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BMC customers, we have heard your input and have redesigned the Common Install Tool in response to your ideas. The new version 2.4 simplifies, streamlines and automates installation.

 

What We Heard

  • Reduce time/effort
  • Improve efficiency
  • Simplify
  • Address deployment needs
  • Enhance documentation

 

What We Did           

Working with customers directly and with our Software Consultant, the install team initiated an extensive project to deliver the improvements you have been asking for. Key components of the redesigned tool are:

  • Projects that capture and enable reuse of your input
  • Separate Installation and Configuration workflows
  • Reduced and streamlined menus, with sequential numbering of actions
  • Site-wide defaults for common or repeated information

          

We focused on installation experience improvements with Quick Start manual guides, improved and updated online help content, customized checklists for each install activity, and a new Installation Reference manual.

 

We also created 17 Quick Course videos, each one focused on a specific topic, enabling easy and rapid learning about the new tool.  The Quick Course videos are available on the BMC Support web pages. 

    

You can get more details on the 2.4 Common Install Tool by reviewing the Release Notes, and the new manuals, also available on the Support site.

    

As you use the tool, we invite you to share your experience in using it.  Your input got us to this point, and will continue to help determine our directions.

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MainView for USS Version 1.7 has added  process-level enhancements for more rapid identification and diagnosing of performance issues.  MV/USS can monitor resource usage, including CPU percentage, by z/OS Unix process.   Plus, it now has the ability to trace system calls for z/OS Unix System Services processes.  Tracing processes can reduce the time it takes to isolate and solve problems.

 

New monitoring capabilities include monitoring of:

  • Zombie processes, with information about the parents of zombie processes
  • File system growth patterns, with information about not only usage but also change in usage.  This enables proactive action in response to file system growth before an outage is triggered.
  • Latch Contention, to see the serialization latches in the zFS environment, in order to identify which USS tasks are hung and why they are waiting.

The release now uses standard external security manager (ESM) definitions when performing actions,  supports z/OS version 2.1, and features enhanced installation using BMC’s new Common Install Tool, version 2.4  For a complete list of enhancements, see the
Release Notes and available Quick Course training video.

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MainView for z/OS continues to be enriched to enable MainView customers to manage performance and availability more easily and more automatically.  MainView Explorer (MVE) now includes a container (IPLDATA) that monitors the system resources that can
force an IPL to be performed, including information about: 

  • Address Space Vector Table
  • System Linkage Index
  • Maximum number of permitted common data spaces
  • Largest available CSA block
  • Largest available ECSA block

Also new is a default view container for system views that contain a basic set of monitoring metrics.

 

Several enhanced Views have been added to MV for z/OS:

  • Enhanced WLM monitoring, with LPAR Defined Capacity views
  • WLM Service Class Views showing the amount of time the dispatching priority was temporarily increased
  • Job-related Views add the name of the primary job step task to several views

MainView for z/OS now enable links from MVE to z/OS Management Facility, and includes support for IBM z/OS 2.1 Capacity Provisioning
Manager metrics.   This release features enhanced installation using BMC’s new Common Install Tool, version 2.4  For a complete list of enhancements, see the Release Notes and available Quick Course training video.

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MainView for IP version 3.4 increases the efficiency of IP monitoring and adds new ways to exploit MainView Explorer using dashboards.

 

Portions of the MV/IP code have been engineered to be eligible to run on zIIP engines.  When this work is dispatched by WLM to zIIP processors, the work of monitoring IP is removed from general purpose processors, freeing up cycles for executing more business work.  In BMC tests, we have seen offloads of as much as 46% to zIIP engines.

 

The release also adds containers and dashboards that will provide meaningful views of the following key aspects of IP operation:

  • Availability
  • Connections
  • OSA Cards
  • FTP (last hour, week, day)

In addition, new to version 3.4 is a Top Users easy menu (EZTOPU), with links to detailed views displaying user bandwidth.  

  • Top Links – displays percentage of bandwidth for each link
  • Top Applications – displays percentage of bandwidth that each TCP application uses
  • Top Connections – displays percentage of bandwidth for each IP address.

This release features enhanced installation using BMC’s new Common Install Tool, version 2.4

For a complete list of enhancements, see the Release Notes and available Quick Course training video.

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MainView AutoOPERATOR release 7.4 delivers a new level of support for automating z Systems management.  The new Automation
Health Checker monitors the performance of the automation itself.  The AutoOPERATOR health monitoring in MainView Explorer collects and organizes key AO performance metrics on a health monitoring dashboard.  Some of the metrics displayed include:

  • Storage % used (> 16M and < 16M)
  • Max and Active PQE percentages
  • Number of HIGH and NORM EXECs queued
  • Log Dataset Count
  • Rules Engine, Journal, and CAS Connection status

 

The release includes support for IBM zAWARE, so the message anomalies noted by zAWARE can be integrated into the systems management automation. There are also a number of usability enhancements to Total Object Manager.  This release gains enhanced installation with the BMC Common Install tool version 2.4.

More details are available in the Release Notes and in a Quick Course training video.

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SPEs are Small Program Enhancements, a way for BMC to deliver additional functionality without a full product release cycle.  This enables us to respond quickly in adding enhancements that can help our customers get more value from their use of BMC mainframe solutions.  Here are some common questions customers may have about SPEs:

 

How do I find out about SPEs? – SPEs are announced via Technical Bulletins.  Tech Bulletins are listed on the Support pages after selecting the specific product and version number. Tech Bulletins are sent automatically to those customers who have opted in for Proactive Notification for specific products.  To ensure you receive this information, sign up for Proactive Notification for each BMC product you are interested in.

 

These two recent SPEs are examples of what you might see in SPEs:

 

CMF Monitor, Version 5.9.00, Tech Bulleting, July 31, 2014

  A new CMF MONITOR Analyzer report called TABULAR is now available

    

The TABULAR report is an enhanced form of the GRAPH TYPE=TAB report.

TABULAR produces printed tabular reports and value-delimited text records that can serve as input to spreadsheets or other user-supplied programs. With TABULAR, you can:

  • Direct the report output to a value-delimited text file Direct up to 254 measures to a value-delimited text file
  • Include 84 new measures, in addition to the legacy GRAPH and WLMGRAPH measures
  • Specify your own names to replace the supplied measure names in both the printed report and the value-delimited text file
  • Filter the input data by using SYSID and CPU parameters
  • Use qualifier expressions to include only selected data in a measure
  • Produce a full or partial list of available measures and their respective qualifiers and, optionally, a cross-reference of
    comparable IBM® RMFTM OVERVIEW names

 

MainView SRM Reporting, Version 7.8.00, July 31, 2014

Product enhancements let you view tape cache data and improve DSN Index processing

 

New reporting of tape cache data

Reporting of cache usage within an IBM TS7700 series VTS is now available. The collected data includes:

  • Cache size
  • Amount of data in the cache
  • Average amount of time that data remains in the
    cache
  • Mount counts and times
  • Virtual tape migration
  • Unmigrated (cache only) data
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BMC is continuing to add to the extensive library of Quick Course training videos for MainView.   There are over 130 Quick Course videos for MainView.  Whether you need a quick overview of something new, help in getting started with a new release or new feature, or a refresher of “how to” for a specific MainView capability, you will find training for all these needs.  You can access the training videos on BMC’s Support site, and select Product Demonstrations from the link list on the left side of the page.

 

At BMC, we are working to ensure our customers get the maximum value from their investment in MainView.  These training videos are one way of highlighting new capabilities, or tips/tricks that may be useful to you.  As always, if you have an idea for a training topic that would be useful to MainView users, please contact Support with your suggestion.

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Release 6.6.00 of MainView for CICS has added several new ways to report on CICS related resources and Applications along with support
for CICS TS version 5.2.  This release enables monitoring of CICS Applications and related workloads, adding new CICS
resource-related views for:

  • Bundle related resources
  • OSGi related resources
  • Event related resources

    

Enhancements have also been added for Component of Response Time (CORT) views, security for CICS actions, and detailed trace
facility.

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Release 5.2.00 of MainView for WebSphere MQ is available, with support for WebSphere MQ version 8.  In addition, several enhancements have been added to enable offload of MainView processing to zIIP processors and provide new functions.

The release includes:

  • Support for WebSphere MQ version 8
  • Ability to get a quick look at Queue Manager status
  • Use of the MainView Next Generation Logger (NGL) for increased efficiency
  • Enabling MQE code to be zIIP eligible
  • Ability to Edit, Move or Copy messages.

