IBM i 7.3 TR2 supports the new IBM Power System S812 server and offers significant enhancements in database, access client solutions, and serviceability

IBM United States Software Announcement 217-023
February 14, 2017

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Key prerequisitesKey prerequisitesTechnical informationTechnical information
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At a glance
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IBM® i 7.3 TR2 adds significant function for IBM DB2® for i, enhances IBM i Access Client Solutions, and adds binaries for new tools into the IBM Open Source offering. In addition to extending these software functions, i 7.3 TR2 provides the necessary capabilities for supporting the newly announced IBM Power® S812 hardware model.

  • DB2 for i adds new and enhanced SQL capabilities for database application developers and system administrators. With these enhancements, SQL can be used to become more productive and effective at solving business requirements.
  • The IBM Open Source solutions offering (5733-OPS) has been enhanced to include more tools that serve both the system administrator and the application developer.
  • IBM i Access Client Solutions continues to be enhanced to provide additional function and value to users, system administrators, and database engineers, providing them with the tools to work with their i systems from the PC platform of their choice.
  • IBM i now supports a lower-priced, 1-core Power S812 server for clients with modest processing and lower I/O needs.
  • Serviceability improvements reduce the number of situations that require a mainstore dump and speed the analysis when a mainstore dump is required.

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With i 7.3 TR2, DB2 for i continues to focus on new and advanced SQL capabilities and the ability to use SQL to access i operating system details. Further, DB2 for i delivers ease-of-use enhancements to help a database engineer accomplish the daily task of managing the data center.

With the latest IBM Open Source solutions additions, you can perform a number of network or file-related tasks. Existing support for git, a popular change control tool, has also been enhanced.

IBM i Access Client Solutions continues to focus on new and advanced capabilities for both the system administrator and database engineer. Updates to the Output Spool file support and many updates to the database function have been included.

IBM i support is extended to include a new model S812 with i 7.3 TR2 on a P05 software tier. The S812 is a 1-core, 2U server with an excellent entry price. This is an attractive offering for i clients on prior generations of smaller IBM Power Systems™ servers who have modest processing and I/O requirements and do not require virtualization of processors or I/O.

Power Systems adds new features for a SAS tape/DVD adapter to attach some of the older external tape drives and removable media that are not supported by the newer, faster 6 Gb PCIe3 SAS adapter.

Serviceability improvements with i 7.3 TR2 preclude the need to take a mainstore dump for some error scenarios, allow faster copying of mainstore dumps to tape and to the integrated file system (IFS), and significantly reduce the time to load a mainstore dump for analysis.

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Key prerequisites
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IBM i 7.3 TR2 is supported on selected IBM Power Systems and IBM PurePower Systems servers with IBM POWER7®, IBM POWER7 +, or IBM POWER8® technology-based processors.

Clients using blades or PureFlex™ systems, and those using servers with IBM POWER6® or IBM POWER6 + or earlier processors, need to move to newer systems to take advantage of the new features in i 7.3 TR2.

For up-to-date information on all types of code levels needed for support of a particular feature, see the IBM Prerequisite website.

See the Technical Information section for specific hardware and software prerequisites.

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Planned availability date
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March 17, 2017

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IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 2

IBM i 7.3 TR2 is focused primarily on adding significant function into DB2 for i, enhancing i Access Client Solutions, and adding binaries for new tools into the i Open Source offering. In addition to extending these software functions, i 7.3 TR2 also provides the necessary capabilities for supporting the newly announced Power S812 hardware model. As with every new technology refresh, i adds a variety of function across the entire operating system. The IBM i Technology Updates wiki in developerWorks® contains details of i operating system enhancements. To view technical detail for the topics found in this announcement letter, see the IBM i 7.3 TR2 enhancements website.

DB2 for i enhancements

With i 7.3 TR2, DB2 for i continues to focus on new and advanced SQL capabilities and the ability to use SQL to access i operating system details. Further, DB2 for i delivers ease-of-use enhancements to help a database engineer accomplish the daily task of managing the data center.

