Published: December 2, 2014 – by Alex Woodie – IT Jungle Four Hundred Stuff
The days when all the data you needed to access resided in DB2/400 have long since passed, and today, being able to access data on other systems is a fact of life. One vendor helping IBM i shops get the most out of their disparate data sources is ProData Computer Services, which recently updated its remote database access tool, called RDB Connect.
RDB Connect is a collection of commands and functions that enable RPG, COBOL, and CL programs to have record-level access to data residing on other databases, including MicrosoftSQL Server, MS Access, Oracle and MySQL, PostgreSQL, and DB2 for LUW. This allows programmers to focus on the business logic of the application without regard for the specifics of each remote database they want to access.
With RDB Connect 4.0, ProData has added a new menu-driven interface that should provide quick access to commands. The new RDBConnect Menu includes the following commands: RDBCFG(RDB Configure); RDBJARCFG(JAR Configuration); RDBTABLES(Database Tables); RDBFIELDS(Database Fields); RDBRUNSQL(Run SQL Statement); RDBTRACE(Turn Tracing ON/OFF); RDBIMPORT(Database Import); RDBEXPORT(Database Export); and RDBPTF(PTF Processor).
Keeping multiple databases in sync is critical in today’s data-driven economy, and now with version 4.0, RDB Connect can be used to push DB2 for i data out to other databases. The introduction of the RDBEXPORT command gives the programmer the option to push all DB2 for i fields to the remote database, or just push specific fields.
Another new feature is an API called “RDBsetIsoDate” that can be used to transfer ISO Dates from IBM i to the remote database. This prevents errors when transferring to another IBM i machine, the company says.
RDB Connect is a 5250 program and is used primarily via the keyboard. But with version 4.0, the software recognizes double-clicks of the mouse, enabling programmers to access RDB Connect’s F-keys using either the mouse or the keyboard.
Version 4 brings several other new features, including better error handling when importing to IBM i to prevent invalid characters on IBM i file columns; new functions to the Manage Remote Systems (RDBCFG) command; a new option column in the RDBTABLES command to display the fields for each table; and the new RDBTRACE capability that warns a user when the log file size has maxed out.
ProData owner and CEO Allen Hartley says the update gives customers more remote database connectivity. “RDB Connect allows our customers to easily share data across platforms within their programs, which can eliminate data transfers or duplicate data entry in some cases,” he says. “RDB Connect 4.0 makes it even easier with the new interface provided for first-time users.”