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Sometimes Programs and Procedures Want to Know: Who Am I?

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If you were a program, could you answer this question?

 

In software programming, sometimes a program, a procedure, or a process or thread needs to answer the question: "Who am I?" For example, in an error-logging framework, after getting the answer to this question, the error-logging framework might write a log entry like the following: "Failed to allocate heap storage in SOMELIB/SOMEPGM, procedure FOO of module BAR. From job QZDASOINITQUSER      123456, thread 00000030." To answer the "Who am I?" question, programmers could hard-code names of programs or procedures everywhere log entries need to be written, but doing that is obviously error-prone and will make code hard to maintain. A utility that can answer this question on behalf of any program or procedure will significantly reduce the efforts in maintaining code that writes log entries.

 

Here, I'll introduce a high-performance implementation of such a utility in i5/OS. The approach discussed here was implemented as an ILE RPG procedure called who_am_i. The basic goals are the following:

  • To retrieve information about the program or procedure currently being called—including program, library, module, procedure, and statement information—who_am_i first retrieves the suspend point of its caller via MI instruction Materialize Invocation Attributes (MATINVAT) with option 24 and then retrieves detailed information about its caller's invocation by applying MI instruction Materialize Pointer Information (MATPTRIF) on the suspend pointer. A suspend pointer is a type of MI pointer that identifies a suspend point or a resume point. A suspend point is a location within an invocation's routine where execution was suspended due to a call, an interruption, or a machine operation. A resume point is a location within an invocation's routine where execution will resume if execution is allowed to resume in the invocation.
  • To retrieve the job ID of the current job, who_am_i first materializes the system pointer to the current job's process control space (PCS) object by MI instruction Materialize Process Attributes (MATPRATR) with option hex 25 and then materializes the name of the PCS object via MI instruction Materialize Pointer (MATPTR). An i5/OS job can be uniquely identified by a PCS object; the name of a PCS object is also the job ID of the corresponding job.
  • To retrieve the thread ID of the current thread, who_am_i uses MI instruction Retrieve Thread Identifier (RETTHID), which returns an 8-byte thread ID of the current thread that uniquely identifies a thread within a job.

Retrieving Information About the Program or Procedure Currently Being Called

who_am_i first retrieves the suspend point of its calling procedure via MI instruction Materialize Invocation Attributes (MATINVAT) with option 24 and then retrieves detailed information about its caller by applying MI instruction Materialize Pointer Information (MATPTRIF) on the suspend pointer to the suspend point of who_am_i's caller.

 

The following ILE RPG prototypes of the system built-ins of these two instructions and declarations of related data structures are extracted from mih52.rpgleinc.

 

     /* Materialization template of MATINVAT. */

     d matinvat_tmpl_t...

     d                 ds                  qualified

 

     /* Materialization template of MATINVAT when a pointer is returned. */

     d matinvat_ptr_t...

     d                 ds                  qualified

     d     ptr                         *

 

     /* Invocation identification structure for MATINVAT. */

     d invocation_id_t...

     d                 ds                  qualified

     d     src_inv_offset...

     d                               10i 0

     d     org_inv_offset...

     d                               10i 0

     d     inv_range                 10i 0

     d                                4a

     d     inv_ptr                     *

     d                               16a

 

     /* _MATINVAT2 (Materialize Invocation Attributes (MATINVAT)) */

     d matinvat2       pr                  extproc('_MATINVAT2')

     d     receiver                        likeds(matinvat_tmpl_t)

     d     invocation_id...

     d                                     likeds(invocation_id_t)

     d     selection                       likeds(matinvat_selection_t)

 

     /* _MATINVAT (Materialize Invocation Attributes (MATINVAT)) */

     d matinvat        pr                  extproc('_MATINVAT1')

     d     receiver                        likeds(matinvat_tmpl_t)

     d     selection                       likeds(matinvat_selection_t)

 

     /* Materialization template for MATPTRIF. */

     d matptrif_tmpl_t...

     d                 ds                  qualified

 

     /**

      * Materialization template for MATPTRIF when materializing a

      * suspend pointer.

      */

     d matptrif_susptr_tmpl_t...

     d                 ds                  qualified

     d                                     based(dummy_ptr)

     d     bytes_in                  10i 0

     d     bytes_out                 10i 0

     d                                7a

      *

      * Pointer type.

      * hex 01 = System pointer

      * hex 02 = Space pointer

      * hex 03 = Suspend pointer

      *

     d     ptr_type                   1a

     d                                1a

      *

      * Program type.

      * hex 00 = Non-bound program

      * hex 01 = Bound program

      * hex 02 = Bound service program

      * hex 04 = Java program

      *

     d     pgm_type                   1a

     d     pgm_ccsid                  5u 0

     d     pgm_name                  30a

     d     pgm_ctx                   30a

     d                                4a

      * Module information

     d     mod_name                  30a

     d     mod_qual                  30a

     d                                4a

      * Procedure information

     d     proc_dict_id...

     d                               10i 0

     d     proc_name_length_in...   

     d                               10i 0

     d     proc_name_length_out...   

     d                               10i 0

     d     proc_name_ptr...

     d                                 *

     d                                8a

      * Statement information

     d     stmt_ids_in...

     d                               10i 0

     d     stmt_ids_out...   

     d                               10i 0

     d     stmt_ids_ptr...

     d                                 *

 

     /* _MATPTRIF (Materialize Pointer Information (MATPTRIF)) */

     d matptrif        pr                  extproc('_MATPTRIF')

     d     receiver                        likeds(matptrif_tmpl_t)

     d     ptr                         *

     d     selection                  4a

 

Notes:

  • The MATINVAT instruction has two system built-ins: _MATINVAT1 materializes attributes of the current invocation, and _MATINVAT2 materializes attributes of an invocation in the current thread's call stack identified by the invocation_id operand. To materialize the suspend pointer to the suspend point in an invocation, set the value of the attr_id field of the selection operand of MATINVAT to 24.
  • The src_inv_offset field of MATINVAT's invocation_id operand indicates the offset of the target invocation relative to the invocation located by the source invocation pointer, the inv_ptr field of the invocation_id operand. A null value of the inv_ptr field indicates that the source invocation is the current invocation. For example, specifying -1 for the src_inv_offset field and a null value for the inv_ptr field of invocation_id operand means that attributes of the invocation of the current invocation's caller are to be materialized.
  • When materializing a suspend pointer via instruction MATPTRIF, some bits of the 4-byte selection operand indicate whether or not a specific type of information is returned. For example, if bit 1 of selection is set, the program type information will be returned in the pgm_type field of the materialization template for MATPTRIF.

 

The following piece of code was used in the who_am_i procedure to retrieve the detail attributes of its caller.

 

      /copy mih52

     d inv_id          ds                  likeds(invocation_id_t)

     d susptr          ds                  likeds(matinvat_ptr_t)

     d sel             ds                  likeds(matinvat_selection_t)

     d ptrd            ds                  likeds(matptrif_susptr_tmpl_t)

     d mask            s              4a

      /free

           // materialize suspend pointer of target invocation

           inv_id = *allx'00';

           inv_id.src_inv_offset = -1;  // caller's invocation

           sel = *allx'00';      // clear attribute selection template for MATINVAT

           sel.num_attr   = 1;

           sel.attr_id    = 24;  // materialize suspend pointer

           sel.rcv_length = 16;

           matinvat2( susptr

                    : inv_id

                    : sel );

 

           // materialize suspend ptr

           ptrd = *allx'00';

           ptrd.bytes_in = %size(ptrd);

           ptrd.proc_name_length_in = proc_name.len;

           ptrd.proc_name_ptr = %addr(proc_name.name);

           ptrd.stmt_ids_in = stmts.num;

           ptrd.stmt_ids_ptr = %addr(stmts.stmt);

           mask = x'5B280000';  // binary value: 01011011,00101000,00000000,00000000

             // bit 1 = 1, materialize program type

             // bit 3 = 1, materialize program context

             // bit 4 = 1, materialize program name

             // bit 6 = 1, materialize module name

             // bit 7 = 1, materialize module qualifier

             // bit 10 = 1, materialize procedure name

             // bit 12 = 1, materialize statement id list

           matptrif( ptrd : susptr.ptr : mask );

      /end-free

 

When MATPTRIF returns successfully, attributes of who_am_i's caller's invocation will be returned in the following fields of structure ptrd:

  • pgm_type—Type of the calling program. For an OPM program, an ILE program, an ILE service program, or a Java program, the value of pgm_type would be hex 00, 01, 03, or 04, respectively.
  • pgm_ctx—Name of the library where the calling program resides.
  • pgm_name—Name of the calling program.
  • mod_name—Name of the module to which the calling procedure belongs.
  • mod_qual— Name of the module qualifier. This is the qualifier specified during program creation to identify where this module was found when the bound program (ILE program or ILE service program) was created. The module qualifier is used to differentiate between two different modules of the same name. This field usually contains a library name.
  • proc_name_length_out—The length of the returned name of the calling procedure.
  • proc_name_ptr—The name of the calling procedure is returned at the storage location pointed to by this space pointer. Note that proc_name_ptr is an input field, and the user is responsible for allocating storage pointed to by proc_name_ptr.
  • stmt_ids_out—The number of statement IDs returned.
  • stmt_ids_ptr—A statement ID list is returned at the storage location pointed to by this space pointer. Note that stmt_ids_ptr is an input field, and the user is responsible for allocating storage it points to.

