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Index of Articles from 2005

January 2005

FEATURES

Web Services and the Mainframe
By Jody Hunt

There’s no question that in many situations mainframe assets can and should have a role in new IT initiatives. What may not be immediately apparent is the most effective way to make this happen. There are myriad technologies and approaches that can be employed to expose mainframe applications as services that can be employed to expose mainframe applications as services that can be used as integral parts of new business application and process. But which is the right one for your situation? This article will explore the various categories of technologies that are available today to help make the most of your mainframe.

ARTICLES

Fixed Content Information Continues to Drive the Need for Innovative Storage Strategies - Finding a Home for Legislated Permenant Data
By James O'Connor

Fixed content is information that is in a final format; data that does not, and moreover for compliance reasons, cannot change over time. Customer financial statements, check images and transaction journals are typical examples of fixed content data, and are quickly becoming the fastest growing problem for mainframe data storage. Because mainframe applications generate new fixed content every nanosecond, companies are facing the challenge of finding a proven open systems storage solution that can help their mainframe users better handle the growing volume of fixed content at a low cost.

SOAs Should be HIP
By Leonard Fenster

In an ideal world, enterprise architects could leverage existing functionality without concern for the operating system on which that functionality resides. The reality, however, is that technical design decisions are often affected by whether business functionality exists on a mainframe, mid-range, or Windows server system. One goal of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is to be loosely coupled; that is, to allow the consumer of the service to be completely agnostic as to the implementation behind the service and the system on which that service resides.

Dynamic File Allocation From COBOL Programs
By Steve Comstock

In a classic COBOL program you tell the compiler you are working with a file by coding a select statement that supplies a DDname; in your run time JCL you supply a DD statement with that name that points to the actual file to work with. But there are time you may not know the actual file name, even when the job is submitted. Perhaps the data set name is obtained from another input file the program reads first, or perhaps it is passed from a calling routine. This article describes the steps you can use to wait until just before open to get the data set name.

Understanding WLM: Managing Objectives
By Gerhard Adam

This article will explore some details regarding the decision making process employed by WLM to manage goals. The general operation of WLM is based on the idea that work arriving in the system will be classified into a service class that has specific goals set. The goals may be represented as response time objectives, velocity (a throughput indicator), or discretionary. WLM evaluates actual performance against the installation objectives to calculate a performance index to determine how well the work is doing. If work is missing its intended goals, then WLM will attempt to correct the problem based on the importance level assigned to the service class.

An Overview of XML
By Jeff Hanson

XML is becoming the lingua franca of enterprise systems development. This articles introduces the main concepts and aspects of XML including a brief history of XML. The reader should come away with a good idea of how XML fits in the scope of enterprise systems development and data communication. This article is a good starting place for understanding XML, and briefly discusses XML syntax, XML structure, XML namespaces, XML schemas, and more.

Take Care of Your Tape Back Up System - Poor maintenance can lead to nasy surprises
By Doug Owens

Tape backup is still the most frequently used backup method for business users because of its cost-effectiveness per megabyte of data, despite the increasing popularity of recordable CDs and DVDs. This article gives tips for maintaining your tape backup system to avoid being unpleasantly surprised.

Certification Spotlight - VCP: Vmware Certified Professional
By Shawn Conaway

This article explains the benefits of becoming Vmware certified.

Automating Web Services Development in the Mainframe Environment
By Joe Ganem

Now more than ever, enterprises that rely on mainframe infrastructure are finding themselves in a bind. Organizations increasingly find the need to deliver services and communicate with other networks, enterprises, and people over the Internet. Yet their mainframes lack the agility necessary to interoperate with systems and applications over the World Wide Web. To meet these challenges and others, enterprises must change the way they do business, and one powerful solution is integrating applications across a common next-generation Web services platform.

COLUMNS

WORKING SMARTER

Spyware
By Jim Moore

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

My Point of View
By Sam Golob

CAREER CORNER

The Ten Most Common Career Mistakes
By Kathy Bornheimer

SHAREWARE SPOTLIGHT

Mozilla Firefox 1.0: Reinstall Fun in Your Browsing
By Jim Justen

TECHNO PIONEERS

Ada, Countess of Lovelace, Hacker
By Jim Rue

TOP


February 2005

FEATURES

Mainframe Software Configuration Management on a Postage Stamp
By Roy Murphy

What is software configuration management on the mainframe? What, in reality, do configuration management tools on the mainframe do, how do they do it, and what benefits accrue from using them? These are the questions that this article addresses, and answers for those with little experience in this area and also experienced users of such tools who want to know why their mainframe configuration tools look and act the way they do today. The theory of software configuration management embraces all platforms and code types, but is so generic that it can’t tell you what to expect real products to be capable of or actually do. If you move to a company with a different mainframe software configuration management tool, or come from an off-mainframe background, it can be hard to come to terms with. If you know what most of these tools have in common in terms o purpose and capabilities, you can meet any of them with confidence. This article will try to give a good grounding in the practical matter of what mainframe software configuration means in the real world, what it applies to and how it is operated on the mainframe.

