AS400 Report Designer for grey haired old farts like me

AS400

Jul 12

another snippet from an old document, I found in a dim dark and hazy corner of an even older HDD… rather than let it disintegrate, here it is migrating to the web just in the (extreme) off chance that it may be useful to someone out there 😉

RLU is used to design a report image, print prototype reports, create printer files, and generate DDS from which the report will be created. A prototype report is a printed copy of the report image that looks like the report that an application program will generate.

The Design Report display is the main screen from which you edit the report. From this display you can use function keys to go to other displays where you can add information at the file, record and field levels. You can also go to the Change Session Defaults display where you can control the characteristics of your edit session.

There are two ways to print your prototype report. When you start RLU you can specify option 6 to print from the STRRLU display. From within the session you can specify that you want to print from the Exit RLU display. On the Exit display choose Y=Yes for the Prototype report prompt and the report will be printed.

There are a few things you should keep in mind during your RLU session:

  • Once the DDS source has been coded for your report you can edit the image using the field line, the mark function keys that allow you to move and copy fields and data, and the other function keys that bring up displays that will help you edit your report.
  • You must define a record format prior to defining fields. You can use the DR command to do this.
  • Ensure that all fields for a record are defined. You can use the DF (define field) command to do this or you can define fields on the Define Field Information display. To get to the Define Field Information display press F11 when your cursor is not on an existing field.
  • To show overlapping fields or fields which are conditioned off, use the VF command. This will display the field line or
    multiple field lines for the line.
  • You can merge records by using the CL (change line type) command.
  • There are two sets of function keys in RLU. There is a base set and an alternate set. You can toggle between the two sets using F22. The base function keys are RLU specific. You use them to edit the report you are working on, and to access the other RLU displays. The alternate function keys are more general than the base set. They are based on the function keys for the Edit display in SEU. When the base function keys are active, you see BASE to the left of the format line. This is the third line from the top of the display that marks the columns across the display. When the alternate function keys are active, you see ALT.
  • You should not move fields to filler lines. If you do, everything you have defined for the field will be lost.
  • There is a command line at the top of the Design Report display that you can use to enter commands specific to your RLU session. You can enter system commands by pressing F21 in the alternate set of function keys. A system command line will appear on the display.

Columns

This field displays which columns are currently visible on the display. The first number in this field represents the first column of the report line that is shown. The second number represents the last column that is shown.

Library/Source file

The name of the library and the source file containing the report you are editing.

Command line

RLU commands provide a shortcut to the functions on the Find/Change Options, Find Options, Exit, and Change Session Defaults displays without leaving the work screen. RLU commands are free format commands. The command parameters are either required and positional, or optional, and they can be entered in any order.

To run an RLU command, type it on the command line and press a positional function key: for example, Enter, Roll Up or Down, F19=Left, F20=Right.

Some commands have abbreviations: for example, you can enter F or FIND to run the FIND command. To retrieve the last command you entered, type F9=Retrieve. If the cursor is in the data area, you can use F10=Cursor to move the cursor back and forth between the data area and the command line. RLU remembers up to 50 commands.
To see help for an RLU command, type the command on the command line and press the Help key.

Note: You cannot enter system commands on the command line, but you can enter a system command on the work screen by pressing F21=System command. A window appears where you can enter a system command.

You can enter the following RLU commands on any command line on the work screen (Edit, Browse or Split displays):
o FIND or F

o CHANGE or C
o SAVE
o CANCEL or CAN
o FILE
o TOP
o BOTTOM
o SET or S
o HIDE or H

Note: FILE, SAVE, and CHANGE commands can only be used in an Edit session or in the top session of a Split Edit/Browse display.

The SET command has these options:

o MATCH
o CAPS
o TABS
o ROLL
o EXPERT
o SHIFT

Note: The SHIFT and TABS options can only be used in an Edit session or in the top session of a Split dit/Browse display.

Report

The name of the report you are editing.

Active keys

BASE indicates that the base function keys are active. ALT indicates that the alternate keys are active.
Format line

The ruled line at the top of the display.

Line control area

The area on the display consisting of line numbers and record format names. You can enter line commands in this area.

