Time to get back to writing!!!
Been a while since I have had or made the time to write about all things modernization. Over the past few months the developers here in the IBM i lab have been pretty busy. We have a very long list of new items, features, and ways to help you with your modernization projects that we really need to help make you all aware of.
In early October, Power Systems announced TR1 for IBM i 7.2 and TR9 for IBM i 7.1. Both of these technology refreshes are just packed with interesting new toys. Over the next few weeks and months we are going to be talking about most of these new enhancements. Not to worry, you have not missed much so far. While we announced all this stuff with the October announce, most of it has not yet reached GA. Yea, I know that the TR GA dates have passed already, but really none of the things I care about actually deliver in the TR anyway. We only take advantage of the announce cycle so we can start to get the word out. Most of the stuff in the October announce will actually GA in early December, just a few short weeks away. This entry is intended to be an overview of some the more interesting things we will be delivering over the next weeks and months.
In the world of App Dev much has happened. First, let’s start with RPG. In December, we delivered the near Full Free Format support for RPG. This is the default behavior for the IBM i 7.2 release. I have been traveling the world over the past few months talking about this new enhancement and have received a great deal of positive reports. Developers are excited about the possibility. In addition, I have talked to a number that are already heads down using this new support!
Rational Developer for i. The latest version is 9.1.1, just recently released. There are a number of very interesting feature that have been included in this new version. Including things like ‘Push to Client’ and ‘Code Coverage’. Look for an additional entry that dives into these new feature very soon.
Integrated Web Services – The Web Services engine that has been part of the operating system for a number of years now has recently undergone a significant overhaul. The runtime engine was recently upgraded to the Liberty web container and the actual Web Services server engine was updated to leverage JAX-WS. In addition, the latest update is now going to give you the ability to create REST based Web Services! This support also GAs in December.
IBM MQ V8 – The latest in the family of Message Queue options is now available for IBM i. Version 8 is a first for the IBM i platform for several reasons. In addition to the latest updates in the base MQ engine, Version 8 now brings the Advanced Message Security component of MQ to the platform. This allows you to have an encrypted solution across all points of our MQ environment.
Access & Systems Management
The systems management space has also been anything but quite. We have continued to be heads down on our strategic roadmap of moving away from installed windows only solutions and to focus more options that provide high value for people on all devices. This includes devices such as Linux, Mac, Windows and now Mobile. With the increased importance of things like Mobile, heading down this new path has never been more important.
Access Client Solutions – ACS is our new Java client solution for the latest in 5250, system console, data transfer and printer output support. This new product has been available now for about a year and a half and has received a great deal of positive acclaim. Additionally, we continue to hear about and deliver new enhancements that will continue to make the user experience even better. Over the next few weeks and months, there is a number of items in this product that we will be highlighting.
iAccess mobile – the new mobile support is a very exciting new addition to our access family. This support is actually a re-invention of our tried and true iAccess for Web product, but customized exclusively for the mobile world.
Navigator – The Web based Navigator has come a long ways since its humble beginning. Since January of last year we have put a great deal of focus on this interface to change it from a novelty to a highly usable interface. In April, we delivered a pile of new features for the IBM i 7.2 release, including PTF support, Batch Model, System and Message Monitors, along with a laundry list of usability improvements to help you find what you are after faster. All these updates will now also be moved back to IBM i 7.1 starting in December (the only exception being the Batch Model support, this is still a 7.2 only feature)
This is really only a brief high level list of some of the fun new areas. We are going to be going in-depth on these topics and many more. Continue to watch this space to learn more about all the latest modernization options for IBM i.