“Hey Bob – your job totally crashed and burned last night – I got called 8pm just as Thor 2 was starting – had to drive into the office to fix it. You owe me big time !!!!”

Colleagues of mine who work in IT departments often brag of being able to earn extra dollars by being on call-out. Nervously carrying their company’s aged mobile phone/pager in one hand and a lucky rabbit foot in the other they play the after hours gamble that neither will vibrate in their hand summoning attention. The memory of evenings past punctuated by nervous phone calls or rushed drives home or office bound to fix and patch systems before tomorrow’s customers and managers wake up to be respectively greeted by blank screens and angry vice presidents.

Chatting to a customer recently while showing him z/OS Explorer Atlas one scenario that piqued his attention is where we’re were able to create a persistent URL that opens a web browser editor over a data set member’s contents. With a single click we showed him how the member is rendered, can be edited and saved, and in the case of JCL submitted to JES.

Every night the customer site runs code rules validation on its developers’ program changes. Code that violates the rules results in an e-mail to the guilty developer asking for fixes before the module can be promoted to production, Currently the e-mail to each developer includes names of their programs that failed validation from which they have to launch PCOMM and ISPF to navigate to and fix the file, or for those wanting a rich edit experience firing up IBM Developer for z Systems and twistieing to the PDS. For an e-mail with lots of file links the context switching back and forth and re-navigating to each file in turn was slowing his developers down. The loss of productivity and misspent energy in this “as-is” scenario makes it ripe for a better “to-be”. What the customer saw as a possibility was instead to include a URL link to edit the rogue member directly in the e-mail contents.

“to-be” became a smiling “here-now”.

The URL to open a PDS member can be embedded in e-mails, help tickets, chat messages, or in the case of Bob’s system programmer a welcome text message.

“Hey Bob – your job borked – the movie is about to start so I’m heading in – can you look at Acme.com:7443/HLQ.JCL/MEMBER to use the correct libraries and resubmit it ? My turn to bring coffee and donuts on Monday. Tks”.

Reach for the popcorn, gulp on the soda, and let’s see if Thor can do as good a job at being a universe saving superhero !

To learn more about z/OS Explorer Atlas tech preview 2 that includes the editor (as well as some other neat stuff) check out our video

For more background on the Atlas project in general there’s a video we created at the end of our tech preview one that shows the goals of the project and also our Swagger defined REST APIs that back all of our UI code (and you’re able to use in your scenarios – more on that in another blog post)

Our home page is https://developer.ibm.com/mainframe/products/atlas/. We’d love as much feedback as well for what we’re doing well, what we’re doing badly, and most importantly what we’re missing.  At the bottom of our homepage is a feedback section that goes straight to our development team so please use it to get in touch.

We want to make our APIs and web UI add a new dimension for how you work with z/OS on a day to day basis today, tomorrow, and beyond !

3 comments on"Popcorn, soda and z/OS Explorer Aqua make movie nights complete"

  1. Erik Dijkerman November 22, 2017

    Hi Joe
    Looks great :).
    Bringing stuff that works quite hand in TSO to the Explorer.

  2. JoeWinchester November 22, 2017

    Hi Erik,
    We’re very excited about Atlas. Let us now if you run into any issues downloading and installing it, or there are any other topics we should blog about (APIs, install) as well as whether you’d like to get involved with the project more seeing stuff we’re working on before we release it so you (and your colleagues) can influence its direction.
    Tks, Joe

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