More of us than ever find ourselves working on more than one system. There are a whole range of reasons for this. Quite often we have separate LPARs on the same physical server for Development and Production or perhaps separate physical servers for High Availability solutions to replicate our Business Critical Environments or maybe like me you like IBM i so much you have amassed a small army of servers just so you can play with them.
Whatever the reason, one thing remains true, we frequently find ourselves with the need to copy objects between these systems. In days of old, when communications links were slow, expensive and less stable, we often used to fall back on physical media for such save and restore tasks, especially if there was a lot of data to move.
Do you remember SNADS?
Some of you may even remember using SNADS (System Network Architecture Distribution Services) to send files between systems. When I was cutting my teeth I did this daily, to ship patches out to clients, often just sending the source file members and compiling changes on a client’s server, well we only had a 2400baud modem, that’s 0.002Mbs in today’s most common measure. Even back in those wonderful good-old, yet mind numbingly slow days, IBM had given us ObjectConnect but sadly most of the time our links were too slow to make good use of it.
What is ObjectConnect?
ObjectConnect is a free set of tools that allow us, in a single command, to save one or more objects from a source system and restore it to a target. It is easy to understand why we didn’t use it back then but now in an era of cheap, fast, and dare I say it, reliable comms links why do we not use it now?
ObjectConnect is an extra Licensed Program that ships with your standard installation media, it has no extra cost to purchase or for maintenance and does not even need an extra license key.
Are you using FTP?
Most sites I visit do the following; (see if this sounds familiar). Backup the objects they wish to copy to a Save File, FTP the Save file to another system and restore it. You might say, well that’s just three steps, that’s not much more work than a single command.
Except of course that those three steps each require multiple commands, in fact you probably need to issue and least 14 commands switching back and forth between systems multiple times to issue them. Below is a typical example of moving a library between systems using FTP.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could replace the 14 commands listed above with something as simple and elegant as:
SavRstLib Lib(MySrcMods) RmtLocName(TgtSystem) RstLib(MyTgtMods)
Well of course you can, it’s free, it’s not complex to setup, it doesn’t put a huge burden on your systems and in most cases it will be faster than FTP. This is what IBM has been given us with ObjectConnect.
ProTip: ObjectConnect DOES NOT need to take an intermediate copy of the object, so NO EXTRA disk space is required to house the save file copy of the object(s) being copied.
What is ObjectConnect?
5770SS1 Option 22 – ObjectConnect is a free of charge licensed program that adds a series of commands that allow you to directly copy objects between systems without using Save Files or Distribution Queues.
How do you configure it?
Now some of you may remember that ObjectConnect used to rely on SNA comms, others of you will recall that it migrated to AnyNet. In my opinion both of these methods should now be avoided. If you have set them up, then no problem they will work just fine and you can skip straight to loading ObjectConnect and using it.
Let’s now assume you are setting up ObjectConnect for the first time on a modern day v7.x system that just uses TCP/IP. In this case we want to use a function that IBM’s Marketing Department calls “Enterprise Extenders” in the operating system, this is referred to as High Performance Routing (HPR).
In this example with have two systems, BILL and BEN, the table shows the commands necessary on each to install and configure ObjectConnect.
1) ObjectConnect is generally stored on DVD 2 or 3 (B_GROUPn_02 or B_GROUPn_03) of the standard distribution media
2) The Start Mode must be run after every IPL, it is usually best to add it to the end of your Startup Program.
Testing your link
The way I find easiest to test I have this all working is to create an empty library (that I know will not exist on either) on one of system and run a test SAVRSTLIB to ensure it shows up on the target system and then of course repeat on the other system.
For example, on Bill issue the following commands:
CrtLib HelloBen Text (‘Flop-a-lob’)
SavRstLib Lib(HelloBen) RmtLocName(BEN)
Now on Ben check the library is by issuing this command:
In summary, ObjectConnect is not new but it is often overlooked, it co-exists well with other strategies for moving objects between systems and best of all, it comes with no extra price tag. So why not give it a try.
Nice to see you
It was great to see so many of you at the i-UG event at the in London last month. We are now all looking forward to our two day flagship event in June at Wyboston Lakes. We will be offering some truly world class education from the likes of Steve Will, Paul Tuohy, Jon Paris and Susan Gantner. All this and much more from as little as £50! Hope to see you there, more details and registration available at www.i-ug.co.uk