AS400 integration with website

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AS/400
Web development
Hello there, I am trying to figure out the following: My client has their data on an AS400 and they want us to build a search interface on their website (coldfusion) which will cull the info from the AS400. I am trying to find out what is generally involved in having a webservice / dynamic site interact with the AS400. note: there may be a very large volume of requests made via this interface This may be entirely too brief a description to be able to get help on it, but any assistance is greatly appreciated.
ASKED: August 18, 2006  9:41 PM
UPDATED: September 1, 2006  9:56 AM

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There is a freeware tool from IBM called “CGIDEV2″ for the AS400/iSeries/i5 that you can use to create CGI routines. The site link is http://www-922.ibm.com/en although there are numerous “How To” guides on the net if you Google it.

You may have to have the AS400 HTTP service (Apache or standard) running for it to execute the CGI’s but that shouldn’t pose a problem.

All the best

Jonathan

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  • Gonecat
    That's awesome, thank you very much for your message. Do you happen to know if that would handle a heavy load of query traffic or not? Thanks again, Steve
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  • astradyne
    Personally I've never tried the CGIDEV2 utility in anger. I've got it installed, but not had the chance to pursue it any further than that due to lack of time. I believe that www.midrange.com runs on an AS/400 or iSeries, but I don't know if it uses CGIDEV2 at all. I don't think that CGIDEV2 would be the limiting factor in web queries, I think it would be the AS/400 in the same way it would be the PC server if your client was using a Linux or Wintel server. The AS/400 is as capable of running the web service as any other platform, but only your client knows what the current performance is. All the best Jonathan
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  • BigKat
    You mentioned it was a ColdFusion Website thT you are building the interface with, so it will simply be a matter of setting up the ODBC connection from the ColdFussion Server to the AS/400, then in your .cfm pages, you will issue SQL requests to retrieve data and process it via ColdFusion commands (CFLOOP for example) your only limits will be if the SQL User ID's job description is set to "throttle back" these requests to keep you from hogging the system.
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  • Gonecat
    The Twist: Our client uses RPG to get specific pricing from the AS400. Apparently there are a number of business rules that require use of the existing RPG code. It has been suggested that we try using RPGsp and their "Green Screen to Web Conversion" to do this. Has anyone experience with this? Is there a better or equivalent way to do this? http://www.midlandinfosys.com/osb/showitem.cfm/Category/204
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  • Dlevine
    There are a bunch of things to consider when using a screen scraping tool (or whatever) to "webify" any 5250 screens... you also need to consider - the article you referenced was talkiong about setting up a web server on the iSeries... would this work in your scenario? I know that our iSeries is nowhere near our outer DMZ that houses publicly available web sites and the like... (sorry - was this only for internal use?) I think that the previous post suggesting an ODBC connection is best... RPG is a great language - very high performance - but I'll tell you - in getting iSeries data on the web (IMHO) it is waaay easier to just use SQL... iSeries client access for windows includes an activeX control(s) that you can use to interact with the iSeries - run commands, download files.. all sorts of stuff... Maybe you can use this to call an RPG program to toss the results into a PF or LF... and then use SQL to retrieve... eh.. now that I write that down it shounds a little hokey... but maybe worth a look... Best, David
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  • Atgidm
    When you use screen scraping you are putting the functionality of the green screen out on the web so you need to know who will be using your application and what you want them to do. You may not want an outside person to have the same functions as an internal employee. A product called iSafari allows you to write dynamic web apps in RPG or COBOL running on the iSeries to HTML pages residing on an external webserver. This also allows you to interface RPG or COBOL programs to an external socket request processing inbound XML or Name-Value Pair data and creating outbound XML or Name-Value Pair data from your iSeries program for external use. Here is a link: http://www.atgi.org/isafari.html and another link for live demos with the HTML code and corresponding RPG program that was called to get the data that went on that page: http://www.adventurecity.org/spepa.html test / test is the userid and password. The two active buttons on the left side of page is account usuage and account detail. on the account usuage page click the "Click here to view Graph" link and this calls an RPG program to get the data the generates the bar graph. You can look at the RPG and HTML for this also at the main demo link above. iSafari allows real time access so you don't have to call a program and build a file first and then use SQL to retrieve the data. Here is another example of an demo application running live on an iSeries: http://demo3.atgi.org/ Account Number: 6352 PIN:password Each click on a link is then running an RPG on the iSeries and it could be taking data in from the page and processing or getting data to back out to a HTML page. I hope this shows all of us RPG/COBOL folks what you can do with your current skill set.....
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  • TonyRa
    We have used visual Basic which access a data que directly. Then there is an RPG Program that reads the dataq on the iSeries, and sends back a response. We have several applications runing that use this technique. All Require rapid response. The One that interfaces with the web site processes over a million transactions a year. The iSeries showed no noticible effect by this activity. this is a two way pipe. In testing we have done in the past, this was the quickest way to get data in and out of the iseries. Of course, this requies an intermediate server. This application has been running for 6 or 7 years now. With iSeries access Express, there are sample programs for using this technique in Visual Basic, and in the Java Toolkit if you choose to use java.
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