IBM Rolls Out ACS 22.214.171.124
August 12, 2020 Alex Woodie
IBM last week introduced a new release of Access Client Solutions (ACS), the popular IBM i client that’s used by administrators, programmers, and engineers alike. There are enhancements to Run SQL Scripts, new 5250 viewing options, and a performance boost for viewing selected files on the IFS with version 126.96.36.199, among other mostly minor updates.
Let’s start with the improvements to Run SQL Scripts, which is an increasingly popular utility in ACS that leverages the power of SQL and the integrated Db2 for i database.
The Content Assist feature of Run SQL Scripts has been bolstered in several ways, including the use of the F4 button as an alternate method of activating a shortcut; support for providing syntax proposals; and support for built-in functions in the database.
Within a SQL statement, when a proposal is selected, the user will see the next expected change highlighted when using Content Assist. IBM has also improved the performance of filtering in the proposal list and added support for “intelligent positioning” of the cursor within Content Assist. IBM also added support for various query artifacts, including OLAP and CASE expressions; VALUES queries; derived tables; and JOIN clauses, among others.
Users will notice that the wheel on the mouse behaves differently (hopefully better) when using the Visual Explain feature of Run SQL Scripts, according to the release notes.
When working with database schemas in ACS, users will notice that IBM has added a “Call in Run SQL Scripts” action for procedures. It’s also added a “Query in Run SQL Scripts” action for functions. Journaled objects will also generate additional details in the database schema.
When perusing the IFS with ACS, IBM i users should notice a performance boost when viewing the contents of a directory based on selected column attributes. There is also an option to the download dialog to convert a text file to UTF-8 so it can be viewed on the user’s workstation.
When using the 5250 emulator that users can optionally use with ACS, IBM added &SYSNAME and &SYSDESC keywords to the watermark options. Users can also view the specific SSH port that’s configured in the service table when checking the Connection tab. The Verify Connection screen will also show users the port number used for each service, IBM says. Users can sort by profile on the passwords tab, too.
The Java-based ACS product, which IBM first unveiled in 2012, includes several must-have tools for working in an IBM i environment, including a 5250 emulator, 5250 printer emulation, data transfer capabilities, IFS file viewing, spool file management, and a virtual console for LAN and HMC management. The Run SQL Scripts is also a popular utility, and ACS is also used for updating open source components through YUM.
IBM offers several add-ons for ACS, including packages for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and PASE environments. ACS, which bears the IBM product number 5733XJ, uses the same IBM i host servers as the other IBM i Access family products and requires the same IBM i Access Family license (5770-XW1) to use the 5250 emulation and data transfer features, according to IBM.
Four of the new enhancements in ACS 188.8.131.52 originated from requests for enhancement (RFEs) received by IBM. The new release replaces ACS version 184.108.40.206, which shipped in April 2020. The next planned release is planned for December.
IBM Delivers New Goodies with ACS Update (ACS 220.127.116.11)