I'm not going to cover the topics that the announcement material covers since you can get that information in other ways. Steve Will's "You and i" blog covers the major announcement highlights. You can also learn more about IBM i 7.1 through the “Power of i” Webcast Series. In addition, the sessions at the annual COMMON conference in Orlando will be updated to cover 7.1 content.
I'm going to summarize many of the little things that are new or changed in the release – and some of these are significant enhancements that simply didn’t make the “short list” of the announcement. Much of this information is covered in the “What's new for IBM i 7.1” summaries in the IBM i 7.1 Information Center. However, there’s simply too much to summarize in this single blog. Future blogs will go into more detail on many of these topics and more.
There's a lot of great stuff in 7.1!
IBM Systems Director Navigator for i
IBM Systems Director Navigator for i was new with the 6.1 release, and there are several major enhancements to it in the 7.1 release. These enhancements include:
• Set Target System: you can now manage multiple IBM i partitions and are no longer limited to just managing the i partition the browser is pointed to. This also allows you to manage 6.1 and 5.4 (yes – even 5.4) partitions from the 7.1 environment.
• 5250 emulation: you can now get a “green screen” window from your Web browser.
• Performance Data Investigator: the Investigate Data task has a few new charts and tables, but what's really exciting is the integration between the Work Management tasks and the Performance tasks. For example, from Active jobs, you can go directly to Job Watcher. Or from System Status you can go directly to the new Health Indicators.
• The iSCSI integrated-server tasks are now available in this Web console and this is now the preferred interface for managing integrated servers.
• Scheduling support has been added for BRMS.
Additional functions and tasks have been added:• Graphical view of disk: System i Navigator had the “graphical view” for disks. This feature is now also available via the Web browser
• Directory server tasks
• Advanced job scheduler enhancements
• Tape device support
• Journal management enhancements
Print and Spool Enhancements
• The security of spooled files has been enhanced to allow more granular access to individual spooled files, as well as controlling the operations that a user can take on the spooled file.
• You can now convert spooled output files to PDF files. There’s support to do this in the IBM Systems Director Navigator for i Web console. It does not require the IBM Infoprint Server for i.
• You now have the option to use the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) implementation of DHCP version 4. This version of the DHCP provides support for IPv6 and supports failover between two DHCP server peers.
• The IBM Tivoli Directory Server is equivalent to the IBM Tivoli Directory Server Version 6.1. It includes too many enhancements to cover here.
• The SNMP server is now Version 3, which is the latest version defined by the IETF. This version of SNMP provides support for IPv6 and several new MIBs.
• PPP, L2TP, and the DHCP client now support IPv6.
• Communications trace now has support for filtering on IPv6 addresses and support for ICMPv6.
• Various application development enhancements have been made; MERGE, array support, global variables and more allow for more powerful and efficient programming.
• The SQL Query Engine (SQE) now supports native logical files.
• Management tooling continues to be enhanced as well.
The BRMS enhancements are primarily driven by customer requirements from our Large Users Group or one of the various advisory councils. The 7.1 release has many BRMS enhancements that are too numerous to mention here.
iSCSI-attached Integrated Servers
• iSCSI software target allows IBM i to communicate with the integrated services through a standard Ethernet connection, rather than requiring the host based adapter (HBA) cards.
• VMWare ESX Server 4 is now supported.
Like the recent releases, IBM has continued to invest in CL in 7.1. Some of the CL enhancements include:
• Retrieve CL Source support for ILE CL
• Longer integer CL variables for ILE CL
• Compiler option to show DO loop and SELECT group nesting levels in compiler listing
• Encrypted debug listing view support for ILE LC
• Nested INCLUDE support
Support to expire a user profile has been added. If a user profile hasn’t been used by an expiration date or within an expiration interval, the system will automatically disable the user profile.
• The Classic JVM is no longer available.
• The Integrated Web Services server now supports programs in iASPs.
• The integrated GUI interface is now available to users and developers. *ALLOBJ special authority is no longer required.
• The Web Log monitor allows you to watch for errors and messages written to your Web server log files and receive notification when a match is found.
If you had been using encrypted ASPs, you know that in 6.1, you could only set the encryption capability when you defined the ASP. Now in 7.1, you can dynamically start and end encryption on an ASP.
Many new metrics are collected by collection services. We now collect metrics for tape devices, save/restore metrics, external storage metrics, energy management settings, active memory sharing, etc.
You can now watch for immediate or impromptu messages, watch for *ALL messages sent to a message queue or job log, and watch on generic message IDs. Messages can also be watched based upon message severity.
• Verify Service Configuration (VFYSRVCFG) command now supports HTTP/HTTPS connections to IBM.
• Universal Connection support now automatically configures a direct LAN connection to IBM if there’s no existing Universal Connection configuration. This auto-configuration is attempted the first time any attempt is made to connect to IBM Service and no service configuration exists.
There's much more in 7.1 than what I've summarized above; for example, journal is an area that has so many changes I'm unable to reasonably summarize them here.
I hope you find many of these enhancements interesting and perhaps some of these features will make you want to think about moving to the 7.1 release. I'm looking forward to telling you much more about all the great things in 7.1!