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IBM i 7.3 - TR8 Enhancements

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IBM i 7.3 - TR8 Enhancements

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You are in: IBM i Technology Updates > IBM i 7.3 - TR8 Enhancements
IBM i 7.3 - Enhancements timed with Technology Refresh 8 iSight

Note: The announcement materials for IBM i 7.3 TR8 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 
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Note: The following Db2 for i enhancements are delivered via Db2 for i PTF Group SF99703 Level 19.
Db2 for i - Functional Enhancements

IBM i Services (new)

IBM i Services (enhanced)

Db2 for i - Services (new)


Hardware and Firmware
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Virtualization

  • IBM i Tape Virtualization
  • IBM i Hybrid Network Virtualization


IBM i Operating System
IBM i Security

Note: The following security enhancements are delivered via TCP/IP PTF group SF99867 level 4 unless otherwise noted on the linked pages that contain additional information on the new enhancements.

  • TLSv1.3 protocol support has been added to System TLS
  • 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
The Retrieve TLS Attributes (QsoRtvTLSA) API allows the retrieval of the system-wide System TLS current default properties.
Some of the key properties available with QsoRtvTLSA include:
  • Default and Supported Protocols
  • Default and Supported Cipher Suite List
  • Default and Supported Signature Algorithms
  • Protocol Handshake Counters
  • Cipher Suite Handshake Counters
The Calculate Hash APIs (QC3CALHA and Qc3CalculateHash) and the Create Algorithm Context APIs (QC3CRTAX and Qc3CreateAlgorithmContext) were enhanced to support calculating a hash value using the SHA-3 algorithm.
A new user friendly Digital Certificate Manager GUI interface built on modern technology previously available on IBM i 7.4 is now available on IBM i 7.3.
Highlights of the new interface include:
  • View all the certificates in the store, filter and sort them for quick identification
  • 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
  • IFS browsing capability
  • Upload and download of certificates to your workstation
IBM i - System Management and Monitoring
IBM i Access Client Solutions ACS Main Page

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 1.1.8.4 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 
  • Schemas 
  • 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

IBM Navigator for i Navigator for i Performance Data Investigator

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


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
The latest information can be found on the  Integrated Web Services Server home page
RPG Updates - 5770WDS RPG

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
The latest updates can be obtained with the latest HTTP PTF Group PTF SF99722 Additional information on the HTTP server can be found at IBM HTTP Server home page.
Rational Developer for i RDi
Continuous focus on developer productivity and ease-of-use modern programming has yielded improved RDi features and usability. This latest update includes significant improvements to continue to help RPG developers with the process of refactoring and modernizing code:
  • 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.
For more information on these and many more enhancements, see the  Rational Developer for i fix list.
 
 

 

Open Source Ecosystem Open Source Code Editor

The open source ecosystem continues to grow, with particular emphasis on the RPM-based set of deliveries. To get started with RPMs, please visit http://ibm.biz/ibmi-rpms

Security updates
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.
jq
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/
Python Ecosystem Enhancements
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
The ‘pyodbc’ package, a popular Python ODBC bridge is now available in RPM form. By installing the ‘python3-pyodbc’ package, you can now use the IBM i Access ODBC driver to communicate with Db2 for i from Python programs. For more information on the pyodbc package, see https://github.com/mkleehammer/pyodbc/wiki

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Document Information

Modified date:
22 May 2020

UID

ibm16155511