  • Database application developers have new capabilities for constructing advanced SQL solutions:
    • JSON predicates are added to DB2 for i. These predicates can be used by the database application developer to deploy JSON validity logic and more easily identify empty JSON value pairs. This additional capability can be leveraged to bring more JSON processing into a data-centric programming solution.
    • The LISTAGG built-in function is added, giving SQL users the ability to aggregate a set of string elements into one string, with advanced controls for separator and list element truncation processing. This built-in function provides a significant ease-of-use improvement to the SQL programmer.
    • The LTRIM and RTRIM built-in functions are enhanced to accept an optional trim expression that specifies the characters to remove from the beginning or end of the string expression. In this way, the SQL programmer can effectively cleanse extraneous characters from strings.
    • These and other SQL enhancements are described in developerWorks.
  • In the tradition of recent technology refreshes, IBM i Services are added, providing useful SQL-based alternatives to i commands and APIs:
    • The AUTHORIZATION_LIST_INFO view returns a list of all objects secured by an authorization list. The information returned is similar to the information available through the Display Authorization List Objects (DSPAUTLOBJ) CL command. This IBM i Service makes it possible to achieve new levels of security management using SQL.
    • The MESSAGE_QUEUE_INFO view returns one row for each message in a message queue. It returns information similar to what is returned by the Display Messages (DSPMSG) CL command. This service makes it easy to interrogate message queues using SQL.
    • These and other IBM i services as described in developerWorks.
  • These and other enhancements are delivered in the DB2 PTF Group SF99703, which will be released on March 31, 2017. Go to the IBM i Technology Updates wiki on developerWorks to learn more about these and other DB2 for i enhancements.
  • To see the DB2 for IBM i PTF Group details, see the DB2 for i 2017 Group PTF Schedule wiki on developerWorks.

IBM i enhancements

IBM i Open Source

IBM i Open Source solutions (5733-OPS) continues to deliver value-added function to the platform, leveraging open source software where it makes sense for i users.

  • Option 7 now includes several new tools:
    • wget, which retrieves objects from intranet or internet addresses
    • curl, a command and shared library that allows for robust interaction with HTTP or FTP URLs, with support for advanced features like proxies, HTTP POST and GET requests, FTP upload, user authentication, and much more
    • rsync, which synchronizes files or directories between systems
  • The git offering in Option 6 has also been enhanced to include support for curl. This allows for the interaction of remote repositories with HTTP addresses.

IBM i Access Client Solutions

In this technology refresh, Access Client Solutions support has been updated to include improved filter capability in the Output Spool File support. This enables the user and system administrator to easily filter the list of spool files to find the files they are looking for based on user profile, job, or other filter options. Additionally, the database functionality continues to be updated to ensure the database engineer has the most innovative tools for working with DB2 for i. This includes updates to the SQL Formatting within the Run SQLScripts interface. CL command has been added as well.

For details and the latest download for Access Client Solutions, see the IBM i Access Client Solutions website.

Hardware and firmware enhancements

New entry-priced model S812

IBM i support is extended to include a new entry-priced model S812 with i 7.3 TR2 on a P05 software tier. The S812 is a simplified, low-cost offering aimed at those who want a basic system with i and native I/O support, and do not have large hardware growth expectations. The S812 features a 1-core, 3 GHz POWER8 processor chip, up to 64 GB memory, six PCIe slots, and up to eight disks/SSDs in a 2U footprint. As only a single partition is supported on this server, there is no virtualization of I/O and no use of Virtual I/O Server (VIOS).

New removable media features

PCIe1 SAS Tape/DVD Dual-port 3 Gb x8 Adapter (#EJ1P/#EJ1N) is a new SAS/tape adapter used to attach some of the older external tape drives and removable media, in particular for POWER8 systems.

The new RDX USB External Docking Station (#EUA4) is similar to existing RDX USB External Docking Stations in enabling the use of removable disk cartridges as an alternative to older tape technology for smaller systems.

Serviceability improvements

Focus has been placed on the disruption to production that occurs when a severe error situation requires a mainstore dump analysis by IBM.

Access to debug information when the partition is in a degraded mode has been improved so that in some cases, the system can be serviced without needing to take a mainstore dump. Copy and formatting times for mainstore dumps have also been improved.

More details

These and other enhancements are delivered in IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh PTF Group SF99727 level 2, which will be released on March 17, 2017. Go to the Hardware and Firmware section of IBM i Technology Updates wiki on developerWorks to learn more about this and other recent hardware and firmware enhancements.

DB2 Web Query Express® Edition Upgrades and SWMA

Prior to this change, there are upgrades from DB2 Web Query Express Edition (5733-WQE) to DB2 Web Query Standard Edition (5733-WQS) where 90-day SWMA (5665-WQS) is added. With the e-config change as of March 14, 2017, this upgrade will result in the addition of either one-year SWMA (5660-WQS) when the client is entitled to one year, or three-year SWMA (5662-WQS) when the client is entitled to three years.

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Product positioning
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IBM i 7.3 is the latest version of the i operating environment. It runs on a Power Systems server and offers a highly scalable and virus-resistant architecture with a proven reputation for exceptional business resiliency. Companies that run applications on i running on a Power server are able to focus on innovation and delivering new value to their business, not on managing their data center operations.

