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Over the last few months I have been asked about how to get MainView historical data into third party software or in-house written applications.  While BMC has always provided multiple ways to do this, we now have a single, more consistent method available to extract and transform MainView historical data.  It will provide you an easier integration with more metrics to your third-party applications, better reporting and improved audit capabilities allowing you to make better data-driven decisions and spend less time answering audit requests.

 

We are excited to deliver two new utilities with the MainView Infrastructure in two small programming enhancements. The first utility allows you to automate the extraction of the historical data into the standard archive files or create a GDG, so you can save the data for as long as you wish and will no longer miss an archive.  The second utility is a transformation utility that simplifies the selection of the metrics you are interested in with easy SQL-like statements.

 

The extraction utility will pull the data from online history files and store them in a GDG. It can also extract directly into a follow-on job step such as Merrill Associates MXG for use in creating a PDB or other reports.  The extraction utility can be used in conjunction with sort statements, that are built using the Data Maps provided in BBSAMP.  You can select only the metrics that you wish to use in an application, which is important in applications such as Splunk where the amount of data sent directly influences the cost. 

 

Using sort is fast and uses less processor, but sometimes requires an expert to figure out the offsets and write the sort statements.  This leads us to the second utility, an alternative to using sort, the data transformation utility.  This utility will allow you to take the data from the extraction utility and with easy to write SQL-like select statements pull from the extracted data directly by the element name.  You no longer need to figure out the offsets or create sort statements. The output can be a CSV file which is easily loaded into almost any third-party application. This utility will also take advantage of the Data Maps that are provided by the MainView products for assuring the appropriate metrics are gathered based on your select statements.

 

Data maps are being provided by each individual product and are in BBSAMP today.  The format of the name of the data map will be a tlaTDM where tla is the three-letters associated with the product.  For example, the data map for MQ is BBSTDM. Today maps are available for AUTOperator, MQ, and CICS with others following in short-order.

 

 

For information on how to get and implement the extraction utility please follow this link.

 

For information on how to get and implement the transformation utility please follow this link.

 

The MainView Infrastructure provides a common set of services and architecture that delivers a single view and control of your environment, centralized administration, intelligent alarms and proactive automation to provide a highly efficient, and holistic systems management experience. To learn more about the MainView Family visit the MainView Systems Management site to see how you can transform your mainframe systems management today.

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Is IBM z/OS Connect part of your mainframe modernization project?  Are you wondering how you can understand if it is running and using resource efficiently? Are you getting good response times from your APIs?  MainView for JAVA Environments is the answer.  We are happy to announce support for IBM z/OS Connect with our latest Small Programming Enhancement (SPE).

 

We have always supported the Liberty Server that is the core of IBM z/OS Connect to give standard information about CPU, Heap, Garbage collection and thread data being used by z/OS Connect.  Now, we have added information about the APIs and Services being used by z/OS Connect including response time data by API, Service and URI. 

 

With this enhancement you will be able to auto discover the APIs and Services being used.  You can identify the usage and manage these services and APIs, such as Start/Stop APIs and understand if they are running slower than the average response time. This will allow you to find and fix problems using intelligent alarms providing higher availability and better response times for your business-critical applications.

 

For more information about this enhancement follow this link.

 

MainView for Java Environments provides a comprehensive solution for managing Java running on the mainframe, including auto discovery of JVMs and extensive data on JVM performance, memory usage and thread activity.  Although no other MainView monitors are required for implementing MVJE, existing MainView users will also see all the MainView unique benefits of centralized architecture, smart alarms and alerts, guided navigation for root cause identification, and analysis.  For more information about MVJE, visit the website.

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MainView for JAVA Environments V3.1 is starting to deliver function via the BMC Continuous Delivery model so that more functionality can be made available at a faster pace.  In the latest Small Programming Enhancement (SPE) two functions were delivered on April 4, 2019.  They were the ability to have multiple connections to IBM Health Center and displaying CPU usage by Thread.

