Since the early versions of WebSphere MQ, IBM has traditionally delivered a new release about every 2-3 years. With 2 releases of WebSphere MQ in the last 6 months, it does make you take notice. Nastel recently did a TechTalk and published a white paper on 7.1 and 7.5 which went into more details on the features.
As a summary, 7.1 has a number of features aimed at:
¨ Simplification: Making it easier to install and use
¨ Security: Tightening security even further
¨ Cloud Support : Synergies with current IBM efforts in cloud computing
¨ Performance and Scalability: As with all releases, improvements in performance
A feature to support multiple versions is one that customers have been requesting for a while. This allows you to run multiple versions of WebSphere MQ on the same system at the same time. There were also several updates aimed at security, including Channel Access control to provide more regulation over channel connections, changes to authorization rules for both non-existent and remote objects. Nastel felt that multiple version support and security changes were significant enough to do future TechTalks on them.
The 7.5 update was a smaller release, primarily addressing packaging and includes WebSphere MQ server, WebSphere MQ Telemetry, WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition, WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security and Extended Transactional Client, all in a common package. Removing the fees to use the extended client (which applied to older releases) is a benefit for anyone using multiple transaction managers.
Nastel AutoPilot for WebSphere MQ supports 7.1 and 7.5 as well as version 7.0 and version 6. We even have some customers still running version 5.3. While we have seen a lot of customers try to maintain WebSphere MQ using their own custom built solutions, one of the challenges they face is keeping up with the releases of WebSphere MQ. Since this was hard to do with a 2-3 year release cycle, it will harder to do if IBM continues these regular updates.