Admin Alert: Common Things to Do When Installing Third Party Products
August 24, 2005 Joe Hertvik
Before letting you install their packages, third-party OS/400 software providers usually ask you to inventory your system to ensure that it contains specific licensed programs, patches, or configurations that are compatible with their products. Filling out an OS/400 requirements checklist forces you to investigate your system configuration and then act on the results. Here are some common system requirements you may be asked to verify for a third-party install, and where you can find that information.
Checking for Installed OS/400 Licensed Programs
Some packages specify that other OS/400 licensed programs must be installed on your partition before they will run. To check if a specific licensed program package is already installed on an AS/400, iSeries, or i5 box, go into the Work with Licensed Programs menu (GO LICPGM from the green screen) and select option 10, Display Installed Licensed Programs. This display will show you which programs are installed on your system. If you want to see what version of a particular licensed program is installed, press F11 once and it will display the installed release. Press F11 a second time and it will display which options of each product are installed on your system. This is especially handy when a third-party package calls for a specific option of the operating system, such as the Qshell feature, which is option 30 of the operating system (5722-SS1).
You can also view installed licensed products by using the Display Software Resources command (DSPSFWRSC). This gives you most of the same information as option 10 of the Licensed Programs menu.
Checking Your OS/400 Java Level
Many software packages call for a specific default Java version to be running on your target AS/400, iSeries, or i5 box. To determine the default Java version that your OS/400 partition is using, do the following: Open qshell in your partition by typing in the Start QSH command (QSH). Inside the QSH command environment window that opens, type in the following Java command:
The QSH environment will then return the default Java level for your OS/400 partition.
Minimum Cumulative PTF Level
Most installation manuals will recommend that you have the latest cumulative PTF package installed on your system, but they may also give you a minimum cumulative PTF level (Cume level) that their software was tested under. Your PTF Cume level is an eight digit literal, such as C4272530, that defines the year and Julian day of the latest cumulative PTF package that was installed on your system. The trick here is to determine your current PTF level, compare it to the minimum level and, if it’s equal to or above the minimum level, you’re home free. If not, you have to order the latest PTF package, and install it. To determine your current cumulative PTF level, run the following Display Program Temporary Fix command (DSPPTF) command on your system:
This screen shows you which PTFs have already been applied to your system. The top PTF in the list starts with the literal ‘TC’ or ‘TL’ and it contains a coded value that determines your system’s current cume PTF level. Instructions for converting that value into a cume level can be found in a previous Admin Alert on Retrieving System Information to Order Cumulative PTFs. Look under the “Retrieve the Current OS/400 Cumulative PTF Level” section for the detailed instructions on determining your current cumulative PTF level.
Group PTF Fix Pack Level
Some products may require you to determine the current fix pack level for a specific group PTF and compare it to the minimum fix pack that the new software was tested under. If it’s below the required level, you need to order the require PTF group and install it. One product I recently looked at called for a current fix pack level of 3 or above for the Database group PTF fix pack (SF99503). To find the fix pack number for my system, I used the Work with PTF Groups command (WRKPTFGRP), as follows:
This listed out the fix pack levels for all major i5/OS and OS/400 PTF groups installed on the system, including:
- SF99530 – Cumulative PTF
- SF99529 – Hipers group PTF
- SF99503 – Database (DB) group PTF
- SF99529 – Java group PTF
- SF99185 – Backup recovery solutions group PTF
For your system, this screen may show other group PTFs that are not shown here but, for installation purposes, chances are good that the third-party requirement checklist will ask you to check either the Hipers (SF99529), DB (SF99503), or Java (SF99529) group PTF fix pack levels.
Checking or Adding Values to the Query Options File
Starting with OS/400 V4R4M0, IBM added a query options file that contains several settings that the query optimizer uses when executing queries. Some packages may ask you to either create a new QAQQINI file for your system or to add a new value to QAQQINI. To find more information about creating a QAQQINI for your system and how to add values to it, check out this article about Adjusting Default Query Optimizer Settings with QAQQINI.
The key point to remember about QAQQINI is that OS/400 and i5/OS come with a default version of the file that can be found in the QSYS library. The QSYS/QAQQINI file should be treated as a template, and you should not make any changes to this version of the file. In fact, QAQQINI will not be used to control user queries until a copy of it is moved to either the QUSRSYS library or to a user library.
But there’s a hitch in creating a new QAQQINI file. According to IBM documentation, you should only create a duplicate QAQQINI file by using the Create Duplicate Object command (CRTDUPOBJ), not the Copy File command (CPYF). You must use CRTDUPOBJ because OS/400 attaches system-supplied triggers to QAQQINI and, if you use another technique to copy the file, such as CPYF, you may corrupt the trigger and generate error messages when you try to use the options file.
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