Tuesday, 30 November 2010

RUMBA 8.1 Delivers Integration with MS Office

Published: November 30, 2010

by Alex Woodie

Micro Focus recently launched a new release of RUMBA, its terminal emulation suite that is used by many IBM i shops. The highlight of version 8.1 may be integration with Microsoft Office, which will allow users to easily move data from the emulator to Outlook or Word. Other notable features include FIPS 140-2 certification, a new screen and data capture system, GUI enhancements, and new developer tools. The vendor also launched Web-to-Host 6.1 and OnWeb 7.5.

For the last decade, two unmistakable computing trends have wound their ways through American corporations. The first concerns the "legacy" applications running on IBM iron that users access through green screens. Namely, lots of people don't like them, and want them replaced with things with Web interfaces. A second, related trend has played out on our desktops, where Microsoft maintains an excruciatingly profitable software monopoly with the Windows and Office juggernauts. Many people hate this, too, and think the future lies in accessing Web-based services from Linux desktops, or maybe the new iPad.

Since 2000, the writing on the wall has said that expensive, proprietary technology from IBM and Microsoft will lose, and inexpensive, open source technology from smaller and--let's just say it, nicer--companies will win. To a large extent, this is exactly what's happened. The AS/400 installed base is a fraction of its former self, while Microsoft struggles to remain relevant outside its niche.

However, while the AS/400 and the Office/Windows duo have lost market share and luster, neither product line has gone completely away, which undoubtedly confounds their critics. Perhaps the products are so ingrained in some organizations that removing them would be too painful. Or maybe, just maybe, there are still IT managers who resist the urge to change out information systems simply because somebody thinks they're just too old.

Which brings us to RUMBA version 8.1. Like peanut butter and chocolate, Micro Focus realizes that the AS/400---er, IBM i-based Power Systems server--and Microsoft Office just go better together. There's no sense in fighting it: Office is ubiquitous. It's everywhere. So instead of forcing users to flip back and forth between RUMBA sessions and Office apps, Micro Focus has figured out a way in RUMBA 8.1 to let users drive data from the emulator directly into Outlook, Word, and OneNote.

This capability to push data and transaction details from a RUMBA session into Outlook or Word will enable users to share information more easily than before. It will replace untraceable copy-and-paste-based business processes that spring up and increase productivity. And since it's centralized and monitored, this direct push of data into Office will lower security risks, Micro Focus says.

User productivity is a central theme of RUMBA 8.1, and another time-saver can be found in a new feature that allows users to capture historical data and recently used screens for later use. This enables several new capabilities, including: making recently viewed information available to users immediately; enabling users to search through recent transactions; and helping trainees to figure out the product quicker. Micro Focus also sees this feature being used to build issue-specific user profiles that offer instant access to background information or oft-used queries.

Micro Focus also touts the capability to customize RUMBA installs with this release. The company says version 8.1 features a new "tile and zoom" interface that spreads out RUMBA sessions across several windows (like Windows), as well as customizable toolbars, and an improved status bar. The vendor also supports the development of custom RUMBA programs with the Rumba Developer Edition, which features access to APIs and works with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and 2010.

Web Enhancements

The Web-based version of RUMBA, called Web-to-Host, has also been enhanced. Web-to-Host version 6.1 features support for double byte character sets (DBCS) that allows it to be adopted by more Asian users. Like RUMBA, its SSL/TLS- and SSH-based encryption mechanisms have been validated FIPS 140-2 compliant, enabling the software to be used by governmental agencies and contractors. And like RUMBA, Web-to-Host is certified to run on Windows 7 (or at least the browser running in Windows 7).

Micro Focus also rolled out a new release of OnWeb, its modernization tool that creates Web interfaces and Web services out of green screens. With OnWeb version 7.5, Micro Focus launched an Internet Information Server (IIS) plug-in that allows the OnWeb server to function as a component of Microsoft's IIS Web server. Retro users will appreciate the new command line tool that allows administrators to control OnWeb applications through the command line. Other improvements were made to the OnWeb APIs, the OnWeb Designer, and the OnWeb Builder.

