SNDTWEET and Twitter can appear to be an unusual combination
for the IBM System i
community. When you log in to create your Twitter account, the objective presented to you
appears to be an emphasis on “What Are You Doing?”, a questionable business need. If, however,
you think of Twitter as an SMS service (Short Message Service), a concept that has been around
for a much longer period of time, then you can start to see through the hype to find that this can be
used for very legitimate purposes in your System i shop. A Twitter post is called a "Tweet" and is a
character based message with a limit of 140 characters.
Here are some initial ideas that we have come up with. To make these work, you need to create a
Twitter account for your System i; then have users create their own Twitter accounts and sign up
to “follow” the account for your System i. When your system posts a Tweet, the users that are set up to
follow will receive automatic notification through to their PC, cell phone or PDA. Everyone who is supposed
to know about what’s happening will find out right away.
You can also use Twitter to send a direct message to a specific Twitter user. You do this by
starting your message with that user's Twitter ID preceded by the @ sign. For example, if your
Twitter account named is “myname”, then you can send a directed message through Twitter by
starting it with “@myname Message text”. The “Message text” will be sent to the Twitter known
If you have more ideas, please share them with us and we will post them at our website:
- Message Monitoring - SNDTWEET lets you monitor any message
queue on your system. When a qualifying message arrives at the message queue, SNDTWEET tweets
the message text through Twitter. If the message is looking for a reply, like an error message or
an inquiry message, anyone following your System i on Twitter can respond to the message with a reply.
This can be set up in a fully secure environment so that only authorized users can monitor your system
and reply to messages.
- System Monitoring - Twitter has the ability to share event information immediately with
multiple users, connecting to them on their PCs, cell phones or PDAs. You can add the SNDTWEET command to
your CL programs to send out notifications when the program is done or when error
situations are encountered. For example, many shops run critical overnight processing
either daily or on a monthly basis. You can use SNDTWEET to send out a normal
completion Tweet at the end of the process. If the Tweet is not received, then you
will know there is a problem and can react. SNDTWEET includes many system status
inquiries available by simply sending a direct message to your System i.
- System Watches - Using SNDTWEET, you can set a watch task for a specific
message ID arriving at a given message queue. If the specified message arrives, then SNDTWEET will
tweet this fact and you can react as needed. It is Kisco's intention to enhance this capability
further in subsequent releases.
- System ASP % Watch - Disc utilization is critical to stable processing on your IBM i. If your
system runs out of disc, for any reason, the results can be catastrophic. SNDTWEET includes an ASP
utilization monitor that will issue tweets when the disc use increases in excess of a pre-set rate.
This can give you extra warning when there is a critical issue on your system.
- User Tweets - Twitter can be used to enhance communication between team members on a
development project, or any other project for that matter. If your development team are
located in physically different places, Twitter can help improve the level of
communication between team members. When one person gets something done or
identifies an issue, it can be immediately shared with all team members. If you’re working
on a System i, then you can send your Tweets directly from the command line or from
within iSeries Access using the remote command capability.
- File Monitoring - You can use SNDTWEET to set a file monitor
on your system. The file monitor can be configured to report, via tweets, on file adds, changes,
deletes or even reads. When a specified event happens on the file, SNDTWEET will post a tweet
advising of the event. Tweets can be set up to be either detailed (on every event) or in summary
(after every nth event).
- Personal Tweets - The SNDTWEET command can be used for any Twitter account. All
you need to supply is your Twitter ID and password and you can send a Tweet for any
account. This can come in handy while working on your System i if you are participating
in multiple projects that are all being coordinated using Twitter.
Keep in mind that when you use Twitter that general messages will be seen by everyone who is
following the Twitter account. If you want to make sure that there is limited access to the
messages, then make sure you require confirmation before someone can follow the Twitter
account. This is an option when creating the account.
- Company Promotions - many companies are finding that Twitter is a great way to keep customers
and potential customers on board with current events. With a simple CL program, you could have your
marketing (or other) folks maintain a database of future Tweets to be sent and have them go out on
a regular schedule. Again, if you want help with this kind of application, contact Kisco Information
Systems and we’ll see how we might be able to help you. SNDTWEET also includes
an automatic Tweet Scheduler that lets you load in a Tweet schedule. Once in place, SNDTWEET will
post your tweets to Twitter at the specified date/time intervals.
- Company Metrics Notices - most companies have performance metrics that they check on a regular
basis with notifications going to key exectives. Your System i is often the first place where these
critical business measurements are determined based on transaction activity. SNDTWEET could be
used to send instant notifications messages when key metrics have been recognized during the day. One
such example suggested to us by a customer was low stock notices on mission critical items from inventory.
Another might be an unusually high order volume that might trigger the need for overtime or an extra
- Remote Command Submit - Using SNDTWEET, you can submit commands to be run on your IBM i
via Twitter. Using your cell phone or PDA, you can run a command on your system in an
emergency. This has been implemented in SNDTWEET in a secure environment.
- User Application Interface - SNDTWEET lets you submit your own custom
inquries by sending direct messages to your System i. The interface will interpret your Tweet on the
System i and call your application program. This even support passing of parameters!
Do you have questions about SNDTWEET? E-mail them to us:
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