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Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories IBM i Access Family
Created by Guest
Created on Nov 4, 2022

Add command-line options for running Data Transfers in BAT files or add Edit option in context menu of DTFX/DTTX files

Our users have used Data Transfer for many years. They have used BAT files to run requests that belong together. With IBM i Access for Windows and its predecessors, these have run uninterrupted - the Data Transfer GUI did not appear, and there was no completion notice. This was despite the fact that the AutoRun and AutoClose settings were 0 and Notify was 1. This seems like it was maybe a bug in that client, because, according to documentation, those are supposed to affect how the request runs from a command line (and BAT files?).

For support, security, and performance reasons, we are converting to use ACS' Data Transfer- we are using 1.1.9.0. Those 3 settings are the same in the migrated DTFX files, but when run in a BAT file, the settings are honored - the DT GUI is opened, the user has to click on Start Transfer, and there is a completion notice after each one. This is not at all like the previous behavior and is tedious.

So we tried setting AutoRun and AutoClose to 1 and Notify to 0 - this seems to give us the behavior we need.

But there is a problem - if you double-click on the DTFX in the Windows File Explorer, it runs without the GUI and without the completion notice. This surprised me, because I did not think that was the same as running from a command line or in a BAT file.

One issue is that you can't edit the DTFX this way, and our users are used to editing DT requests from File Explorer - I'm talking over 20 years for some of them. Yes, they can open the GUI, open the DTFX there, and edit it. This is definitely not as convenient.

Our users often have to change a date or other value in the Where part of the DTFX, so they need to be able to edit it, and we want them to have the same convenience (and similar behavior) as before.

I suggest 2 ideas of what to add -

  • Add options to the DOWNLOAD and UPLOAD plugins that would override what is set in the DTFX or DTTX file

    • AutoRun, AutoClose, and Notify in the scope of this Idea

  • Add an Edit option in the context menu, the menu you see when you use a right-click on the DT file in the Explorer or equivalent in other OS

Either would give useful behavior options for anyone. Both would be even better.

Idea priority High
  • Guest
    Nov 8, 2022
    The AutoRun and AutoClose settings within the dtfx files are ignored for either the dtbatch or download plugin. So changing these settings when running from the command-line/batch environment should not be necessary. If you run a dtfx file from File Explorer, or interactively from the gui, or from the command-line without specifying a plugin:
    C:\ACS\Start_Programs\Windows_x86-64\acslaunch_win-64.exe I:\#ACCTING\PCLASS.DTFX
    ???then the AutoRun and AutoClose settings are honored as set.
    The Notify setting from a command-line should not create a pop-up, but should only determine whether or not statistics about the run are sent to the command-line. To get rid of the splash screen, you can specify the JVM option -splash:nosplash:
    C:\ACS\Start_Programs\Windows_x86-64\acslaunch_win-64.exe -splash:nosplash /plugin=dtbatch I:\#ACCTING\PCLASS.DTFX

    Since it sounds like the initial request is no longer needed, we are declining the RFE.

    IBM Power Systems Development
  • Guest
    Nov 8, 2022

    This can be closed, I would say it can be labeled as already delivered, if you want.

    Vern

  • Guest
    Nov 8, 2022
    Clarification about previous post. Both the dtbatch and download plugins are capable of handling multiple requests. If there are multiple requests, you are correct in that only one splash screen would be generated. This is also a more efficient way to run as ACS only has to start once.

    IBM Power Systems Development
  • Guest
    Nov 7, 2022

    I discussed this with my manager this morning. Asking our users to edit the request files with something like Notepad is not an option here. Nor is modifying the Windows Registry, because, although it is probably possible, we are certain that it is not something corporate security policies would allow.

    But I believe I found an alternative - the DTBATCH plugin - please confirm that this will run the requests as we want them to - my first test seems to show that it does. Here are the contents of 2 BAT files - one runs 3 requests on 1 command, the other does them separately. The former is better, as it seems to display the ACS logo just once, the latter for each request.

    3 separate request launches -

    @echo off
    
    cls
    echo TRANSFER Payroll Classification File TO YOUR PC...Run when system is not busy!
    echo Payroll Classifaction File (PClass)
    C:\ACS\Start_Programs\Windows_x86-64\acslaunch_win-64.exe /plugin=dtbatch I:\#ACCTING\PCLASS.DTFX
    C:\ACS\Start_Programs\Windows_x86-64\acslaunch_win-64.exe /plugin=dtbatch I:\#ACCTING\PCLASS2.DTFX
    C:\ACS\Start_Programs\Windows_x86-64\acslaunch_win-64.exe /plugin=dtbatch I:\#ACCTING\ECOCRF.DTFX

    :Success
    Echo *** The transfer is completed! ***
    @echo off
    Echo Payroll Classification File is now DOWNLOADED.
    :exit

    1 combined launch -
    @echo off
    cls
    echo TRANSFER Payroll Classification File TO YOUR PC...Run when system is not busy!
    echo Payroll Classifaction File (PClass)
    C:\ACS\Start_Programs\Windows_x86-64\acslaunch_win-64.exe /plugin=dtbatch I:\#ACCTING\PCLASS.DTFX I:\#ACCTING\PCLASS2.DTFX I:\#ACCTING\ECOCRF.DTFX

    :Success
    Echo *** The transfer is completed! ***
    @echo off
    Echo Payroll Classification File is now DOWNLOADED.
    :exit
  • Guest
    Nov 5, 2022

    You mention selecting an editor such as Notepad. I did experiment some with adding a shell command to the Registry for the .dtfx entry in HKEY_CLASSESS_ROOT, using the DTGUI plugin - so far to no avail, it's been a long time since doing much in there. And doing the same in non-Windows systems, well, that makes this part of the Idea less tenable to me.

    Thanks again!

  • Guest
    Nov 5, 2022

    Thanks for your response. It offers an interesting approach, which I'm exploring more. One issue for us is that we probably don't want people to directly edit the DTFX or DTTX files - you know the structure, and I can reverse-engineer what we need - but I have to run this past my manager. We're having a meeting Monday on this project, I'll get back to you.

  • Guest
    Nov 4, 2022
    Thank you for submitting your Idea to enhance IBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS). The behavior you have described is correct and working as designed. There is already a way to accomplish the same behavior you are used to having without adding the requested additional options. The reason the dtfx file runs from File Explorer when you double-click it is because that is how you have the file associations set. If you disable the file associations for dtfx and dttf files, then ACS Data Transfer will not be invoked when the file is double-clicked and Windows will prompt you to select what program you want to run. This will allow you to select an editor (eg notepad) and you could also select the option to ???Always use this app to open???" Disabling the file associations does not affect running the dtfx file from the command-line.

    You have two options for how to disable the existing file associations:
    (1) From the ACS main GUI: Tools->File Associations???
    (2) From the command-line: Start_Programs\Windows_x86-64\acslaunch_win-64.exe /PLUGIN=fileassoc dttx dtfx /c

    If some of your users find it convenient to double-click the dtfx file to run it, keep the file association set for them. They can still edit the file from File Explorer by selecting the file and then right-click. This will bring up the Windows context menu. Select ???Open with???" and they will be able to select their editor from there.

    Let us know if this meets the requirement. If not, please explain.

    IBM Power Systems Development