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The File Manager Service Provider for z/OS Connect now supports REST API access to IMS and DB2 data on Z.
For IMS, the service provider allows API callers to read through IMS databases, position within a database, and read one or multiple segments at a time. Databases and segments can be filtered and mapped by File Manager views.
For DB2, the service provider allows API callers to read through DB2 tables and views, position within a result table, and read one or multiple rows at a time. The service also supports SQL WHERE clauses. Tables and views can be filtered and mapped by File Manager templates.
As with base z/OS files such as MVS datasets, USS files, CICS VSAM, TS and TD queues, and MQ queues, the service provider can return IMS and DB2 data in a generic or specific JSON format, that is, generic across data sources, or specifically mapping segment or column data in accordance with a File Manager template or view.
Full details are documented in the latest version of the File Manager for z/OS User’s Guide (v14.1.6).
Watch the video at this link for detail on how to use the service provider to access IMS data, and a demonstration of the new IMS capabilities.
Watch the video at this link for detail on how to use the service provider to access DB2 data, and a demonstration of the new DB2 capabilities.
Bret Dixon
Senior Software Engineer
​File Manager for z Systems
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We are delighted to announce another HCL branded software product for IBM® mainframe customers around the world! HCL Z Data Tools (ZDT) and ZDT APIs.
ZDT is a set of tools that help you to manipulate data stored on z/OS® systems interactively and in batch processing. ZDT is designed to deal with a large production data efficiently while protecting integrity and privacy. With ZDT, access to mainframe data is made simple by its intuitive and consistent user interface across a wide range of data stores available on the platform. ZDT advantages include the following:
-          Comprehensive support for a wide range of data store types: Data Sets (VSAM, QSAM,               PDS, PDSE, AIM, OAM), DB2, IMS, WebSphere MQ, CICS and Hierarchical File System                   under UNIX System Services
-          Accessing and manipulating mainframe data without programming.
-          Manipulation interactively and in batch as well as RESTful APIs in conjunction with IBM®             z/OS® Connect Enterprise Edition.
-          Usage of templates to represent logical view of mainframe binary data. Templates are                 typically created from COPYBOOKs and enable to represent most complex data                             structures  found on the platform.
-          Knowledge retention of mainframe data by usage of the ZDT template repository.
-          Powerful set of productivity improvement features to assist ISPF users.
In addition, we are announcing an add-on product called HCL ZDT APIs. This add-on product provides Java™ and Swift application programming interfaces (APIs) to manipulate mainframe data. APIs leverage ZDT’s template infrastructure to understand logical layout of mainframe binary data. Mainframe binary data is converted into JSON format and returned to API consumers in Java or Swift for easier interpretation and manipulation by developers with no mainframe background.

Usage scenario of ZDT APIs includes but not limited to the following scenarios:
-          Replacement of legacy applications for batch processing of data in Java.
-          Integration of traditional mainframe applications with new applications.
-          Interpretation of mainframe operational data for analytics (eg. SMF and RMF data).
-          Manipulation of mainframe data in virtual storage.

Sounds exciting? These are key functionality of ZDT and ZDT APIs to enable manipulation of mainframe data today and the future. Just HCL Z Asset Optimizer, those products are available with very flexible licensing terms:
-          Monthly charge and you can cancel anytime
-          Sub-capacity eligible: just buy the license for LPARs where you need the software
-          Price based on LPAR capacity

With above, you can purchase just the right amount of ZDT and/or ZDT APIs license required for the duration you need.

​Useful links:
Introduction to HCL Z Data Tools and APIs             
Webinar: Introducing HCL Z Data Tools   Register Here                                                          

Kenichi Yoshimura
Senior Product Manager
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We are delighted to announce first HCL branded software product for IBM® mainframe customers around the world! HCL Z Asset Optimizer (ZAO).
ZAO can assist in discovering accurate inventory of software assets on your mainframe systems and report on their actual usages. Why does it matter?
-          ZAO can recognize more than 12,000 mainframe software products and features from                 IBM and ISVs.
-          ZAO reports can be used to prepare for software license audit compliance check.
-          ZAO can report on usage trend to identify frequency of software product usage to                        optimize your mainframe operational cost.
-          ZAO can help you identify End-of-Support software products and help you plan for                       future upgrades.
-          ZAO can report on inventory and usage of in-house programs. This feature can be useful             to ensure the right programs are deployed or retired from your mainframe systems.
-          ZAO can report on the compiler level used to create your in-house programs. This                          feature  is useful in planning your compiler upgrade project.

