and meet your business needs.

  • Mobile Apps for IBM i Monitoring

    SB Halcyon WC Generic

    Overnight and weekend support can be a minefield for operations teams tasked with attempting to maintain system availability, especially when they must rely on laptop-based VPN access—where a delayed response can prove costly.
    With over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s perfectly reasonable for you to use the BYOD movement to your advantage and start managing your IT infrastructure from the palm of your hand. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how Halcyon has modernized this crucial layer of support by introducing mobile applications for IBM i monitoring.
    You’ll hear how one company has used the Enterprise Console mobile app to provide a valuable audit trail and speed up response time. You’ll also learn:
    - The benefits of mobile apps
    - How to respond to critical messages within seconds
    - How to get notifications your way on your device
    - How to set up escalation, ensuring alerts are always handled in a timely fashion
    If your team is responsible for managing IBM i applications and services after regular business hours, you won’t want to miss this one!

     

  • Speed Up Your Manufacturing and Distribution with Paperless Processes

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Your ERP system —whether it’s JDE World, Enterprise One, Infor, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics, VAI, or anything else—is essential to maintaining your company’s key business information and processes. But you’re constantly generating and receiving paper and electronic documents, too, and it’s hard to keep everything straight. So, you wind up chasing documents and data around—and keeping your customers and vendors waiting.
    It’s time to make life easier and make your customers happier. With an electronic document management system, you can integrate with your ERP to keep all of your key documents and data in one spot.
    And when all of your documents are stored digitally, you can speed up your processes and get key documents (like purchase orders and invoices) approved faster.
    Watch the webinar and learn how to:
    - Integrate a document management system with your ERP
    - Capture all of your key shop floor, order, and shipment documents in one central repository
    - Improve customer, vendor, and employee response times
    - Accomplish more work without adding additional staff
    It’s time to deliver your shipments faster and keep your customers happy by streamlining your paperwork processes.

  • Dock Door Signing Made Easy

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    How long does dock door signing take your organization? Too long if you’re still using manual processes and paper.
    From generating to collating to printing to routing to signing, manual processes and paper slow down your organization—and your delivery times. Electronic documents and digital signature capture can change all of that. And your organization will be able to create, route, approve (with digital signatures), and retrieve documents faster.
    Learn how digital signature capture helps you:
    - Eliminate steps in your approval processes
    - Improve auditability
    - Reduce customer service time to resolve questions
    Plus, we’ll demonstrate how digitizing signatures and documents will reduce your organization’s costs over the long haul.

  • 5 Reasons Developers Love Robot Schedule

    SB HelpSystems WC Generic

    Why AppDev Should Embrace Automation
    Your application development team is an expensive resource that works hard to improve business processes, yet more and more IBM i shops are putting AppDev in charge of managing day-to-day system operations.
    Instead of taking their attention away from the website, business analytics, mobile, security, SQL data access, and more, streamline operations with automation and build in notifications so your teams have visibility into processing when they need it, and can manage the rest by exception.
    In just 30 minutes, our experts will show how AppDev teams can take advantage of Robot automated operations on IBM i and beyond so they can:
    - Stop programming for multi-platform job and file event dependencies
    - Stop struggling with incorrect parameter values
    - Stop wondering where to fit a process into daily, weekly, or monthly cycles
    - Stop the on-call headaches, the firefighting, and the lack of progress cycle
    - Go ahead, give your AppDev team a productivity boost!

  • Affordable Query Tool for Software Developers

    SB NGS WC Generic

    NGS’ Software Developer Kit (SDK) gives IBM i developers comprehensive query, dynamic mobile reporting, analytics and Web report design features at an affordable cost. Install and create meaningful outputs for managers in one day! Web page and portal integration, email, FTP are included.
    The $895* SDK includes a one user license, online training, user manuals, one year of software maintenance; toll-free support and online incident reporting.
    - Want to modernize beyond Query/400 and PC files transfers?
    - Need a Web reporting solution without the learning curve and overhead of DB2 Web Query?
    - Have many reporting needs, but a tight budget and small staff?
    View the demo and request a FREE TRIAL of the SDK.
    * Limited time offer.

