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GPS-Enable the Addresses in Your Database!

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Do you realize how much your business can do with GPS coordinates? No? Well, let me tell you.

 

All of our applications' databases hold hundreds if not thousands of addresses—from our clients, suppliers, stores, warehouses, branches, and so on. This article explains how to GPS-enable, or geocode, that precious information in order to expand the horizons of what you can do with your data: improve your logistics processes, locate areas where your network (of clients, stores, or suppliers) is poor or non-existent, and develop a lot of other business-specific uses for the GPS coordinates.

 

Almost daily, our call center receives phone calls from clients asking questions like this one: "I'm in the x area; what's your closest store to my location?" Unless the operator knows the area the client is in, this is a tough question to answer...unless the operator has a little help from an online maps service (Google, Bing, Yahoo) or another application. Of course, this requires that the store locations are geocoded (that is, the stores' addresses are translated into GPS coordinates). This is what we're going to do here.

 

The process has three parts: receive the address and compose a proper request to the Web service; invoke the Web service; process the response (receive and parse the Xml) and extract the latitude and longitude coordinates from the response.

 

So let's get started!

 

There are a few things we'll need to set up. We'll be using the Yahoo Place Finder API, which is a free online Web service, and on the iSeries side, we'll use a great free utility library created by Scott Klement called HTTP API. Then we'll also need to process the Web service's response; for that, we'll use the op code XML-INTO. Lastly, your iSeries must have an Internet connection. This usually means going through a firewall to get to the Internet. Since we're going to connect to Yahoo's servers, you'll need to set up a firewall rule or two to be able to get through.

 

First of all, keep in mind that even though Yahoo Place Finder Web service is free, there are a few rules to abide by. Please read carefully the terms and conditions and the API documentation. I'll be going through some parts of it, but a complete read is advised. In order to use the Web service, you must create an Application ID. You're required to create a Yahoo account if you don't already have one. After you sign in, the application form shown in Figure 1 will pop up.

 

041311Rafealfig1

Figure 1: Fill in the application form. (Click image to enlarge.)

 

It's important to fill it in properly, because you might not be able to use the Web service otherwise. Enter your application name, choose client/desktop in the "kind of application" box, and briefly describe its purpose. If you choose "Web-based," you are also required to fill in the application and icon URLs. Finally, in the Access Scopes section, choose "This app will only access public APIs, Web Services, or RSS feeds." Tick the Terms of Use checkbox. Click the "Get API Key" button and make a note of your Application ID. It will be needed later.

 

The next step is installing the HTTP API library. This is a fairly simple process: 

 

Log on to your iSeries, and create a save file to store the downloaded file in. To do this, type CRTSAVF QGPL/HTTPAPI. Next, use FTP to transfer the save file to your iSeries by opening an MS-DOS prompt and typing the following:

 

cd \<directory where you put the save file>

ftp your-iSeries-name-here

(enter your username & password when asked)

binary

put httpapi.savf QGPL/HTTPAPI

quit

 

Back on the iSeries, type this:

 

DLTLIB LIBHTTP (ignore errors if library doesn't exist)

RSTLIB SAVLIB(LIBHTTP) DEV(*SAVF) SAVF(QGPL/HTTPAPI)

 

Finally, build and run the install program:

 

CHGCURLIB CURLIB(LIBHTTP)

CRTCLPGM INSTALL SRCFILE(LIBHTTP/QCLSRC)

CALL INSTALL

 

The install program will guide you through the rest of the process.

 

You're all set! Now let's analyze the code and see how the three steps I mentioned previously are implemented.

Implementing the Steps

In order to do that, some context is needed. I've created a function that accepts the postal address (street name and door number, city, zip code, and country—or any combination of these) and returns the GPS coordinates (latitude and longitude) closest to the address. It's important to note that the result is not always accurate: if the door number is not found, the Web service will return the closest it finds, or if the street name is a partial match to some other street name and the original is not found by the Web service in its database, you'll get the partial match. The quality of the response is also passed back by the function, and I'll explain it in detail later. There's an additional parameter named Error Code that is mainly to help the application support team track down and resolve any issue that arises. I'll also cover that in depth later. Here's how to invoke the Web service:

 

CallP RtvGpsFrmAddr(P_Address : P_Quality : P_Latitude : P_Longitude : P_ErrorCode);

 

