Category: Tips and Techniques

Service Programs

Hah, I’ll bet you thought this blog was dead … didn’t you? It’s not … at least mostly not dead. Here’s a hint that might save your bacon sometime in the future. It may seem obvious to some people … but Service Programs are probably the BEST enhancement to System i that IBM ever implemented. […]

Tabula Rasa

Our title’s Latin translation is “scraped tablet” or “blank slate”. I find it fitting since I intend to talk about the ‘best’ way to fully erase your system using native iSeries support. This question arises frequently when Disaster Recovery testing is performed at an offsite location or company has upgraded their iSeries and is relocating […]

Jasper Reports

Reporting on iSeries has come a long way. Traditionally, iSeries developers have to create reports using RLU, and then the RPG report program creates a spool file which the user then prints for his analysis. ItÂ’s a normal sight to see users printing bulk print-outs from the spool file. Then the need came for sending the reports via email, and there are lot of tools now to convert spool files to PDFs to send the reports to others. Though these converted reports to PDF will suffice, they do not have a professional look; they may lack a company logo and there is no way to show different colors, charts, internationalization, bar codes, different fonts, etc.

Though you can buy a vendor product to do all those things, why not try Jasper Reports for free? With Jasper, you can achieve all these things and create a professional looking report with any formats you wish (PDF, Excel, rich text format, XML, and CSV). However, to use Jasper, you will have to use java, and integrate Jasper in your java programs. And moreover, you will have to write SQLs to generate the data for your report. Thus, it might not be the best idea to write a complex SQL to generate a report (for example, a purchase order report), in order to replace or imitate a legacy reporting RPG program. In that case, the conversion tools (converting spool to pdf) will be a better option.

So, consider using Jasper for any new reports or for any small-to-complicated reports where not more than 2 or 3 files are needed, or for any files with less data.

Cardboard Analyst

Have you ever had a problem that has you absolutely stumped … and you ask a co-worker for assistance or post a message to an online forum (like a midrange.com mailing list) for assistance. Then, quite soon after you ask for assistance, you finally discover the answer yourself? This is called the ‘Cardboard Analyst’ phenomenon […]

Team Support in WDSc

I finally figured out the major points for working with teams in WDSc. It uses a combination of CVS (Concurrent Versioning System) and WDSc. I will go over the major points in getting this setup and working. I am learning as I go and may update this article as I gain more knowledge in how […]