Retrieving the Job ID of the Current Job

Since an i5/OS job is uniquely identified by a process control space (PCS) object, and the name of a PCS object is also the job ID of the corresponding job, who_am_i first materializes the system pointer to the current job's PCS pointer via the MATPRATR instruction with option hex 25 and then materializes the name of the PCS object via the MATPTR instruction.

 

The following ILE RPG prototypes of the system built-ins of these two instructions and declarations of related data structures are extracted from mih52.rpgleinc.

 

     /**

      * Materialization template for MATPRATR when a pointer attribute

      * is materialized.

      */

     d matpratr_ptr_tmpl_t...

     d                 ds                  qualified

     d     bytes_in                  10i 0

     d     bytes_out                 10i 0

     d                                8a

     d     ptr                         *

 

     /* _MATPRATR1 (Materialize Process Attributes) */

     d matpratr1       pr                  extproc('_MATPRATR1')

     d     receiver                        likeds(matpratr_tmpl_t)

     d     option                     1a

 

     /* _MATPRATR2 (Materialize Process Attributes) */

     d matpratr2       pr                  extproc('_MATPRATR2')

     d     receiver                        likeds(matpratr_tmpl_t)

     d     pcs                         *

     d     option                     1a

 

     /* Materialization template for MATPTR */

     d matptr_tmpl_t   ds                  qualified

     d     bytes_in                  10i 0

     d     bytes_out                 10i 0

     d     ptr_type                   1a 

 

     /* Materialization template for MATPTR when materializing a SYSPTR */

     d matptr_sysptr_info_t...

     d                 ds                  qualified

     d     bytes_in                  10i 0

     d     bytes_out                 10i 0

     d     ptr_type                   1a 

     d     ctx_type                   2a 

     d     ctx_name                  30a 

     d     obj_type                   2a 

     d     obj_name                  30a 

     d     ptr_auth                   2a 

     d     ptr_target                 2a 

 

     /* _MATPTR (Materialize Pointer (MATPTR)) */

     d matptr          pr                  extproc('_MATPTR')

     d     receiver                        likeds(matptr_tmpl_t)

     d     ptr                         *

 

Note that _MATPRATR1 materializes attributes of the current MI process (job), while _MATPRATR2 materializes attributes of an MI process identified by the pcs operand, which is a system pointer to a PCS object. The following code was used in procedure who_am_i to retrieve the job ID of the current job.

 

      /copy mih52

     d pcs_tmpl        ds                  likeds(matpratr_ptr_tmpl_t)

     d matpratr_opt    s              1a   inz(x'25')

     d syp_attr        ds                  likeds(matptr_sysptr_info_t)

 

      /free

           // retrieve the PCS pointer of the current MI process

           pcs_tmpl.bytes_in = %size(pcs_tmpl);

           matpratr1(pcs_tmpl : matpratr_opt);

 

           // retrieve the name of the PCS object, aka job ID

           syp_attr.bytes_in = %size(syp_attr);

           matptr(syp_attr : pcs_tmpl.ptr);

      /end-free

 

The returned job ID stored in field syp_attr.obj_name would look like the following: 'QTRXC00012QTCP      270659    '.

 

To test the performance of the above-mentioned technique, two test programs written in RPG, jobi.rpgle, and jobi2.rpgle, are available from open-source project i5/OS Programmer's Toolkit. jobi.rpgle uses the Retrieve Job Information (QUSRJOBI) API to retrieve the job ID of the current job in format of JOBI0100 100,000 times; jobi2.rpgle accomplishes the same work via the above-mentioned technique. The following is the result of running these two test programs on an i525 machine:

  • Time taken to retrieve job ID via the QUSRJOBI API 100,000 times is 784,000 microseconds.
  • Time taken to retrieve job ID via the combination of the MATPRATR instruction and the MATPTR instruction is 128,000 microseconds, about one sixth of the time used in the former test.

