MartinPacker 11000094DH Visits (5184)
I wish I’d started counting DB2 subsystems before.
A recent study saw 43 DB2 subsystems, in 13 Data Sharing groups (and a few in none), across a large number of z/OS systems.
And if I try to remember other studies these numbers have been typical of them (but this is not a typical set of numbers).
Two thoughts entered my head:
This post is about the latter. I might come back to the former.
I want to share a technique I used that you might want to emulate. At any rate it generates diagrams I think you’ll find easy on the eye.
As I hinted, I think customer mainframe estates have become more and more complex. So the need for better tooling has become acute.
If you read the footnotes you’ll see this isn’t 100% ideal but it certainly gets you a lot of the CICS / DB2 topology;
To me it’s architecturally useful stuff.
The question is how to depict this network.
Yes, other tools are available but there’s a specific feature I really like that makes this the tool I’m going with: Comma-Separated Value (CSV) import.
CSV is nice because:
One other feature I like of iThoughts is the ability to Filter on a text string. Actually you can do a Global Replace which I found useful in sanitising the screen shots for this blog post.
As with most mind mapping tools I can move nodes and subtrees around very easily. I can also add notes such as when the CICS region or DB2 subsystem started.
First, a shot of some DB2 subsystems - one set in a Data Sharing group, another not.
The grey colour was actually specified in the CSV file my code creates. It’s to draw attention to the fact the subsystems in that colour aren’t in a DB2 Data Sharing group. One day I could colour code the Data Sharing groups.
And now a shot of some CICS regions attaching to two DB2 subsystems in the same system:
That isn’t really burdensome.
The nice thing is I have a mind map or two I can rearrange and edit. And there are some more nice tricks like the ability to have my code generate notes for each node and have iThoughts import them at the same time as the actual topology data.
So if I get bored I can see ways to enhance this.
So, I’m sure you could do this with other mind mapping tools. The point of this post, however, is to encourage you to experiment with this kind of depiction. Have fun!