Greetings from soggy North Carolina, where we have broken the all-time record for rain in this area – over 59 inches in 2018 with the potential for 60 inches by Dec. 31.  As we look ahead to 2019, the official announcement about the new Workload Scheduler for z/OS will be forthcoming and I will once again have the pleasure of presenting at ASAP University.  (Unlike 2018, there should be no travel restrictions from my doctor this year, especially since there are non-stop flights to/from Raleigh-Durham and Dallas).

For those of you enjoying your end-of-year change freezes, by the time you read this it will probably be time to think about your future plans with Workload Scheduler for z/OS.

9.1 End-of-Support

If you are still running Workload Scheduler for z/OS 9.1, be advised that end-of-support will be April 30, 2019. To remain with a supported release, you have two primary options:

  1. Migrate to Workload Scheduler for z/OS 9.3 prior to April 30, 2019 – Note: Skipping 9.3 has its advantages. Migrating to 9.3 is a challenge if UI55005 is installed.
  2. Migrate to Workload Scheduler for z/OS 9.5 as soon as it goes GA.

If you need additional time to complete the migration to your next release, then request a support extension.

Still Running 9.2

Unless you have an extremely urgent reason to upgrade to 9.3, migrating from 9.2 to 9.5 is typically the preferred option.  The end-of-support for 9.2 has not been announced. If 9.2 end-of-support and 9.5 GA are announcement concurrently, then you would have 12-18 months to complete an upgrade while running 9.2 fully supported..

Use EQQICTOP to eliminate need to run a REPLAN with the controller down before making MCP changes

I have been beta testing 9.5 along with testing the migration from 9.1 , 9.2 or 9.3 (if UI55005 has not already been installed on 9.3) to 9.5. Using the EQQICTOP program eliminates the need to run a REPLAN with the controller down before you can make any MCP changes (i.e. run any jobs, PIFs, ETTs, make any changes from the MCP dialog, etc.). The need to run this special REPLAN as part of UI55005 implementation was documented in FLASH 10729727

Already on 9.3?

Get ready to migrate to 9.5. It has several features that you will want to try. Detailed information, new features, and real-life applications will be shared in the announcement letter, at ASAP University 2019, and through the ongoing 9.5 beta test demos.  To receive notifications about the 9.5 demo sessions contact Francesco Valentini. Note: If you do not have UI55005 installed, then be sure to read the section immediately above about FLASH 10729727.

Running 8.6 or older?

If anyone is still on Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS 8.6 or older (hopefully with a support extension in place), direct migration to 9.5 will not be possible. You will need to do a two-step migration, such as, 8.6 to 9.1, 9.2 or 9.3 and then from 9.x to 9.5.  You will need to have the 9.x EQQICTOP load module in place to accomplish these steps. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to order 9.3 now.

Following up to Cy’s Corner #95

Workload Application Programming Language (WAPL)

For those of you using WAPL (or thinking about it), be aware that the program temporary fixes (PTFs) for APAR PH00586 (UI58756/UI58757) have been superseded by the PTFs for PH04921 (UI59900/UI59901). Getting to the latest WAPL maintenance level is highly recommended. Note: The original WAPL proc EQQYXJCL has been replaced by a simplified version EQQYXJPX.  The EQQYXJCL proc is still being provided (so far) for compatibility purposes.

Request for Enhancement (RFE)

While participating in the 9.5 beta test, I tried the newly implemented and extremely popular RFE to make it possible to set an operation to FINISHED with completion code nnn and let Workload Scheduler decide what to do with this information (ie. Set the operation to completer or in error). There are many ways in which you can put this to good use – especially when working with conditional dependencies and step level dependencies.

Back to UI55005

I have not seen any issues that have not been addressed by following FLASH 10729727 correctly. As previously mentioned, migration to 9.5 makes the implementation much easier since the EQQICTOP program makes the changes to the current plan. (With 9.3 you need to run a REPLAN with the controller down to make change to the current plan).

It is unfortunate that the UI55005 is missing an “Action Hold”. Even after using FLASH 10729727, adding AI (additional information) to the PTFs, and putting some entries into the preventive service planning (PSP) bucket for the 9.3 (TWSZOS930); there are still some who installed UI55005 without an awareness of the special handling that was needed. The following solution – for SPE APARs and for other APARs where special handling may be needed – will be implemented in the future: Before the APAR is closed, a technote will be published to provide any necessary additional instructions. The resulting PTF(s) will point to the technote in an “Action Hold”.  This technote is invaluable. It documents issues, which were discovered after the PTF was closed and will be revised as new information becomes available. It is important that you review the technote immediately prior to implementing the PTF(s) in order to ensure that you have the most up-to-date data. (Since there have been no new SPEs, APARs or HIPERs since Cy’s Corner #95, this proactive technote technique may be the first generally available APAR after the release of 9.5.)

Wishing you all a happy 2019. I hope to see you at ASAP University 2019 – Deep in the Heart of Workload Automation!