ARTICLES

Automated Legacy Execution
By Bill Sweeney

This article explores Automated Legacy Execution, or ALEX, and contains descriptions of the following:

  • Coding and functionality of the IEAVMXIT program, and it's capturing and processing of messages generated by MVS; includes the use of an ISPF/REXX application to add messages to be processed.
  • The use of the TSO CONSOLE command/facility and the description of the RACF and Top Secret definitions to support the CONSOLE command and the use of the Started Task for handling the REXX processing.
  • Use of REXX to process messages captured by IEAVMXIT and passed to a Started Task.
  • A separate automation utility used by many companies in the D.C. Metropolitan area that automates the startup of tasks at IPL, and the shutdown of systems. Basically can query the system, issue waits and then issue MVS commands or WTOs.
  • The use of assembler REXX functions to perform the following, to include: issue and reply to WTORs, issue highlighted and non-highlighted WTOs, process of PDS files, listing of DASD and tape UCBs, and listing of enqueues.
  • Migration from off the shelf vendor application to this AutoOps system (do not want to mention name of the vendor software).

Technical Support Best Practices for Websphere-z/OS V5 Installation and Support
By Mary Shacklett

Interviews with IBM and others to secure regarding what are considered to be model customer sites for best practices, and also profiles of sites about what specific issues they faced and how they were resolved, recommendations for others, etc. Best Practices from IBM and others.

Approaches to Cloning DB2 Subsystems
By Dr. Roland Hartmann-Haase

There are various situations where a copy of an entire DB2 subsystem is needed. Test environments with DB2 as data server for ERP systems from SAP/PeopleSoft/Siebel, or the like need a duplicate of the whole DB2 system, a so called “clone,” a homogenous system copy. Furthermore a clone provides a perfect basis for tests and release upgrades, for example from Version 7 to Version 8. Rapid preparation of a parallel inquiry system could be another application of a clone. The article will explain a fast and efficient way to produce a DB2 clone.

REXX for CICS, Part 1: Features and Installation
By Dennis Beck

On the IBM mainframes running OS/390, REXX is the SAA suggested all purpose scripting language. REXX offers a large range of features including rapid prototyping, easy and interactive debugging, and incremental development. REXX, unlike COBOL for example, was developed for the convenience of the programmer rather than the language developer, and has features that greatly simplify most programming tasks. This article, the first in a two part series, will go through the features of REXX and also the installation instructions.

TCP/IP Monitoring
By Trevor Eddolls

Problems that may occur with monitoring and tools that are available for monitoring including:

  • Commands – Netstat (or onestat under USS), PING, USS, and TraceRoute
  • Commands MVS/VTAM
  • SMF records
  • SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)
  • Traces
  • TCP/IP monitors such as SDS VIP and Williams Data Systems’ IMPLEX, etc.

Utility Computing: Fulfilling the Linux Promise
By Ranajit Nevatia

Tech Reports: MacKinney Systems’ SimpList
By Don Leahy

A review of Mackinney Systems’ product SimpList

Preventing XML Problems
By Adam Kolawa

In spite of its many benefits, Extensible Markup Language (XML) still has a variety of problems that can either slow down an integration project, or worse, cause the integration project to collapse. Although XML is meant to be a flexible, easy to use, and fully portable solution for Web applications and integration projects, it is not the cure all that many believe it to be. Preventing the use of poorly written XML is more complicated than most developers realize. The key to successfully using XML in an integration project is to first understand the inefficiencies that may cause poorly written XML, then apply a rule-based system that establishes policies that can be adhered to. This article will outline the many drawbacks of XML, and will address how a rule-based system can prevent the use of poorly written XML in integration projects.

COLUMNS

WORKING SMARTER

A Basic Point-and-Shoot Routine for ISPF
By Jim Moore

TECHNICAL REPORTS

Is Linux on the Desktop Finally Here? Novell Linux Desktop 9.0
By Jim Justen

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

Emulation and MVS
By Sam Golob

TECHNO PIONEERS

Sir Tim Berners-Lee—Technical Royalty
By Jim Rue

TOP


March 2005

FEATURES

Virtualization: An Overnight Success Story Forty Years in the Making
By Steve Carl

Virtualization is another overnight success story forty years in the making. It’s the newest gotta-have technology to stay competitive in the market, and if you don’t have an in-house virtualization solution, you have a partnership with someone who has the technology. Virtualization is not really a fad though, it is a compelling concept that is also very subtle. You cannot really “get” the power of virtualization until you have tried it, and then ways to use it start occurring that the designer never thought of or intended.

ARTICLES

The Return of High Quality Systems as Competitive Advantage
By Lockwood Lyon

IT infrastructure support personnel must deal with an ever increasing number of low quality systems. This article will determine if there is a way to “inject” quality into legacy systems and ensure that quality is not sacrificed due to deadlines or tight budgets.

What’s New with Storage?
By Greg Schulz

This article takes a look at storage and storage networking related technologies, practices, and trends that will have an impact on mainframe, UNIX, and Windows environments. The current state of storage and storage networking are reviewed along with recent enhancements along with where these technologies can be applied and used. Also covered is a brief look at evolving technology, trends, and storage strategies.

Access Path to Performance
By Tom Moulder

This article is presented as a new approach to understanding the performance of DB2 UDB for z/OS. At the root of all performance issues is the access path chosen by DB2 to produce the requested result set. This path, chosen by the optimizer after careful examination of all the alternatives, will determine the resources required for the query. This article will preset an overview to the process, the variables that are considered the DB2 optimizer during access path selection, the effect of changes to these variables and a means to determine many of these variables used the optimizer. Armed with this knowledge, users can make an enlightened effort to provide DB2 with the most accurate information and thus increase the likelihood of the chosen access path using significantly reduced resources to produce the required result set.

