Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Navigate your IBM i using a web browser

ibm navigator for i

I am sure most of us are familiar with the Windows based Operation Navigator tool, and have found that there are certain tasks that are either easier to perform using it or there are tasks within it that there is no "green screen" equivalent. My experience with using it on many different PCs and versions of Windows is that it is slow, a resource hog, and if I do too much with it goes into a "Not responding" status. Therefore, I was intrigued to learn that you can now have access to same navigator-like tools using a web browser.

The browser based IBM Navigator for i was introduced as part of version 6.1, and is available in 7.1 and 7.2 . I have been able to use it with the following browsers:

  • Microsoft’s Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla’s Firefox
  • Google’s Chrome
  • Apple’s Safari on Windows 7

As I do not have an Apple computer I cannot say whether you can use the Navigator on an Apple.

The IBM Navigator for i is included as part of the base operating system option 3, 5770SS1 0003. And following products must also be installed, these should already be on your IBM i:

License program Description
5770SS1 option 12 Host Servers
5770SS1 option 30 Qshell
5770SS1 option 33 Portable App Solution Environment (PASE)
5770DG1 IBM HTTP Server for i
5770JV1 option 11 Java SE 6 32 bit
5770 JC1 IBM Toolbox for Java

The IBM Toolbox for Java no longer exists in 7.1 or 7.2, it has been integrated into 5770SS1 option 3.

To check if you have these licensed programs installed, type: GO LICPGM and press Enter. Then take option 10 to ‘Display installed licensed programs’. The licensed program codes will differ depending upon the release. For 7.1 you will need to find the following:

 Licensed  Installed
 Program   Status       Description
 5770SS1   *COMPATIBLE  Host Servers
 5770SS1   *COMPATIBLE  Qshell
 5770SS1   *COMPATIBLE  Portable App Solutions Environment

 5770DG1   *COMPATIBLE  IBM HTTP Server for i

 5761JV1   *COMPATIBLE  Java SE 6 32 bit

You also need the HTTP Admin Server to be running. To check that it is type: WRKACTJOB SBS(QHTTPSVR) and press Enter. The jobs you are looking for are shown below:

                Current
 Subsystem/Job  User
 QHTTPSVR       QSYS
   ADMIN        QTMHHTTP
   ADMIN        QTMHHTTP
   ADMIN        QTMHHTTP
   ADMIN1       QLWISVR
   ADMIN2       QLWISVR
   ADMIN3       QLWISVR
   ADMIN4       QWEBADMIN

If the jobs are not displayed then you have to start the Admin TCP server:

STRTCPSVR SERVER(*HTTP) HTTPSVR(*ADMIN)

Now that everything as it should be you open your web browser and enter: http://<your_ibm_i>:2001 in the address bar and press Enter.

Note: must be replaced by the name of your IBM i server. For example, if my server is called LIVE400 then the URL I would type would be http://live400:2001 .

In my experience the next part is dependent upon which browser you are using.

  • Internet Explorer: I am presented with a screen that states "There is a problem with this website's security certificate", click on the "Continue to this website (not recommended)" link.
     
  • Mozilla: I am presented with a screen that states "This Connection is Untrusted", click on the "I Understand the Risks" link.
     
  • Chrome: I am presented with a screen that states "The site's security certificate is not trusted!", click on the "Proceed anyway" button.
     
  • Safari: I am presented with a pop up that states "Safari can't verify the identity of the website <your_ibm_i>", click on the "Continue" button.

Normally I would not recommend ignoring any browsers security warnings, but as we are attaching to a local IBM i it is safe to ignore the warning.

The login screen is self explanatory.

IBM Navigator for i login

And this is what I see after I have logged in.

IBM Navigator for i welcome

You are now free to explore what the IBM Navigator for i has to offer.

As part of the 7.2 announcement IBM stated that the Windows based Operation Navigator will no longer be updated. Therefore, it is time to use and become familiar with the new browser based IBM Navigator for i.

 

You can learn about this on IBM’s website:

14 comments:

  1. I relalized that this tool is quite slow, so I don't like the web interface very much. Hope it will run better in 7.1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alas, it is still slow on 7.1 . Almost as slow as Ops Nav.

      Delete
  2. I love the idea but it is too slow and does not have all the features yet...yet. coming soon...

    ReplyDelete
  3. This tool was very slow and buggy but it is getting better and better. So be sure that you have installed the latest HTTP and JAVA group ptfs. One of the cool things is, that this tool is single source on 6.1, 7.1 and 7.2. So if you install the lastest group ptfs on your machine you will get all the performance improvements from 7.2. The only big thing missing from the web navigator are the database functions like visual explain. I hope the will come soon to the web navigator so that i can remove OpsNav from my machine. if you need further informations how to get the latest Navigator you should read https://www.systemideveloper.com/blogs/?q=node/19 and https://www.systemideveloper.com/blogs/?q=node/18

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's definitely improving with each and every release Simon. Some of the new stuff included at V7R2 is cool too. Like you say the browser interface makes it more usable than ever.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Simon - I work in the IBM i Global Support Center supporting this product. Great article. I noticed a slight typo when it comes to required licensed programs. The HTTP ADMIN server requires 5761JV1 opt. 11 for JDK 6.0 32bit (not option 8 as it is stated). Also, in terms of the relative speed of the product, it should improve as of the latest group PTFs that came out for HTTP (we've included some JVM arguments to turn off IPV6 host name lookups, which has caused performance issues in the past).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for letting me know the error. I have made the correction.

      Delete
  6. Simon, while I encourage & promote the use of Navigator for i, its not entirely true that the installed Windows client will not be updated. The Windows version of Navigator was updated for 7.2 and is enhanced twice per year with high priority Database feature improvements.

    I realize this is a common misunderstanding and am merely sharing the deeper details because you're doing a great job of promoting IBM i technologies.

    Here's where you would find more details on the Windows installed client enhancements: (look under the System i Navigator section)

    http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/techupdates/navigator

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is also the site where you can set up an RPG program as a web service. In one of my personal training efforts I worked through a tutorial provided by Scott Klement and I set up an item inquiry web service in the IBM Web Administration link. Then I created a desktop client in java to consume the service.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Apologies if this is a duplicate entry (I tried to publish and login at the same time).
    Looking at the tables in a database for a selected schema I notice it only loads the first 100 tables; the filter appears to only filter what is loaded. The application I support creates various daily interface files that begin with the hash character (#) and there are hundreds of them - the total number of tables in the production library is in excess of 2000 (don't mention housekeeping - it's a sore point).

    Anyhow, is there a quick way of loading all the tables so I can filter for a selected table or, even better, a quick way of going to specific tables, eg. starting with "C" or "W" ?

    We are on V6R1 and our PTFs are not up to date - that's in progress but Production is a month or two away from being updated at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Look for this document ... How to Disable IPv6 for Improving IBM Navigator for i Performance

    ReplyDelete
  10. When I try to launch this URL, I get an error message that the server refuses to connect. It also redirects me to https://:2005/ibm/console. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The URL should be https://servername:2005/ibm/console. My tag was removed by this site.

      Thanks!

      Delete
    2. In case this helps anyone, support said I need JV1 option 15 installed. (Java 7 64-bit)

      Delete

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