  • Multiple connections to IBM Health Center provides easier and less disruptive integration:

As the second phase of our IBM Health Center support, the product can now be connected to multiple Health Center Agents without terminating the IBM Health Center Connection.  This makes using the integration with IBM Health Center easier and less disruptive. We provide the same view data as before for each IBM Health Center Connection:

          • JVM properties information for Health Center ports
          • System properties information
          • Environmental properties information
          • Class loading information for the Health Center ports defined to a target
          • Detailed garbage-collection data
          • Summary class-histogram data
          • Object-allocation data

 

  • CPU Usage by Thread provides early notification of workloads potentially using too much CPU:

We have received many requests to provide data associated with CPU Usage by Thread with the ability to identify the workload in a JVM that may be using too much resource.  You will have the ability to set thresholds triggering notifications if a Thread seems to be using too much CPU, providing the ability to intervene before the workload causes delays or other system or application issues.

 

For more information about the release follow this link.

 

MainView for Java Environments provides a comprehensive solution for managing Java running on the mainframe, including auto discovery of JVMs and extensive data on JVM performance, memory usage and thread activity.  Although no other MainView monitors are required for implementing MVJE, existing MainView users will also see all the MainView unique benefits of centralized architecture, smart alarms and alerts, guided navigation for root cause identification, and analysis.  For more information about MVJE, visit the website.

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In January 2019, BMC Software delivered an enhancement to help with the security of your mainframe’s performance data. MainView Infrastructure allows encryption of data being sent over the TCP/IP connections within MainView. This enhancement can be implemented dynamically so you won’t experience a monitoring outage to implement this encryption functionality.

 

For information on how to get and implement this feature please follow this link.

 

To learn more about new products and features released in Q4 2018, check out Quarterly Updates: Building Better Mainframe Products for Security, Systems, Data, and Cost Management – Q4 2018 and visit MainView Systems Management site to see how you can transform your mainframe systems management today.

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I am delighted to let you know that MainView for CICS 6.9 and MainView for CICS Management 6.3.01 are now available. 

This new release of MainView for CICS includes many features requested by our customers including:

  • Day 1 Support for CICS TS 5.5
    • New SIT parameters supported
    • New general resource attributes and values added to existing CICS resource views
    • Additional Task Performance Data added to Views including:
      • First Message Processed
      • Node.js application name
      • Timing information for URI Web and Invoke Service Processing
    • New CICS Statistics Data
    • Support for the Continuous Delivery Feature Toggles in CICS TS
  • High availability for CICS TS when performing a MainView for CICS Upgrade
    • You will no longer need to bounce the region to install a new release of MainView for CICS
  • Timing Data for Remote Files
    • Remote File access time now reflects elapsed time
    • Resource Usage Views will include this new timing
  • Utility to export CMRDETL into a CSV file
    • This file can be exported for use by Excel or analytic tools
    • Data can be filtered by date, time, and transaction name
    • You can stop after a specific number of records
    • Select by field name
  • Improved Efficiency of the compression routines
    • In tests we showed:
      • Compression reduced CPU usage by 3-5%
      • Decompression improved by over 30%
      • Reporting program showed about a 20% improvement
  • Improved Scalability
    • New option to use the CICS APPLID instead of JOB or STC name for CICS targets
    • So now you no longer must be concerned about having duplicate job names in a SYSPLEX

As you can see we have included many enhancements that were important to our customers.  New features improving availability, scalability, efficiency and ease of use.  MainView for CICS as well as the rest of the MainView Family has simplified the configuration and customization associated with installation and upgrading the product.

 

MainView for CICS (MVCICS) and MainView for CICS Management provides a comprehensive solution for managing your IBM CICS TS environment. It is a cost-effective, intelligent, and integrated CICS management solution that enables you to tune, manage, and automatically take actions before disruptive and highly complex digital business workloads impede the smooth flow of business.  It is part of an integrated family of monitors with easy guided navigation to follow a transaction for CICS to other subsystems such as MQ, DB2 and IMS.  For more information about MainView for CICS Management, visit the website.

 

For more information about the release follow this link

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MainView for z/OS and CMF MONITOR have supported Container pricing SMF records for some time. And now, we have enhanced this support with updated reporting new TABULAR measure and New Views.

 

Updated reporting provides Tenant Resource Classes(TRCs) and Tenant Resource Groups (TRGs) in the Workload Manager Goal Mode Report.  This allows you to answer the questions like “Is my discretionary workload assigned to a service class, tenant report class, and resource group?”  This would exclude this work from workload management.

