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In the BMC MainView organization, we continually strive to innovate and come out with the best feature functions and usability enhancements so we can deliver greater value to our customers. With that in mind we have created two new customer validation programs. One is the MainView Continuous Beta Program and the other is the MainView User Experience Improvement Program.

 

Now all we need is for you to come and join us!

 

The MainView Continuous Beta program is one stop shopping for all MainView products. With many features and functions coming out through the maintenance stream, we would like to have a community of individuals that we can talk through designs and make functions, features and releases available early if you need the capabilities or are willing to do some beta testing.

 

The MainView User Experience Improvement program concentrates on the changes to the way customers use and experience the MainView family of products. This program will contain information about our Modernization projects, where you could provide input from the very beginning before code is even written, ensuring we build a solution that will help you and your future systems programmers be more productive.

 

Although these programs require beta agreements to be signed, you do not have to download the code if you do not wish to. You can simply provide input during the review process to make the MainView products better.

 

If you are interested in joining either or both of these communities please email me at Susan_Rice@bmc.com and we will send you the steps needed to join. We look forward to having your valuable input as we continue to help our customers better run and reinvent their businesses!

 

Access the 2019 BMC Mainframe Survey Results

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BMC AMI Console Management 4.0 became available on February 27th, 2020.

I am excited to announce the release of BMC AMI Console Management version 4.0 with a newly designed and reimagined User Experience.  BMC AMI Console Management was formerly known as MainView Console Management, and we are glad to bring this product into our Automated Mainframe Intelligence (AMI) portfolio of products with this release.

The Console viewer has been redesigned from the ground up to be more intuitive and to make it easier for operators to perform their tasks.  With a focus on getting your staff up to speed quickly, activities such as filtering and searching for messages are improved, as are the product dashboards. The dashboards now provide more information and are more interactive allowing your team to easily view alerts and current status in a single pane of glass. A true browser experience, there are no client dependencies. BMC AMI Console Management is also updated to work on smaller form factors such as tablets, letting your staff provide support from anywhere and encourage collaboration across remote teams.

Another powerful new function is the addition of a REST API.  This API will allow you to extract data from the Console Management solution for use in other tools or user programs.  The API also allows you to remotely drive automation actions within the BMC AMI Console Management product, providing flexibility to your staff.

 

To see more information about this release please review the Release Notes.

As part of our MainView Automation suite, learn more about how BMC provides a complete, digital business-ready solution for central management of IBM® z/OS.

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Have you ever wished that you could just add a job step to your workload to start an IFCID trace for a batch Db2 workload? Sometimes wishes do come true!  With the latest updates that became available on January 9, MainView for Db2 has provided the capability to start and stop a trace from a batch job.

 

As part of the MainView strategy to make it easier and faster to get the diagnostic data you need, we have added the ability to start an IFCID trace from a batch job instead of having to set up a trace online. This ensures that you are tracing the correct workload instead of watching a trace sit in pending status hoping you chose the correct workload.  Before starting a workload, simply add a job step identifying the IFCIDs that are desired as well as the data source. The trace will start when the workload starts, probably in the next step of the job.  You can also specify an interval for the duration of the trace and/or add a step after the workload to stop the trace to ensure you’ve covered the full workload without wasting resources.  There is nothing like being assured you will be tracing the correct workload when needed!

 

For more information on how to get this enhancement please see the Technical Bulletin located here.

 

MainView for Db2 Management removes the guesswork from performance tuning, enabling you to configure your Db2 mainframe environment for optimal z/OS system performance. It addresses system tuning, monitoring, and automation in order to deliver higher reliability and efficiency across your Db2 environment. The tools in this solution will help you find and correct Db2 system exceptions, quickly pinpoint and resolve bottlenecks, and access real-time and historical data for guided analysis and recommendations. For more information about MainView for Db2, visit the website

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In BMC Software’s spirit of continuous improvement, I am pleased to announce an update to the Loop Check and Max Check features within MainView for z/OS.  This feature was first announced as a small program enhancement and incorporated into the base product in release 6.1 of MainView for z/OS (the original announcement can be found by following this link).  Since then, we have identified criteria that will help reduce the potential for false positive alerts and added filters to the product.

