Tuesday, May 3, 2022

New version 7.5 announced

ibmi 7.5 and 7.4 tr6

Most of us knew it was coming, so there is no surprise that a new release for IBM i has been announced. The new release, 7.5, accompanies a Technology Refresh update for version 7.4 TR6. As only two versions of the IBM i are supported with TRs it does also mean the end of TRs for version 7.3. If you are using a partition with 7.3, and you can upgrade, this should be the time to consider doing so to at least 7.4.

IBM i 7.5 will only run on Power 9 and 10 servers.

Many of the new features of 7.5 will not be supported by 7.4 TR6. I will make note here of which are additions or changes that apply to 7.5 only.

The big addition to the new release is a new product called IBM i Merlin. This is the "flagship" of the new release and will run on 7.5 and 7.4 TR6. Merlin's full name is Modernization Engine foR Lifecycle InetgratioN. It is a set of "wizards of wizards" to assist with the modernization of applications. It is a group of tools that run in OpenShift containers, in Red Hat on Power, to guide and assist software developers with modernization and development processes. It includes a way to develop using a DevOps methodology with a GiT repository. It also includes a browser-based IDE that allows you to edit your RPG and other language source using the GiT repository, rather than with source members, files, etc. This version of Merlin is only the first release of the product, enhancements/new features/etc. will come in future releases/TRs/PTFs. It even comes with its own brand logo, left.

I cannot do justice to all the information about this ground breaking tool in this limited amount of space. I am sure IBM will give much information about Merlin, that I will provide links to.

Another big change that is for 7.5 only is the ability to change what many of us call the "1940 rule" for six long dates. We only have 17 years left before we reach the upper end of that rule, 2039. A new rule changes the "window" to 1970 - 2069, I am sure this will be called the "1970 rule". This change can only be made using a environment variable. This will only be work for CL commands where the date is a TYPE(*DATE). RPG, Cobol, and any database rules are not be affected by this change.

Another significant 7.5 only change will be the ability to use the eight long dates as well as six long dates when entering a date into a TYPE(*DATE) command field.

There is also a new compression algorithm that has been added to the Save commands to save files, ZLIB. The new value Data Compression value, DTACPR, is *ZLIB. This can reduce the size of the save file to up to 30% the size of the same save using the High rate of compression, and 70% less than the Low. Speed-wise ZLIB is faster than the High and Medium compression methods, but slower than the Low.

There is a nice addition to the Call and Call procedure commands in 7.5. I can give the length and data type of the string being used by the command:

CALL PGM(TESTPGM) (('SIMON' (*CHAR(30)) (78600 (*DEC 5 0)) &VAR1)

A couple of new operation codes will be added to RPG:

  1. SND-MSG:  Send a message to the job log
  2. ON-EXCP:  Used within a Monitor group to allow for me to monitor for a message

Two error messages will be replaced by a single new one. When I enter an incorrect user profile in the signon screen I presented with the message:

CPF1120 - User &1 does not exist.

Or the user profile was correct, but the password was incorrect:

CPF1107 - Password not correct for user profile.

With 7.5, and I am assuming 7.4 TR6 as well, when I make either mistake I will be presented with the new message:

CPF22E2 - User &1 does not exist or password not correct for user profile.

This will make it harder for hackers to determine if the user profile or the password is wrong. And will make my auditors happy too.

Another security change is that IBM objects will now have the default eligibility *PUBLIC *USE, rather than *CHANGE.

One of the first things I check with every new TR or release are the changes to Db2 or i, SQL.

The new additions include the addition of a BOOLEAN type, and restrictions on the DROP statement to prevent the accidental deleting of objects.

The new enhancements can be found at these two links:

I am not going into detail about these. I will wait until I can use them myself before I write about them.

A number of IBM i products have been changed from being separately charged to "entitled with IBM i". More free stuff for us all!

  • AFP Font Collection
  • InfoPrint Server
  • AFP DBCS Fonts
  • AFP Fonts
  • XML Toolkit
  • Advanced DBCS Support
  • Rational Application Management Toolset
  • Advanced Job Scheduler
  • Performance Tools
  • Db2 Query Mgr & SQL Dev Kit
  • IBM i Access Family
  • IBM i Optional Features:
    • Media & Storage Extension
    • Db2 Symmetric Multiprocessing
    • Db2 Multisystem
    • PSF 1-55 IPM Support
    • PSF 1-100 IPM Support
    • PSF AnySpeed
    • HA Switchable Resource
    • HA Journal Performance

There are other enhancements too, but these are the ones that caught my attention when they were mentioned.

Planned availability for all of this wonderful new stuff is:

  • IBM i 7.5:  May 10, 2022, with some features delayed until June 28, 2022
  • IBM i 7.4 TR6:  May 24, 2022
  • IBM i Merlin:  May 20, 2022

Below are links to more information about IBM i 7.5 and 7.4 TR6 announcements. I will keep updating these with more information I find:

Non-IBM sources

No comments:

Post a Comment

To prevent "comment spam" all comments are moderated.
Learn about this website's comments policy here.

Some people have reported that they cannot post a comment using certain computers and browsers. If this is you feel free to use the Contact Form to send me the comment and I will post it for you, please include the title of the post so I know which one to post the comment to.