January 1998

IOF Release 7D Enhancements

Release 7D Availability

Release 7D of the Interactive Output Facility (IOF) program product was officially made available for general distribution on December 31, 1997. There is no additional charge to licensed customers, who can order the new release when they are ready to install it.

Licensed sites can click here to order the new release .

The July 1997 Newsletter listed many of the new features in IOF Release 7D. Several features have been added since then, and some of previously documented features have been enhanced. This newsletter provides a complete description of the major new facilities in IOF Release 7D.

New Features Summary

The major new features of 7D are summarized in the outline below. You can click on many of the items, or scroll down for a more detailed description.

Sysplex Server

Sysplex Operlog Support

Syslog Archival and Management

APPC Transaction Management

Year 2000 Support

Snap Data Enhancements

Exploiting New OS/390 Features

Additional Enhancements

Detailed Descriptions

More detailed information is included below about some of the major new features. Also check the Release 7D Online Documentation for additional information. Documentation is available in Adobe Acrobat, BookManager and HTML formats.

Sysplex Server

In a sysplex environment some information is local to specific machines and not available to every CPU in the sysplex. For example, the CPU and I/O times for a running job are normally available only within the CPU where the job is running.

Also, sysout data being written by a running job is initially stored in memory buffers before it is written to the spool. These most recent sysout records can only be browsed on the CPU where the job is running, so they are invisible from other CPUs.

Each JES2 printer is defined on some specific CPU in the sysplex, so status information about a printer is available only on the CPU where it is defined.

IOF Release 7D provides a comprehensive solution to these problems by allowing an authorized IOF user to start an IOF server session on any other CPU in the sysplex. All IOF functions are available to the user, just as though the user were logged on to the other CPU.

Of course the installation has complete control over which users are allowed to access which CPUs, and users are only allowed to do the IOF functions specifically authorized by the IOF on the server CPU.

Since IOF servers are implemented using APPC, TSO is not required on the server CPUs and IOF servers can actually be anywhere in your MVS network (not just within your sysplex).

See the IOF User Guide Chapter 21 for information about using IOF servers.

Sysplex Operlog Support

IOF Release 7D provides comprehensive support for IBM's new Operlog facility, which maintains a common system log for all systems in a sysplex.

IOF maintains a detailed index which permits very efficient scrolling and searching in the combined operlog. This index also contains an overview of significant system events in your sysplex, similar to the same facilities provided for your current syslog. IOF also maintains indices for previous operlogs so that you have the same powerful facilities for looking at old operlogs.

IOF provides facilities for capturing and archiving operlog data, so you can manage operlog in much the same way that syslog has been managed in the past.

Our early experience with these features leads us to believe that most customers will choose to continue to use the old system log for each individual system in the sysplex in parallel with the new Operlog facility. In this mode, users can easily select the log they want to see using the IOF "L" command:

"L" displays the system log for the current system.

"L sysid" displays the system log for the specified system id.

"L O" displays the combined operlog for the current day.

"L O OLD" displays a menu of available old operlogs.

"L O -1" displays yesterday's operlog".

"L O -n" displays the operlog for "n" days ago.

See the IOF Installation Guide, Section 8 for more detailed information about how to use the SLAMOPER task to index operlog.

Syslog Archival and Management

The new SLAMARCH command can archive both the system log and the operlog and manage the archived copies. Log data can be compressed using the ISPF editor pack algorithm to save archive disk space.

Enter "L ARCH" to invoke a display like the one below. Note that archived operlogs are identified with a value of $OPR in the System ID column. Archived logs can be selected for browse from this menu.

---------------------IOF Syslog Archival Selection Panel---------- Row 1 of 7
COMMAND ===>                                                 Scroll ===> PAGE

 The most recent archived syslog is sorted to the top of the screen.
 Enter the S line command to select an archived syslog data set.

Cmd---Actn--Day--Mo/Da/Year---Time-----System ID-----------End date and time---
 _          Fri  06/06/1997  00:01       $OPR              06/07/1997  00:01
 _          Fri  06/06/1997  00:01       TSI1              06/07/1997  00:01
 _          Thu  06/05/1997  00:01       $OPR              06/06/1997  00:01
 _          Thu  06/05/1997  00:01       TSI1              06/06/1997  00:01
 _          Wed  06/04/1997  00:01       $OPR              06/05/1997  00:01
 _          Wed  06/04/1997  09:06       TSI1              06/05/1997  00:01
 _          Wed  06/04/1997  00:01       TSI1              06/05/1997  08:37
******************************* Bottom of data ********************************

APPC Transaction Management

APPC transactions are scheduled and executed in a way that does not conform to the normal JES2 job naming and ownership rules. Normal displays of jobs and output groups do not show the real transaction names or owners. Running APPC transactions cannot be canceled using standard job cancel commands.

Release 7D has significant enhancements to display and manage APPC transactions. The "APPC" command displays running APPC transactions or APPC transaction output, showing the real transaction name and owner. Both held and non-held APPC output can be easily identified, browsed and managed.

