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The New z/OSMF Workflows Feature Optimizes Sets of System Programming Tasks


With z/OS* Management Facility (z/OSMF), users get a product that simplifies, optimizes and modernizes the z/OS system programmer experience, delivering solutions in a task-oriented, Web-browser-based UI with integrated user assistance. While the OS has been delivering simplification since it was introduced, z/OSMF brings a new dimension and focus to simplification.

This article primarily focuses on a new core feature available in z/OSMF version 2.1 called Workflows, which further enhances z/OS simplification initiatives.

What Is z/OSMF?

Helping simplify and automate the most common systems programmer (sysprog) tasks, z/OSMF not only reduces the time it takes to deal with everyday issues, but it also provides a simpler interface for new programmers. The need for it was brought about by an increase in the number of new sysprogs due to the retirement of older sysprogs and the increased scope of responsibilities for the mainframe programmers. z/OSMF won’t replace sysprogs, but it can reduce the time it takes to do many tasks and reduce the chance of errors. z/OSMF can help:

  • Improve systems programmer productivity and software management capabilities
  • Provide easier training for new systems programmers
  • Implement standardized best practices
  • Position the use of workflow scenarios to improve the time to implement other features in z/OS

What Is z/OSMF Workflows?

Configuring a product or component on z/OS can be complex. Customers want a consistent, simplified and less error-prone way to configure products on z/OS. z/OSMF Workflows is a new function introduced in z/OSMF V2.1 that is part of the z/OSMF core installation. It provides a framework for implementing a guided, step-based activity flow that can be used for configuring and maintaining z/OS systems.

The intent of the Workflows task is to simplify the configuration of constructs specific to z/OS for applications and middleware.

Workflows are not limited to configuration and installation. They can also be used to define any task that requires a step-by-step process task, such as adding users to the security product.

The z/OSMF Workflows task provides wizards to assist with common configuration activities, such as creating configuration files, creating and submitting Job Control Language (JCL) and running REXX scripts or shell scripts. Hence, z/OSMF provides the framework from which workflows operate.

Anuja Deedwaniya is a Senior Technical Staff Member in the z/OS Development lab at IBM, member of IBM Academy of Technology and z Systems architect for System Management and IT analytics. Anuja has over 30 years experience at IBM in various areas of mainframe strategy, design and development.

George Ng is a senior certified I/T managing consultant for IBM Systems and Technology Group Lab Services at IBM Poughkeepsie. His areas of focus include z/OS Parallel Sysplex, High Availability and Performance.



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