Friday, June 14, 2024

New Technology Refreshes available today

Today the PTFs for the latest Technology Refreshes, IBM i 7.5 TR4 and 7.4 TR10, become available.

There are three sets of PTFs you need to download:

  • General PTFs for the Technology Refresh
  • Database PTFs (SQL)
  • RPG PTFs

The numbers for these PTFs are different for the two releases. These are the numbers I have found so far:

IBM i 7.5 TR4 IBM i 7.4 TR10
General TR PTFs
Database PTFs SF99950   7 SF99704   28
RPG PTFs

I cannot wait to start trying all the new features and functions. When I do, I will write about them on this website.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Eleven years and still going

Another year has passed, and this blog is now eleven years old. It is still a labor of love, and I want to continue to bring you the news about IBM i and IBM Power, and the best examples of using IBM i. I am grateful to all of you for visiting this site, and especially to you who have reached out to me with their feedback and encouragement.

On the personal side I was grateful to be recognized by IBM as an IBM Champion for Power for the fourth year.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

List unused virtual devices

This was a first: I was asked by the auditors for a list of virtual devices that had not been used in the past six months. In all my years of dealing with auditors this was the first time I had been asked this question.

It is not a big deal to get this information. All virtual devices are just device descriptions, object type '*DEVD', with the object attribute of 'DSPVRT'. As they are objects I can get this information from the SQL Table function OBJECT_STATISTICS.

What columns of data am I interested in?

  • Object's attribute
  • Object's name
  • The date the object was created
  • The date the object was last used
  • Object's description

My SQL statement to retrieve the data the auditors are interested in would be:

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Withdrawal of support for some development tools

In an announcement made last month, May 2024, IBM announced the withdrawal of a number of their products and tools for IBM power and IBM i, effective April 30, 2025.

Included are the following IBM Rational Development Studio for i Application Development Toolset tools:

  • Report Layout Utility (RLU)
  • Screen Design Aid (SDA)
  • File Compare and Merge Utility (FCMU)
  • Advanced Printer Function (APF)
  • Character Generator Utility (CGU)
  • Data File Utility (DFU)

You can read the announcement here.

I have reached out to an IBM Business Partner and asked them does this mean that these tools will still work, just they we will no longer get support for issues with them. When I receive a reply from them I will post it here.

I don't think that IBM will stop these tools from working. SEU has been off support for years, but you can still use it (if you must).

Monday, June 3, 2024

June's presentation

I have one engagement this month:

I am travelling to the United Kingdom to attend i-UG's i-Power conference in Northampton. It is a two day event, Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th June. I will be making three presentations on the Wednesday. If you are in the UK at that time this will be a valuable conference for you to attend to give you the opportunity to learn more about IBM i and the IBM Power server.

You can register for the conference here.

To see the speakers, presentations, etc. click here.

If you are attending and see me please introduce yourself and say "Hello".


If you are a member of an IBM i Local User Group, LUG, and you would like me to talk to your group, use the contact form to reach me. We can then arrange a date and subject.

If you are a member of a LUG that is not listed on my LUG page, please contact me and send me your group's details.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Getting the message for the SQL code quickly

All of us who use SQL have encountered errors, and when we do a SQL code is returned. This then leaves us trying to find the text associated with the SQL code to understand what had happened.

If this is in a RPG program I always recommend that you use GET DIAGNOTISTICS, which will return all you wanted to know about the message and a whole lot more too. If I am quickly writing a RPG program that will only be used one, or maybe twice, or a CL program and I get a SQL code I need to look it up to understand what happened.

There are two types of SQL codes:

  1. Those less than zero: Errors
  2. Those greater than zero: Warnings

All SQL codes have an equivalent IBM i message id. Basically it is 'SQL' followed by the SQL code. For example, SQL code -423 becomes message id SQL0423.

All message ids' information in IBM i are held in message files. SQL messages have their own message file QSQLMSG in the library QSYS.

If I wanted to look up the message for SQL code -423, message id SQL0423, I could use the Display Message Description command,DSPMSGD:

Monday, May 27, 2024

RPGPGM.COM-unity ribbons

Last week at COMMON Americas PowerUp2024 conference I handed some special ribbons to people. You can see who I did here.

What does this mean? You will have to click on the above link to learn.

Apologies to those people I gave ribbons too that I did not have time to photograph. If you are one of those people it is not too late. Take a photograph of yourself posing with your conference badge and RPGPGM.COM-unity ribbon, like the people in the photographs, and send it to me. I will add you to the page. My email address is RPGPGM.COM@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Extract number out of character column and use it to update another column

A friend told me about the old database he had to work with. There was one file with a field that contained two pieces of information. Any leading characters, A – Z, meant one thing and the numbers within it meant something else. Unfortunately there could be any number of leading characters, the numbers could be three of four long, and there could be characters at the end. The examples he shared with me were:

  • 'A123B'
  • 'ABC123'
  • 'AB4679'
  • 'BC0123D'

His plan was to add a new numeric field to the file, and update it with the numbers extracted from this original field.

"What would be a simple way to do this with SQL?" he asked.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Retrieving file's keys with SQL, having to use DSPFD

In my last post I wrote about how to list a file's key fields using the file QADBKATR to retrieve the key fields' information from.

I mentioned that there may be times that you are not authorized to use the QADBKATR file. If you are not authorized how else can you get the key fields? And present them as I did in the previous example?

I have to fall back and use the Display File Description command, DSPFD, using the Access Path value in the "Type of information" parameter:

DSPFD FILE(MYLIB/TESTFILE) TYPE(*ACCPTH)

Thursday, May 9, 2024

New IBM Power 10 model for AI

On Tuesday, May 7 2024, IBM announced a new model IBM Power 10, S1012, which caught my eye. It is smaller than the other IBM Power rack mounted servers, and it also comes in a cool looking tower version too.

The following statements in the announcement caught my eye:

  • "This 1-socket, half-wide Power10 processor-based system delivers up to 3X more performance per core versus Power S812"
     
  • "delivers the lowest entry price point in the Power port[f]olio to run core workloads for small and medium-sized organizations"
     
  • "provides clients the flexibility to run AI inferencing workloads in remote office and back office (ROBO) locations outside mainstream datacenter facilities"