Today, we're pushing out something that I've been wanting for a long time. We now have RPM and DEB repositories for Linux available directly from IBM for the IBM i Access Client Solutions application package, which includes the IBM i Access ODBC driver. This also includes the latest version of the IBM i Access ODBC driver, which was released today.
While we have been pushing the IBM i Access ODBC driver as the "One True Way" to access the database from open source for some time, the biggest hindrance has been getting it installed. Previously, it was only available from the byzantine labyrinth that is IBM ESS or from the MRS download site (conventiently bookmarkable to https://ibm.biz/ibmi-odbc-download). Both of these require manual steps to log in, agree to the license, download the zip, then extract the zip and install the package. But Linux distributions have these fancy things called package managers that can point to remote repositories of packages and easily extend the distribution's package list with third-party software. Heck, even Microsoft provides Linux repositories nowadays, so it's high time that IBM does similarly.
With this change, it will be much easier for end users to install the driver on Linux. It also makes it easier for automation to install the driver as well, whether that's Ansible system deployment scripts or Dockerfiles for building ODBC-based Linux container apps. In addition, it makes updating the driver much easier too, since the process uses the same upgrade procedure as the rest of the system packages.