In the old days, our beloved server was, in many cases, the only system a company used to perform its business. Today, IBM i is no longer an island. This book is about building bridges that link that “island” to the modern business server world. You'll discover easier and more flexible ways to get data into your IBM i system, plus rather surprising methods to export and present the vital business data it contains.
Flexible Input, Dazzling Output (FIDO) is all about interfaces. It shares more with a dog than just its name: it has a few tricks of its own!
The solutions presented here range from novel ways to prevent and recover user errors on .csv input files to the creation of professional-grade, interactive, and fully customizable charts based on your data in real time. Your DB2 data will look great in program-generated Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and browser-based, interactive charts—everything from simple bar and pie charts to combinations of charts and/or charts and data tables.
The techniques provided in this book are all based on existing open source tools or were created from scratch by the author. By integrating these input/output methods into your own applications, you'll be able to provide flexible, integrated, and modern solutions—from ILE RPG programs, without having to increase the application landscape complexity with new servers and programming languages.
No other book provides such a comprehensive set of tools, and they're open source, free, and easy to integrate into your application solutions. Let FIDO bring modernization to your RPG-based applications without the full weight of new design tools and new languages. It's just ILE RPG and a few tricks!
Upon completion of Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i, you will:
Possess new ways to link your IBM i to the outside world
Know how to automate boring tasks, such as file transfers
Be able to create, read, and write files on the IFS from an RPG program
Understand how to prevent and correct user errors in .csv import files
Be able to create beautiful interactive charts directly from your RPG code, without having to learn a new programming language
Easily integrate Windows-based applications with your IBM i programs
Have your RPG programs produce professional-looking spreadsheets instead of ugly printouts
Have gained a set of open source, free tools that will help you solve everyday problems with ease and style
Rafael Victória-Pereira — Rafael Victória-Pereira is an analyst/developer with more than 15 years of IBM i experience. Most of those years have been spent building solutions to connect IBM i to others servers. These solutions range from one-time-only events, such as data migrations, to interfaces that have been live for more than 10 years and output improvement projects that include transforming printer files into professional Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and interactive charts.
Contents Acknowledgments Introduction Book Structure and Organization Naming Conventions Generic Compilation Instructions Open Source Tools Used in This Book
Part 1: Flexible Input Chapter 1: Automate Data Transfers Using FTP Authorization Lists The Authority-Checking Process for Objects Using Authorization Lists Selling It to Your SysAdmin
Chapter 2: Automate FTP in “Real Life” via LotusScript The Lotus Domino Agent RMTCMD and REXEC
Chapter 3: Transfer a PC Text File to an IBM i Physical File in One or Two Easy Steps In One Step . . Or Two Drawbacks to FTP
Chapter 4: Get Real-Time Integration Between Your PC Application and IBM i The VB Side of the Interface And the RPG Side
Chapter 5: Import CSV Files with File Correcting Main Program Analysis The DBH_INV Service Program The CSVPRC Service Program The SQLPRC Service Program
Chapter 6: Send Email from an RPG Program Requirements Other Procedures Email Address-Related Procedures Mime & Mail Sending Procedures Miscellaneous Procedures How to Configure Your IBM i to Send Email Where to Go from Here
Part 2: Dazzling Output Chapter 7: Easily Transform Legacy Printouts into Excel Files A Quick Java Rundown RPG Support for Java Now That You Know a Little About Java, We Can Continue The Hard Way The Easy Way Wow, That Was Easy! But How Does It Work? The Even Easier Way Easy, But . . . Easy, Easy, Easy
Chapter 8: Generate Professional Charts in Real Time The Pie Chart The Bar Chart The Geo Map Chart (Location Name Mode) The Geo Map (GPS Mode) The Gauge Chart The Column, Line, and Area Charts The Intensity Map Chart The Combo Chart The “Bars of Stuff” and “Piles of Money” Charts The Table API and Chart Interactions The Tree Map Chart Final Thoughts on Google's Chart APIs
Chapter 9: BLOBs Keep PDF, XLS, and Other Reports Safe in DB2 What's a BLOB and What Can You Use It For? Now That You Know What It Is, Here's How to Use It! Final Thoughts
Part 3: Going Global Chapter 10: GPS-Enable Your Database! Implementing the Steps A Quality Issue Multiple Results Final Thoughts
Chapter 11: Using GeoNames Web Services to Collect Geo-Related Data The Time Zone Web Service The Country Code and Country Info Web Services The Find Nearby Points of Interest Web Service The Find Nearby Wikipedia Entries Web Service Final Thoughts