Retrieving the Thread ID of the Current Thread

In contrast with retrieving thread ID via Pthread API pthread_getthreadid_np or the combination of pthread_self and pthread_getunique_np, the RETTHID instruction is a more clean and efficient way to retrieve the unique thread ID within a job. Note that the 8-byte thread ID returned by RETTHID is also used by other MI instructions or Work Management APIs—for example, the Control Thread (QTHMCTLT) API. The lower 4 bytes of this 8-byte thread ID are also used by job-related CL commands to represent thread IDs within a job—for example, DSPJOB OPTION(*THREAD).

 

The following ILE RPG prototype of the system built-in RETTHID can be found in mih52.rpgleinc.

 

     /* RETTHID, retrieve thread identifier */

     d retthid         pr             8a   extproc('_RETTHID')

 

Put All the Parts Together

Now let's put all the parts together. The following is the prototype of procedure who_am_i and the declarations of data structures used by it. The implementation of who_am_i is omitted for clearness. For the latest version of procedure who_am_i, please refer to who.rpgle from open-source project i5/OS Programmer's Toolkit.

 

     /* Program information. */

     d pgm_info_t      ds                  qualified

     d     ctx                       30a

     d     name                      30a

 

     /* Module information. */

     d module_info_t   ds                  qualified

     d     name                      30a

     d     qualifier                 30a

 

     /* Procedure name. */

     d proc_name_t     ds                  qualified

     d                                     based(dummy_ptr)

     d     len                        5u 0

     d     name                   32767a

 

     /* Statement ID list. */

     d stmt_list_t     ds                  qualified

     d                                     based(dummy_ptr)

     d     num                        5u 0

     d     stmt                      10i 0 dim(1024)

 

     /* Job ID and thread ID. */

     d job_id_thread_id_t...

     d                 ds                  qualified

     d     jid                       30a

     d     tid                        8a

 

     /**

      * Who am I?

      *

      * @param [out] pgm_info, returned program info.

      * @param [out] mod_info, returned module info.

      * @param [out] proc_name, returned procedure name.

      * @param [out] stmst, returned statement ID list.

      * @param [out] MI process (job) id and thread id.

      * @param [in]  inv_offset, offset of target invocation.

      *              -1 if no passed, which means who_am_i()'s caller.

      *

      * @return 1-byte program type.

      *         hex 00 = Non-bound program

      *         hex 01 = Bound program

      *         hex 02 = Bound service program

      *         hex 04 = Java program

      *         hex FF = invalid input parameters

      */

     d who_am_i        pr             1a

     d     pgm_info                        likeds(pgm_info_t)

     d     mod_info                        likeds(module_info_t)

     d     proc_name                       likeds(proc_name_t)

     d     stmts                           likeds(stmt_list_t)

     d     job_thd_id                      likeds(job_id_thread_id_t)

     d                                     options(*nopass)

     d     inv_offset                10i 0 value options(*nopass)

 

who_am_i accepts four required output parameters that represent the returned program information, module information, procedure name, and statement IDs, respectively. The fifth parameter of who_am_i, job_thd_id, is an optional output parameter; if specified, who_am_i will fill it with the job ID and thread ID of the current thread. The sixth parameter, inv_offset, is an optional input parameter that indicates the offset of the target invocation relative to who_am_i. Only zero or negative values are allowed for inv_offset; the default value is -1, which indicates the caller of who_am_i. Decrease the value of inv_offset to indicate earlier invocations in the call stack; for example, a value of -2 for inv_offset means the caller of the caller of who_am_i. The return value of who_am_i is a 1-byte field that indicates the program model of the calling program.

 

Now, let's write a test program for procedure who_am_i.

 

     /*

      * Include prototype of who_am_i() and declarations of DSs used by it.

      * ... ...

      */

 

     /* Prototype of MI library function cvthc() */

     d cvthc           pr                  extproc('cvthc')

     d     receiver                    *   value

     d     source                      *   value

     d     length                    10i 0 value

 

     d pgm_info        ds                  likeds(pgm_info_t)

     d mod_info        ds                  likeds(module_info_t)

     d proc_name       ds                  likeds(proc_name_t)

     d                                     based(proc_name_ptr)

     d proc_name_ptr   s               *

     d stmts           ds                  likeds(stmt_list_t)

     d                                     based(stmts_ptr)

     d stmts_ptr       s               *

     d thread          ds                  likeds(job_id_thread_id_t)

     d pgm_type        s              1a

     d msg             s             30a

 

      /free

 

           proc_name_ptr = %alloc(2 + 128);

           proc_name.len = 128;

 

           stmts_ptr = %alloc(2 + 4 * 4); // for up to 4 statement ids

           stmts.num = 4;

 

           pgm_type = who_am_i( pgm_info

                              : mod_info

                              : proc_name

                              : stmts

                              : thread );

