R/Support Centre

 

 

 

 

Tools to help you save time and improve user service

Please click on a branch

 Spool File Formatter

Allows Support staff to provide Users with the data  they require.

This allows support staff to provide users with the specific data they require.  It allows you to take a spool file and  from that produce a database file for download to a spreadsheet, another non-AS400 remote file or use it within another AS/400 application. No programming required.

When a spool file is formatted, you will have a file that can be used in a spread sheet etc.  Headings can be removed, suppressed fields reinstated and fields from heading records can be copied down to detail level (This saves time cutting and pasting a normal spool file that has been copied to a PC text file).  It is possible to specify an output format for every record defined on the report or simply one for every detail line. You are no longer dependent upon the IT department to write programs for you.

Once a format has been defined, it is easy to format a spool file, using the formatting command. This command can be set up as an option in the work with output utility or can be automatically run after the report job as a completion process, if using the job schedule utility.

The Format set up allows the file created to be automatically copied to a PC using TCP/IP, copied to a PC document or leave it on the AS/400 and give the user an icon to download it.  This means that you can  have your files waiting for your users to use straight after a report has been run and formatted.

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 Remote User Support

Allows Support staff to see other users screens.

This enables Support staff to see a users screen as it is, as long as the AS/400 has not discontinued the job and the user  has initiated acceptance of the remote support by having the remote support set up command executed as they sign on or take an option to allow remote support. Unlike IBM copy screen, the user does not have to reply to a message to allow the function to work and most importantly the user does not have to hit enter before you see the screen they were on (hitting enter could change the screen the user is seeing when you are seeing the original screen). This function will work even with green screen terminals connected by twinax.

A) To be able to see a screen a user is having a problem with.
B) If an operator needs to cancel a job because of an object lock and the user has gone home, they can see the screen and print it before they cancel the job.
C) If you are using screen scraping  technology, this feature can be used to see the actual green screen the user is on.
D) To help people who are responsible to monitor customer service calls, so they can see the screen the phone operator is on.
E) During a training session you want to see how far people have got, you could check to see what screen they were on and what they were doing.

Send a screen

You  can allocate one or more screens to your job and send the screen you are displaying to the jobs you have allocated.

A) If designing a screen for a user and you wish to show the user your screen  image using SDA, you could allocate the users screen and send your SDA screen image to the user.
B) If during a training session you wish stop users playing with their screens you could just allocate them so the trainees had to pay attention to you.
C) If you had to show a user or group of users how to do something and did not have an overhead projector or they were not in the same room, you could  talk them through the screens you were using, sending them just before you hit enter.

Force the remote job to execute a command

You can send a command to be executed at the remote  jobs terminal. This can be restricted by use of IBM security on the program/command that initiates it.

A) You may require to see the contents of the remote users QTEMP library or the contents of a  data area in the remote users QTEMP library. You could send the remote screen the command to display the information you require and then use the remote support to view their screen.

 Copy screens

Copy screens to a data base file to be sent to another AS/400.

A) You can copy screens into a file and then use the display command to redisplay them on another AS/400. You  can incorporate the display command into a CL program to allow the sequencing of the screens displayed to be optional, depending on the function keys pressed.

 

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 Job Analysis

Allows Support staff to provide Users with the data  they require.

The Job analysis module allows job information to be extracted from the system and to be formatted in a database file. The data base file will have a record for every job, user and number. Below is the information held for each job :

 i) The date and time the job entered the system.

 ii) The date and time the job started to be processed.

 iii) The date and time the job completed.

 iv) The sub-system in which the job ran.

 v) The completion code of the job.

 vi) The type of job.

 vii) CPU seconds used.

 viii) Response time, if interactive job.

This becomes invaluable to :

 i) To analyse how long jobs were waiting to become active. This could be useful to  highlight bottle necks in the  system.

 ii) To analyse how long jobs took to run. This could be useful to highlight jobs that could be improved for better performance or those to be run at night.

 iii) To see system activity over a period of time (For example, at last month end, to help plan when to run new scheduled jobs.)

 iv) To help find jobs that are locking out other jobs at night, since you can see what was running concurrently.

 v) To help decide when and where users were signed on.

 vi) To keep history of jobs longer than the QHST files will be kept.

Note : This function should be used rather than a report from a scheduling system, if the scheduling system only reports jobs scheduled through the scheduling system. This is because it takes into account jobs submitted outside of the scheduler.

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 Menu System

Easy to use flexible menu system.

The Menu system module is a means of soft coding menus.

The menus can be set up with individual option authority or/and menu authority.

If menu/option authority is not required, no menu travel should be allowed, so users only see menus that are attached to their initial or secondary menus. Menu authority can be overridden or specify not to use menu authority when setting up the user under the same system the menus are attached to.

There  are two types of menu format:  1) Lists, one option per screen line, with sub-headings on the left hand side or 2) No sub-headings and two options per screen line. There is no restriction on how many options are on one menu.

The sub-headings and option text can have any display attribute attached to them.

As many text lines can be added to a menu. The text lines could be headings  or information messages at the top of the menu etc.

When a system menu is displayed options to which a user is not authorised can be suppressed (hidden) or displayed and a message returned if the user tries to access them. If an option is suppressed the menu numbers can be renumbered to hide the fact that a user does not have access to an option.

The options can be set up to call  programs, execute commands, submit commands or programs defaulting information such as job queue from the system user information, display other menus attached to the system or display menus attached to  other systems.

The menu options can also be set up to call user defined request programs and submit a job that calls the required program with a string of data received from the request program. The benefit of this, is that the output queue, job description and job queue would be defaulted from the system user file, this would remove the need of hard coding in the request program of how to submit the job.

Individual option logging is available so a log can be kept for the more important options to see by whom and when an option was used.

The default menu keys can be overridden by user, see user defined menu keys.

Special options can be set up either by menu option or by menu fast commands.  For more information, see below
.

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 Enhanced Interfaces

Allows Users to work easier and faster.

Replace the IBM commands WRKOUTQ, WRKSPLF, WRKSBMJOB, WRKJOB, WRKSBSJOB, WRKUSRJOB with a new user interface. User define the  valid options for these screens (and their actions). Add multiple flexible screen layouts under function codes. Use the appropriate function code when selecting the function, or specify the function via a menu to limit user access.

This has many uses, here are just a few :

Let a user to see their spool files, but rather than using the command CHGSPLF to change the output queue, define an  option to automatically change the output queue to their local printer. This would save time in training them on how to print reports.

Create an option to allow a user to use TCP/IP to send a spool file or even use the  command RSNDTCPIP to send a spool file to a data base file on another machine, or  just copy the spool file to a data base file so the user can use PC support to download  it to a PC.

Create a user command to process a spool file. For example, copy the spool file to a data base file and then run some process on the data base file.

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