This article was originally published at: http://www.itjungle.com

Monday, 29 November 2010

Three Easy Methods to Get Data From AS400 to Excel

By: John Andersen

One of the more commonly asked questions I see in forums and by end users is how do you get your data from the AS400 down to the PC in a text file format or as an Excel based spreadsheet. And fortunately with modern tools and software this is a very simple problem to solve. Now a days there are many different ways to tackle it depending on what exactly your needs are and what skill-set you or your users have.

First up you can roll your own tools. RPG and CL are a couple of the native programming languages for the platform and if you can write RPG and CL programs then you can really automate the whole data download process from the AS400 environment without any additional tools. You simply create a CL program that reads a spool file or an RPG program to query a database table and write that out to another temporary physical file that can be queried.

Manipulating a spool file this way has the advantage of breaking it apart into the appropriate fields from the source data. Once you have this information put together you can simply have the program email it. One very simply method of emailing from the AS400 is the SNDDST command. But SNDDST can be a bit of a pain to get working since it takes some configuring.

From a Windows based PC you have many many options to get at the data. To download a spool file you simply launch Operations Navigator, search through the output queues for the report you want to download and click and drag it to your desktop. The software automatically converts the spool file into plain text format and downloads it to your computer. Operations Navigator will also convert spool files into Adobe pdf format.

From here it's a very simple and straight forward process to import the plain text file directly into an Excel spreadsheet. You launch Excel and open the new file, excel will recognize the format and prompt you to add the column breaks. This method is so easy and straight forward it can even be done by end users with a little bit of training and over the shoulder help.

Now you can also query your AS400 directly from a Windows client using an ODBC or OLE driver to access the underlying database. This can be done using your favorite programming or scripting language of choice that can access ODBC, which should be just about all of them. Using this method you need to know how to construct an SQL statement that will be used to query the data set you need.

In fact using this method before I have created Perl scripts to query a specific set of information, in this case it was daily invoices using a date parameter. All the data was downloaded and dumped into a newly created spreadsheet and them subsequently emailed to a list of people. The whole thing was then automated every day by adding it into the task scheduler on the client system. And if I recall correctly this whole script was less than fifty lines of Perl code. How is that for quick and easy?

About the Author

John Andersen is an IT manager and creator of the Power System Jump Start course. Check out his Midrange Jump Start web site for more info on how to quickly and easily manage your AS400, iSeries or System i.

(ArticlesBase SC #2329226)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/ - Three Easy Methods to Get Data From AS400 to Excel

Friday, 26 November 2010

Generating a Random number on an iSeries in CL

This i have to admit is very very esoteric and even the iSeries Geeks out there may not be that interested however if you ever need to get a Random Number in CLP or RPG on an iSeries here is a way to do it.

Neither CLP nor RPG has a Pseudo Random Number generator built in, so we have to kludge it to get it to work. You can link the QLEMF C library and use the CERNAN0 api which is the method I found when I went and Googled it the other day.

The other way which I didnt find is to use the QSH shell to do it. This method generates a random number between 0 - 32767 inside the QSH shell env and then stores the result in a DTAARA so that the calling program can access the value, as there in no native way to return vars from QSH environment

02. Insert the following code into your PGM

CHGVAR VAR(&CMD) VALUE('print $RANDOM|datarea -lw MYRAND')

The Print $RANDOM generates the random number

The | separates the two commands

The datarea -lw MYRAND takes the random number and stores it in the DTAARA

This article was originally published at Domino-Yes-Maybe

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Getting Started With AS/400 Backups

One of the really nice features of the operating system built into the AS/400, iSeries and IBM i power system platform are the backup and recovery tools that are built right in. If you are used to using the backup programs on a Windows type platform and find that it stinks for recovery purposes, using the backup tools on the IBM will be a very welcomed relief because they work flawlessly.

When it comes to saving your data you have multiple options, many of which can be confusing. In fact on the save menu it lists over twenty different save options. For the less adventurous among us there is no need to actually try out all of those save operations since they are redundant. You will only really need one for your main backup purposes.

