Craig Pelkie presents .net, mobile, and more

Craig Pelkie at NHMUG user group on Thursday March 20, 2014

Getting started with .NET for IBM i developers

Even though you use the IBM i as your server platform, your shop may be using or considering application development with Microsoft .NET. Before getting started with .NET development, it is helpful to understand some of the basics of .NET, including the .NET Framework, the programming languages that are most widely used (Visual Basic and C#), the Visual Studio development environment, the ASP.NET deployment environment, and perhaps most importantly, how you can connect to your IBM i from .NET

In this session, we will look at the major features of the .NET environment and how it fits in with the IBM i.

Microsoft SQL Server for IBM i Developers

Microsoft SQL Server is a widely used database server that is found in many IBM i shops. Using database drivers provided by IBM, you can connect SQL Server to your IBM i, enabling you to move data between the two systems.

In this session, you'll learn the basics of SQL Server, how the IBM database providers can be used with SQL Server, and how to create and work with a Linked Server. You'll see how you can run SQL statements in SQL Server that access IBM i data for read, insert, update and delete operations. You will learn about SQL Server data transfer packages, and the tools that are available to create and run packages. You'll also learn about other features of SQL Server, including SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).

Included with the session is a PDF lab handout that shows the steps used to create a Linked Server and run SQL commands using it.

Simple mobile programming for RPG using jQuery Mobile

Many IBM i developers create web applications with RPG or PHP, extending the reach of their company and helping users to be more productive. So if you know how to create IBM i web applications, going mobile should be simple, right? After all, all of the popular mobile devices have web browsers, so you simply bring up the pages. Right?

Unfortunately, a web page or form that looks great in a desktop browser is probably unusable on a mobile device. The phrase "fat finger" really means something when you work with data in a mobile browser.

To create a good looking, usable web form for mobile means that you need to have in-depth knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS. You also need to account for different screen sizes, orientations, browsers and how users interact with mobile web applications. Fortunately, there is a readily available solution that takes into account the limitations and opportunities of mobile devices. The no-charge jQuery Mobile Framework uses an easy to understand syntax, all done using HTML. It takes care of all of the required JavaScript and CSS for you. A web application developed with jQuery Mobile is visually stunning and is readily accepted by users, since it fits in with their expectations of how a mobile web application should work. Best of all, you can easily incorporate jQuery Mobile with IBM i RPG and PHP web programs.

In this session, you will learn how you can use the freely available jQuery Mobile Framework to create easy to use mobile web applications. You'll see "before" and "after" images of web forms that have been enhanced with jQuery Mobile, and you'll see exactly what the code looks like. Once you see that you can leave out most of the hard parts of mobile web development by using jQuery Mobile, you'll be confident that you can deliver mobile applications that your users will really appreciate.

Just Enough Java: What you need to know to run Java applications on the IBM i

As a developer for the IBM i, you may need to provide applications or features that require more than RPG or COBOL. There are many Java solutions that are available and can be used on the IBM i. Your challenge, as an IBM i developer, is to get the Java code working with your RPG or COBOL applications.

In this session, you will learn the basics of getting Java applications installed and running on the IBM i. You'll learn how Java code is packaged in class or JAR files, how those files are installed in the IBM i IFS, how the CLASSPATH is used to provide access to Java code, and how to run Java applications.

You don't need to know the Java language or object-oriented programming to benefit from this session. If you just want to get a Java application installed and running on your IBM i, you need Just Enough Java to get it working!


Craig has been programming IBM midrange systems for many years, having started as a weekend computer operator on a System/360 model 20. His articles have appeared in Midrange Computing, NEWS/400 and other industry publications. He currently develops and conducts eLearning courses for iProDeveloper, in addition to providing consulting services for IBM i, .NET and Java.

You can contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rick Flagler - DB2 Web Query

Rick Flagler - Wednesday February 12, 2014

DB2 Web Query

DB2 Web Query is included with IBM i if you originally had Query/400. Each site is entitled to at least give the Express version a test-drive. The capabilities of WQ far exceed that of Query/400 however, enabling powerful business intelligence reporting. This includes everything from "standard greenbar reports" to Key Performance Indicators, charts, graphs and more - all easily created with the WQ tooling. Learn about the capabilities and see examples of how this might improve reporting in your organization.


