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Access Control – RBAC & ABAC

by Graham Williamson May 04, 2017 0 Comments

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Identity Management Provisioning and Workflow – A core competence

by Graham Williamson April 13, 2017 0 Comments

Identity provisioning, with an approval workflow, is a core competence for CIOs yet many struggle with a confusing array of tasks that form the provisioning process within their organisations.

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Identity Management - Why Is the Level of Interest So Low?

by Graham Williamson April 11, 2017 0 Comments

It's critical that CIOs and C-levels pay attention to identity and access management in their organizations. Doing so will boost business security and save the business money, too.

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Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday

by Victoria Mack December 21, 2016 0 Comments

It’s the holiday season, and everyone is in the gift-giving mood. Be sure you don’t forget to invest in your company and career.

brian mayWritten by Brian May

It’s a special time of the year. Family gatherings for the holidays, football season, and time in the woods all make this one of my favorite seasons. The month of December is also unique for IT departments. December is certainly not business as usual for most of us.

It’s time for budgets. That may mean requesting budget items for next year or spending surplus budget before the end of the year. It’s often when project work slows down a bit as end users, and IT staff alike, take time away from the office. It’s a time when stress is often at its lowest, and it’s just easier to get some things done.

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SQL 101: Tools of the Trade - i Navigator’s Run SQL Scripts

by Victoria Mack December 21, 2016 0 Comments

A more “modern” alternative to STRSQL, discussed in the last two articles, is the i Navigator’s Run SQL Scripts tool. Let’s explore it together, shall we?

rafael victoria preiraWritten by Rafael Victória-Pereira

While STRSQL is a green-screen tool, Run SQL Scripts is part of the i Navigator package. You can access it by choosing the Run SQL Scripts option, either from the bottom-right pane of the i Navigator window after you’ve chosen the Databases tree node from the right panel, as shown in Figure 1, or by right-clicking the database name and choosing the respective option.

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Energy, Vibe, and Atmosphere

by Victoria Mack December 19, 2016 0 Comments

This is IT. We must be willing to bend.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

With a growing emphasis in talking about the state of the current IBM i workforce, also known as the “IBM i skills shortage,” it behooves oneself to keep the noise level to a minimum in order to make even-keeled decisions. In short, don’t necessarily believe all the hype you read.

I’d like to think of this as an extension piece to “The IBM i Skills Shortage Myth.” It’s not necessarily a “part two” per se, but more of a story that runs parallel. I’ve been trying to write this for about six weeks, but some things are just hard to put into words, especially when they involve how you feel as opposed to what you know. Besides, writing what you know is easy. Writing what you feel leaves room for reader interpretation, so you have to be more careful.

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Six Key Drivers That Push Your Business Forward

by Victoria Mack December 19, 2016 0 Comments

Integration can be a competitive weapon that can positively impact the bottom line through encouraging revenue velocity, cost containment, risk mitigation, and long-term customer satisfaction.

mark denchyWritten by Mark Denchy

Business is moving faster and faster, as customers and business partners demand more automated interactions. IT is no longer supporting the business; it is becoming the core of the business. Digital transformation of businesses requires us to connect and interact with both customers and suppliers in new and unexpected ways.

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Carol’s IBM i Security Wish List

by Victoria Mack December 16, 2016 0 Comments

Carol describes 10 things that she wishes were different when it comes to IBM i security.

carol woodburyWritten by Carol Woodbury

It’s the time of year when all children are making their Christmas wish list, hoping Santa will deliver on Christmas morning. While I’m a few years beyond believing in Santa Claus (!), I’ve created my list, just in case.  

 

Wish #1: V7R3

 

I wish all IBM i customers would upgrade to V7R3. The Authority Collection feature added in V7R3 alone justifies the upgrade. This feature helps administrators to stop over-authorizing and enables them to remove *ALLOBJ from profiles that don’t really need it. If you are considering upgrading to V7R2, skip that thought and move right to V7R3!

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TechTip: Just a Bit About Git

by Victoria Mack December 16, 2016 0 Comments

With the information in this TechTip, you can get started with Git development on your IBM i!

Written by Liam Allan

In this article, we are going to talk about Git. I want to avoid the idea that this is a tutorial. A tutorial would be a very long and text-y article. This TechTip covers:

 

  • Creating a repository from the MYPROJ directory that we created in the last article
  • Explaining distributed development
  • Cloning a repository and making changes
  • Explaining Git status, diff, pull, and push
  • Committing changes to existing or new files and pushing them

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Mobile App Development: Do You Hear Me Now?

by Victoria Mack December 14, 2016 0 Comments

What you’re hearing is the crowd cheering as you cross the finish line.

pete helgrenWritten by Pete Helgren

Looking back over the delivery of the requirements of your project, you’re beginning to think that maybe this mobile development stuff isn't quite as difficult as you once thought. So far, you have completed the first three requirements:

  •  Real-time access to IBM i data and local storage when no mobile connectivity is available
  • Ability to take pictures, store them on the device, and upload them
  • Ability to retrieve and store geolocation information

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Mobile App Development: Getting Your Standalone App to Interface with Your IBM i

by Victoria Mack December 14, 2016 0 Comments

Need to interface a mobile app with your IBM i? A number of IBM i integration patterns can be leveraged to keep mobile apps in sync with enterprise systems.

glenn johnsonWritten by Glenn Johnson

Your IBM i system holds a lot of very useful data that can be leveraged for mobile apps. However, you need the right tools and methods to extract the data in the most effective way. This is where an integration platform comes in.

 

The purpose of system integration is to ensure smooth-running business processes across multiple systems. To do this, an IT department needs to be armed with integration and business process management tools that can recognize all of the needed integration patterns for your environment.

 

Therefore, IBM i users should look for mobile app development solutions that support nine familiar IBM i integration touchpoints.

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TechTip: C# for RPGers - Introducing Lists

by Victoria Mack December 09, 2016 0 Comments

Lists are a special type of “thing” in C#; they have no parallel in RPG. This is most unfortunate, because lists are awesome!

rafael victoria preiraWritten by Rafael Victória-Pereira

The last couple of TechTips introduced Arrays and explained the foreach loop. This kind of sets the stage for the List data type. You can think of a List as an Array with all the bells and whistles and none of its limitations. For instance, when you define an Array, you have to define its size. That value is (more or less) definitive, because the memory will be statically allocated to store the variable. Lists, however, are dynamically allocated, which means that you don’t have to specify the size of the List. Actually, you can’t specify it. Instead, you’re able to specify the initial capacity, but even that is optional.

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TechTip: IFS Containers Part 3, Installing Open Source from the Internet

by Victoria Mack December 09, 2016 0 Comments

One of the core tenets of open source is freedom to obtain and use software. Now it's time to see that benefit in action.

aaron bartellWritten by Aaron Bartell

In the first article of this series, we learned about how IFS Containers could be manually created by copying things into a new directory and then running the chroot command against that directory. This was a laborious process that would cause the technology to not be used unless some amount of automation was introduced. In the second article, I introduced the IBM i Chroot (ibmichroot) project, which addresses the automation of creating IFS Containers in a matter of minutes and even more important, uniformity. In this article, we will navigate through the other core feature of the IBM i Chroot project: package installation.

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Practical RPG: Processing Stream Files, Part 2

by Victoria Mack December 07, 2016 0 Comments

In part 1, we processed a directory. In part 2, we process one file in that directory.

joe plutaWritten by Joe Pluta

Stream files are not database files.

 While that statement is obvious to programmers, it's not always clear to the greater community. The end users, the folks whose jobs we are supposed to be supporting, use various forms of stream files to store their data, and they don't understand why we can't for example just "use this spreadsheet" as part of our application. And while that's an interesting philosophical discussion, as programmers we sometimes have to simply get things done, and that in turn means taking whatever data the user sent us. I've spent a lot of time over the years importing data primarily from Exceland more specifically from comma-delimited files. Two techniques exist: CPYFRMIMPF and parsing the data in RPG. CPYFRMIMPF is a completely different animal that perhaps can be covered another day. Today, I just want to talk about parsing a stream file.

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RPG Academy: Write Better Code - Commenting and Documenting Strategies

by Victoria Mack December 07, 2016 0 Comments

Usually, programmers don’t comment their code appropriately, for a variety of reasons: “I don’t have the time,” “My code speaks for itself,” etc. Mostly, they simply hate doing it. Let me try to refute these excuses with practical strategies and tools.

rafael victoria preiraWritten by Rafael Victória-Pereira

As I’ve said throughout this series, a procedure’s name and parameter list should be enough for the programmer to understand the objective of that piece of code. However, there are times when this is not enough: complex procedures, generic names, uninspired input/output parameter names…and the list goes on and on. The next section of this TechTip will help you in the process of creating proper documentation for your newly created procedures and functions, with a few tips of what you should and shouldn’t do.

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Murphy’s Security Law

by Victoria Mack December 05, 2016 0 Comments

Holes are everywhere. Address them before someone addresses you.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

A couple articles ago, I talked about the need for modernizing encryption on our IBM i partitions. Shutting one door can shut others, and shutting other doors may give you a false sense of security when you have a few windows open. You can drive yourself batty looking for these holes, but every now and then a hole finds you.

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Maxava's Enterprise+ "Saves the Ship" for Averitt Express

by Victoria Mack December 05, 2016 0 Comments

An international shipping company has plenty of trouble if it can’t get its Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system to replicate accurately under its high availability (HA) system.

john gristWritten by John Ghrist

This was the scenario faced in October 2015 by Averitt Express, a provider of freight transportation and supply chain management services based in Cookeville, Tennessee. Averitt offers customized shipping solutions, serves customers in more than 100 countries, and services more than 300 international destinations. Averitt also provides its customers a full suite of web-based shipping tools, EDI services, and transportation and operations management systems. Among other online services Averitt offers its customers are such conveniences as a Bill of Lading creation utility, a transit-time calculator, less-than-truckload service maps based on ZIP code, and downloadable certificates, permits, customs forms, and other documents on demand.

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TechTip: The .NET Core Framework

by Victoria Mack December 02, 2016 0 Comments

Provide support for a variety of chip and OS targets.

joydip kanjilalWritten by Joydip Kanjilal

Since the initial version of .NET Framework (the first beta version of .NET 1.0 was released in the fall of 2000), Microsoft has released many more upgrades over the years. With an intent to make the framework cross-platform, open source, and modular, the software giant has now come up with .NET Core Framework.

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TechTip: PDO for PHP

by Victoria Mack December 02, 2016 0 Comments

Why do we use PHP with an HTML web page? Lots of reasons, but data access is one of the most important, and PHP Data Objects (PDO) is, for me, the best way to do that.

david shireyWritten by David Shirey

There are lots of web languages out there, aren’t there? HTML5, JavaScript, PHP, CoyoTE. I actually don’t know if that last one exists, but given the number of special languages available for the web, I think I’ve got a 50-50 chance.

 And increasingly, on the IBM i, we are being introduced toand find reasons to usemore and more of these languages. Each has its own list of things that it does well and things that it doesn’t.

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The IBM i Skills Shortage Myth

by Victoria Mack November 21, 2016 0 Comments

The problem isn’t IBM i skills shortage; it’s an “RPG II/III-fixed format-legacy-cycle” skills shortage.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

Yeah, I said it.

 

An “RPG II/III-fixed format-legacy-cycle” skills shortage. The kind of shortage you don’t want to have if you care about the future of your business. So forgive me if I take exception to the argument about IBM i having a skills shortage. It doesn’t. IBM i’s history is rooted in being a business computer for business people. They run business programs to do business things. IBM i may have grown in terms of capabilities, but at its core it’s a business operating system. So when people talk about an IBM i skills shortage, it makes me wonder if we’ve lost the point about what IBM i really is.

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IBM i Security Without Breaking the Bank

by Victoria Mack November 21, 2016 0 Comments

Stop neglecting IBM i security. Consider a risk assessment and two control layers to enjoy substantially less risk of data losswithout sending your organization into the red.

robin tatamWritten by Robin Tatam

The time is now!


While some companies take a proactive stance on becoming more secure, many more act as a result of regulation. Governments and industry bodies have enacted numerous enforceable mandates, typically as a result of a scandal or high-profile breach. The growing list of these mandates includes PCI-DSS for credit card data, MAS-TRM for financial organizations in Singapore, BASEL for the banking industry, SOX for publicly traded companies, and HIPAA for those in the U.S. healthcare industry. Operators in the European Union face a dramatic increase in fines that may be levied for data breaches since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted in April 2016. This replacement for the previous “directive” will become law in May 2018, and the financial impact on companies within this territory could be quite dramatic.

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The Lesser of Two Evils: Choosing the Better IBM i Security Configuration

by Victoria Mack November 18, 2016 0 Comments

Carol describes scenarios where the configuration options aren’t optimal, but a choice must be made.

carol woodburyWritten by Carol Woodbury

By the time you read this, the election in the United States will be over. Many in the States view this election as having to choose between the lesser of two evils. While I’m not going to discuss the way I voted, I thought I might discuss some similar situationswhere I’ve been presented with two IBM i configurations to choose from, and neither is optimal.

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IBM i Staff Changes: The End of the World as We Know It?

by Victoria Mack November 16, 2016 0 Comments

Another topic that seems to be topping the charts these days is the bemoaning of the retirement of RPG talent. But is it really one of the signs of the coming apocalypse?

david shireyWritten by Dave Shirey

A certain amount has been written lately about all the RPG talent that is getting ready to retire or die and what impact that will have on those of us who are still hanging on. Maybe it all started with a webinar (the recording's available) "Strategies for Overcoming IBM i Skills and Staffing Shortages"  given by Rob Rheault, Director of Application Services, and Marcel Sarrasin, VP of Corporate Marketing and Business Development, at Fresche Legacy. This webinar kicked off a certain amount of discussion in the RPG/AS400 Developers group on LinkedIn under a post by Kimberley Chan.

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SQL 101: Tools of the Trade – Old, Reliable STRSQL, Part 2

by Victoria Mack November 16, 2016 0 Comments

Ready for more tips on STRSQL? Even if you’re familiar with this old and venerable tool, this article might show you something new.

rafael victoria preiraWritten by Rafael Victória-Pereira

The previous article started to discuss STRSQL and stopped short of explaining a very important set of features. So I’ll just pick up where I left off: I’m going to explain what Option 1 of the Interactive SQL Session Services screen, reachable by pressing F13 on the main screen, can be used for. This option brings up the Session Attributes screen, depicted in Figure 1.

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