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IBM iSeries NetServer – Mapping Drives and Accessing via green screen

I’ve only been working with IBM i for a little over 6 years now but in that time I’ve grown to appreciate the durability, reliability, and complexity of the system. You can’t break these systems; just me power issues, storms, and people have all tried but they are resilient systems. That being said IBM has a few areas they can make some improvements. One challenge that I have come up against no matter what Operating System I run it on is using the Windows Client Access Navigator client. Often times it takes 5-10 minutes to open and runs poorly. When you have a user that has changed their password and locked themselves out of the NetServer or a system task that uses the NetServer crossing your fingers and waiting 10 minutes to unlock them is a problem. IBM is working to improve this and is continuing to invest in improving the web based version, but for now when I need to interact with the NetServer I use the methods below.

A great write-up by Joe Hertvik will walk you through Mapping iSeries Data to a Windows Network Drive. This walk-through offers a complete understanding and guide to setting up Mapped Drives to the iSeries. We have many mapped drives to the IFS and they all work very well.

Another helpful tool from IBM (covered by Joe Hertvik) is running the NetServer from the Green Screen. I downloaded, installed, and implemented this in our environment and it “changed my life”. After installing the NetServer package in QUSRTOOL you can use GO NETS to access 14 options under NetServer. The steps can be found here IBM i NetServer. I am adding them below as well in case IBM moves the link. ***Option 12 is one that I use daily***

Before the tool can be used, it must be created. Follow the instructions in the next section to build the tool set on your machine. GO NETS is a user tool and is shipped in the QUSRTOOL library, under license program 5722SS1 option 7, starting in V5R2. For more information on this tool and how to use it, please see the documentation file QUSRTOOL/QATTINFO, member TZLSINFO.

Setting up GO NETS

Follow these example steps to build the GO NETS command tool into library NETSRVCMD.

  1. Create the target library. NETSRVCMD may be replaced with the library name of your choice.
    CRTLIB LIB(NETSRVCMD) TEXT(‘i5/OS NetServer menu and commands’)
  2. Expand the necessary files:
    CALL QUSRTOOL/UNPACKAGE PARM(‘*ALL ‘ 1)
  3. Create the installation program:
    CRTCLPGM NETSRVCMD/TZLSINST QUSRTOOL/QATTCL
  4. Call the installer to create the GO NETS tool:
    CALL NETSRVCMD/TZLSINST NETSRVCMD
  5. Add the new library to the library list:
    ADDLIBLE NETSRVCMD
  6. Run the tool’s menu interface. From now on, you need only type this command to bring up GO NETS function.
    GO NETS

    Using GO NETS

    GO NETS menu screen shot

    Selecting a menu item brings up the prompter for the corresponding command. For specific details on each of the commands, refer to the TZLSINFO member in QUSRTOOL/QATTINFO.