Year 2000 Support

Release 7D completely supports the year 2000 transition. All displays of year have been expanded to four characters. See our Year 2000 Support page for detailed information about these changes. See the October 1997 Newsletter for tips on "Using IOF 7D for Year 2000 Testing". Report questions or problems related to Y2K promptly to:

Snap Data Set Enhancements

The IOF "SNAP" command is used to make copies of sysout data to either a disk data set or to a sysout data set spun from the user's TSO session. The "SD" command is used to establish a disk target data set and the "SS" command is used to establish a sysout target data set.

Default SD Attributes

In prior releases, default SD data set attributes were specified by the IOF installer. The "P" command on the IOF Option Menu now has a new option that lets each user save their own set of SD attributes, including data set name, DCB characteristics, and SMS DATACLAS, STORCLAS and MGMTCLAS.

PACK Option

The PACK option allows you to compress snapped data using the ISPF edit/browse pack data format. Packing saves target disk space, and packed data can easily be unpacked by ISPF browse or edit. PACK can also be specified as a default SD attribute.

New Output Descriptors

JES2 now supports a large number of sysout output descriptors. Release 7D can assign any JES2 output descriptor to a sysout target data set.

Snap Header

It is often useful to write header information to the beginning of a snap target data set, especially when the output is to be handled by an automated process such as a microfiche writer or terminal server. The "SNAPTEXT" command allows you to write text characters including carriage control to a snap target data set.

The "SNAPHDR" command explodes a set of text characters into block letters and writes the blocked output to the snap target data set. For example,

adds the following text to the snap target data set.

PPPP     A    Y   Y  RRRR    OOO   L      L
P   P   A A   Y   Y  R   R  O   O  L      L
P   P  A   A   Y Y   R   R  O   O  L      L
PPPP   AAAAA    Y    RRRR   O   O  L      L
P      A   A    Y    R R    O   O  L      L
P      A   A    Y    R  R   O   O  L      L
P      A   A    Y    R   R   OOO   LLLLL  LLLLL

See the IOF Release 7DUser Guide Chapter 16 for detailed information about SNAPTEXT and SNAPHDR.

Exploiting New OS/390 Features

65K Job Numbers

Release 7D completely supports the maximum job number of 65,535 now allowed by JES2.

Highest Return Code

Beginning with OS/390 Release 2.4, IOF automatically displays the highest return code for an output job on the Job List Menu and Output Group Display:

Prior to OS/390 2.4 you can continue to use the "RC" command on the Job List Menu and Output Group Display to display the highest return or abend code for each job in the list.

IP Destinations

IOF 7D fully supports the new OS/390 IP destinations. You can assign IP destinations using the PRINT and SS commands, and you can modify IP destinations for output groups and held data sets. The new IP destination control parameters are also supported (RETAINF, RETAINS, PRTQUEUE, PRTOPTNS, PRTERROR and RETRYT).

The Job List Menu, Job Summary Panel and Output Group Display show only the first 18 characters of the destination field, so you can't see or overtype a full IP destination on these panels. However, the "M" (modify) line command now displays the destination field on two lines so there is room to display and overtype a full 124 character IP destination.

Additional Enhancements

There are many more enhancements included in Release 7D, a few of which are described below.

Customizing Displays

Users now can customize their own panels with the CUT, PASTE and ARRANGE commands. Panel changes are saved in the user's profile. In the simplest case, the user enters "CUT" and points the cursor to a field to be moved. Entering "PASTE" with the cursor pointed to the desired field destination relocates the field to the new position. See the IOF User Guide Chapter 6, "Customizing IOF Panels" section for detailed information about CUT, PASTE and ARRANGE.

Multiple Access Spool (MAS) Panel

The new MAS panel displays status information about each member of the JES2 Multiple Access Spool Complex. Also, global information such as spool usage, the number of free jobs (JQEs), and the number of free JOEs is displayed.

--------------------------- IOF JES2 System Display ----------( 3 )------------
COMMAND ===>                                                SCROLL ===> CURSOR
TSI1         27    2000    1374    3000    1876
_    1 TSI1          ACTIVE          1     3.92      800      805     120
_    2 TSI2          DRAINED         2                          0
_    3 TSI3          DRAINED         3                          0

Edit Enhancements

The IOF edit facility allows you to start an ISPF edit session using sysout data from a job. This facility has been enhanced to make it faster and easier to use. Also, when editing a job, the job name and job number are now displayed on the title line at the top of the screen. When editing sysout data sets, the ddname, step and procstep names are displayed.

Offloading a List of Jobs

The IOF Job Archival (JAR) facility allows you to automate the process of using the JES2 offloader to archive selected output jobs, providing a full-screen menu for accessing the archived jobs.

Before Release 7D, the offoad process was completely a batch (background) operation. You specified the criteria for the jobs to be offloaded as control statements to the batch job that performed the offloads. This method of operation works very well for periodic scheduled offloads but is not as useful in panic situations, where in some cases you need to find some large output jobs to offload but you want to make sure that you don't offload anything critical to your business success. For Release 7D you can use the selection, SORT, and EXCLUDE facilities of the IOF Job List to create a list of jobs to be offloaded. Entering the "OFFLOAD" command will then cause the jobs on the current IOF Job List to be scheduled for offload, providing a full screen menu where you can specify the target offload data set and directory.

Triangle Systems, Inc. PO Box 12752, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Email IOFTech@Triangle-Systems.Com

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