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IBM i 7.2 TR3 – PurePower, BRMS Tiers, RPG

October 05, 2015

Today, October 5, 2015, IBM announces the Technology Refresh 3 for the IBM i 7.2 release, as well as TR 11 for 7.1. By this time, you will have gotten used to the strategy IBM adopted with the introduction of the 7.1 release in 2010: twice a year, in the spring and fall, we announce new support for the IBM i operating system, as well as many of its related products. Over the years, we have added cloud capabilities, big enhancements to languages, support for new Power Systems and I/O, and of course new DB2 capabilities.

Today’s announcement contains items in each of these categories as well. My blog today will discuss a few of the items at a high level. As always, with the high degree of function incorporated into this integrated operating system, the totality of the announcement is too big for one blog or one article, so we have experts covering pieces of the announcement in various online outlets. Member of the team have done previews with some of the press, there are other blogs discussing different parts of the announcement than those I cover here, and our technical team is providing more details on the IBM i developerWorks (dW) pages.

In particular if you want to see the TR3 content, this page collects those articles: and the collection point for 7.1 TR11 is here:

So, let’s get started.

PurePower and S822: The first topic I’ll cover today is the announcement of IBM i support for the PurePower platform, and the support of the S822 Power System platform.

PurePower servers were announced in May 2015 and are a converged infrastructure offering, which helps provide an infrastructure for cloud computing. In the IBM i market, with so many ISVs moving into Software as a Service and so many partners interested in setting up Managed Service Provider businesses around IBM i, the PurePower platform might be just the right thing to build on. The internals of PurePower are built on the Power S822, which was not a supported platform for IBM i until this announcement. Now, not only could someone build their cloud infrastructure on PurePower, but if they wanted to incorporate stand-alone S822s to run IBM i, they could do that. The IBM i support for S822 requires VIOS, and so does IBM i support for PurePower.

There are many more system and I/O items covered in TR3, so if that’s your area of interest, please make a visit to dW. (Want enhancements to Tape Multi-path? We have some!)

In fact, while there are plenty of DB2 enhancements, as well, I’m not going to cover them this time, but Dawn May’s blog will, so please go there to take a look at some of the new function, and then see the details at the DB2 page in dW. I will give a teaser though – Run SQL Scripts in IBM i Access Client Solutions!

BRMS Disk Migration – a.k.a. Tiered Storage: Until recently, there was a rather simple “tiered storage” capability in BRMS that would detect how frequently a library was being used, and it could move the library to a user designated Auxiliary Storage Pool (ASP) if the usage was low, or back into the System ASP if the usage got higher.

With this new announcement, the capabilities are greatly increased, allowing users to manage data with greater granularity and control, and incorporate all of their data, including IFS data, into the storage tiers.

Using this new function, for example, you could prepare for month-end processing by using BRMS to move the data that needs fast access to Solid State Drives in an ASP, and then move it back to slower drives when the processing is done.

RPG – Removing the 80-column limitation: Over the past few years, we have transformed RPG into a modern procedural language. The creation of free-format RPG has seen a very large amount of interest, and based on conversations I am having with clients, almost every RPG development organization has either started the transformation of older RPG to free-form or is in the process of kicking off the project.

Yet one of the remaining roadblocks to get raised was the limitation that code had to appear within specific columns; this is typically called the “80-column” limitation because code could not extend past column 80. This limitation, which began with the origins of RPG in the days of 80-column cards, continued to provide a stumbling block for modern RPG code.

So, with the delivery of the RPG compiler and tools related to this announcement, that 80-column limitation can be removed. If column 1 of a source line contains '**FREE', the following lines contain free-form RPG code beginning in column 1 and continuing to the end of the line.

As I mentioned before, there are more enhancements, and we’ll cover all of them in dW, and many more of them in other online outlets. And, because it’s October, several of us are also busy traveling to talk to clients. As you read this, while Tim Rowe and others will be speaking at the COMMON Fall conference in Fort Lauderdale, I’ll be in Orlando, speaking at IBM Systems Technical University, and then will be in Tokyo and Fukuoka Japan, followed by trips to Cannes, France and a few places in China (Beijing and Shenzhen, at least!).

We continue to invest in the technologies that can help our clients transform their businesses, while adding value to the integrated environment IBM i provides for their “solutions of record.” Take a chance to look at the new features, and if you happen to see one of us out there, talking about them, be sure to introduce yourself!

Posted October 05, 2015 | Permalink

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