I’ve been asked several times in the last few weeks about ODBC drivers for IBM i and how to obtain them for a PC running Client Solutions. There are actually a number of pieces to the IBM i Access puzzle that are nowhere to be found in the base ACS “installation,” so I thought I’d take a minute to revisit how ACS is structured by IBM for those who might be looking for something specific.
The Client Solutions base package, which includes the 5250 emulator and even the SQL scripting tools, is a platform-independent Java application. It doesn’t use a traditional installation method for setup, so it cannot account for anything that might need to be installed on the PC in an OS-dependent way. The ODBC drivers and a few other things fall under this category, and needed to be separated out from the Java applications so they could be given special handling.
Enter the Client Solutions Application Packages for Windows and Linux. These optional packages contain the platform-specific installable components of IBM i Access that are no longer part of the base package. Both the Windows and Linux packages include ODBC drivers for their specific platforms. The Windows package also includes the AFP printer driver and a number of other database connectivity and development tools. Most of these items aren’t ever needed by end users, but if you’re a developer looking for something that’s gone missing it is very likely in one of these packages.