Deploying Access Client Solutions Centrally with Java Included

Deploying Access Client Solutions Centrally with Java Included

The IBM i Access Client Solutions tool is the de facto standard for managing your IBM i systems. It allows you to start 5250 telnet sessions, 5250 console sessions, transfer files to and from the system, run SQL scripts, analyze SQL performance, create indexes, and much, much more. Most organizations have a significant number of users that are using this product or its predecessor – IBM i Access for Windows. Updates come to the product once or twice a year and performing those updates can be a bit cumbersome with a large number of users. Often times the updates just never get done.

There has been one large drawback when it comes to changing from Access for Windows to Client Solutions – it requires Java to be installed on each workstation. This then also requires the administrator to ensure Java is getting updated on all those workstations. In some cases, the only application requiring Java on these workstations is Client Solutions.

An option that’s been gaining traction recently is centrally deploying IBM i Access Client Solutions – putting it on a file share and placing a shortcut on each user’s desktop to execute it remotely. Using this option allows you to update the product once and all users then have the newest version the next time they launch the product. And it gets even better:  You can also include your Java JRE in this central location, and then you don’t have to have it installed on every end user’s workstation!

Follow these simple steps to put the JRE in the proper spot:

  1. Download a Java JRE (such as IBM Semeru Java 11 OpenJ9 JRE)
  2.  Locate the folder with the Windows executable on the file server (C:\Users\Public\IBM\ClientSolutions\Start_Programs\Windows_x86-64)
  3.  Unzip the folder into the Windows_x86-64 directory and rename it – adding jre on to the end of it. Client Solutions will find the Java JRE as long as the folder ends in jre.

Now with a simple shortcut to the executable on the file share, users can access both IBM i Access Client Solutions and the necessary Java file to run it. One last note – when you go to update Client Solutions in the future, make sure you make a copy of your outside the install directory, update the product, and then overwrite the new with the copied one. This will prevent you from losing changes you’ve made to the file.

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