Well, it’s here! IBM i 7.1 is announced today. Over the next few
months, we’re going to be blogging, writing articles, conducting
Webcasts, and presenting in person on the great things contained in IBM
My job today is to hit the highlights of the release.
These are the big-ticket functions that will be the focus of the
marketing. But, as with every release, there are many functions that
we include that don’t make the “highlights” list, but which might be a
highlight for you. To get an idea of what those items are, be sure to
visit Dawn May’s “i Can”
So, without further ado, here they are:
The IBM i 7.1 Highlights
• DB2 for i: XML datatype, column-level encryption and more
• PowerHA SystemMirror for i: asynchronous geographic mirroring, LUN-level switching and more
• Solid state drives: automatic data movement
• Rational Open Access RPG edition : New, open, modernization options for RPG
• Zend Server Community Edition: For IBM i, shipped with IBM i.
• IBM Systems Director Navigator for i: New Web-based management capabilities.
each of these topics is going to be covered in much greater detail,
either in this blog, or in articles to which I’ll be able to point, but
here are a few words on each to introduce the topic.DB2 for i: XML datatype, column-level encryption and more.
Modern applications, especially those that have to exchange data across
the Internet, often must consume data described with XML. In 7.1, DB2
for i adds support for XML with a new datatype, xml parsing, annotation
(converting xml to traditional database data) and schema validation,
allowing application writers to integrate XML and DB2 in a simple and
powerful way. Additionally, DB2 for i, using the Omnifind product, can
perform xml-aware data searches in an XML column. DB2 for i can also
create XML directly from the data it contains. How does all of this
work? Well, we’ll get you a good description of that in a few weeks.
We’ll also show you how you can add the capability to encrypt the data
stored in a particular column. Oh, and there’s a performance
improvement awaiting many of you because we’re extending our
high-performance query engine to cover logical files. This is good
stuff! Stay tuned.PowerHA SystemMirror for i: asynchronous geographic mirroring, LUN-level switching and more.
PowerHA SystemMirror for i is the hardware replication high
availability product we introduced first with IBM i 6.1. The new
release enhances our geographic mirroring support by the introduction
of an asynchronous protocol, which allows the mirrored and mirroring
sites to be much farther away from each other. The 7.1 release also
works with the IBM DS8000 and IBM DS6000 to allow data stored in IASPs
controlled by these storage systems to switch from one IBM i to
another, allowing data to remain available even when the primary IBM i
system becomes unavailable. Again, we have the experts for this
technology writing detailed articles on this function.Solid state drives: automatic data movement.
For a year IBM i has supported solid state drives. I blogged about that support
and the architectural advantage that IBM i has in making good use of
SSDs, and now we have a chance to incorporate that support in a major
release, and enhance it with the ability of the operating system to
move user data to SSDs automatically when the integrated storage
management determines your system performance will benefit from the
movement.Rational Open Access RPG edition: New, open, modernization options for RPG.
Here’s an enhancement that’s really an architectural change that opens
RPG up to whole new uses. And it’s being brought to the community by
IBM i, our friends in IBM Rational, and several ISVs who’ve been
working with IBM to hit the ground running. The idea behind the new
capability is to remove the necessity for all output from RPG programs
to be forced into the limited 5250 data stream. Instead, it can be
passed to handlers, which can transform it in any way the handler
wants. Wrap it in XML; put it in the format required by a pervasive
device; make a Web page that doesn’t look like a 5250 screen; whatever
you want. And, while this is being released in conjunction with IBM i
7.1, the capability will work with the 6.1 release as well.
Zend Server Community Edition: For IBM i, shipped with IBM i.
The new Zend Server Community Edition can do everything Zend Core could
do, and more. Now it’s loaded with every 5.4, 6.1 or 7.1 release of IBM
i you receive, at no additional charge. If you haven’t started using
PHP yet, well, go ahead and get started. It’s in there and better than
ever!IBM Systems Director Navigator for i: New Web-based management capabilities.
Dawn covered the various management tools for IBM i
her blog recently. In particular, the IBM Systems Director Navigator
for i, the Web-based interface to manage IBM i, is enhanced with
additional capabilities for journal, database, performance-data
investigator and tape as well as considerably more capability for
plug-in products BRMS, advanced job scheduler (JS1) and omnifind (OMF).
Brand-new capabilities such as set target system and an integrated
command (5250) emulator round out a rich delivery of new Web function.
Some of these functions were previously only available in the
client-based (Windows OS-based or Linux technology-based) Navigator
product and several are brand new. As Dawn mentioned, the strategic
direction for management tools is browser-based, so it was very
important to our customers that we add these critical functions to the
tools that will be the focus of future development.
As I said
before, these are the highlights, but they’re not the entire release –
not at all! And I’ve only been able to scratch the surface of each of
the highlights. Over the next few months, Dawn and I will bring you
descriptions of each of these, or we’ll point you to other places where
our technical experts are writing articles describing them – or both!
These are exciting times. Stay tuned!