  • Your introduction to RCAC and Authority Collection

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    IBM has provided us with two powerful and very exciting security enhancements in the last two versions of IBM i.

    Scott Forstie of IBM joins Carol Woodbury to demonstrate and describe the V7R2 feature called Row and Column Access Control (RCAC), which extends how you define which users have access to specific rows in a database file. RCAC also provides a way to mask data for all or selected users.

    The recently released V7R3 adds Authority Collection. Authority Collection provides organizations and vendors with the ability to know exactly what authority is required to perform a task, eliminating the guesswork. Gone is the need to set *PUBLIC authority on database files to *ALL or to automatically grant service accounts *ALLOBJ special authority just because you’re unsure of what authority is required.

    Watch Scott and Carol as they discuss these and other new security features delivered in V7R2 and V7R3.

  • ​Getting Started with IBM i Security: Event Auditing

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Learn why event auditing is necessary and how to configure it
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This second session of the series introduces event auditing, with Robin Tatam covering the basics and more:
    - Why auditing is necessary
    - Determine if IBM i auditing is currently active
    - How to configure auditing with one simple command
    - What audit events are recorded (and which are missed!)
    - How high availability (HA) applications often make critical events disappear
    - Event reporting and real-time alerting

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Securing PC Access

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Protect your system from unauthorized network access through readily available PC tools

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    This on-demand webinar will show you how well-known services like FTP and ODBC enable users to access sensitive data without oversight or restrictions. Robin Tatam will also explain what exit programs are and how you can use them to protect your organization.

  • No Time for IBM I Security? No Problem

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    “Security” is definitely on your IT staff’s to-do list, but how often does this item get checked off?

    IT doesn’t have enough time for security—the 2016 IBM i Security Study proves it. The trouble is that data security isn’t a set-and-forget project. Data security on your IBM i requires on-going attention and expertise.

    In this on-demand webinar, you’ll learn how to save time and work more effectively. We’re cutting to the core of IBM i security by outlining the simple strategy developed by our experts.

    You’ll see a straightforward approach to understanding and addressing risk to your IBM i data. We’ll also show you how our world-class security services help people protect business-critical data when they don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to tackle IBM i security on their own.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: System Values

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Set the tone for data protection with security-relevant system values

    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.

    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.

    The series opens with an introduction to security-relevant system values.

    System values are one of the fundamental elements of IBM i security. The security system values enable you to “set the tone” of security on your IBM i, enforce password composition rules, and enable auditing. Watch this on-demand webinar to see Carol Woodbury describe these system values and provide guidance on their best practice settings.

  • Getting Started with IBM i Security: Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    The IFS is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of IBM i security
    Experts’ fears surrounding the risks associated with poor configuration were recently confirmed by the 2016 State of IBM i Security Study. Published annually, the results reveal most Power Systems lack adequate security controls and auditing measures.
    In this fast-paced webinar series, leading experts Robin Tatam and Carol Woodbury share insight into critical areas of IBM i security.
    This recorded session has Robin Tatam introducing IFS security:
    - Defining IFS
    - How the IFS is configured
    - Common IFS security mistakes
    - What a virus can do to IBM i through the IFS
    - Tracking user activity

  • ​7 Habits of Highly Secure Organizations

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Everyone knows that cyber security is important, but getting started on the road to data protection and compliance can be confusing and intimidating. Understanding common vulnerabilities helps you focus your attention and resources on the areas that need the most help.
    We all want “best-practice” security, but what are top organizations doing to achieve and maintain it?
    Watch this webinar to learn the details about how to develop the seven habits that are part of daily life for secure organizations. You’ll learn how to:
    - Break the Ostrich Syndrome
    - Develop a Security Policy
    - Assess Current Standing
    - Perform Security Event Logging and Review
    - Use “Best of Breed” Technologies
    - Monitor for Ongoing Compliance
    - Plan for the Future
    This on-demand webinar examines what each of these habits means to IBM i, and helps you make sure that you don’t become the next security statistic.

