Admin Alert: V6R1 Changes for the i5/OS Administrator, Part 2
April 16, 2008 Joe Hertvik
Last week, I started making a list of some of the more memorable V6R1 operating system enhancements for the i5/OS administrator. This week, I continue the list and point out some other V6R1 functions that you should be on the lookout for.
Before starting, please note that all the information contained here comes from available information about the new release as well as information I picked up at the COMMON user conference from IBMers and various System i experts. Since V6R1 is brand new and not installed in the wider base of i5/OS shops yet, there isn’t a lot of practical hands-on experience out there. This article deals with early release information, which will be vetted out in the coming months as more people start working with the new operating system.
New Wrinkles for System Backup and Restore
There are some interesting things happening with IBM‘s old familiar Save (SAVxxx) and Restore (RSTxxx) commands. Here are some of the more intriguing features that you can explore with the new release.
If you have a requirement to journal all the objects in a data library, V6R1 allows you to set up journaling at the library level. This means that you can set up an entire library as a journal library, and object level journaling will automatically be started for any object that is created, moved into, or restored into the journaled library. Under this scenario, you will not have to worry about journaling each object individually and you can rely on the system to take care of library level journaling needs. A journal library will automatically journal database files, data areas, and data queue objects as they are moved into the library.
Stop Users From Quickly Changing Their Password
In some shops, users will play tricks on the system where they change their password to a new value and then immediately change it back to the previous value or a value closer to their old password. V6R1 attempts to block successive password changes by adding the Minimum Time Between Password Changes (QPWDCHGBLK) system value. QPWDCHGBLK sets up a minimum time that the user must wait to change their password again after they last successfully changed the password.
Doing the Time Zone Warp
i5/OS V6R1 provides several new time zones with this release, including time zone values in the Pacific, Australia, Sao Paulo, Saint Johns, Los Angeles, and Tijuana. Time zone descriptions also contain three new offsets for year, daylight savings time shift, and an alternate name value.
Changes to PTFs
With i5/OS V6R1, PTFs will now be delivered on DVD-ROM media, which will result in fewer disks being shipped and handled with each order.
Printer Support in System i Navigator
V6R1 System i Navigator has an Add Printer Wizard that will guide you through creating a TCP/IP attached printer. The wizard creates the printer device description and its associated objects for you. This feature is designed as an alternative to using CL commands for printer configuration.
Sensibly Limiting User Device Sessions
In previous versions, the Maximum Number Of Device Sessions A User Can Have (QLMTDEVSSN) system value was frustrating to use, because you could only set one of two values for QLMTDEVSSN. You could use it to allow a user to start unlimited sessions (do not limit) or you could set it so that each user could only sign on to one workstation at a time (limit). Prior to V6R1, there was no middle ground, where you could tell the system that you wanted your users to be able to start a reasonable, but not excessive, number of device sessions.
With V6R1, IBM added that reasonable middle ground to QLMTDEVSSN. Rather than just picking between having your users start one session or starting an unlimited amount of sessions, the V6R1 QLMTDEVSSN system value allows you to tell i5/OS either to allow unlimited sessions for all users or to allow each user to start between one to nine sessions.
Not The End
This issue and last, I attempted to chronicle some of the more interesting new V6R1 features for managing your system. This is not an exhaustive list and I invite any of my readers to write in with feedback as they deploy V6R1 administrative functions. I realize that for most shops, deployment to V6R1 is still a year or two away. However, it’s interesting to take a look ahead and see what new capabilities are waiting when we upgrade our current systems.
Correction on Backup/Restore Spooled File Support
Last issue, I mistaken presented i5/OS’ Save Library (SAVLIB) and Restore Library (RSTLIB) spooled file support as being introduced in i5/OS V6R1, when it actually premiered in i5/OS V5R4. Several readers wrote in to correct me on this gaffe, including Matthew Karwowski, Ernie McCormack, Deb Saugen, and Richard Shearwood. I apologize for the mistake (boy, is my face red) but there is a silver lining to this particular piece of bad information. The description of the Spooled File Data (SPLFDTA) parameter is accurate for both V5R4 and V6R1, so you can use this capability in either version. Thanks to everyone who wrote in to correct my mistake.