It’s announce day again, so it’s time for a blog about the latest capabilities we’re announcing related to IBM i. Once again, there are a number of different areas being enhanced. I can’t even touch on all of them, but here are highlights in four key areas.
- · DB2: Our DB2 team has another long list of new and improved capabilities. Whether you care about application development, big data, database modernization, administration or performance, there’s an improvement for you with TR7. There’s even a very intriguing new concept: SQL as a Service. To see the details, go to the DB2 developerWorks pages describing the new support.
- · Ruby: Those of you who have been interested in having IBM i adopt the Ruby programming language more closely will be interested to hear about PowerRuby (Check out Tim Rowe’s blog.)
- · Application Runtime Expert: ARE has new scheduling support, and Dawn May’s “i Can” blog will tell you the details.
- · RPG: Perhaps one of the more surprising parts of the announcement relates to the new free-format support announced for RPG. Of course, free-format in RPG is cool enough to be exciting (and often requested). What might make this surprising is that the RPG team has delivered this on top of 7.1. Until this announcement, major enhancements to RPG have nearly always had to wait until major releases. We’re glad to say these significant changes did not have to wait. To get more details, see what Barbara Morris says in her RPG Cafe blog in developerWorks.
I’m going to let the experts tell you about the details in their blogs and on developerWorks. For the rest of this blog, let’s talk about Technology Refreshes and major releases.
If you’re a 7.1 user, one thing you may not have realized is this: with the cumulative effect of all of the post-7.1 additional enhancements, you have now added essentially as much new capability to your release as some of our major releases ever added. Yet you did not have to plan for and install a new release, you did not need to requalify applications, and the changes were isolated by the operating system so that you did not need to slip-install the Licensed Internal Code. (If you don’t know what this means, I refer you back to my post talking about the Layers of i.)
But let’s be clear: there will still be major releases of IBM i. Just in case you didn’t catch it, earlier this year – at the annual COMMON conference – our General Manager told people that there would be a new major release, called IBM i 7.2, in 2014. We are not ready to announce that release yet, obviously. (The calendar tells me it’s still 2013 for a while yet.) Still, I think it’s important that our community understands that some enhancements are simply so pervasive that they will require a new major release. I wanted to mention this again because I have had several occasions recently where people did not understand the future of IBM i on Power Systems.
So there we are – a new announcement with new capabilities on IBM i. All of us responsible for IBM i are pleased to be able to deliver value to you, our clients, more frequently. Let us know your reactions – we’re listening.