Frequently Asked Questions
If your particular question does not appear here, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Can I try a demo before I license the tools?
Yes, a 60 day demo is available. A demo version is fully functional except that the complete source cannot be viewed or extracted. To convert the 60 day demo to a permanent install, license payment must be received, and a permanent software key will be e-mailed to you. The permanent license invoice is included with the demo for your convenience.
Can I replicate the software to another box for disaster recovery testing?
If you replicate your system for HA/DR purposes, there are considerations to take into account to ensure your TAA Tools work correctly on both the production and DR systems.
The tools must match the operating system level of the system on which you are installing. For example, if you have a 7.3 IBM i Operating System, you must install a 7.3 version of the tools. The key that you enter during install or on the CHGTAAKEY command must match the release level and serial number of the machine you are installing on. Be sure you have specified both of these correctly when requesting keys from firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are replicating to a system at the same operating system level (e.g. both systems are at 7.3) the TAATOOL and TAASECURE libraries can be replicated from production to DR, but you will need to exclude the TAATOOL/TAALICENSE data area from replication. You will then use CHGTAAKEY on the DR system to install the license for that system. CHGTAAKEY creates a new TAALICENSE data area on that DR machine.
If you are replicating to a system at a different operating system level (e.g. your production system is V7R2M0, and DR system is at V7R3M0) – the TAATOOL and TAASECURE libraries should be excluded from replication. A separate install of TAATOOLS should be performed on each system, specific to the operating system level. Your DR system key can be used at install time on the DR system or used later with CHGTAAKEY.
How do I use CRTGRCKEY?
The Create Grace Key Command is designed for situations where you cannot contact us, but need to operate for a few days (a grace period) on a system that does not have a license for the product. You would normally use this in an actual disaster recovery situation where your DR system does not already have a valid license.
You should not use CRTGRCKEY if you can contact us for a key.
To use CRTGRCKEY you must have *ALLOBJ authority. You would enter the command with no parameters. If the request is allowed, a prompt will appear that allows you to confirm the request.
If a 'grace period' is granted, the period lasts until the system date changes 7 times. On the seventh change, the license is considered invalid and you must contact us for a valid key.
CRTGRCKEY may only be used once on a system. You must receive a new update from us before you can CRTGRCKEY again.
If a longer test is needed or an actual disaster has occurred, please contact our office as soon as possible for a software key.
What's the difference between QUSRTOOL and the TAA Productivity Tools product?
There tends to be a lot of confusion over what is QUSRTOOL and what are the TAA Productivity Tools. This stems from the fact that the TAA Tools evolved from the QUSRTOOL library to become a product on their own. To get a better understanding of how the product initially came into existence and then developed over time, you can read about the History TAA Tools, under About Us.
Basically, QUSRTOOL was, and still is, an optional part of IBM i that contains the source of small utilities and programming samples. The majority of those tools, (those prefixed TAA) were removed from QUSRTOOL after Version 3, Release 1 and became the TAA Productivity Tools. QUSRTOOL still exists, but it does not contain the TAA Tools.
The TAA Productivity Tools product contains all the TAA Tools that existed in QUSRTOOL. Now, however, they come with object code, (not just source), help screens, they are Year 2000 safe, there are lots more additional tools, (over triple the original amount), and they also have telephone support.
Can I run the TAA Productivity Tools in test mode on the same machine with our existing QUSRTOOL?
No. Attempting to run tools in parallel with a prior release in test mode typically causes tools to fail. The TAA Productivity Tool software installation is designed to overlay any existing TAA Tools from QUSRTOOL found in the TAATOOL library as well as any library specified as the command library. The software contains hard-coded references to the TAATOOL library as part of the built-in security, so running the tools in parallel will cause problems.
Refreshing the Tools
How often are refreshes available?
Refreshes for most versions of our software become available approximately every 3 to 6 months. However, most customers order updates only when the need arises to fix a specific problem. It is suggested that you order a refresh at least once a year.
I am planning to upgrade our IBM i software. Do I need new TAA Productivity Tools?
As of V5R3, a new TAA version is required when a new system release is installed. You will have 60 days to install the compatible TAA version after installing the new system release.
Testing a new version of the TAA Productivity Tools
When the TAA Productivity Tools are installed, they will overlay the previous version in TAATOOL. You cannot install the new version to a different library for testing purposes because many internal qualified references occur to the TAATOOL library.
Most customers experience no compatibility issues when upgrading.
Some compatibility issues occur because customers have copied old versions of a TAA command to a separate library and attempt to use the old version with a revised program in TAATOOL.
You should not copy TAA commands to a separate library. Either add TAATOOL to the library list or library qualify the use of the command such as TAATOOL/ADDDAT. When you install, a listing occurs of any TAA command and program names that are outside of the TAATOOL library. You may request a similar listing by using Option 27 of the HELPTAA menu (Check TAA Product).
Should you experience a compatibility problem, please contact us immediately.
You can save the previous TAATOOL version to a save file to allow the restore of the entire library should the new version not operate properly.
Attempting to restore individual tools from an old version is not recommended because of potential incompatibilities with dependencies.
Using the Tools
Do I need a compiler to use the tools?
No, the TAA Productivity tools are provided as both source and object. Therefore, RPG compilers are not needed to use most tools.
How often do I need to back up the TAA libraries?
The TAA Tools should be backed up regularly. For detailed information please see our TAA Backup Considerations.
For information on disaster recovery please see our Disaster Recovery Options.
Other Interesting Questions
What does TAA stand for?
Nothing, they were just the three letters given by IBM to designate the tools.