Sidebar

CGI and PHP: Alternatives to WebSphere

Web Languages
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

This article is not an endorsement of one type of Web architecture or another. As always, such decisions are business decisions, and your mileage may vary. If you were to ask me what I think the theoretical "best" solution is, I would say that in most cases JSP Model II with an RPG back-end is the best, which falls squarely into the WebSphere camp (or Tomcat, or a number of other J2EE Web application servers). But if it is your responsibility to determine the best solution for your company, you should explore the other technologies available. I'll give you a little background of Web application design and then get right into the various methods for creating Web applications that don't involve WebSphere. Finally, I'll briefly compare the Java approach to the others.

Given the focus of this article, I'd like to introduce the iSeries Application Architecture Initiative (IAAI). This fledgling Web site was created to identify and compare various application strategies and to provide quantitative benchmarks of different technologies. The Web site is still in its infancy, but we're adding content daily and we'd love as much participation as possible.

Now, on to today's topics:

  • Static vs. dynamic content
  • Client-side vs. server-side
  • ColdFusion, ASP, and Domino
  • Common Gateway Interface (CGI)
  • Scripting languages
  • Servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSPs)

Static vs. Dynamic Content

At the highest level, there are two kinds of Web content: static and dynamic. At its simplest, static content is simply a bunch of HTML stored in a text document. Such static pages generally don't change from day to day, much less in reaction to user input, so they cannot be used for interactive Web applications. Dynamic content is more fluid. It usually combines static elements with other data, often read from a database or calculated by a program. Dynamic content can be as simple as displaying the current date and time or as complex as a full-blown order entry system.

The original Web was designed primarily for static content, and thus HTML is primarily an output-focused language. Its input capabilities are primitive, and its user interaction almost non-existent. Today's Web applications require much more. That's why various methods have been employed to interact with the user and generate content dynamically, and all but the simplest user interface will require some help in the form of JavaScript to be really useful.

Client-Side vs. Server-Side

Dynamic Web content can be further broken down into two primary categories. With server-side generation, a program running on the host generates some or all of the HTML, which is then transmitted to the browser. With a completely server-side architecture, only HTML is sent to the browser, which then renders it. With client-side generation, code runs inside the browser to generate the user interface.
Client-side generation can be accomplished with JavaScript, with applets, or on Windows machines with classical (pre-.NET) ActiveX components. Each of these techniques runs code on the client to generate the UI. While very powerful, these techniques are not the focus of today's article. Note also that client-side and server-side generation can be (and usually are) used together on the same Web page. In particular, server-side code can be used to generate JavaScript, which is then run on the client, creating a very powerful multi-tiered architecture.

The Proprietary Solutions: ColdFusion, ASP, and Domino

Before I get into the real subject of this article, I'd like to present the original players in this marketplace. Back in the mid-'90s, before CGI and scripting languages were common in the commercial marketplace, there were a few proprietary server-side scripting languages. These languages still exist, and while they may not be growing in popularity like the newcomers, they still have their adherents.

Each of these products requires special (read: expensive) server software on the Web host, and each has its own syntax. It's difficult to get hard figures on the number of sites using the various solutions, but it's likely that more sites use ASP than the other two because all you need to run ASP pages is an IIS server, and most Web hosting providers have IIS servers. (Not only that, but reliable sources tell me that it used to be pretty easy to get your hands on a bootleg copy of IIS.) ColdFusion, acquired by Macromedia from Allaire, was at one time the biggest player in the commercial marketplace; tens of thousands of sites use ColdFusion. Again, numbers are hard to come by, but ColdFusion is still a large presence in the corporate world, and while its syntax is definitely getting a bit long in the tooth, CF enthusiasts are passionate in their love of the language. If you simply count the number of installations, Domino is perhaps the least popular of the three, but its embrace of Java as a programming language and the acquisition of Lotus by IBM have probably added some life to an otherwise declining solution.

Now that I've covered the proprietary solutions, I'd like to turn to the "free" options.

CGI and Scripting

"Free" is a relative term, but in general these solutions do not require licenses other than those you already have for your machine. Even the most "expensive" solution based on entry cost, RPG CGI, is free for anybody who has an iSeries and a compiler.

