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« IBM i 7.2 – Systems Management Improvements | Main | Run an HTTP Server in its own Subsystem »

May 13, 2014


I am confused by IBM calling everything by the same name. There is a navigator client on the pc that we use all the time. We have not used web based navigator because when we first tried it, it was slower than the client based version and the display was inferior. Are you saying that IBM is now abandoning the pc based navigator client in favor of the web navigator client, like they have abandonded SEU for RDI?

Yes the web navigator got much better in the last year, but it is still miles away from a fast and stable tool. The charts in the performance part are buggy and not very pretty. And Visual Explain and other database functions from the Windows based Navigator are still missing. An IBM i Admin needs now 4 complete different UI's to admin his system. Green screen for some tasks which are only available in Green screen. Navigator on Windows for Databaseadministration. The new Webnavigator for Performance and other new functions only available in web and last but not least the QShell to admin new functions like the samba support in 7.2. If you use virtualization on your system you need additional tools like a HMC. I want to know if IBM still knows that the "i" in IBM i stands for integration. To me it does not look that the great new functions added in 7.2 are really an integrated experience.

Hi Dale,
I totally agree with you regarding the naming! Many people get confused about what the GUI interfaces are called. I tend to explain things as the "pc application" versus the "web console" to try to be clear when explaining what is what.

I wouldn't use the word "abandon", but yes, IBM is moving in favor of the web interface and the "pc based navigator client" is no longer being enhanced. System i Navigator (the PC client) will continue to be supported and you can continue to use it, but new function is being put in the web interface.

Yes, there are still things that are not yet in the web console - but the key word is YET - you can bet IBM is working hard to get all the functionality in the web console. Yes, when the Navigator web console first came out it was slow and a bit buggy and the functionality was lacking - but that was 6 years ago. Significant improvements have been made since then, and in particular last year (2013) when the performance and usability issues were worked on; IBM knew it had to address those problems.

Personally, I much prefer the browser interface because I don't have to keep the client updated; just install the latest groups on the i and everyone who uses the UI has the latest updates.


Hi Ralf,

Regarding your comments about the Navigator web interface not being stable and parts that are buggy, please ensure you have the latest group PTFs installed (DG1, Java, DB2, and performance tools). If you still encounter problems, please report them to IBM so they can be corrected - IBM is working hard to make Navigator a solid interface. I know the folks on the performance tools team very well and if they know about the bugs, they will certainly work hard to fix them.

Your observation about four interfaces is correct. There are some green screen functions that will never be on the GUI. As I wrote in the prior reply to Dale, IBM is working to get the functions that are only in the System i Navigator client also available in the web console. And yes, you need to use the HMC if you are doing partitioning. And I hate to mention that if you are using the Virtual I/O server you have to learn to speak a bit of *nix.

I understand that multiple interfaces add complexity and seem to take away from the "integration" story, but it doesn't make sense for IBM to build unique interfaces for i when we can use general Power platform solutions (HMC and VIOS). Using these same Power platform interfaces should be viewed as good for i since we do things the same way as the other Power operating systems. And when IBM improves the HMC or the VIOS, we get it on i without having to do something special.


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