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And the Winner Is …

De Decker takes top prize in the Dz Tips and Techniques Challenge

6/4/2012 4:12:29 AM | The first Destination z Tips and Techniques Challenge concluded last month with two participants each winning a zEnterprise 114 LEGO model, courtesy of contest sponsor Trident Services.

Jan De Decker, a senior z/OS systems program with JED: SP N.V./S.A in Brussels, Belgium, submitted the winning entry: “A poor man’s programmed operator.” It received 61 percent of the votes cast.

Pasfoto-jan.jpg
Jan De Decker

A 27-year IT veteran and self-described “mainframe addict,” De Decker follows many related forums and list groups, and collects mainframe paraphernalia. So the prize was a strong motivator, he explained. Regarding his entry, he noted:

“Executing system and JES2 commands is well documented in the manuals. My submission was an example of how to use it during an upgrade of z/OS. I tried it for the first time during an upgrade from MVS/XA to MVS/ESA. I use the idea of passing system and JES2 commands through a batch job on a regular base.”

A second LEGO model winner, Marc Yves Desravines, was chosen at random from voters who posted an explanation of their vote. A graduate student at Carlos III University of Madrid, Desravines interns as a junior applications programmer z/OS at Aubay Espana, where he programs in COBOL, DB2 and CICS.


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Marc Yves Desravines

His choice in the contest—COMPARE Session command—was submitted by Anoop Thomas of IBM India, and finished second with 36 percent of the vote. Desravines wrote: “Sincerely, in my case, the COMPARE SESSION command is the best. Great tip!”

When asked why the six-year IT veteran got involved in the contest, both by submitting an entry and voting, Desravines said, “I love all things related to System z, and it’s always a pleasure for me to read articles, books, papers, etc., talking about z. My motivation was starting to be more active in pages where I can comment and participate.”

The contest itself generated more than 40 entries. An expert mainframe panel narrowed the choices to three finalists, with nearly 80 Destination z members voting for their favorite. Individuals were encouraged to vote and post their rationale for a chance to win the second LEGO model. All told, 59 posts were logged which had more than 4,000 page views.

Here's the winning entry from De Decker:

A poor man's programmed operator
Most sites have automatic operator software implemented. During a z/OS upgrade however, you do not want them to intervene until you have successfully run the Imp’s of the BCP. Typically, you install the base z/OS, including exits, WLM settings and usermod's, import the old master as user catalog, check PARMLIB settings, etc. before you want to invoke the automatic operator on a flash copy. There’s a lot of work to be done, before even attempting to turn on the green lights for customer testing. Your mileage may vary but in my experience it takes a lot of IPL's before you reach that level. Meanwhile you are the sole operator to do the shutdown/IPL sequence. Two things might help. One is to put some automatic replies into in the (z/OS V1R12) AUTORxx PARMLIB member, the second one is to launch a job that does a shutdown of most of the system. I include an example (used while upgrading to z/OS V1R12) below. The first job (JES2 command before JOB card) ensures that JES2 will honor the commands submitted in jobclass (A) between the JOB and the EXEC card. The second job contains a numbers of commands you would have to enter during a normal shutdown without automatic operator. The last command in the example is site specific. What I do is to get out of EDIT sessions, and submit the job. Mind that it does not do all the work, JES2 for instance you have to stop manually.


Example:
/*$TJOBCLASS(A),COMMAND=EXECUTE
//JEDSP001 JOB OS-SETUP,'JED:SP JAN@JEDSP.NET',CLASS=A,
// MSGLEVEL=(1,1),MSGCLASS=X,NOTIFY=&SYSUID,
// REGION=0M
//*
//S0 EXEC PGM=IEFBR14
//*
//JEDSP001 JOB OS-SETUP,'JED:SP JAN@JEDSP.NET',CLASS=A,
// MSGLEVEL=(1,1),MSGCLASS=X,NOTIFY=&SYSUID,
// REGION=0M
// W
// RACF STOP
// F DLF,MODE=DRAIN
// P TNF
// F RMF,NODDR
// P GMPSERVE
// F VMCF,REMOVE
// P TSO
// F HZSPROC,STOP
// F BPXOINIT,SHUTDOWN=FORKINIT
// P OMVS,STOPPFS=ZFS
// P FTPD1
// P FFST
// P HZSPROC
// P LLA
// P VLF
// % STOP
// P SDSF
// P TCPIP
// P RMF
// Z NET,QUICK
// P DLF
// $PJES2,TERM
// V XCF,MVSZ,OFF (reply SYSNAME=MVSZ) <-------Site specific
//S1 EXEC PGM=IEFBR14
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