So now we come to CGI and scripting languages. The CGI specification was developed in the mid-'90s to allow a Web server to invoke a program on the server to generate HTML dynamically. How the program operates is of no concern to the Web server, though there are two primary methods: calling compiled programs that generate HTML or calling interpreters that process scripts to generate HTML.

The difference between the two is pretty specific: A CGI program is a compiled program that generates all the HTML internally, while scripting language interpreters process additional script files to generate the HTML. CGI programs are written in compiled languages such as C or RPG, while scripting languages such as Perl and PHP pass through an interpreter. The line blurs a little bit with some of the advanced CGI techniques; compiled CGI programs may also read "templates," which are similar in nature to scripts. However, the processing of a template is typically still hard-coded in the CGI program, whereas the script language interpreters are entirely controlled by the scripts themselves.

For iSeries developers, the quickest way to the Web is probably RPG CGI . While RPG is not intrinsically well-suited for CGI programming, RPG CGI has one unassailable advantage over other methods: RPG programmers don't need to learn a new language. There are books on the subject (such as Brad Stone's e-RPG books), and there are free development tools available (such as the powerful CGIDEV2 library available from the Easy400 Web site or Bob Cozzi's original CGITOOLS service program). These tools provide wrappers around the somewhat-difficult-to-use APIs that are required to write CGI programs.

Programmers familiar with other platforms might try developing CGI programs in C or C++, but neither of these languages is particularly well-suited for CGI programming. Multi-purpose compiled languages simply don't do as well for Web development as scripting languages.

Scripting Languages

So why are scripting languages so good for CGI development? Primarily because HTML by its nature is a text-based environment. RPG deals with fixed data records very nicely, and C and C++ are best suited for low-level systems programming, dealing at the bit and byte level. But HTML is a stream-oriented protocol: The Web application server sends a stream of text to the browser, which interprets the stream and renders it into graphics. (You might think C is suited to streams, but really it's too low-level a language for all the repetitive work required for Web programming; you can see a good example of this at Jukka Korpela's Web site.)

Few compiled languages were particularly comfortable in the Web programming arena, but that didn't mean all was lost. A particular class of languages mostly deriving from the UNIX platform loves stream files. These "scripting languages" are designed to support the transformation of text files from one format to another and as such are better suited to Web design from the very start.

Now, when I say "scripting languages," I don't mean that such languages are only good for quick, one-time programs (although they certainly excel in that department). Instead, these languages share a few basic characteristics. They are interpreted, which means no compilation is needed--hence, a fast development cycle. They are designed for rapid development: You don't have to declare variable types or even declare the variables at all. And finally, these languages tend to have sophisticated built-in libraries for supporting basic functions like text and files, functions that typically require you to write your own support routines in the compiled languages. Some of the more sophisticated so-called "second generation" scripting languages have support for high-level Web development functions like HTTP communications.

General-Purpose Scripting Languages

There are probably dozens of different scripting languages. Many are general-purpose scripting languages that are often used in CGI development: Perl and Python are two of those. It's important to note that nearly any language can conceivably be used as a CGI programming language, especially in the UNIX environment. For example, a simple Bourne shell script can be used as a CGI program:

#!/bin/sh
echo "Content-type: text/html"
echo
echo ""
echo "

Welcome to Bourne Shell CGI!

"

echo " "
date
echo ""


Invoked as a CGI program, this program outputs a simple Web page that prints a hello message and the current time and date. Thus, it is clear that any language that outputs data can theoretically be used for Web page development. In reality, certain requirements, such as error handling or performance, rule out some of the languages from practical use, but it is important to note that "scripting language" does not mean "Web development language."

Some general-purpose languages are better than others for Web development. Perl is designed to process any type of data and generate reports, so it is well-suited to generating dynamic HTML. Python is another language that can be used for many purposes, and it has a number of functions in its built-in library that are designed specifically for Web programming.

Web-Specific Scripting Languages

The three commercial products I mentioned earlier in this article--ColdFusion, ASP, and Domino--are all scripting languages. Another commercial product (but free to iSeries developers) is Net.Data. And while Net.Data is perhaps losing ground to other IBM initiatives, it's still a powerful and easy-to-use language.

The difference between general-purpose languages and Web scripting languages is that the Web scripting languages tend to be a superset of HTML. Domino is a little different in that it has it's own concepts for just about everything, but the rest of the languages are really just HTML with macro extensions. Take a simple ColdFusion example:


Welcome to ColdFusion!





