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I'm a developer working mostly on a Java application which interfaces with an iSeries back end (the iSeries is running OS 6.1). I consider myself to be reasonably strong on DBA and sysadmin topics (*nix and Windows) but the iSeries world is quite alien. I don't need to become an expert, I'll never be called upon to do admin work but I would like to talk the language of iSeries people. Terms are so loaded that it's very easy to get the wrong end of the stick but the iSeries admins have an exclusively iSeries background so it's quite difficult to gain a common understanding.

So, what I would love to find is a guide to iSeries systems for someone who already has a good knowledge of software and systems. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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I don't have time to go into detail with a proper answer at the moment, but my main advice would be to learn to love PASE and hate QSHELL. – Doug Sep 28 '11 at 13:06
Thanks although PASE seems a bit like cheating:) – PhilDin Sep 28 '11 at 15:06

The best guides to iSeries are probably redbooks. Here's one that looks like it might be on the level you described:

Here's the link to a search of 6.1 in iSeries redbooks:

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Thanks, the Technical Overview is probably the most general of the red books but didn't quite hit the mark in terms of providing a general conceptual overview. Of cource, I can just roll up my sleeves and dig in which ultimately, is the best way anyway:) – PhilDin Sep 28 '11 at 16:13

For a DBA, it is quite simple (in my opinion anyway).

  • Library = Database
  • File = Table
  • Logical (or logical file) = View or Index depending on the use
  • Record = Row
  • Field = Column
  • Object = Anything on the system. It could be a file, a library, a program. They all become objects.

As far as resources, quite the collection is being built at the Wiki. The IBM i Information Center is another good resource. Specifically the section on SQL.

One note, the i has a "language" that creates these physical and logical files called DDS. Many programmers that I know still seem to use this instead of SQL. SQL can of course be used to create the tables as well.

For the security aspect, I haven't worked enough with other databases to properly compare. Typically, the built-in object security is used using one of a few methods. Authorization List is one I like as a better solution for securing large numbers of objects.

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