Can you tell me about the different versions of APA and z/OS compatibility?

We actually support several versions of APA, so z/OS requirements may vary. Below are the most recent results from our Software Product Compatibility Report site, which can be accessed here.

  • APA V13.1 – z/OS 1.12, 2.1, 2.2
  • APA V14.0  – z/OS 1.13, 2.1, 2.2
  • APA V14.1.1 through 14.1.7 – z/OS 2.1, 2.2, 2.3

I’d suggest bookmarking the Software Product Compatibility Report site as it can provide more than just OS requirements. You can find detailed product information on Related Software, Hypervisors, Translations, Detailed System Requirements, Hardware Requirements, and End of Service-related information. One final note, APA V13.1 and V14.0 are scheduled for End of Support (EOS) on September 30, 2019.

What does EOS mean?

End of Support (or EOS) is the last date on which IBM will deliver standard support services for a given version/release of a product. If you’d like to learn more about product lifecycles, and check another, visit this link here.

Do we offer a trial version of APA?

Currently a trial version of APA is not available. I would strongly encourage you to reach out to your sales representative (or me – details at the bottom) if this is of interest. Our team is always available for a walkthrough of the product as well. We’ll be sure to make any announcements here too. In the meantime you can trial many of our other products, including our sister problem determination tools contained in the Application Delivery Foundation for z suite (ADFz).

And if you want some great hands on training, check out our z Customer Council events here. See if there is an event nearby! In fact, over the next few months we’ve got several events focused on Mainframe tooling. There you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with our Z DevOps products – including APA.

I’ve been working a lot with VSAM files, what type of alerts/warning/recommendations can I expect to see  on the S09 panel?

If you aren’t familiar with the S09 panel, it is concerned with Measurement Analysis and can be found on page 80 of the most recent APA for z/OS User’s Guide. I’m including a link to the guide here. From that support page you’ll also be able to download all supporting documentation for APA. 

Let’s switch back to panel S09. This panel displays textual observations about certain aspects of executions of measured jobs.  These observations provide a synopsis of an area of resource usage and in some cases will suggest where performance tuning opportunities might exist. We can’t emphasize enough though, when you are analyzing these observations, they should be done in the context of how you’d expect a job to perform. For instance, high CPU consumption might be observed in a module when you’d actually expect high utilization. In many cases the statements found on S09 will display the relevant reports for further statement analysis.

Some of the statements you might observe when working with VSAM files are:  

  • CICS Task awaiting on completion of a VSAM read.
    One or more CICS tasks were observed waiting for the completion of a VSAM read operation. A string is required for each concurrent VSAM operation.
  • VSAM CA splits detected.
    CA splits were detected, the dataset(s) may require reorganization. Datasets with the following DDNAME(s) are affected:
  • VSAM CI splits detected
    CI splits were detected, the dataset(s) may require reorganization. Datasets with the following DDNAME(s) are affected:
  • VSAM SHR(4) detected.
    Use of VSAM Shareoption 4 has been detected. This will affect performance if not required. Datasets with the following DDNAME(s) are affected:

What subsystems and languages does APA support? 

APA’s role is to measure and report on how system resources are used by applications running in z/OS address spaces such as Time Sharing Option (TSO) and Batch. And in the course of its work, APA can perform analysis on subsystems such as: IBM IMS, IBM CICS, WebSphere Application Server, DB2 and DB2 stored procedures.  

Additionally, APA supports the following languages: Assembler, C/C++, COBOL, PL/I, Natural (for use with Adabas) and Java.

Is APA non-intrusive? 

This question might refer to the CPU utilization of APA when it is performing a measurement. We touched on this previously, so I’ll be brief. Because APA operates in its own virtual address space CPU utilization is typically very low.  

Consider this example, on page 67 of the APA for z/OS User’s Guide, you’ll find the S01: Measurement Profile. Scroll to the very bottom of the report, you’ll find consumption information, specifically the “Measurement SRB (Service Control Block)”. In our example you can see that CPU consumption was .35 seconds for this particular measurement. Most times when asked, its quite difficult to provide a solid number because YEMV (Your Environment Might Vary). 

I should mention, the short term CPU usage from using APA is in many ways analogous to the idea of time value of money. This is the notion that the value of a dollar today is worth more than in the future. So, the longer you continue to prolong tuning in the present, you limit your upside potential for the future. Once APA highlights where and when bottlenecks are occurring you’ll sooner be able to tune intelligently so your CPU consumption decreases while your efficiency increases.

Is it possible to filter CICS transactions by CICS User ID?

IMS yes, CICS anti-yes (aka not presently). For CICS measurements you can however specify the transaction codes and terminals for the measurement information to be recorded. It’s worth noting that selecting specific CICS transactions and terminals will significantly reduce resource consumption. Be sure to consider that in the future. 

With IMS however, when you are measuring a single MPP or IFP region, you can specify the transaction, program, and user ID. Further information on DB2 DFF address spaces, Websphere controllers, DB2 Stored Procedures, and additional IMS support can be found beginning on page 31 of the APA for z/OS User’s Guide. 

For a given DB2 statement, can I see the SQL values used?

Not the individual values (or what the SQL Statement is actually calling), but rather the variables names themselves. For instance a great deal of information can be found on the F11: SQL CPU/Service Time by Statement Report. Take a look at this statement, Statement # 816. The SQL function is that of “SELECT” but when we expand to view the SQL text we observe the following:

>SELECT NEXTLIM INTO : H FROM MRATE WHERE CURATE = : H

While this doesn’t display the exact values within the database, it would still provide the tuner valuable information, or at least provide them a place to begin their tuning.

I’m new to APA having used a competitive product for over 25 years. One thing that I’m looking for is the ability to analyze native DB2 Stored Procedures. I would also like to see DB2 getpage information for both Index and Data page activity by SQL Statement if that is possible. Something else that would be nice to have is being able to see DB2 total percentage for each statement in the F11 report. Is any of this possible with APA?

First of all, welcome back to the dark side. Secondly, to answer your questions: yes, yes, and not yet. 

Currently there are two methods for capturing Stored Procedure activity. The first one will measure the invocation of a specific stored procedure whose name is specified in the APA measurement request. Additional information can be found on page 19 of the APA for z/OS User’s Guide. The second method will capture any stored procedure activity that is invoked by a DB2 allied address space which is being measured by APA. This is specified in the primary request by selecting the CDB2 (collateral DB2) extractor. This activity is captured in separate measurements and are related back to the primary measurement as child measurements.
 
Now onto to the get page answer. This information can be found on the detail pop-up panel in various reports (F02, F11, F12). The detail panel will display when you enter the ++ line command on a specific line in the report (alternatively you can place your cursor on the line and hit the enter key).

Finally to answer your third question. The answer is not yet, but we are adding it to our list of enhancements.  Since we are on a CI/CD schedule you’ll see this sooner rather than later. In the meantime, check out some of these great resources I found for you: 

That’s all for this month. Great round of questions so please keep them coming!

For answers to all your APA questions and more, ping me (Chris Hoina – Offering Manager for APA) at:
Twitter: @chrishoina
Email: chrishoina@ibm.com

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *