First Option Newsletter
October 2016


This newsletter details a November 18th upgrade for our IBM i.

Also, IBM is no longer supporting Client Access on Windows 10. If you are on Windows 10 you will need to install Access Client  Solutions and we have provided the instructions. 

As always we have some sample knowledge base entries that you may find useful. 

For hosted customers we are rolling out a refer a friend program and have the details below. For those of you who are not on hosting you can still refer a friend or receive the same benefits if you decide to go on hosting.

Lastly, there is a demo for First Option's IBM i monitoring tool. For those of you not on the hosted product, it may be of interest to you.  

First Option Upgrading IBM i System to 7.3
First Option Hosting Customers Scheduled Maintenance:
First Option has scheduled an IBM i system upgrade starting on Friday November 18th at 8:00 PM ET with the system back up Monday November 21 at 8:30 AM ET.  During the upgrade the users will not be able to sign onto the system.   The applications will not change but the operating system will be upgraded to 7.3 as well as increased memory and processor. 
The IP for FOI400 and network connections will not change.  If a user is connecting remotely via an internet browser (Anyconnect), the IP address for the link will change.  The link will be provided when the upgrade is complete.  All updates regarding the upgrade will be communicated via the helpdesk home page. 
Customers with IBM i 3rd party products have been contacted to get new license(s) code(s).  If you believe that you have an IBM i  3rd party product and have not been contacted, please enter a ticket via the helpdesk.

IBM i Access Client Solutions and Windows 10
IBM is not supporting Client Access on Windows 10 and is requiring you to use IBM i Access Client Solutions when upgrading to Windows 10.

IBM i Access Client Solutions, a Java-based client, includes 5250 emulation, data transfer, printer output, console support, and more.

Features include:
  • 5250 display and printer emulation based on IBM's Host-on-Demand
  • 5250 Session Manager support modeled after IBM Personal Communications Session Manager
  • Multiple language support for concurrent 5250 emulation sessions on the same client
  • Data Transfer similar to IBM i Access for Windows Data Transfer plus support for OpenDocument spreadsheet (*.ods), Excel Workbook (*.xlsx), and other file formats
  • Data Transfer integration with Excel and OpenOffice
  • Simplified SSL Configuration
  • Download and viewing of spool files
  • IBM i Virtual Control Panel for LAN and HMC consoles
  • 5250 emulation for LAN and HMC consoles
  • Consolidation of hardware management interface configurations, including ASMI, IVM, and HMC

Please see instructions for installing Access Client Solutions.  Both products can be installed on a PC.  

Refer a Friend Program

First Option is starting a new "refer a friend" program.

For each company you refer to Hosting, that becomes a First Option customer, we will give you one month of hosting free! The referral can be for the GUI hosted financial package or hosting other iSeries applications. 

Make sure they use your name when contacting us or send us an email with the referrals contact information. 

Here is link to more information regarding Hosting with First Option!

  KBKnowledgebase Entries
Change Accounting Period
I attempted to change the period for a batch of hand disbursements by using the GL Year End Processing options 2 & 3--Change period for GL entries (Edit) & (Update). The batch was accepted but the period was not changed. How do I fix this?

From the G/L Supervisors menu you should be able to change the Period by using option 1. Journal Entry.

F13 Command

I just set up a new user but he cannot access the F13 command, how do I set this up?

The F13 functionality is controlled by the profile option 'WINDOW-MENU FOR CMD FUNCTIONS' in the XP application area (please see "Part 1 - Application/Menu Option Security" below.) You may want to use the Copy User Authority (F18) to copy from a user that has the same functionality as you would like the new user to have.
Part 1 - Application/Menu Option Security

CLONE/COPY an Existing User

If the new user is to have the same application (i.e. AP, GL etc.) and same menu option security as an EXISTING user, you can clone/copy the security FROM the existing user to the new user for each applicable application. To do this, select #1-General Functions from the Main Menu. Then select #6-Setup Menu Security. From there select #11-Add/Chg User Security. The valid 'System Codes' are listed below.