 

Two new Quick Course training videos are available for this release:

  1. MainView for WebSphere MQ - What’s New in Version 5.2 - http://www.bmc.com/support/mainframe-demonstrations/msmdemo-mv-mq-whats-new-sept-2014.html
  2. MainView for WebSphere MQ -  Using the New Message Edit and JOB Actions - http://www.bmc.com/support/mainframe-demonstrations/msmdemo-mv-mq-using-new-message-edit-job-actions.html
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MainView for CICS 6.6.00 supports the following releases of the IBM CICS system:  

  • CICS Transaction Server Version 3.1
  • CICS Transaction Server Version 3.2
  • CICS Transaction Server Version 4.1
  • CICS Transaction Server Version 4.2
  • CICS Transaction Server Version 5.1
  • CICS Transaction Server Version 5.2

If you continue to use CICS releases that are no longer supported, you must exclude those CICS regions from the new MainView for CICS . You can continue to use earlier supported releases of MainView for CICS to manage unsupported regions.   

MainView for CICS 6.6.00 also provides support for the IBM CICS Transaction Server Version 5.2 product. All MainView for CICS functions have been enhanced to work with CICS Transaction Server Version 5.2.

 

MainView for CICS 6.6.00 provides new sets of resources views in three areas:  

  • Application management views

    • CAPPL for CICS applications
    • CBUNDLE for CICS bundles
    • CBUNDLP for CICS bundle parts
  • Event-related views
    • CCAPSPC for event capture specifications
    • CEVTBIN for event bindings
    • CEVTPRC for event processing
  • Java/Web views
    • COSGBDL for OSGi bundles
    • COSGSRV for OSGi services

  

This version of MainView for CICS includes enhancements and changes to components of response time (CORT) views. MainView for CICS workloads track the performance of transactions matching the criteria in the workload definitions. This data is significantly enhanced to provide all facets of transaction response time data and is now available in a set of CORT* views that are similar to the TASK, CHIST, and CHINT families of views. You can access the new views through the original workload-related (CORT) views (CFLOW, CFLOWS, CWOVER, and CWOVERS). For more information about the CORT* views, see the MainView for CICS Online Services Reference Manual.  

Note - The original CORT views are updated. These views and the new CORT* views are not compatible between this version and earlier versions of MainView for CICS. BMC recommends that you initialize new MVI history files for this version to avoid problems with earlier versions of CORT records in the interval recorder data.

 

In addition, the CWOVERD and CWOVERDS views are no longer available in version 6.6 of the MainView for CICS product. Customized CFLOW, CFLOWS, CWOVER, and CWOVERS views will not work in version 6.6.

 

MainView for CICS provides support for monitoring the performance of the CICS applications running on your system. This support is provided through the following enhancements:

 

  • A new set of views displaying the CICS applications that are installed on your CICS regions
  • Navigation aids that help you locate the various resources related to your CICS applications that are installed on your CICS regions
  • An enhancement to the MainView for CICS Workload Monitor Definitions (CWKLDDEF) that allows you to collect and aggregate response time data for transactions executing as part of a CICS application or platform

  

MainView for CICS 6.6.00 allows you to specify generic target names when specifying monitors to be automatically started with the TARGET and BLK statements in BBPARM member BBIISPxx. You can specify the wildcard character asterisk (*) or plus sign when specifying targets that use AUTOBLK statements to automatically start low-level monitors when their targets initialize.

 

This version of MainView for CICS introduces the following new and enhanced views to replace earlier views:

 

  • The PASINFO view is enhanced with a new version that provides more information about the state of the BBI-SS PAS.
  • The PASINFO view now includes storage and CPU utilization information, information about other active MainView products in the BBI-SS PAS, and includes the new PASSUM and PASSUM views.
  • The PASSUM and PASSUMR views provide a summary of monitors that are running on your systems. The PASSUM view summarizes the monitors by the BBI-SS PAS and only runs in SSI mode. The PASSUMR breaks the monitor requests down by the targets that are managed by an individual BBI-SS PAS.
  • The PASPARM view is a new view that provides a list of the parameter members located in the BBI-SS PAS BBPARM data set. The view provides highlighting that indicates which of the parameter members are currently active for the BBI-SS PAS. It also provides hyperlinks that allow you to edit the parameter members either through dialogs within the products or direct text editing.

  

MainView for CICS 6.6.00 provides enhancement to security options for CICS actions, it checks the authority of a user to perform actions that would modify CICS or CICS resources. To do so, MainView for CICS uses standard System Authorization Facility (SAF) calls to external security managers (ESMs) when basic or enhanced security is active on the BBI-SS PAS.