Mainframe Security Issues
By Dinesh Dattani

This article covers some of the issues facing mainframe security staff. Among the included topics are:

  • Lack of training. The staff is so busy doing the day to day work of security administration that there is not time for training.
  • Too much pressure to do normal administration work and not enough time spent looking at serious exposures and structural improvements.
  • Talk of outsourcing and downsizing of mainframes causes morale problems. Quite often, not enough attention is paid to mainframe issues because of newer, non-mainframe based technologies vying for limited budgets.
  • Organizational changes occur, such as merging of departments, business units getting bought and sold, but the security structure is not changed to reflect these changes. Since fixing is not an immediate issue, these inaccuracies tend to accumulate within the security structure until the administration work itself gets cumbersome and difficult.
  • Not much attention is paid to reporting and monitoring of security violations, again because of shortage of staff.

Workload Manager and the Service Coefficients
By Gerhard Adam

The use of service coefficients goes back to the inception of the first SRM implementation and was intended to provide a mechanism for “weighting” system resources so that programs could be managed by their consumption of these resources. The concept of service coefficients is based on the idea that the primary resources available to a program would be assigned “service units” which would be charged to a job as it runs. There are service units for TCB time (CPU coefficient), SRB (SRB coefficient), I/O (I/O coefficient), and main storage (MSO coefficient). As service is accumulated, the service units consumed would be multiplied by the associated service coefficient to effectively “weight” (or charge more) for any resource that the installation deemed as being the most constrained.

REXX for CICS: Part Two
By Dennis Beck

This article explains how to use the REXX for CICS development system, and provide examples of many of the features described in the last article. It concludes with a full example of a utility that sends a message to all acquired terminals, skipping those in a VSAM file and an RFS (REXX File System) exception list.

The Life of O’Reilly
By Jim Rue

O’Reilly Media has earned their place in the hearts of technologists by offering practical guides for programming since 1984. Starting his Santa Rosa, CA firm as a technical writing consulting group in 1978, Tim O’Reilly began buying reprint rights for some of the UNIX documents his firm was writing. He quickly found a more interesting market niche in the printing of guidebooks for programmers. In the intervening years since, buyers of O’Reilly product seem to have acquired a degree of brand loyalty not experienced by many other technical publishers. With over 300 titles for sale currently, O’Reilly covers topics ranging from MS Access to XPath with a host of Java, Oracle and Linux titles along the way.

Citrix Certification
By Shawn Conaway

The benefits and utility of a Citrix Certification.

COLUMNS

SHAREWARE SPOTLIGHT

An Early Look at Microsoft’s New Anti-Spyware Application Beta
By Jim Justen

WORKING SMARTER

A WHOHAS Dialog Using QUERYENQ
By Jim Moore

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

Creativity
By Sam Golob

TECHNO PIONEERS

Herman Hollerith: Father of the IBM Card
By Jim Rue

CAREER CORNER

Help, I’m Hitting the Wall! Do I Stay in the Technical Side of IT?
By Kathy Bornheimer

TOP


April 2005

FEATURES

Mainframe Skills Crisis – Fact or Fiction?
By Bill Elder

Once again, baby boomers are the center of another debate about a crisis in the making. Many mainframe IT workers are rapidly approaching retirement age. Many companies and government agencies are worried that there will not be enough mainframe workers to replace those who retire. Is there really a crisis? This article covers both sides of the debate and provides resources to help you either keep your mainframes running and staffed or help you review options for migrating over to new technologies.

ARTICLES

zSeries Architecture Continues Its Evolution
By Mary Shacklett

With the zSeries’ nearly 60 year heritage, one may wonder where new platform developments will end. But the zSeries continues to deliver new value to enterprises and users every year. IBM is committed to changes in zSeries hardware and software architecture that will allow both legacy application evolution and support for new software development platforms

CICS TS Latest Enhancements and New Features That You Need To Know About
By Elena Nanos

Many shops today are still running CICS TS V1.3 and wondering why they should move to CICS TS V2.2 or V2.3 or the latest V3.1 that went GA in March. This article provides a high level overview of new features offered in CICS TS V2.2, V2.3 and V3.3, gives a background of Java evolution under CICS, reviews support for EJB, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and shows the direction IBM is taking with future CICS development.

Keys To Successfully Protecting Your Business Critical Information
By Glinda Cummings

Most modern security tools – firewalls, intrusion detection and virus protection – are all designed to keep people and programs out of the network, not to protect from insiders. Because the database is the primary repository for intellectual property within most organizations and employees need access to this information to perform their jobs, the greater challenge is to enforce proper use of the database. This article describes specific approaches to information security for DB2 mainframes.

Going For the Gold
By Stanley Dahl

Websphere, IBM’s middleware for creating and integrating corporate applications, today is responsible for approximately one billion dollars in revenues and is a key component of IBM’s software strategy. This articled covers what Host on Demand is, including its roots in Websphere, the Websphere market, and the Internet market, as well as the strong features and advantages of Host on Demand.

What’s ITIL? A Question Every IT Professional Should Ask
By Elizabeth Ferrarini

Established in 1989 by the United Kingdom’s former Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) to improve its IT organization, ITIL consists of an inter-related set of basic practices for lowering the cost while improving the quality of IT services delivered to users. To achieve these goals, the IT department must work collaboratively with users to create new business opportunities for the organization.

