Wednesday, December 7, 2016

ON-EXIT provides code executed at end of procedures

on-exit section procedure and subprocedure

As part of the IBM i 7.3 TR1 and 7.2 TR5 enhancements a new RPG operation code, ON-EXIT, was added. The purpose of this operation code is to give a section of code that is executed whenever a procedure ends, with or without an error. Alas, when an error occurs in the procedure it is not possible to "correct" or prevent the error being returned to the calling program or procedure using the ON-EXIT section. But it does allow for the programmer to add code to, perhaps, flag the error or to perform various clean up tasks before the procedure ends.

The ON-EXIT section must occur at the end of the procedure. It is started by the ON-EXIT operation code, and is ended with the END-PROC operation code that flags the end of the procedure.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Who remembers these? RPG coding sheets

When I posted pictures of the IBM print charts I had found, Kevin Adler sent me pictures of some of the RPG history he has, RPG coding sheets.

Looking closely at them I think they may have been sheets used in the days of punch cards.

When I asked Kevin how he came to possess them he replied: "I got them from a former team leader before he retired."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Discovering how much personal storage space remains

amount of user storage

This post is based upon something I made for myself, and after discussing it with some friends they said it would be worthy of becoming a post as others have the same need.

All of the code shown on this blog is written on servers generously provided by the IBM i hosting provider RZKH. Their hosting package gives me a fixed amount of storage, disk space, which I can use. While I am a careful user, who deletes all objects when I have finished with them and regularly clears my output queue, I want an easy way to see the following:

  1. How much storage space was I allocated when my profile was created?
  2. How much space have I used?
  3. How much space do I have left I can use?
  4. What percentage of my allocated space have I used? If I reach a certain percentage I know I need to start deleting and clearing immediately

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Modern RPG Redbook updated version now available

A new draft of the IBM Redbook "Who Knew You Could Do That with RPG IV? Modern RPG for the Modern Programmer", completed October 20 2016, has been made available. I recognize many of the authors as people I respect as highly knowledgeable in the use of modern RPG.

The chapters cover many items which should interest anyone using, or wanting to learn, modern RPG:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Validation trigger in RPG

validation trigger written in rpg

When I wrote about creating a validation trigger in SQL several people asked me to give an example using RPG. Never being one to turn down a challenge this post is going to show how to do the same as my SQL example, but completely in RPG.

I am not going to go into the reasons why you might want to consider using validation triggers, as I gave my opinion in the previous post.

I started my previous example giving an example of a SQL DDL table, in this example I am going to use a DDS physical file. FILE1 has three fields:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Who remembers these? Print charts

who remembers rpg print charts

I could not resist posting pictures of a find I made in a box at home, a pad of IBM 132/10/8 print charts. The numbers denote that the chart is 132 characters wide, with 10 characters per inch and 8 lines per inch. These were used to assist programmers designing reports, and make it easier to translate the desired layout to Output specifications.

My wife had acquired the pad of charts in a previous job many years ago, and had put it in a "safe place" in case she needed them in the future. The charts had been stuffed into box of other old computer items during one of our moves, only to be rediscovered yesterday during one of those "I wonder what's in that box?" moments.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Creating a program to show jobs in message wait

sql rpg with subfile

I do get many requests asking for whole example programs, especially ones with a subfile, rather than just bits and pieces of code that I usually give in these examples. With this in mind this post brings a number of things I have written about before together into one program, which I thought would be an interesting refresher. So here goes...

I was asked to write a program to only show jobs that are in message wait status, and I want to add the ability give the user some options that would allow the user to analyze the error and reply to it.

To summarize what I need to do:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

OCEAN Technical Conference 2017 dates

ocean 2017 technical conference dates

The southern California based OCEAN user group announced, via Twitter, the dates for their 2017 Technical conference: July 20 – 22 2017 in Costa Mesa.

I have been to several of these Technical conferences and found them a great place to learn and to rub shoulders with my peers. If you live in So Cal, or nearby, I strongly recommend that you attend.

No more details have been released, such as who will be there and what they would be presenting. I am sure that will come in the future.

I will be going and look forward to seeing you there.

Link to tweet here, and to the OCEAN website at OceanUserGroup.org.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Coping with null with derived columns

using case with sql when derived column is null

I was assisting a colleague creating a SQL View when I encountered something I had not thought of before. He wanted to create a view with a derived column based on a column in the "right" table of a LEFT OUTER JOIN. Everything looked fine until the LEFT OUTER JOIN did not find a row in the "right" table. We could easily stop a null appearing for the columns from the "right" table, but what about the derived column?

Null is a concept that many people struggle with. I often have had to explain what null is and why it is different from blank or zero to older RPG programmers, who always have a confused or dismissive look in their faces. Users just don't understand the concept. This is why when I create output I always put some value in the column that comes up null.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Validation trigger

creating a trigger to validate the data

Triggers are a versatile database tool. A few weeks ago I wrote about using triggers to write data to an output file. I can also use triggers to validate data before it is written to the file or table. By placing the business rules and validation processes into the database with a trigger guarantees that:

  1. The same business rules are used every time. If the rules change I just need to change the logic in the trigger, rather than find all of the programs that output to the file and change the logic within them.
  2. It is not possible to circumvent the trigger. No matter which programming language or tool I use with the file the trigger will be executed. I will no longer have to worry about a rogue colleague changing data behind the scenes using something like DFU.