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V7's RPG Enhancements Include Open Access!

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Other enhancements include extended capabilities for sorting and searching arrays, a new "mailmerge" scan-and-replace function, the ability to use the database's long names, and relaxed prototyping requirements.

 

So did the Easter Bunny bring plenty of RPG goodies in his basket this year? You betcha. There's a lot to like in this new release, but perhaps more importantly, IBM has delivered on the promise of starting to open up the language to allow others to participate in its evolution. Back in the fall of 2009, IBM began dropping hints about an upcoming feature for RPG that they referred to as Open I/O. Subsequently, the name was changed to Open Access (OA) or, formally, Rational Open Access: RPG Edition. One might conclude from this name that perhaps IBM intends to offer the same capabilities for COBOL in the future, but so far there has been no statement to that effect.

 

So what exactly is OA? Simply put, it allows programmers to increase the range of devices directly supported by the RPG language. With this feature, you can now use conventional op-codes such as READ, WRITE, CHAIN, and EXFMT to interface with devices such as browsers, Web services, mobile phones, and more. While you can certainly write your own drivers to take advantage of this feature, it is clear that IBM is targeting this capability at third-party software vendors and open-source providers. They can now integrate their offerings into the RPG language in ways that were previously difficult if not impossible.

 

Describing the complete mechanics of OA is beyond the scope of this short review, but we will talk a little more about it and our hopes for how it will be used at the end of this piece.

Time to Look into the Basket

For now, though, let's look at some of the other goodies the bunny delivered.

 

For us, the big hitters are expanded capability for sorting and searching arrays, a new "mailmerge" scan-and-replace function, the ability to use the database's long names, and relaxed prototyping requirements. We'll begin with the sort and search enhancements.

 

With the advent of V5R2, it became possible to define data structure arrays (i.e., with a DIM keyword) at the DS level. But at the time, IBM did not provide any means by which such arrays could effectively be sorted. To do that, you had to use the qsort function. That shortcoming is removed in V7, and you can now sort on any subfield in the array. For example, given the following DS array, I can perform a sort on qtyInStock, totalSales, or any of the other fields in the DS.

 

     D products1       DS                  Dim(999) Qualified

     D   productCode                  5a

     D   description                 40a   Varying

     D   totalSales                   9p 2

     D   qtyInStock                   5p 0

 

      /Free

 

       SortA products1(*).totalSales;

     

       SortA products1(*).description;

 

In the first example, the DS array is sequenced on the totalSales values, and in the second, the description.

 

Another nice addition to the SortA repertoire is that you can now specify whether the sort is to be in ascending or descending sequence. Previously, this was determined by the ASCEND or DESCEND keyword on the array definition, and SortA used the defined sequence, which of course meant that without playing games (remapping the array via pointers, etc.), any given array could only ever be in ascending or descending order. Now, you can use the op-code extenders (A) and (D) to specify the sequence in which the array is sorted. For example:

 

SortA(A) products1(*).totalSales; // Sort ascending sequence

     

SortA(D) products1(*).description; // Sort descending sequence

 

Even nested arrays can be sorted, as shown in the example below. Just as in the earlier example, the actual array to be sorted is identified by an asterisk (*) in the subscript position. The field name that follows identifies the field within the array on which it is sorted. In this example, the inner array containing the monthly sales values is sorted into ascending sequence, and then the outer array (i.e., products) is sorted into product code sequence.

 

D products2       DS                  Dim(999) Qualified

D   productCode                  5a

D   description                 40a   Varying

D   salesByMonth                      LikeDS(salesByMonth)

D                                     Dim(12)

D   qtyInStock                   5p 0

    

D salesByMonth    DS                 

D   monthNumber                  3p 0

D   sales                        9p 2

       

D i               S              5i 0

    

 /Free

     

  // Sort each entry in turn into sales value sequence

  For i = 1 to %elem(products2);

    SortA products2(i).salesByMonth(*).sales;

  EndFor;

     

  // Once individual entries have been sorted into sales value

  //   sequence sort the whole array into product code sequence

  SortA products2(*).productCode;

 

New and Enhanced BIFs

Of course to be truly useful, any enhancement in sorting needs to be matched with corresponding advances in searching, and the RPG developers haven't let us down.

