Workshop – IBM i – Access Client Solutions (ACS) 

 July 24, 2020

By  NickLitten

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What is IBM i ACS (Access Client Solutions)?

ACS is the official IBM i connection tool from IBM. ACS is a Java based, platform-independent interface that runs on most operating systems that support Java, including Linux, Mac, and Windows™.

ACS gives you a screen emulator, integrated file system tool for upload/download, spool to PDF viewer, and much more.

If you have used older AS400 and Series machines you probably connected using a Windows application called “Client Access”. The latest IBM i ACS application is brand new, running using Java but looks similar enough that moving from the old Client Access to the new Access Client Solutions should be very straightforward.

ACS is faster, has a smaller memory footprint, offers a range of new features, and doesn’t have the clunky bugs that the old software inherited from it’s 1990 roots.

Client Access is DEAD – get over it!

Workshop – IBM i – Access Client Solutions (ACS) 1

Client Access was much reviled, much loved and mucho mucho confusing for users of AS/400, iSeries and the newer IBM i Power Systems.

As Client Access evolved over the years, it got rebranded as IBM i Access with new releases of the operating system. Many people from the technical end of the spectrum just kept on calling it “Client Access” because all of old grey haired “400” users know what that is.

IBM i Access for Windows delivers TCP/IP connectivity to users running a variety of Microsoft® Windows® operating systems. IBM i Access for Windows offers an all-inclusive client solution for accessing and using resources from your Windows desktop. It includes 5250 emulation, access to DB2 Universal Database® (UDB) for IBM i through its Data Transfer, and utilizes IBM i NetServer for working with the IBM i Integrated File System and printers. It also has a variety of middleware for using and developing client applications to access IBM i resources; and Navigator for i, the i5/OS GUI, for administering your IBM i.

IBM does not plan to support IBM i Access for Windows on operating systems beyond Windows 8.1. The replacement product is IBM i Access Client Solutions

So now Client Access (and iAccess) are officially retired.

Client Access is Dead, Long Live IBM i Access Client Solutions

Welcome to the latest and greatest IBM i Connectivity Application – IBM i Access Client Solutions

IBM has never had any idea about how to name things, what a stupid name IBM i Access Client Solutions is. Why not just call it “IBM i Navigator” or something simple? *sigh*

… don’t be confused by silly people incorrectly calling the IBM i system an AS400, an iSeries or “the four hundred“. I’m sure that same brigade of stubborn people will continue to trick their colleagues into thinking it is the 1990’s and refer to the new ACS as Client Access instead. You can’t fix stupid sillybrain.

Me. Feeling particularly flippant.

Anyway, I’m not going to get distracted by moaning about naming conventions, so, lets dive into the first module and download our very own copy of IBM i ACS

Lets meet the new kid on on the block:


At the heart of the IBM i ACS experience is the nicest IBM i connection application yet. ACS includes a sweet 5250 emulator, a smooth little app for uploading/downloading from the IFS, a brilliant little SQL database toolset and more.

The heart of ACS is essentially a direct link to the Java executable called ACSBUNDLE.JAR

Workshop – IBM i – Access Client Solutions (ACS) 2

When you run ACSBUNDLE you will see the main screen – and everything launches from here:

Workshop – IBM i – Access Client Solutions (ACS) 3

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IBM i Software Developer, Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, RPG Modernizer, Shameless Trekkie, Belligerent Nerd, Englishman Abroad and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits. Nick Litten Dot Com is a mixture of blog posts that can be sometimes serious, frequently playful and probably down-right pointless all in the space of a day. Enjoy your stay, feel free to comment and remember: If at first you don't succeed then skydiving probably isn't a hobby you should look into.

Nick Litten

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