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Partner TechTip: Record Changes to Database Files with Your File Editing Tool, Easy View

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All developers have a favorite tool that helps them edit files on the fly. These tools are great for making quick changes to test data and even production data. For the last two decades, from the AS/400 to today's System i platform, we have enjoyed great ease-of-use in this area. Unfortunately, our auditors are catching on to these edits, and they're asking some tough questions: Who changed/deleted/added the record? When was the record changed? And most importantly, what changed?

Auditors in general dislike tools like SQL, DFU, and DB utilities because they make your life very easy when it comes to modifying data without much programming. In reality, we can make changes without any audit trail of what we did. Companies under scrutiny of legislative acts, such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) or HIPAA, also are cracking down on these power productivity tools. The problem is that most of these tools do not have any form of auditing. One solution is to journal the file and then write a program to dump the journal entries to prove to your auditors that you are auditing this activity. But who has time to do all this work?

A better solution is to take advantage of the built-in Easy View feature that can do this for you automatically. Its audit trail records who changed the data, what was changed, and when it was changed. It is convenient and easy to report on.

Actually, auditing in Easy View is optional. But in today's world, this is not an optional item for most of us. You can turn on Easy View auditing for all users or for individual users. Using the CHGSYS command, you select the profile you want to audit. Easy View lets you tailor the profile to turn on auditing and take advantage of this feature (see Figure 1).

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/TNT%2015%20Easy%20View%20auditV3--09290600.jpg

Figure 1: Use the CHGSYS command to specify which user profiles you want to audit. (Click images to enlarge.)

You can print the audit file from the EZVIEW main menu or by using the PRTAUDIT command. The audit log tells you the user, date/time, file, and relative record number of the changed data (see Figure 2).

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/TNT%2015%20Easy%20View%20auditV3--09290601.jpg

Figure 2: Use the PRTAUDIT command to print the audit log showing what was changed.

If you want more detail, you can view the detail log in the physical file EVPAUDT, found in the EZVIEW library. Simply use Easy View or Query to see the results (see Figure 3).

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/TNT%2015%20Easy%20View%20auditV3--09290602.jpg

Figure 3: Use the detail view of EVPAUDT in Easy View.

Easy View, from Help/Systems, Inc., makes it easy to change files while still maintaining an audit trail of the activity. You can easily demonstrate to the auditor that you can document what data was changed in your production files, who changed it, and when. We hope that you don't have to do this very often, but if you do, the audit trail is logged for your team automatically.

Easy View satisfies the auditor and continues to make your life easier. Give it a 30-day free trial. And be sure to check out the other Help/Systems offerings in the MC Showcase Buyer's Guide.

Tom Huntington is Vice President of Technical Services for Help/Systems, Inc. He can be reached at 952.563.1606 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TOM HUNTINGTON

Tom Huntington is Executive Vice President of Technical Solutions at HelpSystems, and has been with the company for nearly 30 years. He works with business alliances, acquisitions and large customer relationships and ensures that the HelpSystems software works with other major software and hardware vendors worldwide.

Tom often speaks on enterprise scheduling, security, automation topics, IBM i technology, and the HelpSystems products, and hosts technical presentations on a variety of automation topics. He is the author of the HelpSystems IBM i Marketplace Survey and has written articles on automated operations, security, cloud computing, and business intelligence for leading trade journals and newsletters. He was named an IBM Champion in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 for over three decades of advocation and thought leadership on the IBM i platform.

Contact Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

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