The following line commands are available in RLU, in addition to most SEU line commands:

o Define Record Format (DR)
o Change Line Type (CL)
o Create Sample Data (SD)
o View Field Line (VF)
o New Page (NP)
o Define Constants (DC)
o Define Fields (DF)
o Center Fields (CF)
o Space Fields Evenly (SP)

Work area
The work area for the report you are designing or editing. This area consists of the following three types of lines:

Report line
A report line is any line of the report that is part of a record format. Report lines are involved in DDS source generation.
The first report line in a record format is indicated by an R in the line number area. Subsequent report lines, which are called continuation lines, are indicated with a + in the line number area.

Sample line
A sample line is a line used to make the report you are editing look more like the final report. Sample lines contain sample data that is associated with the preceding record format. The first sample line in a group of sample lines is indicated by an S in the line number area. Subsequent sample lines, which are called continuation lines, are indicated by a + sign in the line number area. These lines are not involved in DDS source generation.

Filler line
Filler lines are lines that separate one record format from another. They are indicated by a . (period) in the line number area. Filler lines are involved in DDS source generation.

Field Line
A field line is a temporary record that may be displayed above the report line and is denoted by FLDn in the sequence number area, where n=1, 2, or 3. The field line indicates field boundaries within the record, allows editing of fields in the record, and accepts certain commands to facilitate field generation.

F1=Help
Press F1 for additional help about using the display.

F3=Exit
Press F3 to go to the Exit RLU display.

F4=Fields
Press F4 to work with a list of the fields within a DDS record format.

F5=Refresh
Press F5 to restore all entries to what they were initially.

F6=Condition display
Press F6 to go to the Condition Design Report display to set indicators on or off to condition the fields and keywords and how they are displayed on the work screen.

F9=Retrieve
Press F9 to retrieve the last command entered.

F10=Database fields
Press F10 to go to the Work with Database Fields display where you can build a list of database fields to display at the bottom of the work display for inclusion in the report.

F11=Define field
Press F11 when the cursor is not on an existing field and the Define Field Information display appears where you can create a new field.

F12=Cancel
Press F12 to cancel the Split Edit/Browse or Split Edit/Prompt session. You will return to a single Design Report session.

F13=Mark/Unmark data
Press F13 to mark a character, field, or block of text to be copied or moved. If something has been marked, and you move the cursor to another area and press F13 again, the new area will be highlighted along with the first area you highlighted. Now you can use F14 to copy the data to the new marked area, or F15 to move the data to the new marked area. If you press F13 again with your cursor on the marked area the marked text will be unmarked. You can change the way a move or copy is performed by going to the Change Session Defaults display.

F14=Copy marked data
Press F14 to copy a marked area to another area. Your cursor should be in the top left corner of the area you are copying to when you press F14.

F15=Move marked data
Press F15 to move a marked area to another area. Place your cursor in the top left corner of the area you are moving the marked data to and press F15.

F16=Delete field
Press F16 on a field line, report line, or sample line to delete the field’s text and the associated sample data, as well as all associated field level information from the Design Report display.

F17=File keywords
Press F17 to go to the Work with File Keywords display, where you can change the file level definition. If you used the Input Keywords display the last time you worked with keywords then the Input File Keywords display will appear when you press F17.

F18=Record keywords
Press F18 on a report line or sample line to go to the Work with Record Keywords display. If you used the Input Keywords display the last time you worked with keywords then the Input Record Keywords display will appear when you press F18.

F19=Left
Press F19 to move the record area to the left on the display.

F20=Right
Press F20 to move the record area to the right on the display.

F21=System command
Press F21 to display an entry window where you can input system commands.

F22=Alternative keys
Press F22 to display the alternative set of function keys.

F23=Field keywords
Press F23 with the cursor on an existing field and the Work with Field Keywords display appears where you can change field definitions. If you used the Input Keywords display the last time you worked with keywords then the Input Field Keywords display will appear when you press F23.

F24=More keys
Press F24 to view the other function keys available.

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About the Author

IBM i Software Developer, Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, RPG Modernizer, Alpha Nerd and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits. Nick Litten Dot Com is a mixture of blog posts that can be sometimes serious, frequently playful and probably down-right pointless all in the space of a day. Enjoy your stay, feel free to comment and in the words of the most interesting man in the world: Stay thirsty my friend.