Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Problem Determination Tools

A new release of the IBM Problem Determination Tools has been announced. Problem Determination Tools comprises the following products : Application Performance Analyzer, Debug Tool Utilities and Advanced Functions, Fault Analyzer and File Manager.

At a Glance :
Application Performance Analyzer V8.1, Debug Tool Utilities and Advanced Functions V8.1, Fault Analyzer V8.1 and File Manager V8.1 deliver cost-effective and highly functional application performance analysis, source code debugging, application ABEND analysis, and data management. They help improve application delivery throughout the life cycle for traditional, Web-based and service-oriented applications. The tools are enhanced significantly to include:
  • Additional integration with IBM Rational Developer for System z
  • Increased support for new application environments such as WebSphere Application Server and Java
  • Exploitation and currency support for IBM CICS Transaction Server V3.2, IBM DB2 V9, and IBM IMS V10
  • Further support for SOA and Web service applications
  • Control and compliance support including data scrambling
  • Functional enhancements including new commands and new options
  • Wide range of performance and usability enhancements

General availability : September 28, 2007.

Coincidence or not : there's a Proof of Technology event at Brussels Forum about Problem Determination Tools on October 3-4, 2007. You might want to check out whether there aren't any PoT events like this one in your own neighbourhood.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Red Alert : IMS - potential data corruption

It's been a couple of months, but here's a new red alert concerning users of IMS Version 9.1 using a PHIDAM database. There're more details on the page describing this alert. Don't let the title confuse you because somehow they took over the title from the previous one, but you're on the right page. Here's a quote of the description and the recommended action.

A defect was introduced by PTF UK25149. The PTF UK25149 was superseded by PTFs UK26128, UK26164, UK27311 and UK27490. If any of these PTFs are applied, then a retrieval of invalid data can occur. Application programs may propagate the incorrect data into another database management system causing data corruption. The incorrect data returned to the application program can only be detected if the application program logic validates the data and finds the retrieved data falls outside of the valid ranges.
The exposure exists only when all of the following conditions are met:
  • Using IMS Version 9.1
  • Using a PCB with read-only (PROCOPT=GOx) and issuing GN calls against records in a PHIDAM database
  • Using a DBD with twin backward (TB) pointers on the root segment
  • PTFs UK25149 or UK26128 or UK26164 or UK27311 or UK27490 are applied
Remove PTF UK25149 or UK26128 or UK26164 or UK27311 or UK27490; or apply the solution in PK49955/UK28788.
All the recent red alerts can be found over here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

BT : Upcoming events in Belgium

You sometimes see an OT 'sign' indicating that the post is (a little) Off Topic. Well I guess this one's nearly an exclusive Belgian Topic (BT). I would like to draw your attention to some events and (tele)conferences, mainly in Brussels, I just added to the agenda.

26-28/09/2007 Proof of Technology
SOA Featuring WebSphere Advanced ESB - Special Focus: 3rd day on zOS at IBM Forum Brussels

Using WebSphere Message Broker and WebSphere MQ as its core technologies, the Advanced ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) provides a flexible connectivity infrastructure for integrating applications and services (...) WebSphere Message Broker can run on both Mainframe and Distributed platforms. The first 2 days of this free Proof of Technology will cover general WebSphere Message Broker aspects which apply to both platforms. The 3rd day will focus on the z/OS platform and its connectivity.

01-02/10/2007 Proof of Technology
WebSphere Developer for System z at IBM Forum Brussels

This WDz Proof of Technology session provides with basic skills and hands-on exposure to the major features of the WebSphere Developer for System z version 7.0.
Attendees will complete structured walkthrough labs that demonstrate the major features and new functionality of WDz. The labs also provide an introductory hands-on experience to using WDz on building a zSeries-based Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

03-04/10/2007 Proof of Technology
Problem Determination Tools for System z at IBM Forum Brussels

This z/OS PD Tools Proof of Technology session provides with basic skills and hands-on exposure to the major features of the Problem Determination Tools for System z version 7.0. Attendees will complete structured walkthrough labs that demonstrate the major features and new functionalities of z/OS PD Tools.
Some of the tools covered are Debug Tool for z/OS, WebSphere Developer Debugger for System z, Fault Analyzer for z/OS, File Manager for z/OS, Application Performance Analyzer for z/OS, File Export for z/OS, Workload Simulator for z/OS and Application Time Facility for z/OS .

04/10/2007 Teleconference
z/OS Version 1 Release 9 for your demanding data serving at 5.00PM (Brussels time)

This teleconference by Gita Grube Berg covers the latest features of z/OS 1.9 and points out which value they can deliver to your site. Some Topics : IPSec network encryption, iRMM, XML parsing for DB2® 9 pureXML workloads and many more.

26-30/11/2007 z/OS University
z/OS University in Brussels (free of charge - more info when available) : I haven't got a link yet to the event but it's a great opportunity to introduce young people or people with no experience on the mainframe to the z/OS platform. The 5-day course is based on the 'Introduction to the New Mainframe: z/OS Basics'.

