iSeries accessibility to VB.NET, ASP 2.0/3.0 ,NET programmers in Visual Studio

Data Management
Microsoft Access
Microsoft Office
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PC/Windows Connectivity
SQL Server
Web site design & management
WebSphere Studio
My shop does not have WebSphere but does have a sizeable VB.NET team using the MS Visual Studio. They need access to the iSeries files in DB2/UDB - real-time. We already thanks to me have a number of batch/DTS package type transfers. Do any of you know packages that can make the iSeries files available to MS VB.NET programmers (transparently) so the iSeries just looks like another (MS) SQL - Server to them? Thank you very much in advance for any advice, information helping me in this direction. Thanks, --John deCoville

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If you install Client Access for iSeries on your developer’s machines they should have the proper DB2 ODBC drivers installed.



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  • JDWWms
    You should be able to map a drive to the system the same way you map to any other server. The biggest hurdle is password syncronization but that can be done as well. You should just need to setup the domain information using option 12 of the CFGTCP menu and make sure QSERVER is started. Your VB scripters may need to learn additional syntax for accessing file/members but other than that is looks just like any DB2 data base. If you upgrade to V5R3 you get WebSphere Express free and so could use that. JDBC drivers work nearly as well as ODBC and don't require Client Access and can be downloaded from the JAVA tool box.
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  • IdratherBEFishing
    Depending on your situation, I'd make a couple of reccomendations. First only allow read only access and simple SQL statements from visual net side. If they are accessing a specific record or group of records make sure they are accessing through an existing access path. IE they should access through a logical file that exists. Do not allow any joins from the VB side. If a join is needed build it on the 400 as a logical and let them access through that. The reason is quite simple. The access will be quite slow because every request they make will require access paths to be built on the fly. If you allow VB processes to update files on the 400 you will need to have extensive journaling and trouble shooting what went wrong on a VB call to a 400 file/table isn't easy. I built a system that has an average of 40,000 concurrent users. Most of the data resided on the AS400. The team that built the application on the client side built a very nice application and we followed the above rules. Any time they needed to update files on the 400 we had them call a procedure on the 400. This allowed us to have great visibility to what was actually taking place. In our procedures we defined a 512 byte return variable. The first bytes of the variable would contain the word 'success' or 'failure'. This would let the VB application know whether the request went well or not. If the procedure had any problem the entire AS400 error message would be placed in the variable after the 'Failure'. This method didn't require massive journaling and 3 years later they still have subsecond response time with tables that have over 100 million rows. ODBC or JDBC will work the same. We used both in our application. I'm not aware of any specific packages but you can set up replication if you dare. The ms SQL server can replicate tables on the AS400. The draw back is that processes that use those tables on the AS400 will slow down because the MS server will not keep up with the AS400. It has been my expierience to use the methods mentioned above. I'd be more than happy to discuss the particulars offline.
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  • JohndeCoville
    On VB.NET Web-programmer accessing the DB2-UDB data-bases: Thank you for your responses. My management has so far not purchased IBM's Client Access because of poor response-time. Also, the pricing is not satisfactory to them. We are using HiT to transfer files nightly but want the Real-Time access. And thanks for the recommendation to upgrade to V5R3. Are there any advantages to the V5R4 UPGRADE? The JDBC drivers certainly give us another pipeline. For file transfers OLE DB gives us much faster response than does ODBC. So thanks, JDWWms for that suggestion. IdratherBEFishing, read-only is one of the conditions placed on the Web Programmers for the iSeries. I used STRSQLSTM and created a logical but couldn't figure out how to place an index on it for better response time. We can certainly do the Views, Logicals and (if I get the SQL Licensed product, the Joins on the iSeries - side). So thank you, I'm carefully reading your response and may have more questions. Your solution for VB-side updates was unique. --John
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  • PierreArmand
    a dotnet connector is the best solution. It's a lot faster than ODBC. We are using a suite of DLL class object to make the thing really easy. the product is called i5_dotnet, For the moment it is still a beta version. We are testing it for a week already, and it is working very well. you need only to be on V6r1
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