This version of MainView for CICS converts the full-screen DUMP display and Storage options panels now run in windows mode. The new DUMP (or PK) view replaces these full-screen options. The new windows mode view supports hyperlinks from various MainView for CICS views to display storage information in MainView Explorer or through a 3270 MainView session. In the DUMP view, you can use the hyperlinks to examine CICS storage, and you can display the unformatted content of many CICS control blocks.


This version has changed some default settings for CMRSOPT parameters, which affect various data collection settings for the CICS region.

 

This version of MainView for CICS includes the following features that were introduced with PTFs in version 6.5 of MainView for CICS:

 

  • Support in the Task Kill Exit for TS and TD queues
    The MainView for CICS Task Kill Exit provides support for warning about, orterminating tasks, based upon TS or TD queue utilization.
  • Enhancement to the Detail Trace Facility
    The MainView for CICS Detail Trace Facility provides additional information about the responses to CICS commands and various CSD-related commands. It also allowsfor greater user flexibility in recording traces started against active tasks.
  • Enhancements to the IDCT and SDCT low level monitors
    The MainView for CICS IDCS and SDCT monitors support more granular monitoring of different types of dumps (taken, suppressed, system, or transaction) on your CICS regions.
  • New RES action added to FST2 transaction
    The MainView for CICS FST2 transaction supports a RES (restart) action. The RES action allows you to use a single command to restart the MainView for CICS and MainView AutoOPERATOR for CICS agents. You can use the FST2 RES command instead of having to use both the FST2 TERM and FST2 INIT commands.
  • Enhancement to CMRDATA
    The SMF110 segment (CMRDATA) is expanded to contain the 64-byte UDAT2 field from the T6E record.

  

This version includes the following changes and enhancements to views:

 

  • The CREGDSAS view provides additional data that you can use to set alarms for storage utilization.
  • The CREGION view provides statistics about region Max Tasks for use in setting alarms.
  • The CCONN* view provides additional information and 14 new SET actions.
  • The CTASKD and CHISTD views display the name of the last abended program. The CMRDETL record also includes this new field.

  

For more and complete information on MainView for CICS 6.6.00 please refer to the release notes.

 

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MainView for WebSphere MQ 5.2.00 supports Version 8 of the IBM WebSphere MQ software.  This release also provides significant performance improvements. You can take advantage of IBM System z Integrated Information Processors (zIIPs) for BMC Software Extensions for WebSphere MQ (MQE) data collection. 

You can control zIIP processing by using the following new EXITOPT parameters: 

  • ZIIP=[YES | NO]
  • ZIIPPCT=nnn

    

For additional performance improvements, you can now collect and aggregate data asynchronously in the Product Address Space; this significantly reduces the impact on performance. You can control asynchronous data collection by using the new EXITOPT parameter called PASDATA.

 

This release includes updated views:

 

  • AUTH views to support WebSphere MQ Version 8. Version 8 introduced new TYPE values and parameters for the authentication information object. MainView for WebSphere MQ displays the new values in the AUTH, AUTHD, and AUTHZ views and enables you to modify some of those values. For more information, see the online Help for these views.

    QMGR views to support WebSphere MQ Version 8. Version 8 added new queue manager attributes and changed the properties of some existing attributes. MainView for WebSphere MQ displays the new and changed attributes in the QMMVSD and QMD views. For more information, see the online Help for these views.
  • Miscellaneous view updates to support WebSphere MQ Version 8. The following views have been updated: Buffer pools (BP), Channel attributes (CHATTR), Channel authentication (CHLAUTHD), Page sets (PS), Publish/subscribe connections (PUBSUBST, TOPIC, TOPICD), Queues (LQD), and Queue manager system parameters (ZPARMSD)

  

This release fully supports changes that WebSphere MQ Version 8 made to SMF data control blocks. Version 8 restructured some SMF data and moved some SMF data control blocks to storage locations above the bar.

   

With this release, the Next Generation Logger (NGL) replaces the MainView Logger for trace record offloading.

   

The release also has end of support for:

 

  • MainView for WebSphere MQ Integrator feature is no longer available. As a result, the product no longer provides specialized message broker views.
  • BMC plans to discontinue support for the MainView for WebSphere MQ alternate statistics (MQMD) feature in a future release. 

