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More and more IBM i shops are moving towards "lights out" operation, in which the system runs without a full-time operator in attendance. Other shops still have full-time operators, but are reducing the hours during which the computer room is staffed. To automate operations-related tasks, you can turn to several program products available from major software vendors. Alternatively, you can begin a move towards automated operations using the free tools that are described in this course. All of these tools are built into IBM i. Because they are poorly documented and not well advertised, however, you may not know they exist.

For most IBM i installations, the first step in automating operations is to submit batch production jobs for execution on a predetermined schedule. The course begins by showing you how to accomplish this using the job scheduler that comes with IBM i. Once a shop's batch jobs are being submitted automatically, the next step towards automated operations is preprogramming responses to system messages. In the second session of this course, you will see how to reduce operator interactions by using the system reply list to have the system reply automatically to specified messages.

Next, you will see how to modify the system startup program. This program is executed automatically at the end of the IPL process. By modifying it, you can automatically enter commands to start jobs, servers, or subsystems and perform other tasks without operator intervention.

The remainder of the course covers ways to modify the commands provided with IBM i. First you will see how to change the default value of a command parameter. Then you will see how to create simplified versions of IBM i commands.

Approximate Study Time: 2 hours


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Submit a job to run at a predetermined time
  • Have a job executed automatically based on a predefined schedule
  • Create the system message queue
  • Have the system respond automatically to a specified inquiry message
  • Modify the system startup program
  • Copy an IBM i command
  • Change the default value for an IBM i command parameter
  • Create a CL program to reapply changes you have made to IBM i commands
  • Create simple commands that invoke one or more IBM i commands

Topic Outline

Scheduling Jobs

Automatic Message Response

Modifying the Startup Program

Changing Command Defaults

Creating Commands


This course is intended for anyone responsible for managing the system activity of an IBM i system. System administrators, system programmers, and system operators would be personnel operating in this job capacity.


This course assumes that you have a basic knowledge of IBM i facilities. You can satisfy this prerequisite by successfully completing the courses in the Introduction to the IBM i Environment series.

In addition, you should have an detailed knowledge of IBM i work management. You can satisfy this prerequisite by successfully completing the previous courses of this series:

Finally, you should have basic knowledge of IBM i CL programming. You can satisfy this prerequisite by successfully completing The IBM i Programming Environment series and the first three courses of Manta's CL Programming series: