Have you started planning to convert from IBM i Access for Windows to the new Java version called IBM i Access Client Solutions? IBM has announced that support for IBM i Access for Windows will not extend beyond Windows 8.1. With Windows 10 being formally released in July, companies will begin the migration to the next version of the operating system, and computer manufacturers will start to ship new hardware with Windows 10.
Going forward, IBM i Access for Windows may run on Windows 10, but if you have any problems, IBM will not support it. Yes, we still have some time before we see the new Windows appearing throughout our organization, but time has a way of creeping up on us.
In preparation, we have downloaded the new Java-based version and have begun using it. These are some of the changes we noticed:
The first notable difference is that you do not install the new version. You simply copy all the files to either a local folder or a network folder, and execute a .jar file to bring up the main window. From there, you set up system configurations and configure 5250 display sessions. Configuring a system and a display session takes all of about five minutes and there is also an import function for display sessions from IBM i Access for Windows. The same Java version also works in Windows, OS X, and Linux, so one download works for all systems.
There is some new functionality available with the Java version:
- There is a scratchpad function that allows you to copy and paste to and from the screen.
- There is also a screen history capability that, when activated, will capture the last 15 screens and allow you to roll through them.
- The mouse wheel now works and can be assigned to multiple functions. The default setting is page up and page down which works really great for scrolling through a sub-file.
- In the data transfer from the IBM i you can now download data to a .xlsx file.
- You can add buttons to the toolbar that can launch an application, link to a URL, run a macro, run a selection on the File, Edit, View, Communication, Actions or Help drop down menus, and perform a keystroke function such as type a special character, execute a host function or execute a custom function.
We encourage everyone to begin experimenting with IBM i Access Client Solutions now and put together a migration plan. You can take advantage of new functionality and you will be well prepared as your company begins to transition to Windows 10 and beyond.