  • An Introduction to PCI Compliance on IBM Power Systems

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    "From the world's largest corporations to small Internet stores, compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is vital for all merchants who accept credit cards, online or offline, because nothing is more important than keeping your customer’s payment card data secure.” — PCI Security Standards Council
    Complying with the PCI standard is a normal part of doing business in today’s credit-centric world. But, PCI applies to multiple platforms.
    The challenge becomes how to map the general PCI requirements to a specific platform, such as IBM i. And, more importantly, how can you maintain—and prove—compliance?
    Watch this webinar to understand:
    - How PCI requirements relate to IBM i systems
    - IBM i-specific barriers to compliance
    - How PowerTech security solutions help you fulfill PCI requirements, meet compliance guidelines, and satisfy auditors
    You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence you need to evaluate PCI compliance requirements and prepare your IBM i system for today’s regulatory challenges.

  • Implementing Multiple Layers of Defense

    SB PowerTech WC Generic

    Your IBM i holds a massive amount of data. In most organizations, that data constitutes a mission-critical and high-value asset.

    How do you adequately protect the data residing on your IBM i, given its value to your organization? IBM has provided us with many options for protecting our data, but it’s now always clear how to select and implement the best options for your circumstances.

    This recorded webinar describes IBM i’s different data security options, along with implementation recommendations and tips for getting started. Carol Woodbury, one of the world’s top IBM i security experts, also provides considerations to help you determine how many layers of security are right for your organization.

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

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

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

    SB Profound WC Generic

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

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

    SB Profound PPL 5491


    Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.
    We will demonstrate how Profound UI:
    - Goes beyond simple screen-scraping to truly modernize your RPG applications
    - Uses RPG Open Access and your own RPG code and development talent to modernize
    - Supports rapid development with an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop Designer
    - Integrates with our on-the-fly modernization, mobile development, and Enterprise Modernization solutions

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

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericHigh availability for IBM i has been a hot topic in 2017, jumping 20% from our 2016 survey to take the #2 seat on IT priority lists just behind cybersecurity. And no surprise with these two topics so closely tied to your most valuable asset: your irreplaceable business data.
    With major airline outages last year and the recent ransomware attacks, you must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data?
    Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts—Tom Huntington, Matt Staddler, and Cole Ragland—deliver lively discussion around the top high availability issues of today, including:

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

    There are no do-overs when it comes to your data. Once it’s gone, it’s gone...unless you have a data replication layer in place to protect it. Learn the value of these strategic solutions and how you can implement them in a hurry—watch now!

     

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

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

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

    Download and watch today!

     

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

    SB Profound WC 5541Roses are red, your UIs are green...It's time to make your apps proud to be seen!
    Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love.
    In this webinar, you'll learn how you can use both Profound UI and Profound.js to:

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

    This webinar will include a live product demonstration and Q&A with the presenters.

    Download and watch today!

  • 2017 IBM i Marketplace Revealed

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    IBM i is one of technology’s best-kept secrets, with little information available about what IBM i users are doing on this server. Even companies that use this technology struggle to explain to their own teams what IBM i stands for and who else is using it.
    The IBM i Marketplace Survey—now in its 3rd year—was designed to solve this problem. Watch this on-demand webinar for the exclusive results of the 2017 survey. IBM i Champion Tom Huntington is joined by a panel of technology experts to discuss year-over-year trends and new insights. The panel will discuss:

    • What other platforms do you run alongside IBM i?
    • What programming and Open Source languages are you using?
    • What are your top IT issues?
    • What version of POWER and what OS level is most prevalent?
    • Are you expanding your usage of IBM i?
    • Is IBM i a good ROI?

