May 2022 Newsletter

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IBM announced IBM i 7.5 with a host of new features and functions at the beginning of the month.   Plenty of security enhancements, DB2 for i enhancements, general OS improvements, DB2 Mirror for i, and of course Merlin.  Merlin stands for Modernization Engine for Lifecycle Integration.

It is a set of tools which run in OpenShift containers, which guide and assist software developers in the modernization of IBM i applications and development processes, allowing them to realize the value to a hybrid cloud, multiplatform DevOps implementation. Other items are:

  • IBM Subscriptions for low-end software tiers
  • IBM i 7.4 TR6, no “real” TR for 7.3
  • Simplified 65+21 LAN Console
  • NVMe Health Indicators
  • TCP SACK (Selective Acknowledgement Support)
  • SNMPv3
  • Restore progress message now includes size of objects completed
  • Db2 for i
    • SQL Boolean support
    • Larger indexes for files
    • full SQL industry standards implemented; most competitors have only partial
    • JSON – enhancement to support Boolean; full JSON support of Boolean standard
    • Restrict on DROP – protection from dropping entire file
  • Db2 Mirror for i
    • Mixed release support; enables “Rolling Upgrade”
    • “Read-only” node
  • Strengthen Security and meet Corporate Goals
    • IBM i “safe and secure”- add app user profiles to objects
    • function/usage more granular and auditable
    • Password levels
    • New password level at 7.5 QPWDLVL – system value 4
    • Must have authority to an object before can discover user authority of others
  • Open Source
    • AI solutions available
    • Open Source App Servers available – Wildfly, TomCat, Eclipse Jetty
    • Responding to requests from customers
  • Application Development
    • Compiler enhancements for RPG
    • IWS/IAS collects statistics on payload tracking
    • CL enhancements
    • 2-digit dates
  • System Management – New Navigator – GUI interface for launching functions
  • Additional
    • PowerHA
    • BRMS
    • Virtualization
    • Base Operating System
  • SHA2/3 encryption for Password hashing
    • New Password Level (QPWDLVL) system value (4)
      • Password Based Key Derivation Function 2 (PBKDF2) with SHA2-512
  • Default *PUBLIC Authority on System Supplied Objects
    • *PUBLIC authority changed from *CHANGE or *ALL to *USE for 100s of shipped objects
      • Use Memo to Users list of object to make changes on prior releases
  • Check Password Meets Password Rules (QSYCHKPR) API
    • Checks whether an input value meets the password rules for the password rules for the system
  • Password authentication message and return code changes
    • Invalid user or password will result in the same error message with generic text
      • CPF22E2 User &1 does not exist or password not correct for user profile
  • Security by Default
    • Memo to Users includes dozens of security changes
      • Default *PUBLIC authority more restrictive on created objects
      • Special authority requirements added to some interfaces

Lots of great new things, and last week on the day IBM i 7.5 became available, we did a session on How to Upgrade to IBM i 7.5, you can catch that on replay. I think the other benefit for the whole community, is that the roadmap gets updated, and we will still have at least 2 more releases of IBM i still to come out after the one this year.  That pushes IBM i support probably out to around 2035ish by simple math applied to the current schedule. Just tell me one other operating system that you know of with a lifeline that long? I just don’t understand how people can call this legacy, or that IBM i is going away. Look at the facts that we have now. You will once again know that you made a great decision choosing IBM i.

iAdmin Spring 2022

Our 2 day iAdmin Conference held virtually on May 4th and 5th was a resounding success. We did 23 sessions over those 2 days. Based upon the number of people who attended live and watched the recorded sessions afterward, our attendance was 527. That is a pretty impressive number of IBM i professionals that we helped out. We received so many thank you notes afterward, as well as comments about how much people learned. Hats off to my team that did such an amazing job putting the event together as well as handling all the logistics during the event. The speakers also did an excellent job sharing their knowledge of all the topics. It was so good to interact with everyone at the end of the day social events, seeing so many of you on your cameras, and having some great interactive conversations getting all your questions answered.  We received quite a lot of good comments from people enjoying the popcorn we sent them while they engaged in our discussion forums at the end of Day 1. I am so proud to be associated with the iTech team.

Upcoming Conferences

With COMMON PowerUp 2022 in New Orleans next week, make sure to check out our  POWERUp Resource Page for a list of the sessions that, Yvonne Enselman, Nilofur Kahn, Richie Palma, Steve Pitcher, and I are presenting.

I am also looking forward to speaking in Alicante Spain for COMMON Europe with a bunch of System Management topics. After that, you can find us at additional virtual events throughout the summer, baseball games, and some other things we are currently planning.  We are here to help you improve your skills and have more job security. If people know what and how to do various functions on their IBM i, then they will get a better return on their IBM i investment, and most likely keep their IBM i. After all, that is what everyone wants, more IBM i shops, and for current IBM i customers to stay on the platform. Of course, showcasing the skills of our technical staff will be on display at any event and provides a good opportunity to learn.  I have an amazing team, and it is always nice to hear them present.  I learn from them each and every day.

Let iTech Take You Out to the Ballgame

The iTech baseball games are starting in less than 2 weeks, the 1st and 3rd week of June and I am looking forward to meeting both customers and non-customers at the games. They are always so much fun, and we were doing these before COVID, and we want to get back to the games. We have games scheduled as follows:

Tickets are available now (and free of charge!) and you can register for each game at:  www.itechsol.com/baseball

There is still more to come in 2022, as IBM has stated that the low-end Power10 machines will ship this year as well.  Let me tell you, there is nothing low-end about these next machines.  Be prepared to be impressed when IBM unleashes the wraps this year as promised.

Here are our upcoming events:

View our full PDF June Calendar Here

iTech's June Calendar

To those who have been consuming our newsletters, blogs, podcasts, webinars, and seminars look for more to come in 2022. I have to ask you, if iTech Solutions isn’t your Business Partner, what is your partner doing to help you take advantage of your IBM i? Perhaps it’s time to come into the light, see what we have been doing to help other customers. Switching to iTech is as simple as a phone call or email, so why not make the switch?

 

I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming conference.  Please, please, please come up and introduce yourself.  I always enjoy seeing our customers and talking to them to find out what keeps them awake at night.  Until then, stay safe and I look forward to seeing everyone soon at either COMMON’s PowerUp 2022 or our baseball games.

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