Aug 23

Trigger capabilities for new apply process within HA4i

We had not realized the new apply process for HA4i version 7.1 did not have the trigger support built in, the IBM apply which uses the APYJRNCHG commands did not need to be told to ignore trigger requests it just did it! So we had to build a new trigger disable and enable process into the HA4i 7.1 *SAS apply process which allowed the trigger programs if any to be disabled while the apply process was applying updates etc but to be re-enabled as soon as the apply process had been stopped.

It seemed pretty easy at the start, all we had to do was identify which files had triggers and go in and disable them. But what about changes to the triggers and new triggers being added! We had to make sure that any D-TC, D-TD and D-TG entries are correctly applied and managed within the apply process. Anyhow we found a pretty neat way to manage it all and after a fair amount of testing and trials we now have a trigger support process that works. Still testing the new version and we have found a number of small issues when running in a complex customer environment but we think we have most of the problems ironed out now.. That is until the next one crops up!

Chris…

Aug 23

Send the output for affected objects to a DB File

Another request we felt made a lot of sense for the JRNMASTER list affected objects program was to allow the output to be written straight to a file instead of displaying through a panel group.

So you can now run the request against a receiver and it will create the output in a DB file which can be queried with SQL or any other file management tool you want to use.

Updates are a bit constant at the moment as we receive more requests so the latest content will not be in the download until we get to a stable point. If you have any features you would like to be added let us know.

Chris…

Aug 22

Improved the List of affected objects in a receiver to include IFS entries

I have just updated the JRNMASTER tool which allows the listing of objects that have entries in a journal receiver to include IFS entries. This was part of the original tools design but the implementation was not provided in the initial release. Now you can ask for either library based (*OBJ) or IFS (*IFS) entries to be reviewed by the program and the results displayed.

Here is a sample output screen of the IFS data we retrieved.

Listing of IFS changes in a receiver

List of affected IFS objects in a receiver

May come in handy of you need to review the IFS objects which have been updated during a specific period of time?

Let me know if you have other ideas on what the tool could provide.

Chris…

Aug 22

New tool to display the affected objects in a journal receiver

Ever wanted to know what objects have been updated in a particular journal receiver? Well we had a couple of requests from clients saying they would. So we have built a new option in the JRNMASTER tool which will allow you to display the objects as well as some other important information.

The tool simply reads through the receiver and captures a list of objects which have been changed via journal entries, it will only record the object and journal entry information once but does have a count of the number of times the same entry type and object information occurred. This allows you to see just how much activity a certain object is subjected to during the period of time the journal receiver was attached. Once we have that information we create a list of the data and display it to the user in a panel group which currently allows you to submit a sync request via the HA4i product. We will add more options as requests come forward such as being able to display the particular transactions etc, but for now the only option is for the sync request.

Here is a sample of the output.

Screen showing affected objects

List Affected Objects

The receiver can be attached to a local or remote journal, the sample output above shows one of our test remote journals which we use for testing our HA4i product.

We are going to be adding the new feature to the JRNMASTER download in the next week or so as we need to add the help text and menu options to the JRNMASTER menu. If you would like a copy of the tool it will be available for download on our website soon, if you want a copy before we get to finishing it and would be happy to use it without all the bells and whistles we can ship a Save File with the content to you. Just let us know.

If you have any requests for features like this we are happy to take them and see if we can come up with a solution, obviously that will be on a best effort basis but if it makes sense to add a feature we are more than happy to try. I know a lot of people are using the free CRC Builder to verify file content, we don’t offer any support but have responded with updates recently and we know people are using them and others will benefit from those updates.

Contact us if you would like to try out the JRNMASTER product, its free as we have said and while we don’t guarantee to fix problems or add new features we have yet to turn anyone down who came to us with a reasonable request.

Chris…

Aug 22

PHP i5_Toolkit from Aura Equipments and the QSYSOPR messages

One of the questions we are being asked regularly is why am I getting messages in the QSYSOPR message queue when using the i5_toolkit from Aura. The answer is very simple, before Zend upgraded to their latest version (5.6) they had an agreement with Aura equipments for the use and support of the i5_toolkit. Since 5.6 Zend have stopped the agreement with Zend and no longer ship the i5_toolkit from Aura but are pushing an open source i5_toolkit called XMLSERVICE. They also provide a set of wrappers within Zend Server which allow the original i5_toolkit() functions to be left in your code and they are automatically mapped to the XMLSERVICE functions. There are some deficiencies in the XMLSERVICE so not all of the i5_toolkit() functions are supported yet. We have already made our position clear on the performance of the XMLSERVICE versus the Aura i5_toolkit in may previous posts.

Aura have agreed to continue to support their i5_toolkit for customers who installed it as part of the Zend Server installs prior to version 5.6. This is done via the forums at http://forums.iampserver.com, you can post any questions or problems you have with your version on the forums and the technical support team at Aura will respond as soon as they can. If you have migrated to version 5.6 you need to consider retaining an Aura support contract, Zend do not support the i5_toolkit anymore and no longer ship the product as part of their 5.6 install. The cost of support is based on the IBM CPU tier of your system and in our opinion is more than fairly priced.

Why should you buy the Aura support, after all today you are getting it for free. Well there are a number of reasons.

First of all you will be entitled to the new features which are being added to the i5_toolkit, this is over and above the existing functionality which is not available in the XMLSERVICE toolkit. The product is going to be part of your business applications, so having skilled technical staff who can fix problems is something you won’t get with an open source offering. I am not against open source but when you consider the limited install base this is going to be running on and the developer network who are going to be available to maintain and improve it, it is not going to be the same as other open source product we all use and love. We have already mentioned that the i5_toolkit is better and more efficient than the XMLSERVICE, I know they have been working on improving the performance and a recent announcement did say it has improved significantly. We have not tested the latest version so cannot be sure if it is as good as the i5_toolkit from Aura, but the gap was so large we are not sure if its even worth it? Another big benefit from our standpoint is the ability to run the EASYCOM server on one IBMi and the PHP code on another IBMi or platform. This gives the user lots of benefits and may provide you with even more performance benefits over running the HTTP services on the IBMi. The latest version of the i5_toolkit from Aura is packed with additional features which make integration with IBMi objects and data much more effective, without a support contract these are not going to be available to you. At the moment Aura are also offering support for their iAMP server included with the i5_toolkit support, this means you can have full support for the entire PHP stack from one vendor and at a price that is hard to beat.

So the answer is clear, taking a support contract with Aura is going to give you access to a superior product and at a price you can afford. No up front license costs, just an annual maintenance fee. Why would you not protect your business if it is this affordable?

Contact us directly to discuss your options, you will be surprised just how affordable this is. Plus no more annoying messages in the QSYSOPR message queue.

Chris…

Aug 07

Version 7.1 of HA4i is in the final stages of testing

We have been very quiet on the Blog front for some time now, this has been the result of some major changes to the HA4i product which we are finally in the position to mention.

HA4i has continued to grow in terms of its capabilities and features, the latest release is a major upgrade from the previous version (6.1) which we released last year. One of the reasons this release has taken so long to get through the testing phase is that most of the code has been improved so we had to make sure we didn’t break some of the existing features. We think the most important new feature in this release is the new apply process which will apply changes directly from the remote journal in much the same way most of our competitors do. This means we now offer the client a choice on how they want to apply journal changes, this is something no one else offers. We also made sure the client could switch between apply types with minimal effort, so if you have an application that would benefit from running the *IBM apply process (APYJRNCHG) for a period of time and the *SAS (Direct Apply) for another you can do it. The existing apply process is an excellent technology and it meets most of our existing clients needs, but the inflexibility of IBM in terms of new features and enhancements to that process started to provide a number of challenges which we found difficult to work around if in fact we could. The direct apply process (*SAS) does not suffer from that inflexibility so we can manipulate the technology to meets the clients requirements. For our V5R4 customers the relationship between the Physical File and the Logical File which caused a number of issues with the APYJRNCHG process is now solved, the objects will be created in the correct sequence.

Once we have finished testing and the product is ready for release we will publish the final feature changes (we are still adding them as testing progresses and customer say it would be nice if…) so you can assess for yourselves just how good HA4i is when compared to its competitors.

If you are considering a HA solution make sure you contact us to discuss just how cost effective the HA4i solution will be, and don’t forget we also provide Job Queue content replication with our JobQGenie product which completes our HA portfolio.

Chris…

Aug 07

New addition to Journal tool

A recent request from a client has resulted in an update to the JRNMASTER tool we have available for download. The client was having problems with files being removed from journaling by an application which they could not alter. The application could not be changed to remove the offending operation which stopped the journaling even though its removal would not affect the end result.

The client wanted something which would detect when a program ends the journaling against the file and automatically start journaling again. This had to be flexible enough to do this without knowing which program was carrying out the request or when it would be run and only be carried out against certain files. Thanks to our apply technology which we built into the HA4i product we found a method of capturing the event immediately and restarting the journaling to the correct journal.

So if you need something which can capture ENDJRNPF requests and immediately restart the journaling then the JRNMASTER tool is something you may want to try.

Chris…