Green Screens for IBM i, Release v6 - 2023.Q2.

A new version release is here with emphasis on a new cluster support, APM monitoring and many more.

The feature we are very excited is newly added IPP printing support, allowing Green Screens Web Terminal to print directly from the web browser, without requirements for any drivers or client local installation. Find out more in text below....

All details can be found in CHANGES file at our website.

Default from JVM 8 to JVM 11

For a long time, we supported running Green Screens under the Java 1.8 which is more than 9 years old now. The only reason to support older Java was to allow installation on older IBM i systems also. Now, running Green Screens Server on IBM i requires at least Java 11.

NOTE: Default installers for MS Windows and Linux are Java 17 LTS.

New cluster sync module

Clustering engine used in previous releases is removed. Instead, a completely new cluster synchronization plugin system was developed to support any external synchronization engine. Default support is provided for open-sourced and easy to install Syncthing.

Syncthing is a single program without special installation requirements. Comes with embedded web server and web admin console.

New storage structure

Green Screens Server storage structure is significantly changed. Here are the main points.

  • For MS Windows, root moved from user directory to %ProgramData% folder
  • To prevent MS Windows access permission issues when installed / run as different user.
  • To better support data synchronization between multiple nodes, subfolders divided into shared and local

New default installation folder

For MS Windows version, we changed default folder from %ProgramFiles% to C:\GreenScreens to prevent permission issues which happens under some condition when installing inside domain environment.

Updated APM - OpenTelemetry

Application Performance Monitoring is updated to the latest OpenTelementry API for better support for tools such as Grafana and Prometheus.

There is an older blog post where we wrote about this feature before.

Updated browser extension

As announced earlier, browser API are changing from v2 to v3 with significant breaking changes. In the near future, v2 will not be supported by Chrome/MS WebStore.  

We updated and released a new version based on v3 API. If you experience issues, have no worry, we prepared a small update for Green Screens Server v4, v5 for all our clients under the maintenance contract. Green Screens Server v6 natively supports new browser extension.

New Spool Printing Drivers

Newly added printing formats are PWG and PCLm. Drivers are added to support IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) data formats.

LPD/IPP Printer Service

Printer Service (module service.printing) allows creating remote DEVPRT and redirecting IBM i OUTQ to be printed directly to a Green Screens Server through LPD or IPP protocol.

This feature is important, as it simplifies web terminal usage. No more requirement for a workstation to start a browser/web terminal printer session to output spool files.  Now, system admin can simply create a remote OUTQ pointing to a Green Screens Server IPP/LPD printer. With correct naming, Green Screens Server will redirect the rendered spool directly into an active web terminal session.

IPP Direct Printing

We are very excited about this one. IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) Direct Printing allows driverless, automatic printing directly from the browser. All what is required is an IPP enabled printer with CORS and SSL/TLS setup feature.

This feature is currently available only through the Green Screens Terminal Web API. For a next scheduled update, we have a plan to implement full IPP automatic printing support directly from the browser.

Along new feature, we created IPP printer explorer, a small web application for testing IPP from the browser. How application looks like, check offline demo app here.

GS WebComponents

Our open-source JavaScript UI framework is updated to the latest Bootstrap release. Many small improvements are added. More details can be found in CHANGES file.