 

           // check returned information

           // program info

           msg = %trim(%subst(pgm_info.ctx : 1 : 10)) + '/'

                 + %subst(pgm_info.name : 1 : 10);

           dsply 'Program:     ' '' msg;

 

           // Module information, procedure name, and statement ID

           // are meaningless for an OPM program.

           if pgm_type > x'00';

               // module info

               msg = %trim(%subst(mod_info.qualifier : 1 : 10)) + '/'

                     + %subst(mod_info.name : 1 : 10);

               dsply 'Module:      ' '' msg;

 

               // procedure name

               msg = %subst(proc_name.name : 1 : proc_name.len);

               dsply 'Procedure:   ' '' msg;

 

               // first statement ID in stmt id list

               dsply 'Statement ID:' '' stmts.stmt(1);

           endif;

 

           // job id and thread id

           dsply 'Job ID:      ' '' thread.jid;

           // thread.tid

           cvthc(%addr(msg) : %addr(thread.tid) : 16);

           dsply 'Thread ID:   ' '' msg;

 

           dealloc proc_name_ptr;

           dealloc stmts_ptr;

           *inlr = *on;

      /end-free

 

Build your test RPG module and bind it into a program object along with the module that exports who_am_i. Call your test program; the output might look like the following:

 

DSPLY  Program:         QGPL/TESTWHO

DSPLY  Module:          QGPL/WHO

DSPLY  Procedure:       TESTWHO

DSPLY  Statement ID:           108

DSPLY  Job ID:          TEA       HENRY     270803

DSPLY  Thread ID:       00000000000000BA

 

Now you have a high-performance utility that can answer the "Who am I?" question on behalf of any program or procedure.

 

There is also an OPM MI program whoami.emi, which follows the same rationale of procedure who_am_i and sends materialized information as informational messages to its caller's call message queue. For example, call program WHOAMI from the command line of the main menu, and you will get the following output:

 

3>> call whoami

    Program     QUICMD

    Library     QSYS

 

 

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

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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  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC GenericLet’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    Our panel of IBM i experts—Chuck Losinski, Robin Tatam, Richard Schoen, and Tom Huntington—will outline strategies that allow your company to cope with IBM i skills depletion by adopting these strategies that allow you to get the job done without deep expertise on the OS:
    - Automate IBM i processes
    - Use managed services to help fill the gaps
    - Secure the system against data loss and viruses
    The strategies you discover in this webinar will help you ensure that your system of record—your IBM i—continues to deliver a powerful business advantage, even as staff retires.

     

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

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

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC GenericIn this presentation, Alex Roytman and Liam Allan will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications. Learn how Agile Modernization:
    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

     

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

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

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

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

     

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

    SB Profound PPL 5491Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.

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

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.

    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).

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

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericYou must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data? Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts discuss:


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

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

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

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

    Download and watch today!

     

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

    SB Profound WC 5541Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love:

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

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

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

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

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIt’s time to develop a strategy that will help you meet your informational challenges head-on. Watch the webinar to learn how to set your IT department up for business intelligence success. You’ll learn how the right data access tool will help you:

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

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

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

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

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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhile introducing Sequel Data Access, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access, distribution trends, and more advanced query tools. Plus, you’ll learn how a tool like Sequel lightens IT’s load by:

    - Accessing real-time data, so you can make real-time decisions
    - Providing run-time prompts, so users can help themselves
    - Delivering instant results in Microsoft Excel and PDF, without the wait
    - Automating the query process with on-demand data, dashboards, and scheduled jobs

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhat happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    You don’t need to stick with status quo anymore.
    Watch the webinar to learn how to put effective document management into practice and:

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

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

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

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this 30-minute recorded webinar, our experts demonstrate how you can:

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

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericYou need to know when IBM i disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer. Our experts will show you how Robot Monitor can help you pinpoint exactly when your auxiliary storage starts to disappear and why, so you can start taking a proactive approach to disk monitoring and analysis. You’ll also get insight into:

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

     

     

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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericMany business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop re-keying data between IBM i and other applications? Or if you could stop replicating data and start processing orders faster? Or what if you could automatically extract data from existing reports instead of re-keying? It’s all possible. Watch this webinar to learn about:

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

    Plus, see how HelpSystems data automation software will help you stop re-keying data.

     

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

    SB_Profound_WC_GenericWhen it comes to IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition, there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

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

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

     

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

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericToo much paper is wasted. Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets.And distributing documents is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

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

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

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

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

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

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

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

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

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

     

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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.

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

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

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

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

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

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

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

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

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

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

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

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