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Announcing Synergy 12.0

By Steve Ives, Posted on September 10, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Steve Ives

For the last several months the Synergy development team has been building out the features and functionality for the next version of Synergy, including the not-insignificant task of adding support for Microsoft .NET (in addition to .NET Framework) throughout the product. We are now ready to start sharing some of that work with you.

Some of you may have noticed something slightly unusual in the title of this announcement; the version number includes an even number! The complete version number of the release is 12.0.1.3272, which is also somewhat different from previous releases. We have implemented a new release strategy involving two types of releases: Long-Term Support (LTS) Releases and Feature Releases. You can find more information about that on the Synergex website.

Synergy 12.0 is a feature release, providing early access to some of the features and enhancements that will be part of the Synergy 12.1 LTS release later this year.

IMPORTANT: In this document and in other places, the term .NET refers to Microsoft .NET 5 and higher, while the term .NET Framework refers to the original .NET Framework product through its final 4.8 version. The term .NET Core refers to the interim product which culminated with a final 3.1 release.

Primary Focus of this Release

As previously announced, the primary focus of our current development is to add support for Microsoft .NET, and in some cases .NET Core, in all the places in Synergy where .NET Framework is currently supported. Some of these changes are being shipped for the first time in this release, while others will follow in subsequent 12.0 feature releases. Not all of the included changes are related to .NET; there are changes throughout the product set, as detailed below.

New Features and Enhancements

This section presents information about new features and enhancements included in this release:

.NET Support for Synergy APIs and Utilities

Several Synergy libraries and tools are now available as NuGet packages and provide support for .NET:

Library                     NuGet Package Name
Gennet Utility              Synergex.SynergyDE.gennet
Repository API Library      Synergex.SynergyDE.ddlib
UI Toolkit Library          Synergex.SynergyDE.tklib
XML API Library             Synergex.SynergyDE.synxml
xfNetLink .NET Library      Synergex.SynergyDE.xfnlnet

xfNetLink .NET

In addition to the Windows installer package, the xfNetLink .NET library is also now distributed as a NuGet package. The NuGet version of the library is built with .NET Standard 2.0 and so is usable from .NET Framework 4.7.2 and higher, .NET Core 3.1, and .NET 5 and higher environments.

The gencs utility now generates a C# project file that you can use with Visual Studio, MSBuild, or the dotnet build utility to build a client assembly. Note also that gencs no longer creates a strong-name key file by default; if you rely on this feature, you must explicitly specify a key file via the gencs -s option.

In .NET Framework applications, configuration settings were usually set in configuration files, but this is not supported with .NET Core or .NET applications. To address this, we have added several new environment variables that can be used to specify configuration settings in all environments. Refer to the release notes and documentation for a list of the new environment variables.

The COM+ pooling mechanism supported with .NET Framework is not available for .NET Core or .NET applications. As an alternative, we provide a pooling mechanism that can be implemented within your application, similar to the way that pooling worked with xfNetLink Java. For additional information refer to the Microsoft documentation for ObjectPool and use the BlockingPooledObjectPolicy class that we provide in an assembly within the NuGet package.

Synergy .NET assembly API

We added support for using the Synergy .NET assembly API in .NET Core and .NET environments, in addition to the current .NET Framework support.

The gennet40 utility continues to produce code for .NET Framework, and in addition, a new gennet utility is available from NuGet as a .NET global tool (Synergex.SynergyDE.gennet). This utility produces code for the version of .NET Core or .NET in which it is running.

Synergy Runtime Enhancements

We have added platform support for Windows 11 and Windows Server 2022 and new identifiers to allow for conditional compilation based on these new platforms.

The Synergy windowing API is now available in .NET environments.

On Windows, the data encryption routines (DATA_ENCRYPT, DATA_DECRYPT, and DATA_SALTIV) now use the Windows “Cryptography API: Next Generation” (CNG) instead of OpenSSL.

Related to our version numbering scheme changes, XCALL VERSN and %VERSN now have an optional second parameter that returns the Synergy build number.

On Linux, Synergy no longer has a dependency on the libtinfo.so.5 libraries.

Synergy DBMS Utilities

Continuing with our recent theme of improving performance when accessing ISAM files, or undertaking routine file maintenance or recovery operations, more enhancements have been made to the isutl utility that can result in performance improvements in some cases, particularly when processing very large files. Refer to the release notes for additional information.

License Manager

Linux systems can now be optionally configured to forward licensing requests to a Synergy license server on a Windows system, using TCP/IP communication. This is only supported when the license server hosts subscription licenses, and note that Linux system(s) will share the same pool of license keys available to Windows clients. Amongst several benefits is the simplification of Synergy deployment on Linux to virtualized or containerized environments, including deployment in cloud-based scenarios.

If you wish to implement IP-based licensing with existing Linux systems, you will need to work with Synergex Customer Service, as they will need to consolidate any existing Linux licenses into Windows licenses, and you will have to reset and reconfigure licensing on your Linux systems.

We have improved license server operation on UNIX and Linux systems to simplify running the license server under a non-root user account. Specifically, if file permissions prevent the license file from being written to the /usr/lib directory, it will now be written to /var/synergy instead. Additionally, if the license file is in /var/synergy, the location of the license server log file will default to the same location.

Quality Improvements

As usual, in addition to the new features and enhancements detailed here, Synergy 12.0 includes quality improvements throughout the product set. Again, refer to the release notes for complete information.

Documentation and Downloads

Documentation for feature releases will be available online only at https://www.synergex.com/docs. This website will always default to displaying the documentation for the current LTS release, but until Synergy 12.1 is released, the current default is the 11.1 documentation. To view the updated documentation for the 12.0 release, be sure to select “12.0 (feature release)” from the version dropdown.

In addition, the release notes that document everything that changed in this release can be viewed in the product downloads area of the Synergex Resource Center. Similar to the documentation, the downloads area defaults to displaying the latest LTS release, and currently defaults to displaying the 11.1 downloads. Click on the prominent red “Feature Release” button to view the downloads and release notes for the feature release.

What About SDI?

Synergy DBL Integration for Visual Studio now follows a separate development timeline and release cycle, and releases may not coincide with SDE. The SDI team has been hard at work, and you can expect an SDI release that supports Visual Studio 2019 and the upcoming Visual Studio 2022 very soon.


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