    The expert panel will provide industry insight and comments about the results. When the webinar concludes, you’ll get access to the full results.

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

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

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

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

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

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    Everyone wants a piece of your business data. But keeping up with data access requests in the era of constantly growing data is a challenge. As a result, your IT department can be overwhelmed, inundated, and constantly needing to play catch-up.
    It’s time to develop a strategy that will help you meet your informational challenges head-on. Watch the webinar to learn how to set your IT department up for business intelligence success in 2018.
    You’ll learn how the right data access tool will help you:

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

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

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

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

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

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    There’s a better way to run your queries. With an advanced query tool like Sequel Data Access, you can deliver the IBM i data your organization needs quickly and efficiently—without the hang-ups.
    In this session, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access and distribution trends, and help you understand what to look for in a more advanced query tool.
    Plus, you’ll learn how a tool like Sequel lightens IT’s load by:

    • Accessing real-time data, so you can make real-time decisions
    • Providing run-time prompts, so users can help themselves
    • Delivering instant results in Microsoft Excel and PDF, without the wait
    • Automating the query process with on-demand data, dashboards, and scheduled jobs
    • Watch the webinar and learn why you shouldn’t just settle for Query/400.

     

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

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    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    Capturing documents means scanning and filing—which takes you away from tasks that actually matter to the business. Managing documents means sorting through an endless sea of shared folders or filing cabinets—and sometimes documents can’t be found. Distributing documents means following a frustrating, manual process for routing documents internally and sending them to vendors and customers.
    You don’t need to stick with status quo anymore.
    Watch the webinar to learn how to put effective document management into practice and:

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

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

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

  • Monitor VIOS (and AIX) from Your IBM i

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    Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) runs on AIX and allows you to share input/output resources across logical partitions. The health of your VIOS server is critical to the performance of all your Power server partitions, so monitoring it is a must.
    Our 2017 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results uncovered a cool trend: an increasing number of IBM i shops are running AIX instances alongside IBM i on Power Systems servers. We like to see these systems playing nicely together on the same server, though it does shine a spotlight on shared resources.
    During this 30-minute recording, our experts demonstrate the new VIOS and AIX monitoring capabilities in Robot Monitor. You’ll learn about:

    • The top AIX metrics that impact VIOS
    • Real-time monitoring with dashboard displays
    • Threshold and notification options
    • Identifying trends to better allocate resources

    With VIOS/AIX running alongside IBM i, you need visibility into your entire Power environment.
    Watch now to see how Robot Monitor can get you there!

     

     

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

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    You’re responsible for looking after Windows, Linux, AIX, and VIOS, but you worry that you don’t understand their complexities well enough to make your job effective—or easy.
    No problem! Simplify the management of multiple operating systems and applications without becoming experts in each area.
    In this 30-minute recorded webinar, our experts demonstrate how you can:

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

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite and shows how easy monitoring multiple operating systems and applications can be using point-and-click technology.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

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    When IBM i disk space pulls its notorious disappearing act, you don’t have time to waste figuring out how the trick is done. You need to know when disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer.
    Looking behind the curtain to keep a close eye on disk space—especially in a multi-partition environment—can have its challenges, but every good admin can have an ace up their sleeve. Our experts will show you how Robot Monitor can help you pinpoint exactly when your auxiliary storage starts to disappear and why, so you can start taking a proactive approach to disk monitoring and analysis. You’ll also get insight into:

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

    Start seeing through the sleight of hand and get instant visibility into disk usage. Add advance warning of potential threats and—abracadabra!—you’ll reduce the risk of disk space depletion and curb the sudden flurry of activity to clean things up.

