Operating Systems

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a consolidated listing of all z/VSE products, similar to the list IBM makes available of open and closed APARs for CICS Transaction Server 1.1.1 for z/VSE? Having this information for z/VSE and other products would be a tremendous asset. I personally think this is an excellent idea, has merit, and should be considered. I would carry it one step further to say the list should include all z/VSE products, both IBM and aftermarket.

Yes, I’m aware you can search the APAR databases of products and compile and maintain a list, and that you can repeat the search when needed and update the contents. Some of us already do this, updating the contents on a regular basis.

However, it appears this sort of list would be more accurate, effective, and efficient if it was compiled one or more times daily using an automated process rather than by hand. 

While there might be some objections, I’m not sure they would override the value of having this type of list available. Additionally, it would replace some of the existing documentation that’s maintained by hand. A perfect example is the current PTF list in the installation buckets.

The only objection I might hear is, “But everyone will know how many problems we have.”
Yes, but they can readily find out that information by doing some searches. With the quality of the products today being so good, I really don’t expect anyone to know or care. Having accurate, fast access to this type of information is way more important than a concern about the number of problems.

Not to get on my soapbox, but yes, we all like products with few problems, but we also like products from vendors that support their products and quickly repair issues found. It’s the combination of buggy products and no fixes (or unknown fixes) that cause users to abandon products.

What do you z/VSE users think? Email me at pclark@cprsystems.com or start a discussion thread on VSE-L.

News From Boeblingen and Hursley

IBM recommends that users of z/VSE 4.3 and 5.1 review, order, and install the PTF associated with APAR numbers z/VSE 4.3 DY47403 and z/VSE 5.1 DY47407 as soon as possible or before going into production. This will help you avoid significant VSAM performance issues.

The APAR is now marked Hiper, but wasn’t originally. Because it’s now labeled Hiper, the PTF will be included on the next service-level refresh. Additionally, the z/VSE Service and Development team is aware of the impact of the issue and is committed to getting the information and the PTF to z/VSE users.

The original APAR was opened to fix SVC 50 being called for a VSAM “illogical condition.” The first issue was VSAM not always being called correctly for logical record access and DL/I CI-level access in CICS.

The second issue is poor performance on compressed files, which could affect CICS and batch.
Many users encountering this will perceive this as a z/VSE, CICS, and/or VSAM poor performance issue.

This APAR has been the source of some significant discussions concerning impact, territory, and responsibility. I would like to remind everyone that we’re all on the same team, trying to accomplish the same task as efficiently and effectively as possible. Thanks to everyone who was involved and worked toward the common goal of resolving the issue. Also, my apologies to anyone whose turf or toes were violated or infringed upon; that was never the intent.

Thanks for reading this column; see you all in the next issue.