IBM Delivers New Goodies with ACS Update
December 5, 2018 Alex Woodie
IBM has issued a new release of Access Client Solutions (ACS), the indispensable Java-based client that delivers a range of functionality to administrators, developers, and users alike. In the new release of ACS, IBM delivers enhancements across a range of functions, including SQL queries, database schemas, data transfer, and printing and emulation.
IBM first unveiled ACS way back in August 2012 as the strategic replacement for older IBM i client interfaces, such as Access for Windows, Access for Web, and Access for Linux. With a full 5250 emulator, support for printing, the capability to view IFS, spool file, and message queues, and a virtual console for LAN and HMC management, ACS delivered a slew of important functionality in a single product. And since it was written in Java, it can run practically anywhere, including Windows, Linux, and (most importantly) MacOS.
With ACS 18.104.22.168, IBM has updated the product in several important ways. For starters, let’s look at the popular Run SQL Scripts function in ACS, which allows developers to write and execute SQL queries against the Db2 for i database within the ACS environment.
According to the “read me” document for this release, Users can now automatically update their scripts Run SQL Scripts with the push of a button. Users can also select text from within a result cell, and display name and label data at the same time. Users can change column headings and perform other customizations in current results. There are also many new examples that users can choose from.
On the schema front, ACS 22.214.171.124 brings several enhancements, including the capability to specify a system name when creating a new schema. IBM has made a variety of improvements in the work with related objects function, and also added support for changing aliases, row permissions, and column masks.
Developers who want to optimize their SQL will find new options for filtering performance monitors, plan cache snapshots, and plan cache event monitors. There were also new options created for selecting other systems in the SQL Performance Center.
In the 5250 emulator, IBM now lets users turn off keyboard buffering. It also allows variables to be used in the print screen header and footer. When “use Java print service” is selected in the print emulator, users can set margins. And users moving from Access for Windows to ACS can now migrate their Kerberos settings, simplifying the setup of authentication parameters.
On the data transfer front, users can now choose custom tab names for Excel downloads. It also offers UTF-8 variable width character encoding when the DOS random file type (.dsr) is being used.
A couple of changes have been made to the installation process. For starters, ACS 126.96.36.199 uses Java version 8, so be sure that is enabled on the computer that’s running ACS. IBM now includes installation scripts for Windows that check to ensure there’s a compatible version of Java.
IBM offers two application packages for ACS, including one for Windows and one for Linux. It is now bundling those application packages in the base download for version 188.8.131.52, which is a change that former IBMer Dawn May notes in her blog. IBM is prepping an update of these application packages this month.