Sounds exciting? These are some functions ZAO can offer in managing mainframe software assets better and optimize your mainframe systems. ZAO can offer much more!
We would also like to mention HCL ZAO licensing is very flexible:
-          Monthly charge and you can cancel anytime
-          Sub-capacity eligible: just buy the license for LPARs where you need the software
-          Price based on LPAR capacity

With above, you can purchase just the right amount of ZAO license required for the duration you need.

Last but not least, we can offer assistance in getting the most out of ZAO by sending our expert consultant to help. Our SME consultant will assist in installation and configuration of the software to ensure you are up and running as quickly as possible. After minimum of 3-months usage, our SME consultant will help you tailor and interpret ZAO reports. 
 Useful links:
-          Introduction to HCL Z Asset Optimizer
-          Introduction to HCL Z Asset Assessment service

Kenichi Yoshimura
Senior Product Manager
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Come and learn about some of the latest enhancements in the IBM Fault Analyzer for z/OS product in our upcoming webinar!
  • History File auto space management:  We will review the existing automatic space management features for history file data sets plus give you details of recent enhancements.
  • IBM CICS®  Asynchronous reporting:  We will show a demonstration of Fault Analyzer’s new static & dynamic reporting of CICS® asynchronous task related information.
  • Java analysis improvements:  We will review how Java information is captured by Fault Analyzer, plus talk about recent and planned improvements in this area.

We would also like to share with you an overview of our Client Advocacy Program, meant to give you additional connection and insight to the product team, and ensure you are getting the most value from your investment in this tool.

​Register now!
Speakers: Kasturi Mohan, Adrian Simcock, Ben Horwood and Cindy Krauss of IBM and HCL

Note: Fault Analyzer is a trademark of IBM Corporation in at least one jurisdiction and is used               under license.
Note: CICS is a trademark of IBM Corporation in at least one jurisdiction.
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When logging on to the Analyzer to view software inventory and usage information, users must supply suitable credentials.  Most commonly, the Analyzer is configured to use the system’s security product (such as RACF) for authentication, and in this case a valid user ID and password is the minimum information that must be supplied to effect the logon.
However, the traditional 8-character password is no longer viewed as being sufficiently secure by many organisations, and so security products like RACF have added support for password phrases which can be up to 100 characters long.  However, the Analyzer would only transmit the first 8 characters of the password character string to the system when requesting user authentication by the security product.
 
PTF UA96765 has now introduced password phrase support to the TADz Analyzer.  Whether the input is a password or a password phrase is governed purely by its length.  Password input which does not exceed 8 characters in length is processed as a classic password, whereas input with a length in the 9- to 100-character range is processed as a password phrase.  Because phrases can consist of mixed-case letters, numbers and special characters including blanks, passwords will no longer be folded to upper case.  As a result, the Analyzer setting AUTH_UPPERCASE=Y now has no effect.
Gregory Price
Senior Technical Specialist
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The TADz SCRT Import utility reads data created by the IBM Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool in the form of CSV files and imports it into the TADz Repository database. The Analyzer can then be used to query the database to examine trends in the SCRT data and to compare it with corresponding usage data.
 
With APAR OA55788 TADz has enhanced the SCRT Import utility to support Version 25 Release 1 of the IBM Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool. This version of the tool has Country Multiplex Pricing support which produces a report containing sections for each machine in a multiplex environment, and which TADz has not supported until this APAR. The SCRT Import utility now recognizes and interprets this report, importing data for all machines into the TADz Repository databases. Country Multiplex Pricing support provides additional information that TADz expects to be able to take advantage of in the future.
 
Robert E Hart
Senior Technical Architect
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One of our key focus areas is modernization of mainframe assets. Specifically, we are focussing on enabling RESTful API access to mainframe data and green screen applications. Take a look at our overview presentation, “A new approach for modernizing and reusing mainframe assets”, and let us know your thoughts.

As part of this effort, we are taking advantage of the Continuous Delivery approach to incrementally deliver new functionality to you each quarter. Specifically, for File Manager for z/OS® product, we delivered two sets of significant enhancements in 1st half of this year. Please look at videos which provides a nice overview of its capabilities
​(https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2tETTrnR4wuMOkKyW_VqINanb2OipCyv). 