IBM i delivers a fully integrated and trusted combination of relational database, security, web services, networking, and storage management capabilities that are required to run business applications. For example, IBM installs and integrates the SQL standards-based DB2 database for i with advanced database management utilities, plus additional middleware components such as multiple file system options, directory capability, an HTTP web server that is powered by Apache, a web application server, and a web services environment.

IBM develops, fully tests, and preloads these core middleware components of i together. The preintegration and testing of i is a key factor in enabling companies to realize lower operations costs by deploying applications faster and maintaining them with less staff.

Virtualization and workload management are also built into the i operating environment to enable businesses to consolidate and run multiple applications and components together on the same system, helping to drive up system usage and delivering a better return on IT investments. This broad and highly stable database and middleware foundation is ideal for efficiently deploying business processing applications.

Architecture for simplicity, stability, and security

Another important advantage for i is the underlying architecture of the operating system, which enables simplicity, stability, and security. These are not add-on features, but inherent aspects of the operating system. Here are a few examples:


The relational database in i is an integrated component that is built on a set of integrated storage management unique to i and its predecessors. This storage management is based on the single-level storage architecture that treats all of the storage managed by i as one long stream of memory that encompasses the system memory and the storage on disks. This architecture makes it critical for the operating system to decide where to store any given piece of data, which removes the user from having to manage data placement. This method makes management of storage and the database objects contained in that storage significantly simpler.


IBM i architecturally separates the address spaces of user applications and the operating system, so it is difficult for poorly written or malicious software to intrude upon the underlying operating system support. This is one of several attributes that can help keep i running for days, weeks, and months without unexpected restarting of the operating system.

Several architectural attributes of i have contributed to the stability of the system over the years. First, applications compiled on i are compiled to a set of intermediate code instructions defined as the Technology Independent Machine Interface (TIMI). This enables i to fundamentally change the implementation of underlying hardware, firmware, and virtualization features, without requiring rewriting, changing, or even recompiling the applications written by users. This sort of forward compatibility can be a tremendous business advantage, and it enables the movement of software developed and compiled several years to even decades before to run on later generations of the i operating system.


IBM i and its predecessors have an object-based architecture. Each entity on the system is an object, which has a set of prescribed operations that can be performed on it and connections from the object to those other objects that are allowed to perform various operations. An object that does not have a legal edit operation cannot be edited. It cannot be renamed to another kind of object. If the object does have an edit operation, known as change for most objects, it only has a defined set of attributes that can be edited, and then only by users who have authority to do that editing.

Objects can easily be hidden from other users by use of the library list objects, and security enhanced by the object-based security associated with all objects. Users who all have a similar role on the system can be grouped for role-based security, again as part of the base architecture of the system. While the i operating system supports Java™, PHP, web services, and other open source programming methods, the underlying architecture offers a level of integration, stability, simplicity, and security that makes it significantly different from comparable operating systems. These aspects can deliver excellent business value to its users.

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Reference information
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For more information on Power System S812 (8284-21A), see Hardware Announcement 117-023, dated February 14, 2017.

For more information on Power Systems I/O and servers, see Hardware announcement 117-022, dated February 14, 2017, and Hardware announcement 117-013, dated January 24, 2017.

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Program number
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Program number VRM Program name
5770-SS1 7.3 IBM i 7.3 TR2

Product identification number

Program PID number Maintenance 1-year PID number Maintenance 3-year PID number
5770-SS1 N/A N/A

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Offering Information
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Product information is available on the IBM Offering Information website.

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Business Partner information
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If you are a Direct Reseller - System Reseller acquiring products from IBM, you may link directly to Business Partner information for this announcement. A PartnerWorld ID and password are required (use IBMid).

BP Attachment for Announcement Letter 217-023

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Software Services

IBM Software Services has the breadth, depth, and reach to manage your services needs. You can leverage the deep technical skills of our lab-based, software services team and the business consulting, project management, and infrastructure expertise of our IBM Global Services team. Also, we extend our IBM Software Services reach through IBM Business Partners to provide an extensive portfolio of capabilities. Together, we provide the global reach, intellectual capital, industry insight, and technology leadership to support a wide range of critical business needs.

To learn more about IBM Software Services, contact your Lab Services Sales or Delivery Leader.

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Technical information
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Specified operating environment

Hardware requirements

IBM i 7.3 TR2 is supported on selected Power Systems and PurePower Systems servers with POWER7, POWER7 +, or POWER8 processors. Clients using blades or PureFlex systems, and those using servers with POWER6 or POWER6 + or earlier processors, need to upgrade or install new systems to take advantage of the new features in i 7.3 TR2.

For up-to-date information on all types of code levels needed for support of a particular feature, go to the IBM Prerequisite website.

