Get Your IBM i Programmers Out of the Forms Design Business

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Here’s a question to consider when evaluating IBM i electronic forms design software:

“Would you let your Marketing department create program code?”

The answer is obvious. Marketing people aren’t programmers. They know nothing about analysis, database design, coding, or deployment. Letting them program is a silly idea.

And programmers aren’t marketers, especially when it comes to electronic forms design. Many companies allow programmers rather than professional designers to design and create IBM i forms such as invoices, ...

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Translating IBM i for the Windows World

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IBM_i_translationThrough acquisitions, job changes or reorganizations, Windows-based managers who aren’t familiar with the IBM i may suddenly find themselves in charge of several IBM i partitions. It can be like travelling to a foreign country, where the natives speak a different language and the customs are different.

If you’re in this position, don’t panic.

While the jargon and terms may be unfamiliar, many IBM i concepts are similar ...

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How to Empower Users to Write & Distribute IBM i Reports, Part 2

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In our previous blog, I started talking about empowering your IBM i users to create and distribute reports based on your databases. I listed the following eight ways users can get started with producing their own reports:

  1. Get your programmers out of the report writing process
  2. Secure your IBM i data
  3. Let the users perform their own analysis
  4. Remember your secondary IBM i database: spooled files
  5. Document your databases
  6. Train your users for querying ...
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How to Empower Users to Write & Distribute IBM i Reports, Part 1

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My personal philosophy has always been: if you need a programmer to set it up and use it, it’s an outdated software model.

That’s especially true in the IBM i query tool and report writing world. IBM Power servers are rich databases of business information but too often, it requires a programmer to extract and report on that information.

Programming time is too expensive to waste on report ...

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5 Ways to Secure Sensitive Data when Distributing IBM i Reports

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While it’s easy to set up IBM i report conversion and distribution to automatically email or post spooled file information, there will always be data that needs to be secured or restricted, including:

  • Personally identifiable data such as social security, driver license, credit card, bank account, and telephone numbers
  • Commercially sensitive data such as company sales, profit margins, customer ...
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3 Steps to Setting Up Better IBM i Report Automation

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businesswoman receiving application file candidate young office desk 31203593 resized 600There’s more to IBM i report automation than emailing reports to users.

IBM i spooled files (reports) contain compiled information on an organization’s health, operations, and opportunities. These reports are secondary databases that with the right software, can be accessed, reformatted, and delivered to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

If you want to broaden the reach of your IBM i spooled ...

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5 Things You Need to Know About IBM i to Excel Data Transfer

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There are changes coming if your shop is running an AS400 or iSeries or Power System with IBM i and uses the Excel data transfer function that comes with IBM i Access for Windows (AS400, iSeries) .

Recent versions of the Excel data transfer add-in aren’t compatible with Microsoft Excel 2013. IBM is no longer supporting the data transfer add-in, and IBM’s stated direction is for ...

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Running the Numbers: Making Software vs Buying IBM i Software

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Being a software company, we think a lot about why people should buy professionally developed IBM i software rather than programming similar functionality themselves.

After all, many companies have professional developers and their job is to develop software. Shouldn’t programmers always program new functionality rather than buying third-party software?

Let’s look at the financial side of the make versus buy ...

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