 

The %LOOKUP BIF has been enhanced to allow for searching at any level within DS arrays. For example, to search for the product code '12345' in the above products2 array, we could code this:

 

  entry = %LookUp( '12345': products2(*).productCode);

 

As with SortA, the asterisk is used to indicate the array level at which to operate.

 

The new BIF %SCANRPL fills a gap in the RPG BIFs set by combining the functionality of %SCAN and %REPLACE to provide a simple mechanism for text replacement. Suppose you have a variable (baseText) that contains the characters "Dear &name, you are the winner of an all-expenses-paid vacation. In order to claim your prize, &name, you must..." The RPG code shown below will result in all occurrences of the string '&name' being replaced by the content of the variable suckersName. If the variable contained "Alexander," the resulting string would be "Dear Alexander, you are the winner of an all-expenses-paid vacation. In order to claim your prize, Alexander, you must..."

 

  newText = %ScanRpl('&name': suckersName: baseText);

 

I think you'll agree that this is a lot easier than coding a For loop by hand and using %SCAN and %REPLACE for each occurrence of the target string!

 

%LEN now offers an additional option that may make your coding for variable-length fields a little simpler. You can specify *MAX as the second parameter to %LEN to retrieve the maximum number of characters that can be stored in the specified variable-length field. Without *MAX, the BIF will return the actual length of the field's content, as it does today. It's much simpler to determine the maximum capacity by coding %Len(myVaryingField: *Max) than to have to determine whether the field has a two- or four-byte length and then derive the capacity by subtracting that number from the length given by %Size(myVaryingField). Not to mention having to divide by 2 in the case of UCS-2 fields!

New Options for Subprocedures

There are two major changes in this arena. The first is a long-awaited relaxation in the compiler's rules regarding prototypes. Until now, any procedure that was going to be defined and/or called within a module had to have a prototype. That is no longer the case.

 

This is really good news for those of you who use internal subprocedures extensively. Now you need only code the procedure interfaces for your internal subprocedures. There's no need to code the matching prototypes; the compiler will be quite happy. That brings the amount of work involved in creating a new subprocedure closer to the level needed for a subroutine, thereby removing yet one more of the perceived barriers to adoption of this "new" technology. We put "new" in quotes because, despite having been around since V3R2, subprocedures are still not as widely used as they should be.

 

The second change is good news for those of you who would like to use large return values (e.g., a large record set) but have found the performance penalty to be too great. You can now code large return values with impunity as long as you include the new keyword RTNPARM on the subprocedure's PR and PI definitions.

 

When you use this option, under the covers, the return value is handled as an additional parameter. In fact, its pointer will be passed as the first parameter to the subprocedure. Of course, this means that while the change is largely transparent to your code, what was parameter 1 is now parameter 2, etc. So if you add this keyword to an existing subprocedure that uses optional parameters (i.e., Options(*NoPass)), you will have to adjust the values that you test for with %Parms. In fact, IBM recommends that you consider using the new BIF %PARMNUM when determining the number of parameters passed. %PARMNUM(parmName) will return the ordinal number in the parameter list of the parameter in question. So if you referenced the first parameter, it would return 2 if RTNPARM were in effect and 1 otherwise. By combining %Parms with this value, you have a bulletproof method of testing for optional parameters that will also survive most changes in the parameter list. For example:

 

  // Check if optional parameter supplied

  If %Parms >= %ParmNum(optionalParm1);

 

This will continue to work even if RTNPARM is added to the subprocedure definition. Had a simple test of %Parms been used, you would have to examine the code to determine which constants/literals needed to be changed when RTNPARM was added.

