Most iSeries developers work with multiple Client Access sessions going at once, often with multiple PC applications active on their PC as well.
Switching between sessions is often accomplished via the Windows Alt-Tab switching function or grabbing the mouse and clicking on the status bar representation for that session. When you are busy writing code for hours at a time, you want to focus on your Client Access sessions, not on the other PC applications you have open. Perhaps you would like to focus on specific Client Access sessions for a time, ignoring others for a bit.
The Client Access Keyboard mapping function "Jump Next Active Session" helps nicely. This function allows you to map a single keystroke in Client Access to "Jump" from one CA Session to another in an instant. This saves keystrokes, but more importantly, it conserves your mental focus for the task at hand.
I like to have this function mapped to the minus key ("-") on the numeric keypad of the keyboard. You may find another key that you would prefer. Obviously you don't want to remap a key that you commonly need.
From your Client Access Session, customize your keyboard (Click ASSIST, then KEYBOARD SETUP, then CUSTOMIZE). Select "Jump Next Active Session" from the Function pull-down list on the bottom left side of the screen. Select the key that you want to map by clicking on its graphical icon in the simulated keyboard above. Click on the Arrow ("->") button under the "Change Current Actions for Selected Key" area at the bottom right. Click File and Save from the menu bar to keep your changes to your keyboard map. Close the Customize Keyboard application. Click OK on the Keyboard Setup Dialog Panel. Click File & Save from the menu bar to save your CA Session definition. If you use multiple CA Session definitions, perform this task with each unique CA Session Definition.
Now, lets say you have 3 open and active CA Sessions, an E-Mail application, an Internet Browser session, a Windows File Explorer session, and anything else. From any CA Session, you can "Jump" to the next session at a keystroke, without any distracting selection of what application you want to choose. Do it again, and you will Jump to the Next session in the loop. After you've jumped to the end of the sequence, the next Jump you perform will return you to the originally selected CA Session.
Want to ignore the second session for a time and focus on the first and third? Minimize the CA second session. This will take it out of the Jump Loop until it is "Active".
Bonus: Another keyboard map change that can be very useful: changing the Shift-ArrowRight key to be Fast Right, the Shift-ArrowLeft to be Fast Left. This speeds up SEU editing by allowing you to move within a text line quickly.
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This was first published in September 2001