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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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TechTip: IFS Containers Part 2, Automation with IBM i Chroot

by Victoria Mack November 11, 2016 0 Comments

Automation wins in the end. IFS Containers have automation as a first class citizen.

aaron bartellWritten by Aaron Bartell

In the first article of this series, I discussed what IFS Containers are and how they use the chroot command to implement the container concept. To create the IFS Container, we had to manually create directories and copy files. That wasn't a big deal for the small example we created, but imagine if you needed to create an IFS Container for an entire PASE application that had requirements for hundreds of directories, commands, and libraries. This is where automation becomes a necessity, and more specifically, the IBM i Chroot open-source project.

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Go Mobile with IBM i Access for Web

by Victoria Mack November 09, 2016 0 Comments

IBM i Access for Web is the newest weapon in the IBM i admin's mobile arsenal.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

I've been a fan of IBM i Access for Web for a long time. About five years ago, my company started giving tablets to our sales team in the field, and IBM i Access for Web quickly became an invaluable tool for securely accessing green-screen applications.

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Kony Offers Robust Tool Set for Creating Mobile Apps

by Victoria Mack November 09, 2016 0 Comments

Enterprises with numerous or complex apps to translate to mobile devices, or those seeking to create versatile native mobile device apps, can benefit from Kony Mobility Platform's extensive feature set.

john gristWritten by John Ghrist

If your enterprise is considering a mobile application development platform (MADP) capable of generating large, complex applications, one option to explore is the Kony Mobility Platform. Offering a visual interactive development environment (IDE) that uses a zero-code approach and a single app codebase, strong security options, and a middleware component that simplifies data-transformation and mobile back-end services, Kony's suite helps developers produce apps for smartphones, tablets, desktops, and wearables.

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Eye on the i World: HelpSystems Sees IBM i Vendor Consolidation as Healthy for the Market

by Victoria Mack November 07, 2016 0 Comments

Long-time software vendor HelpSystems thinks the future still looks promising for the IBM i platform.

john gristWritten by John Ghrist

As any long-time observer of the IBM i can tell you, a significant feature of its market over its recent history has been the consolidation of companies offering software and other solutions to the user base.

 

HelpSystems, a Minnesota-based company that started out specializing in automated operations solutions for IBM i, has been part of the consolidation movement.

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Hardening Your IBM i Ciphers

by Victoria Mack November 07, 2016 0 Comments

Moving to TLS 1.2 is not enough to keep your data secure.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

I was at the COMMON Fall Conference in Columbus, Ohio, two weeks ago where I (among other things) presented two sessions on IBM i systems management. One of the sessions was called "IBM i and our False Sense of Security." It was essentially a mixture of a number of security-related articles I’ve been writing as of late.

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TechTip: C# for RPGers - More on Arrays and a Different FOR Loop

by Victoria Mack November 04, 2016 0 Comments

Let’s continue to explore C# arrays and introduce a different FOR loop. It’s a very useful tool that has no equivalent in RPG.

rafael victoria preiraWritten by Rafael Victória-Pereira

In the last TechTip in this C# series, I introduced the array data type and showed how it’s defined and used. Now let’s explore some of its properties and methods, with the help of a different FOR loop: ForEach.

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TechTip: CNX Valence for PHP

by Victoria Mack November 04, 2016 0 Comments

PHP help tools. That’s what we’re looking at. And this month, we are looking at the CNX Valence product.

david shireyWritten by Dave Shirey

Part of getting familiar with PHP is getting familiar with the way in which PHP relates to the IBM i. Over the past year, we have looked at different options for creating PHP scripts that we might use with the i.

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Practical RPG: Processing Stream Files, Part 1

by Victoria Mack November 02, 2016 0 Comments

We've all had to process a folder full of files from a PC or a UNIX machine; today we learn how to do it programmatically.

joe plutaWritten by Joe Pluta

If you're like me, you strongly believe that the IBM i is the best choice as your business integration hub. It talks just about any language, can handle any kind of data, and has unparalleled reliability. In fact, it's a prefect interpreter between other systems in your infrastructure. One of the things that IBM has focused on over the years is a fantastic capability to support stream files. Whether it's the UNIX-like capabilities of QShell, the stream file capabilities of commands like CPYFRMIMPF, or the ability to write C programs to directly access the files, there isn't a stream file requirement that can't be met by the IBM i.