 

The Tabular report now supports the measures associated with Container Pricing for IBM Z allowing you to specify the Tenant Resource Group as a qualifier providing a unique summarization of the metric associated with Container Pricing.

 

MainView for z/OS and CMF MONITOR have added new views and containers so you can see at a glance what resources are being used by workloads tagged as a container.  The views will provide information such as SU/Sec. CP usage, zIIP usage and much more enhancing your understanding of the implications of Container Workloads.

 

For full information on getting this enhancement please see the Technical Bulletin.

 

MainView for z/OS, CMF MONITOR are part of the MainView Monitoring solution which provides a single view and control of your z/OS and z/OS UNIX environments, taking the guesswork out of optimizing mainframe performance. This intuitive solution delivers real-time and historical data to help you reduce mainframe costs while servicing both new digital business and traditional workloads. It enables you to tune, manage, and automatically take actions before disruptive and highly complex digital business workloads impede the smooth flow of business.  It is part of an integrated family of monitors with easy guided navigation to follow workloads to subsystems such as MQ, DB2®, CICS® and IMS™.  For more information about MainView Monitoring, visit the website.

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Now Available!  MainView for MQ (MVMQ) 5.4 and MainView for Message Management 6.3.00.  MVMQ 5.4 and MainView for Message Management includes all the Small Programming Enhancements (SPE) that have been released since MVMQ 5.3 including:

 

  • Showing active channels vs. allowed channels; details are located here.
  • Ability to see the version of each Queue Manager to support CD understanding; details are located here.
  • Ease of Navigation through MQITrace; details are located here.
  • Support for System Symbols; details are located here.
  • Centralized administration menu EZADMIN; details are located here.
  • Integration with TrueSight Middleware Administrator for distributed queues statistics; details are located here.

 

Additionally, we have continued our integration with TrueSight Middleware Administrator to provide more information about distributed queue mangers in MainView for MQ. This is the second step in providing all the information about distributed QMGRs and Queues in MVMQ, providing information and monitoring for the entire enterprise from the mainframe.  The work associated with gathering this data into MVMQ has been offloaded to zIIP processors reducing the cost of running the MQ monitor during the 4-Hour peak.

 

Simplification of product administration has also been included in this release by providing access to the data dictionary views from the main menu.  Additionally, the EZADMIN views from the Plex manager now supports MainView for MQ and part of this easy administration includes a new set of PARM editing tools.

 

Finally, Queue Manager profiles can now be managed through MainView Explorer providing a simple graphical user interface for administration tasks.

To find out how to get this support please follow this link.

 

Learn how MainView Message Management and TrueSight Middleware Management provide a complete, digital business-ready solution for central management of IBM® MQ resources.

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MainView Infrastructure (MVI) 6.3 became available on June 21, 2018.  MVI 6.3 includes all the Small Programming Enhancements (SPE) that have been released since MVI 6.2 including:

  • Currency for z/OS 2.3 and z14
  • Ability to have 2 y-Axis with different scales in MainView Explorer(MVE) which helps correlate two components that have very different scales, details are located here.
  • Security enhancements – Details are located here.
    • Configuration Parameters for TLS
    • Support for Digital Client Certificates for customers using CAC/Smart Cards for authentication
  • Capability to control the Archiving of NGL log sets see details here.

 

Additionally, MVI 6.3 provides many more enhancements improving security and providing simplification in managing, administrating and deploying the MainView family of products including the following:

  • Configure and Manage Multiple CASPLEXs on the same system.  The support to be able to use multiple suffixes on members such as BBMTYBxx allows you to configure manage and stage multiple CASPLEX instances on a single system.  Making it much easier to stage and deploy configuration definition before a change window.
  • Set the Default and minimum Automatic Screen Update(ASU) without having to use a usermod. This eases the time and effort needed for administrators to tune the monitoring environment and control how users access data.
  • View alarm status across the MainView environment.  This allows you to see at a glance how alarms have been deployed, and if they are defined properly and active.
  • Support for IBM Multifactor Authentication across all access methods including alternate access
  • Support for System symbols will help ease definition and deployment across the MainView suite.
  • Central Administration functionality will allow you to have a EZADMIN set of Views so from a single location you can easily hyperlink into the administration function for each installed product.