COLUMNS

WORKING SMARTER

The State of the Mainframe in 2005
By Jim Moore

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

MVS System Levels
By Sam Golob

TECHNICAL REPORTS

Winternals Admin Pak is an All-In-One Lifesaver: Winternals Admin Pak 5.0
By Jim Justen

TECHNO PIONEERS

Nolan Bushnell: The Father of Video Games
By Jim Rue

CAREER CORNER

Can a Profession Reduce the Loss of Jobs Due to Offshore Outsourcing?
By Kathy Bornheimer

TOP


May 2005

FEATURES

Cascaded FICON: A Brief Tutorial
By Steve Guendert and Tedd Cesiano

Since its introduction in 1999, FICON has seen quite an evolution. Cascaded FICON allows the end user to have a FICON channel, or FICON CTC connect an IBM zSeries server or peripheral device such as disk, tape library, or printer via two FICON directors or switches between the connected devices and/or servers. This allows for tremendous flexibility and fabric cost savings in the FICON architecture, better utilization of storage resources, and higher data availability in the enterprise. It also allows for more robust disaster recovery and business continuity. This article discusses what cascaded FICON is, how it works, and what goes into the planning, design and implementation of a cascaded FICON environment.

ARTICLES

Reducing Your Batch Processing Window
By Mary Shacklett

It isn’t broken, and it runs faithfully every night. Documentation from its many years of flawless execution is so scant, and return codes are so esoteric, that no one on staff wants to touch the job code. Frankly, unless the mainframe batch processing window is threatening to run so long that it bleeds into the business day, upper management may not care. So why commit manpower and resources to reducing your mainframe batch processing window?

Organizations are starting to realize that mainframe flexibility is a competitive factor, and that the batch side of processing has been neglected for too long. These organizations understand the competitive advantage of a flexible mainframe infrastructure that includes automation of processes, what people do, and the processes and policies that technology can enable.

Mainframe Health Check Services for z/OS and RACF
By Mark Carter

During the last few years, with all the talk about security in the computer systems environment, a new breed of services has come to fruition, Health Check/ Vulnerability studies. These studies have become a necessity in environments that want a “doctor’s checkup” to see how their systems stack up. From systems security to operating systems settings, the study is designed to flesh out any openings that might present a way for an internal or external breach of security.

Specializing Applications
By Len Erlikh and Michael Oara

Maintenance activities can be classified into various categories, depending on different criteria used. For example, we may refer to correcting software defects, improving performance, enhancing functionality or improving code maintainability. This article addresses another category, which we’ll call specialization. The activities in this category have a certain commonality, both in the issues addressed and in the applied technology and methodology. Simply put, specialization is a maintenance activity that aims to simplify an application by excluding a set of business cases that are obsolete. The simplification has a number of benefits, including increased performance, higher maintainability and portability to other platforms.

REXX for CICS: Part Three
By Dennis Beck

The third article in this series continues the explanation of how to use REXX for CICS development system.

Event-Driven Job Management for Business Applications
By Joseph Offenberg

Since the early days of computing, the job scheduling service has been the heartbeat of the datacenter. Yet even today, most batch processing works on a linear schedule. Applications are connected and data is exchanged at fixed intervals or on a calendar schedule. Event driven job management allows for unpredictable and asynchronous events to be correlated. These correlations can become job dependencies allowing for job execution based on a combination of system, application, and even business events.

Betrayed By Microsoft!?!
By Jim Rue

This article explores the benefits and drawbacks of Mozilla’s new email handler, Thunderbird, and compares its features with other email handlers on the market.

How to Create an HTA
By John Papproth

This article is a quick introduction on how to create an HTA.

COLUMNS

WORKING SMARTER

Modern ISPF Miscellany
By Jim Moore

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

Accumulating Knowledge In Assembler
By Sam Golob

TECHNICAL REPORTS

True Confessions
By Jim Justen

TECHNO PIONEERS

Sky Dayton Knocking Out the Hits
By Jim Rue

CAREER CORNER

For Hiring Managers: Does Your Organization Help or Hinder Your Recruitment Efforts?
By Kathy Bornheimer

TOP


June 2005

FEATURES

Good for Life: Rules for Writing Quality, Maintainable Assembler Code
By David Cole and Peg Ralph

This article recommends some rules for writing clear, maintainable Assembler Code, thereby reducing cost and extending the life of a product. Making comprehensible, well thought out choices when coding results in a more reliable and maintainable product. Writing good code requires a programmer to develop and consistently apply a personal set of rules during the programming process.

Techniques that will assist programmers in producing clear, maintainable code include thorough documentation, comprehensive use of symbols, and the use of sanity checks at assembly time and execution time. Consistent application of these rules combined with an overall clarity of thought will extend the life, and usefulness, of any product written in Assembler.

ARTICLES

SyncSort, FilePort and Oracle Warehouse Builder: Building an Oracle Data Warehouse with Data from a Legacy Mainframe System
By Craig Abramson, Susan Garretson Friedman, Nidhi Khaitan

This article focuses on the Oracle database that provides the infrastructure and components that allow the IT professional and Database Administrator to consolidate multiple data entry systems that have been scattered across the enterprise. This will enable the Administrator to more easily answer questions the company has about its profitability, products and customers.

How to – Share a WebSphere Application Server V6 Installation among Many Linux for zSeries Systems: Part One
By Stephen Wehr

This article describes a process that enables you to share one installation of WebSphere Application Server among many Linux guests running under z/VM. As a platform for Linux, one of the strengths of zSeries is the ability to centrally manage many Linux images. But as the number of Linux images grows, some of the typical problems of large server farms emerge. Software installed on the Linux images must be serviced or updated, and there is not way to do this other than servicing each image as if it were a standalone server. zSeries has the ability to share file systems as VM minidisks, so there ought to be a way to install WebSphere once and use that installation for many other Linux images. This article is intended for z/VM system programmers or anyone who creates and maintains Linux guest systems using z/VM.

