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About AS400

Ths AS400 is essentially a data-procesing machine. It is unlike any Windows or Apple machine you may be famliar with. It does not have icons and does not use the mouse. The standard screen is 24 rows in height by 80 columns in width. You can also use a 27 by 132 screen size. To work on an AS400, you have a user profile, which the AS400 security officer will give you, along with a password. This profile will give you access to all you require to do the role assigned to you. The AS400 is a multi-user machine, there are many more users on other than yourself. Each user works in their own working environment. When you sit down to work on the AS400, you open your terminal and sign on with your profile and password. When you are finished, you sign off and close your terminal.

The AS400 operates in interactive mode and in batch mode. You work at the screen in interactive mode. Batch mode happens in the background. All work on an AS400 takes place in subsystems. The default interactive subsystem is QINTER, while the default batch subsystem is QBATCH. (Many AS400 names start with Q). There are many subsystems active on an AS400, each with their own purpose. Some are native to the AS400, i.e. system subsystems, others are created by IT staff in the organisation.

The operating system comprises menus and commands. See Again, there are many system menus and commands, and additional menus and command can be created by IT staff. The operating language is CL (control language). Commands are built over CL.

Commands, programs, files etc. all exist as objects on an AS400. An object has a maximum lengtn of 10 characters, and starts with a character, i.e a-z or A-Z or $, @ or #. After the starting character, the name can contain other characters or numbers only or an underscore.

A command can have zero, 1 or more parameters. Some parameters are required, others are optional. Commands can be prompted with F4 - this will display the most common parameters with their defaults. F10 will show additional parameters. F11 then F1 wll show all the available choices for each parameter. The first few parameters for any comand are both positional and keyed. Positional means you can key the parameter in the expected order withut the key (e.g. cmd something. All parameters are keyed, e.g. cmd parameterkey(something).

Do not start any object name with Q, as this starting character is reserved for system objects.

AS400 commands come with their own naming convention. You do not have to use this syntax when you create a command, but it is the preferred convention, for example WRKUSRPRF means WoRK with USeR PRoFile or DSPJOBLOG (DiSPlay JOB LOG).


Example of AS400 Menu
AS400 Menu

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