Sidebar

What? RPG IV a Better C Than C?

RPG
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times
Since the introduction of ILE with OS/400 V3R1, RPG has been gaining ground on C in flexibility of algorithmic expression, ability to interoperate in a mixed-language setting, and performance. With each software-focused release, RPG can been seen as at least running neck-and-neck with C. In some cases, RPG even surpasses C in language-enhancing features:

  • Separation of source compilation and module binding steps (providing linkage to other ILE languages)
  • Addition of built-in functions (BIFs), which provide continued language extension
  • Introduction of smaller bindable units with subprocedures (not limited to just program-level calls)
  • Comprehensive pointer manipulation support (two types of pointers: a generic data pointer and a procedure pointer)
  • Dynamic (runtime) memory allocation on free store
  • Data type support for short, regular, and long integers, both signed and unsigned; floats and doubles; pointers; and Java objects
  • Bit manipulation with XOR, AND, and OR BIFs (V5R2)
  • Abstract Data Type (ADT) support--like structs in C
  • Arguments passed to functions either by reference (lacking from C) or by value
  • Free-form language expression for program logic (calc specs), but data specifications remain fixed (which is fine since data must be structured to be usable)
  • Better interoperability with Java--raw Java Native Interface (JNI) required for C
  • Conditional compiler directives
  • Thread safety (same as C)
  • Language-dependent or -independent error handling


Those are just a few of the advantages ILE RPG IV (as of V5R2) added to the programmer's arsenal to combat the fluid nature of computing requirements in today's environment. And you must not forget that anything C can bind with, RPG can bind with as well. For example, before RPG had the capability to convert character data to numeric, you could use C's atoi() and atof() functions to accomplish that objective. On a recent project, I avoided completely rewriting a file editing application (a DBU-like utility) by replacing RPG I/O operations with equivalent C I/O functions. This was required because RPG does not provide the runtime null field support for program-described files (which is what you must do to achieve dynamic file maintenance in RPG) that can be accomplished in C. While this was not a trivial task, it was not difficult either. (Watch for a future MCMagOnline article entitled "How Could Life Be Better?" for an example of this.)

A Better View

By way of example, Figure 1 shows a functional code snippet that uses C's printf(), prototyped in [B], where you might have previously used the DSPLY opcode to list address information from two variables (var1 and var2 shown at [D]) created from the ADT address [A].

     h dftactgrp(*no) actgrp(*new) datfmt(*usa) bnddir('QC2LE') 

 [A] d address         ds
     d   name                        25a   inz('No Name')
     d   add1                        30a   inz('No address 1')
     d   add2                        30a   inz('No address 2')
     d   city                        15a   inz('No city')
     d   state                        2a   inz('NA')
     d   zip                         10u 0
     d   dob                           d

 [B] d printf          pr                  extproc('printf')
     d                                 *   value options(*string)
     d                                 *   value options(*string:*nopass)
     d                                 *   value options(*string:*nopass)
     d                               10u 0 value options(*nopass)

     d printf2         pr                  extproc('printf')
     d                                 *   value options(*string)
     d                               10u 0 value options(*nopass)

     d separator       s             30a   inz('* * * * * * * * * * * *')
 [C] d newline         c                   x'25'
     d index           s             10i 0
     d total_addresses...
     d                 s             10i 0

      *
      *----- Applied versions of ADT address
      *
 [D] d var1            ds                  likeds(address)
     d var2            ds                  likeds(address)

      /free
       monitor;

       var1.name = 'John Doe';
       var1.dob = %date('03/23/1977':*usa);
       var1.add1 = 'c/o Jane Doe';
       var1.add2 = 'Apt. 225';
       var1.city = 'Somewhere';
       var1.state= 'TX';
       var1.zip = 73533;
       total_addresses = total_addresses + 1;


       var2.name = 'Jane Doe';
       var2.dob = %date('12/09/1977':*usa);
       var2.add1 = '23 N. Lancaster';

       // following statement causes string error and branch to on-error
       // program resumes upon return with statement following the statement
       // which caused on-error to be called.

