Operating Systems

Since 2001, many traditional user conferences have experienced a downturn in attendance. A few have been so seriously impacted that the event, and often the sponsoring organization, have ceased to exist.

Some conference/education/user organizations are trying to understand and address the decline  in user attendance seen in the last 11 years. Because failing to address and resolve the issues  affecting attendance places the organization in an untenable position.

One of the more apparent reasons for the drop in user attendance is the poor business economic climate. While that may easily and simplistically explain the last four-year decline, it doesn’t offer any real insight into the seven years preceding, 2001 to 2007. Nor does it adequately describe 2008 to now. 

Everyone seems to understand there are a host of important issues that are the cause and must be addressed. Unfortunately, there are no easy or simple solutions. Nor is everyone in agreement as to how to prioritize the known issues, much less the unknown issues.

There’s a movement afoot to define and prioritize the problems, develop action plans, and implement the solutions. As a user, we need your input. It’s important that you participate, as your input will be helpful in defining and prioritizing the issues and developing meaningful solutions and action items. I hope each of you will participate in the process, and take the time to answer, candidly and accurately, the questions asked.

You have an opportunity to make a difference for the organizations you care about as well as others, since this information on the issues, solutions, and actions will be made available to any and all organizations for their use as they see fit.

If this works, everyone benefits; if this fails, we’ve lost our expended effort, but we’ve tried to make a difference and we’ve done the right thing.

Thanks for reading; I hope you will become part of the solution.

News From z/VSE Development

New z/VSE 5.1 features were announced April 3, 2012. A major functional enhancement to CICS TS is CICS Explorer planned for delivery June 15. CICS Explorer is a new system management framework for CICS Transaction Server (TS). The CICS Explorer client on a workstation connects to a CICS TS partition and can monitor CICS resources, such as terminals, transactions, programs, and files.

Exploitation of the IBM zEnterprise technology will be provided by the Linux Fast Path (LFP) function of z/VSE. LFP allows execution of a TCP/IP application without a local TCP/IP stack on z/VSE. The application will use the TCP/IP stack of Linux on System z to communicate to the network. Both z/VSE and Linux on System z need to execute on the same zEnterprise server connected via HiperSockets. The LFP is also functional in a z/VM environment.

A new z/VSE database connector is planned. It will connect to any non-z/VSE database that offers  Java Data Base Connectivity (JDBC). z/VSE provides a database call-level interface for z/VSE applications written in Assembler, COBOL, PL/1, C, or REXX. The database call-level interface connects to a server that runs on a Java platform, which accesses the database.

After June, you will see even more new functionality for z/VSE 5.1. The first enhancements will address 64-bit virtual applications. z/VSE 5.1 plans to provide 64-bit virtual I/O capabilities by allowing I/O buffers to allocate in 64-bit storage, above 2GB (above the bar). This support will be available for applications using the EXCP macro and ECKD disks.

In addition, IPv6/VSE will be enhanced to support IPv4 and IPv6 communication and applications as well as support for Secure Socket Layer (SSL) transmission of data to and from z/VSE.

See you all in the next issue.