FEP Replacement and SNA/IP Migration
By Bill Thompson

SNA once prevailed as the accepted standard architecture for enterprise networks. Since then, many organizations have also been implementing TCP/IP-based networks, initially to take advantage of certain technical benefits offered by TCP/IP and because the open nature of TCP/IP provided a wide set of multi-vendor solutions. Now, with the unprecedented success of the Internet and corporate Intranets, organizations are aggressively planning and implementing new business solutions that all center on a TCP/IP-based infrastructure.

Mainframe Data Centers and the Lost Art of Enjoying Your Work
By Roy Murphy

This article demonstrates that while the mainframe may not be the newest kid on the block, it’s still a fun, challenging, and exciting career.

Certification Corner: Project Management Certifications
By Shawn Conaway

This article describes the benefits of a Project Management Professional certification.

The Art and Science of Writing and Publishing a Book
By Greg Schulz

Getting a book published involves much more than simply writing a manuscript and assuming it will become a best seller. This article shares the author’s experiences in book publishing to help the reader who is considering writing and publishing a book.

COLUMNS

WORKING SMARTER

The REGION JCL Parameter
By Jim Moore

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

Figuring Stuff Out
By Sam Golob

TECHNICAL REPORTS

A Technical Reports Book Review: The GigaLaw by Douglas Isenberg
By Jim Justen

TECHNO PIONEERS

Ray Kurzweil - Futurist
By Jim Rue

CAREER CORNER

Additional Networking Tips
By Kathy Bornheimer

TOP


July 2005

FEATURES

Connecting WebSphere to CICS TS Using Preferred J2EE Connector—CICS Transaction
Gateway

By Elena Nanos

Many shops today are running their core Applications under CICS and use CICS Transaction Gateway (CTG) as a connector with WebSphere Application Server. CTG is the preferred J2EE connector for CICS TS, and in conjunction with IBM WebSphere Application Server, provides a high performing, secure, scalable and tightly integrated access method in CICS. CTG has a proven high performance and scalability, with minimum overhead and usually does not require any changes to existing CICS Applications. This article will give you highlights of CTG V5.1 and V6, focusing on WebSphere connectivity to CICS, and will give you overview of the enhancements in V6.

ARTICLES

zSeries Technical Support Strategies for Contemporary Application Development
By Mary E. Shacklett

Applications in corporate IT are written in Java, XML and other languages on desktop- or server-based platforms. Yet ultimately, these applications are only as useful as their integration capability with core enterprise data, and that data is housed on zSeries mainframes. Unfortunately, contemporary applications development has often exacerbated the gap between today’s corporate software developers and those who are charged with optimizing and maintaining zSeries technical resources. How can the two groups work together more productively, getting the most our of their zSeries resources? This article will provide guidance for getting the most out of this relationship.

How-To—Share a WebSphere Application Server V6 Installation Among Many Linux for
zSeries Systems: Part Two

By Stephen Wehr

Part two of this article describes a process that enables you to share one installation of WebSphere Application Server among many Linux guests running under z/VM. As a platform for Linux, one of the strengths of zSeries is the ability to centrally manage many Linux images. But as the number of Linux images grows, some of the typical problems of large server farms emerge. Software installed on the Linux images must be serviced or updated, and there is not way to do this other than servicing each image as if it were a standalone server. zSeries has the ability to share file systems as VM minidisks, so there ought to be a way to install WebSphere once and use that installation for many other Linux images. This article is intended for z/VM system programmers or anyone who creates and maintains Linux guest systems using z/VM.

A Crash Course in Job Schedulers for the Enterprise
By Elizabeth M. Ferrarini

Since 2001 in every industry, IT has come under intense pressure to make organizations perform more efficiently while still contributing to the bottom line. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in financial services, where batch job scheduling has become the critical component to IT success. This article will cover how job schedulers can help organizations increase organization and efficiency.

Introducing JumpList
By Joe Caughman

JumpList is an object manager that provides great flexibility for the management of multiple data sets, members of those data sets, and how the members are utilized. This article will explain how JumpList works, and how it can help you to better organize your workflow.

Mainframe Security Matters—Inside RACF-L
By Dinesh Dattani

This article discusses RACF-L, a discussion list for RACF users. It covers the content of the discussion list, and how to become a member

How to Provide for Emergency Power to the Data Center
By Elizabeth M. Ferrarini

Electricity to a data center and all systems and networks it supports is never more precious or scarce than after a disaster. Lights are out, telephones are disabled, and business comes to a halt. A good backup system is essential, and this article discusses how to provide for emergency power to the data center.

COLUMNS

WORKING SMARTER

Returning Storage Limits in LE COBOL
By Jim Moore

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

MVS Is Its History
By Sam Golob

TECHNO PIONEERS

Thinking Differently With Grace Hopper
By Jim Rue

SHAREWARE SPOTLIGHT

Something for Summer
By Jim Justen

CAREER CORNER

Productive Telephone Interviews: The Simple Things Can Make or Break It
By Kathy Bornheimer

TOP


August 2005

FEATURES

Identity Theft and the Renewed Focus on Authentication
By Jonathan G. Gossels

This article addresses the problem of identity theft, and asks whether authentication, a simple username-password or username-PIN combination, is the most secure and cost effective solution available. The article also presents the findings of an FDIC report on unauthorized access to financial institution accounts and how the financial industry and its regulators can mitigate these risks.

Safeguarding your Identity
From our partners at Liberty Mutual Insurance

Tips for safeguarding your identity from fraud.

