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The first course of this series, Getting Started on IBM i, covered the basic skills required by all IBM i users. This course, Using IBM i Commands, goes beyond the basics to cover the role of jobs, commands, and programs in an IBM i environment.

The course begins by looking at jobs. You will follow a typical batch job as it moves through the system. Then, you will see how this process differs for an interactive job.

The course then addresses IBM i commands, covering the basic rules for command names and the rules for command formatting. You will see the various ways in which you can enter commands, and you will have the opportunity to practice each technique. You will see how to enter commands in a free-form format, how to use the command prompt facility, and how to use the Command Entry panel.

You will also learn how to enter Unix-type commands using the Qshell command interpreter.

Finally, you will see how frequently used commands can be put into the form of a CL program or REXX procedure. The course describes the IBM i program development process and the programming languages used on an IBM i system. During this discussion, it also introduces a unique feature of the IBM i architecture, the technology-independent machine interface.

Approximate Study Time: 2 hours


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Define IBM i work management terms
  • List the steps performed by the IBM i operating system when running a batch or interactive job
  • Describe the relationship between IBM i menus and CL commands
  • Use your knowledge of IBM i command syntax to match the names of commands with their functions
  • Identify common ways in which objects can be manipulated
  • Predict the result of given object operations when performed on a library
  • Identify improperly coded IBM i commands
  • Identify the action that IBM i performs when you leave out a required command parameter
  • Identify the types of access permitted by the various IBM i security levels
  • Use IBM i facilities to display a detailed description of a command
  • Enter IBM i commands using the command prompt facility
  • Control the destination of command output
  • Use IBM i facilities to determine the name of the command that performs a given function
  • Repeat and optionally modify a previously entered command
  • Invoke the Command Entry panel
  • Start and stop the Qshell command interpreter
  • Enter Qshell commands
  • List the steps required to create an executable program
  • Identify differences between IBM i control language (CL) programs and REXX procedures
  • Describe the difference between the original program model (OPM) development process and the integrated language environment (ILE) development process
  • Identify differences between Java and traditional programming languages
  • Describe the purpose of the IBM i technology-independent machine interface

Topic Outline



Entering Commands

Repeating Previous Commands

Using Qshell



The course is intended for anyone who will use an IBM i system. This audience includes managers, programmers, operators, end users, and other personnel.


This course assumes that you are familiar with the concepts and basic operations of IBM i systems. You can satisfy these prerequisites by successfully completing the previous courses of this series:

You may also have obtained these skills by taking other courses or through relevant work experience.