IBM has ended support for IBM i Access for Windows on April 30th, 2019. The emulator software was replaced by IBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS). The shift to ACS is to provide a JAVA based emulator that will run on multiple platforms and without all the fuss created by Microsoft Windows. I have been running ACS for a few months and can report it works well on Windows 10 and the 5250 emulator works well with IBM i servers running OS V5R4 through V7R3.
There are two issues that I would like to point out with ACS.
One is the Java runtime licensing that Oracle introduced in April. Basically, if you are running the Oracle JDK 8 for business they will be requiring you to purchase a Java License.
There are alternatives to the Java JDK that are free. I discussed this with IBM and they recommended the Amazon Corretto JDK. I have tested Corretto 8 with ACS version 188.8.131.52 on a Windows 10 PC. It ran without any issues.
The second issue is a runtime issue with the Oracle JDK. I use Adobe Creative Cloud software which installs a large number of fonts. When the ACS 5250 configuration panel is loaded the Oracle JDK will process the list of installed fonts. This can take considerable time. On my laptop, it took almost four munites to launch the 52050 configuration panel.
The Amazon Corretto JDK does not have this issue. Feature-wise, the old i Access for Windows and ACS are very similar. For an end user, there is the ability to have multiple terminal sessions setup as tabs in ACS or to have them as independent windows. For the administer, IBM will provide support for ACS and not i Access for Windows. This became an issue when I was attempting to configure single server sign-on using i Access for Windows.
Here are links for more information.
IBM Information on JDK options https://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=ibm10719405&
Information on Oracle JDK Licensing https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/overview/oracle-jdk-faqs.html
Amazon’s Corretto JDK . https://aws.amazon.com/corretto/
IBM ACS download https://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=isg3T1026805
Joe Hainey is a former IBM Business partner with over sixteen IBM AS400/iSeries certifications. He has been helping clients with the IBM i platform for over fifteen years. He has performed IBM i recovery of four different IBM servers for clients and provided training and DR testing for other clients. He is the founder of Inspire Technologies, an IT consulting firm that specializes in IBM i, e-commerce, and EDI solutions.
Joe can be reached at email@example.com