For a complete system backup of everything you will use what’s commonly referred to as a “go save 21.” What this does is ends all of the subsystems, so you must be signed onto the console, and backs up the entire system including user objects and the operating system to your tape device or other device. Once finished it then starts up the controlling subsystem and you are up and running once again.

By using the options within this save program you can set it up to use features like the system reply list to answer any inquiry messages that may pop up, so you can virtually set the thing on auto pilot saving you from having to stand around for hours on end watching the screen go by.

Of course this is a point in time backup method, meaning it’s only good for restoring when you last ran it. Now unless you want to be running a full system save each and every day (which would be time consuming and unnecessary) then there are other options available so save specific sets of data objects and or libraries.

Typically your third party software package, ERP, EDI and so forth will come with some sort of utility or set of routines for getting custom data and program libraries and objects backed up onto a tape drive.

If they have no such program then check with the vendors support on what libraries and objects need to be backed up and then craft your very own backup program using CL and a combination of SAVLIB and SAVOBJ commands. You can kick off this program using the job scheduler.

One thing to note is that these save commands won’t save the data if users are actively using those objects. So at a minimum you need to boot the users off the system to remove any object and record locks preventing a backup from occurring.

Alternatively if getting folks to sign off is problematic then simply ending the QINTER and QSERVER subsystems is a good method of cutting off access entirely. But if you choose to do it this way then it may be a good idea to create your own administrative interactive subsystem to log in and start everything back up should your custom backup routine fail.

Important NoticeDISCLAIMER: All information, content, and data in this article are sole opinions and/or findings of the individual user or organization that registered and submitted this article at Isnare.com without any fee. The article is strictly for educational or entertainment purposes only and should not be used in any way, implemented or applied without consultation from a professional. We at Isnare.com do not, in anyway, contribute or include our own findings, facts and opinions in any articles presented in this site. Publishing this article does not constitute Isnare.com's support or sponsorship for this article. Isnare.com is an article publishing service. Please read our Terms of Service for more information.

Be sure to check out John Andersen’s Power System Jump Start Training and discover how to simplify your AS/400, iSeries and IBM i power system backup routines.

Friday, 19 November 2010

iDevCloud to Provide Online Playground for IBM i Developers

by Alex Woodie

In an ideal world, every IBM i shop would have its own dedicated development box. But as IT budgets shrink, it's hard enough to get management to update the production server, let alone provide a playground for developers to experiment with new tools and technologies. But now that www.idevcloud.com is nearing completion, IBM i developers will soon have a place to try out the latest RPG, PHP, and Java tools against a live System i machine, for a very reasonable fee.

In the next few days or weeks, you will be able to go to www.idevcloud.com and sign up to get access to a range of IBM and Zend development tools and compilers, as well as a System i Model 525 server running i5/OS V5R4 and IBM i 6.1 and 7.1 to run against. The library of tools available to iDevCloud subscribers will include:

  • the Eclipse-based Rational Developer for Power Systems Software (formerly RDi and WDSC)
  • Rational Development Studio for i compilers
  • Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Java tools
  • Rational Team Concert for Power change management system
  • HATS
  • Rational Open Access: RPG Edition
  • System i Navigator
  • Zend Technology's flagship Zend Server 5.0 for IBM i development environment
  • and everything else IBM makes available through its Academic Initiative.

The cost for the service will start at about $50 per month, which gets the subscriber basic access in a shared library. For $150, a subscriber can get SECOFR authority in his or her very own LPAR. Users will be able to download the tools of their choice from a secured website, and access the System i server over the Internet.

iDevCloud is the brainchild of Jim Oberholtzer, CEO of Agile Technology Architects and a COMMON board member, and Larry Bolhuis (AKA Dr. Franken), the principle of Frankeni Technology Consulting, who is renown for bringing bizarre and fantastic midrange creations to life. The idea spun out of the duo's work with iEngineer, a group of active System i professionals.

