The IBM z/OS Provisioning Toolkit 1.0 enables z/OS development environments to be self-service provisioned and deprovisioned by application developers in minutes, without requiring any z/OS specific administration skills. System programmers can automate the provisioning process while retaining overall control using IBM z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) workflows. The download, which is fully supported and available to existing clients of IBM z/OS V2.1 or later at no additional charge, includes workflows for provisioning a CICS region with workflows for provisioning an MQ queue manager available separately with the MQ product install.
Customising the supplied workflows
Once the download is installed the system programmer can can edit a simple properties file to configure the supplied z/OSMF workflows to local requirements like naming standards, security, and 3rd party products such as monitors and debuggers. It is possible to customize the automatic provisioning process to create middleware environments that match those previously created by hand. In this way the systems programmer stays in control of the environments that are subsequently self-serviced provisioned by developers while dramatically reducing the burden of managing those environments.
Granting access to developers
Next the systems programmer loads the customised workflows into z/OSMF. IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS enables access to be granted to specific users or groups using a template. When the template is associated with a particular tenant, representing a group of users, specific limits can be set on the maximum number of environments that can be provisioned and the maximum for each user. This enables the system programmer to control the resources consumed by the development environments.
zospt command line utility to provision an environment
A developer with access to the template can self-service provision an environment to run their application using the
zospt command line utility, without direct interaction with the systems programmer. They use the
zospt build command to build an image of their application using a
zosptfile script which names the template to be used. This base image can be extended to add more configuration for a runtime such as Liberty or a specific application.
Next they use the
zospt run command to create a container, automatically provisioning the necessary runtime such as a fully configured CICS region with a JVM server or an MQ queue manager. Once the provisioning process is complete, the developer is provided with all the information they need to access and manage the environment, such as the name of the container, the APPLID, and port numbers.
Using the new environment
The developer can then connect to the new environment and test their application. Examples are provided for developing and testing traditional CICS, CICS Liberty and embedded z/OS Connect EE applications. They are free stop and start the environment then remove it when no longer required. Any environment can be easily and quickly reprovisioned by reissuing the zospt run command.
Please visit the IBM z/OS Provisioning Toolkit product page for more information about how to enable controlled self-service provisioning of z/OS development environments. For more details on how to provision a CICS region please see the blog post Provisioning a CICS development environment with the IBM z/OS Provisioning Toolkit. To find out to provision an MQ Queue Manager please see the blog post Provisioning a MQ development environment with the IBM z/OS Provisioning Toolkit.