DB2 Tools corner: Using IBM Tools Customizer for z/OS in a multiple-LPAR environment

Although Tools Customizer currently supports only the local LPAR, you can use several methods to customize products on multiple LPARs where Tools Customizer is not installed.

Rasha Dwidar (rdwidar@us.ibm.com), Advisory Software Engineer, IBM

Rasha Dwidar is an Advisory Software Engineer and the IBM Tools Customizer for z/OS development team leader. One of her main focuses is customer interaction. Formerly, she was the quality assurance team leader for multiple DB2 Tools. In 2010, she joined the Tools Customizer development team to become one of the original developers of Tools Customizer. She introduced the agile development process to the Tools Customizer development team and is the Tools Customizer scrum master. Rasha joined IBM in 2008 and holds a master's degree in software engineering from San Jose State University.



Steven Gregg (sagregg@us.ibm.com), Information Developer, IBM

Steven Gregg is the lead writer for the IBM DB2 Tools for z/OS information development team. Some of his focuses include embedded assistance in ISPF-based products, reusable documentation for multiple information units, and documentation that helps users get up and running quickly and easily. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida and Carnegie Mellon University. Steven joined IBM in 2009.



Eric Radzinski (eradz@us.ibm.com), Technical Editor and Information Architect, IBM

Eric Radzinski is the technical editor responsible for DB2 for z/OS and DB2 Tools documentation. Formerly, he was also responsible for IMS Tools documentation where he co-authored numerous white papers about the IMS Tools Solution Packs and IMS automation and modernization enhancements. He is a co-author of The IBM Style Guide: Conventions for Writers and Editors. Eric joined IBM in 1996 and is a graduate of San Jose State University.



14 March 2013

Also available in Russian

Overview

IBM® Tools Customizer for z/OS® was introduced to provide a standard, repeatable process for customizing products in the DB2® for z/OS Tools portfolio. Before the introduction of Tools Customizer, each DB2 for z/OS tool followed a unique (non-standard) approach to customization, which required database administrators and systems administrators to learn and follow many different customization processes. Now, DB2 for z/OS tools that are enabled for Tools Customizer all follow a simple and standard customization process. Tools Customizer provides significant benefits, including:

Simplified customization of multiple tools
By employing a standard, ISPF panel-driven dialog that includes a robust help system, Tools Customizer simplifies the customization of any tool that is enabled for Tools Customizer.
Improved up and running
Tools Customizer's ability to automatically "discover" the customization parameters of previous releases drastically reduces the overhead that is required to manually enter parameter values. Customization templates are provided for each product, which significantly streamlines the customization process. And the list of customization jobs that are generated by Tools Customizer are displayed in a standard job execution sequence.
Simplified upgrades
Parameters from previous customizations are saved for future new product releases and DB2 upgrades, which simplifies the task of upgrading from one release to the next.

Currently, Tools Customizer supports only the local LPAR; however, you can propagate customizations to additional LPARs by using either of the two different methods that are described in this article.

How Tools Customizer currently behaves in a multiple-LPAR environment

In a multiple-LPAR environment, Tools Customizer identifies the LPAR that the user is logged on to. Tools Customizer uses this LPAR name for several different parameter settings, one of which is the data store. When you use the data store during the customization of a product that is on a different LPAR, Tools Customizer issues message CCQD586S, which indicates that the product has already been customized based on values from the data store on the first LPAR. This message is issued to prevent the data store from becoming corrupted.

This behavior occurs in the following conditions:

  • Tools Customizer is installed on a DASD device that is shared by multiple LPARs.
  • After a product is customized by using Tools Customizer, the data store is copied to another LPAR.

The following scenario shows how this situation typically occurs:

  1. A user starts Tools Customizer on a LPAR and customizes a product.
  2. The user then sends a copy of the data store to another LPAR or the data store resides on shared DASD that is accessible from another LPAR.
  3. The user then starts Tools Customizer on a different LPAR to customize or recustomize a product, which causes Tools Customizer to detect a different LPAR than the one in the data store.
  4. Message CCQD586S is issued to users who subsequently use Tools Customizer on a different LPAR that is using the same data store. The CCQD586S message indicates that the LPAR was changed.

Methods for using Tools Customizer in a multiple-LPAR environment

To customize products running against a DB2 entry on an LPAR where Tools Customizer is not installed, consider using one of the following options:

Install a single instance of Tools Customizer on a single LPAR
The following method is appropriate if you intend to reuse the customization values for all the instances of your products on all LPARs.
  1. Associate all the DB2 entries in this one instance of Tools Customizer. DB2 entries are not checked within Tools Customizer, so the DB2 entries do not have to reside on this LPAR.
  2. Generate the customization jobs for each DB2 entry.
  3. Send a copy of the generated customization jobs to the LPAR to run against the specific DB2 entries. Some LPAR-specific edits might be required. You can make these edits in the customized jobs that you copied. Note that this situation is one of the few situations where you might need to make manual changes to the jobs that are customized by Tools Customizer.
Install an instance of Tools Customizer on each LPAR
This method is appropriate if you are not concerned with reusing the customization values that were generated and want to start new customizations from scratch.

Important: This method will likely not be the preferred approach for most organizations because most organizations tend to use similar or identical customization values for each product instance on all LPARs.

Conclusion

While only the local LPAR is currently supported by Tools Customizer, the methods described in this article will help you to customize products in your multiple-LPAR environment.

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