 

For complete information on MainView for WebSphere MQ 5.2.00 please refer to the release notes.  

 

A “What’s new for MainView for WebSphere MQ 5.2.00” video is also available please click here (BMC customer support login required)

 

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I was working with a customer a few weeks ago.  He was showing me another product and how he could enter a command and get exactly the information he wanted.    No menus, no lists just the information on this single widget.    It got me thinking about positional parameters and how useful they were for exactly this purpose.

I had to explain how to find out if positional parameters existed for a view, how to use them and finally how to create them using view customization if none existed.    I've since created a quick course which will be available in the coming months on creating and using MainView view positional parameters.  If you don't know about quick courses, please follow this link, http://www.bmc.com/support/mainframe-demonstrations/.    Quick courses are brief demonstrations of how to perform a particular task using MainView and other BMC products.    In this case how to use positional parameters to provide you the exact information you are looking for on a view.

 

If this has peaked your interest and you don't want to wait for the quick course on positional parameters to be posted reply here with an email address and I will be happy to share the PowerPoint.    It won't have my narrative, but it will have full speaker notes!

 

If you have suggestions for additional quick courses, please post them here and we will see what we can do to get added.

 

Later! 

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A new Patch is available for MainView Infrastructure (MVI) Threshold Advisor product, this Patch adds installation support for Windows 2003 Server R2 64-bit and Windows 2008 Server 64-bit. The Patch also provides the ability to define and manage MainView recording requests by their defined MVI Single System Image (SSI) Contexts, as well as better calendar period naming/management for the push to the MainView Infrastructure side, and provides performance improvements on the Started Tasks (STCs) running on the mainframe when Context is used.

 

The Patch is located on the BMC Software EPD site ( http://www.bmc.com/support/downloads-patches/BMC-Support-Product-Downloads-and-Patches.html  Support Login Id required) and is identified by the "Threshold Advisor 1.0.00 Patch 1 Full Install" designation. This Patch is a complete installation and will install over the existing production version. When downloading from EPD, ensure you select the "Product Patch" Tab as per image below.

 

Patch.jpg

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On January 30, 2104 - MainView for IMS v5.1 became Generally Available, this release provides compatibility with and can exploit features of Version 13.1 of the IBM IMS system. The release adds support for:

  • An increased number of regions, BMPSs, and CICS threads
  • Database versioning
  • Displaying IMS ALTER option usage when a database reorganization starts
  • IMS Connect command enhancements
  • Synchronous program switch descriptors
  • MQ descriptors
  • OTMA Synchronous Program Switch clients
  • ISC over TCP/IP

 

This release also provide performance enhancements:

  • The Workflow samplers can now run on zIIPs.
  • Reduce the total IMS transaction and IMS BMP CPU usage by reducing the amount of CPU used by the MainView for IMS Event Collector. Internal test indicate about a 4% reduction in transactions, and a 7% reduction for BMPs. These results may vary at your installation due to differences in your environment and in your applications. Note: The larger reduction in BMPs is due to the higher number of DL/I calls that they typically make.

 

Other enhancements:

  • The transaction log record (X'FA') and the program log record (X'F9') have been updated and has change the length.
  • You can now record data for multiple IBM DB2 and IBM MQSeries subsystems in the log record.
  • IRUF record layout has been updated for the transaction accounting record(TAR), program accounting record (PAR), and terminal (LTERM) account record (LAR). Also the record lengths have changed.
  • All functionality is now only available through Windows mode.

 

For detailed information on these enhancements, please refer to the release notes on Product Support Status at http://www.bmc.com/support/ (Note: support Login required)

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On January 30th, 2014 - MainView SRM v7.8 became Generally Available. This release provides:

  • A comprehensive view of an application's dataset usage, including historical trends. This will provide insight to potential cost saving measures to eliminate waste.
  • A view of datasets and whether they have a backup, when the last backup  was taken, and how many backups have been retained. Knowing which datasets have not been backed up or have not been recently backed up can highlight potential issues when looking at recovering datasets. Datasets that are being backed up too often can lead to unnecessary processing.
  • The option to offload eligible processing to zIIPs for internal sorts within the SVOS and Storage Guard Perform address spaces, and for compressing and decompressing VTOC Scan and Storage Guard Perform records.

 

For detailed information of these enhancements, please refer to the MainView SRM release notes in Product Support Status at http://www.bmc.com/support/ (Note: support login id required).

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