HelpSystems Blog

Is Your Team A Little Rusty on IBM i Operations?

A common issue today is finding good training for your staff and finding people who really know IBM i. You can send your staff to COMMON or IBM Enterprise events, but these training opportunities require travel and don’t concentrate on the basics. The IBM i Operations 101 online training course available from HelpSystems helps your team form a solid foundation and understand the basics of the IBM i operating system.

This is a great course for new and even existing employees that have not been given the opportunity to try the basics. The course offers hands-on training and is broken up into five sessions that you can take online, at your own pace. Let’s take a look at what is covered:

IBM i Architecture and Menu Systems

IBM i (AS/400) stands the test of time, and the main reason is because its architecture. That’s why the course covers the overall architecture of IBM i and how to navigate the menu systems in Part 1. IBM built security and virtualization into this system even back in the days of the System/38 in 1978. So, it’s important to understand the basics first.

Operating System Commands

In Part 2, we cover the operating system commands, which are essential for navigating the system and creating new objects like files, programs, and commands. The course also demonstrates how to find help on the system. Every command and every menu system has help, and IBM has done a great job of documenting the system.

Security is a hot topic, and the course touches on this by helping you maintain user profiles. An old friend of mine suggested to me some 30 years ago that this operating system was based on message processing—everything you do generates a message, be it good, bad, or indifferent—and this course helps you understand the structure of a message.

Understanding what ran and when it ran is essential on any computer system. On IBM i, the history log serves this purpose, and the course walks you through how to find events in the history log so that you can see things like whether a job completed, hardware failures, and backup events.

Work Management

If you truly want to understand how IBM i works and why it is so reliable, you need to understand work management. So, in Part 3, the course discusses different types of jobs, the roles of job queues, subsystems, and how to read job logs—the nuts and bolts of work management.

With work management, we IBM i users have been able to support multiple applications running on the same server for years while our friends on Windows just get another server; we simply create another subsystem and more job queues. In the long run, our solution is cheaper and has fewer headaches.

The Library System

On IBM i, the library system was the founding feature for storing objects like files, programs, and other objects. This, along with subsystems, is again the reason we can support multiple applications very easily on i. IBM i does support directories in the IFS, but it is the library area that most true IBM i applications will support.

In Part 4 of the course, we discuss the printing process and how to direct work to libraries, as well as system values that govern the system defaults for security, configurations, and many more of the controlling features of this operating system. We also cover TCP/IP on this system.  

Backup and Recovery

Backup and recovery on IBM i is a technically solid, reliable feature that can be automated. You should always be successful when it comes to testing out your recovery. If not, you need to take this course and find out more! 

IBM, like any software vendor, makes changes to its operating system. These changes are referred to as PTFs. In Part 5, we help you look at and get your ready to install your own PTF.

We round out the course with information on how to start and stop the system, and reasons you might need to do so in a restricted state. Restricted state may sound scary—and it can be!—but our expert trainers will be right there, familiarizing you with the topic and building your confidence.

Our training experts have been teaching the basics of IBM i operations for over 20 years now. You owe it to your team to make sure they have a great training experience like this—plus, you can do the entire course from anywhere in the world!