       %subst(var2.add2:index:30) = 'String index error';
       on-error 00100 : 00121;  // Traps string error where it occurs
                                // on-error here allows processing to
                                // continue

       var2.city = 'Somewhere Else';
       var2.state= 'TX';
       var2.zip = 77381;
       total_addresses = total_addresses + 1;

  [E]  printf('Name:    %s' + newline :var1.name);
       printf('Address: %s' + newline :var1.add1);
       printf('Address: %s' + newline :var1.add2);
       printf('City:    %s  State: %s  Zip: %d'
                        + newline
                        :var1.city
                        :var1.state
                        :var1.zip);
       printf('Date of birth: %s' + newline :%char(var1.dob));

       printf('%s' + newline :separator);

       printf('Name:    %s' + newline :var2.name);
       printf('Address: %s' + newline :var2.add1);
       printf('City:    %s  State: %s  Zip: %d'
                        + newline
                        :var2.city
                        :var2.state
                        :var2.zip);
       printf('Date of birth: %s' + newline :%char(var2.dob));

       printf('%s' + newline :separator);

       if ( var1.state = var2.state );
           printf('%s' + newline :'Hey, these guys +
                                   live in the same state!');
       endif;

 [F]   printf2('Total addresses listed: %d' + newline :total_addresses);

       on-error *all;   // This is like MONMSG CPF0000 with branch to
                        // end
           printf('%s' + newline :'Fatal error occurred. +
                                   Processing haulted!');
       endmon;

       *inlr = *on;
      /end-free

Figure 1: Use C's printf() where you might have previously used the DSPLY opcode.

Yet printf() is a better solution because you can format the output better than with DSPLY, and you can scroll to see previous output produced from using the printf statement. The printf function is defined in C as a variable-arguments function, which is indicated by the ellipses (...) shown in the following C prototype:

int      printf(const  char *, ...);


However, since RPG IV cannot define such a function, you can emulate this functionality by prototyping multiple versions of the printf function, all bound to the same C printf binary but with different prototype names. When creating your own prototypes for printf required by your application, the only requirement is that the first argument be defined as a pointer to a null-terminated string (referred as the format-string argument, i.e., containing format conversion identifiers like %s,%c,%d,%f, etc.). A list of these format conversion identifiers are shown in a table in the printf() documentation in the ILE C/C++ Run-Time Library Reference). Every argument following the first can be any valid data type defined in C (e.g., integer, float, double, etc.). This will accommodate most requirements for debugging your applications.

An example of this is shown in [B] of Figure 1 where the printf2 function takes an integer argument after the initial string argument to print the total number of addresses defined from the ADT address. This calculation immediately follows the ZIP code initialization for each address variable and is printed as the last and only output line printed by the printf2 prototyped variation of the printf C function as shown in [F] of Figure 1.

The Great Escape

The C shell output window is invoked to display the results of printf when the activation group is set to *new. You should be aware that since RPG does not invoke the C precompiler, escape sequence characters like ' ' (new line or linefeed), ' ' (tab), etc. are not translated to their equivalent hex values. (For a complete list of escape sequence characters, refer to Escape Sequences and Appendix A-AS/400 Control Characters in the ILE C Language Reference.) For this reason, the newline standalone variable shown in [C] was defined with a value of x'25' (x'15' if using *IFSIO) to enable a linefeed after outputting the results. You will need to do the same for any other escape sequence characters you wish to embed in the output. This is a small price to pay for the superior output achieved using printf(). Displaying the data in the variables (var1, var2) is a simple matter of using the identical qualifying dot (.) notation used in C to access structure data members as shown in [E] of Figure 1. The "%s" notation in the formatted output string is used to print the string data of var1.name and is a standard C formatter character.

Like DSPLY, the printf function can be handy for debugging your applications.

Note that even though Figure 1 presents the use of printf() in free-form expressions, you can also use it in fixed-form expressions with a CALLP. Note the similarities when all forms of the printf() are put together, as in Figure 2:

Fixed Form: Callp(e) printf('City: %s State: %s Zip: %d'
+ newline
:var1.city
:var1.state
:var1.zip)

Free Form: printf('City: %s State: %s Zip: %d'
+ newline
:var1.city
:var1.state
:var1.zip);


C equivalent: printf("City: %s State: %s Zip: %d "
,var2.city
,var2.state
,var2.zip);

Figure 2: You can use printf() in both free-form and fixed-form expressions.

