06 - Miscellanea (EN)06b - News

IBM i Technology Refresh 7.4 TR5 and 7.3 TR11 – ACS – Rdi – Power10 – Highlights

Last Updated on 21 September 2021 by Roberto De Pedrini

As in the Highlitghs of Serie A football, this post aims to highlight the most interesting things of the IBM autumn announcements (for IBM i and Power, with links to posts, videos, webcasts and podcasts from the last few days.

We have been waiting for them, the announcements of the Technology Refresh IBM i of Autumn: as usual in recent years, IBM arrives on time at Spring and Fall (and this time even a moment earlier!) with announcements of a Technology Refresh for currently supported versions.

Instead, we can think that the next Spring announcements will bring us a new version (7.5?) IBM i, but, in the meantime, let’s enjoy the news of now: SQL, RPG, Open Source, ACS, Rdi and even Hardware, with the presentation of the new and powerful Power10 processor.

But let’s go in order:

IBM i Technology Refresh 7.4 TR5 and 7.3 TR11

Let’s start with the links to the official IBM announcements and then move on to the more interesting things, at least from my point of view as an IBM i developer:

IBM i 7.4 Technology Refresh 5 delivers significant enhancements

IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 11 delivers significant enhancements

The new HTTP Functions SQL

I believe that by now all of us IBM i developers have had to integrate calls to Web Services into our applications using the different techniques available (Scott Klement’s HttpApi, SQL Http Functions and Axisc Transoport APIs). Personally I find it really convenient to consume Web Services using the HTTPGETCLOB, HTTPPOSTCLOB functions for simplicity and the possibility of testing them even outside the RPG source using single SQL statements from ACS SQL Script.

New HTTP functions arrive in the technology refreshes TR5 and TR11 ( New HTTP functions based on QSYS2 ) (in QYS2 and no longer in the SYSTOOLS library) that no longer use the Java Virtual Machine but the IWS Transport API, with considerable advantages from a performance point of view (absolutely important when we start using Web Services it becomes important as in the applications studied in “microservices”).

QSYS2.HTTP_GET, QSYS2. HTTP_POST, QSYS2. HTTP_PUT (and their VERBOSE versions (table no longer scalar!)) they somehow replace SYSTOOLS.HTTPGETCLOB, SYSTOOLS.HTTPPOSTCLOB and SYSTOOLS.HTTPPUTCLOB (and their VERBOSE versions).

The QSYS2.HTTP_DELETE and QSYS2_HTTP_DELETE_VERBOSE functions are added.

I just made a post dedicated to the comparison between QSYS2.HTTP vs SYSTOOLS.HTTP functions: “ New QSYS2.HTTP Functions SQL (7.4 TR5 and 7.3 TR11) “… in addition to the comparison between the old and new functions in the post you will also find an interesting integration with Google Translate API through HTTPPOSTCLOB and HTTP_POST SQL.

RPG Updates

Interesting updates also side RPG with the new BIF% MAXARR and% MINARR which return the index of the maximum and minimum value of an array or the SORT operation to sort an array of DS data structures which can now also work on multiple fields of the DS (things like SORT orders % FIELDS (order: line) … very useful when you keep an array of data in memory and want to manage it as if it were a table in QTEMP, with naturally better performance).

There is an excellent post on RPGPGM.COM by Simont Hutchinson that presents some concrete cases of use of these new BIF RPGs: “ RPGPGM.COM New RPG BiF to retrieve greatest and lowest value in an array

Rational Developer for i 9.6.0.11

At the same time as the announcements of the TR5, the update of Rdi to version 9.6.0.11 was also made available which, in addition to supporting the new% BIF and operations of the RPG Updates described above, presents some interesting news and improvements:

  • The ability to print and save string search results in sources
  • Improvements in code refactoring functions
  • Improvements to the already great Outline view
  • Flash view for copybook members
  • Several improvements requested in RFE Request for ehnancements (IBM hears us !, we use the RFE to propose improvements that can be useful to everyone!)

More details in this excellent post by Blogger Marco Riva: “ MARKONETOOLS: Released update for RDi 9.6.0.11 ” or on this IT Jungle post : “Guru: RDi 9.6, Part 11 – New Features for Experienced RDi Users” by Susan Gantner.

https://www.itjungle.com/2021/09/20/guru-rdi-9-6-part-11-new-features-for-experienced-rdi-users/

ACS Access Client Solutions 1.1.8.8

Certainly could not miss a new version of ACS and its excellent additional functions such as SQL Sript etc:

  • SQL Script: warning in case of pending transactions … when we are under commit and have not yet done a commit rollback with pending transactions … Great!
  • New examples available in the “Insert from example” function … very useful … which, personally, I enrich with my personal examples but which is excellent as a starting point if you have little memory … like the conscript
  • Improvements in application memory management and Upload results functions etc.

What’s new on this version on this page: “IBM I Access – ACS Update 1.1.8.8

Open Source

Also on the Open Source and IBM i side, interesting news … from Node.js version 16 and Python version 3.9 to the new GCC Compilers version 10, but also Ghostscript officially brought to the platform for PDF creation or PDF-PCL transformation very useful in printing PDFs on Laser printers that do not support PDF Direct Printing or IPDS

IBM i Services

Among the new IBM i Services available in this Technology Refresh, we certainly find some things that will make IBM i systems engineers happy, such as services QSYS2.COLLECTION_SERVICES_INFO and the various services on Audit Journals Entries , but also excellent new services that are also useful to developers such as QSYS2.SYSFILES to get the same info as DSPFD and QDBRTVFD API not so easy to use. Or QSYS2.ACTIVE_QUERY_INFO to keep under control the active SQL queries or those remaining in “pseudo open” state.

IBM i Navigator for i

Very nice the new graphics of the Navigator for I, all Web, with several new functions, which will please IBM i systems engineers

You can listen to this Podcast by Tim Rowe to Ichime by Charles Guarino: “iCHIME meeting with Tim Rowe discussing the new System Navigator for i – Part 1”

Power10 processor

Here it is finally the new IBM Power10 processor that also changes the way of writing it “Power10” compared to the “POWER9” all caps as before (I would not have even noticed it, I think it is more interesting to worry about the performance than the way to write the name … but I’ll be old fashioned!).

On the Power10 they only run 7.3 and 7.4 and, for the moment, only the Power System E1080 is available

Without going too far into the technicalities, which I personally do not know, I would say that it is worth listening to the Webcast of the announcement of the Power10 and the TRs , held by Steve Will, IBM i Chief Architect, Dan Sundt, IBM i Product Manager and Tim Rowe IBM i Business Architect System Management, or directly the presentation of the IBM Power10 System E1080 on Yuotube.

Conclusions

As you have seen, there are many news, in all areas … long live IBM i!

--- Roberto De Pedrini Faq400.com
About author

Founder of Faq400 Srl, IBM Champion, creator of Faq400.com and blog.faq400.com web sites. RPG developer since I was wearing shorts, strong IBM i supporter, I have always tried to share my knowledge with others through forums, events and courses. Now, with my company Faq400 Srl, I help companies to make the most of this great platform IBM i.

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