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Page last updated on January 7, 2013


SNDTWEET Frequently Asked Questions:

Q - How can I tell what jobs active for SNDTWEET at any point in time?
A - Most SNDTWEET tasks run in the subsystem named ITWEET. At any point in time, you can run the following command:

WRKACTJOB SBS(ITWEET)

and it will show you all the SNDTWEET tasks currently running in the ITWEET subsystem. On our test system, we recently recorded the following tasks:

In the above set of jobs, the following descriptions apply:

TMIKISCO - a SNDTWEET message queue monitor for the IKISCO message queue
TMQSYSMSG - a SNDTWEET message queue monitor for the QSYSMSG system security message queue
TMQSYSOPR - a SNDTWEET message queue monitor for the QSYSOPR system operator message queue
TMTWEET - a SNDTWEET message queue monitor for the TWEET message queue
TWCHASP - the SNDTWEET ASP Monitor task
TWEETRCVR - the SNDTWEET tweet read and response task
TWTSCHDULR - the SNDTWEET Tweet Scheduler task

In addition, if you are using any of the SNDTWEET Watch functions from option #1 on the WATCH menu, these tasks run in the QUSRWRK subsystem under the unique job name you assign when the watch task is started. Using the WRKACTJOB command with the SBS parameter set to QUSRWRK will display these tasks.

Q - Will SNDTWEET work on any System i?
A - SNDTWEET will work on any system running OS/400 or i/OS with release levels of V5R3M0 or higher, as of this writing.

Q - Can I pre-check our network to make sure that SNDTWEET will connect successfully?
A - Yes! From terminal session on your system, just run the following command:

PING RMTSYS(TWITTER.COM)
If the ping works successfully, then SNDTWEET will work just fine on your system.

If your ping fails, you may be able to configure your system to work correctly by updating the Host Name Table with an entry for Twitter.com. Using a PC attached to your network, issue a ping to "twitter.com". If it is successful, then make a note of the IP address that it resolved to. Then, go to the CFGTCP menu in the OS and run option #10. Create a new entry for twitter.com that points to the IP address that you just obtained from your PC. At this point, you should be able to ping Twitter.com and SNDTWEET will work on your system.

Q - Can SNDTWEET be used for any Twitter account?
A - Yes! - You can Tweet for any active Twitter account.

Q - Can SNDTWEET be used from iSeries Access?
A - Yes! - Just select the "Run a command" option in the lower right list of Connection Tasks. To use this option, the TCP/IP remote execution server must be active on your system.

Q - Can I restrict who can use SNDTWEET?
A - Yes! - When installed, SNDTWEET is set up to allow access by all users. The user manual includes specific instructions on how to restrict use of the application to a defined list of users.

Q - Can I monitor a message queue on my System i?
A - Yes! - SNDTWEET includes a fully functional message monitoring feature. You can monitor any message queue on your system and when a qualifying message arrives, SNDTWEET will send it out as a tweet from your system.

Q - Will I be able to reply to error messages on my system?
A - YES! SNDTWEET lets you respond to error messages from monitored message queues and submit message responses through Twitter.

Q - Can I post a daily status message from my System i?
A - YES! SNDTWEET can be used to post daily status messages. However, you have to remember that Twitter has code in place to suppress duplicate tweets. If you issue the exact same message each day at the exact same time, it is quite possible that some of these tweets will be suppressed by Twitter. The solution for this issue is to include a date and time stamp in your message so that the status messages are each unique. This can be done using the APPEND parameter on the SNDTWEET command.

Q - I'm confused about how to set up with Twitter, what do you recommend?
A - We recommend that you set up two Twitter accounts, one for you and a separate one for your server. If you have additional users you want working within your "group", it would work best if they each had their own Twitter account. The Tweets issued by your system should be done under the server's account. On your Twitter account, you should set yourself up to follow the Twitter ID for your server. When you set up this follow link, make sure that you specify that you want to get the Tweets on your cell phone if that is where you also want notification.

Here's an example:

Your account is called "My_Twitter" at Twitter. You set up a second account for your server called "My_iSeries". When you set up this account for your server, make sure that you specify that you do not want it to be a public account and that you want to approve people who sign up to follow the account. It is one of the options when the account is created.

Using your "My_Twitter" account, set up to "follow" the Twitter ID "My_iSeries". When you do this, make sure you specify that you want to get the Tweets on your cell phone. This will prompt Twitter to send an email to the email address you used when setting up the "My_iSeries" account asking permission to follow. Make sure you approve this before you do any testing.

Once this is all done, use SNDTWEET using the "My_iSeries" account to send a test message. It should flow through to your "My_Twitter" account and end up at your cell phone if that is also configured.

Q - I already have monitoring software watching our system operator message queue (QSYSOPR). Can I use the SNDTWEET product too?
A - If you want to keep running your current message queue monitoring software, then the answer is no. The IBM OS only allows one job to lock the system operator message queue for reading messages. You cannot add a second job to the system to do the same process.

That said, you might want to consider replacing your current message monitoring software with our SNDTWEET software. If your objective is to watch for things happening and send out notifications (ie: pages, email, etc), then SNDTWEET just might be a good replacement for what you are currently doing, just with more modern technology such as cell phones, text messages and tweets.

Q - What port does SNDTWEET use on my System i?
A - SNDTWEET uses port 80 on your System i for all network access.

Q - Can I use SNDMSG to send a Tweet from the command line?
A - YES!

Many IBM i users are familiar with the SNDMSG command that allows you to send a quick text message from one user to another through the i/OS. You can also use this method, with a little setup in advance, to send a Tweet through Twitter.

Here's an example of how you can set this up. In my example, I want to be able to send a tweet to my personal Twitter account by using the SNDMSG to a user profile named TWEET. The user profile will be created securely so that it cannot be used for logon purposes. To set this up, do the following:

  1. Create a fictitious user profile using the following command:
    CRTUSRPRF USRPRF(TWEET) PASSWORD(*NONE) STATUS(*DISABLED)
    TEXT('Dummy Twitter Account')
    Note that the profile is created without a password and in disabled state so that it cannot be used for logon purposes.

  2. Start a message queue monitor for the message queue now associated with your new dummy user profile. The following command should take care of this nicely:
    TWEETMON QUE(TWEET) EMAIL(mytwitterid) PASSWORD(mypassword)
    NOTIFY(*NO)
    Before starting the monitor, especially after you have used this method a few times, it is a good idea to display the message queue in question (DSPMSG) and clear any current messages, otherwise the last message will be resent when you start the monitor.

  3. Use the SNDMSG to send your Tweet. Something like the following should work nicely:
    SNDMSG MSG('I love using the SNDMSG to Tweet from my #ibmi')
    TOUSR(TWEET)
    The message queue monitor will pick this up automatically and forward it to Twitter using the Twitter ID that you used when you started the monitor.

Q - Can I control what my followers are allowed to do via SNDTWEET?
A - Yes! SNDTWEET includes an optional security feature. When activated, it will let you control what each specific Twitter ID can do that is following your IBM i's Twitter account. The actions you can control are responding to messages, submitting remote system status requests, submitting remote commands and submitting remote user application requests. If the Twitter account is not set up to permit the requested remote function, the request will be denied.



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