Software requirements

To find the supporting technical detail for the topics found in this announcement letter for IBM i 7.3, go to the TR2 enhancements website.

User Group requirements

A strong and passionate worldwide user community focuses on all aspects of i running on Power servers. The community includes online groups and face-to-face community gatherings. The COMMON organization has branches around the world, including COMMON North America, iSUC in Japan, COMMON Europe, and Interaction in Australia/New Zealand.

IBM continues to recognize key community leaders through the IBM Champions program. The current IBM i Champions have been recognized for their work in the betterment of user groups, social media, and the Academic Initiative. To learn about the IBM Champions program, see the IBM Champions website.

Planning information


This offering is delivered through the internet. There is no physical media.

Security, auditability, and control

These programs use the security and auditability features of the host hardware or software.

The customer is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.

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Ordering information
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Charge metric

Not applicable.

System Program Order (SPO)

Not applicable.

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Terms and conditions
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The information provided in this announcement letter is for reference and convenience purposes only. The terms and conditions that govern any transaction with IBM are contained in the applicable contract documents such as the IBM International Program License Agreement, IBM International Passport Advantage® Agreement, and the IBM Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance.


IBM International Program License Agreement including the License Information document and Proof of Entitlement (POE) govern your use of the program. POEs are required for all authorized use.

This software license includes Software Subscription and Support (also referred to as Software Maintenance).

Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance

The IBM Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance (Z125-6011) applies for Subscription and Support and does not require customer signatures.

These programs are licensed under the IBM Program License Agreement (IPLA) and the associated Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance, which provide for support with ongoing access to releases and versions of the program. IBM includes one year of Software Subscription and Support with the initial license acquisition of each program acquired. The initial period of Software Subscription and Support can be extended by the purchase of a renewal option, if available. These programs have a one-time license charge for use of the program and an annual renewable charge for the enhanced support that includes telephone assistance (voice support for defects during normal business hours), as well as access to updates, releases, and versions of the program as long as support is in effect.

License Information number


See the License Information documents page on the IBM Software License Agreement website for more information.

Limited warranty applies


Limited warranty

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IBM provides you with access to IBM databases containing information on known program defects, defect corrections, restrictions, and bypasses at no additional charge. For further information, see the IBM Software Support Handbook.

IBM will maintain this information for at least one year after the original licensee acquires the program (warranty period).

Money-back guarantee

If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the program and you are the original licensee, you may obtain a refund of the amount you paid for it, if within 30 days of your invoice date you return the program and its POE to the party from whom you obtained it. If you downloaded the program, you may contact the party from whom you acquired it for instructions on how to obtain the refund.

For clarification, note that for programs acquired under any of IBM's On/Off Capacity on Demand (On/Off CoD) software offerings, this term does not apply since these offerings apply to programs already acquired and in use by you.

Volume orders (IVO)

Yes. Contact your IBM representative.

Passport Advantage applies


Usage restrictions


See the License Information documents page on the IBM Software License Agreement website for more information.

Software Subscription and Support applies

Yes. All distributed software licenses include Software Subscription and Support for a period of 12 months from the date of acquisition, providing a streamlined way to acquire IBM software and assure technical support coverage for all licenses. Extending coverage for a total of three years from date of acquisition may be elected.

While your Software Subscription and Support is in effect, IBM provides you assistance for your routine, short duration installation and usage (how-to) questions, and code-related questions. IBM provides assistance by telephone and, if available, electronic access, only to your information systems (IS) technical support personnel during the normal business hours (published prime shift hours) of your IBM support center. (This assistance is not available to your end users.) IBM provides Severity 1 assistance 24 hours a day, every day of the year. For additional details, go to the IBM Support Handbooks page.

Software Subscription and Support does not include assistance for the design and development of applications, your use of programs in other than their specified operating environment, or failures caused by products for which IBM is not responsible under this agreement.

IBM Operational Support Services - SoftwareXcel


System i Software Maintenance applies


Variable charges apply


Educational allowance available

Yes. A 15% education allowance applies to qualified education institution customers.

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Statement of good security practices
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IT system security involves protecting systems and information through prevention, detection, and response to improper access from within and outside your enterprise. Improper access can result in information being altered, destroyed, or misappropriated or can result in misuse of your systems to attack others. Without a comprehensive approach to security, no IT system or product should be considered completely secure and no single product or security measure can be completely effective in preventing improper access. IBM systems and products are designed to be part of a lawful, comprehensive security approach, which will necessarily involve additional operational procedures, and may require other systems, products, or services to be most effective.

Important: IBM does not warrant that any systems, products, or services are immune from, or will make your enterprise immune from, the malicious or illegal conduct of any party.

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For additional information and current prices, contact your local IBM representative.

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Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.

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