SOQ Frequently Asked Questions

Click on any of the frequently asked questions listed below to see our response.  If your question is not listed below, submit your question directly to us via our Request For Support Form, or, if you prefer, you can phone us at (800) 698-5669 or (601) 853-1189.

S E C T I O N S

Questions:

What is provided with SOQ Annual Maintenance?

By participating in the SOQ Annual Maintenance program you receive unlimited phone support and free SOQ updates.  The cost of Annual Maintenance is less than the cost of a single SOQ update purchased outside of our Annual Maintenance program.

SOQ is updated at least twice a year.  SOQ updates are automatically shipped to all customers that have purchased SOQ Annual Maintenance.  These frequent updates not only provide new features and functions, but also insure SOQ's compatibility with the very latest releases of OS/400.

How much is SOQ Annual Maintenance?

The first year of maintenance is provided at no charge.  Toward the end of the first year you will be billed $295.00 for the next twelve months of SOQ Maintenance.  Annual Maintenance is optional, but it is strongly recommended.

If you decide to not participate in the Annual Maintenance program, a single SOQ update in the future will cost $347.50.  If you decide to rejoin our Annual Maintenance program after purchasing a single SOQ update, you may do so by paying an additional $295.00 at that time.

These prices are subject to change.  Call us at 800-698-5669 to get the latest prices for SOQ Annual Maintenance and single SOQ updates.

How can I speed up the SOQ Archive process?

If you are using SOQ Release 8.70 or higher, simply change the SOQ System Default for optimization to optimize your archives for speed.  While this will cause SOQ to temporarily use more disk space while the archive is running, the increase in speed is well worth it.

Prior to Release 8.70 of SOQ, the easiest way to speed up the SOQ Archive process is to archive your spool files to an OS/400 Save File instead of archiving them directly to tape.  Once the SOQ Archive process is complete, the OS/400 Save File can be placed on tape using the OS/400 SAVOBJ command.

Using an OS/400 Save File does make the archive of spool files a two step process.  However, the two steps (archiving to OS/400 Save File and placing the OS/400 Save File on tape) both complete in less than half of the time it takes to archive spool files directly to tape.

How do I use SOQ to save to an OS/400 Save File?

The following steps provide an outline for using SOQ with an AS/400 Save File:

  1. Create an OS/400 Save File.  The Save File can exist in any library and can have any name you wish to assign to it.
  2. Execute the SAVOUTQ command.  On the Save device parameter, specify *SAVF.  After pressing ENTER, a secondary prompt will ask for the name and library of the OS/400 Save File to be used.
  3. After step 2 completes, use the SAVOBJ command to place the OS/400 Save File on tape.

If you wish to automate this process using a CL program, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Create an AS/400 Save File.  The same as step one above. This step should be performed only once and outside of the CL program.
  2. In the CL program use the following commands in this order:
     
    1. CLRSAVF - Use this command to clear data from the previous save.  The first time the program is run, there will be no data in the save file.
    2. SAVOUTQ - Use this command as specified in the outline above.  Save Device should be *SAVF and the Save File name and library should be provided in the appropriate parameter.
    3. SAVOBJ - Use this command to place the Save File on tape.  Once this step completes, the process is complete.  Note that there is a redundant backup as the Save File exists on tape and on disk until the CL program is run again.

When a Save File is utilized during the save process, the restore process does change slightly.

To restore spool files from tape that were initially saved to an OS/400 Save File, simply indicate that the spool files should be restored from *TAPE rather than *SAVF on the second "Restore Spool Files" screen.  On this screen, you should also identify the name of the tape device and be sure to leave the Save File library and name. 

SOQ will know that because the spool files were save to an OS/400 Save File but are being restored from tape that some special steps must be performed internally.  There are, however, no extra steps for you.
 

My tape drive's tape density does not appear to be supported by SOQ.

If your tape drive's specific tape density is not allowed for the SOQ System Default, Tape density, just enter the special value *DEVTYPE.  This special value causes the default density for your tape drive to be used, regardless of what type of tape drive you have.

Also, the tape density specified in the SOQ System Defaults is only used when the SOQ Menu options are used to initialize tapes.  If you initialize your tapes outside of SOQ using the INZTAP command, the tape density specified in the SOQ System Defaults is never used and therefore irrelevant.
 

Do I need the SOQLIB library in my library list to use SOQ?

No. You do not need to have the SOQLIB library in our library list to use SOQ.  All SOQ functions add SOQLIB to the top of your library list when they start and remove SOQLIB from your library list before they end.  A copy of all SOQ commands is placed in QGPL during installation so that the commands can be accessed without adding SOQLIB to your library list or qualifying the command names with SOQLIB.

Because SOQ manipulates (adds and removes SOQLIB) the user portion of your job's library list, you must have at least one space available in the user portion of your job's library list to use SOQ.  The maximum number of libraries allowed in the user portion of a job's library list is twenty-five.
 

Is it ok to delete SOQ commands from the QGPL library?

Yes.  After installation, SOQ commands can be deleted from the QGPL library without affecting the performance SOQ.

Deleting SOQ commands from the QGPL library will, however, prevent access to SOQ commands unless the commands are qualified with the SOQLIB library name.  For example, instead of entering the command SOQ to access the SOQ Archival Menu, you would have to enter the command SOQLIB/SOQ.
 

Is SOQ compatible with OS/400 V5R1 and V5R2?

Only Releases 8.60 and higher of SOQ are compatible with OS/400 V5R1 and V5R2.

New spool file attributes were introduced with OS/400 V5R1.  These new attributes are not recognized by older releases of SOQ.  Release 8.60 of SOQ contains the enhancements necessary to recoginze, archive, and restore these new attributes.

In addition to new spool file attributes, V5R1 also modified an existing spool file attribute.  The spool file number was changed to a six-digit number instead of a four-digit number.  All screens, reports, and command parameters displaying or accepting spool file numbers were modified in Release 8.60 of SOQ to allow for the six-digit spool file number.
 

Can SOQ be used with optical devices?

Yes.  However, this ability is only avaliable in SOQ Release 8.70 and higher.  Also, only direct attached optical devices are supported.  This does inlcude internal and external DVD-RAM drives.
 

What is the difference between Save Output Queue (SOQ) and REPRINT?

Save Output Queue (SOQ) is a long-term, off-line, spooled file archival solution designed for use by the System Operator.  Some benefits of using Save Output Queue (SOQ) include:

  • Easy and unlimited future access to important historical documents (i.e. financial statements, sales reports, etc.)
  • Saving valuable disk space.  Once spooled files are archived and deleted the recovered disk space is available for other uses.
  • Unlimited archive storage options.  Off-line storage media (tape or disks) can be stored off site for additional protection and security.
  • Preparation of spooled files for third party processing.  This includes microfiche and/or CD-ROM production.
  • The ability archive spooled files on one AS/400 and restore the spooled files on another AS/400.  This applies even if the two AS/400s are running different releases of OS/400.

REPRINT is a short-term, on-line, spooled file archival solution designed for use by any end-user.  Some benefits of using REPRINT include:

  • The end-user can reprint his or her own spooled files as needed.  No tapes or disks need to be loaded and no System Operator intervention is required.
  • Fully automated.  Spooled files are archived as they arrive in the output queue.
  • Including the REPRTLIB library in your normal system backup can provide users with access to lost reports in the event of a disk failure.

As you can see, while both products provide spooled file archival functions, they serve significantly different purposes.   Save Output Queue (SOQ) is an off-line, long-term archival solution for System Operators and REPRINT is an on-line, short-term archival solution for end-users.

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