IBM i 7.4 - TR2 Enhancements
|IBM i 7.4 - Enhancements timed with Technology Refresh 2|
Note: The announcement materials for IBM i 7.4 TR2 can be found here.
The remainder of this landing page intends to make it easy to see the supporting detail for these enhancements.
Db2 for i Enhancements
- Weakly typed distinct types
- JSON_TABLE enhanced to support JSON arrays
- INTERPRET built-in function
- HASH_ROW built-in function
- Extended indicators in SQL PL
- USING SUBSET on EXECUTE and OPEN with Extended indicators
- Support TAG within ILE RPG Embedded SQL
- ARRAY_TRIM and ARRAY_MAX_CARDINALITY SQL built-in function synonyms
IBM i Services (new)
IBM i Services (enhanced)
Hardware and Firmware
- IBM i Tape Virtualization
- IBM i Hybrid Network Virtualization
IBM i Operating System
- Automatic add of an MRE upon object creation when cluster node is partitioned or not active
- Device CRG support for IP addresses as device entries
- Object signing and verification
- IFS browsing capability
- Upload and download of certificates to your workstation
IBM i - System Management and Monitoring
IBM i Access Client Solutions
IBM i Access - Client Solutions (ACS) continues to rapidly change and evolve based on the direct feedback and ideas from our user community. The latest updates for ACS version 220.127.116.11 contains a wide range of enhancements across many of the user interfaces.
The latest code is available either the down load link - IBM i Access Client Solutions Home page
Or now also available via a PTF. The latest level of the HTTP Group PTF contains the a PTF that once applied will update the following IFS location with the latest ACS core runtime - /qibm/proddata/Access/ACS/Base
This update includes enhancements and improvements in many areas including:
- 5250 Display and Print Emulator
- Run SQL Scripts
- Open Source Package Manager
- Data Transfer
- ACS Configuration Enhancements
- General ACS enhancements
For details on the function delivered with this latest update see the IBM i Access Client Solutions details page
A complete list of the enhancements in: ACS 18.104.22.168
|IBM Navigator for i|
IBM Navigator for i is the Web based GUI interface for managing nearly all aspects of your IBM i. This interface continues to evolve and change as the world of Web Technologies change and include the latest support added to the IBM i operating system.
Navigator now support the latest in TLS configuration. Navigator can be configured to leverage TLS 1.3 and the latest improvements for TLS 1.2.
The other are of significant enhancement is Performance Data Investigator (PDI). PDI provides a rich set of graphical view over the collection services data on your IBM i. The graphing support for PDI has been re-imagined. The latest in web-based graphing capabilities are now being leveraged to help bring this data to the fore front of usefulness. You can now more easily view the data and use the graphing controls to zoom in on specific areas. Details on these improvements can be found at Charting Updates for PDI.
The updates are included in the latest HTTP PTF Group level.
Administration Runtime Expert - 5733-ARE
The ARE support continues to be updated and enhanced to help the system manager better understand the systems in their environment as well as manage and updates PTFs across multiple systems. The following improvement have been included in this updated version of ARE:
- Template management - Filter support to easily find the desired templates
- Console management - easy column based sorting
- The following PTF deployment improvements have been included:
- PTF Fix Action - option to delay apply PTFs
- PTF support - Option to send *SAVF only with no load and apply
- Better support for MRI PTFs
- Handle TR PTFs
Additional details and PTF information can be found on the Administration Runtime Expert Page.
Nagios core - Plugin Support for IBM i
The Open Source platform from Nagios provides a good platform for monitoring your data center including your IBM i. The latest updates for IBM i services continues to extend the metrics that can be monitored and collected using Nagios. The latest updates to the Open Source SQL plugin for Nagios extend these capabilities even further. The SQL services plugin has been improved by providing a 'pre' and 'post' processing capability. This gives a way to combine actions. For example you can now call a CL command putting the output to an out file, and leveraging the SQL services, interrogate that out file data looking for a specific metric or value.
The latest on the Open Source plugin (provided by the IBM i team can be found at the IBM i Nagios Open Source Plugin Project home page.
IBM i Application Development
Integrated Web Services - IWS
The Integrated Web Services Server provides and easy to use robust Rest and SOAP based API creating and hosting environment for IBM i. Providing an easy way to expose key ILE programs and service programs as Rest APIs. Additionally you can now wrapper well formed SQL with a Rest API call, no longer needing to have the ODBC or JDBC connections open externally. The latest update provide greater control and passing of error information across the HTTP request. These enhancements include:
- Allow response to be returned with error HTTP status code
- Control wrapper element names
- Allow users to specify user defined HTTP status codes and error messages on program invocations
|RPG Updates - 5770WDS||
IBM i continues to invest in keeping RPG a modern relevant language by continuing to listen to the development community and deliver the enhancements that best meet the needs of our development community.
