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Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i
preview of book Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i
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Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i

Publisher: MC Press Online
Publication Date: 2014
Subject: Computer: Programming-RPG
Category: Programming
Number of Pages: 445

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About this title
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
About author
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.

Rafael currently works as a consultant for CPI Consulting in Portugal. His areas of expertise cover System i, Lotus Domino/Notes, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, and Python, among other languages and technologies. Rafael is also author of the popular “RPG Academy” article series at, as well as more than 30 TechTips, most of them about interfacing IBM i with other servers and clients and getting the system to send e-mails, use web services, and generate user-friendly web pages.

  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

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
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

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