Arpeggio Unveils Free IBM i ZIP Utility
March 20, 2012 Alex Woodie
The folks at Arpeggio Software unveiled a free utility last month that enables the zipping and unzipping of files on the IBM i server. ARP-ZIP, as the software is called, supports a variety of common zip file formats, and also gives users the capability to encrypt files. It does this while running natively on the IBM i server and providing a 5250 interface.
Arpeggio’s new ARP-ZIP supports the capability to compress or archive IBM i files using many commonly used zip file formats, including ZIP, TAR, JAR, GZIP, and BZIP2. It also supports the capability to encrypt and decrypt compressed files, either by using the ZIP format’s built-in support for basic password-based encryption, or by using more advanced (and secure) 128-, 192-, or 256-bit AES algorithms.
These are all features that can be found in many open source ZIP utilities, which an intrepid programmer could configure to use with IBM i data. There are also the new ZIP APIs that IBM made available for IBM i 7.1 that could be used to compress IBM i data.
But both of these options require a programmer to get her hands dirty. What really sets ARP-ZIP apart is its close affinity and native support for the IBM i OS, says Arpeggio CEO Richard Brown.
“It saves time because APIs or open source alternatives require users to write interfaces on their own and link it to APIs from those alternatives,” Brown says via email. “Not to mention, when you start trying to support various archive types using free alternatives, you end up having to call different APIs based on the format you are dealing with.”
There are no APIs to mess with in ARP-ZIP, just Control Language commands. “With ARP-ZIP, you are using CL commands, and you are only working with the IBM i operating system, so there is virtually no learning curve,” Brown continues. Also, there is no requirement to understand and use the PASE environment, which is required by the new IBM APIs and many open source alternatives, he says.
Arpeggio is a new IBM i software vendor that was founded last July by Brown and CTO Tim McCarthy, the creators of the old ZMOD Exchange file transfer tool and the founders of TrailBlazer Systems (which was acquired by nuBridges and is now part of Liaison Technologies). The Atlanta, Georgia, company’s first product, SIFT-IT, provides security log monitoring for the IBM i.
Arpeggio has provided ARP-ZIP to clients since it started business last year, Brown says. While it’s just a “simple tool,” Brown and McCarthy realized that it could prove quite useful to IBM i shops, so they decided to distribute the software free of charge. Customers that require technical support are encouraged to purchase a maintenance agreement from Arpeggio.
Next up from Arpeggio: an SSH-based FTP (sFTP) tool for the IBM i OS.