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Automating From Start Up to Shut Down: NetView

June 29, 2014

In my previous post I wrote about SYS1.PARMLIB and made a specific focus on members that pertained to automation including COMMNDxx, IEFSSNxx and MPFLSTxx.  In this post I want to explain the role of NetView in system automation.

NetView can be used by itself to automate systems and networks or it can be used as a base upon which can be added other automation products to speed up the process of automating a system. To make NetView work as an automation tool, it is identified as a subsystem to z/OS so it has the privilege of receiving copies of messages. Also, it is started early in the IPL process so it can start tasks and jobs in the proper sequence.

Example Automation Tools

Once NetView is up and running, several of its components come into play including:

  • Message Table is used to “trap” messages and take actions upon them by running a program or executing a command or reply.  There are often many entries in this table as message handling is such an important way to implement automation.
  • AT, EVERY and AFTER commands are building blocks that utilizing the timing capabilities of NetView. These commands make tasks like monitoring possible. For example, the command EVERY 5, MVS D CICSPRO1, could be used to display the status of the JOB CICSPRO1. This technique is used to determine if the job is running. If it is not then a recovery action can be taken.
  • Autotasks are an operator station task that does not require a terminal or a human operator. Basically, it is a task in the NetView address space that can be handed work to do like run commands. This is part of an effective multitasking strategy to use within NetView as there can be many autotasks. 

There are just three examples of the significant and varied technical capabilities of NetView that make it possible to automate just about anything that needs to be automated in a z/OS system.

If you are new to automating a system, it is best to follow an organized process. You should start by defining an automation project. Key things to do include defining tasks, assembling a team, choosing an approach, involving operations groups and creating a project plan. This will get you started. You also will need to identify the goals of your organization and understand your operating environment. Once the planning is done then you can move on to design activities. System automation needs to be organized like any other IT project.

Where can I find our more about NetView automation? The NetView Automation Guide is the place to read about NetView automation in more detail. 

Posted June 29, 2014 | Permalink

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