Admin Alert: Three iSeries Access Data Transfer Download Tricks
June 29, 2005 Joe Hertvik
The Data Transfer from iSeries program, which allows you to download OS/400 data for display, printing, or to a PC file, is one of the more valuable iSeries Access for Windows features. While the program’s interface is fairly easy to understand and run, it’s also valuable to use the following three tricks to solve common problems with running the program and to make data transfers easier to run for your users.
Tip #1 What to do if you’re unable to locate the file you want to download in the Data Transfer from iSeries Browse function. This problem occurs when you click on the Browse button in the iSeries section of the Data Transfer from iSeries screen and the file that you want to download doesn’t show up in the browser list. This is usually because the library that contains your target file isn’t included in your data transfer library list. By default, the Data Transfer from iSeries program uses the signed on user’s system and user library lists when transferring files and–if your intended library isn’t in those lists–you will not be able to find your target file. While you cannot remove or add libraries to the system portion of your library list for a data transfer, you can modify the user portion of the list to add or remove libraries.
To fix this problem, you can simply add the proper library to your data transfer request user library list. Do this by clicking on File, Properties from the Data Transfer from iSeries menu bar, and then click on the Library List tab. Use the iSeries Library input box and the Add button to add your target library to the user part of the library list. After doing this, files in this library will be available in the program’s Browse function.
If you don’t want to add the library to your data transfer library list, you can also explicitly list the file name to download, complete with library name, in the File name field of the transfer request. To do this, type the file name into that field using the following format:
And as long as the downloading user has the proper authority to read that file, the file will be downloaded regardless of whether the target library is in your library list or not.
Tip #2 What to do if the downloaded data is unreadable. Sometimes when you’re running a data transfer request, the data is downloaded as unprintable garbage. If this occurs, chances are good that the coded character set identifier (CCSID) on the OS/400 file being downloaded is equal to 65535. A CCSID identifies the coded set identifiers that are used for files in your system. Their purpose is to code files with the dominant language set used on your machine. As such, the shipped value for the system’s CCSID may be different for different countries. It may also be set to 65535, which means data files may be coded as non-translatable hexadecimal (*HEX) files that cannot be translated to ASCII when it is downloaded to a Windows PC. And that what makes it unreadable on your PC.
While this may occur when the default system CCSID on your system is set to 65535, file CCSIDs can also be set to 65535 when a file is created through an SQL command or for OS/400 files that contain stream data.
To determine if the file you are trying to download is coded in *HEX format, run the Display File Description command (DSPFD) as follows:
Check the CCSID field within the file. If that field is equal to 65535, you will not be able to legibly transfer that file’s data down to your PC without making an adjustment to your data transfer request. To change a data transfer request to correctly download and translate 65535 data, click on File, Properties from the Data Transfer from iSeries menu bar. Click on the Conversions tab and check the Convert CCSID 65535 check box. After making this adjustment, your *HEX data will download correctly to your PC.
Tip #3 How to automate your Data Transfer from iSeries request. To automatically run a saved Data Transfer from iSeries request when you open the file, open the request and click on File, Properties from the menu bar. Click on the Startup tab and place a checkmark in the Run transfer request automatically check box on that screen. If you want the request to automatically close after it runs, you can also activate the Close on Completion check box on that screen.
If you want to run your data transfer request from the desktop or the startup menu, simply create a shortcut to this request (which is usually saved as a .dtf file) and copy it to the appropriate location. If you want to configure your request to use Single Sign-on (SSO, where the user is automatically signed on to your i5, iSeries, or AS/400 with an OS/400 profile based on his Windows user profile), make sure the Windows user is configured for Single Sign-On, and click on File, Properties from the Data Transfer from iSeries menu bar. Click on the Connection tab on the Properties screen, and change the iSeries sign-on information dropdown box to Use Kerberos principal, no prompting. The next time you open this request, data transfer will automatically run the request under the user profile that you’ve set up in your Enterprise Identity Mapping table.