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Last week I discussed how to obtain BMC Enhanced HOLDDATA, how to Receive this data into your SMP/E environment and how to run and analyze the Exception SYSMOD report. Running this report on a regular basis will help you to avoid known problems and unnecessary outages in your environment by helping you to identify missing critical maintenance and the possible impact if this is not applied (see Part 2).

 

BMC Fix Categories (FIXCAT)

BMC Enhanced HOLDDATA also includes another useful feature called FIXCAT that provides the capability to identify maintenance that you do not currently have applied based on specific fix categories. BMC Fix Categories are provided in the form of SMP/E FIXCAT HOLDDATA statements which have a common construct to those used by IBM and the other ISVs. Further information on IBM Fix Category Values and Descriptions can be found here.

 

A Fix category might be used to support:

  • A particular hardware device
  • New release of software / operating system
  • Provide a particular software function

 

What Fix Categories are available?

BMC added support for FIXCAT categories in the Enhanced HOLDDATA in May 2018 (Technical Bulletin), the current list of available BMC FIXCAT categories can be found here.

 

The FIXCAT categories are useful when you want to check if you are missing any compatibility or interoperability maintenance. For example, questions that we often receive in the Customer Success Organization via Support cases may include:

 

  • What maintenance do I need to apply to my BMC products in order to.........
    • exploit the capabilities of the IBM z15 server?
    • be able to run on (Tolerate) the IBM z15 server?
    • exploit the capabilities of z/OS 2.4?
    • allow them to run with z/OS V2R4?
    • allow them to run with CICS V5R5 or CICS V5R6?
    • implement the 2005 DB2 SPE etc?
    • allow them to exploit FL 504 or FL505 of DB2 v12 etc?
    • allow them to run with (tolerate) FL 504 or FL 505 of DB2 v12 etc?
    • allow them to run with IMS V15?
    • allow them to run with IBM MQ V9R0M5?

 

There are FIXCAT categories available to assist with the all above questions (plus many more), always check the FIXCAT page for the latest list of available categories.

You can also check compatibility information using the Architecture Compatibility Modeler or by raising case with BMC Support. Using the SMP/E MISSINGFIX report will complement this information as the BMC Enhanced HOLDDATA is updated daily, so downloading and receiving the latest version and running the report on a regular basis will highlight if you are missing any  maintenance. As an example, at the time of writing PTFs have recently been released for CMF Monitor version 6.2 in order to add support for the z/15 Speed Boost feature so running the MISSINGFIX report with the "BMC.Device.Server.z15-8561.Exploitation" fix category would highlight these PTFs if they have not been applied in your environment.

 

Running the SMP/E MISSINGFIX report for BMC FIXCAT categories

The SMP/E REPORT MISSINGFIX command can be used to identify PTFs for particular fix categories that are missing in your Target zone. Before running the MISSINGFIX report, you must first download the latest Enhanced HOLDDATA file and Receive the Enhanced HOLDDATA into your SMP/E environment as described in Part 2 of this series.

 

To run the report, you can use JCL as shown below (this example shows how to identify all required fixes to exploit the capabilities of z/OS 2.4 that are not yet applied in the BMC0TZN zone - using the BMC.TargetSystem-Exploitation.z/OS.V2R4 Fix category).

 

 

This will produce a standard SMP/E report as shown below:

 

 

The fields in the report show:

  • FIX CATEGORY
    • If no missing SYSMODs exist in the zone, this field will contain ***NONE.
  • FMID
  • HOLD CLASS
  • MISSING APAR
  • HELD SYSMOD
  • RESOLVING SYSMOD NAME
    • The list of SYSMODs that can resolve the HOLD reason ID.
  • RESOLVING SYSMOD STATUS
    • Describes the current state of the SYSMOD that resolves the HOLD.
      • GOOD indicates that the SYSMOD is not held and has no known problems.
      • HELD indicates one or more error HOLDs exist for it.
  • RESOLVING SYSMOD RECEIVED
    • Indicates whether the resolving SYSMOD has been received and is found in the global zone or not.

 

Resolving SYSMODs identified in the missing FIXCAT SYSMOD report might have a status of HELD indicating that one or more error HOLDs exists for them. To identify SYSMODs that resolve these error HOLDs, a second part of the missing FIXCAT SYSMOD report is produced. If none of the resolving SYSMODs identified in the first part of the report are held for an error, then this second part of the report is not produced.

 

To combine FIXCAT categories into the one report, use syntax as shown below:

 

 

During SMP/E RECEIVE command processing, SMP/E translates fix category values into source IDs and assigns them to the resolving (fixing) PTFs identified on the HOLDDATA.

You can use the fix category values as source IDs when selecting a set of PTFs to be applied.

Example: If you have a Target zone named BMC0TZN, you can  install all required fixes for z/OS V2.4 that have already been received by using the following command:

 

SET BDY(BMC0TZN).

APPLY SOURCEID(BMC.TargetSystem-RequiredService.z/OS.V2R4)

CHECK.

 

Further Information

For further information, please see the YouTube video below or if you have any questions on using BMC Fix categories, please raise a case with BMC Support.

 

 

We would love to hear your comments on the use of Enhanced HOLDDATA and FIXCAT or if you have any other ideas or suggestions for topics in this series!

Next time I will cover some more hints and tips relating to obtaining maintenance from BMC so please stay tuned and stay safe!!