 

For more detail about this release please see the release notes located here.

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In today’s business the idea of encrypted data and connections has become a high priority, especially to try and keep breaches from occurring.  You have probably set standards for your IP connection that must use one of the secure encrypted connections such as IPSEC, TLS, or SSH. There may even be different requirements depending on the application.  Do you know the quality of your cryptographic protection?  Do you know if there are unapproved protection protocols being used in your shop?  Do you have exposures where there is no protection present?  Do you know the cipher each connection is using?  These are all questions that network administrators and system programmers need to be able to answer.

 

To assist with validating if a connection is secure or not IBM introduced zERT – z Encryption Readiness Technology.  This new feature provides information about the connection via the Network Management Interface in real-time and reports the information via SMF 119 type 11 and 12.

 

MainView for IP has added support for this new z/OS capability and can provide detail data or aggregate data depending on your definitions.  At a glance you will be able to see what protocols are being used and if you have connections that are not following company standards.

 

For more information on how to get this capability see the technical bulletin.

 

More information is also available by watching this short video.

 

MainView for Networks centralizes and unifies IP administration while saving time and improving network reliability. It’s easy to implement and use this management and automation solution for IP, SNA, and VTAM automation. Exclusive technology can pace TCP/IP traffic, so that critical jobs are prioritized and completed on time.

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MainView for JAVA Environments V3.1 is now available (GA 6/21/2018) and in this new release are many features requested by you, the active users, including the following capabilities:

  • Discover and monitor Traditional WAS environments
    • Automatic target Profiles can be created using JMX Port 0
  • See data from the IBM Health Center with MainView for Java Environments: 
    • If MainView for Java Environments is monitoring a JVM that is instrumented for IBM Health Center, these views become available:
        • JVM Environment
        • System properties information
        • Environmental Variables
        • Loaded Classes
        • Detailed garbage-collection data
        • Class histogram data
        • Object Allocation data
  • Customization Simplification:
    • Identify whether product setup is complete by using the EZJE menu
    • Update product initialization and environmental parameters on the PARMEDT view
    • Automatic definition of NGL structures
    • Convert version 2.1 targets to version 3.1 targets
  • Enhanced capture of diagnostic data either when the monitor is stopped by using STDOUT, STDERR and SYSOUT stopped or while it’s still running using print commands from the DBUGINFO view.
  • View the task number and transaction ID for threads on CICS targets and quickly navigate into MainView for CICS if it is available.
  • New views displaying thread CPU data for SMF records on JZOS targets
  • Enhanced logging of product data
  • New metric views from the MainView Data Dictionary

For more information about the release follow this link.

Watch this short video demonstration including these new features here.

 

MainView for Java Environments provides a comprehensive solution for managing Java running on the mainframe, including auto discovery of JVMs and extensive data on JVM performance, memory usage and thread activity.  Although no other MainView monitors are required for implementing MVJE, existing MainView users will also see all the MainView unique benefits of centralized architecture, smart alarms and alerts, guided navigation for root cause identification, and analysis.  For more information about MVJE, visit the website.

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Looping MPPs, BMPs, transactions and other IMS executables can be difficult to identify.  This can lead to the use of extra resources, cause performance delays, and cause peaks in your 4-hour rolling average, which can  increase costs.

 

MainView for IMS™ Management 6.2.01 can proactively identify loops and automatically take actions to resolve the looping conditions based on your defined criteria.

 

To search for loops, you can set criteria such as elapsed time, CPU usage, I/O rate, and more as shown in the screen shot below. You can filter the criteria to select a specific IMS job name, application region, region type, transaction, LTERM, and/or program name. You can even use wildcards and exclude specific items to make it easier to capture only the IMS objects you want.

 

To learn more about the Loop Check feature, view the Quick Course located here.

 

MainView for IMS™ Management enables you to manage IMS and DBCTL from a single view and control. It provides extensive performance, real-time, and historical statistics in summarized and detailed views. It monitors and manages IMS workloads, detects exceptions and performance degradation, and provides rapid problem resolution with integrated automation. MainView for IMS Management uses fewer resources than other solutions so you can you exploit all of its features without affecting MLC costs. 

