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Terminology Categories

IBM i (iSeries – AS/400) Terminology

Advanced Function Presentation (AFP)

A set of licensed programs, together with user applications, that use the all-points-addressable concept to print data on a wide variety of printers or to display data on a variety of display devices. AFP includes creating, formatting, archiving, retrieving, viewing, distributing, and printing information.

Advanced Function Presentation data stream (AFPDS)

Advanced Function Presentation data stream (AFPDS) A presentation data stream that is processed in AFP environments. MO:DCA-P is the AFP interchange data stream. IPDS is the AFP printer data stream.

Advanced Printer Function (APF)

A function of the Application Development ToolSet feature that allows a user to design symbols, logos, special characters, large characters, and forms tailored to a business or data processing application.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)

A standard code used for information exchange among data processing systems, data communication systems, and associated equipment. ASCII uses a coded character set consisting of 7-bit coded characters.


Apache is an free/open web server developed by the Apache Software Foundation that enables easy access to Net.Data, JSP, PHP or CGI programs written in just about any programming language. The IBM i OS supports a fully functional Apache web server.

Binary format

Representation of a decimal value in which each field must be 2 or 4 bytes long. The sign (+ or -) is in the far left bit of the field, and the number value is in the remaining bits of the field. Positive numbers have a 0 in the sign bit and are in true form. Negative numbers have a 1 in the sign bit and are in twos complement form.

Control Language (CL)

The set of all commands with which a user requests system functions.

Data area

A system object used to communicate data, such as CL variable values between the programs within a job and between jobs. The system-recognized identifier for the data area is *DTAARA.

DB2® for IBM i

The integrated relational database manager on the system. It provides access to and protection for data. It also provides advanced functions such as referential integrity and parallel database processing.

Double-byte character

An entity that requires two character bytes.

Externally described data

Data contained in a file for which the fields and the records are described outside of the program (such as with files created by DDS, IDDU, or DB2 for IBM i) that processes the file.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

In the Internet suite of protocols, an application layer protocol that uses TCP and Telnet services to transfer bulk-data files between machines or hosts.

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

A type of computer interface that presents a visual metaphor of a real-world scene, often of a desktop, by combining high-resolution graphics, pointing devices, menu bars and other menus, overlapping windows, icons and the object-action relationship.

Host Print Transform (HPT)

An IBM i print function that converts an SNA character string (SCS) data stream into an ASCII data stream. The conversion enables consistent ASCII printing through hardware connections.


IBM i is an operating system that runs on the IBM Power Systems. Initially introduced as OS/400 with the AS/400 line of computer systems. Later renamed to i5/OS, and then iSeries, and then to its current name IBMi in 2008.

Intelligent Printer Data Stream (IPDS)

An all-points-addressable data stream that allows users to position text, images, graphics, and bar codes at any defined point on a printed page.


A system in the System i family of general purpose systems that supports IBM i and Operating System/400 and that provides application portability across all models. See also Operating System/400, IBM i.

Job schedule entry

An entry in the job schedule object that describes the job to be submitted. The user can specify attributes of the job and when the job will be submitted.


A system object where changes made to data are recorded. The object created contains historical information about tasks, the database, messages, and notifications, which can be used to reconstruct a previous version of the data. The system-recognized identifier for the object type is *JRN.


One of the predefined words of a programming language, artificial language, application, or command.

Level checking

A function that compares the record level identifiers of a file to be opened with the file description that is part of a compiled program to determine if the record format for the file changed since the program was compiled.

Logical partition (LPAR)

One or more subsets of a single system that contains hardware resources and operates as an independent system.

Mirrored protection

A function that protects data by duplicating all disk data in an auxiliary storage pool (ASP) to another disk unit (mirrored unit) in the same ASP. If a disk failure occurs, the system keeps running, using the operational mirrored unit of the mirrored pair until the disk unit is repaired or replaced.


In object-oriented design or programming, a concrete realization (instance) of a class that consists of data and the operations associated with that data. An object contains the instance data that is defined by the class, but the class owns the operations that are associated with the data.

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

A standard application programming interface (API) for accessing data in both relational and nonrelational database management systems. Using this API, database applications can access data stored in database management systems on a variety of computers even if each database management system uses a different data storage format and programming interface.

Operating System (OS)

A collection of system programs that control the overall operation of a computer system.

Output queue

An object that contains a list of spooled files to be written to an output device, such as a printer or a . The system-recognized identifier for the object type is *OUTQ.

Parameter (parm)

A value or reference passed to a function, command, or program that serves as input or controls actions. The value is supplied by a user or by another program or process.

Physical file

A database file that describes how data is to be presented or received from a program and how data is actually stored in the database. A physical file contains one record format and one or more members.


A data structure for processing work in which the first element added to the queue is the first element processed. This order is referred to as first-in first-out (FIFO).

Report Program Generator (RPG)

A programming language designed for writing application programs for business data processing requirements. The application programs range from report writing and inquiry programs to applications such as payroll, order entry, and production planning.

Save file

(1) In Backup, Recovery, and Media Services, an online file allocated on direct access storage for use as interim or short-term storage before off-loading to removable media or permanently deleting. (2) A file allocated in auxiliary storage that can be used to store saved data on disk (without requiring s or tapes), to do I/O operations from a high-level language program, or to receive objects sent through the network. The system-recognized identifier for the object type is *FILE.

SNA character string (SCS)

In SNA, a string of EBCDIC control characters carried within a request/response unit (RU); the string can also contain user data.

Spool file

A file that holds output data waiting to be processed, such as information waiting to be printed.

Structured Query Language (SQL)

A standardized language for defining and manipulating data in a relational database.

Subsystem *SBS

An operating environment, defined by a subsystem description, where the system coordinates processing and resources.

System/36 environment

A function of the IBM i operating system that processes most of the System/36 operator control language (OCL) statements and procedure statements to run System/36 application programs and allows the user to process the control language (CL) commands.

Systems Network Architecture distribution services (SNADS, SNA distribution services)

An IBM asynchronous distribution service that defines a set of rules to receive, route, and send electronic mail in a network of systems.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

An industry-standard, nonproprietary set of communication protocols that provides reliable end-to-end connections between applications over interconnected networks of different types.

User interface manager (UIM)

A function of the operating system that provides a consistent user interface by providing comprehensive support for defining and running panels (displays), dialogs, and online help information.

Virtual private network (VPN)

An extension of a company's intranet over the existing framework of either a public or private network. A VPN ensures that the data that is sent between the two endpoints of its connection remains secure.


A configuration of input/output equipment at which an operator works. A workstation is a terminal or microcomputer at which a user can run applications and that is usually connected to a mainframe or a network.

Zoned decimal format

A format for representing numbers in which the digit is contained in bits 4 through 7 and the sign is contained in bits 0 through 3 of the least significant byte; bits 0 through 3 of all other bytes contain 1's (hex F). For example, in zoned decimal format, the decimal value of +123 is represented as 1111 0001 1111 0010 1111 0011. See also