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IBM Redbooks Have What it Takes

Redbooks develop and deliver skills, technical know-how and materials to IBM technical professionals, business partners, clients, and the marketplace.

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In this post, I am starting a new series on IBM Redbooks, which contain content that is developed and published by the IBM Systems Worldwide Client Experience Center. The great thing about Redbooks is that they develop and deliver skills, technical know-how and materials to IBM technical professionals, business partners, clients, and the marketplace in general. Simply put, Redbooks are really useful. Let me explain.

The Special Role of Redbooks

IBM products are supported by product manuals. The table below is for JES2. Many of the product manuals are narrow in focus, for example Commands or Data Areas or reference in nature like Messages or Macros.
z/OS JES2 Order number Last modified
Network Job Entry (NJE) Formats and Protocols SA32-0988-30 2/16/2019
z/OS JES Application Programming SA32-0987-30 2/16/2019
z/OS JES2 Commands SA32-0990-30 2/16/2019
z/OS JES2 Data Areas GA32-0997-30 2/16/2019
z/OS JES2 Diagnosis GA32-0993-30 2/16/2019
z/OS JES2 Initialization and Tuning Guide SA32-0991-30 2/16/2019
z/OS JES2 Initialization and Tuning Reference SA32-0992-30 2/16/2019
z/OS JES2 Installation Exits SA32-0995-30 2/16/2019
z/OS JES2 Introduction SA32-0994-30 2/18/2019
z/OS JES2 Macros SA32-0996-30 2/16/2019
z/OS JES2 Messages SA32-0989-30 2/16/2019
z/OS MVS JES Common Coupling Services SA23-1387-30 2/16/2019
There is nothing wrong with a specific focus or supplying reference material but the manuals leave the door open to Redbooks that provide guidance and education that is more activity-related like migration considerations or integration tasks. Here are two examples:
  1. A Guide to JES3 to JES2 Migration. This IBM Redbooks publication provides information to help clients that have JES3 and want to migrate to JES2. It provides a comprehensive list of the differences between the two job entry subsystems and provides information to help you determine the migration effort and actions. This book considers the features of JES2 as available on releases of IBM z/OS V2R2 and V2R3. It should be used with JES3 to JES2 Migration Considerations, SG24-8083. 
  2. IBM z/OS V2R2: JES2, JES3 and SDSF. This IBM Redbooks publication helps you to become familiar with the technical changes that were introduced into the JES2 JES3 and SDSF areas with IBM z/OS V2R2.  
You can read from the titles and a short description that the Redbooks are a compliment to the product manuals. This makes them an attractive tool to get a job done using the product manuals mainly for reference.

Redbooks Content

The IBM Redbooks web site is organized in five categories. Each category has sections, each of which contains a number of documents. The five categories—along with their respective sections and documents—include:
  1.  IT Infrastructure
  • IBM Z: 680 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • LinuxONE: seven Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Power Systems: 469 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Spectrum Computing: 17 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • IT Business Perspectives: 131 Redpaper and Redbook documents 
This category has over 1,300 documents focused on various aspects of IT infrastructure.
  1.  Software
  • Analytics: 344 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Cloud: 132 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Data Management: 147 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Enterprise Content Management: 25 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • System Z: 582 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Middleware: 241 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Security: 120 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Watson: 15 Redpaper and Redbook documents 
This category has over 1,600 documents focused on various dimensions of software.
  1.  Storage
  • Disk Storage: 156 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Flash Storage: 50 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Software Defined Storage: 67 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Storage Networking: 79 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Storage Software: 119 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Storage Solutions: 145 Redpaper and Redbook documents
  • Tape Storage: 39 Redpaper and Redbook documents 
In the storage category there are over 655 documents focused on various dimensions of this category.
  1.  Training
  • Be an Author: this section explains how Redbooks are developed through residency programs
  • Digital Badges: these are awarded at the successful completion of an IBM Redbooks residency that publishes either an IBM Redbooks or IBM Redpaper material
  • Systems Technical Events: this section displays information about upcoming technical events to build skills
  1. About Redbooks
  • What We Do: this section explains that IBM Redbooks content is developed and published by IBM Systems Worldwide Client Experience Center—IBM Redbooks, formerly known as the ITSO
  • Copyright Information: this section explains the personal and commercial use restrictions for these IBM publications
  • Newsletter: this is where you can sign up for an IBM Redbooks weekly newsletter
  • Contact Us: this section shows how you can follow IBM Redbooks on social media or give feedback on a specific publication

How Many Redbooks and Redpapers?

It’s useful to count the documents in each category. Doing this, I discovered that there are over 3,565 documents. This body of work is a significant tool to build and maintain technical skills and to get a job done quickly. The numbers tell only part of the story. Next week, I’ll dig into some of the Redbooks and Redpapers.
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