ARTICLES

System Protection From the Inside Out
By Richard Williams

System administrators worldwide are introducing Linux systems in growing numbers within the enterprise. In many cases, Linux offers cost-effective computing for research and development, as well as business critical applications services. However, every Linux administrator has faced security vulnerabilities in Linux, and each deals with these “hot-spots” using best practice solutions. Outward bound security is an integral part of an enterprise security plan, but we know that the majority of data loss, and the most expensive loss per incident, occurs inside the enterprise. This article will focus on how to protect your system from the inside out.

Closing the Window on Mainframe Security
By Chris Novak

In an age of cost reduction and cost efficiency when IT managers are required to look into how their existing infrastructures can meet their expansion needs, often the answer is to add more functions onto the mainframe. For decades, organizations relied on the mainframe to run critical business applications. However, before long, technology and user demands led to an unmanageable propagation of applications running on distinct platforms. Not surprisingly, the unique architectures of these platforms eventually created an environment that proved near impossible to manage, driving today’s evolution toward an open, standards-based architecture.

With years of data, including personal and private information, stored on mainframe systems, a challenging byproduct of this open infrastructure has occurred. One need only take a cursory look at the headlines to understand that there are numerous vulnerabilities that can threaten mainframe repositories and the business-critical information they store. An attack on a mainframe system can prove devastating to a business not only in recovery time and cost, but also as it impacts customer loyalty and brand reputation – potential civil and criminal liabilities loom as well.

What ‘Qualitative’ Questions Should Be Asked When Selecting the Best Anti-Spyware Solution for Your Organization
By Ed English

Some anti-spyware providers boast that they can eliminate almost 100,000 spyware traces, signatures, fingerprints or definitions. At first mention, this sounds impressive, right? If you’re a member of an IT department, don’t you feel your company is better protected knowing that you have an anti-spyware defense system that combats those legions of threats? After all, the larger the number, the more secure you feel. A big number – say 100,000 threats – is just what C-level executives like to see in those high-level quarterly reports. Executives, even product reviewers and IT analysts, naturally, may think bigger is better.

But there is one big problem with that big number: What are the anti-spyware vendors counting as a threat? This article will cover the questions you should ask to make sure you get the best anti-spyware solution for your company.

The Challenges of Database Security
By Sourabh Satisch

Virtually every corporation today maintains some type of database that contains highly critical business information—from customer contact or account data to order tracking information and human resource records. In addition, enterprises must demonstrate compliance with industry and government regulations charging businesses to ensure the security of this sensitive information.

At the same time, databases are at increased risk from both internal and external attackers who no longer simply seek notoriety but, instead, want financial rewards. By compromising the security of databases and obtaining customers’ personal data, stealing money, or blackmailing the targeted company, both internal and external attackers can jeopardize the reputation, financial standing, and customer trust of a business. This article will describe the challenges of database security, and explore possible solutions.

10 Things to Know When Selecting A Storage Security Solution
By Serge Plotkin

With data threats and security breaches at an all time high, protecting data both at rest and in flight is a major concern for organizations around the world. Government and enterprise organizations have made a rapid shift towards aggregated storage networks. The business case for storage networks is also compelling: reduced costs, increased scalability and added operational flexibility. However, as storage networks grow in size and complexity, this consolidation dramatically increases the vulnerability of data – a single breach can now compromise terabytes of information and millions of records. This article will cover the ten most important things to know when selecting a storage security solution.

Dissecting a Worm!
By John Papproth

This article looks at how worms, trojans, viruses, and spam get into your computer, and what you can do to stop them.

Enterprise Storage Counts on Linux for Data Protection
By Elizabeth M. Ferrarini

Linux is quickly securing a foothold in enterprise data centers as major vendors, such as IBM and Oracle, throw their weight behind this open source operating system.

Certification Corner: Check Point Security Administrator’s Certifications
By Keith Zielinski

From credit card theft to malicious viruses, the Internet is full of scary things on many different levels. Feeling safe and secure is a state of mind, but it doesn’t have to be when you are talking about your company’s Internet access. Certification ensures managers that their people have been given the information to best help protect their systems. This article looks at security certification options.

COLUMNS

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

How To Do Stuff Right
By Sam Golob

TECHNO PIONEERS

Technology Will Always Win
By Jim Rue

CAREER CORNER

Be on the Right Side of OffShore Outsourcing
By Kathy Bornheimer

TECHNICAL REPORTS

Productive Telephone Interviews: The Simple Things Can Make or Break It
CounterSpy Enterprise by Sunbelt Software
By Jim Justen

TOP


September 2005

FEATURES

The H-1B VISA: Is This the Answer to Staffing Problems?
By Bill Elder

Mention H1-B VISAS these days and you are likely to spark a heated debate, especially among IT workers. Many do not even want to discuss this heated topic. Some of us may be wishing for the issue to go away, but the H1-B VISA issue is a fact of life now at many work places. What we will do in this article is “pop the hood” and take a look underneath this controversial issue. They say the devil is in the details, and it’s worth exploring the detailed reasons why H1-B is both endorsed and condemned as a hiring practice.

