Thursday, February 23, 2017

PTF cover letters for 7.3 TR2 and 7.2 TR6

ptf cover letter for ibmi 7.3 tr2 7.2 tr6

The cover letters for the PTFs for IBM i 7.3 TR2 and 7.2 TR6 were released onto IBM's Support site yesterday. You can find them at:

The PTFs will be available for download on March 17, 2017.

For the details about what will be in these Technical Refreshes see IBM i 7.3 TR2 and 7.2 TR6 announced, which gives you an overview and has links to all the information from IBM.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Why I should be using the QCMDEXC SQL procedure

using sql procedure qcmdexc rather than api

My favorite API has to be QCMDEXC. I think it was the first API I used when I when I was making the transition from RPGII to RPGIII many, many years ago. I use it so often I think half the programs I write have it in them. QCMDEXC allows me to execute any CL command that does not return any values.

For several releases there has been a SQL procedure QCMDEXC, which does the same as the API. Then in IBM i 7.1 TR7 there was an update to the SQL procedure. You will find that I have used it in several examples in prior posts, but I have not given it its own post until now. I have to confess that I am so accustomed to using the API program version of QCMDEXC, I keep forgetting to use the SQL procedure.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Using API to test Help Panels

quhdsph api to diplay uim help module text

After publishing the post about how to create help text for display files using UIM several people messaged me that there is an IBM i API that can be used to test the help, without needing to add code to a display file. I have to admit I was unaware of the API, and am grateful to those who messaged me.

I decided to create a program to call the Display Help, QUHDSPH, API that way I can have a simple user interface to use, I only need to enter the variables I want and leave the rest with there defaults. I am going to show a very simple example here to illustrate how QUHDSPH can be used. As this is a simple example program a lot of the code I would add for myself, for validation etc. is not present.

For simplicity I am using a display file to enter the variables for the help module I want to see. There are other ways I could have done this, perhaps using a command instead, but I want this to be K.I.S.S compliant.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

IBM i 7.3 TR2 and 7.2 TR6 announced

ibmi 7.3 tr2 and 7.2 tr6

Steve Will, chief architect of IBM i, made the "spring" announcement of new Technical Refreshes for 7.3 and 7.2 in his You and i blog earlier today.

Included in the announcement:

  • A new lower end PowerSystems server, S812.
  • DB2 (SQL) enhancements
    • New

Monday, February 13, 2017

Video: 7.3 TR1 and 7.2 TR3 latest and greatest

A video by IBM's Tim Rowe going into many of the cool things that came out with IBM i 7.3 TR1 and 7.2 TR3, that was released last October.

Friday, February 10, 2017

WMCPA spring conference is in March

The Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professional Association, WMCPA, will be holding their spring technical conference next month. This three day event, Tuesday March 14 – Thursday March 16, promises to be the largest IBM i conference in the Midwest this year, with over 50 presentations from many well-known IBM i experts and 2017 IBM Champions. Tuesday starts off with the WMCPA sponsored "Women in IT", geared towards high school girls and women already working in or interested in Information Technology.

This year's event is at the Lake Lawn Resort in Delavin, WI. The resort is less than an hour from Milwaukee, and 1 hour 45 minutes from Chicago.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Adding UIM help to the Display file

add code to dds for help to be displayed

Having created a UIM help panel group I need to add the code to my Display file's DDS so that the help will be displayed. This post is going to use the UIM panel group that was created in my previous post to demonstrate, in simple terms, how to do this. I have designed a very simple display file to only include what I think is the minimum needed for it to work.

Most people have no idea where to find the Help key in their 5250 emulation client, therefore, as per SAA CUA standards I always define F1 as an alternate help key. I define the alternate help key in the file level keywords, top before the first record format definition, of the display file.

Rather than use SDA I find it easier to enter this source code using a source code editor, for example SEU. Therefore, I will be describing how to add this code as if I am using a source code editor.

Monday, February 6, 2017

IBM video: Introductory DB2 for i and SQL

While this video was recorded a few years ago it is still a good introduction for those wanting to learn SQL. The video is called IBM DB2 for i and SQL overview, and it is presented by IBM’s Eric Jackson.

Since the video was recorded IBM has revamped their website, so the link to the IBM DB2 for i page, shown in the sixth minute, has been replaced by:

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Creating help text using UIM

uim panel group help

Thanks to UIM, User Interface Manager, designing help for your DDS display files is very simple. UIM has been used by IBM for their screens, menus, and help panels since the launch of the AS400, it was not until V2R1, 1991, that it was made available to programmers to create their own help panels. The "language" itself is easy to become familiar with and its compile listings are some of the easiest to decipher on IBM i.

In this post I am going to show how to create UIM help panels that can be used in DDS display files, and in a second post how to add the various DDS keywords to your Display file source code to use the UIM help panels.