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Detecting a dropped session from a COBOL program

Is there a way to see if a session has dropped from a COBOL program? We have a Intermec 2415 RF device (basically acts as an emulator) that communicates with an order-picking application (interactive screen program written in COBOL) on the iSeries. Sometimes the RF device looses connection with the iSeries, which leaves our RF order records in an active status. Active status means no other user can access the RF order records for an order because it is assumed another user is picking the order. The only way to fix it is to use a database utility (like DFU) to change the status back to inactive. I would like the program to detect the RF device has dropped and update the records back to an inactive status. This would allow the users to retry picking the order once the RF device is reconnected without having to call support. Any help you can give on this would be greatly appreciated.
I really don't know. The only thing COBOL programs can do is call interfaces provided by other software or interrogate control blocks for bits settings. There has to be something in the system that knows the connection to the RF device is lost, but what that something is and whether that something provides APIs that you can query or control blocks where you can test bits, I just don't know. If I were you, my first step would be to ask the Intermec people about this.
This was first published in March 2005

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