Alias Names

For many, many years (going all the way back to the System/38), the database has supported the use of longer alias names as an alternative to the cryptic 10-character names that we normally use. Indeed, many COBOL shops have taken advantage of them. Usage of alias names increased with the advent and growth in popularity of SQL, and more recently, the arrival of the MySQL DB2 Storage Engine added to the growth in usage. But during all this time, RPGers were locked out of using these longer names because the language was tied to the old I- and O-specs and their limited field names.

 

When result field I/O was first introduced for externally described files (back in the V5R2 timeframe), we commented that this might herald the arrival of alias names into RPG. Well, it has taken a few releases, but it's finally here. As of V7.1, you can specify the ALIAS keyword on the F-spec of any file for which no I- or O-specs will be generated—that is, any file that is specified as QUALIFIED or that is defined within a subprocedure. Not only will the alias names be used for the fields from such files, but they will also be used for any DS described with LIKEREC. Similarly, when defining an externally described DS, the ALIAS keyword can be specified, and the compiler will use the longer alias names rather than the normal short names. In cases where the alias name does not meet RPG naming standards, the compiler reverts to using the short name. This would happen, for example, when the alias name is in mixed case and in quotes (e.g., "longMixedCaseName"). And for those of you who think you can't do that…oh yes, you can!

Other Bits and Pieces

Before we talk about Open Access, we should mention a couple of other features. These are also important but are generally of interest to a smaller percentage of the RPG community than those we have discussed so far.

 

The first is the ability to encrypt the listing debug view. This allows you to distribute debuggable programs without the fear that the source can be compromised. This functionality is of interest mainly to ISVs, but we also know a number of customers who would benefit from it. As security standards are tightened, we expect this feature to become increasingly important even for those who for other reasons do not put debuggable code into a production environment. The feature is enabled by specifying the DBGENCKEY keyword on the compile command. The listing view will be encrypted using the specified key, and in a subsequent debug session, the source will be visible only if that key is entered.

 

The second is that RPG is now fully teraspace-capable—useful if you are working with large amounts of dynamically allocated storage or if you simply need amounts of automatic storage that exceed the standard limits. This capability is controlled by the new compile keyword STGMDL (which can also be specified in the H-spec). In addition to being able to define that the module uses the teraspace memory model, you can alternatively specify that it inherits the storage model of whoever calls it. As you might expect, the memory-management operations (%Alloc, %Realloc, etc.) have been enhanced to enable teraspace storage requests to be made. The type of storage that these routines work with is now controlled by the keyword ALLOC, and you can request the traditional storage model (*SNGLVL), the teraspace model (*TERASPACE), or whichever model has been inherited (*STGMDL).

 

There may be other features that we have missed, but this is the list as we see it today.

Last But Not Least: Open Access

There has been much speculation about this new feature since it was first hinted at by Ian Jarman at the RPG and DB2 Summit in October of 2009. But only now are the full details becoming available.

 

Before we talk about the technical aspects of how this all works, let's take a quick look at how you might specify the use of an OA handler that allows "Display File" processing to actually control a browser.

 

FDspFile   CF   E             WORKSTN

F                                                             Handler('OASRVPGM(WebHandler)')

 

Notice the new HANDLER keyword. It can identify a service program subprocedure, as it does in this example, or a program. Apart from the simple keyword, there is nothing specific that you have to do. The "heavy lifting" involved in mapping EXFMT/READ/WRITE etc. operations to the browser are the responsibility of the handler. From your perspective, nothing else changes. Of course, the writer of the driver may have introduced a few additional requirements (for example, that a new record format be used to supply information that would not have been required of the 5250), but all of the required actions will simply use conventional RPG I/O operations.

 

In some respects, OA has some similarities with the facilities provided by SPECIAL files, but it goes beyond what SPECIAL files offered. In particular, OA can be used with any RPG file type. SPECIAL files were limited to sequential files. In addition, SPECIAL files received minimal information about the file operation being requested. It was therefore difficult to write generic SPECIAL file routines. OA is a completely new architecture that will undoubtedly evolve over time. SPECIAL files were stuck in the past, and their architecture made it difficult to extend their capabilities.