The function itself returns an indicator (in which *OFF means success and *ON means error), so the best way to use it is like this:

 

If RtvGpsFrmAddr(P_Address : P_Quality : P_Latitude : P_Longitude : P_ErrorCode) = *Off;

      // Use the P_Latitude and P_Longitude for something

Else;

      // Oops! Something went wrong! Use the P_ErrorCode to react accordingly

EndIf;

 

Finally, let's go over step one: receive the address and compose a proper request to the Web service.  The Web service is expecting two things in the request: a properly formatted address and a valid Yahoo Developer Network Application ID (YDN App ID). By "properly formatted," I mean that the address cannot have blank spaces, and any special characters (ö, for instance) have to be encoded in UTF-8. I explained earlier how to obtain a YDN App ID, so the only thing missing is here is where to use these two: the base URL of the Web service. Since Yahoo is continually working on improving its tools, the base URL might change sometime in the future (to include the version number or change the name, for instance), so I've stored it in a data area referred to as DAApiBaseUrl in the code. The real name is shorter (DAAPIURL) due to the 10-character limitation on the object names. Analyzing the code, you'll find the retrieval and check of the YDN App ID and the base URL in (1) and (2), respectively:

 

             // (1)

             // Retrieve Yahoo Developers Network Application ID

             In DAAppID;

             W_AppID = DAAppId;

             // Check If the YDN App ID is filled in

             If W_AppID = *Blanks;

               P_ErrorCode = 300; //Invalid YDN App ID

               W_Return = *ON;

               ExSr End_And_Return;

             EndIf;

 

             // (2)

             // Retrieve Yahoo Place Finder API base url

             In DAApiBaseUrl;

             W_ApiBaseUrl = DAApiBaseUrl;

             // Check If the Yahoo Place Finder API base url is filled in

             If W_ApiBaseUrl = *Blanks;

               P_ErrorCode = 350; //Invalid Yahoo Place Finder API base url

               W_Return = *ON;

               ExSr End_And_Return;

             EndIf;

 

The next step is formatting the input address to the Web service's requirements. The built-in function %XLATE is used to replace the blank spaces in the address with plus signs (+). Since usually the address doesn't take up the entire size of the variable, %Trim is used to ensure that the trailing blanks are not converted to plus signs:

 

             // Prepare the address, by replacing blanks with the plus sign

             W_Address = %Xlate(' ' : '+' : %Trim(P_Address));

 

 

After this, there's only one thing left to do: encode your request. For this task, I use a little something from the HTTP API library called a Web form. Basically, it encodes whatever variables you include, composing a string in UTF-8:

 

             // Compose the WebService URL with the address and your YDN App ID

             W_Form = WEBFORM_open();

             WEBFORM_setVar(W_Form : 'q'     : %Trim(W_Address) );

             WEBFORM_setVar(W_Form : 'appid' : %Trim(W_AppID)   );

 

             W_Url = %Trim(W_ApiBaseUrl) + WEBFORM_getData(W_Form);

 

             // Close form

             WEBFORM_Close(W_Form);

 

Here's an example to make it clearer. Suppose your address is 701 First Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94089 and your YDN APP ID  is A234fW9. After the code above runs, the W_Url variable will contain the following URL: http://where.yahooapis.com/geocode?q=701%2BFirst%2BAve.%2C%2BSunnyvale%2C%2BCA%2B94089&appid=A234fW9

 

Here, http://where.yahooapis.com/geocode? is the API base URL, stored in the data area I previously mentioned. 701%2BFirst%2BAve.%2C%2BSunnyvale%2C%2BCA%2B94089 is the address, after it has been transformed (blanks to pluses) and encoded (since there are no special characters in this address, the only change was turning + into %2B).

 

The YDN App ID remained untouched. The q and appid are parameters of the Web service and correspond to your query (the address) and your YDN App ID, respectively. The encoder provides this double function of translating to UTF-8 and adding the necessary parameter separators (&) to make composing a proper URL very easy.

 

Step two is invoking the Web service. For that, I'll use another HTTP API function, called http_get_url. This function accepts as an input parameter a URL and saves the corresponding Web page to a file in the IFS. The name of the IFS file is indicated as a second parameter. The function itself returns a status code (1 mean success; anything else is an error. Check Scott Klement's documentation for details). In order to use it, you must create an IFS file first. Since this is only temporary storage for our Web service response, I'll use another function, named http_tempfile, to create it. Here's the complete code for step two:

 

             // Create a temp file to receive the WebService response

             W_FileName = http_tempfile() + '.xml';

 

 

             // Invoke the WebService

             W_RetCode = http_url_get(W_url : W_FileName);

 

             // In case of error,  return *ON

             If (W_RetCode <> 1);

               P_ErrorCode = 400; //Problems invoking the Web Service

               W_Return = *ON;

               ExSr End_And_Return;

             EndIf;

 

I'll explain what is done in here case of error later. The important thing is that after this piece of code runs, I have the Web service's response, in XML format, stored in an IFS file. The file name is saved in variable W_FileName for the next step, which is process the response (receive and parse the XML) and extract the latitude and longitude coordinates from the response.

 

There are a few ways to process an XML file in RPG. My favorite is the op code XML-INTO. Even if you have used it before, read on because you might find something new.

 

The op code itself is very simple to use: just provide an XML file, a data structure to receive the parsed contents, and some options that define how the parsing should occur. I'll start by this last bit. You might not need the whole content of the XML document: it's normal to use only a sub-tree (a smaller set of data) or even only a few elements (fields) within that sub-tree. By specifying the correct options, you indicate how the parser should behave and what is acceptable in terms of validation. In the code, I don't care about the case (lowercase or uppercase is irrelevant to me) or the complete XML structure of the file (this is done to ensure that the RtvGpsFrmAddr function will continue to work even if Yahoo adds new elements to the xml of the Web service). Having this in mind, here's how I set up the options for XML-INTO:

 

             // Prepare parameters for XML-INTO

             W_Options = 'doc=file +

                    path=RESULTSET +

                    case=any +

                    allowextra=yes +

                    allowmissing=yes';

 

From top to bottom, doc=file means that we'll be parsing XML coming from a file; path=RESULTSET tells the parser which sub-tree we're interested in (I'll get back to the XML structure later); case=any refers to the upper or lowercase of the element names themselves (as I mentioned earlier, it's really irrelevant to us); finally, allowextra=yes and allowmissing=yes ensure that the parsing will still occur if the XML structure is (slightly) changed.

 

Now the parser knows how to act and what to act upon. W_FileName contains the name and path of the XML file. The only thing missing is where to store the result of the parsing. XML-INTO expects a data structure that "clones" the XML structure that it's parsing. In other words, the data structure field names must match the XML element names so that the parser finds the proper match and stores the content of element '<street>' in the data structure field 'street'. Because I specified case=any in the options, the field and element names can be either 'street' or 'STREET'; I really don't care about the case. To build the data structure, we need to analyze the XML structure. Specifically, we need to find the latitude, the longitude, the quality of the match, and the error code; these are the output parameters of RtvGpsFrmAddr. However, I've tried to leave the code as flexible as possible, so I've created a data structure that covers the whole XML structure. Going back to the example from the first step, the URL http://where.yahooapis.com/geocode?q=701%2BFirst%2BAve.%2C%2BSunnyvale%2C%2BCA%2B94089&appid=A234fW9 will return the following XML:

 

<ResultSet version="1.0">

<Error>0</Error>

<ErrorMessage>No error</ErrorMessage>

<Locale>us_US</Locale>

<Quality>87</Quality>

<Found>1</Found>

<Result>

<quality>87</quality>

<latitude>37.416275</latitude>

<longitude>-122.025092</longitude>

<offsetlat>37.416397</offsetlat>

<offsetlon>-122.025055</offsetlon>

<radius>500</radius>

<name/>

<line1>701 1st Ave</line1>

<line2>Sunnyvale, CA  94089-1019</line2>

<line3/>

<line4>United States</line4>

<house>701</house>

<street>1st Ave</street>

<xstreet/>

<unittype/>

<unit/>

<postal>94089-1019</postal>

<neighborhood/>

<city>Sunnyvale</city>

<county>Santa Clara County</county>

<state>California</state>

<country>United States</country>

<countrycode>US</countrycode>

<statecode>CA</statecode>

<countycode/>

<uzip>94089</uzip>

<hash>DDAD1896CC0CDC41</hash>

<woeid>12797150</woeid>

<woetype>11</woetype>

</Result>

</ResultSet>           

 

