AS400 Tutorials

2 New Query Videos

September 30th, 2013 by John
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Dear IT Pro,

I know you’re busy, so I’ll make it brief…

I just uploaded a couple of Query/400 and IBM Query for i tutorials.

The first one explains the right way to join two files together:

The second one is a little-known way of working with Julian dates:

Would you do me a favor? Go check them out — and leave a comment or “thumbs up” if you like them and want to see more.

Warm Regards,

-John Andersen

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How To Write IBM i Programs

August 22nd, 2013 by John
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Dear IT Pro,

I have kicked the idea around for long enough. And in no small part, based on your comments and emails… I think it’s time to put together some useful info on how to craft programs for the AS/400, iSeries and IBM i.

When I started on this platform I did the usual operations stuff. Work with print queues, monitor jobs, write queries and reports.

But it wasn’t until I started writing RPG IV and CL programs that my knowledge really exploded. To get good, I had to start deeply understanding the system and different aspects to write good programs.

Programming really propelled my career. Think about it for a minute. Would you hire the guy that can just keep the system running? Or the guy who can do all that, write reports, modify the database, enhance existing programs and solve business problems with new ones?

And it made administering the platform so much easier. You can put together a CL program for day-in and day-out tasks, drop it in the scheduler and your off.

There are other perks… One time I even debugged our ERP vendors reporting program that was taking forever and hogging up all the CPU. It felt good to finally fix that issue and get he system running smoothly.

I will keep you posted as things progress. But watch this space and your inbox for updates.

In the mean time, would you do me a favor? Simply send me a note in the comment section below to let me know what you think… what do you want, what would you like to see?

Warm Regards,
-John Andersen

 

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Inside the Mailbag: Query Manager

March 13th, 2013 by John
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Dear IT Pro,

Recently I received an email from a reader… they didn’t quite see the value of using Query Manager vs. Query/400. I answered him via email but I also wanted to expand a little on my reply.

In some ways I agree, Query/400 is quick and easy. Believe it or not I still use it from time to time today.

But the real bonus to Query Manager is SQL. In fact any tool on the system that uses SQL is more efficient.

SQL is fast, it is the standard way to access, retrieve and modify data on the platform now.

SQL makes your life so much easier. Database admins from other platforms probably look at that in a weird kind of way since SQL is sort of synonymous with databases.

But if you have been around the platform like I have – SQL wasn’t always so and we used other tools to get things done. Remember using PFE?

Yeah PFE was sort of like the dark days before we had SQL on the 400.

Anyhow… Onward.

SQL is just so much more efficient and it is faster. If you take a Query definition that joins multiple files and it takes some time to run, I can assure you by porting it over Query Manager, it will run faster… probably without tweaking the SQL statement at all.

You can also finesse the underlying SQL statement used by Query Manager. You can tune it. You can work with it. This cannot be accomplished with Query/400.

With SQL also comes a whole new bag of goodies that have no equivalent in Query… things like CASE, casts, and sub-queries.

Query Manager is not a glorious report building package with slick formatting and a nice GUI, but it is an excellent alternative to Query/400.

You probably already have Query Manager installed and licensed… along with the tools available on the system you can port your query definitions right over.

 

Warm Regards,
-John Andersen

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