iCan Blog Archive

IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 1 has been announced.  IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh 5 was also announced.

I want to review the highlights of the systems management features that are part of this announcement.  While these enhancements are included in the 7.3 TR1 / 7.2 TR5 announcement, they are not part of the Technology Refresh itself; these are “TR-timed” enhancements that are announced with the TR, but are not part of the TR Group PTF.  Most of these new features are available for both 7.3 and 7.2.

Navigator for i
Support is being added to Navigator for managing subsystems.  You will now be able to work with your subsystem descriptions and related objects through the web console.  This means you can now do your subsystem configuration through the graphical interface and are no longer required to use the green screen for these tasks.

Several features that were initially made available with Navigator on IBM i 7.3 will now become available on 7.2.  The Dashboard and the ability to visualize monitor data will be supported on 7.2 release.  Some 7.3 functions, such as Graph History, will not be taken back to 7.2.

The updates to Navigator are made available with the DG1 group PTF and should be available near the end of this year.

IBM i Services
IBM i Services provide SQL interfaces to access system information.  (You may want to read IBM i Services if you are not familiar with them).  New is a service to access the history log, and there are enhancements to existing services such as GET_JOB_INFO(), GROUP_PTF_CURRENCY, and others.  These IBM i Services make it possible to solve more business requirements using SQL.  The IBM i Services page will have the latest documentation on these enhancements.  The latest Db2 Group PTF is needed for the updates to the services.

Db2 Web Query for the Systems Administrator
Db2 Web Query will now provide a set of sample reports and dashboards built over IBM i Services.  For example, you can track system status across partitions, compare PTF levels with the latest released by IBM, see which users are creating the most spooled files, and see which jobs are using the most CPU, disk I/O, or temporary storage.  For more information on how to obtain these, follow Doug Mack’s blog at db2webqueryi@blogspot.com or send email to the Db2 Web Query team at QU2@us.ibm.com.

The screen capture below is an example a Db2 Web Query graph for spooled files by output queue and user.

Administration Runtime Expert (formerly Application Runtime Expert)
Administration Runtime Expert (ARE) (5733-ARE) will no longer be ordered separately, but instead will be automatically delivered with all IBM i orders or upgrades.  If you have already upgraded to IBM i 7.2 and 7.3 you can download this product under your existing 5770-SS1 entitlement from the ESS web site.  If you haven’t looked into this product, you should do so, as it can help you ensure consistency of your configurations across multiple partitions.

Access Client Solutions (ACS)
Major enhancements have been made to Access Client Solutions.  Most of these enhancements are already available in the August 2016 update.  The following summarizes the highlights.

The Integrated File System functions were provided in the August 2016 update.  This new feature within ACD provides the ability to easily view the contents of the Integrated File System, and to copy and paste files, directories, and libraries to new locations on the same partition or to other IBM i partitions within your ecosystem. The file mover support includes the following features:

  • Copy / Paste between IBM i partitions
  • Send multiple files to multiple IBM i partitions
  • Download / Upload files to or from your PC
  • Additional actions include Create New Folder, Delete, Rename, and Properties

The 5250 emulator has been enhanced to support the ability to leverage a smart card to establish a secure connection to your IBM i.  The smart card support is only available for the Microsoft Windows operating system at this time.

The Run SQL Scripts interface improves the productivity for using SQL with DB2 for i. The
following updates have been included:

  • SQL Formatter: The formatter in Run SQL Scripts will now format poorly structured SQL statements according to selected customization preferences. Using the SQL Formatter increases productivity so that developers can spend less time worrying about syntax and more time focused on satisfying business requirements.
  • Visual Explain:  Visual Explain (VE) is now included within Run SQL Scripts. Launching Visual Explain is as simple as highlighting the SQL statement and choosing one of the VE options.
  • Insert from Examples: The list of examples provided by IBM has been extended to showcase more IBM i Services capabilities and popular examples for DBEs.

The following new features are being added to the SQL Performance Center:

  • Show Statements enables direct interrogation of multiple sources of information: the live SQL Plan Cache, SQL Plan Cache Snapshots, SQL Plan Cache Event Monitors, and SQL Performance Monitors.
  • Compare Statements provides a tool to compare two SQL Plan Cache Snapshots or SQL Performance Monitors and quickly isolate changes in performance.
  • Visual Explain can be launched directly from any of the SQL Performance Center tooling, enabling the DBE to perform full analysis using a single tool.

The screen capture below shows the features that are part of the SQL Performance Center with the August 2016 update:

As you can see, this announcement has a lot of exciting content and subsequent articles will explore many of these in more detail.

This blog post was edited to fix broken links on April 15, 2020.

This blog post was originally published on IBMSystemsMag.com and is reproduced here by permission of IBM Systems Media.