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Access Client Solutions Enhancements (November 2018)

IBM recently released an updated version of Access Client Solutions (ACS).

IBM recently released an updated version of  Access Client Solutions (ACS).  

There is a long list of enhancements in this update; at the end of this article you will find the list of the enhancements from the ReadMeSPACS.txt file. The number of Request for Enhancement (RFEs) addressed in this update is impressive. The ACS development team is clearly listening to what users are asking for.

When I downloaded the new version (, the first thing I noticed was that the application packages were included in the base download, as the following screen capture shows.

This change surprised me, because I didn’t see anything about this in the announcement information or the “What’s New”.  When I downloaded the July 2018 update, the application packages were not part of my download, nor was this change mentioned in the Readmespacstxt file. After a little internet searching, I found an IBM support article that says this change happened in June 2018 and is only for the English versions.

Many users found it difficult to locate the application packages, so this change is great to see. However, the main ACS web site, as well as the ACS developerWorks page still talks about the application packages only available via ESS. The application packages appear to be due for an update in December, according to the IBM i Access Client Solutions developerWorks page.

Note that there’s no application package for Mac. An RFE has been submitted for an ODBC driver for MAC Os in iAccess Client Solution. If this is something you need, please vote for that RFE.

The other thing I love about this update is the many new IBM i services examples provided.  Scott Forstie Tweeted:

And he’s right. IBM i Services are fabulous and IBM makes it easy to get started with them by providing so many examples.

Here is the list of enhancements IBM provided in the ReadMeSPACS.txt file:

1. Enhancements to Run SQL Scripts:
• “for update” now allows results to be updated (RFE 89794)
• Ability to select text from within a result cell (RFE 91124)
• Support for displaying name and label at the same time (RFE 98618)
• Support for changing column headings in current results (RFE 108357)
• Support for column customization in current results (RFE 125506)
• Refresh option to update current results (RFE 108617)
• Many new Insert from Examples

2. Enhancements to Database Schemas:
• Specifying a system name is supported when creating a new schema
• Improvements to Tables->Work with->Related Objects
• Added support for changing Aliases, Row Permissions, and Column Masks

3. Enhancements to SQL Performance Center:
• Support for filtering Performance Monitors, Plan Cache Snapshots, and Plan Cache Event Monitors.

4. General DB Enhancements:
• Added File->New Window to Schemas and SQL Performance Center for selecting a different system (RFE 119563)

5. Enhancements to 5250 Display and Print emulation:
• Allow keyboard buffering to be turned off (RFE 91890)
• Allow variables in Print Screen Header and Footer (RFE 92158)
• Migrate kerberos setting from Access for Windows to ACS (RFE 122787)
• Enable margin setting for 5250 print emulation when Use Java Print Service is specified (RFE 122569)

6. Enhancements to Data Transfer:
• Custom tab names for Excel download (RFE 112968)
• UTF-8 support for Dos Random file type (.dsr)
See additional information below for incompatibility with previous versions

7. Other General Enhancements:
• Installation scripts for Windows check for compatible version of Java


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