GF - General Functions XP - Cross Applications GL - General Ledger

AP - Accounts Payable AR - Accounts Receivable PR - Payroll

TC - Time Clock AF - ACTFast Calendar MC - Misc. Cash Receipts

IN - Inventory PO - Purchasing DM - Order Entry &Billing

SA - Sales Analysis FA - Fixed Assets

You must authorize the user for the applicable system codes. Enter the appropriate system code and press ENTER. When prompted for the User Profile, enter the userid of the person you are copying FROM and press F18. Now enter the userid of the new employee and press F20 to accept. Press F12 to return to the System Code prompt and continue with the next System Code.

Accounting Period Open/Close
How do I change the G/L accounting period open/closed flags if I have already cloned them from a previous year?
To access and change the Valid for General Ledger fields in the Accounting file, and if you have cloned the accounting period and therefore copied the Closed period fields;
Use #14-Update Accounting Period Flags on the G/L  Supervisor menu.  Enter the Corp# and year that need to be changed and press ENTER.  In the column 'Valid for G/L' key a 'Y' to allow entries to be posted into the period or an 'N' to prevent entries from being posted.  For more information about accounting periods, cloning and re-setting values go to the General Ledger Manual page 25 & 126.

Open New Year

How do I open a New Year for Accounts Payable and General Ledger?

Create the accounting period for each Corp/Fund for the new year. (this example is from 2011 to New Year 2012)
You can easily clone from one year to the next using Option 18 - Clone Accounting Periods , from the  General Ledger File Maintenance  menu.
You will need to key in the Corp/Fund and the "from" year 2011, then the same Corp/Fund and the 'To" year 2012, at the copy period closed area, key in a "N" and the following fields will appear.

From Corp# : 2 To Corp# : 2 

From Year : 2011 To Year : 2012 

Copy Period Closed Data . . . .: N (Y,N) 

Set 12 months to Yes or No 
Valid For GL . . . . . : Y 
A/P Closed . . . . . . : N 
A/R Closed . . . . . . : N 

Set the Valid for GL, AP Closed, and AR Closed as shown above. You will need to do this for all Corps/Funds.

Change Corporation Name

How do I change our Corporation Name on the electronic disbursement file?
The corporation name can be changed in the corporation master file. From the  General Functions Menu select option #1  General Functions and then option #1  X-App File Maintenance and then option # 1  Corporation Maintenance.

Note: This will change the name everywhere the corporation name is displayed or printed, not just in the electronic disbursement file.

New Version Release of IBM i Monitoring Software
IBM i Watchdog by First Option is a an  IBM i (iSeries, AS 400) monitoring solution that provides centralized management via a user friendly interface for key system health threshold alert definitions, day, time and duration to suspend monitoring to accommodate scheduled maintenance, customized email groups for routing of informational and inquiry messages to a pre-defined support team.

New Enhancements in Version 4.0
  • User Interface - Using Bootstrap, the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework in the world, the application has a new look and is mobile aware.
  • User Interface - Only Show Systems w/ issues - Prior to this modification, a specific system OR all systems were displayed. For customers monitoring multiple LPARs, they will have the option to limit the list to those systems requiring attention.
  • CPU Monitoring - Capture list of top jobs responsible for sending the CPU % above its threshold.
  • Subsystem/Job Alerts - Ability to send message if a job queue/job is not running at a specified time OR job is still running. This allows the user to monitor if a mission critical application (e.g., EDI, Order processing, etc.) is active. It also allows the user to monitor if a time sensitive job (e.g., billing, invoice creation, etc.) is taking longer than anticipated causing delays in the following processes.
  • Security Audit Log (QAUDJRN) Monitoring - Using QAUDJRN, this enhancement will send an alert when a System Value or user profile is changed.
  • Threshold duration for DASD usage - For jobs that create temporary work files and then remove them when the process is completed, this will allow the user to only send an alert when the DASD has exceeded the threshold for a user specified amount of time.
  • Reporting - New reporting abilities using DB2 Web Query that includes historical reporting, and trend analysis.

First Option