Thursday, September 29, 2022

SQL equivalent of WRKSPLF, faster way of getting information about my spool files?

One of the first commands we all learn with IBM i is the Work with Spool Files command, WRKSPLF. With IBM i releases 7.5 and 7.4 TR6 comes a new SQL Table Function that is the equivalent of WRKSPLF.

The new Table Function, SPOOLED_FILE_INFO is found in library QSYS2, has parameters that match those of the WRKSPLF command. The syntax for the Table Function is:

  JOB_NAME => '*',
  FORM_TYPE => '*STD',
  SYSTEM_NAME => 'DEV750'))

These parameters and their WRKSPLF equivalents are:

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Using SQL to get information about Journal Receivers

Earlier this year I wrote about using the QjoRtvJrnReceiverInformation API to get information about journal receivers. I noticed that in a recent batch of PTFs a new SQL View, JOURNAL_RECEIVER_INFO, which provides all of the information I am interested in. It is easier to get the information I desire from the SQL View than the API, so why would I continue to use the API?

The View JOURNAL_RECEIVER_INFO is found in the QSYS2 library. I recommend that you run the following statement to see all of the columns and information it contains:


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

End of support for IBM i 7.3 announced

I was guessing that this was going to happen either this or next month, and it has. In an announcement dated September 27, 2022, IBM revealed that they will discontinue support for release IBM i 7.3 on September 30, 2023.

7.3 was released on April 15, 2016. With it going off support on September 30, 2023, it means that it will have been an active release for seven years and five and a half months.

You can read the full announcement, including the other product coming to end-of-life, here.

If you have a Power8 or higher and you are on IBM i 7.3 you need to start finalizing your plans to update your operating system to either 7.4 or 7.5.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Determining which objects have changed since last save

There is an old library, I am going to call it OLDLIB1, that is still in everyone's library list. I needed to determine if there are files in this library that are still changed. I have used the word "changed" rather than "used" as they mean two different things. A file is used when it is opened in a program, the data within might not be changed. A file is changed when a record is added to the file, modified, or deleted. At present the entire library is saved using the SAVLIB command once a week. But if files are still being used we need to do a more often backup.

I can get to this information using the Display Object Description command, DSPOBJD, but with that I have to build an output file and then search the output file for the information I need.

Fortunately the SQL View SYSTABLESTAT contains the information too in the following columns:

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Using SQL to perform a domain lookup

We all develop our own algorithms to validate email addresses. There must be an "@" sign in the string, there must be a period after that, etc. Most of these I have seen fail due to the domain name part of the email address. There are now Top Level Domains, TLD, (the letters that come after the "dot") that are longer than three characters. I know of many non-IBM i applications that use a DNS lookup to determine if the domain is active, although this will not guarantee that the domain has email.

As part of the IBM i 7.5 and 7.4 TR6 release is a simple way to do a DNS lookup using SQL.

Before I get started I need to state the obvious: What I am going to show you here will only work if your IBM i partition can connect to the internet. If it cannot then you will be unable to duplicate what I describe here.

The DNS lookup is performed by a Db2 for i Table Function, DNS_LOOKUP, which is found in the library QSYS2. Two parameters can be passed to the Table function:

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Using SQL to check the user password rules

I am sure when we sign on to a new partition and are prompted to change our user profile's password we spend several minutes trying to find a password we like that matches the partition's password rules.

As part of the new release IBM i 7.5 and 7.4 TR6 comes a new SQL table function that allows me to validate passwords to the partition's rules. SQL table function CHECK_PASSWORD uses all of the password system values in this hierarchy:

  • QPWDRQDDIF:  Required Difference in Passwords
  • Either:
    • QPWDRULES:  Password Rules
  • Or:
    • QPWDMINLEN:  Minimum Length of Passwords
    • QPWDMAXLEN:  Maximum Length of Passwords
    • QPWDLMTAJC:  Restriction of Consecutive Digits for Passwords
    • QPWDLMTCHR:  Restricted Characters for Passwords
    • QPWDLMTREP:  Restriction of Repeated Characters for Passwords
    • QPWDRQDDGT:  Requirement for Numeric Character in Passwords

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Creating a reusable SQL View for a spool file

For the last few years I have been asked more often for a download, that can be loaded into Microsoft Excel, rather than paper report. Custom reports can be easily modified to include a "download file" option. Reports from within the ERP is more complicated. If I modify the ERP's report then I become responsible for it. Most ERP vendors will not provide support for any object I have modified. And then if an updated version of the object becomes available from the ERP, I would have to add my changes again. The solution I use is to generate the report, then "slice and dice" the spool file into a "download file".

I could copy the spool file into a physical file and then "slice and dice" using a RPG program. I don't have to do that anymore. I can build a SQL View using the SPOOLED_FILLE_DATA table function for my report, and then use standard SQL to "slice and dice" the contents into the columns I desire.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Using value from the spool file as the IFS file name

I was asked how it was possible to use a string within a spool file as the file name when it was copied to the IFS as a PDF. I have written in separate posts the parts that would be needed to achieve this, and this post will pull it all together.

In my scenario I have spool files of invoices. I want to copy these to create individual PDFs in an IFS folder.

I created a simple RPG program to create a couple of "invoice" spool files. These invoices were generated using the QSYSPRT printer file, and the user data of INVOICE. They both had the same layout, the only difference being the invoice number itself. For example:

 Invoice : 81719

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

SQL view listing Binding Directory information

All I wanted was a quick way to check which Binding Directories contain a certain service program. Included in IBM i 7.5 and 7.4 TR6 is a SQL View that can provide me with the information I desire.

If I wanted to see which Service Programs and Modules are contained within a Binding Directory I would use the Work With Binding Directory Entries command, WRKBNDDIRE:


Which shows the following:

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Making the source code line longer for RUNSQLSTM

I always place the code I use to create DDL tables, indexes, views, etc. in a source member. It has always frustrated me that the code could not go beyond the 80th column, without the compiling failing. As part of IBM i 7.5 and 7.4 TR6 a new special value is allowed in the Run SQL Statement command, RUNSQLSTM.

In the RUNSQLSTM command there is a parameter for the source margins, MARGINS, that allows me to give the position of the right margin of the code within the member. The default is 80, but now there is a keyword I can use in its place: *SRCFILE. This "tells" the compiler to use the entire length of the source member, rather than the first 80 characters only.

If I made a SQL statement that is greater than 80 characters in a source member, like this: