IBM i 7.4 - TR1 Enhancements
Note: The announcement materials for IBM i 7.4 TR1 can be found here.
The remainder of this landing page intends to make it easy to see the supporting detail these enhancements.
Db2 for i Enhancements
- Add PROGRAM NAME for SQL Routines
- Add Scalar function synonyms for Db2 family consistency
- Add Synonym predicates ISNULL and NOTNULL
- Support greater than 32 routines over an external service program
- Allow UTF-8 source for SQL precompiles
Db2 for i - Database Management Enhancements
IBM i Services (new and enhanced)
Db2 for i - Services (new and enhanced)
Hardware and Firmware
- New processor feature for 11-core or 22-core configurations of the Power System S924 server
- HMC and Novalink injection of license keys to an IBM i LPAR
- Dedicated and VIOS support for selected PCIe3 x8 SSD NVMe adapters
- New generation of enterprise 2.5-inch solid-state SSDs
- Support for SR-IOV logical ports on a restricted I/O LPAR
- Enhanced unmap support for IBM Spectrum Virtualize
- Dynamic LUN expansion with the IBM DS8900 storage controller
IBM i Operating System
- TLSv1.3 has been enhanced to support elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman key exchange using Curve25519(x25519) and Curve448(x448)
- TLSv1.2 has been enhanced to support ChaCha20 Poly1305 cipher suites
- Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) stapling support has been added to TLSv1.3 and TLSv1.2
- RSASSA-PSS certificate type has been added to TLSv1.3
- The native IBM i JSSE provider has been enhanced to include support for Transport Layer Security version 1.3 (TLSv1.3) protocol
- Increased Limit for MREs
- Retrieve sorted subset of monitored resources
- Replicate an encrypted password
- Change synchronization for an inactive node
Digital Certificate Manage - DCM
A new user friendly GUI interface built on modern technology is now available.
- View all the certificates in the store, filter and sort them for quick identification
- Tabbed interface with each tab representing a certificate store
- Hovering capabilities to provide instant help on fields, buttons, tasks
- Visually see certificates that are expiring or already expired
- Work with multiple certificate stores at the same time
- To access this new GUI after applying the required PTFs, enter http://hostname:2001/DCM from your web browser.
- The original GUI interface is still available.
The new GUI can be obtained by applying multiple PTFs. SI71406 is the primary DCM PTF however all PTFs for Enhanced IBM i System Transport Layer Security (TLS) to comply with emerging industry standards for TLSv1.3 and improve support for TLSv1.2 should also be applied to ensure a seamless user experience.
IBM i System Management and Monitoring
Access Client Solutions - ACS
The ACS support continues to address the needs of the Administrator, User, and Db Engineer. The new version 220.127.116.11 due to be delivered in Late Nov/ Early Dec will have many new features across the ACS product.
Run SQL Scripts - this interface is becoming the defacto SQL IDE for the IBM i community. In addition to the SQL formatter and verifier that was added last release the new release will contain the following new features:
- SQL Content Assist - Think of this as prompting, only better
- Button to download all results
- Enhanced Insert from examples,
- Button to Save as new example
5250 Interface - the 5250 interface on the IBM i has been enhanced to now support the 'F8' button to give you the ability to scroll up and down through the list of previously entered commands one at a time. The 'F9' key has also been enhanced to provide a matching capability. From the command line enter DSP* and press F9 you will see the previous commands you entered that match that value. Details on the PTFs needed to enabled on the IBM i can be found at F8 and F9 enhancement details page.
ACS Application Package for IBM i - A new application package has been added to support the ODBC driver running native as part of the PASE environment. This allows ODBC access to the Db2 database from open source languages like Php, python, and node.js running on IBM i. This is available today on the Access Client Solution Download page.
Nagios for i support
The IBM i team has partnered with Nagios and has created wizard to help facilitate the adding of IBM i node/LPRAS into the Nagios dashboard. Additionally, a wizard has been created to help with adding custom SQL to better leverage the many IBM i SQL Services that have been created to help the administrator understand and monitor key aspects of the IBM i system. These new wizard have been integrated into the latest NagiosXI. Details can be found here: Nagios plugin support for IBM i
IBM i Application Development
Integrated Web Services - IWS
The IWS server can now be located within in a private subsystem. In the past the IWS support was only allowed to be part of the HTTPSVR subsystem. Users can now define their own subsystems to have specific IWS servers located within.
RPG Updates - 5770WDS
New operation code DATA-GEN
- DATA-GEN generates a structured document, such as JSON or CSV, from an RPG variable. It requires a generator to generate the document. The DATA-GEN operation calls the generator, passing it the names and values of the RPG variables, and the generator passes the text for the structured document back to the DATA-GEN operation, which places the information into the output file or the output RPG variable.
- The OVERLOAD keyword defines a list of other prototypes that can be called using the name of the prototype with the OVERLOAD keyword. When the prototype with the OVERLOAD keyword is used in a call operation, the compiler uses the parameters specified for the call to determine which of the candidate prototypes listed in the OVERLOAD keyword to call.
OPTIONS(*EXACT) for prototyped parameters
- When OPTIONS(*EXACT) is specified for a prototyped parameter, additional rules apply to ensure that the called procedure receives the same value as the passed parameter. For example, without OPTIONS(*EXACT), the compiler allows the passed parameter to be longer than the prototyped parameter, and it allows a data structure to be passed that is related by LIKEDS to a different data structure from the passed parameter. With OPTIONS(*EXACT), the passed parameter cannot be longer than the prototyped parameter, and if the prototyped parameter is defined with LIKEDS keyword, the passed parameter must be related by LIKEDS to the same data structure.
Additional details can be found at the RPG Cafe
Rational Developer for i
Continuous focus on developer productivity and ease of use modern programming yields improved RDi features and usability that will be delivered as part of RDi 18.104.22.168. These updates will be delivered later this year.
Enhancements coming soon:
- Improved SQL formatting and SQL syntax verification
- New Preference index - allows you to search all the preferences and shows you the structure of the Preferences
- Addition of a Library List control, to adjust the library list being used within a connection
- Continued improvement of Refactoring support within RDi
Details on the new feature will be detailed on the Rational Developer for i Fix List page once the new release has been delivered.
The ZeroMQ core engine in C++ (libzmq) has been delivered in RPM form. ZeroMQ is an open source universal messaging library. It is an important building block, as numerous applications rely on this technology. For more information, see https://zeromq.org/
The Python bindings (pyzmq) are also available, making the ZeroMQ capabilities easily available to Python applications on IBM i. For more information, see https://pyzmq.readthedocs.io/
The open source in-memory store mechanism is now available in RPM form. It has several uses, such as a message broker, cache, or database. It is great for enabling applications that use this technology or is commonly used to support new development of web applications (particularly Node.js). For more information, see https://redis.io/
Support for the IBM Power System S922
With the 940 firmware for the S922, SR-IOV logical ports for RoCE can be assigned to the IBM i lpar on an S922. This functionality will enable Db2 Mirror for i to be configured on the S922.
Support for Live Partition Mobility of a node configured for Db2 Mirror
With the 940 firmware, an SR-IOV logical port is allowed to be assigned to an IBM i lpar that is in restricted I/O mode. To perform LPM, you have to DLPAR remove the SR-IOV logical port, perform the migration and then add the SR-IOV port back. During the time the LPAR does not have an SR-IOV RoCE logical port, one of the nodes that is designated the primary should be tracking changes. You can choose if you want to migrate the primary or secondary node.
New Application Evaluation Support
The application evaluation support is a new component of the Db2 Mirror GUI interface that is targeted to help you better understand your applications and how they fit into a Db2 Mirror environment. It shows you what objects are eligible for mirror as well as can look at objects across your mirrored node to see if there are difference in libraries and objects before adding them to a mirrored environment.
31 January 2020