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Meet the next generation of IBM i innovators

31 May

BOX Sync Stops, No Alerts

19 Jan

The place I work has a corporate version of BOX, and I’ve been using BOX on my Windows 7 laptop for the last year or so. I kept some crucial files in the BOX sync folder in Windows Explorer, and I felt relieved to know that these files were being backed up to the “cloud”.
So I got a new laptop the other day and I connected to BOX, and all the files that were downloaded to the new laptop were last updated in June, 2015, seven months ago!
Apparently I logged out of Box Sync back in June and there was no more syncing of my Windows folder.  I may have closed a log-in, or checked a box “do not show again” in haste.  But shouldn’t an essential service like a cloud backup service have barked at least once since then?  I was still using the Box Sync folder?  The services were still running on the laptop!?

Trust but verify.  Or Don’t Trust and verify.  But who has time to verify that a corporate piece of software you were told to use is doing the job corporate wanted the software to do?

It’s a good thing I didn’t have to depend on BOX.

If you are the administrator of Box in a corporate environment, you may want to find a way to confirm active Box syncing by your users.

January 19, 2016

Determining the Technology Refresh PTF level installed

28 Jul

If you are on V7R1.

From IBM Redbook:
IBM i 7.1 Technical Overview with Technology Refresh Updates
December 2014

Determining the Technology Refresh PTF level installed
To determine the Technology Refresh PTF level of 5770-999, use the Display PTF Status
(DSPPTF) command for product 5770-999, as shown in Figure 1-4.
Technology Refresh PTFs for this product are in the format of MF99nnn. The highest number
Technology Refresh PTF on your system, matched with Table 1-1 on page 7, indicates the
Technology Refresh level for this product.

Also known as technical release or TR level.

Unix / sFTP user cannot be more than 8 characters long on iSeries

24 Apr

If you are executing sFTP on an iSeries in batch, the user profile executing the job must be 8 characters or less. This is important.

If you forget this, the error message is “No user exists for uid ###”. This error message does not point you to what is wrong, exactly. It’s a hint. A vague hint.

The iSeries user profile has the uid number.

XMLTABLE – shred XML file into a DB2 file

30 Dec

I initially tried loading a CSV download, but there were issues with stray quote marks in the data, which caused issues for CPYFRMIMPF. I switched to an XML download, because V7R1 on the iSeries has XMLTABLE.

Note the test for empty fields: [text () != “”]

Here is a code sample I use to import XML into a DB2 table.

@Stmt = ‘create alias QTEMP/BT__X for bat__v1(‘ +
%trim(@MbrName) + ‘)’;

exec sql execute immediate :@Stmt ;

SQL_Cmd = ‘insert into QTEMP/BT__X ‘ +
‘Select a.* from ‘ +
%subst(d_name: 1: d_namelen) + ”’)))) as XMLFILE(Invoice), ‘ +
‘XMLTABLE(”Download/Invoice_Download” passing XMLFILE.INVOICE ‘ +
‘COLUMNS F1 Integer default 0 Path ”bill_to_acct_number’+
‘[text () != “”]” ,’ +
‘F2 Integer default 0 Path ”invoice_date[text () != “”]”,’+
‘F3 Integer default 0 Path ”invoice_number’ +
‘[text () != “”]”, ‘+
‘F4 Decimal(8,2) default 0 Path ”original_amount_due ‘ +
‘[text () != “”]”, ‘+
. . . .
) as a ‘ ;
exec sql execute immediate :SQL_Cmd ;

if sqlcod = 0 ;
commit ;
endif ;

@Stmt = ‘drop alias qtemp/BT__X’ ;
exec sql execute immediate :@Stmt ;

Clear DNS cache – iSeries

21 Oct

During a Disaster Recovery (DR) drill, PTF downloads to our iSeries servers were slow.  Painfully slow.  We asked the DR vendor to change the switch settings, check the cabling, etc.  This did not help.

We then checked our TCP settings and soon after noticed our download speeds were much better.  We had inadvertently cleared our DNS cache when we had opened the TCP menu (CFGTCP).

The restores from our SAVSYS tapes were months old and there had been DNS changes on the network in the interim that we had forgotten about.

Is there a way to clear the DNS resolver cache?

Using the CFGTCP command, select option 12. Pressing the Enter key will
clear the DNS resolver cache (sometimes referred to as the NAME cache).

keyword: Slow PTF downloads.

NetServer Disabled User ID Due to Mapped iSeries Drive

17 Sep

I created an iSeries shared IFS folder and then mapped a network drive on my
Windows 7 PC. Nearly every time I used the mapped drive on my PC, I found that my access was denied and I had to re-enable the NetServer i5/OS user id.

