New Run SQL Scripts Features in ACS Update
August 23, 2023 Alex Woodie
If you’re a fan of the Run SQL Scripts features in IBM i Access Client Solutions, then there’s good news: IBM has adopted several suggestions on how to improve the functionality in the latest release of ACS.
IBM quietly released ACS version 22.214.171.124 last month, enabling a series of new functions in the popular Java-based utility used by IBM i professionals to interact with the platform, as well as a handful of fixes.
At the top of the list, according to an IBM Support document on the new release, are enhancements to Run SQL Scripts (RSS), the handy facility that enables users to execute snippets of SQL to complete a range of administrator-, operator-, and developer-oriented tasks in the IBM i environment.
For instance, users can now search across tabs in RSS, which is an idea that an IBM customer submitted earlier this year on the IBM Ideas website. Other new features in RSS include updated SQL syntax for formatting and colorization; performance improvements to Content Assist; and additions to “Insert from Examples,” IBM says.
Working with schemas should get easier thanks to new actions to generate using SQL-based Data Manipulation Language (DML), which is a language used for adding, modifying, and deleting data in a database. This release also brings SQL statements for tables and views, IBM says.
Several IFS related enhancements were also made with this release, all of which were spurred by IBM Ideas. These include the addition of a preference for specifying an “upload from location” and for specifying the maximum threads allowed for concurrent uploads and downloads. A security enhancement has been made that lets administrators limit the top level IFS directory that a user is allowed to access, another idea from IBM Ideas.
The behavior of ACS has also been changed when a user tries to download an IFS file larger than 1MB but doesn’t have the appropriate viewer installed to view that particular file type. This has been an issue going back at least two years, according to the IBM Ideas entry, with some users becoming frustrated that ACS lets you begin a download for files larger than 1MB but then won’t let them open it because it’s too big. IBM says it has made a “usability improvement,” but it’s unclear what exactly that means.
IBM is also now supporting password protected SSH keys, or passphrases, in ACS. SSH passphrases protect users’ private key from being used by someone who doesn’t know the passphrase, according to a Microsoft article. “Without a passphrase, anyone who gains access to your computer has the potential to copy your private key,” Microsoft says.
IBM also noted that it will cease supporting Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliance checking functionality in the product’s SSL capability. FIPS is a required standard for governmental agencies and contractors, but it will have to be verified elsewhere.
“As the requirements for FIPS compliance change and the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) evolves, it no longer makes sense for IBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS) to attempt to verify whether or not the JRE supports FIPS compliance.”
A link to the system debugger has also been added to the tools menu. For more info on ACS 126.96.36.199, check out https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/ibm-i-access-acs-updates.