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As of December 16, 2016, SAP kernel release 7.49 was released as downward-compatible kernel for all SAP NetWeaver releases from 7.40 onward. For prerequisites and details about the upgrade to this kernel release, see SAP Note 2350788. For SAP NetWeaver 7.40, you can use kernel release 7.49 with IBM i 7.1 or higher, for SAP NetWeaver 7.5 and higher, the minimum IBM i release is 7.2.

If you plan to upgrade to kernel release 7.49 as downward-compatible kernel, we recommend that you use at least patch level 112 for disp+work and lib_dbsl. Make sure that you have the current PTF level installed as documented in IBM’s info APARs II14536 (for IBM i 7.1), II14741 (for IBM i 7.2) or II14816 (for IBM i 7.3).

With kernel release 7.49, two significant enhancements have been introduced to the database interface for DB2 on IBM i. One enhancement affects the handling of open cursors in a transaction: Prior to release 7.49, cursors would remain open until the end of a transaction and then automatically be closed at COMMIT time. This could cause lock conflicts between long running transactions and operations that required exclusive locks on database objects, such as operations to add triggers to a table or to alter the table structure. With 7.49, cursors are closed immediately at the end of the SQL statement, so fewer lock conflicts should arise.

The other enhancement affects the handling of SQL packages. In the past, you may have seen error messages SQL0904 when SQL packages reached their size limit or the maximum number of SQL statements that an SQL package could hold. With release 7.49, the algorithm for SQL package assignments was changed to handle cases that would typically result in such a package overflow condition. Details about these changes can be found in SAP Note 2389681 and SAP Note 1109573. As a side-effect, you may notice that the libraries to contain SQL packages do no longer have the prefix “R3<sid>”, but instead start with the prefix “S4<sid>”. Despite of the new naming convention, the command DLTR3PKG can be used to delete all SQL packages for a specific SAP system id (<sid>).