For those who know me, you will know that my background includes many years working in IBM SWG specifically focused on languages and tools. Included in that is a background working on DB2 for i, from a perspective of working with the languages and tools. So, the main items in this announcement are in the areas that are part of my background and remain close to my heart – database and application development. There are significant enhancements to DB2 for i and RPG, the addition of support for the latest Java technology and support for another open source environment. All very exciting.
I wanted to talk about the key updates that are included in the announcement.
From a database perspective, there is (as Scott Forstie, Business Architect for DB2 for i) says “something for everyone.” As all companies are storing more data on their systems, both structured and unstructured, providing additional capabilities to support these large amounts of data is critical. This announcement adds support for VLDB (Very Large DataBases) to DB2 for i. The size of SQL indexes is being raised to 1.7 TB, which should provide some excitement for DBAs. Programmers will enjoy the new advanced SQL scripting functions being added with the Dynamic Compound statement and more comprehensive support for the movement of DDS into SQL DDL. And finally, the business case for SQL is again extended to include support for embedded SQL in the new RPG syntax. This leads to my next topic, RPG.
IBM i 7.1 TR7 includes some major updates to the RPG language. There is a new syntax that allows programmers to do away with the fixed, columnar format, making the code easier to read and certainly easier to learn. For many years, IBM has heard from our advisory councils, clients and partners that RPG programmers are hard to find. There are three key ingredients to solving this problem. The new syntax addresses the first – making the syntax easier. The second point is to provide education about the new language. This new syntax means that any developer who knows other languages can pick this up very easily. It is just another language. And lastly, Arcad’s Transform RPG product will move existing traditional-style RPG code into the new free form syntax. Now existing code can move to free format and new developers can be taught to look after it. All the pieces are in place.
The IBM Rochester Lab Services team is adding their PowerSC Toolkit for IBM i to the announcement activities. This is a collection of tools, written by the Lab Services team to do a variety of activities, including reporting and auditing of policies and security procedures currently in place. These tools are available individually or as a package and they are offered with or without services.
PowerRuby is a business partner that is now offering support for the Ruby on Rails environment. The IBM i team has been encouraging open source vendors to move their code to IBM i and this is another offering in this space.
Let me talk about a few more of the many additional enhancements. Application Runtime Expert has added some scheduling options to allow companies to run the environment analysis on their schedule, when it’s most convenient. The adding of the Java 7.1 Class libraries to the JVM and optimized capabilities of the Java environment provide improved support and performance. For more detail on these and other items, I strongly suggest that you go and read some of the other blogs and look at the technical details on the IBM i developerWorks pages.
For more detail, please go to the following locations:
Landing page for Refresh Updates: