iSeries Navigator for Programmers
by Paul Tuohy
 
Introduction
For many years OS/400 has included Operations Navigator as part of the "free" component of Client Access; i.e., it is considered part of the base operating system. Over that time, it has grown from being an unwieldy and buggy application to being a powerful GUI interface to OS/400.

Of course, it isn’t Operations Navigator any more. The introduction of V5R2 saw Operations Navigator being renamed to iSeries Navigator.

You could be forgiven for thinking that iSeries Navigator is of little or no interest to programmers; after all, the old name "Operations Navigator" says it all – it must be for operators and maybe administrators. Nothing could be further from the truth.

iSeries Navigator is a powerful tool for programmers. It opens up new horizons and can help shorten the learning curve for new programming requirements, like the Integrated File System and SQL.

Just as on green screen, the vast majority of features relate to operations and administration, but there is a number of key features targeted specifically at the programmer. This course is designed to introduce the programmer to these features.

Most importantly, as the operating system is enhanced and new features are introduced, they will be implemented in iSeries Navigator before they are implemented on green screen.

iSeries Navigator for Programmers contains descriptions, labs, how-tos and source code for the following topics:
  • Basic Operations – This chapter introduces you to the basic mechanics of iSeries Navigator. It teaches you how to perform the GUI equivalent of WRKSPLF, DSPMSG, WRKUSRJOB, etc. It discusses when to use the GUI interface and when green screen is still best.
  • Integrated File System – This chapter discusses the Integrated File System (IFS). Learn how to access the IFS from Windows, how to manage the IFS with iSeries Navigator, and how to get the equivalent of Network Neighborhood on green screen.
  • Database Basics – This chapter shows how to use SQL’s Data Definition Language (DDL) without becoming an expert in SQL. Learn how iSeries Navigator simplifies the definition of tables, views, and indexes; the differences between DDL and DDS and how they affect RPG programs. Also learn some of the features introduced by DDL that are not possible in DDS.
  • Database Advanced – What about join logical and field reference files? This chapter shows you how to define them in iSeries Navigator. It also introduces the Run SQL Scripts feature, which can ease your introduction to SQL.
  • Referential Integrity – One of the powerful features of the database. Check constraints and referential constraints provide a means of ensuring the integrity of a database. This chapter teaches you how to use iSeries Navigator to define and manage constraints and how to handle them in RPG programs.
  • Triggers – Triggers are probably the most frequently used of the "new" database features. This chapter shows you how to use iSeries Navigator to manage triggers for a database. It also shows you how to define SQL triggers.
  • User Defined Functions – UDFs are probably the most powerful features that SQL brings to the database. This chapter shows you how to associate RPG code with columns in a table. Learn how to use existing RPG procedures directly on the database.
  • Database Navigator – Did you ever wonder how the components of your database fit together? Did you ever want to get the big picture – or even the little picture? This chapter shows you how to use Database Navigator to chart your database.
Which Version?
This course was developed using V5R2 of iSeries Navigator and OS/400. There may be differences in some of the windows displayed if you are using an earlier or a later version of iSeries Navigator.

Installation
Refer to Appendix A for details on how to install iSeries Navigator.
Refer to Appendix B for details on how to install the course material.

Reviewing Source and Compilation
The course library contains source in both fixed form (extended factor 2) and free form RPG. The examples in the notes are in free form RPG.
Most of the labs instruct you to compile using the actual commands (CRTBNDRPG, CRTRPGMOD, CRTSRVPGM, etc.) – but feel free to use WDSC, Code, PDM, or whatever suits you best.
When compiling, ensure that the relevant course library (RPG_INAVP or RPG_INAVSC) is in the library list.

Performance
You may think that certain parts of iSeries Navigator are slow (and some of them are). This can be for a number of reasons:
  • Ensure your PC is powerful enough. Use at least a 850mHz CPU with a minimum of 256 MB of memory. (I would recommend a minimum of 512 MB of memory.) Also, you should have at least 300 MB of disk space available when running iSeries Navigator.
  • Parts of iSeries Navigator are written in Java; therefore, a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) must be started when you use them – which can be slow the first time. You do not need to install a separate JVM; everything you need is in iSeries Navigator.
  • The iSeries Navigator server jobs that run on the iSeries are batch jobs. If your iSeries is configured heavily in favor of interactive work, then iSeries Navigator will run slower. If you have automatic tuning enabled, then this will start to balance out as you use iSeries Navigator more.
Refer to http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/iseries/navigator/perftips.html for tips and techniques on tuning iSeries Navigator.

CCSID 65535
You need to refer to Appendix D for details on configuring the ODBC driver if you are using files or tables that are defined with a Coded Character Set Identifier (CCSID) of 65535 or if CCSID 65535 is the default for your system (DSPSYSVAL QCCSID).

Onward
You are about to start using one of the most powerful tools available to an iSeries programmer. Let’s get to work!
 
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COURSE CODE : NAVI
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