The¬†focus of our latest¬†update of z/OS Explorer Atlas was to enhance the web UI to support more scenarios around working with data sets and jobs, supporting the scenario “I want to create an edit a JCL member, submit it, view output, and purge the job”.¬† This is available to download at¬† If you want more background on z/OS Explorer Atlas there’s an overview video¬†as well as a “what’s new” video that covers the¬†our latest release:¬†Tech Preview 2 – Data Sets in a browser.

Create Data Sets

For data set creation you can specify all of the parameters required such as type and block length including a drop down with a few pre-defined attribute sets for¬† for JCL, COBOL and PL/1.¬† A common way¬†to create a data set is to think¬†“I want another one like one that already !”, and for that we’ve included “Allocate Like”¬†which copies the attributes of the source data set into the new one being created.

Edit Data Set

Having created the data set you can now edit it from the pop-up menu action.  This opens an editor on the right of the tree (as shown below).  This is a simple piece of JCL that uses the program IEBGENER to copy the file WINCHJ.JCL(FROMDATA) to the file WINCHJ.JCL(TODATA).

The editor renders the content as JCL.¬† If you’d you’d rather just have plain text you can switch how it colors the contents.¬† Save updates the data set, and to ensure that changes aren’t lost checksum comparison is used to make sure no-one else changed the member while you were in-flight.

As well as editing from the navigator one thing users asked for was the scenario where they create links to file in places like help tickets or emails.

“Hey Bob – it looks like this JCL abended last night – any ideas ?”

z/OS Explorer Atlas support a full screen editor that you can launch from the a button in the editor opened from the navigator UI, or else just by entering a URL that contains the data set name.  In the screen shot below my Atlas server is running on on port 7443.   The data set member I want to get Bob to look at it WINCHJ.JCL(COPY) so the e-mail becomes:

“Hey Bob – it looks like your JCL¬† abended last night – take a look please – coffee and ice cream later if you can fix it before midday ?”

Bob can follow the URL to see the JCL with a single click.

Even though the URL takes you to the full screen editor it is always possible to switch out of full screen editor mode back into the Atlas UI to navigate to the Dataset Explorer (if you wanted to delete a dataset, create another member, …) or the Jobs view if you want to look at the JES explorer.¬† This is done with the hamburger drop down icon on the top left of the page.

Submit Job

From the Dataset explorer as well as being able to edit, create and delete data sets you’re also able to submit JCL members as jobs.¬† This is done with the¬†pop-up menu action “Submit as Job”.¬† After¬†taking the menu action¬†a snackbar shows the job name and ID that also acts as a hyperlink to¬†open the job that will switch to the Jobs explorer view.¬† You can also switch to the Jobs explorer from the hamburger menubar at any time

View Job

The jobs explorer shows a tree of jobs with a filter applied.  In the screen below the filter is me (Owner=WINCHJ) and all jobs (Prefix=*).  The job I just submitted is shown with the job name as the first tree item (PEACE) with children for the Steps and Files.   The job has abended with an S013 and is shown with an exclamation icon to show something went wrong.

Expanding the job shows the Steps and the Files.¬† Selecting one of these shows the relevant content in the right hand side of the UI, so JESYSMSG shows the job log.¬† This indicates the the file WINCH.JCL.(FROMDATA)¬† can’t be found which is causing the abend.

To fix the error we can just create the missing data set member WINCHJ.JCL(FROMDATA).

Resubmitting the JCL the Jobs explorer shows a green tick to indicate success !¬† Expanding the Steps for the program IEBGENER drills down in the SYSUT2 DD name with showing the WINCH.JCL(TODATA) member that has been created with the data “This is some data to copy” copied across correctly from WINCHJ.JCL(FROMDATA) where we entered it earlier.

As clean up it’s possible to purge jobs using the popup menu.

What about other Jobs ?

The jobs viewer shows the current filter being applied, which by default is job name * and user ID of current.  This can be modified by selecting the drop down on the filter

that allows you to change a number of attributes:

z/OS Explorer Atlas

There is more function in z/OS Explorer Atlas such as being able to view the system log, work with unix files, show real time tails of active job files, as well as a full set of swagger defined REST APIs to allow you to write your own applications to front the back end services that the Atlas UI uses.  More on the Jobs function as well as the APIs, including how they extend into IBM Fault Analyzer for z/OS and IBM File Manager for z/OS will be covered in future blog posts.

Often chatting to users when we show the UI they insist they don’t want any “secret sauce” so that whatever tricks IBM does in its UI they can do with their own UI they might roll themselves or attach another endpoint such as jenkins to do the job submission.¬† Again, we’ll show this in more blog posts as move forward with the project.

If you’d like to get involved with helping us shape the future direction of the z/OS Explorer Atlas project, join calls where we present ideas for future releases and tell us what we’re doing wrong (and possibly right as we iterate in an agile fashion) please get in touch.¬† If you’d like to download and get started we have a single .pax file that you need to get to the unix file system, run a shell script, add a proclib and you’re good to go !¬† There are links and instructions on our homepage, and if you run into troubles we’d be more than happy to join a call to help out, and/or we have a slack channel you can ask to get registered for where you can chat directly with the IBM team building z/OS Explorer atlas as well as get notified when we are going to do a playback or have a new release ready.¬† There’s a “Contact us” section at the bottom of our homepage¬†and you’re more than welcome to give feedback at the bottom of this blog.

Enjoy !


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