Frequently asked Questions

The following Sterling Connect: Direct frequently asked questions and answers provide you with general and frequently used or required installation, configuration, and replication-related information.

IBM Sterling Connect Direct

IBM Sterling Connect Direct is the leading solution for secure, point-to-point file transfers. It has been optimized for high-volume, assured delivery of data within and between enterprises, and provides script-based automation, scheduling and alert notifications for 24×7 unattended operations.

Read the following Sterling Connect: Direct frequently asked questions and answers.

Typically, Sterling Connect: Direct is installed on a mainframe, UNIX, or Microsoft Windows server at a central processing site and is used to communicate with other Sterling Connect: Direct sites in the business’s network. Sterling Connect: Direct offers multi-platform implementations tailored to each of the following operating systems:

  • z/OS®
  • UNIX (Sun, HP UX, AIX®, Linux)
  • Microsoft Windows
  • OpenVMS
  • HP NonStop (Tandem)
  • VM
  • VSE
  • i5/OS™ (OS/400®)

A Sterling Connect: Direct client is used to communicating with a Sterling Connect: Direct server regarding the work that will be performed. Sterling Connect: Direct offers the following types of client interfaces: Web browser interface, graphical user interface (GUI), command line client (CLI), and panels.

An application that runs on a machine requiring IBM Sterling Connect: Direct functionality. Files are transferred between two Connect: Direct servers.

  • The primary Connect: Direct server, also referred to as the PNODE.
  • The secondary Connect: Direct server, also referred to as the SNODE, that receives the transferred file and places the file on the local file system.

IBM® Connect: Direct® FTP+ provides a simple, reliable, and secure way to transfer files between a server at a central processing center and remote sites through the following interfaces:

  • A graphical interface, similar to common FTP graphical interfaces.
  • A command line interface that accepts common FTP commands and scripts. You can even use existing FTP scripts with Connect: Direct FTP+.

Before you can use Connect: Direct FTP+, the following tasks must be completed:

  • Install Connect: Direct FTP+ on the Microsoft Windows or UNIX Connect: Direct server. This is usually performed by the system administrator.
  • Install Connect: Direct FTP+ on a local Microsoft Windows or UNIX computer and configure it to communicate with the Connect: Direct server.

The IBM Connect: Direct FTP+ Release Notes describe how to install Connect: Direct FTP+. Configuration interface Help describes how to configure Connect: Direct FTP+.

As computing power increases many security standards are moving towards stronger encryption. STS does not support the strongest encryption algorithms. The closed nature of the standard prevents the addition of stronger encryption and puts IBM at risk if any vulnerabilities are found in the future. In a risky situation, IBM would be unable to take corrective action and still support STS.

The following items are the special considerations for using Sterling Connect: Direct for i5/OS and Sterling Connect: Direct Secure Plus for i5/OS applications.

  • To establish an SSL connection between Sterling Connect: Direct for i5/OS and Sterling Secure Proxy, use Sterling Secure Proxy V3.4.1.8 or higher.
  • For compatibility with Sterling Connect: Direct Server Adapter, use B2B Integrator v5.2.4.2 or later.
  • SYSTEM Values to be set with WRKSYSVAL:
  • System value . . . . . : QSSLCSLCTL
    Description . . . . . : Secure sockets layer cipher control
    Cipher control . . . . : *USRDFN
  • System value . . . . . : QSSLPCL
    Description . . . . . : Secure sockets layer protocols
    Protocols: *TLSV1.2 *TLSV1.1 *TLSV1.0

The minimum bytes you can specify in CKPTINV(n) is 1K. If you specify a value between 1 and 1023, the value becomes 1024 or 1K.

Checkpointing and restarting of IFS  files are not supported.

Sterling Connect: Direct for i5/OS does not support V5R1 128-character passwords. Sterling Connect: Direct for i5/OS is limited to a 10-character password for i5/OS profiles.

Sterling Connect: Direct for i5/OS does not support the System/36 environment.

You cannot upgrade from a version prior to 3.6.00, and you can not use the convert option in the installation for a user, netmap, or secure files.

You must install the latest Connect: Direct maintenance to have access to the command CNVSP3800 which will be used to convert the Secure+ netmap file SPNTMP. The CD USER and CDNTMP files will be manually copied with CPYF commands from the old release to the C:D 3.8 libraries.

IBM Sterling Connect: Direct for UNIX offers choices in communications protocols, hardware platforms, and operating systems. It provides the flexibility to move information among mainframe systems, midrange systems, desktop systems, LAN-based workstations, and cloud-based storage providers (Amazon S3 Object Store for current release).

The Connect:  Direct family currently supports several alternatives to STS. In addition, Connect: Direct 5.2 (this release) brings new support for TLS 1.1, TLS1.2, FIPS suite B, and several other major encryptions and security features.

If you require the STS protocol, you must remain on the most recent release according to the following table. The end of support has not been determined for these versions and customers will be given a minimum one-year notice.