This TR includes the following:
- %TIMESTAMP() will return a value with microsecond precision
- %TIMESTAMP(*UNIQUE) will return a 32-byte unique timestamp with microsecond precision and with "uniqueness" digits in the final 6 fractional seconds
- %KDS will support a variable for the second "number of keys" parameter
- The LIKEDS keyword will support a simple-qualified name
Additional details, usage examples, and delivery PTFs can be found at RPG Cafe home page.
IBM HTTP Server (Powered by Apache) - 5770-DG1
The HTTP server for IBM i has been enhanced to support the latest levels of security and encryption. These updates include:
- TLS_CHACHA20_POLY1305_SHA256, *AES_128_GCM_SHA256, and *AES_256_GCM_SHA384
- Support for new TLS 1.2 cipher suites TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_CHACHA20_POLY1305_SHA256 and TLS ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_CHACHA20_POLY1305_SHA256
- Support new TLS 1.3 directive SSLMiddleboxCompatibilityMode for compatibility
- Support new TLS 1.3 directive SSLSessionTicketKeyTimeOut for TLS 1.3 session ticket key timeout
- Update to directives SSLCipherSpec, SSLProxyCipherSpec, SSLCipherBan and SSLCipherRequire to support TLS 1.2 and TLS 1.3 ciphers
- Update the default value of directive SSLV3Timeout from 86400 to 43200.
- HTTP/2 support new TLS 1.2 and TLS 1.3 ciphers
|Rational Developer for i|
- New extract procedure refactoring feature can be used to convert business rules into reusable procedures in RPG. To use this new function, select a block of code in a source member and right-click -> Refactor -> Extract Procedure. Change the procedure name to something meaningful and then follow the wizard. Press Ctrl+Z to undo the procedure creation.
- New library list view to easily modify a library list from any RDi perspective. To get the new Library List tab, click Window -> Show View -> Other -> IBM i -> Library List. Manipulate the current job library list using the buttons.
- Preference search filter has been enhanced to provide more accurate results for RDi preferences.
- RDi now uses the ACS SQL formatter to provide full support for the SQL language embedded in RPG. Programmers formatting their embedded SQL will see that syntax errors are detected and highlighted automatically. Additionally, the new formatter is invoked when you ask to format an SQLRPGLE member, or for the selected lines therein, using the same menu invocation.
- IBM i Service Entry Points now allow conditional entries for breakpoints.
- Support for variables exceeding 4,000 in length has been added to the RDi Debugger. This will improve the ability to debug large character variables from JSON or XML documents.
Support for Direct Attached Storage
Db2 Mirror for IBM i now supports using direct attach storage (aka internal storage). This support was previously limited to only external storage that supported some type of mirroring technology. Now save and restore can be used to setup Db2 Mirror. This support is limited to SAS attached SSDs and NVMe. The save and restore method of configuration can also be used on external storage configurations that do not support mirroring or flash copy.
Support for automatically switching IP addresses
Db2 Mirror for IBM i has been enhanced to integrate the switching of IP addresses between the two nodes in the event of a failure. Groups of 1 to 16 addresses can be configured to automatically switch. Up to 16 groups can be defined to allow flexibility of configurations especially in environments that may use IASPs.
Application Evaluation Enhancements
The Application Evaluation feature with Db2 Mirror for i has been enhanced to help analyze systems to better understand which objects will be replicated. This can help accelerate the work required to identify which parts of an application architecture can be mirrored. It also can point out configuration changes that are best practices for optimal Db2 Mirror for i performance. This feature comes at no charge and is part of the base 5770-DBM product. The product requires an IBM i 7.4 partition, but is capable of connecting to and analyzing other partitions that could be using IBM i 7.4, 7.3 or 7.2.
|Open Source Ecosystem|
Numerous RPM packages were rebuilt to use the newest OpenSSL libraries (version 1.1.x), including curl, wget, git, Node.js, Python, and others. Also, to make TLS easier to configure, common CA certificates are now shipped in the ‘ca-certificates’ and ‘ca-certificates-mozilla’ packages. Even further, the initial installation of the open source ecosystem, sometimes referred to as “the bootstrap,” includes these certificates by default.
To allow command-line processing of JSON data, the ‘jq’ command has been delivered in RPM form. For more information, see https://stedolan.github.io/jq/
An SQL Alchemy adapter for IBM i allows development and deployment of IBM i applications via SQL Alchemy, which provides (among other things) an object-relational mapper (ORM). For more information on SQL Alchemy, see https://www.sqlalchemy.org/ , for for more information on the new IBM i adapter, visit the GitHub project page at https://github.com/IBM/sqlalchemy-ibmi
20 April 2020