Along with the product enhancements to enable generic and specific data access, the base product is enhanced to provide better overall experience (usage via APIs as well as usage of File Manager product interactively and batch). Specifically, we added support for better handling complex REDEFINE structures. You can read about this in this blog.

​These enhancements are driven by your requirements. Looking ahead in the future, we have a plan to deliver additional enhancements over next several quarters. We will continue to report our progress here, however we would equally appreciate your feedback. Talk to us and let’s continue our Innovation journey. 

Kenichi Yoshimura
Senior product Manager
Kenichi Yoshimura is Senior Product Manager at HCL Technologies. Responsible for driving strategy for HCL Z Innovation Offerings (ZIO) and IBM Z Systems Software products under IP partnership arrangement between HCL and IBM.
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•      Based on Client Server Architecture, HOD Provides security-rich web-to-host terminal
        emulation.
•      Provides connectivity to TN3270E, TN5250, VT Systems, IBM CICS® applications and FTP           servers.

•      Available in different flavors to suit client needs
           •      HACL APIs (Rich set of Java APIs for clients to write their own solution), EHLLAPI                          (connect native applications to HOD)
           •      Programmable HOD, Eclipse plugin, HOD Container (Lotus Expeditor framework),                          Standalone HOD.
•      It is a component of IBM Host Access Client Package and IBM Host Integration Solution.

Support for disparate user sets
Accommodate all your users with security-rich, browser-based host access in both intranet and internet environments.

Custom web applications
Get web-based application programming support for creating custom web applications.

Faster implementations
Use with advanced administrative and desktop utilities to implement more quickly and increase user productivity.

Platform independence
Get independent connectivity to host systems by running the emulator client on all IBM Host On-Demand client-supported platforms including web browsers.

Real time license tracking
Get real-time tracking of the number of licenses in use with the IBM Host Integration License Manager.

​Increased ROI
Get greater return on your existing investments by using extensive platform support and integration capabilities.
​Host On Demand is a trademark of IBM Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions, and are used under license.
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The File Manager Service Provider for z/OS Connect works in conjunction with IBM’s z/OS Connect to facilitate REST API access to z data.

The latest version of the File Manager Service Provider for z/OS Connect has been released, with new function that allows you to build your own z/OS Connect SAR files that prescribe REST API responses that match your data.
The File Manager Service Provider for z/OS Connect now supports two methods for accessing z data via REST APIs:

  • Generic
    File Manager provides a pre-built z/OS Connect SAR file for use with IBM’s z/OS Connect API Editor. APIs return a generic mapping of z data resources including MVS data sets, USS files, CICS (VSAM, TD, TS), and MQ queues. Using the generic method, you don’t need to create your own z/OS Connect SAR files for your APIS. The provided SAR file is a one-size-fits-all solution. Example response:​​

  • Specific
          Alternatively, customers who want API responses that map specific data resources can               now use the provided File Manager Build Toolkit plugin in conjunction with the z/OS                     Connect Build Toolkit utility (ZCONBT) to create SAR files. APIs associated with created               SAR files return a specific mapping of z data per a given File Manager template or                         copybook. Example response:
Watch the video at this link for an overview. An explanation of installation and configuration of the service provider can be found at this link.
Bret Dixon
​Senior Software Engineer
​File Manager for z Systems

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File Manager has extended its Service Provider for z/OS Connect feature to support access to mainframe data via REST APIs using two access methods: one that returns data in a generic JSON format and another that returns data in a JSON format matching a File Manager template or copybook. Supported data types include MVS data sets, USS files, CICS (VSAM, TS, TD), and MQ queues.

File Manager templates have been enhanced to support redefines criteria for COBOL REDEFINES, PL/I UNION and equivalent constructs in Assembler. Redefines criteria can be specified for a field with a redefines clause or a field that is the target of the redefines clause to facilitate a more intelligent view of data where complex redefines are specified in the copybook definitions. It is especially useful for producing JSON formatted data. The idea is to ensure we are limiting display, JSON output, compare and copy processing to the relevant fields for a given record.

File Manager has added the enhanced change command which is like the enhanced search command with the addition of a replace feature. It includes the following:
  • Multiple change commands against multiple data sets.
  • ISPF change behaviour of absorbing blanks.

​COBOL Usage National numeric support has been added for zoned and external floating point data items declared with USAGE IS NATIONAL.

John Kaputin
General Manager
HCL Technologies (Products & Platforms)
File Manager for z/OS development & support

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