With much of the Application Delivery Foundation for z Systems (ADFz) team on long overdue vacations celebrating their respective nation’s holidays this week (Canada Day and US Independence Day), I thought I’d take this time to highlight the enhanced capabilities our team recently delivered this past quarter.

But it’s July, aren’t we in a new quarter? Indeed, we are. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak at the Nordic GSE conference in Aarhus, Denmark. While there and the following week, I visited many valued clients and had lively discussion around the enhancements we have recently delivered and those we plan to deliver. After spending a few days celebrating Midsummer in Sweden (see the maypole in the picture above that is raised as part of the celebration) it was time to make the trek home and share some of the enhancements to ADFz. 

In 2Q19, our priority for ADFz was to deliver on client Request for Enhancements (RFEs). In addition to these RFEs, the ADFz team published Host Configuration Assistant for Z Development (HCA) V2.0, a free, cloud-based wizard that helps clients simplify planning and configuration of z/OS Development products. 

New in V14.1.7

  • IBM Developer for z Systems (IDz), the developer’s cockpit, provides an integrated development environment for developing, unit testing, and debugging IBM z/OS® applications. One focus area in IDz 14.1.7 was Menu Manager customer requirements. Menu Manager is an essential IDz capability that enables integration of existing utilities that your team uses (for example, REXX, CLISTs, TSO Commands, JCL, or ISPF Edit Macros) into IDz, making it easier for your team to continue using these same familiar functions. IDz 14.17 Menu Manager related enhancements include the possibility of Menu Manager actions in the Remote System Details view, a new variable named $text, to enable you to provide help text for IDz developers on the Menu Manager dialog, and other customer requested capabilities.

    Other new features in IDz 14.1.7 include easier stacking of commands in the LPEX editor, a “Create Section” Quick Fix, plus for the PL/I editor, addition of new Length and Offset columns to the Data Elements table. Finally,  Remote Systems View and the Remote Systems Detail View have been enhanced to show additional information for datasets.  Some of the enhanced information includes: Allocated directory blocks, Used directory blocks, Proportion Used, and Used Pages. 

    Please see the What’s New in IBM Developer for z Systems 14.1.7 blog to learn more. 

    To improve your debug experience, IDz 14.1.7 offers Source Entry Breakpoints, which provide the ability to set paragraph breakpoints prior to starting a debug session. Because these breakpoints are set using the original source files, they persist between debug sessions. 

    And if you use Visual Debugging, there is a new toolbar action in the Breakpoints view.   The “Link with Visual Debug View” action allows you to select a stack pattern breakpoint in the Breakpoints view, and later displays the stack pattern path in the Visual Debug view. In addition, stack pattern breakpoints that are set in one debug session are restored in subsequent debug sessions.  Note that the debug enhancements described for IDz 14.1.7 are also included in Z Open Development 1.0.2

  • IBM  Debug for z Systems, is powered by IBM’s next generation debug technology, the IBM z/OS Debugger. With V14.1.7 of all products that include the z/OS Debugger (IBM Debug for z Systems, IBM Developer for z Systems, and IBM Developer for z Systems Enterprise Edition) you can now use z/OS Debugger Utilities option 4.6 to set a different RESLIB for a specific IMS subsystem. For more information, see Scenario F: Enabling the Transaction Isolation Facility. In addition, the remote Playback function can now record and playback variable values. For more information, see Using the Playback toolbar.
  • IBM Developer for z Systems Enterprise Edition (IDzEE) is a superset of IDz and Debug for z Systems with value add capabilities like Dependency Based Build (DBB). DBB provides the facilities to build traditional z/OS applications, with a  modern scripting-language-based capability to automate delivery into a open DevOps pipeline. DBB 1.0.5 offers new samples:

    • Scripts to convert JCL to Groovy scripts using the DBB API to assist in your migration from any Library Manager to any modern SCM
    • New Application Build Scripts sample for z/OS (zAppBuild) with configuration files, based on client deployment experiences.
    • An ISPF Git Client is provided as a sample to allow those who wish to continue to use ISPF or for quick edits without bringing up Eclipse.

    Please see this blog to learn more about DBB 1.0.5. And if you want to learn how DBB can facilitate migration from a legacy library to a modern SCM, please register for this webinar: Migration Made Easy- host SCLM to Git on Z

  • File Manager (FM) provides a comprehensive set of tools for efficiently manipulating z/OS data. FM 14.1.7 adds support for ISPF extended statistics in PDS/PDSE directories, enhancing the FM DB2 component to allow generation of a copybook describing the exported data, File Manager PassTicket support for FM/CICS logon, and other capabilities. Please see the File Manager service information for more information. 
  • Fault Analyzer (FA) simplifies the process of diagnosing z/OS application abends. FA V14.1.7 offers a simplified way to work with imported fault entries that are exported using the IDIROBOT exec and a new Snapdata option that enables a copy of the ENV data area to be stored when calling the program SNAP interface (IDISNAP). Please see the Fault Analyzer change summary for more details. 
  • Application Performance Analyzer (APA) helps you identify z/OS application performance and response time problems, and assists in reducing resource consumption. APA V14.1.7 offers serviceability enhancements and fixes described here

New in HCA

With V2.0, Host Configuration Assistant for IBM Application Delivery Foundation for z Systems has been renamed to Host Configuration Assistant for Z Development. This is because it has been improved to aid in configuration of the z/OS components of IBM Z Open Development,  IBM Z Open Unit Test, and DBB, in addition the ADFz products that it already supports. 

The most significant enhancements in HCA include: the ability to choose whether to start by picking the products for configuration, or the host components (sometimes shared across products), and optimizing the component selection page so that it highlights the relations between products and components. Because of these additions, configuration z/OS development tools becomes more intuitive than ever.  Please read this blog to learn more about HCA 2.0. 

As always, please contact me via this blog or LinkedIn if you have questions or comments on ADFz. In addition, please take the opportunity to provide end user feedback in the z/OS Explorer Aqua clients when prompted. If you have a concern or area of dissatisfaction, you will be prompted for your email; please provide it so that we can follow up to get to a better understanding of your concerns. And finally, let us know what additional features you need in ADFz by submitting feature requests in the IBM RFE Community

As the third quarter of 2019 begins, I hope that you too have enjoyed or plan to enjoy some vacation time with family and friends to come back rested for fall- or spring if you live Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa! 

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