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RPG Academy: Write Better Code - More Tips for Organizing Your Modules and Service Programs

by Victoria Mack November 02, 2016 0 Comments

The previous article of the series discussed module and service program organization. It’s now time to do the same for binding directories.

rafael victoria preiraWritten by Rafael Victória-Pereira

Let’s start with a quick recap of binding directories. Your modules will be composed of procedures. Some of these procedures are going to be available to the outside world; these are the module’s exports. The module’s procedures might call procedures from other service programs; these are the module’s imports. The problem is that the compiler has no idea where to find those procedures that your module’s code is calling, if they don’t belong to the same module/service program.

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Bluemix: A Viable Option for Power Customers

by Victoria Mack August 19, 2016 0 Comments

Just what is Bluemix, and what could it mean for you? An interview with an IBMer reveals the answers.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

Last week, I sat down with Adam Gunther, Director of Cloud Developers Services at IBM, to talk about IBM Bluemix. I told Adam I wasn’t a developer up front, but I wanted him to explain just exactly how my small-to-medium-sized business with an investment in on-premises infrastructure could really take advantage of Bluemix. I wasn’t disappointed.

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Midrange MQ in an Open-Source World

by Victoria Mack August 19, 2016 0 Comments

MQ on IBM i continues to adapt to the needs of modern IT environments.

andrew schofieldWritten by Andrew Schofield

IBM MQ has been a familiar part of the corporate IT landscape for over 20 years. It’s been through a few name changes, but the fundamental idea of using asynchronous messaging to decouple communication between applications is as important now as it has ever been. Of course, over such a long period of time, there have been huge changes—in particular, the way that developers work using the Internet and open-source, and the rise of cloud computing. Therefore, we at IBM are doing many things in MQ to make sure that existing systems remain relevant and able to interact with the latest tools and platforms.

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Using Scope in Linear-Main Programs to Create More Stable Applications

by Victoria Mack August 19, 2016 0 Comments

Linear-main RPG programs eliminate the RPG logic cycle and add new levels of variable scoping to protect your code from bugs down the road.

brian mayWritten by Brian May

While I am no expert in the RPG logic cycle, I have had to deal with it in older applications over the years. Most RPG developers have dealt with a logic cycle program at least once. I can honestly say I have never written a new logic cycle program, but I have seen others in the community doing it. This article is not intended to start a religious war about cycle programming. There are some who will never give it up. Instead, this article will demonstrate how to create a program without the logic cycle and concentrate on what I think is a very useful benefit to using linear-main procedures in program.

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SQL 101: Date-Related Functions, Part 3 - Extracting Information from Dates

by Victoria Mack August 19, 2016 0 Comments

This article continues the date-related functions discussion, introducing a few more simple but extremely useful SQL functions: DAYOFWEEK, WEEK, QUARTER, DAYOFYEAR, and MIDNIGHT_SECONDS. Do you have time for some date fun?

rafael victoria preiraWritten by Rafael Victória-Pereira

Let me start with a quick flashback: an RPG Academy TechTip published in October 2015, explaining how to create an RPG function to calculate the day of the week of a given date stirred things up quite a bit. Some readers complained this kind of function was totally unnecessary, because SQL is better equipped to do this type of thing and so on. My reply was that I’d get to a point in the SQL 101 series in which I’d cover the “SQL version” of that particular function, named Clc_DayOfWeek.

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5 Practical Ways to Use the Audit Journal to Solve Your Administration Woes

by Victoria Mack August 19, 2016 0 Comments

The IBM i Audit Journal contains a wealth of information yet remains a mystery to those who can use it most. Carol describes practical ways that security and system administrators can use this information to help them in their daily jobs.

 carol woodburyWritten by Carol Woodbury

The past few weeks, I’ve found myself helping our clients solve their issues by looking for specific entries in the audit journal. Most administrators think that the IBM i audit journal is only good for compliance reporting or just used during a forensic investigation. Nothing can be further from the truth. So I thought I’d share a few examples of how you can use the audit journal to solve daily problems. Or to help you debug problems or investigate administration-related issues.

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TechTip: DB2 for i Optimization Strategies, Part 5

by Victoria Mack August 12, 2016 0 Comments

Learn how to take an ax to common suboptimal SQL programming practices.