"The intent of iDevCloud is to provide a playpen for i developers to do what they want to do," Oberholtzer told IT Jungle last week. "If you happen to work for a bank or a financial institution or another organization that has relatively heavy security restrictions, they can't, by definition, just let you go out and let you play. And not everybody has an AS/400, iSeries, or System i sitting at home."

The focus of iDevCloud is on education and training. People who want to bolster their RPG skills or try a little bit of Java or PHP can do so in a controlled environment, against a live System i server. "If you're producing education for the i community, then the service is available to you as well," Oberholtzer said. "Those folks find it hard to afford a machine and keep it current."

There are restrictions. iDevCloud is not to be used to build or run commercial applications; a fully paid license to the IBM or Zend software would be required in that case. Subscribers can use iDevCloud as a springboard for becoming an ISV, but they must license their own copies of the software before doing any actual commercial development.

Third-party vendors will also be able to play on the iDevCloud. Oberholtzer is in talks with some utility vendors to make their wares available on the cloud, which will make the experience more rich and rewarding for subscribers, he says.

The iDevCloud is functionally ready to begin business today. Subscribers are beginning to access the Model 525 at iEngineer's office in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The only work really left to do is to update the front-end www.idevcloud.com website to begin taking orders.

It's early, but hopes are high for iDevCloud. Oberholtzer and company would like to buy a new POWER 7 machine at some point. And, depending on how things go, the business could morph into a production cloud utility. "Ultimately that's where I hope to go," Oberholtzer says. "Realistically, that has a lot to do with IBM's licensing model, which is really the roadblock."

Everybody in the Power System and System i community knows that IBM i would make a great cloud platform. iDevCloud isn't the IBM i community's first foray into cloud computing. Just look at i365's online backup service or Kisco's integration to Amazon's S3 cloud or Infor's new approach to surround IBM i-based ERP products with Windows apps running on Microsoft's Azure cloud.

IBM may yet tackle the licensing barriers that are preventing the IBM i platform from flourishing as a cloud platform (and hopefully will do so sooner rather than later). In the meantime, iDevCloud's bottom-up approach--where individual programmers are offered access to shared IBM i development resources for a nominal fee--certainly sounds like the start of something good.

This interesting article was originally published at ITJungle.com

Thursday, 18 November 2010

How to Effectively Manage AS/400 Users and Passwords

When it comes to maintaining user level security on your AS/400, iSeries and IBM i power system, there are a bunch of overlooked system values that help to define and configure almost every aspect from the initial startup sequence and resources and yes even enforcement of passwords. And when it comes to managing your users for the maximum level of security there are a few system values that you should be aware of.

First of all is the QINACTITV which specifies in minutes how long an interactive sessions can sit idly before some sort of action if performed. You set this system value to a duration of minutes, typically around 60 minutes or more which can accommodate people taking lunch without losing their work. If you are setting this value you will also need to use the QINACTMSGQ value counterpart.

There are two things setting the inactive timeout setting can accomplish. First if you are concerned about securing regular dumb terminals when someone walks away for any length of time and they may have sensitive information displayed on the screen this can help put a stop that that.

This setting can also help secure things by closing out sessions that folks have left sign in to and then gone home for the day. Especially if you need to run some sort of day close process that requires everyone be off the system the sessions will have timed out so you don’t have to guess if someone is still working or not and save a few phone calls.

Now if your network is running a mix of Windows based workstations using QINACTITV is a moot point since they can be configured to do the same thing by locking the workstation itself without ending the users green screen session. This can be a better route so if a user walks away in the middle of entering in information and the job is ended it can cause issues with data integrity.

Next up is securing the users passwords and password standards. Good security practices will requires that users rotate out passwords every so often, usually a time span of one to three months. By using the QPWDEXPITV system value you can configure how often passwords will expire and be forced to change. You can also force a password to expire manually by working with a user profile with the CHGUSRPRF command and setting the password expire field to yes.

Lastly you may want to incorporate password rules that will force users to create more secure passwords that use a combination of special characters, numbers and so on. To do so you can use the QPWDRQDDGT and QPWDMINLEN system value to enforce that a numeric character be added to the password and that they have a minimum length of at least eight characters. You should also set the QPWDRQDDIF value to prevent users from reusing the same password over and over.

Of course there is a tradeoff to the password enforcement rules available on the AS/400, iSeries and IBM i platform. You can force users to create extremely secure passwords by using various security system values to restrict characters, digits, and requiring numeric but this will almost certainly increase the number of people calling you up for help because it can be confusing.

Important NoticeDISCLAIMER: All information, content, and data in this article are sole opinions and/or findings of the individual user or organization that registered and submitted this article at Isnare.com without any fee. The article is strictly for educational or entertainment purposes only and should not be used in any way, implemented or applied without consultation from a professional. We at Isnare.com do not, in anyway, contribute or include our own findings, facts and opinions in any articles presented in this site. Publishing this article does not constitute Isnare.com's support or sponsorship for this article. Isnare.com is an article publishing service. Please read our Terms of Service for more information.

Claim your copy of John Andersen's step by step training program and discover you how to quickly master essential AS/400, iSeries and IBM i power system operations at AS/400 Training Course.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Ebook AS400 RPG

Troverete molti libri interessanti ed utili su RPG da questo link:

==> Khup.com

AS400 RPG Ebooks

You will find many useful ebooks on RPG from the following link:

==> Khup.com

RPG-Alive - Useful Tool for System i

Leading the way in RPG Editing and Analysis...

Speeds up the development of iSeries-AS400 applications!
Aids in comprehending and modifying application source code!

Saves you time and money!


For more information visit: RPG-Alive

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Introduction to Rich Internet Apps on the IBM i

I found an interesting video on the subject. You can see it below:

Monday, 8 November 2010

EnterpriseDB Announces Support for PostgreSQL 9.0

EnterpriseDB, which provides products, services, support and training based on the PostgreSQL open source database project, has announced support for the newly released PostgreSQL 9.0 open source relational database.

PostgreSQL 9.0 includes more than a dozen major improvements that enhance every aspect of database application design and performance, including built-in replication and hot standby capabilities that give PostgreSQL 9.0 the high availability required for the "scale out" and failover architectures that characterize cloud computing and other demanding application environments, as well as 64-bit Windows support. The new release also simplifies major upgrades by removing the need for the "dump/load data" procedure required in prior versions and instead performs an in-place upgrade, which is much easier and faster.

The streaming replication that is in 9.0 is going to be very welcome to EnterpriseDB customers, says Robin Schumacher, director of product strategy at EnterpriseDB. "The EnterpriseDB customers that I have spoken to are all eager to upgrade to get to that. Postgres has had third-party contributors that have brought along replication solutions but now it has built-in streaming replication." A close second in terms of the most sought-after new capability is the “hot warm standby” feature which gives database administrators more capabilities in terms of the area of data protection and "being able to easily set up and configure a hot warm standby that is able to take over in the event of a failure on the actual primary database server."

Additionally, he notes, for EnterpriseDB customers, another key feature in the new Postgres release is the in-place upgrade capability. One of the most stressful things that a database administrator does is upgrade software, says Schumacher. Especially if they have to dump the data, install the new software, and reload the data, there is always fear that it is going to be an error-prone process and they are going to have issues, he notes. The in-place upgrade capability streamlines and simplifies the upgrading of the software. “For some of the customers that I have spoken to, that is one of the first things that they point to in the new release, even more so than the streaming replication in some cases."

Additional PostgreSQL 9.0 improvements are detailed on the PostgreSQL community site. EnterpriseDB customers and PostgreSQL community members can immediately benefit from EnterpriseDB's one-click installer for PostgreSQL 9.0

This article was originally published by TheIBMLinuxLine. Newsletter
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Thursday, 4 November 2010

Web Services in Native RPG

In simplistic terms, RPG-XML Suite essentially is an RPG service program that allows RPG programmers the ability to compose, transmit, and parse XML along with many other supporting subprocedures. These three capabilities fully equip an RPG programmer to offer (or provide) web services on the iSeries as well as call (or consume) web services on remote machines.