The Web service documentation explains each element in depth here, so I'll just cover the structure itself and the relevant elements. The structure only has one tree, called ResultSet. Within it there are six elements, of which five are simple and one is complex. This last one, named Result, is what we're interested in. In a situation such as this one, where there's only one match, the <Result> element exists only once. I have decided to keep things simple and expect only one <Result> element. I'll briefly explain how to change the RtvGpsFrmAddr function to handle more than one <Result> later. However, keep in mind that this might also mean that you need some logic on your program to decide which GPS coordinates to use. Our data structure has to match this duality of simple and complex elements. For those of you unfamiliar with the terminology, complex element basically means that the element has sub-elements. In the <Result> case, a lot of them! To match this structure, we need a data structure that contains five fields, with names that match the five simple elements, and another data structure that in turn has fields whose names match the sub-element names. I know it's a mind twister, so let's look at the data structure, and it might start to make sense:

 

 

      *------------------------------------------------------------------------*

      *   Data Structures                                                      *

      *------------------------------------------------------------------------*

     D ResultSet       DS                  Qualified

     D   Error                             Like(t_Error)

     D   ErrorMessage                      Like(t_ErrorMessage)

     D   Locale                            Like(t_Locale)

     D   Quality                           Like(t_Quality)

     D   Found                             Like(t_Found)

     D   Result                            LikeDS(t_Result)

     D                                     Dim(10)

 

     D t_Error         S              4  0

     D t_ErrorMessage  S             50A

     D t_Locale        S              5A

     D t_Quality       S              2  0

     D t_Found         S              3  0

 

     D t_Result        DS                  Qualified

     D                                     Based(Template)

     D   quality                           Like(t_Quality)

     D   latitude                    15A

     D   longitude                   15A

     D   offsetlat                   15A

     D   offsetlon                   15A

     D   radius                       4  0

     D   name                       100A

     D   line1                      100A

     D   line2                      100A

     D   line3                      100A

     D   line4                      100A

     D   house                       10A

     D   street                     100A

     D   xstreet                    100A

     D   unittype                   100A

     D   unit                       100A

     D   postal                      10A

     D   neighborhood               100A

     D   city                       100A

     D   county                      50A

     D   state                       50A

     D   country                     50A

     D   countrycode                  5A

     D   statecode                    5A

     D   countycode                   5A

     D   uzip                        10A

     D   hash                        20A

     D   woeid                       10A

     D   woetype                      5A

 

 

The ResultSet data structure is qualified, just to make it easier to read in the code. Similarly, the t_Result data structure, which is the definition used for the sixth "field" of the ResultSet data structure, is also qualified. The "field" Result is an array that can contain up to 10 elements, just to prevent XML-INTO from returning an error if there's more that one <RESULT> element in the XML.

 

It now time to put everything together—the XML file, the options, and the data structure:

 

             // Receive xml file into data structure

             Monitor;

               Xml-Into ResultSet %xml(W_FileName : W_Options);

             On-Error;

               P_ErrorCode = 500; //Malformed xml

               W_Return = *ON;

               ExSr End_And_Return;

             EndMon;

 

I'm using Monitor just to make sure that the function aborts gracefully if something is not as it should be. If everything goes well, the XML contents are now in the ResultSet data structure. If the Web service returned a valid response (in other words, a single address match), we can extract the GPS coordinates from it:

 

             // Check for API errors before processing

             // In case of API error, return the error code and leave

             If ResultSet.Error <> 0;

               P_ErrorCode = ResultSet.Error;

               W_Return = *ON;

               ExSr End_And_Return;

             EndIf;

 

             // If an exact match was found (only 1 result returned), pass the

             // coordinates to the output parms

             If ResultSet.Found = 1;

               P_Quality   = ResultSet.Result(1).quality;

               P_Latitude  = ResultSet.Result(1).latitude;

               P_Longitude = ResultSet.Result(1).longitude;

               P_ErrorCode = 0; // Sucess!

