Contributed by Daniel Nussbaummueller
Do you still create utility jobs manually to maintain several objects? Do you think that your maintenance jobs need to be run on a predefined frequency basis? IBM DB2 Automation Tool for z/OS helps you with these challenges.
Combining object, utility, and job profiles, DB2 Automation Tool can reduce and facilitate manual routine tasks and focus on more complex job responsibilities that add more value to your company. Additionally, when using exception profiles and DB2 Automation Tool, you can define in a utility profile when to run a utility against an object in an object profile. You select the conditions from a statistics list in the exception profile.
But instead of talking about the solution itself, we want to give you more information about what these profiles actually are, how they work and how you can use them to create an autonomic infrastructure:
Object profiles allow you to create reusable lists of objects. You can group related objects into one profile, such as all objects for a particular application, objects with similar maintenance requirements, etc. In an object profile, you can include objects on which you want to run utilities, as well as exclude objects that you want the utilities to ignore.
You can create object profiles using either the IBM Management Console for IMS and DB2 or by using the ISPF panels in automation tool. Here you can see the GUI for creating it in the IBM Management Console:
A utility profile is a collection of one or more utilities and their respective run time options. Using a similar technique to creating object profiles, we can now create a utility profile to address any particular maintenance requirement. You can select the utilities that you want to execute and “Update Utility” will allow you to specify the parameters you want to specify for that given utility. Once created a utility profile can be updated at any time to include more utilities or to change the options for a given utility.
The following list shows the utilities and functions that are available:
Exception profiles allow you to define when a utility in a utility profile should be run against an object in an object profile. You select the conditions from a statistics list in the exception profile. The exception profile is placed in the job profile with the object and utility profile. During the job build, exception processing produces a list of accepted objects and a list of rejected objects. When creating utility profiles, you can specify whether the utility is to be executed on the accepted objects, the rejected objects, or both.
There are 184 available selection criteria that we can use to select candidate objects. Also, we can provide our own criteria through a user exit interface. There are 10 supplied default exception profiles and viewing these will give you a good idea on how to create and specify your own based on your site standards:
Job profiles combine the object profiles and utility profiles (and optionally exception profiles) into a set. If no exception profile is included in the job profile, then each utility is run unconditionally on each object on the object list. You can combine multiple object profiles with multiple utility profiles, and can specify the job step order for the generated job. The combined profiles, which are headed by the job profile, form the basis of a DB2 Automation Tool task. You can submit this task manually or schedule it by using the DB2 administration task scheduler or your site’s scheduling software. The job profile will evaluate the exception profile against the objects in the object profile and when a condition is met will generate JCL and Utility statements to perform the tasks specified in the utility profile against the objects that met the condition.
To create a job profile use the ‘C’reate command on the command line:
These profiles allow you to help IT staff reduce think time to repetitive tasks and also to analyze the environment in order to run only what is needed and when it is needed, reducing the CPU utilization for maintenance jobs that do not really need to run in a defined maintenance window. So by combining object, job, exception and utility profiles with the DB Automation Tool, you can make your database environment work more efficiently.
With the addition of the Management Console and the Autonomics Director you can now not only exercise “Passive” autonomics but you can start to move into “Active” autonomics. The Management Console makes monitoring the current symptoms and automating the suggested actions easy.
And how about you – did you already created an autonomic infrastructure? What were your experiences using these profiles in DB2? Tell us what you learned while working with these products. If you want to see additional material about the process of creating the autonomic infrastructure using DB2, see the IBM Redbooks publication Modernize Your DB2 for z/OS Maintenance with Utility Autonomics.