     

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

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    Still following manual processes for extracting and transferring data across platforms? You’re not alone. Many business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation. And that leads to a lot of manual effort.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop re-keying data between IBM i and other applications? Or if you could stop replicating data and start processing orders faster? Or what if you could automatically extract data from existing reports instead of re-keying?
    It’s all possible. Watch this webinar to learn about:

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

    Plus, you’ll see a demonstration of how data automation software from HelpSystems will help you finally stop re-keying data.

     

  • Survey Results: 2018 Top Cybersecurity Risks and Mitigation Strategies

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    Protecting your organization from cyberthreats has never been more important—or more difficult.
    IT pros have many tactics to choose from, but time (and budgets!) are not unlimited. The key is prioritizing risks and identifying the most effective ways to mitigate the danger.
    In 2018, HelpSystems surveyed more than 600 IT and cybersecurity professionals to find out what security exploits loom largest and what strategies they’re turning to for protection.
    In this on-demand webinar, our team of cybersecurity security experts analyzes results. You’ll learn about:

    • Security strategies your peers are most interested in implementing
    • How managers and executives prioritize security
    • Who is responsible for cybersecurity at organizations around the world
    • Where IT pros turn for assistance with security

    You'll also get practical tips for using this data to drive cybersecurity conversations at your organization.

     

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

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    When it comes to IBM® Rational® Open Access: RPG Edition (also known as RPG Open Access), there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

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

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

    This Webinar features IBM i expert Alison Butterill, and Profound Logic’s Brian May and Alex Roytman.

     

    Watch the On-demand Webinar Now!

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

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    Do your users keep paperwork on their desk until it's processed?
    Are people constantly removing documents from filing cabinets?
    What happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Too much paper is wasted—approximately 1,000 pages per month per worker.
    Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets drive your employees crazy.
    And distributing documents to customers, vendors, and business partners is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

    Plus, our experts will provide a live demonstration of how implementing a document management solution will quickly solve your paper-based problems, so you can be more

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

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

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

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

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

     

  • TRY the One Package That Solves All Your Document Design and Printing Challenges

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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. Why support 5 different products, when you can do it all with MarkMagic?

    - Drive over 450 different printer types.
    - Create invoices, statements, checks.
    - Set dynamic rules that transform output on the fly.
    - Conditionally distribute via Email, fax, or PDF.
    - Integrate with your current applications in minutes.
    - Preview printing on screen.
    - Native System i, Windows, AIX, Linux.

    Try MarkMagic today for free

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable.
    Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution.
    Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits.
    Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution.
    Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Keep your critical applications and data available. Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

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

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    The thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution.
    Key features include:

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413

    For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. brKey features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • MS Office Connector for Query/400...FREE Trial!

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    NGS' Qport Office enables Windows users to run IBM Query/400 queries to:
    - Create and update Excel spreadsheets and Access databases
    - Create Word documents
    - Send to Windows screen and PC printers
    No query conversion is required. Works with i5/OS V5R1 & above. Installs in minutes!
    If you don’t have a budget to replace IBM Query/400, but want your users to have one click enhanced output of their queries.... Request the online license agreement and product download instructions today!
    Offer good through December 31, 2016.

  • Control and Monitor User Access from Desktop PCs (ODBC, FTP)

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    Protect your company by monitoring network traffic to your IBM i servers with the industry-leading exit program, PowerTech Network Security.
    Without visibility into IBM i's exit points, your users could be viewing, changing, or even deleting sensitive data—and you wouldn’t know!
    Network Security lets you monitor and control access to over 30 exit points, including:

    - ODBC
    - FTP
    - DDM
    - Remote command
    - Fileserve (mapped drives to IFS)
    It’s easy to set up custom access rules and get notified in real-time when security events occur.
    Stop “back door” access today. Try Network Security free for 30 days.

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

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    More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. Managing the complexities of today's operating systems, business applications, and networks challenges even the most knowledgeable IT professionals. The cost to an enterprise of unplanned downtime, loss of human expertise during sick leave or vacation, and system/application or environmental failure can be devastating. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

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