Written by Mike Sansoterra

This series is almost done, yet there are so many illustrations of potential code improvements to offer to the DB2 for i development community. This tip discusses possible performance improvements when replacing legacy cursors with set operations and when using temporary tables. See the references at the end of this tip for links to prior tips in this series.

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TechTip: DB2 Adapter for Shells

by Victoria Mack August 12, 2016 0 Comments

aaron bartellIf you're anything like me, you want to participate in the open-source community but don't want to screw things up. I invite you to participate in a safer side of open source.

Written by Aaron Bartell

In the past couple of articles (1 and 2), I've focused on higher-level community musings. I did this to encourage engagement and convey where engagement is already taking place. In short, open source on IBM i is growing significantly faster than it has in the past.

 

Now it's time to dive back into some geekier topics.

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A Bootstrap Love Affair, Part Three

by Victoria Mack August 10, 2016 0 Comments

Jump on the Bootstrap Carousel.

jan jorgensenWritten by Jan Jorgensen

 

During the last couple of months, I have taken you around a part of the Bootstrap universe and hopefully covered enough of the elements and methods to give you an idea of what you, together with jQuery, can accomplish with it. My Aim Is True

 

In the previous article, I promised you that I would combine all of what we have seen so far and, on top of that, give you some information about my lifelong passion for Elvis Costello, so that’s what I will try to do. In this article of our Bootstrap series, I’ll look at the Bootstrap Carousel plugin, which is a component for cycling through elements, like a carousel or slideshow.

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Enterprise Mobile Application Management

by Victoria Mack August 10, 2016 0 Comments

5 things to focus on to stay productive, responsive, and in control.

Dan MagidWritten by Daniel Magid

With the explosion of mobile devices and our increasing reliance on apps to stay connected anytime/anywhere, organizations of all sizes in any industry are “all in" on the mobile revolution.

 

Creating mobile applications to make their workforce more productive, optimize business processes, and better engage with customers is a significant focus for must software development groups. Today, most consumers have already made the shift to mobile thinking; they now expect to immediately get everything they want or need when they open an app on their smartphone, both personally and professionally.

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A Bootstrap Love Affair, Part 1

by Victoria Mack May 17, 2016 0 Comments

Join the class of cool looks and responsive design.

jan jorgensenWritten by Jan Jorgensen

Love is in the air.

I have found myself a new programming love: Bootstrap. To be honest, I’m not the only suitor; thousands of other programmers like me seem to share the same love.

What is Bootstrap?

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TechTip: Additional PHP Tools—BCD Software

by Victoria Mack May 17, 2016 0 Comments

So far, we’ve talked only about Zend and its family of products. But is that all there is? The answer is “no,” and this month we’ll look at what BCD Software has to offer if you’re dabbling in PHP.

david shireyWritten by Dave Shirey  

I know, I know. Last time we talked I promised to continue on with the debug, but by now you know that my attention wanders. To be perfectly honest, I run Zend Studio on a Mac, and there seem to be one or two issues with the most recent update to Studio for that platform. Shouldn’t take long to resolve, but I need to write an article now, so let’s talk about something else until I get clear.

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Practical SQL: GET DIAGNOSTICS

by Victoria Mack May 17, 2016 0 Comments

SQL can be something of a black box, but the GET DIAGNOSTICS statement allows you to peek under the hood.

joe plutaWritten by Joe Pluta

SQL is especially powerful at set-based database operations: those operations that affect multiple rows at once. One of the coolest things a programmer can learn is how to write a single SQL statement that updates a whole set of records, all without the requirement of any sort of looping mechanism whatsoever. But usually not long after comes the realization that at some point you have to know how many records you updated. In the beginning, that was only available through the use of the little-known and obscurely named SQL result variables. This article shows you how that goes away with the GET DIAGNOSTICS statement.

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IBM: Systematic Layoffs and the Concept of Selling Concepts

by Victoria Mack May 17, 2016 0 Comments

It's time to look at layoffs again. Also, contrary to what some analysts believe, a full-scale transformation of IBM into a company that sells concepts is not the answer.

steve pitcherWritten by Steve Pitcher

It's been about two months since I wrote about the new round of IBM layoffs that could potentially see the U.S. workforce reduced by 14,000 out of approximately 70,000 employees. Since IBM of course doesn't publish its employee counts by country, it's hard to say exactly how deep each round of layoffs actually goes. There's a heck of a lot of smoke to be no fire.

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