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What if you could put your MainView IMS batch reports into a CSV file for easy manipulation and publication? Your wish has been granted. MainView for IMS™ Management 6.2.01 lets you put your  batch reports into CSV format and create CSV output for your batch reports is available.

 

Transaction Accounting Reports, Program Accounting Reports and LTERM Accounting Reports are now available in a CSV format and you can tailor the report so they include only the desired data elements.   You are able to save the reports providing consistency in the files you publish or use with analytics or trending tools.

 

The Quick Course Located here will explain how to use this feature.

 

MainView for IMS™ Management lets you manage all aspects of IMS and DBCTL to meet the scale and complexity of digital business from a single view and control.  It provides extensive performance, real-time, and historical statistics in summarized and detailed views. It delivers IMS workload management, instant degradation detection, immediate exception determination, and rapid problem resolution with integrated automation. MainView for IMS Management uses less resources than other solutions, so you can you utilize its full benefits without fear of impacting your MLC costs.

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I am pleased to announce the latest release of MainView Console Management 3.4.00 which became GA on January 12th, 2018.

New in MainView Console Management for zEnterprise® 3.4.00:

This release brings several new features that will make it easier to automate your z/OS environment.

Availability is top of everyone’s mind.  It’s been a key focus for everyone for many years, but now especially so with the demands placed on the mainframe with the 24*7 “always-on” nature of digital business.

One way you can improve availability is to shorten the time it takes to IPL a system, whether planned or unplanned. Applications are either down or running with limited capacity during an IPL.  The longer it takes to get the system and all its applications back up and running, the longer your applications aren’t available and the longer you are at risk.

With this release of MainView Console Management automating your IPL’s is as easy as filling in a form. There is no need to code automation routines and nothing to maintain.  Automated IPLs are faster and eliminate mistakes that might otherwise mean having to start over, causing another IPL and further elongating your downtime.

Trying to find important messages is time consuming.  This release allows you to search for specific messages, using the Message ID, Color, System, Job ID, WTORs and Time Range.  You can go straight to the messages, saving time and allowing you to quickly address a potential problem.

 

MainView Console Management provides a new calendaring capability so tasks can be executed on a calendar based schedule.  You can schedule either for a single time, or on a repeating schedule.

Security is top of mind and this release continues to build on its already robust approach to security by exploiting new capability in z/OS. MainView Console management now makes encrypted connections from the viewer to the OSA-ICC, providing true end-to-end security.  Also, all product processes can be run under a non-privileged account, improving security as scripts and programs will not have unrestricted access to the OS and file system.

The user interface has been improved and provides Wiki-based documentation.  These changes will make it much easier to find and read documentation and provide feedback to BMC.

Please read the release notes for more details.

MainView Console Management for zEnterprise® provides secure access to consolidated monitoring and management of IBM z Systems™ environments across the enterprise. With flexible and secure access to critical consoles, plus consolidating and automating interaction, this product will help you quickly and easily diagnose and fix issues. Options for consolidating messages based on attributes, such as role or location, will help you maximize efficiency. Cut facility and power costs by eliminating multiple hardware consoles. Learn more.

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I am delighted to announce the latest releases of MainView for IP 3.6 and MainView for Networks Solution 6.2.01 which became GA on December 14, 2017.

 

New in MainView for IP 3.6 and available in MainView for Networks:

 

You can take advantage of the latest updates in z/OS Communication Server and the z14 immediately. Support was provided via PTF, available Day 1 and it is  part of MainView for IP 3.6   As a reminder, there is support for SMC-R and SMC-D and the details can be found in my January 27, 2017 Focus on Features Blog.

 

More and more data has become available from IBM standard interfaces providing information about the many aspects of your mainframe network, risk-free. FTP Daemon configuration and easy navigation to FTP session and Transfer data means you can easily find and fix FTP problems, minimizing the complexity inherent in network configuration profiles and usage. You now have visibility into TN3270 configuration and port usage data, which is critical in complex environments where multiple TN3270 servers are on a single TCIP stack.

 

You can issue PING and Trace Route commands (including any IBM supported parameters), directly from MainView for IP.  The monitor you trust to manage IP, supports your requirements to perform vital diagnostics.

 

Exploitation of the new OSA Trace simplifies the collection of real-time trace information - frames entering or leaving the OSA adapter. This reduces the time and expertise required to gather this important data.