 

With this enhancement you can now add the following new criteria to your Loop Check:

  • Minimum and maximum triggers for CPU usage and delay percentage
  • Number of observations for a trigger to occur
  • Include or exclude program names from checking

 

We have also added functionality like including and excluding of Job step or program name to the Max Check feature.  With the ability to be more granular with the Loop Check profile definitions, we hope to reduce the amount of candidate jobs that show up as potential loops to only those jobs experiencing a looping problem.

 

Internally we have also increased the amount of history we can compare for validation from a low of 4 1-minute intervals to a high of 25 1-minute intervals.  This added flexibility will allow you to set the number of intervals you wish to compare, so you can increase or decrease the number of buckets used in the comparison to help identify and rectify loops that might be longer in duration.

 

For more information on how to get this enhancement please see the Technical Bulletin located here.

 

MainView for z/OS is 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.  For more information about MainView Monitoring, visit the website.

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BMC is happy to announce the Common Rest API (CRA) which became available on September 27,2019.  This new function which is available to MainView allows you to interface with Realtime data from programs outside of MainView.

 

Many customers had requested a standard HTTPS interface into the MainView Realtime data and now you can issue the following commands to view and retrieve the data:

  • Services – Get a list of available Services
  • Logon – Logon the MainView User
  • GetView – Retrieves View information
  • GetData – Retrieves Data from a View
  • Close – Close a Data Session
  • Logoff – Logoff the MainView User

 

As you can see this first release, on our journey to a more open ecosystem, provides the data you have been requesting in a JSON format so that it can easily be ingested by 3rd party tools or reports.  Adding MainView data into Splunk, Ironstream, and others ensure you can manage your mainframe as part of the entire enterprise.

 

For more detail about how to get the API please see the Technical Bulletin located  here.

 

To find out more about how the MainView Systems Management Solutions can help mange your mainframe more efficiently please follow this link to read about out solutions.

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Partner Resource Monitoring:

How often have you been trying to find out which backend system a transaction is using when a problem occurs?  Well, MainView for CICS just made it a lot easier!  With the latest continuous delivery update you can get this information with just one click by adding views that will provide Partner Resource information. You can easily follow the transaction, detect where the problem really lies and correct it, reducing the time to problem resolution without leaving MainView.

 

The new views will provide the following information:

  • The name of the partner
  • The target region (CICS) or subsystem (Db2 or IMS) name
  • The 8-character name of the IBM z/OS Communications Server node
  • The 8-character name of the network in which the partner is located
  • The 8-character name of the PROFILE definition
  • The 64-character name of the remote transaction program that runs on the partner LU
  • A halfword binary field giving the actual length of the remote transaction program

 

Health Check Containers:

Have you ever been asked what areas of the monitor you are using, or what the health of MainView for CICS is?  Now with the inclusion of health check containers, you can provide this information with ease.  Three new out of the box configurations will tell you about:

  • The health of the connection between CICS regions and their subsystems
  • The backend monitors that are currently active and the associated timers and message IDs
  • MainView for CICS usage and configuration information. 

With these new containers you can see at a glance if there is a problem or export the data and provide reports on how you are using the monitor.

 

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 how to get these features follow this link

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I am delighted to let you know that updates for MainView for z/OS®, BMC CMF MONITOR, MainView for UNIX® System Services, and MainView SYSPROG Services 6.2 as well as MainView Monitoring 6.3.01 are now available. 

