sábado, abril 24, 2010

Llega el nuevo ISeries: i7.1

En "breve" tiempo, IBM ha entregado dos nuevos releases del sistema operativo OS: el 6.1, y ahora, ya casi, el 7.1, manteniendo el soporte del R5V4 hasta 2012 aproximadamente. Grandes cambios en el hardware, y grandes cambios en el sistema operativo y sus recursos. Vamos a tener que forzar la marcha...
El nuevo equipo está basado en los procesadores POWER7, e incorpora mejoras importantes de hardware y software, desde el mismo procesador y su inclusión múltiple y la utilización de almacenamiento en estado sólido, hasta la ampliación del soporte de XML y del RPG.

Chris Smith, en MC Press, destaca los principales aspectos de la nueva versión:
IBM announced a significant new release of IBM i this week, the first major release to the operating system since 2008. While IBM i 7.1 touches on nearly every aspect of the operating system, making it easier to work with new technologies such as XML, the company took the opportunity also to announce enhancements to the RPG language that will make it easier for developers and ISVs to interface with mobile devices and Web services. The company also announced new BladeCenter hardware running the POWER7 chip as a continuation of the rollout of POWER7 servers that will occur throughout 2010.

Highlights of the enhancements to i 7.1 and RPG include the following:

  • DB2 support for XML and column-level encryption
  • PowerHA asynchronous Geographic Mirroring and LUN-level switching
  • IBM i 6.1 virtualization for i 7.1 partitions
  • Automatic movement of frequently accessed data to solid-state drives
  • Open Access for RPG to allow extended application reach to mobile devices and Web services
  • Enhancements to System Director and System Navigator
Para la gran masa de aplicaciones basadas en RPG que existen en el iSeries, los cambios en el lenguaje son de gran importancia para su modernización. Para sus usuarios, quizá esta sea la noticia más importante:

ISVs and most RPG developers will be intrigued by the changes IBM is announcing to the RPG language. The new feature is called Rational Open Access: RPG Edition. In essence, RPG applications with Open Access will have the option of extending the reach of applications to pervasive devices such as mobile phones, XML, and Web services.

"In many respects, this is a dramatic change, given that since the 1970s, RPG has always had the development environment that [outputs a 5250 data stream]. Most people today don't use green-screens, and they certainly don't use terminals; they all have PCs, and most convert that 5250 data stream into a browser or some other device…. For the first time, we're separating the RPG runtime from the output device so you have the user interface completely separate from the business logic."

The solution doesn't change (read: "break") any existing applications but is instead an option for new applications or for rewriting older RPG applications, he said. The way the process works is that the data goes through what IBM is calling a "Handler" before being directed to the device or browser. We're just learning what these handlers are, and Jon Paris and Susan Gantner give a good overview in their MC Special Issue article, "V7's RPG Enhancements Include Open Access!" The enhancement to RPG will allow programmers to write handlers (IBM is apparently leaving this up to ISVs and developers), which are routines that are run when updates, deletes, etc. are done to the file. The handler is similar to today's SPECIAL file support except that it goes beyond what SPECIAL files offer. Open Access can be used with any RPG file type and reportedly will be available on V6.1 as well as 7.1.

Sobre este aspecto se extiende más el blog de Help 400.
Entre otros recursos, es base de mucha información la nota de prensa de IBM sobre el POWER7, del 8 de febrero. Información completa, incluyendo especificaciones, se puede encontrar en la página del POWER.

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