 

Data Tracing and Packet Tracing granularity enhancements provides deep diagnostics that is required to reduce the time to find and fix problems. With latest data tracing capabilities, you run a Data Trace on any IP address or Port.  Packet Trace allows you to collect discarded packet data at the appropriate level so you easily find and fix problem.  This release provides formatted handshake data for the TLS handshake in a view. This reduces the time and expertise required by the network administrator to debug network issues.

 

Out-of-the box data for IPSEC messages will help you find possible port scans, and Denial of Service attacks.  You will be able to identify problems with VPN environments with the addition of data for dynamic and IKE tunnels.  This is critical as security is top of mind for your organization given the almost daily reports of data breaches.

 

In large sysplex configuration you need to be notified if there is an error at the sysplex level. The Availability Monitor will proactively notify you of sysplex level problems. This more important than ever as network availability is the backbone of digital business.

 

Read the release notes for more details.

 

MainView for Networks centralizes and unifies IP administration while saving time and improving network reliability. It’s easy to implement and use this management and automation solution for IP, SNA, and VTAM automation. Exclusive technology can pace TCP/IP traffic, so that critical jobs are prioritized and completed on time.

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I am delighted to announce the latest releases of MainView for IMS 5.3 and MainView for IMS Management Solution 6.2.01.  These offerings provided Day 1 support for IBM IMS 15.1 and the GA release on December 14, 2017.

 

New in MainView for IMS 5.3 and available in MainView for IMS Management:

 

You will be able to view the newest parameters and issue commands against the IMS repository. You can move to IMS 15.1 secure in the knowledge that MainView for IMS supports your needs to monitor and manage your IMS environment.

 

Seamless navigation from IMS region information in MainView for IMS directly to MainView for Java Environments provides JVM information. You can find and fix problems faster, which will become increasingly more important as your company exploits Java on z.

 

The amount of data you must manage is increasing, driven by digital engagement.  This increases the requirement for additional storage information, specifically the PSB Resident Intent list which is now provided.

 

Logs are critical to IMS and when they are switching too quickly it presents significant problems.  Now you can be warned when this condition occurs (as simple as setting a threshold) and can see how fast the logs are switching so you can identify when the number of transaction is too high for the region.

 

You need to provide reports that include a wide range of metrics and MainView for IMS Offline provides additional reports and fields to ensure that all critical data is made available when reporting to key stakeholders.

 

MainView for IMS Management 6.2.01 includes all the above listed features, plus the following enhancements that make it far easier to manage your IMS environment:

 

Integration with Log Analyzer for IMS makes it easy for you to identify the precise timing and logs needed reducing the time it takes for you to find and fix problems before key services are impacted.

 

In the last release, IMS Program schedule information was added to help you identify tuning opportunities. Based on your feedback, this release analyzes your data and provides recommendations to improve the performance of your IMS Program Schedule.    This makes it easier for both experienced and newer IMS professionals to ensure performance meets the requirements of your business. 

 

Looping transactions and regions waste allot of your resource and money. We have added automated loop check to identify looping BMPs, MPPs, and transactions.  It will automatically take the appropriate action, based on profile criteria you define.

 

IMS has commands to do a single function, for example, purge a user. While it is one function, you must manually enter a series of commands to invoke that function. As with any manual complex action, the risk of an error is high and can have negative consequences.  With this release, you to enter single line commands to perform these necessary functions, removing complexity and mitigating the risk of errors.

 

Analysis tools are on the rise and often require reports to be delivered in CSV format. Now batch reports are available in CSV format so it is easy for you to publish and send to a third-party solution.

 

To read more detail about the releases see the release notes for:

MainView for IMS Management

MainView for IMS Offline

MainView for IMS Online

MainView for DBCTL

 

MainView for IMS Management lets you manage all aspects of IMS and DBCTL to meet the scale and complexity of digital business from a single view and control.  It provides extensive performance, real-time, and historical statistics in summarized and detailed views. In addition, it delivers IMS workload management, instant degradation detection, immediate exception determination, and rapid problem resolution with integrated automation. MainView for IMS Management uses less resources than other solutions, so you can you utilize its full benefits without fear of impacting your MLC costs. 

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