               W_Return = *Off;

               ExSr End_And_Return;

             Else;

               P_ErrorCode = 600; // No exact match (none or more than 1 found)

               W_Return = *ON;

               ExSr End_And_Return;

             EndIf;

 

In the If ResultSet.Found = 1 block, you can see the beauty of the Qualified keyword; the P_Quality parameter is receiving the "quality" field of the first element of the data structure Result, which in turn, is part of the ResultSet data structure. This ends the third step. It's now time to explain all of those ExSr End_And_Return calls. Each anomalous situation in the code is handled by a set of three lines:

 

               P_ErrorCode = 600; // No exact match (none or more than 1 found)

               W_Return = *ON;

               ExSr End_And_Return;

 

You've seen this over and over again, right? P_ErrorCode returns a predetermined error code telling the caller program what went wrong. The error code itself is hardcoded, except in this situation:

 

             // Check for API errors before processing

             // In case of API error, return the error code and leave

             If ResultSet.Error <> 0;

               P_ErrorCode = ResultSet.Error;

               W_Return = *ON;

               ExSr End_And_Return;

             EndIf;

 

 

In this situation, I return the error code of the Web service. You can find the meaning of these error codes here. W_Return contains the success or failure indicator for the RtvGpsFrmAddr function. You might have noticed that is always set to *ON, except when I extract the latitude and longitude from the data structure. The error code and the return indicator are used in routine End_And_Return:

 

 

         //--------------------------------------------------------------------*

         //  End and Return                                                    *

         //--------------------------------------------------------------------*

           BegSr End_And_Return;

 

             // Log status (useful for debuging)

             ExSr Log_Status;

 

             // Delete temp file

             unlink(W_FileName);

 

             // End and return the indicator (*on = error / *off = success)

             Return W_Return;

 

           EndSr;

 

         //--------------------------------------------------------------------*

         //  Log status                                                        *

         //--------------------------------------------------------------------*

           BegSr Log_Status;

 

             // Log request

             Open Log;

             Log_TypeReq = 'RtvGpsFrmAddr';

             Log_StsCode = P_ErrorCode;

             Log_InpParm = %Trim(P_Address);

             Log_OutParm = 'Quality=' + %Char(P_Quality)

                           + '|Latitude=' + %Trim(P_Latitude)

                           + '|Longitude=' + %Trim(P_Longitude);

             Log_DateTim = %TimeStamp;

             Write LogR;

             Close Log;

 

           EndSr;

 

End_And_Return is a very simple routine that logs the request to a file (I'll explain routine Log_Status next), deletes the temporary file using another function from the HTTP API library, and returns *ON or *OFF, in case of error or success, respectively. The Log_Status routine will be useful in the early days of the implementation, because it saves all the input and output parameters in a record per invocation of the RtvGpsFrmAddr function. You might want to disable it later on, even though I strongly recommend keeping it; it might be of use in the future.

 

Now let's consolidate all of this with an example:

 

      * Retrieve GPS Info Procedures

      /Copy QCPYLESRC,RTVGPS_PR

 

     DW_Response       S             52A   Inz(*Blanks)

 

      /FREE

         P_Address = '701 First Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94089'; // Full address w/ door nbr

         If RtvGpsFrmAddr(P_Address :

                          P_Quality :

                          P_Latitude :

                          P_Longitude :

                          P_ErrorCode) = *Off;

           W_Response = 'Latitude=' + %Trim(P_Latitude) +

                        ' Longitude=' + %Trim(P_Longitude);

           Dsply W_Response;

         Else;

           W_Response = 'Error Code=' + %Char(P_ErrorCode);

           Dsply W_Response;

         EndIf;

 

         *InLr = *On;

      /END-FREE

 

Here, I'm calling the function from an IF statement and displaying the GPS coordinates of the address passed as a parameter. In case something doesn't work as expected, I'm displaying the error code. Note that the copy member RTVGPS_PR contains all the necessary variable definitions for the parameters, so be careful with the names of the variables in the caller program, to avoid duplications (and consequent compilation errors). I've included source member TST_GPSADD, which has other addresses ready for testing. There, you'll find incomplete addresses, airport codes instead of the address (LAX for instance), and an invalid address (which will cause ResultSet.Found = 0). Try all of these to get a feel of the way the function works before using it on your data. By the way, if your address is from a country that has a different structure (for instance, the door number appears after the street name), you might have some problems because it will return the GPS coordinates for the street but not for the door number you specified.

 

You can download the source code here.

 

A Quality Issue

One of the output parameters of the function is the quality of the response. If you look closely at the XML, you'll see that there are two elements named "quality";  one belongs to <RESULTSET> (with uppercase Q) and the other to <RESULT> (with lowercase q). The Web service documentation explains why:

 

"The response contains two Address Quality elements:

  • Quality: Child element of ResultSet. This element defines the best possible quality of the address specified by the input parameter.
  • quality: Child element of Result. This element defines the quality of the address data for this result. If a response has multiple Result elements, each will contain a quality element.

