Finding and resolving IMS database exceptions using the Tools Base Administration Console for z/OS

The IBM® Tools Base Administration Console for z/OS® displays exceptions and statistical information in a graphical web interface. Because the Administration Console provides access to database reports, historical trends, and displays exception messages, you can easily manage the overall health of your resources on a z/OS system. The following article focuses on how to manage a group of IMS™ databases and how to troubleshoot a problem when one of those databases has an exception.


Elliot Yamaguchi (, Information Developer, IBM

Elliot YamaguchiElliot Yamaguchi is an information developer for IMS Tools. As an active member of the Administration Console development team, Elliot is responsible for aspects of Administration Console documentation, including online help and the IBM Tools Base Administration Console User's Guide.

08 December 2011


This article shows how you can use the capabilities of IBM Tools Base Administration Console for z/OS (also known as Administration Console) to manage a large number of IMS databases. Because the Administration Console provides a high-level overview for a group of databases, you can quickly find and troubleshoot databases that have potential problems.

You will start by creating a group of databases relevant to you or in some way related to one another. Then you will view a summary table, which helps you quickly identify any problems.

Next, you will learn to use the summary table to drill down into a specific database that has an exception. By drilling down, you can view detailed information about the database, such as exceptions, reports, and sensor data information, to troubleshoot the database exception.


Basic knowledge of IMS databases is recommended. The Administration Console and all its dependencies must be installed and configured so you can log into a specific environment from the Administration Console login page.

For detailed information about installing and configuring Administration Console, see Tools Base Administration Console in the IBM Information Management Software for z/OS Solutions Information Center.

Flash demos

To view a flash demo of this article, see Download. You must have Adobe Flash Player V10 or later installed.

Surveying the health of databases you regularly work with

To help you manage a large number of databases, the Administration Console provides a summary table of your databases. When you group databases, the Administration Console generates a summary table for that group, where you can view the overall health of those databases.

Logging in

On the Administration Console login page, select the environment you want to manage and log in.

The user ID and password you enter are the RACF credentials for the environment, so users have the same authorizations in the Administration Console as they do on their z/OS systems. To manage authentication and authorization, see the security information for Tools Base Distributed Access Infrastructure in the IBM Information Management Software for z/OS Solutions Information Center.

In addition to authentication and authorization, the Administration Console and Distributed Access Infrastructure provide SSL encryption that secures your TCP/IP communication.

Grouping related databases

A group is a user-defined collection of similar resources. The use of groups enables you to easily manage a large number of databases:

  1. From the Administration Console banner, click Resources to display the Resources page. The Resources page is the main workspace where you can find and view information about your resources.
  2. From the resource tree, select My View from the list of views, as shown below.
    Figure 1. Views
    Drop-down list of views in the resource tree

    The resource tree displays multiple types of views including RECON Groups, Monitor List, and Search Results. The Monitor List view shows the resources that are monitored by Autonomics Director, and the Search Results view lists the resources that match your search query. My View is a customizable view that you populate with the groups and resources you regularly work with. When you first start the Administration Console, My View is empty.

  3. To populate My View, click the Add resources icon (Add resources icon). The Add Resources window is displayed, which allows you to create groups and add databases to those groups.
    Figure 2. Add Resources window
    Window of Add Resources

    The My View pane shows the resources that you have added to My View. You can create or remove groups by using the My View pane. The Search pane provides a search box where you can find the resources you want to add to My View.

  4. To create a group, click the New Group icon (New Group icon). TIP: You can remove groups and resources by selecting the group or resource that you want to remove and then clicking the Remove Resources icon (Remove Resources icon).
  5. In the New Group window, enter a name for the group, then click OK. Specify a name that helps you identify the databases in the group. For example, if you group all your mission-critical databases, the group name can be High-priority databases.
  6. Search for the databases to add to the group by using the search box in the Add Resources window.
  7. To add databases to the group, select the group you created. Next, select the databases that you want to add and then click Add (Add database). TIP: You can select multiple databases by pressing Ctrl+click. You can also select a range of databases by pressing Shift+click.
  8. Optional: Add additional groups and databases to My View. You can add as many groups and databases that you require.
  9. Click OK. All the groups and databases that you added to My View are displayed in the resource tree, as shown below.
    Figure 3. High-priority database group expanded
    Group expanded showing all the databases in the group

Viewing the summary table

A summary table is generated by the Administration Console for each group. The summary table provides a high-level overview where you can quickly find databases with exceptions. On the Resources page:

  1. Select My View.
  2. From My View, select a group you created. A summary table is automatically generated by Administration Console and is displayed in a frame next to the resource tree, as shown below.
    Figure 4. Sample summary table
    A sample summary table that shows the overall statistics for 5 databases

    The first line of the summary table shows to total counts for each column. In it, the first line shows a total of 54 reports, one recommendation, two critical, one severe, and one warning exception. Recommendations are actions that can resolve the exception the recommendation is associated with. These recommendations are provided by the Autonomics Director.

  3. Scan the Overall column to find databases with one or more exceptions. The first line in the Overall column indicates whether the group has any critical (Red square indicates a critical exception), severe (Orange circle indicates a severe exception), warning (Yellow triangle indicates a warning exception), or no exceptions (Green diamond indicates no exception). The group from the sample summary table has at least one critical database exception. You can find the database or databases with the critical or other exceptions by scanning the Overall column.

