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Enable your iSeries to automatically order fixes

Learn how to enable the Electronic Service agent and get your iSeries to automatically order fixes and report hardware or software problems.

Using the Electronic Service agent, your iSeries system can automatically order fixes and report pending or actual hardware or software problems to IBM. Prior to V5R3 of OS/400, this function was packaged as a separately installable licensed program, 5798RZG. Now, the function has been repackaged into the base operating system, making it even easier to work with.

How to set up the Electronic Service agent

Just prior to doing your V5R3 upgrade, after you do your pre-upgrade full system save, you should run DLTLICPGM against the old version of Service Agent. The command is DLTLICPGM LICPGM(5798RZG). Since the new version of the program uses the same library, it is good to delete the old version so that you can be assured that the library was replaced. DO NOT wait until after you upgrade to run the DLTLICPGM because that will remove critical pieces of the new Electronic Service Agent function.

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You should also write down the communications resource for the QESLINE, which can be found with the command DSPLIND QESLINE. You will need this resource name later on when you configure the new version of Service Agent. Last, you will need to know whether you have an internal or external modem and its model number. (See Figures 2 and 3 for the list of modems that configuration presents to you.)

Once you have completed your V5R3 upgrade, you should install the group PTF for Electronic Service Agent, SF99298 to ensure you have all the latest fixes. Then you can run the command GO SERVICE from a command line. You will be asked to configure either an *ECS or *SRVAGT connection. It is best to start with the *ECS configuration, as this is a little easier to get working. Once the *ECS connection is working and verified, you can run through the process a second time to create the *SRVAGT configuration.

You will see a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 1.

                    Create Service Configuration (CRTSRVCFG)                   
 Type choices, press Enter.                                                    
 Connection type  . . . . . . . . > *PTP          *PTP, *VPN                   
 Point to point type  . . . . . .   *LOCAL        *LOCAL, *REMOTE              
 Service  . . . . . . . . . . . . > *ECS          *ECS, *SRVAGT                
 Reference service config . . . .   *ANY          *ANY, *NONE                  
 Country or region ID . . . . . .   *SELECT       Character value, *SELECT     
 State or province code . . . . .   *SELECT       Character value, *SELECT     
 Primary telephone number . . . .   *SELECT                                    
 Alternate telephone number . . .   *SELECT                                    
 Resource name  . . . . . . . . . > *SELECT       Name, *CALC, *SELECT         
 Modem information name . . . . . > *SELECT                                    
 F3=Exit   F4=Prompt   F5=Refresh   F12=Cancel   F13=How to use this display   
 F24=More keys                                                                

Figure 1: The CRTSRVCFG screen

The value you use in the Connection type parameter will most likely be *PTP (for point to point), unless you plan to connect through a virtual private network.

Specify *ECS for the Service parameter and *SELECT for the other parameters, as shown in Figure 1. There are some additional parameters on a second screen, but you should not need to change them from the defaults.

By specifying *SELECT for the parameters as shown in the example, you will be presented with several screens where you can select the option that is appropriate for your installation. Here are some tips to help you with selections:

If you are in the U.S., then you may want to select *NATIONWIDE (at the bottom of the list of choices) for State or Province number . You will then be given a couple of toll-free numbers to select from for Primary and Alternate telephone numbers. When entering the phone numbers, make sure you append a '9' if you need to dial for an outside line. You also need to make sure there is a '1' in the telephone number, as in 1-800-xxx-xxxx. IBM has shipped some phone number files without the '1' appended. Note: In the telephone number, you can use a comma (,) wherever you want the dialing sequence to pause for a second.

Enter the correct modem information from the list, using the information you gathered previously. The list of modems looks like that shown in Figures 2 and 3. If your modem does not match any of these selections, it is probably best to contact IBM rather than trying to guess.

                 Select point-to-point TCP/IP modem information                 
 Type option, press enter.                                                      
 Opt  Name                                                           Source     
      $generic hayes                                                 DEFAULTS   
      2761 Internal Modem                                            DEFAULTS   
      2771 Internal Modem                                            DEFAULTS   
      2772 Internal Modem                                            DEFAULTS   
      2793 Internal Modem                                            DEFAULTS   
      2805 Internal Modem                                            DEFAULTS   
      3Com/US Robotics Courier I ISDN/V.Everything, V.35 230.4Kbps   DEFAULTS   
      GVC 28800                                                      DEFAULTS   
      Hayes 14400 Accura                                             DEFAULTS   
      Hayes 28800 Accura                                             DEFAULTS   
      IBM  9600 7855                                                 DEFAULTS   
      IBM 28800 7852-010                                             DEFAULTS   
      IBM 28800 7852-013                                             DEFAULTS   
      IBM 7852-400                                                   DEFAULTS   
      IBM 7852-400 (2609 or 2612 EIA 232/V.24 adapter)               DEFAULTS   

Figure 2: List of modems, page 1

              Select point-to-point TCP/IP modem information                
 Type option, press enter.                                                     
 Opt  Name                                                           Source    
      IBM 7852-400 (International)                                   DEFAULTS  
      IBM 7857-017                                                   DEFAULTS  
      IBM 7858                                                       DEFAULTS  
      MaxTech 28800                                                  DEFAULTS  
      MultiTech 28800 Multimodem                                     DEFAULTS  
      USRobotics 14400 Sportster                                     DEFAULTS  
      USRobotics 28800 Sportster                                     DEFAULTS  
      USRobotics 56K V.90 Sportster                                  DEFAULTS  
      ZOOM 14400                                                     DEFAULTS  
      ZOOM 28800                                                     DEFAULTS 

Figure 3: List of modems, page 2

You can then hit Enter, and your configuration should be created. If you experience problems, a call to IBM support is probably in order, as there are a lot of things that can go wrong.

There is a verify function from the GO SERVICE menu (option 17) that you can use to test your configuration. The first time you connect to IBM it may run especially slow, so be patient. Also, we have noticed that in general the connection process for commands such as SNDPTFORD run more slowly than they did in previous releases.

About the author: Dan Reusche is a senior systems administrator at Think Federal Credit Union in Rochester, Minn. He has worked with the IBM AS/400 and iSeries platform since 1988, when he worked at the IBM Rochester Development Lab and support of AS/400 systems used within IBM. You may contact him at

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