Tuesday, April 23, 2019

IBM i version 7.4 is announced

Update at 5:00AM (following day)

I went through and picked out what I thought be my favorites here

Update at 10:09AM

Today is announcement day as IBM has announced a new release of IBM i, 7.4, and a new Technology Refresh for IBM i 7.3 .

Since my first post this is what I have found:

The new release, 7.4, will only be supported on the PowerSystem servers with the Power8 and Power9 processors.

The availability dates for these are:

  • IBM i 7.4 – June 21, 2019
  • IBM i 7.3 TR – May 10, 2019

The biggest addition to the new release is Db2 Mirror for i, which is a product that will keep the data on two partitions, that can be on separate servers, synchronized. The database is operation is performed on both partitions simultaneously. This tool will work for DDS files, all types of SQL DDL types, data area, etc. No journals are needed. This is only available in release 7.4

In my opinion the biggest enhancements for IBM i developers are:

  • SQL:
    • SPOOL_FILE_DATA table function that allows you to access the contents of spool files
    • SPLIT table function to split a string into a series of column values
    • DATA_AREA_INFO table function to retrieve information about data areas, including its contents
    • MESSAGE_FILE_INFO view that returns information similar to the DSPMSGF command
  • RPG:
    • Varying dimension arrays
    • New fields added to Program data structure: Internal job id and System name
    • Overlaying subfields in data structures
  • Cobol: There are even enhancements to this language in the new release
  • The R language is being added as one of the open source languages

There is a lot more, this is just what caught my eye when reading the release documentation.

I was also told that the various KnowledgeCenter and developerWorks pages would be updated with this information. At present I am only seeing a partial update on some of the pages. The links to these pages are:

It has been confirmed that there will be no new Technology Refreshes for IBM i 7.2 .

Original post at 3:36AM

Information about the new version of the IBM i operating system, 7.4, is starting to come out ahead of the official announcement in the USA.

The new release will only be supported by PowerSystem servers with the Power8 and Power9 processors. And its planned availability date is June 21, 2019.

The announcement can be found here.

The updated "Support Roadmap" graphic shows us that the following releases of IBM i will be supported until:

  • IBM i 7.2 until 2022
  • IBM i 7.3 until 2024
  • IBM i 7.4 until 2027
  • Next release of IBM i will be released in 2021-22
  • Next release +1 of IBM i will be supported beyond 2031

At this time I cannot find any documentation about what is include in a corresponding Technology Refresh for IBM i 7.3. And no mention of any new TR for IBM i 7.2 .

I will update this page throughout the day as I find more information about the new release.


  1. Great information, Thanks Simon for posting this

  2. Thanks for the info. Would loved to know more on "Cobol: There are even enhancements to this language in the new release".

    1. This link will take you to what was added to Cobol in 7.4


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