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How to Use CL Sign-on Programs

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Ted Holt shows you how to code an IBM i program that performs start-up tasks when a user signs on to the system

Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from chapter 15 of Complete CL: Sixth Edition, by Ted Holt.

So-called sign-on programs (more accurately called initial programs) are special programs that run when a user signs on to the system. The sign-on program is indicated in the user profile’s initial program (INLPGM) attribute. With INLPGM (*NONE) in a user’s profile, the system doesn’t run any program at sign-on and shows the initial menu immediately. If the user has a value other than *NONE in the INLPGM attribute, the system runs the indicated program before it presents the initial menu. With INLMNU(*SIGNOFF) in a user’s profile, the user is signed off, when the user’s sign-on program ends.

You can write sign-on programs in any language, but they are commonly written in CL because they usually need to manipulate objects, set user environments, and interact with the system. This chapter presents a typical sign-on program that you can tailor to your own requirements. Note: Sign-on programs cannot have any parameters.

Sample Sign-On Program

The sign-on program shown in Figure 1 is an illustration only. You should customize it to your own needs by removing or adding sections. Instead of showing the entire program in one continuous listing, you will see text inserted when an explanation is necessary. The following sections include some excerpts from the sample program; you can find the complete sign-on program in Complete CL: Sixth Edition.


   DCL &dlvry     *CHAR   10

   DCL &dspname   *CHAR   10

   DCL &grpprf     *CHAR   10

   DCL &msg       *CHAR   80

   DCL &msgq       *CHAR   10

   DCL &msgqlib   *CHAR   10

   DCL &pgmrlib   *CHAR   10

   DCL &position   *DEC     3

   DCL &programmer *LGL     1

   DCL &usrcls     *CHAR   10

   DCL &usrname   *CHAR   50

   DCL &usrprf     *CHAR   10

   DCL &usrtxt     *CHAR   50

Figure 1: An example of a generic sign-on program

The program shown in Figure 1 can generate many *ESCAPE messages. Because none of the *ESCAPE messages should interrupt the program, you should ignore them all. Figure 2 shows the MONMSG command to do this.

MONMSG cpf0000

Figure 2: The MONMSG command to ignore all error messages

First, retrieve some of the attributes of the user profile with the RTVUSRPRF (Retrieve User Profile) command, and the name of the display station with the RTVJOBA (Retrieve Job Attributes) command (shown in Figure 3). This information is necessary in later parts of the program.

/* Retrieve the user profile attributes */


             MSGQ(&msgq) MSGQLIB(&msgqlib) +

             TEXT(&usrtxt) USRCLS(&usrcls) DLVRY(&dlvry)

   RTVJOBA JOB(&dspnam)

Figure 3: Retrieving attributes from the user profile and name of the display station

In the job where this sign-on program is used, the security administrator uses the user profile’s text description (retrieved with RTVUSRPRF to &usrtxt) to store important user information. The text description always begins with the user’s complete name, followed by a colon (:) and the name of the department in which the user works.

You can also have the system send a status message (to line 24) saying “Signing on John Smith” (or other names) when a user signs on. To do this, you must extract the complete name from the user profile’s text description. The complete name is everything contained up to, but excluding, the colon.

You can use QCLSCAN to look for this colon. If QCLSCAN finds the colon, its exact position is reported to variable &position, which was declared as *DEC 3.

If the position is greater than zero (colon found), the user name is everything prior to it. Therefore, subtract one from &position and then use the %SST function to extract the user’s full name from &usrtxt. Otherwise, you can conclude that the security administrator forgot to place the colon in the text description, and you can presume that the text description contains nothing but the user’s full name.

Either way, variable &usrname contains the user’s full name. Now you can use the SNDPGMMSG (Send Program Message) command to present the *STATUS message. In order to show, it must go to *EXT. Note that message CPF9898 is used (which already contains an ending period in its definition). In the MSGDTA parameter, you place “Signing on” concatenated with the user name, the word “at,” the display station name, and two periods. These two periods, combined with the built-in period of CPF9898, make up an ellipsis (...), and the message appears as “Signing on John Smith at SYSDSP01...” This code is shown in Figure 4.

/* Display "Signing on..." message */

   CHGVAR &position   %SCAN(':' &usrtxt)

   IF (&position *GT 0) DO

     CHGVAR &position (&position - 1)

     CHGVAR &usrname %SST(&usrtxt 1 &position)



     CHGVAR &usrname &usrtxt


   SNDPGMMSG MSGID(cpf9898) MSGF(qcpfmsg) +

             MSGDTA('Signing on' *BCAT &usrname *BCAT 'at' +

                   &dspname *TCAT '..') +


Figure 4: Displaying a message with username and display station

Suppose users in your Accounting department have display sessions named ACGDSPNN, where NN is a two-digit number, and they all have PC printers configured as IBM i printers connected to them. These emulated printers are named ACGDSPNNP1.

The code shown in Figure 5 makes it possible for your Accounting department users to print everything they request, at their PC printers, reformatted so that 132 columns can be printed on letter-size paper in portrait mode and placed on hold.

/* If signing on with Client Access, override printer files */

   IF (%SST(&dspname 1 6) *EQ 'ACGDSP') DO

     OVRPRTF *PRTF DEV(&dspname *TCAT 'P1') +

             PAGESIZE(82 132) LPI(8) CPI(16.7) OVRFLW(80) +

             FOLD(*NO) PAGRTT(0) OUTQ(*DEV) HOLD(*YES)


Figure 5: Setting up override printer and attributes for a group of users


Ted Holt is IT manager of Manufacturing Systems Development for Day-Brite Capri Omega, a manufacturer of lighting fixtures in Tupelo, Mississippi. He has worked in the information processing industry since 1981 and is the author or co-author of seven books. 

MC Press books written by Ted Holt available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Complete CL: Fifth Edition Complete CL: Fifth Edition
Become a CL guru and fully leverage the abilities of your system.
List Price $79.95

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Complete CL: Sixth Edition Complete CL: Sixth Edition
Now fully updated! Get the master guide to Control Language programming.
List Price $79.95

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IBM i5/iSeries Primer IBM i5/iSeries Primer
Check out the ultimate resource and “must-have” guide for every professional working with the i5/iSeries.
List Price $99.95

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Qshell for iSeries Qshell for iSeries
Check out this Unix-style shell and utilities command interface for OS/400.
List Price $79.95

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