03-07/12/2007 ITSO Workshops
ITSO workshops at Brussels Forum

These workshops are given by the top specialists for each subject. It's each time a one day workshop with the following subjects : z/OS 1.9, Parallel Sysplex, System z Hardware, System z Security and System z Networking.

Thanks to Jean-Paul Goemaere from IBM Belgium for bringing some of these events to my attention.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Talking about migrations

After my last post I thought I might as well point out some other resources that come in helpfull when migrating to a new z/OS version. So I'm not limiting this to just z/OS 1.9 as some of us are still migrating to z/OS 1.7. They're in no particular order :

-> The Migration checker from z/OS Download page

See post below

-> z/OS migration manuals
Here you find the most important general manuals for the last four releases (1.9, 1.8, 1.7 and 1.6). You get a manual per z/OS that you can migrate from. E.g. for z/OS 1.8 that's from 1.7, 1.6 and 1.5. For z/OS 1.9 that's from 1.8 and 1.7. Remember : coexistence has come down from N-3 to N-2.

-> Migration and installation Resources per release
Here you find separate pages for the last three releases. There are some additonal manuals like 'Planning for Installation', 'Program Directory' and 'ServerPac Using the Installation Dialog'.

z/OS V1R9.0 migration and installation
z/OS V1R8.0 migration and installation
z/OS V1R7.0 migration and installation

Which is also nice : there's on each of these pages (near the top) a link to an installation planning wizard. Here's a link to the one for z/OS 1.9. What's it good for : it's an interactive version of the 'Planning for Installation Guide'. "Installing z/OS using ServerPac or CBPDO? The z/OS V1R9.0 Installation Planning Wizard can guide you through all the z/OS installation planning tasks".

-> z/OS Integration Test Web site
I like this System z Platform Test site. I'll let them describe themselves what they are actually doing :

We are a team of z/OS testers and system programmers who run a Parallel Sysplex on which we perform the final verification of a z/OS release before it becomes generally available to customers. As we do our testing, we gather our experiences, hints, tips, and recommendations and we publish them as the System z Platform Test Report for z/OS, formerly known as the z/OS Parallel Sysplex Test Report. Our test reports can be found in Our Test Report Library.

No publications on z/OS 1.9 yet. The last one e.g. is 'System z Platform Test Report for z/OS and Linux Virtual Servers'. To give you an idea : it decribes their sysplex environment, their networking environment, their security environment, using the zIIP, Using IBM Websphere Application Server for z/OS, Migrating to DB2 9 all in a very practical manner. The appendices give you e.g. some of the Parmlib members, some RMF reports . . . Here's the table of contents.

-> Redbooks
These redbooks give a description of all the new functions in a release, why they were improved and what the implications are. There are many examples on how to implement them. One example : for z/OS 1.8 WLM enhancements are described and one of them is 'Improved management for zAAP Workloads'. One of the zAAP related subjects is 'Improved IFAHONORPRIORTY=YES processing' : how was it before z/OS 1.8, what's changed and how do I handle the new parameters ?

So, we're eagerly waiting for the 'z/OS Version 1 Release 9 implementation' redbook !

z/OS Version 1 Release 7 Implementation
z/OS Version 1 Release 8 Implementation

Of course there are a lot more resources than just these.
If I've missed some crucial ones, just drop a comment !

z/OS V1R9 Migration Checker

I mentioned the z/OS V1R8 Migration Checker last february. Now Marna Walle announces the new version of it on the IBM-Main Discussion List. You can find details about the migration checker, where to download it and reference to an article about it in the Hot Topics Newsletter in my previous post. The checker has been enlarged to cover new z/OS 1.9 migration actions but it still covers all z/OS 1.8 migration actions from the previous release, so no need to keep using the old version.

A short description from the z/OS Download Page :
"The IBM Migration Checker for z/OS can :
  • Alert you to migration actions that you should plan for in the future
  • Detect migration actions that you can do now to ease your migration to z/OS V1R9
  • Verify that you've done the migration actions correctly when you're running z/OS V1R9"

Still valid : "incidentally, several programs can even help with migrations to z/OS V1.7!"

Friday, September 7, 2007

CCR2 Newsletter - september issue

You might've noticed I've not been posting as regularly as before. I think it really has to do with the holiday period : less announcements, less events, less interesting publications (on Techdocs e.g.) ... and I'm not really eager on posting when there's nothing much to tell. Cucumber season ?

It's been 5 months since I mentioned IBM's CCR2 Newsletter. All details on this newsletter, its content and how to subscribe are in my previous post.
I guess that CCR2 is the first one to pick up the pace again, because there are some really nice articles in it. My selection ?
  • "Did you say mainframe?!" podcasts
    In fact these are mainly about mainframe and SOA. There's e.g. "CICS Transaction Server V3.2 –- Continuing to put the S in SOA" talking about "CICS application connectivity, CICS application reuse and CICS application service management".