Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” If Mr. Franklin had lived long enough, he surely would have amended his quote to include the phrase “IMS changes.” Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Web front-ends have breathed new life into IMS. With new uses for IMS, change is inevitable.
Because IT success is measurable against corporate objectives, it’s imperative you quickly and efficiently respond to changes. Implementing IMS system definition changes tends to be difficult and error-prone. However, with the proper tools, you can meet your business’s needs.
Consider an environment where:
• DBAs can make database changes
• Application staff can request transaction and program changes
• Systems programmers can make network changes.
How do you ensure changes are quickly implemented, without errors, and without affecting other areas, while keeping business goals in mind?
Change Doesn’t Have to Be Dangerous
Your IT department contributes to the success of your overall organization. Business priorities take precedence over routine maintenance and change management. To ensure changes have a positive effect on the overall environment, secure your IMS objects, change requests, and associated commands at a granular level so you can limit what’s changed and by whom. Dynamically adding or deleting an object presents a different set of challenges than replacing an existing object. Use of an automated tool can help ensure that objects are in the desired state before and after the changes are completed. Manually moving the objects into an appropriate state is time-consuming and can lengthen the outage associated with a change.
When applications are intertwined, changes must be coordinated with all applications involved, which is especially difficult when change requests come in groups. Sometimes, all the changes must be completed as a single unit of work. You can save time, money, and frustration by doing a “dry-run” for groups of changes across one or more IMS images before committing the changes, and finding errors before you implement them in your production environment.