Latest Entries

Web Services & The Mainframe

When Atlanta-based National Account Service Co. LLC (NASCO) needed to help its customers, large health insurers, provide their own customers with control of their benefits, it turned to Web services to provide everything from claim status information to personal healthcare spending accounts. Similarly, when MeadWestvaco, an $8 billion producer of packaging, specialty papers, consumer and office products, and chemicals, wanted to leverage its use of SAP to improve order management and achieve greater flexibility, it turned to Web services…

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Inside IBM

z/OS DB2 TOOLS

Easily overshadowed by the announcement of eServer zSeries (100-322, 200-352, 200-358), three weeks later, on Sept. 12, 2000, IBM entered the z/OS database tools market (200- 298 to 302). Today, industry analysts peg IBM as DB2 tools market leader with 40 percent market share. Analysts’ opinions range from “good enough” to better than the competition, though they all agree that very complex database environments may need to look elsewhere…

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z/Vendor Watch:  Keeping the Intruders Out

Most mainframers would claim that the S/390 platform is the most secure in the world. Certainly, when it comes to bulletproof log-ins, support for the highest levels of cryptography, and the flexible partitioning and control of access to data and system resources, the zSeries is hard to beat. RACF, ACF2, and CA-Top Secret have offered a unique type of security environment for decades, and one of the strongest arguments for consolidating Linux apps on the mainframe is that they can benefit from security facilities that are unavailable elsewhere…

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During the late 1990s, organizations worldwide spent billions of dollars to remediate their portfolio of mainframe systems in order to make them Year/2000-compliant. This was done as a matter of survival. However, many observed that this inordinately large expenditure was a reaction to a non-existent or, at best, over-hyped problem. Most companies treated the cost of remediation as an expense and blamed it for delaying the development of a meaningful Web presence. A “meaningful presence” meant one that exposes customer-oriented internal processes to reduce transaction costs and increase customer satisfaction. This presence is frequently realized through providing self-service operations for employees, business partners, and customers…

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Are You Reorganizing Your VSAM Files Too Often?

After reviewing VSAM usage for many years, one of the biggest unrecognized problems I’ve seen was (and still is) directly related to batch window processing and online performance. In fact, the issue is large enough that several vendors have created VSAM add-on enhancement products, but unfortunately, they may actually make this situation worse. What is this horrible problem, you ask? The Swami, knowing the answer even before you asked it, wrote this article to give you the answer!…

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With the ever-increasing ability to provide online applications direct access to multiple stores of data, many companies find that they can improve customer service by providing service representatives with direct access to all available customer data online. The convenience of being able to access such services has proven popular with an ever-growing number of people, but this popularity has been shadowed by a concern over lack of security and privacy in the online world. So far, customers are expressing this concern primarily through their elected representatives, resulting in numerous state and federal privacy bills. It would appear to be only a matter of time, however, before privacy concerns start to affect customers’ decisions, and the ability to provide a privacy capability becomes a marketing feature…

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Workload Manager:  Revisiting Goals Over Time

The MVS Workload Manager (WLM) was first introduced with MVS/ESA 5.1. Since then, it has evolved to become one of the most integral parts of the z/OS operating system and to IBM’s overall strategy for self-managing, self-healing, and self-tuning systems. I remember when WLM was first introduced, many performance analysts were concerned their jobs would be eliminated or that they would lose control over system performance. Well, I can confidently say that neither has happened.

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Goodbye GRAVY TRAIN

What a difference 42 years makes! As a new “data processor” in 1961, I would snicker when reading Forbes’ periodic recitals of the “fallen” industries of the early 20th century. Fallen may be too strong a word; some of these industries were still active, but their days of glory and high growth were past – often long past. I never thought that I would witness the time when the glory days of the software industry would pass. However, at the start of the 21st century, as I look around at the industry, particularly the mainframe segment, it’s obvious that the gravy train has derailed…

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DB2 YDB Server for z/OS Version 8

This and the previous article (z/Journal, June/July 2003) highlight the many different areas where DB2 is being enhanced to leverage the new z/OS capabilities and provide new features that take databases to the next level. This article examines the Very Large Database (VLDB) enhancements along with migration considerations for getting to DB2 UDB Server for z/OS Version 8. We also examine other enhancements, such as the new index type, Data Partition Secondary Indexes (DPSIs), statistic improvements, and new DSNZPARMS that provide numerous dynamic adjustment capabilities.

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