ARTICLES

Programs in the MVS and Z/OS Environments: An Overview
By Roy Murphy

This article will provide an overview of programs in the MVS and z/OS environments. What are the elements that make up a program? How is a program generated? Where does a program get generated to? How can you control the generation of a program? What properties can a program, or the place it is generated to, have? How can you build programs that use other programs? If you are new to the MVS or z/OS platforms, or you are one or more steps removed from the development arena and would like to know more, I hope this will help you.

z/OS Development Modernization: Leverage, Extend and Maintain Your Existing z/OS Assets
By Brian Crane

In this article, we will set out to explore why traditional mainframe development techniques are causing great risk and concern for many corporations. We will then take a look at how the software industry has previously tried to help with these problems, and more importantly, why these previous attempts failed. Then we will describe a unique approach showing that modern principles can now be applied to mainframe development, helping organizations to leverage the greatest benefit from existing legacy applications with minimum risk.

Composite Applications—A Beginner’s Guide to What Products are Available
By Trevor Eddolls

Let’s suppose that your site decided that it was time they started making use of applications running on the mainframe as part of a composite application strategy. The business people have decided there would be a business benefit in making parts of those applications and some of that data available over the Web. What do you do next? This article looks at some of the choices that are available – and if nothing else, will show you where to start looking for more information.

How to Install PHP and MySQL Under Windows XP
By Larry Kahm

In a mainframe environment, both systems programmers and application developers often use SQL queries to obtain data from DB2 databases. Similarly, many of them use REXX as their primary scripting language for various projects. Because a large number of applications run on mainframes as well as mid-range systems and workstations, it is important to recognize when similar products are available and how they work. There are counterparts to these long-standing mainframe tools in the open-source community: MySQL, for database functions and PHP for server-based scripting.

While many books and articles describe how to install these open-source tools under Linux, this article shows how to install these products under Windows XP. The article includes references so that you can obtain further information about these products, along with some very simple examples. Some of the information in this article has been excerpted from the forthcoming book, “osCommerce: Bit by Bit.”

COLUMNS

WORKING SMARTER

QUERYENQ Revisited
By Jim Moore

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

Power Versus Safety
By Sam Golob

SHAREWARE SPOTLIGHT

Enter the Helix: e-fense Helix LiveCD 1.6
By Jim Justen

TECHNO PIONEERS

Steve Gibson—Assembly Language Guru
By Jim Rue

CAREER CORNER

How will the World of Work Look for the Next 10-15 years?
Excerpts from “The Futurist” Magazine May/June 2005 (Future World Society)

By Kathy Bornheimer


October 2005

FEATURES

Visual Basic Script (VBSCRIPT) - You Can Script Anything!
By John Papproth

Visual Basic Scripting is easy to learn and use. It can be used to automate tasks ranging from Windows Desktop Administration, to Microsoft Office Automation, to controlling and extracting information hosted by a 3270 emulation session for the mainframe. All you need is an ASCII text file that ends in a “.VBS” extension and a little creativity.

ARTICLES

Is Grid Computing Ready for Prime Time?
By Mary Shacklett

Since 2001, IBM and other technology leaders have been talking about the concept of “grid computing” – a means by which disparate computer resources over a widely distributed network might be optimized for best results in communications, applications, and data. The term “grid” was originally derived from the electrical power grid that serves most of us at home and at work. In this grid, resources can be rerouted on demand, and failover events in the power grid can also be mitigated through seamless rerouting. The goal has been to do the same with computing resources, with the goals of improving return on investment for enterprises in computer hardware, software, licensing, staff time, and repercussions from system outages.

This article discusses the concept of the grid, the enterprise deliverables that technology companies foresee, and possible impact of a grid direction on enterprise IT and the IBM zSeries.

The Challenge of Providing a Complete Audit Trail in Legacy Systems
By Yovel Badash

As many leading industry analysts point out, legacy systems still play a leading role in today’s IT infrastructure. These “old” mainframes, AS400’s, and other legacy machines handle well over 50 percent of the world’s business transactions.

Many companies have tried to move away from these legacy systems due to the ostensible attractiveness of new technologies and in an apparent effort to reduce cost of ownership. Some organizations have tried to gradually migrate from these platforms over the years while others tried more quickly to combine their migration efforts with the burst of Y2K initiatives in the late 1990’s. However, despite these efforts, the vast majority of the organizations have found it necessary to continue to use and invest in mainframe and related systems. Government agencies, insurance companies, banks, financial institutions, retail, and manufacturing are a few examples of organizations that typically run their mission-critical applications on these types of systems.

It is highly likely that many of the companies that currently run such legacy systems will continue making use of them for many years to come. As such, it would bode well for such companies to address and prepare for a number of challenges. This article focuses on one such hurdle in particular, that of constructing a comprehensive data audit trail that conforms to federal legislation and security standards and provides recommendations on meeting this challenge.

Securing z/OS APF-Authorized Libraries
By Dinesh Dattani

It is true that, compared to other platforms, mainframe security is robust and reliable. There are multiple levels of controls and levers at your disposal, and you have the ability, if you are so inclined, to protect your system more securely than Fort Knox. This is the main reason why you don’t hear about viruses and other such stuff showing up on mainframes.

But, and here is the catch, it is usually left up to the installations to pick and choose the security features that best suit their environment. Therefore, it is up to you, the security professional, to make sure you have implemented the right controls for your specific system

Of the many things you have to do to protect your z/OS (or MVS, OS/390) system, there is one area which requires special attention – that of securing your z/OS APF-Authorized Libraries.

Don’t You Hate It When This Happens? Data Recovery is Sometimes Unpredictable, Pricey and Necessary
By Jim Rue

This article will provide some solutions for what to do when your system crashes.