Re-enabling NetServer i5/OS user ids:
– Open iSeries Navigator / select server / Network / Servers / TCP/IP / right click on i5/OS NetServer / select Disabled User Ids.

This issue is caused by identical user ids on the Windows network and on the iSeries, with different passwords. See the link.

The solution: In iSeries Navigator, right click on the shared IFS folder, and “create shortcut”

2 alternate solutions are either to use different user ids on the 2 systems, or to use the same user id and the same passwords.

0x8004210C – Outlook 2003 error

31 Mar

I was gone for almost a week and had not downloaded personal email and there were some 180 emails to download. Every time I attempted to download, Outlook 2003 would not complete the download normally and when I would start again, the download started with 1 of 180 emails, every time.
I thought maybe just downloading headers would get a good download completion, but no.

So I logged in to the web email site, and deleted most of the emails and then went back to Outlook, which now failed downloading with this error:

(Account Name) Receiving’ reported error (0x8004210C) : ‘Some messages you marked for download are no longer available on the server.’

Since the download of email failed with the above error, the email server was not marking the emails as downloaded.
I tried deleting these header records in Outlook, but couldn’t. After a search on the web, I thought I was going to have to create a new data file. But then I found the “Shift-delete” solution. I did not have to recreate anything or copy anything.

Just select the orphan header records, and press SHIFT+DELETE.  Answer Ok to the permanent delete warning and it will appear the header records still exist, but these should go away with another “Send/Receive Email”.

Success! Success!

Thanks to:!)

Tape Alert

25 Sep

I loaded the magazine in a TS2900 IBM tape storage device, and during the inventory phase, the accessor (or carrier) started making a grinding sound. Like it was hitting the limit of movement, but still trying to move. The system generated a “Tape Alert” email:

Subject: Library Event Report
01/01/2008 22:24:52
ACCESSOR HWError(error, 2) CHK=0082

Contact IBM Service.

Vendor ID : IBM
Product ID : 3572-TL
F/W Revision : 0024.0000
Serial Number : 00000******
IP Address : ***.***.***.***

Drive 1 : IBM ULT3580-HH5 FW_REV:C7RD

Power cycling had no effect. I removed the magazine with manual pin release, but the carrier was too deep for me to reach it. So I opened a case with IBM.

IBM technician came in, varied off the tape drive, powered off, unplugged all cables, and we removed it from the rack and opened the case. There was a loose tape in the carrier’s path! The tape retaining tabs seemed to work OK, but they are a little weak??

Now I know.

From the web access, while there was a problem, a window would pop:
“Inventory Command Error”
-Inventory command execution failure. (ASC/ASCQ:40/80) “DIAGNOSTIC FAILURE ON COMPONENT 80”

Gartner overview of Warehouse Management Systems

18 Jul

Gartner’s take on WMi, which is the application I spend most of my time on, WMi version 2012:

Manhattan Associates (Warehouse Management for IBM i)

  • Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management for IBM i is a very mature, stable and proven product, with more than 20 years on the market.
  • Warehouse Management for IBM i is a functionally robust and proven WMS application, with a notable group of long-tenured and quite complex WMS customers.
  • Although the product is mature, the vendor continues to invest dedicated R&D in this version. Manhattan has built integrations to its other SCE offerings, such as labor management, slotting, transportation management and SCP.
  • Customer references note the stability and scalability of the solution.
  • It’s the most robust and well-supported RPG/IBM i WMS available. It’s primarily sold to retail, with a particular strength in apparel.
  • There is a very loyal IBM i community, and Manhattan is one of the few vendors still committed to supporting robust offerings in the space, which helps these users extend their IBM i investments.
  • Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management for IBM i offering is developed in RPG/IBM i, and RPG expertise is becoming increasingly difficult to secure.
  • For intraproduct integration (for example, WMS to transportation management system [TMS]), the vendor leverages a variety of data communication methods that are chosen based on a specific client’s needs for a given size of data payload or functionality, which is then enabled by Manhattan’s integration layer.
  • Warehouse Management for IBM i lacks the strategic emphasis of Manhattan’s WMOS.
  • The traditional green-screen UI is becoming less acceptable to users who are used to Windows and Web-based Is.
  • This is not the strategic direction for the vendor.

HS: I would mention that MarkMagic (from Cybra), a separate but included product, is used for generating shipping labels. 

Within WMi,  there are 2 separate products, the Warehouse Management System and the Transportation Execution (TE) system.  I believe Manhattan does offer modular versions of the WMS or the TE product, but it is usually a combined product.  As a result there is complexity in the code between WMS and TE that has thrown me off a few times, in part because there are some functions and data that are duplicated.  The 2 products also have UI differences that can be nettlesome.