IBM Ships ACS Version 22.214.171.124
April 13, 2022 Alex Woodie
IBM this week delivered an update to Access Client Solutions (ACS), the popular Java-based utility that many IBM i professionals use to interact with the platform. IBM is delivering several enhancements with ACS version 126.96.36.199, some of which came through the request for enhancement (RFE) process. It also defaults to opening IBM’s new Navigator for i, rather than the old one, which is susceptible to the Log4j security vulnerability.
ACS is the universal Java-based utility that IBM unveiled 10 years ago this August to replace older Client Access products, including the ones for Windows, Linux, and Mac. The software, which is product number 5733-XJ1, includes a slew of critical tools for interacting with the IBM i operating system and its various facilities, 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.
In more recent releases of ACS, the Run SQL Scripts (RSS) utility has become one of the most-used utilities in the ACS scheme of things, thanks to the array of pre-written SQL Scripts that IBM has made available for automating all sorts of commands and tasks on the system. ACS is also the preferred route for updating dozens of open source software packages on IBM i through YUM, which makes the package even more critical for modern IBM i professionals.
On Monday, IBM issued an expected update to ACS. According to the IBM support page, ACS version 188.8.131.52 brings several general enhancements that IBM i users may be interested in, including the way users interact with system groups.
For starters, ACS now includes support for system groups in system configurations. It also brings an alternate view from the main GUI for system for system groups, according to the IBM support website. There is also an alternative system selection available using system groups, it says.
IBM has moved the open source package management component to the main GUI. It also now supports naming customization for the hardware management interface 1 and 2, the company says.
RSS gains several new enhancements, including support for multiple scripts in a single RSS window. There is also a new “FileChooser” facility available to the user when saving or opening files from the IBM i IFS, IBM says. Schemas and SQL Performance Center dialogs can now display SQL and CL without using RSS, the company says, while there are now search SQL examples available in hover help.
On the IBM i Navigator front, customers no longer must make a change to the configuration files to use the new IBM i Navigator. This is good news, since the default configuration automatically opened the old version of Navigator, which is susceptible to the Log4j vulnerability, and will not be fixed by IBM.
Soon after the Log4j flaw was revealed, in late 2021, IBM told IT Jungle that it would be updating ACS to default to the New Nav. The company said it expected to make the change in March. The company was a few weeks later than that, it turns out, but better late than never.
In addition to the aforementioned enhancements in ACS 184.108.40.206, IBM issued a slew of fixes with this release.
ACS requires a Java runtime to function. IBM recommends several free and open source Java runtimes for ACS that are based on the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK), including its own IBM Semeru runtime; the Eclipse Temurin runtime from Adoptium; and Amazon Corretto from AWS.
The last time we checked in with IBM on the Java situation in November, ACS required Java 8 or higher. However, IBM recommends that customers run ACS on Java 11. Mac customers must run Java 11, according to IBM, which recommends Amazon Corretto because it “contains the most recent updates for keystroke issues.”
For more information on ACS 220.127.116.11 and the cumulative service pack for 5733-XJ1, see www.ibm.com/support/pages/ibm-i-access-acs-updates.
IBM Improves Run SQL Scripts with ACS Update (ACS version 18.104.22.168)