COLUMNS

SHAREWARE SPOTLIGHT

Do Your Chores!
By Jim Justen

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

The 30th Anniversary of the CBT Tape
By Sam Golob

WORKING SMARTER

TSO/E Region
By Jim Moore

TECHNO PIONEERS

Nikola Tesla — Idiosyncratic Genius
By Jim Rue

CAREER CORNER

Career Management in a Global Economy
By Kathy Bornheimer

TOP


November 2005

FEATURES

Tech Toys Review
By Shawn Conaway

A collection of hi-tech gift ideas for the holidays.

ARTICLES

zSeries-Linux Integration Holds Promise as a Growth Model in Deployment
By Mary Shacklett

This article reviews investments IBM has made in the zSeries platform that allow the zSeries to easily “reach out” to Linux, extending the industrial strength capabilities of mainframe computing at a fraction of the cost. Fresh approaches using zSeries z/VM give enterprises new abilities to realign applications, strengthen distributed networks, add server capabilities and consolidate server holdings. The goals are reduced cost to deploy, fuller resource utilization, higher reliability and uptime, and reduced demand on IT technical staff for routine operations.

The Knowledge/Experience Drain – Are You Prepared?
By Doug Berg

Back in the late 1990’s, many IT departments were wondering how to prepare for the Y2K conversion and what would be required to accomplish their task. After much agonizing over what would happen when the year 2000 came, in the grand scheme of things, it turned out to be a non-event.

Today, IT departments have a two-fold mission:
1) To keep their mission-critical legacy applications running.
2) To modernize these applications for long-term viability.
This article examines the impending retirement of baby boomers from the IT workforce, and how businesses can be prepared.

Application Development Choices
By Trevor Eddolls

Suppose you’re not tied to a particular programming language and development environment, what are your choices? This article looks at some of the answers to that question.

Asset Management: Everyone’s Focus in 2005
By Mary Shacklett

IT spending strengthened in 2004 and 2005, but not at the rate of the pre-Y2K period. That’s because tighter margins and a highly competitive global business environment are driving organizations to look for value as well as performance in their IT assets. Many organizations are taking a hard look at large mainframe platforms like the zSeries in this effort. This article discusses the upper management’s new focus on asset management, how IBM is responding with new strategic initiatives in asset management – and what corporate IT is doing about it.

Computer Forensics
By Jim Rue

This article looks at the science of computer forensics and how it affects the IT world.

Costello & Sons Improves Exchange Recovery with Mimosa
By Steve Perry

This article explores how Costello & Sons addressed its major problems of Exchange recovery and Exchange storage management.

Mission:Wireless Certification
By Keith Zielinski

COLUMNS

WORKING SMARTER

An ISPF (TSO/E) REGION Tool
By Jim Moore

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

Making Your Work Shorter With Tools
By Sam Golob

TECHNICAL REPORTS

An Updated Look at Workstation Virtualization Software: VMware workstation 4
By Jim Justen

TECHNO PIONEERS

Dan Bricklin—The Father of Spreadsheets
By Jim Rue

CAREER CORNER

Negotiating a Fair Compensation Package
By Kathy Bornheimer

TOP


December 2005

FEATURES

CICS TS 3.1 Enhancements in Exploitation of Service Oriented Architecture
By Elena Nanos

CICS celebrated its 35th anniversary last year and is considered the world’s most popular transaction monitor, with a proven track record of successfully delivering new technology. IBM continues to invest heavily in CICS development, providing new and enhanced CICS functionality to make it easier and more cost effective to develop new e-business applications, while also protecting your current investment in CICS legacy code. This year IBM delivered CICS TS V3.1, which has major enhancements in exploitation of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) to take advantage of Web services when integrating with existing legacy applications. CICS is now fully up to spec on Web services standards and can fully participate in SOA.

ARTICLES

ICSF Up and Running!
By Dan Little

ICSF (Integrated Cryptographic Service Facility) is software that ships as part of the z/OS Base element called z/OS Cryptographic Services. It works in conjunction with the cryptographic hardware on the mainframe. Programmers can call ICSF services to perform cryptographic operations ranging from generating random numbers, enciphering data, all the way through performing PIN operations for ATMs. This article presents an overview of ICSF.

High Paying Jobs from Offshore Outsourcing – An Oxymoron?
By Bill Elder

Can offshore outsourcing actually have the ability to produce high-paying jobs? At first you might say, absolutely not. Managing offshore IT projects themselves have become more complex. Companies with IT operations overseas find themselves dealing with a multitude of cultural, language, and legal issues. Managing these issues is starting to evolve as a profession in its own right. This article will explore how the IT professional can play an important role in this new outsourced world.

NaSTEC 19.1 Recap

Advance Disaster Planning—Y2K as a Model
By Jeff Furman

Tips and advice on how to plan for an IT disaster, using Y2K as a model.

More Fun with Tech Toys!
By Shawn Conaway

More holiday gift ideas.

Legislation Spotlight: NIAC
By Rachael Zimmermann

A look at how the National Infrastructure Advisory Council is preparing for the future.

COLUMNS

SECURITY MATTERS

Mainframe Security Matters: A Warning About WARN Mode
By Dinesh Dattani

WORKING SMARTER

The MEMLIMIT JCL Parameter
By Jim Moore

MVS TOOLS & TRICKS

All Beginnings Are Difficult
By Sam Golob

TECHNO PIONEERS

Al Shugart — King of Storage
By Jim Rue

SHAREWARE SPOTLIGHT

Image Conscious
By Jim Justen

CAREER CORNER

Evaluating Your Career: How Successful Have You Been; How Successful do You Want to be?
By Kathy Bornheimer

TOP