Rick Flagler is a consultant, trainer and mentor, focusing on DB2 performance, business metric development and DB2 Web Query. Rick has held IT management positions with The Timken Company and MPB Corporation, leading software development and installing ERP systems from SAP, Oracle and INFOR. Starting with the System/38, Rick is a long-time and enthusiastic supporter of IBM i on the POWER platform. Rick guided MPB Corporation through their Y2K project, achieving on-time/under budget success. He's an experienced project manager, skilled in database management and user interface design. He specializes in transforming data to knowledge using business metrics and database tools. He is president/owner of Rick Flagler IT Consulting.

Mike Pavlak to host PHP Workshop at NHMUG user group meeting

Mike Pavlak - Thursday November 7, 2013

Bring your own device PHP Workshop

This is a full day session where the students bring their own laptops and connect to an IBM i LPAR running PHP in the cloud. The workshop includes 4 presentations with 4 corresponding hands on lab sections covering all of the fundamentals of PHP like variable use, arrays, function declarations and calls and more. As IBM i is a significant part of our goals in these discussion we will explore the use of the new Open Source toolkit for calling RPG programs and CL Commands as well as database access using DB2 and MySQL. We will also explore the Object Oriented model of PHP.

Workshop Agenda:

Section 1

  • Introduction to PHP Language Syntax
  • Introduction to HTML
  • Iterative processes in PHP
  • Zend Studio Setup

Section 2

  • PHP Functions
  • Array processing

Section 3

  • Data Access using DB2
  • Data Access using MySQL

Section 4

  • Introduction to Object Oriented PHP
  • Open Source Toolkit
  • IBM i program call from PHP using CL Command execution

Section 5 (Bonus - Time permitting)

  • Overview of Mobile
  • Introduction to MVC
  • Demonstration of Connected Mobile Solutions


Mike Pavlak has been working with IBM midrange solutions since 1992 and IBM Mainframes before that. After years of developing applications using RPG, CL and PHP he managed IT development and IT for power protection manufacturer Tripp Lite. Mike joined Zend Technologies as a Solutions Consultant working with the IBM sales team in 2008 and enjoys helping IBM i customers explore PHP as a state of the art solution for application modernization. In addition to several roles as a volunteer with COMMON the premier IBM midrange user group, Mike also teaches PHP classes part time at Moraine Valley Community College in Suburban Chicago.

Mike lives in suburban Chicago with his wife, five kids, two dogs, two cats, a leopard spotted gecko, Russian tortoise, two rabbits, and a half dozen fish.


Tom McKinley presents SQL topics at NHMUG

Tom McKinley - Wednesday September 25, 2013

SQL routines - procedures, functions and triggers

While many developers know how to use SQL to query and process data, many are not aware that they can use SQL as a procedural language for programming business logic.

In this session, we will explore the capabilities of the SQL procedural language and its usage in data-centric programming with SQL procedures, functions, and triggers.

Temp tables, good or bad idea?

Even though SQL is a powerful language for processing data sets, many developers utilize temporary tables to break a complex request into multiple, smaller steps. While solving a problem with multiple steps is a valid approach, multi-step solutions involving temporary tables can negatively impact performance.

This session will illuminate these performance issues as well as demonstrate how advanced SQL features such as Views and Common Table Expressions can be used as an alternative to deliver multi-step solutions without the performance baggage.


Tom is an IBM Lab Services Consultant working on DB2 for IBM i in Rochester MN. His main focus is complex query performance associated with Business Intelligence running on Very Large Databases. He worked as a developer or performance analyst in the DB area from 1986 until 2006. Some of his Major pieces of work include the Symmetric Multiple processing capabilities of DB2 for IBM i as well as Large Object Data types. In addition he was on the original team that designed and built the SQL Query Engine. Prior to Database he worked on Licensed Internal Code for System 34 and System 36.

Tom is a frequent speaker at COMMON and IBM conferences.