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Announcing IBM i 7.3 TR2 & 7.2 TR6

February 14, 2017

This might come as a bit of a surprise, but it’s announce day again.  I know, I know–it doesn’t seem all that long ago that we announced IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh 1. And it wasn’t!  But this year’s “spring” announcement of IBM i 7.3 TR2 (and the accompanying 7.2 TR6) comes a little earlier than spring.  (Maybe we’re all just hoping for a short winter!)  Whatever the reason, it’s time again for me to give you an overview of the announcement.  So here it goes.

Today’s announcement has several highlights:
  • A new S812 Power System model
  • New DB2 capabilities, including new JSON support
  • New open source capabilities
  • Access Client Solutions functions

Before I go any farther, let me remind you that our teams write more detailed descriptions of the new functions on developerWorks, and the IBM i 7.3 TR2 landing page is:
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/techupdates/i73-TR2

Now, let’s get to that quick overview, and then you can dig into your favorite topics on developerWorks, or in the other blogs we’re publishing about the announcement.

New S812
Some of our clients, particularly those who have remained on older releases and older generations of Power Systems, find that the S814, which has been the lowest end Power System for IBM i, is still more than they require.  In response to that, IBM is announcing the 1-core S812 for IBM i.  This system costs less than the S814, but is also more limited.  It doesn’t allow for partitioning, and it has more limited I/O options.  But, like the S814, it is at the P05 tier, and for some of our customers, it will be a very natural replacement for smaller POWER6- or POWER7-based boxes they are currently using.  This support will be delivered via IBM i 7.3 Technology Refresh PTF Group SF99727 level 2, and IBM i 7.2 Technology Refresh PTF Group SF99717 level 6, both of which will be released on March 17, 2017.

DB2 Enhancements
The DB2 enhancements announced with TR2 and TR6 help both database engineers (DBEs) and system administrators.  For DBEs, they can more efficiently manipulate the data they need with new functions like the new SQL LISTAGG built-in function, which aggregates a set of string elements, removing the need for SQL programmers to write this function themselves.  For system administrators, there are new SQL services.  For example, the AUTHORIZATION_LIST_INFO view returns a list of all objects secured by an authorization list.

you-and-i-fig1.jpg


There are more, of course, but perhaps the most newsworthy is the next JSON capability.  Last fall we announced JSON_TABLE, and with this announcement DB2 adds predicates to make it easier to validate JSON defined data.

Open Source Announcements
The IBM i Open Source solutions (5733-OPS) product delivers several new open source functions for IBM i users.  The OPS product now includes several new tools, including wget, a commonly used function which retrieves objects from intranet or Internet addresses, and curl, a command and shared library allowing for robust interaction with HTTP or FTP URLs.  Other new items include rsync and sqlite.

Access Client Solutions (ACS)
In this technology refresh, Access Client Solutions support has been updated to include improved filter capability in the Output Spool File support. This allows the user and system administrator the ability to easily filter the list of spool files to find the files they are looking for, based on user profile, or job, or other filter options. We’ve also added new function to give DB2 Engineers tools like updates to the SQL Formatting within the Run SQLScripts interface.   There’s even a new feature for the CL Prompter interface to help the user easily fill in the necessary parameters for a CL command as well as other features.

One Step at a Time
Before we’re done here, and you go dig into more details, one of the key points I want to leave you with is this:  When it comes to the enhancements we bring out in most Technology Refreshes, and certainly in this one, we’re providing you incremental improvements.  You might think of them as building blocks on a foundation, or perhaps as the next stage in an evolution.  For example, we haven’t reach the “End State” for our JSON support (or ACS, or whatever).  But each TR gives us a chance to take one more step, and each step adds more value.  This is a key attribute of our TR strategy, and we think it helps our customers adapt more quickly, while helping them avoid disruption.  

The TR Landing Pages Again
One more time, remember to use the links to the developerWorks sites for the TRs:
- 7.3 TR2: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/techupdates/i73-TR2
- 7.2 TR6: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/techupdates/i72-TR6

Next Time: RFE
Well, that’s it for me today.  Stay tuned for my next blog installment, when I’ll talk about the RFE process, how we use it, and how you can get involved.

Posted February 14, 2017 | Permalink

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