Tag Archives: share

Swapbar

While at SHARE, I picked up another new feature available in ISPF in z/OS 1.10 … The SWAPBAR command. This command will build a line at the bottom of your ISPF screen showing all of your split screens. It’s a little like SWAP LIST, except the screens are always available without having to enter that command or hit a PF key to pull up that pop-up window. The screen names on the swapbar are “point-and-shoot” – so you can move your cursor to one of them and hit enter, and boom – you go directly to that screen.

Hint: To best utilize this feature, make sure your 3270 emulator has a mouse button set to “move cursor and enter”. My emulator has the left double-click on the mouse set to do that, so all I have to do to switch to a particular screen is point my mouse at the name of it on my swapbar and double-click.

SHARE 112 Review

There were plenty of great sessions at SHARE in Austin last week. I focused primarily on CICS sessions, and from Steve Ware‘s and Kathy Tyrrell’s Project Opening and Product Update through the Q-Box session featuring all of IBM’s CICS representatives, there was a lot of information to absorb. As speculated, there was quite a bit revealed about the upcoming CICS/TS 4.1 release. In case you did not attend SHARE in Austin but are considering attending in Denver, I’ll review some of the things that I thought made SHARE worth the trip. I can’t possibly give details on all of the sessions that I attended, but I’ll mention some of the highlights to give a flavor of what SHARE’s about.

John Tilling gave a CICS/TS 4.1 Technical Overview. In it, he revealed some details on event processing support, ATOM support, and that CICS Explorer, the GUI tool for defining resources, will be part of the CICS/TS 4.1. Where the beta version that was made available for CICS/TS 3.1 and 3.2 was read-0nly and required CPSM, CICS Explorer in 4.1 will be able to update and will not require CPSM. Matthew Webster gave an excellent demo of CICS Explorer in a later session.

I try to keep up with the latest trends in IT (I was involved in a project to serve information from CICS via web services before IBM started providing support for it), but I was behind some of the Web 2.0 technologies, such as REST, AJAX, JSON, etc. Dennis Weiand gave a really good presentation that explained a lot of these terms in easy-to-understand language, and talked about about how PHP can be used in CICS.

If you haven’t seen Ivan Gelb‘s CICS Performance Management and Best Practices session, I would highly recommend it. In fact, since Ivan keeps it current, I would recommend it even if you have seen it before. I saw some things I want to review to make sure we are meeting best practices in our shop.

I also try to catch some non-CICS sessions while at SHARE. I thought John Eells’ New Facilities and Features Beyond 1.10 had a lot of good information. z/OS 1.11 will be GA in September, and this session gave some insight about DS8000 support, extended format sequential files, performance improvements, and much more. z/OS 1.10 is the last to support the old LDAP server, so if you are still running it, it’s time to start converting to the new one.

Liam Doherty and Peter Van Dyke from IBM’s ISPF development facility in Perth gave quite a few sessions. We are lucky they are able to take the time to come this distance to make these presentations. While most speakers did not have handouts, Liam and Peter gave out CD’s with all the vital info from their presentations. SHARE is going “green” and not providing speakers the facilities to make copies of their handouts, so be sure to be ready to take lots of notes while you are there if you get to attend SHARE in Denver. A DVD with the proceedings will be sent in 6-8 weeks, but that’s time to forget a lot of the details if you don’t take good notes!

There is far more information available at SHARE than I have time to hit upon in a quick blog post. There are many sessions on z/Linux, COBOL, Assembler, JES, TCP/IP, VM, personal development – I can’t even begin to list all of the categories of sessions. If you have any chance at being able to attend SHARE in Denver in August, I would highly recommend that you visit the SHARE web site and start making plans.

IT Energy Concerns

SHARE opened today with a keynote presentation by Miles O’Brien, former CNN technology reporter. Miles took some good-natured jabs at CNN’s decision to disband its technology department and continue to focus on non-issues such as Britney Spear’s soap opera life. He was genuinely fun to listen to.

Miles admitted to being a history major, depending on asking the right questions of the right people in his Emmy-winning days as a technology reporter. His topic in the keynote speech was “Green Computing: The Good, The Bad and the Future.” True to his statement about depending on the opinions of experts, he played clips from several big names in the IT and energy industry. He told of Google’s off-shore data center plans, of Microsoft’s Siberian data center (which obviously would need little energy spent in cooling), and LS9’s creating biofuel from e. coli.

Considering his audience today (vast majority making their living working in mainframe environments), I was more than surprised that NONE of the experts he consulted suggested consolidating the ever-growing multitude of servers onto many fewer mainframe machines. He hinted at something along those lines in jest (admittedly “playing to the home crowd”), but did not seriously suggest it or anything similar. Seems like that would be something we could do now, while we are waiting for offshore and Siberian data centers to prove themselves worthy, or for the world to switch from fossil fuels to e. coli vomit. I guess Miles was too busy talking to the server guys to consider asking IBM or just about anyone else in the mainframe industry. You’d think that, considering who was sponsoring and attending the conference at which he was speaking, that might have come to mind as something more than a joke.

Still, it was an entertaining and thought-provoking speech. Just too bad Miles missed the one solution that would have made everyone in attendence leave thinking, “This guy gets it.”