Watch the Gotchas!

There are some noteworthy "gotchas" when mixing C with RPG:

  • A single character returned from a C function will be promoted (also called "widening") to an integer of 4 bytes versus the 1 byte expected. The value will be right-justified to appear in the last byte of the integer.
  • When a C function calls an RPG IV subprocedure that contains the %parms BIF (that normally seems to work fine when called by another RPG subprocedure), the value returned from that BIF is not what the programmer expects--the number of arguments passed in. The result is always -1 (meaning an error occurred) because RPG always passes a minimal operational descriptor to called functions, while languages like C do not by default, unless specifically directed to. Since the %parms BIF cannot determine the number of arguments passed to the RPGIV subprocedure, use the ILE CEE API CEETSTA instead to get the number of arguments passed to an RPG IV subprocedure when called from C (read the requirements and limitations of this API carefully; they will affect the manner in which arguments are passed and the order of argument definition in the called function).
  • Null-terminate strings passed to C functions and remove the null-termination character when a string is returned with the %str BIF.
  • Use the ALIGN keyword to align structures (or a pointer to a C structure) passed to a C function or returned when the _Packed keyword has been omitted from the structure definition (in the called C function) to ensure consistent boundary alignment between caller and called function.
  • Constant pointers (as in "char * const") are references (think of them as pointers to pointers) to pointer values, not the actual pointer value themselves. As such, they must be de-referenced before used as a based on value for a standalone variable or data structure. (See an example of how to do this in RPG IV in the upcoming article "How Could Life Be Better?")

 

Some of the Best Tools Are Found in Unlikely Places

If you are an RPG programmer in a shop with C programmers, you have undoubtedly had extensive debates regarding the advantages of C vs. RPG and concluded that it comes down to which language you are most comfortable with and what your corporate strategy is regarding the portability of source. However, if portability is not an issue and you need some features in the standard C library, they come free with OS/400 and you don't need the C compiler to use them. Yet to take advantage of this situation to its fullest benefit, it helps if you learn a few simple C basics to understand how to create the RPG prototypes you will need for the C functions you wish to use. (Unfortunately, IBM has not seen fit to include RPG prototypes in QSYSINC. I hope this changes in the future.) But note that as of V5R1, the C function prototypes previously available only with the licensing of the C language now have a new home in QSYSINC.

The more you use C functions in your daily application requirements, the more C you will learn by default. This could be advantageous if you later wish to learn C++ (or Java), another beautiful language (like RPG IV) that has also been dubbed "a better C than C."

Jim Barnes is a freelance writer and independent consultant working in Houston, Texas. Jim can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

References and Related Materials

ILE C for AS/400 Language Reference (SC09-2711-00)

ILE C/C++ Run-Time Library Reference (SC09-2715-00)

 

Jim D. Barnes is a freelance writer and Systems Engineer in Plano, Texas.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450Mobile 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.

    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!

  • 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.

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

    SB Maxava PPL 5476PRACTICAL 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 from Maxava today.

     

  • 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!

     

  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    HelpSystems

    This year marks the sixth edition of the popular IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, HelpSystems sets out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. Year over year, the survey has begun to reveal long-term trends that give insight into the future of this trusted technology.

    More than 500 IBM i users from around the globe participated in this year’s survey, and we’re so happy to share the results with you. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

    With so many organizations depending on AIX day to day, ensuring proper security and configuration is critical to ensure the safety of your environment. Don’t let common threats put your critical AIX servers at risk. Avoid simple mistakes and start to build a long-term plan with this AIX Security eCourse. Enroll today to get easy to follow instructions on topics like:

    • Removing extraneous files
    • Patching systems efficiently
    • Setting and validating permissions
    • Managing service considerations
    • Getting overall visibility into your networks

     

  • Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.

    Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    HelpSystemsIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • 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.

     

     

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

    Request your trial now!

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

    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.