Display documents on your iSeries -- quick and easy

Ron Turull


Somewhere along the line, the DLO (i.e. Document Library Objects) system became somewhat reliant on OfficeVision (and some other add-on products). Sure, you can navigate around the DLO system with i5/OS DLO commands, but you are pretty much limited to displaying just the names of the DLO objects – commonly known as "documents" and "folders."

The displaying document dilemma

Without OfficeVision, simply displaying the contents of a DLO document becomes problematic. In the past, you had two basic choices:

1.Open the document in Windows NotePad or other similar text editor on your PC. This approach works just fine if the document is in ASCII format, and you have your AS/400-iSeries's IFS system shared and configured for use with Windows.

2. Copy the document to an OS/400-i5/OS physical file.Use the CPYFRMPCD to copy the document to either a regular physical file or a source physical file. This approach is workable under certain conditions but you must know ahead of time if you are dealing with EBCDIC or ASCII data because you may need to translate it.

An easier approach

A much simpler approach to quickly display the contents of a document (or any IFS object as it turns outs but that's another story) is to use the Work with Object Links (WRKLNK) command. Don't let the term "link" trip you up – it is simply how objects are kept track of in the Integrated File System (IFS).

For example, say you have a document named "MSG0006" in folder "TEMP." The IFS link to that document would be "/Qdls/temp/msg0006". Note that most of the IFS file systems are not case-sensitive; this is true for the QDLS file system, which is the IFS file system associated (i.e., linked) with the DLO system. So, the link "/Qdls/temp/msg0006" is broken down like this:


  • The beginning slash (/) tells IFS to start at the root.
  • The "Qdls" says to use the DLO system (if you have you IFS systems mapped as a network drive on you PC, you will see "Qdls" as a folder).
  • The "temp" says to look in the DLO first-level folder named "TEMP" (this will also appear as a folder on you PC).
  • Finally, the "msg0006" is the name of the DLO document.
  • To work with a specific document like the one just discussed, we can issue the following command:

    WRKLNK OBJ('/Qdls/temp/msg0006')

    You can also use wildcards to work with a several documents (or links) at once. For example:

    WRKLNK OBJ('/Qdls/temp/*')

    – will give us a listing of all the documents (and perhaps some lower-level folders) in the TEMP folder. An example of the resulting screen is shown below. It shows all the documents and folders contained in folder TEMP.


    Displaying the document?

    So, what does all this have to with displaying the DLO document? Well, if you may have noticed from the sample screen-shot, there is an option titled "5=Dislay." Simply type a '5' next to the document and press Enter, and you will see the data contained in that document. And the nice thing about it is you don't have to worry about what character set (or CCSID) it is in; the Display function will figure it out.

    Also note that there is an Edit function as well. The Work with Object Links screen allows you to edit the data in the document, a great feature for a quick change. Use option '2'. You can even navigate through the IFS by using option '5' next to items of type FLR, DIR, and other directory-type objects.

    About the author: Ron Turull is editor of Inside Version 5. He has more than 20 years' experience programming for and managing AS/400-iSeries systems.

This was first published in May 2007

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