 

Open Access in fact provides two interface methods. The first is the closest to that used by special files in that it simply passes data between the RPG program and the user-supplied handler as data structures. The second provides not only the actual data but also a full description of each field in the record, including its length, data type, and usage. This makes writing generic handlers much simpler. The handler sets the type of interface it wants to use at the time the file is opened.

What Can It Be Used For?

The sky is the limit really. Of course, the ones that will initially grab the headlines will be handlers that provide a browser interface to replace 5250 output. We have already been lucky enough to see a demonstration of this capability from one of the ISVs that has been working with IBM. To say that we were impressed is to put it mildly. They have gone far beyond what we expected to see at this early stage. But beyond the browser, there are many other possibilities. What about generating an Excel spreadsheet by simply WRITEing to a "Printer" file? Or accessing random elements within an XML document by using CHAIN? What about sending an email by "printing" to the appropriate handler? How about obtaining parcel-tracking information from a courier's Web service by using a CHAIN with the tracking number as the key to retrieve the tracking data? We could go on and on, but we think you get the point.

Beyond the Release Announcement

Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, IBM will run some form of joint announcement with the ISVs participating in the program so that we can all get to see just what is in store for us. Of course, OA is a natural for open-source providers too, so perhaps folks like Scott Klement, Aaron Bartell, or Giovanni Perotti will step up with new offerings that exploit OA. Time will tell. And here's some really good news: OA will be available not just on V7.1, but also on V6.

 

Once the dust settles a little, look for articles on how to write your own handlers. There is such a lot you can do with them. Those of you who enjoy using modern programming techniques but just cannot convince the RPG IIIers in the shop to join in may find that this allows you to provide them with an interface that is so easy to use that they just can't refuse.

So Much to Be Excited About

Hopefully, we've given you enough here to get you excited by the features that V7 brings. For sure, it's going to be an interesting few months as the community wakes up to what can be done with the new OA feature. Many new and updated products will be appearing in the market, all of which can only be good for our favorite platform and language. We could use a little excitement!

 

One final point: Although at the time of writing we do not know the final position, we understand that it is Rational's intent to charge a fee for the additional runtime support that underlies Open Access. It has been suggested that the fee will be moderate, but we're going to have to wait and see if Rational's idea of "moderate" reconciles with ours.

 

Jon Paris and Susan Gantner

Jon Paris's IBM midrange career started when he fell in love with the System/38 while working as a consultant. This love affair ultimately led him to joining IBM.

 

In 1987, Jon was hired by the IBM Toronto Laboratory to work on the S/36 and S/38 COBOL compilers. Subsequently, Jon became involved with the AS/400 and in particular COBOL/400.

 

In early 1989, Jon was transferred to the Languages Architecture and Planning Group, with particular responsibility for the COBOL and RPG languages. There, he played a major role in the definition of the new RPG IV language and in promoting its use with IBM Business Partners and users. He was also heavily involved in producing educational and other support materials and services related to other AS/400 programming languages and development tools, such as CODE/400 and VisualAge for RPG.

 

Jon left IBM in 1998 to focus on developing and delivering education focused on enhancing AS/400 and iSeries application development skills.

 

Susan Gantner's career has spanned over 30 years in the field of application development. She began as a programmer, developing applications for corporations in Atlanta, Georgia, and working with a variety of hardware and software platforms. She joined IBM in 1985 and quickly developed a close association with the Rochester laboratory during the development of the AS/400 system. She worked in Rochester, Minnesota, for five years in the AS/400 Technical Support Center. She later moved to the IBM Toronto Software Laboratory to provide technical support for programming languages and AD tools on the AS/400 and iSeries.

 

Susan left IBM in 1999 to devote more time to teaching and consulting. She co-authored one of the most popular System i Redbooks ever, Who Knew You Could Do That with RPG IV? She and partner Jon Paris make up Partner400, a consulting company focused on education and mentoring services related to application modernization. Susan is also part of System i Developer, a consortium of top educators on System i technology who produce the RPG & DB2 Summit events. Its members include Jon Paris, Paul Tuohy, Skip Marchesani, and Susan Gantner.

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    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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  • 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.