This is in response to this week's developer tip submitted by Dannie Weddle.
I know what Dannie means when he/she says, "The DSPFFD Command on the AS/400 is quite cumbersome to read through."
I'm a consultant at a software house. I develop as well as help with customer support and I frequently need to check our field reference file as well as the other files in the database. We had a crude in house tool to display the field descriptions but I wanted something a little more robust. It's not as simple as Dannie's query of an outfile, but it provides much more functionality. It could use some help text but that is at the bottom of my priority list as well as being one of my least favorite things to do.
Here is a brief explanation of the functions:
* Help IS included with the LFFD command in the form of a panel group (LFFDG).
* A validity checker is included for the command (LFFDVC).
* A command parameter allows the list to be displayed or printed.
* It allows you to specify a remote system. It will dynamically build a DDM file for this.
* It works with either 80 or 132 column displays.
* The file and library are displayed in the subfile control and are input capable allowing you to change files on the fly.
* It works with physicals, logicals, display files, and DDM files.
* You can search the list with any combination of 10 different pieces of information.
o When searching the "From" or "To" positions, the next record with a value equal to or greater than the search criteria is displayed.
o Searching on the field description (132 column display only):
* The search is NOT case sensitive.
* Leading and trailing blanks are ignored.
* The program scans the description for an occurrence of the search string. Searching for "ION", for example, will return a field with "Transaction" or "International" in its description.
o The search begins with the first subfile record displayed and continues to the end of the list.
o The search will "wrap" the same way SEU does.
o F16 will repeat the search with the previously entered criteria.
* You can sort the list by any of 9 different pieces of information.
* You can position the list by pressing F7 with the cursor on a subfile record.
* You can position the list to the top with F17 or the bottom with F18.
* The user command line is available with F21.
* You can print the list any time with F22.
* F11 in an 80 column display will fold the subfile displaying the field description.
* The two objects SELOBJD and SELOBJR are optional. If they exist, F4 will be enabled and allows prompting for a file or library. This uses an API to display a window with a list of all files in the library or all libraries on the system so use it judiciously. It can take several seconds depending on your system. When the window is displayed, you can simply double click on a subfile record to make the selection.
* A couple of hidden features:
o Clicking the middle mouse button (the wheel on an MS mouse) will page down.
o Double clicking the middle mouse button will page up.
This was first published in April 2001