IBM MQ V8 the latest version for IBM i
For this entry, I have asked my lead IBM MQ service contact, Michael Alexander to put together a discussion on the latest information on IBM WebSphere MQ. The MQ product has been around for a while now. One of our most successful products for helping you connect systems to systems, applications applications in a safe and secure manner. The IBM I operating system has been a main stay of the MQ product until this past version 7.5. IBM I was left out of that release. The reality was from the core MQ perspective, there was nothing all that interesting in that release, it was primarily a new install and packaging release.
After an absence in WMQ V7.5, the IBM i platform is back in the products’ newest release, MQ V8, which officially made it’s debut on May 23rd, 2014. Not only is IBM i once again a supported platform but with MQ V8, there comes with it a number of features that were previously not available on IBM i.
WMQ V7.5 was mainly an “installer” release, which is to say the installation mechanism was revamped for most distributed platforms, it did introduce a few new features. One of these was the ability to configure multiple Cluster Transmission Queues for WMQ Cluster operations, most commonly referred to as the Split Cluster Transmission Queue feature, or SCTQ for short. Since IBM i was not a supported platform for WMQ V7.5, this feature was not made available on IBM i, but in MQ V8 SCTQ is now available on IBM i. With SCTQ, MQ cluster applications with different workloads and performance requirements can be operated at their own rate without impacting other applications.
Another key feature that is now available on IBM i is the integrated MQ Advanced Message Security, or AMS for short. AMS has been available for many years on other platforms and has been requested by many customers for IBM I. AMS helps protect messages “at rest” in a security rich manner from application to application, without the need to change the application code itself. The AMS feature is installed and delivered as option 2 of the MQ product 5724H72, and is fully integrated with the MQ V8 core installation. In addition to the MQ centric commands and scripts, It also comes with native IBM I CL commands for ease of administration and use for our IBM I customers. More detailed information on AMS can be found in the MQ Knowledge Center online at http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSFKSJ_8.0.0/com.ibm.mq.pro.doc/q001010_.htm
For users either currently utilizing the File Transfer Edition function (FTE) or looking to implement this in their WMQ topology, the product has been greatly enhanced. Many of these enhancements were included in WMQ V7.5 and are now available for IBM i with MQ V8. One of these enhancements was with regard to tighter integration between the file transfer product, now known as MFT or Managed File Transfer, and the MQ product itself. This integration becomes more evident with shared installation directories and binaries as well as shared administration between the two products. In MQ V8, the IBM i installer has been significantly changed from the previous ‘PASE-driven Install Anywhere model’, to a more native LPP installer driven by more familiar commands such as RSTLICPGM. The MFT product for IBM i has a new product id 5725M50 and comes with various options for different functions such as Agent, Service and Tools. Familiar features such as SAVF and PF support remains a key staple on the IBM i platform as well as samples that provide QDLS and Library monitoring support. With MFT and MQ V8 working together, there’s a solution for all your data and file transfer needs.
Other features available with MQ V8 include support for JMS 2.0, enhancements to publish-subscribe in a cluster and a host of security enhancements. Channel Authentication records that were introduced in WMQ 7.1 now include the ability to use DNS host names instead of IP addresses. This can help simplify situations where machines are moved through different ip addresses. Another security enhancement is surrounding the use of multiple certificates within a single queue manager. MQ V8 now provides the capability for a queue manager to communicate with different partners, each of whom use a different certificate authority, simply by controlling this through individual channel definitions. Additionally, there is now support for SHA-2 cryptographic hash functions which allows users to take advantage of higher standards of security.
MQ V8 is available for IBM i releases 7.1 and higher and is available for download from Passport Advantage in both server and client assemblies. The server image contains MQ Base, Java and Samples as before and now also includes MFT and AMS installation images as well. You will need additional licenses to use the MFT and AMS products respectively, so contact your software provider for more details on this. The client image contains both the Java/JMS classes (5724L26) or the standalone non-Java clients (5725A49) which provide client support for C, COBOL and RPG applications. Supported upgrade paths for MQ V8 include V7.0.1 and V7.1 as well as V7.5 on non-IBM i systems where applicable. If you’re a seasoned WMQ user, consider all the features that MQ 8 has to offer, or if you’re new to the product and want to try it in your environment, head over to the MQ software website, and download a 90-day trial version for free. It’s never been a better time to explore the benefits of IBM MQ on IBM i!
Links of interest:
- IBM MQ –
- IBM WebSphere MQ Knowledge Center –