I have just returned from a daylong Guide SHARE France event held in Paris. It was hosted by Luc-Michel Demey, the Guide France MQ Group president, and Carl Farkas, the IBM representative for the same. The event took place in the IBM offices at Bois-Colombes.
The day started with coffee and pastries as all the attendees arrived. The event was held in a room that could hold 50-60 people. It was well attended with a full room of people due to Luc-Michel and Carl's excellent marketing of the event.
Introduction, Annonce MQ V8 en bref
Luc-Michel opened the day, welcoming us to the Guide France event and explained that this is a regular event held five times a year and told us that the next event will focus on MQ Migrations and FTE, and the one after will look for MQ V8 experiences.
Carl Farkas followed him with a presentation that started by reminding the audience of events that have happened, such as IMPACT, and those soon to be held such as the European Technical University before introducing MQ and reminding us what was in the V7.1 and V7.5 releases and some features which were released very recently, but before V8. He also reminded us about raising RFEs and showed just how many were included in MQ V8 as well as pointing us to some very useful resources for learning about MQ including the Knowledge Center, the MQDev Blog and even an MQ V8 You Tube video. The point was made that in France it is often not possible to access the You Tube website from in the office.
MQ v8 New Features, toutes plates-formes - Deep Dive
After Carl’s introduction, I was up presenting the first of two sessions on MQ V8. The first two sessions, from Luc-Michel and Carl, were both given in French. This was not the case for me though! I began by apologizing that it would now be English language for the rest of the day! The two sessions on MQ V8 were broken up so the first session covered all the features except the z/OS specifics, those we would cover later in the afternoon.
The second section, my favourite, on “Security” included our new User ID and password authentication support, something I love talking about! I also told them about the change to the OAM to allow user ID based authorizations instead of the authorizations being set on the primary group. This feature had lots of them nodding, they were familiar with the current behaviour but did not like it – this addition to MQ V8 is a welcome one. We also covered hostnames in CHLAUTH records and using certificates labels both at a queue manager level and on a per channel level, which also seemed to be very popular, being forced to use our mandated label is something they’d like to move away from.
The third, and final section before lunch, on “Scalability” covered some performance improvements and then the Routed Pub/Sub feature that allows topic clusters to include more queue managers without causing quite so much traffic as in previous releases. This section also covered the Split Cluster Transmit Queue feature that was new in V7.5 but is now also included on IBM i and z/OS in the V8 release.
Then we had lunch, which was a delicious buffet of meats, cheeses, sandwiches and fruit; and we had an hour to talk to the audience more individually and answer questions that they had about what they have seen in the morning.
MQGem What's new
After lunch, they heard from MQGem Software and about what is new there. Paul Clarke, the founder of MQGem, told them about the MQSCX product with its extensions beyond what the MQSC language and runmqsc tool can give you; usability enhancements such as command recall and tab auto-complete and functional enhancements such as more complex WHERE clauses. He finished that section with a demo of the script language that is part of the current MQSCX Beta, by running a script called ‘top’ which listed the topmost full queues on his system.
In the second half of his presentation he talked about MO71, the graphical MQ administration tool that was previously an IBM SupportPac but which is now licensed to MQGem to support and develop. There were many users of this tool in the audience, so Paul introduced some of the less well known features of the tool such as filtering which can change the colours of your displays as well as what is shown; multi-queue manager displays; and pre-defined dialogs. Then he showed the up-coming features in his V8 Beta version that will soon be made available. This includes, of course, support for MQ V8, but also, a graphical display of the applications running on the system and the queues they are using, including the ability to set icons to represent the different applications. He finished with a demo of this showing the icons changing as the applications started running.
MQ v8 on z/OS New Features - Deep Dive
The last session of the day was the completion of the MQ V8 information covering the “System z Exploitation” features. This session was deliberately last in the timetable to allow any non-z/OS members of the audience to be able to leave at this point if they were not interested. Perhaps about one third of the audience left at this point, so there was still a good crowd. The first feature, 64-bit buffer pools seemed to be very popular with this audience, just as it has been with audiences all round the world. They also liked the specifically French comparison of the space available with 31-bit buffer pools versus what you have with 64-bit buffer pools, although lots of nods when reminded that you still need real memory to back your buffer pools.
I also covered the change from 6-byte to 8-byte log RBAs and what that means; SMF statistics for your CHINIT TCBs and channels; and various other z/OS MQ features. This section also highlighted various z/OS features that are relevant to MQ even though the MQ Development organisation didn’t have to write a single line of code; Flash memory support for Coupling Facility and how that can improve the capacity of your shared queues; and SMC-R “Shared Memory Communications over RDMA (Remote Data Memory Access)” improving the speed of your channels.
Discussion ouverte avec nos invités, café
After the session there was still time for a final cup of coffee and to answer any other questions that the attendees had. All in all it was an excellent and very well organized event. I’m sure all in attendance would like to extend their thanks to Luc-Michel and Carl for making it happen.
The material from this Guide SHARE France event is hosted on their website at http://guide2.webspheremq.fr/reunions-precedentes/2014-2/reunion-du-024062014-hcty-2014/