Simple PHP scripts to display a List of spool files and their content

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As part of the development of the JobQGenie PHP interface we needed to be able to display a list of the spool files which are generated for the job queue reload process. The i5_toolkit functions have the ability to provide all of the information we needed, you could achieve the same with the new XMLSERVICE function as well but that will require you build all of the underlying functions yourself which requires a lot more effort and skill.

We just wanted to display a list of the spool files for the current user and then have a link to another page which would display the content of the spool file. Once you understand the calls we have used you can change the code to refine the list and display just a few spool files you are interested in, but for the purposes of this exercise *CURRENT was all we needed to use. The following is the very simple code we developed, the connection and the sign-on processes are not shown but use the same code we have posted previously. You will also notice that we did not show all of the returned information from the i5_spool_list_read() function as we did not need to display or use it. If you want to know all of the data which is returned a simple var_dump() will show you.

function get_spl_list(&$conn) {

// get a list of the spool files for the current user
$HdlSpl = i5_spool_list(array(I5_USERNAME=>"*CURRENT"));
$ret = i5_errno();
echo("<table border=1><tr><td><label>Job Name</label></td><td><label>User Name</label></td><td><label>Job Number</label></td><td><label>Splf Number</label></td>
<td><label>OutQ Name</label></td><td><label>Pages</label></td><td><label>Spool File Size</label></td><td><label>Action</label></td></tr> ");
// read the list and display to the user
while ($ret = i5_spool_list_read($HdlSpl)){
// build the request string
$url = "dspsplf.php?name=" .urlencode($ret['SPLFNAME']) ."&jobname=" .urlencode($ret['JOBNAME']) ."&user=" .urlencode($ret['USERNAME']) ."&jobnum="
.urlencode($ret['JOBNBR']) ."&splnbr=" .urlencode($ret['SPLFNBR']);
// encode the string
$newurl = urlencode($url);
echo("<tr><td>" .$ret['JOBNAME'] ."</td><td>" .$ret['USERNAME'] ."</td><td>" .$ret['JOBNBR'] ."</td><td>" .$ret['SPLFNBR'] ."</td><td>" .$ret['OUTQLIB'] ."/" .$ret['OUTQNAME']
."</td><td>" .$ret['PAGES'] ."</td><td>" .round((($ret['SPLFSIZE']*$ret['SPLFMULT'])/1024),2) ."KB</td>
<td><a href="" .$url ."" target=_blank>Display</a></td></tr>");
$ret = i5_spool_list_close($HdlSpl);
return 1;

In the above code we built a table of the spool files plus added a link to call another page which will display the content of the spool file. The output is pretty simple and has no real formatting applied, I am sure you can make this look a lot better with a bit of color and formatting, but for our purposes this will suffice for now.

One thing we had to do is encode the url to the new page, we found that some of our IBMi jobnames had a character which the browsers did not like (‘#’) I am sure there are others but his one caused us a few scratch the head moments. Initially the browser would drop everything after the ‘#’ from the $_REQUEST variable stack so we tried various endcoding of the url. If we built and encoded the entire url in a single request the browser would fail to display the content because of a repeating error, yet encoding each parameter separately allowed the request to be correctly interpreted. We are not sure why this occurs but the above solution does work so we will leave that investigation for a later time.

Here is an image of the output from our test.

Spool File List

Spool File List

Once we have the list all we wanted to do is display the data in the spool file, you could decide to move the spool file or delete it etc. but this exercise simply being able to view the data was sufficient. The i5_spool_get_data() function can be used to write the data to a file in the IFS or provide the data back to the caller as a string. We decided to take the data as a string and format the string onto the page so we did not look at the format of the output generated in the IFS file. We also converted the line return characters so the output displayed correctly in the browser, but I am sure there are other character strings which would need converting in some of the application driven spool files out there such as link transations etc. Here is the code which retrieves the spool file data and displays it to the screen.

function dsp_splf_dta(&$conn,$name,$jobname,$jobnum,$user,$splnbr,$br) {

$order = array("rn", "n", "r");
$replace = '<br />';

// Processes rn's first so they aren't converted twice.

$str = i5_spool_get_data($name,$jobname,$user,$jobnum,$splnbr);
$newstr = str_replace($order, $replace, $str);
return 1;

We have cut down the size of the data shown just to keep the size of the images to a minimum, but the entire content of the spool file is displayed to the user. Here is a sample of the output using the above code.

Spoll File data

Spool File Data

And that is all there is to it, less than 30 lines of code and you have a solution which will display all of the spool files and allow their content to be displayed.
The documentation needs an update as the order of the parameters to pass for the i5_spool_get_data() is wrong, Aura will update the documentation soon so use the following as a guide for calling the function:

string i5_spool_get_data (string spool_name,
string jobname,
string username,
int job_number,
int spool_id[, string filename] )
note: the [, string filename] denotes that the parameter is optional, if you pass in a file name the file will be used for the output from the call.

if you would like to look closer at the PHP interface capabilities we are developing or have an idea on what it can do for your own applications let us know, we are still surprised at how quickly we can turn old 5250 interfaces into browser views with a minimal amount of code and no changes to the underlying business logic.