Calling Web Services with RPG-XML Suite

The illustration below demonstrates how an RPG program on your iSeries can "call" a web service that resides on another machine. The RPG program composes and passes an XML stream from the remote web service on the Server/Client and receives back the response XML which it parses for its data contents. For example, the RPG program could send an XML invoice to a business partner to automate the billing process, or a purchase order could be sent to a supplier to automate the shipping of widgets to your company.

Remote Web Services Calling RPG-XML Suite

The illustration below demonstrates RPG-XML Suite playing the opposite role. In this case, the Server/Client calls RPG-XML Suite by passing an XML request. The RPG Web Service running under Apache receives and parses the XML. Once the RPG Web Service program makes the data from the XML document available, other RPG business logic can be called or simply store the information to the DB2/400 database. The RPG Web Service program can then compose an XML response and return it to the caller (Server/Client).

For another example - a CRM application might reside on another machine (i.e. Salesforce.com) and is used by sales personnel to add new accounts. That application could send the newly created account information to the RPG Web Service which would write it to the appropriate DB2 database for future order fulfillment purposes.

RPG-XML Suite was built by RPG developers who have lived through creating web services in RPG and Java without a well-packaged toolset. There are a handful of alternatives that will allow RPG to connect to the outside world (like front-ending it with a Java web service), but those alternatives require the introduction of a new programming language into your environment, which can be very costly and labor intensive.

RPG-XML Suite is the right choice and proven alternative to move your iSeries into the Service Oriented Architecture arena.

Download your free trial today! Why Not Websphere?

You can read more on RPG-XML at: http://www.rpg-xml.com/

Modernize Dated Green Screen Programs with BCD's Presto

You have a lot invested in your IBM i and in your green screen programs. Use Presto to extract even more value from them.

Satisfy users with an instant Web GUI

Presto instantly transforms all your RPG and COBOL programs and IBM i screens into modern looking web pages that are more accepted by users. You save time by not having to make any changes to your RPG, COBOL or DDS code. Your web enabled screens are accessed via a browser which makes them easier for your users, clients and management to access and use. It's also easier for you to deploy as there is NO PC software to install to make Presto work.

Extend the functionality of your 5250 programs

You can then further increase user productivity and add new modern functionality to your applications by customizing your web-enabled screens. With the Presto Visual Editor and by having full access to the HTML code you can have more intuitive navigation and better data entry with features such as clickable links and drop down lists.

The possibilities are endless

You can also add JavaScript including jQuery or ExtJS to make your screens even more sophisticated. Using AJAX and SOA technology you can call other web programs including WebSmart PHP and ILE programs to incorporate new data or features into your application. For example, a dropdown box of available shipping rates to a zip code by loading the information from a SOA interface to an external web server such as UPS, or adding file upload, email and xls capabilities.

Start getting more out of your IBM i investment today!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

From DDS to SQL: How to fully exploit DB2 on i and hone your SQL skills

Improve DDS with SQL?!?! If your database is still DDS-generated, you could be missing out on important functionality and performance gains. In this webcast, IBM's Mike Cain explains why modernizing most legacy databases with SQL can bring significant benefits to your company--and to you. He describes why SQL has become the IBM i standard for defining and accessing database objects, and how you can transform your DB2 for i objects incrementally without impacting your existing applications.

Mike is joined by Resolution's Karen Sedlar, who will show how new IBM i-based tooling can significantly reduce the time and effort involved in database modernization, plus shield users from the complexities of SQL and help hone their SQL skills. She'll demonstrate how you can:

  • Quickly scope your modernization project
  • Automate the IBM-recommended modernization process to reduce risk and errors
  • Transform your database in manageable bits
  • Preserve your existing applications -- without even recompiling
  • Maintain your new SQL database using a true modeling environment

Register today to learn how you can use SQL to fully leverage DB2 on i.

Register today!

This news has been received from SystemiNetwork@tech.pentontech.com
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