Wednesday, April 29, 2020

View the most recent Identity column value

in sql using identity_val_local to get last identity number generated

In my opinion identity columns are one of the cool things in Db2 for i. Basically an identity column is a column in a table that is updated by Db2 with the next sequential value. Depending upon how I code the identity column I can guarantee that they will never repeat, and provide a great unique key that can be used as a foreign key in another table. Most of time I do not have to bother with what the identity column's value as I know it will be unique and the only way I can reuse numbers is to reset the identity column.

I have to admit at times I am curious as to what the last value used in a table's identity column. I stumbled across a SQL function that will return to me the last used identity column for the table. But before I describe how to use this function I need a table and some data within it to show how to use the function.

My table is simple, it just contains two columns:

  1. Identity column
  2. Another column that will contain some data

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Inserting one row with every columns' default value

sql insert 1 row with default values only

I wrote before how to SQL Insert a row into a table with the columns' defaults. Included within the last Technology Refreshes for IBM i 7.4 TR1 and 7.3 TR7 was an enhancement to the SQL Insert statement that would add a new row to the table with the columns' defaults without having to say "DEFAULT" for each column.

Before I show the enhanced Insert statement I need a table to insert the row into:

01  CREATE OR REPLACE TABLE MYLIB.TESTTABLE (
02   ID_COLUMN SMALLINT GENERATED ALWAYS AS IDENTITY,
03   COLUMN1A VARCHAR(10) DEFAULT 'COL 1',
04   COLUMN1B VARCHAR(10),
05   COLUMN2A DECIMAL(3,0) DEFAULT -1,
06   COLUMN2B DECIMAL(3,0),
07   COLUMN3A DATE DEFAULT '01/01/1900',
08   COLUMN3B DATE,
09   COLUMN4A TIMESTAMP DEFAULT '0001-01-01-00.00.00.000000',
10   COLUMN4B TIMESTAMP
11  )

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

IBM i 7.4 TR2 and 7.3 TR8 announced

more information about ibmi 7.4 tr2 and 7.3 tr8

After last night's publication of the enhancements in the forthcoming Technical Refreshes, IBM i 7.4 TR2 and 7.3 TR2, this morning the announcement documents have been published.

From this we learn that the projected availability date for the PTFs for these TRs will be May 15, 2020.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Db2 enhancements in IBM i 7.4 TR2 and 7.3 TR8

ibmi 7.4 tr2 and 7.3 tr8 enhancements

The Db2 enhancements for the new Technical Refreshes of IBM i were published tonight, 7.3 TR8 and 7.4 TR2.

I have only had the opportunity for a quick glance at the pages for the two TRs and I find that there are some additions that have been made to 7.4, and not to 7.3:

  • Functional enhancement: Weakly typed distinct types
  • Functional enhancement: HASH_ROW built-in function
  • Service: QSYS2.COMPARE_FILE

The same additions to the RPG language were made for both versions. These are:

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

System Reply List and using SQL to view the list

using system reply list

My original plan was to answer a question about the best way to retrieve the data from the system reply list on a particular IBM i partition. Before I wrote that post I asked my colleagues whether they knew about reply lists and had they used them? From their reactions I think I need to discuss what the system reply list is, and include the answer to my question within this post.

What the system reply list allows me to create a list of entries that will handle inquiry messages. On my travels I seen a few sites that use this feature, while most do not.

Reply lists have been around forever, all the way back to the days of the AS400. From what I remembered while creating the examples for this post I don't think anything has changed since I first played with them.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Patron Saint of Computers day

In 1997 Pope John Paul II made Saint Isidore of Seville the patron saint of computers, computer programming, and the internet, and today is his feast day.

Saint Isidore was a sixth century scholar famed for his wisdom and writings at a critical time for the Catholic Church in Spain. He was bishop of Seville for 32 years, which this is used as part of his name to distinguish him from Saint Isidore the Farmer.

You can learn more about Saint Isidore of Seville by clicking here.

Do any other faiths have saints, spirits, or deities that are associated with computers? If you know of any please leave a comment below.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Playing with RPG's indicator array

changing indicators within the *in array

This all started with a conversation with a colleague. He asked about how he could change multiple RPG's numbered indicators without having to hard code the indicators. As the indicators are held in an array he was asking couldn't he just change a number of elements in one statement, rather than the individual indicators? He gave this example of fixed format RPG which changes indicators 10 - 13.

C                   MOVEA     '1001'        *IN(10)

When we place a debug breakpoint after this line we could see that indicators 10 – 13 contained the values he desired:

> EV *IN
*IN(10) = '1'
*IN(11) = '0'
*IN(12) = '0'
*IN(13) = '1'

Before I go any further I want to give my opinion about numbered indicators. I am not against indicators. I use them all the time in my work, and you have seen many examples of me using indicators in posts in this blog. But these are named indicators, not the numbered indicators those of us old enough to have programmed in RPG2 or RPG3 had to use. In RPG4 there is no excuse to use numbered indicators. They are confusing as a numbered indicator gives me no idea as to its function. Do you know what *IN80 is used for? If I use a named indicator instead then everyone knows its purpose.