 

This new release of the above family of products includes many features requested by our customers. This update is also a level set of all the continuous delivery PTFs that have been made available since the last release in June of 2017, this includes support for z/OS® 2.3, the z14 and additional capabilities added to RMF™ via the maintenance stream.  We supported the new technology and capabilities using the maintenance stream so that you could easily adopt this technology without issues with MainView.  By providing this level set it will simplify moving forward with the next release of z/OS as it becomes available.

 

CMF Monitor and MainView for z/OS have improved the short-term history and trending information available online to you.  The following areas have been added and are available in Single System Image views:

 

  • Capacity group activity over time
  • Central electronics complex (CEC) and capacity group usage over time
  • Information about multiple intervals for capacity groups and CECs
  • MSU utilization, interval MSU per hour, and defined capacity of LPARs
  • Percentage of active and available frames for the system, the system unreferenced interval count (UIC), and paging rates
  • All delay reasons for intervals

 

There were additional views and elements to support this enhancement, the full list is available in the release notes available in the below links.

 

We know how important the amount of resource used by your monitors is to you and to continue our journey of providing the most efficient solutions, we have reduced the amount of ECSA that the CMF Monitor uses when running the Continuous Performance Monitoring (CPM) and Intermittent Performance Monitoring (IPM) modes. 

 

There were changes made at the MainView family level as well, like improving post install customization and product level administration through adding the EZADMIN capability. This new set of views allows the updating of important administration tasks like parameters and security via a simple user interface instead of having to run through the Installer.  We continue to bring you a familiar look and feel across all MainView products with intuitive navigation across these four specific products from the EZADMIN Menu.

 

Finally, last month we wrote about  the Data Extraction and Transformation utilities made available through MainView Infrastructure.  We are excited to announce that the MainView for z/OS, CMF Monitor and MainView for Unix System Service maps are now available for use.  The maps are in the BBMAP DDDEF.

 

For more details on what’s new for each product please follow the links below:

MainView for z/OS

CMF MONITOR

MainView SYSPROG Services

MainView for Unix System Services

MainView Monitoring Solution

 

MainView for z/OS, CMF MONITOR, MainView for Unix System Services, MainView SYSPROG Services, 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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You likely have set standards for your IP connections they must use a secure encrypted connection.  But, if a problem occurs during a secure handshake trying to establish a secure connection it is very difficult and complex to debug.  Right now, you probably run a packet trace and then offload this trace dataset to an off-platform tool, or you post process the trace before you can begin analysis of the issue, wasting valuable time. Now, with a new Trace Analyzer function in MainView for Networks, you can view the in-depth analysis directly in MainView and get to problem resolution faster.

 

The Trace Analyzer function will provide the in-depth analysis of the hand shaking that it takes to create a secure connection without leaving MainView.  With your Trace Analyzer function, you can view the details about the data exchange immediately and get information about ciphers, session identities, protocol versions and certificates in near real-time.  Potential errors are highlighted so you can easily find network issues. This means your early in career employees can debug problems quickly and it also reduces the need to transfer trace datasets to an off-platform tool.

 

As part of this enhancement we have removed the necessity to pre-allocate trace datasets from the base MainView for IP product.  We will now dynamically allocate your trace datasets via a profile which can be changed to match your naming conventions and trace type needs such as SNIFF, WRITE, or RAW.  This reduces the chance that you run out of space and lose data because the trace was bigger than you allocated, or you forgot to allocate the proper type of trace dataset for your needs.

 

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

 

MainView for Networks centralizes and unifies IP administration while saving time and improving network reliability. You have total visibility and control over your mainframe network resources to quickly and proactively resolve problems before they can impact your digital business. It’s easy to implement and use this management and automation solution for IP, SNA, and VTAM automation. With exclusive technology, you can pace TCP/IP traffic so that critical jobs are prioritized and completed on time and ensure optimal system availability.

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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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Updated: Clarification that we support z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition

 

Is IBM z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition 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 Enterprise Edition 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 Enterprise Edition.  Now, we have added information about the APIs and Services being used by z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition 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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