IBM Bolsters New Nav With Job Scheduler And More
April 24, 2023 Alex Woodie
IBM i professionals finally can access the Advanced Job Scheduler from Navigator for i as a result of the new Technology Refreshes (TRs) that IBM unveiled on April 11. But the job scheduler is just one of a number of new capabilities that IBM is bringing to the snazzy new Web-based interface for administrators and power users, which Big Blue would very, very much like for you to use.
When IBM debuted the new Navigator for i in the fall of 2021 with release of IBM i 7.3 TR11 and 7.4 TR5, it figured it had the luxury of time to flesh out the new product – which featured a new Angular-based codebase and leveraged SQL services to get data off the IBM i – with all of the functionality that IBM i professionals had enjoyed in existing version.
However, just a couple of months after New Nav’s debut, the Log4j security flaw raised its ugly head, rendering the old version of Navigator vulnerable to hackers. With no patch forthcoming, IBM encouraged users to move to New Nav as quickly as possible to avoid exposing themselves to the critical vulnerability, which scored a perfect 10 out of 10 on the CVSS scale.
IBM and its development partners also sped up its efforts to replicate functionality that existed in the old Nav product in New Nav in an attempt to lure users to the newer product instead of using the vulnerability-riddled client interface (or going back to using CL commands on the 5250 green screen). In last fall’s TR, it added features like Performance Data Investigator (PDI), Content Manager On Demand (CMOD), and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to New Nav.
IBM made more progress with this month’s TR. IBM i 7.5 TR2 and 7.4 TR8, Navigator users can now get access to Advanced Job Scheduler, the powerful job scheduling facility that gives users the ability to automate operations on a 24/7 basis.
It is a mark of progress, says IBM i product manager Allison Butterill. “We’ve been on a journey with our New Navigator to include functionality that was in the old Navigator, plus to add in some things that were in process and that people wanted,” she tells IT Jungle.
In addition to the Advanced Job Scheduler, which IBM outsources development of to Fortra (formerly HelpSystems), Navigator for i is getting support for configuring and managing various networking settings on IBM i, including the Domain Name Service (DNS), Distributed Data Management (DDM), the Net server, and a new debug server and service.
Users will see new customizable table filtering when looking at New Nav. IBM gives users new options for formatting and color-coding SQL in the interview. And there’s a new QSYSOPR multisystem view that administrators will appreciate (remember, the ability to monitor multiple LPARs from a single interface was one of the big upgrades in New Nav over the older version).
Navigator for i users can also now upload and download files from the Integrated File System (IFS), and are given a new table tab for displaying a directory node on the IFS. Users get a new printable property page that tells them about the status of the server, as well as views of other server properties.
On the work management front, New Nav gains enhanced pre-start job support, IBM says, while on the security front, the client now supports cryptographic services.
“We have a whole list of new things that are coming in this version of Navigator,” Butterill says. “Some of those came from the old Navigator. Some of them are new requests that came in from our advisory councils to put in.”
Adding the Advanced Job Scheduler was a big one, but it appears there are still a few items left on IBM’s “to-do” list for New Nav. Support for Backup, Recovery, and Media Services (BRMS), which IBM outsources development of to Pinnacle Business Systems, is a big one. There’s also no support yet in New Nav for PowerHA. Support for Advanced Function Printing (AFP) forms can also be added to the list.
How IBM Improved Application Development with the Spring 2023 TRs
Big Blue Refreshes The Technology for IBM i 7.4 And 7.5
New Nav Makes Progress, But Still Not Caught Up with Old Nav
New Nav for i Brings New Stuff to You
IBM Accelerates New Nav Development Following Log4j Issue
Critical Log4j Vulnerability Hits Everything, Including the IBM i Server