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December 2020 Access Client Solutions Enhancements

Dawn May highlights favorite features in the latest update of Access Client Solutions

"i Can" over a green and blue pattern

The gift-giving season came early this year with IBM releasing another update of Access Client Solutions. This update has plenty of great enhancements. Version 1.1.8.6, released December 1st, features too many changes to review them all. In this blog, I concentrate on my favorites in IFS and Run SQL Scripts. Little things often bring the most joy.
 
Notice the new ACS icon!
ACS-(1).png

IFS

IBM enhances the IFS task with every update, and this version is no exception:
  • Download or view source members: You can now easily download and view source members, which are files in the QSYS.LIB file system with an extension of .MBR. Prior to this update, if you tried to view a source member via the IFS task the contents would be unreadable. There are new View… and Download… actions which have an option to “View as UTF-8 text file”. Selecting this option allows source members to display correctly. utf8.png
  • Upload multiple files or an entire folder: Prior to this update users could only select individual files to upload one at a time. Now you can select multiple files, or an entire folder.
  • Unzip files: You can now unzip a file in the IFS. When you unzip a file, you are prompted for the location in which to store the individual files, which defaults to the same directory in which the zip file resides. You are given the option to specify the directory where the zip file contents should be stored. You can unzip .zip and .jar files.

unzip.png
Run SQL Scripts

Like IFS tasks, Run SQL Scripts are continually enhanced:
  • Menu options and preferences: Various menu and configuration options are now consolidated under a Preferences option you will find under Edit. Edit → Preferences allows you to customize your Run SQL Scripts interface in a single place. Previously, many of these options were scattered around in various places and the Options menu is now gone.
  • Customizable null results: When the results returned from a SELECT statement were null, a ‘-‘ was simply in the column. This might cause confusion if the actual contents of a column was a ‘-‘. Users can now customize how null columns are displayed. You do this customization in the Results tab of Preferences. You can specify a color for cells with null results as well as text to display, as the following screen capture shows. cellbackground.png
  • Example IBM i Services: With this update, there are many more examples provided, including examples for all the new services added in the Db2 Group PTF level 10 delivered in November.
  • Context Assist: Context Assist is your “SQL prompter”, and IBM delivered many enhancements to this powerful feature, such as support for additional SQL statements and more SQL syntax.   
The ReadMeSPACS (Read Me SP (Service Pack) ACS) document summarizes all the enhancements for every update. You’ll note that many of the enhancements were requested with RFEs. IT Jungle also wrote about the ACS enhancements in New Release of ACS Now Available.
 
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