 

If the result quality is less than the best possible Quality, then the accuracy of the result is less than requested. For example, suppose the input parameter is "1000 1st Ave Sunnyvale CA," but the result is "998 1st Ave Sunnyvale CA." In the response, the best possible Quality for the input parameter is 87. However, the result quality is 86 because closest street number found does not match the requested street number."

 

You'll find additional information and the list of quality codes here.

 

The RtvGpsFrmAddr function returns the one from the <RESULT>, and it's up to the programmer to decide if the quality level is acceptable or not. Ideally, if the address is accurate, you should always (or almost always) get 87 in the P_Quality parameter. Read the documentation carefully and decide what you consider acceptable.

Multiple Results

I mentioned that the function would handle only an exact match (one element in the Result array) to keep things simple. Here's what you have to do to handle multiple results:

  • Transform the output parameters into arrays with the same number of elements as the Result array.
  • Change the If ResultSet.Found = 1; into a For cycle that loops through the whole Result array and assign each element of the Result(index).fieldname to the respective parametername(index). Something like this: P_Quality(W_Index) = ResultSet.Result(W_Index).quality;
  • In the caller program, build logic to handle the multiple responses. I won't make any suggestions here, because it will have to be a case-by-case decision.

 

Final Thoughts

The Yahoo Place Finder Web Service is a very powerful tool, and I've only scratched the surface here. The documentation and support forums will most definitely provide valuable help and ideas to new functions. The RtvGpsFrmAddr function is a basic implementation of the Web service, with a few limitations. It uses only a small, yet important, part of the data provided by the Web service. I urge you to adapt it to your specific needs!

 

The next logical step is to use the newly found richness of information. A lot can be done with the GPS coordinates, once you have them—from calculating the ideal route between stores and warehouses to analyzing and reporting on geographical coverage of stores, resellers, or clients. Instead of building something from scratch, have a look at the Geographic Information System (GIS) applications out there (Google it up!) and see how they can help your business. It's certainly helping mine!

RPG, 

as/400, os/400, iseries, system i, i5/os, ibm i, power systems, 6.1, 7.1, V7, V6R1

Rafael Victoria-Pereira

Rafael Victória-Pereira has more than 20 years of IBM i experience as a programmer, analyst, and manager. Over that period, he has been an active voice in the IBM i community, encouraging and helping programmers transition to ILE and free-format RPG. Rafael has written more than 100 technical articles about topics ranging from interfaces (the topic for his first book, Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i) to modern RPG and SQL in his popular RPG Academy and SQL 101 series on mcpressonline.com and in his books Evolve Your RPG Coding and SQL for IBM i: A Database Modernization Guide. Rafael writes in an easy-to-read, practical style that is highly popular with his audience of IBM technology professionals.

Rafael is the Deputy IT Director - Infrastructures and Services at the Luis Simões Group in Portugal. His areas of expertise include programming in the IBM i native languages (RPG, CL, and DB2 SQL) and in "modern" programming languages, such as Java, C#, and Python, as well as project management and consultancy.


MC Press books written by Rafael Victória-Pereira available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Evolve Your RPG Coding: Move from OPM to ILE...and Beyond Evolve Your RPG Coding: Move from OPM to ILE...and Beyond
Transition to modern RPG programming with this step-by-step guide through ILE and free-format RPG, SQL, and modernization techniques.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale

Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i
Uncover easier, more flexible ways to get data into your system, plus some methods for exporting and presenting the vital business data it contains.
List Price $79.95

Now On Sale

SQL for IBM i: A Database Modernization Guide SQL for IBM i: A Database Modernization Guide
Learn how to use SQL’s capabilities to modernize and enhance your IBM i database.
List Price $79.95

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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

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    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

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    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

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    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.

  • A Successful Approach to Automated Monitoring in a Complex World

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    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

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    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.

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  • 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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    “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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

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

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

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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...

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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

    SB_PowerTech_WC_Generic

    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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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!

    SB_Profound_WC_Generic

    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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    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

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    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!

    SB NGS PPL 5130

    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)

    SB PowerTech 5422

    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!

    SB DDL Systems 5429

    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.