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AS-400 books?

I hope Joel and everyone here will forgive me if I sound cranky in this post...  Do books on AS400's and how to operate them exist, or do you basically throw idiots at the database machines until queries come out?

No offense to anyone who uses an AS-400, but I have repeatedly asked people who use them what can I read to learn how to use it?  So far the answer has generally been, "No, you just have to use it."  Frankly, I don't buy it.

We have one at work, and my life (at least this weekend) would be much more pleasant if I could query the records and have it spit out a dlimited file for me.  However, I don't know how to get it to do that, I have no context on even how to look up information on it, and as we're a college I hate to mess with anything where I might mess up student records.

So, again: Do books about the AS-400 and OS/400 exist?  Thanks.

Andrew Burton
Saturday, July 5, 2003

Hi Andrew,

I have used and read the following books when I was in school:

Control Language Programming for the AS/400

SQL/400 by Example

Programming in RPG/400 : Judy Yaeger

Programming in RPG IV : Judy Yaeger

Introduction to the AS/400

I also recommend reading the AS/400 manuals.  Lot of good information in there on DDS's, logical and physical files, display files, journaling etc etc.

Dave B.
Saturday, July 5, 2003

As for creating a comma delimited file, I don't believe you can, of course I could be wrong.  The AS400's files are defined as structured data using Data Description Specification files.  Everything has a certain format or specification.  However you could establish a connection to the AS400 database that contains your records through a PC running VB with ADO.  This would enable you to pull the records to the PC and write them out in the format you wish.  If you are using the ILE on the AS400 and you have the C++ compiler for the AS400 you may be able to write a small program that reads the file and outputs a comma delimited file.  However my knowledge of all of this is limited but I'm sure with a little (or a lot) of work it's possible.  Again I highly recommend the AS400 manuals.  They are very interesting...  If you like that sort of thing.

Dave B.
Saturday, July 5, 2003

One last thing to add, is that you might check out CL for the AS400, if I remember correctly it can read and write files, but once again, I believe it only deals with database files defined through DDS not sequential files.  At any rate good luck.

Dave B.
Saturday, July 5, 2003

Check Amazon I found 329 books by searching on AS 400:

Matthew Lock
Saturday, July 5, 2003

There's a site here with some ebooks for AS 400 too

Matthew Lock
Saturday, July 5, 2003

.. and this

By the way what's the job scene like for AS/400 programmers? I have been tempted a few times to buy an old one off Ebay and teahc myself programming on it.

Matthew Lock
Saturday, July 5, 2003

>> "By the way what's the job scene like for AS/400 programmers? I have been tempted a few times to buy an old one off Ebay and teahc myself programming on it."

I have too.  I haven't used an AS/400 in at least six years, but as I recall, they were beautiful machines.  Nothing like the DOS-Windows/Unix paradigms we're used to, but other operating systems could take a few pointers in human-computer interaction from this elegant shell.

Also, as I recall, there is no native SQL on the 400, but there is a command like QRYF or something which is completely parameterized, and quite simple to use.  Sorry I don't remember more.

As for documentation, the manuals and the "red books" from IBM were excellent.

Sunday, July 6, 2003

AS/400 (now named iSeries, part of the IBM eServer family) is, simply, the best machine for running business applications, only it's not very well known for different reasons. Some of us are thinking the AS/400 is the most keep secret in the IT.

a lot of medium-sized and very large corporations use AS/400 as the core of the main applications, of course including Microsoft and many others that would surprise you.

unfortunately IBM don't provide a good schema of prices in the AS/400, being epensive (at least in the first impression) to many medium/little sites and also for little software developers. the start prices are in the 20,000 US $.

of course, AS400 have a very good SQL language and the most flexible & secure DB2 database with a lot of nice related tools. Full support of TCP/IP applications is embebed in the system (Sockets, Telnet, FTP, HTTP, SSL, and many others). as same for security related task, and an very rich operative system,

the main languages for developing is RPG4 (also named RPG IV, RPG ILE) along with CL, COBOL, C, Java...

the ony "not so good" in this environment is the allways criticize "GUI", in character mode. Some efforts are in ways to improve the changes to the GUI (Client/Server, Websphere, HTML and others), but the community is not puting all the best in this task, because the programs runs very efficiently in character mode and some internal related functions are more proficiency in character mode (i.e. typing orders and so on).

oh! manuals: a lot, and you can download its in pdf for free. also you can found good printed manuals (you can order printer manuals from IBM also).
When you install a new machine you receive an/two CD contains a lot of manuals. these cd can also be purchased for an price.

here is the main links, but sure you can found many others. 

RedBooks (nice manuals in PDF or you can order printer manuals) 

(sorry my "english")

Sunday, July 6, 2003


Sorry that I only found this post today or I could have helped you much sooner.  It is simple to download a comma delimited version of AS/400 data files (as well as several other common formats) to your PC provided you have AS/400 Client Access installed and working on the target PC. 

Look in the "AS400 Client Access" program group and look for the "Data Transfer from AS400" application.  Obviously, you will need a login for the AS400 and you will probably need to know the library in which the desired physical or logical file is located. 

The application will allow you to select records, select fields, choose a sort order, even join files if you want to get that frisky.  You can display the results of your request and change it until it looks like what you want.  When your satisfied, you choose to create an output file.

The application has a fill-in-the-blanks, point-and-click GUI with quite a bit of help.  Of course, you can read the manuals for AS/400 (which IBM publishes on-line) all you want but you still need to know something about how the AS/400 application itself was designed by the developers.

Good Luck!

Dan Neale
Friday, August 29, 2003

How do I format the hard disks on an AS/400?  We need to sell the unit but obviously don't want anyone to know what was on the machine.  Are there any online or free books on formatting the hard disks?

Helmet Mann
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

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