#today#


Note that, unlike the Bourne shell example earlier, this example includes no specific "print" statements to output the constant HTML tags. Typical scripting languages include some sort of special syntax that changes the mode from "output whatever is in the script" to "execute the special commands." In ColdFusion, they are tags that start with the letters "cf." PHP is slightly different:


Welcome to PHP!





The PHP code is contained within the "online tutorial.

Servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSPs)

So how do servlets and JSPs compare to these approaches? Well, by themselves, they really don't offer a lot of advantages. Servlets are essentially CGI programs written in Java. And while Java may have some superior string-handling capabilities, it's still a new language to learn, and you have the same problems as you have with other CGI programs in that you have to format all the HTML yourself. JSPs, on the other and, use what is really a Web-specific scripting language, although the "scripting" part is actually written in Java. So while it's a little easier to write the HTML for the page, you still have to know Java to add the dynamic content. Add to this the fact that both techniques require a Web application server and the J2EE techniques don't provide any real benefits other than portability.

This changes with the introduction of the JSP Model II architecture. Without spending a lot of time on the subject, the concept of JSP Model II is a true division of duties, where a servlet invokes a back-end processor to retrieve data and then sends that data to a JSP where it is formatted for display. This architecture promotes an n-tiered, multi-language approach that provides for excellent reuse and security. None of the CGI approaches provide this sort of separation naturally. The scripting languages in particular tend to encourage the use of embedded SQL statements in the UI layer, an architectural approach that has traditionally caused problems during maintenance.

So Which Is Better, CGI or J2EE?

This is really the big debate, and as I said at the beginning, it's a business decision. You need to weigh the pros and cons of the various approaches as they apply to your particular business environment. For example, one of the biggest issues with the J2EE technique is that you need a separate Web application server such as WebSphere or Tomcat. CGI programs only require your basic Apache HTTP server and maybe an Apache mod file for performance reasons. There's also the whole Java issue; many people just aren't prepared to learn Java. So if either of those is a sticking point in your decision-making process, you may want to stick with CGI, especially since the tools keep getting better. Not only that, but there are lots of resources out there, especially for the older, more established solutions. One good place to start is the CGI Resource Index.

This can be the deciding factor. If you can find an available open-source solution that comes close to meeting your needs, you may be able to reduce your development time significantly. And while the Java open-source community has a lot of great packages that help development, some of the other communities offer entire applications. I've introduced you to the various options; it's now your job to determine what best fits your business requirements.

Joe Pluta is the founder and chief architect of Pluta Brothers Design, Inc. He has been working in the field since the late 1970s and has made a career of extending the IBM midrange, starting back in the days of the IBM System/3. Joe has used WebSphere extensively, especially as the base for PSC/400, the only product that can move your legacy systems to the Web using simple green-screen commands. Joe is also the author of E-Deployment: The Fastest Path to the Web and Eclipse: Step by Step, with WDSC: Step by Step coming out this October. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Joe Pluta

Joe Pluta is the founder and chief architect of Pluta Brothers Design, Inc. He has been extending the IBM midrange since the days of the IBM System/3. Joe uses WebSphere extensively, especially as the base for PSC/400, the only product that can move your legacy systems to the Web using simple green-screen commands. He has written several books, including Developing Web 2.0 Applications with EGL for IBM i, E-Deployment: The Fastest Path to the Web, Eclipse: Step by Step, and WDSC: Step by Step. Joe performs onsite mentoring and speaks at user groups around the country. You can reach him at joepluta@plutabrothers.com.


MC Press books written by Joe Pluta available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Developing Web 2.0 Applications with EGL for IBM i Developing Web 2.0 Applications with EGL for IBM i
Joe Pluta introduces you to EGL Rich UI and IBM’s Rational Developer for the IBM i platform.
List Price $39.95

Now On Sale

WDSC: Step by Step WDSC: Step by Step
Discover incredibly powerful WDSC with this easy-to-understand yet thorough introduction.
List Price $74.95

Now On Sale

Eclipse: Step by Step Eclipse: Step by Step
Quickly get up to speed and productivity using Eclipse.
List Price $59.00

Now On Sale

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.