    After scanning the summary table, you can double-click a database from the summary table to view more information about it.

Finding and resolving database exceptions

When you find an exception for a database in the summary table, you can drill down into the database to view the exception and to see detailed statistical information you can use to determine the state of the database.

Viewing detailed information about a specific database

When you view a summary table, you can drill down into a specific database by double-clicking it from the summary table. Alternatively, if you know the name of the database, you can find the database by using the Administration Console search.

For information about groups and the summary table, see "Surveying the health of databases you regularly work with."

To complete a search:

  1. On the Resources page, enter the name of the database in the search box. For example, databases that begin with DOHI000 are being searched for:
    Figure 5. Administration Console search box
    Search box that shows a sample search

    Results for your search are immediately displayed when you type in the search box.

  2. From Search Results view, click the database that matches your search. The Administration Console displays an informational dashboard. Depending on the database type, the Administration Console can display the following types of widgets either at the database level or at the data set level.
    Properties widget
    The Properties widgets displays general information about the resource such as the database type, the number of segment levels, and the number of logical children.
    Exception widget
    The Exceptions widget displays exceptions for this resource. Exception data is provided by the most recent evaluation that the Autonomics Director completed.
    Reports widget
    The Reports widget displays the number of reports for the database. You can sort reports by run date or by job number.
    Sensor data widgets
    The sensor data widgets display charts of the data elements that are in the IMS Tools Knowledge Base sensor data repository for the database. The charts can help you visualize historical trends for statistics such as space use, optimization, and fragmentation.

    TIP: For most widgets and sensor data charts, you can click the Information icon (Information icon) to view additional information about them.

Viewing and resolving an exception

If a database has an exception, you can use the Administration Console to help resolve it. To see exceptions on the database:

  1. View the Exceptions widget from the informational dashboard. Numbers next to the Exception widget title and next to the severity name indicate the number of exceptions for the database or for that severity group. The following example shows four exceptions for this database. Two are critical exceptions, one is severe, and one is a warning.
    Figure 6. Sample exceptions
    Exception widget that shows sample exceptions

    The date indicates when the latest Autonomics Director evaluation was run on this database.

  2. In the Exceptions widget, click on a severity group name to expand it and to see all the exceptions within that group. Exceptions prefixed with a Recommendation icon (Recommendation icon) have recommended actions provided by the Autonomics Director. If completed, the actions will resolve the exception in most cases. Exceptions without an automated recommendation will likely require further analysis by viewing help information and the sensor data charts.
  3. To view more information about an exception, click it. A help panel is displayed that shows more information about the exception, as shown below.
    Figure 7. Exception help panel
    Exception help panel content

    The exception help information provides the rule conditions that triggered this exception, the related data elements, the related sensor data charts, and possible resolutions. You can use all of this information to troubleshoot and diagnose an exception more completely.

    TIP: You can hover over an exception to view the name of the rule that generated the exception.

Viewing trends and reports to verify an exception

On the informational dashboard, you can use the sensor data and report widgets that the Administration Console provides to help determine the actions you might take to resolve an exception. For example, you can view charts and reports related to a database exception to help visualize trends or to view statistical information about the database:

  • To view historical trends, expand a sensor data widget by clicking the Expand icon (Expand icon). Expand the widget that includes the charts related to the exception you want to verify. All the charts for that widget are displayed on a single page. You can also individually expand each chart. When you expand a chart, the chart is enlarged, and a time slider is provided that you can use to select a specific time period for the chart. By viewing charts related to an exception, you can analyze how the database statistics change over time. For example, a chart that shows a steep decline or incline might require immediate attention. Conversely, a slow steady decline or incline might require an adjustment to the rule thresholds so that an exception is generated when the problem becomes more critical.
  • To view reports for the database, in the Reports widget, expand a group of reports, then click a relevant report. The reports are opened in a new browser tab. These reports are the same reports stored in the IMS Tools Knowledge Base report repository.
  • To find and view a specific report, use the Administration Console Reports page:
    1. From the Administration Console banner, click Reports to display the Reports page.
    2. Click Add Criteria in the Search Criteria pane.
    3. Select the criteria you want to search on.
    4. For each criteria, set the relational operator in the criteria's drop-down menu and specify the value to search on. For example, a search criteria can specify a specific database name equal to DOH0001.

    By using the Reports widget or Reports page, you can quickly find a specific report that contains the information you require. For example, if you have an exception that requires a database reorganization, you might want to view the Database Diagnostics report to see when the last reorganization was run and the Segment Statistics report to see how effective that reorganization was.


You learned how the informational dashboard provides a starting point where you can view detailed information about your databases. From the information dashboard, you could view exceptions and use the other Administration Console widgets to verify the exceptions. For additional information about the Administration Console, see the Administration Console Welcome page or the integrated help information.


Administration Console demo1intro_to_ac_viewlet_swf.zip627KB
Finding and resolving problems2find_db_exception.zip804KB


  1. Open the SWF file to launch the viewlet.
  2. Open the SWF file to launch the viewlet.



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