Introduction to IBM MQ Programmable Command Formats

Programmable Command Formats (PCFs) define command and reply messages that can be exchanged between a program and any queue manager (that supports PCFs) in a network. PCFs simplify queue manager administration and other network administration. They can be used to solve the problem of complex administration of distributed networks especially as networks grow in size and complexity.

Programmable Command Formats are supported by:
  • [AIX]IBM® MQ for AIX®
  • [HP-UX]IBM MQ for HP-UX
  • [IBM i] IBM MQ for IBM i
  • [Linux]IBM MQ for Linux®
  • [Solaris]IBM MQ for Solaris
  • [Windows]IBM MQ for Windows
  • [z/OS] IBM MQ for z/OS®
  • [HPNSS]IBM IBM WebSphere® MQ for HP Integrity NonStop Server 5.3

The problem PCF commands solve

The administration of distributed networks can become complex. The problems of administration continue to grow as networks increase in size and complexity.

Examples of administration specific to messaging and queuing include:
  • Resource management.

    For example, queue creation and deletion.

  • Performance monitoring.

    For example, maximum queue depth or message rate.

  • Control.

    For example, tuning queue parameters such as maximum queue depth, maximum message length, and enabling and disabling queues.

  • Message routing.

    Definition of alternative routes through a network.

IBM MQ PCF commands can be used to simplify queue manager administration and other network administration. PCF commands allow you to use a single application to perform network administration from a single queue manager within the network.

What are PCFs?

PCFs define command and reply messages that can be exchanged between a program and any queue manager (that supports PCFs) in a network. You can use PCF commands in a systems management application program for administration of IBM MQ objects: authentication information objects, channels, channel listeners, namelists, process definitions, queue managers, queues, services, and storage classes. The application can operate from a single point in the network to communicate command and reply information with any queue manager, local, or remote, using the local queue manager.

Each queue manager has an administration queue with a standard queue name and your application can send PCF command messages to that queue. Each queue manager also has a command server to service the command messages from the administration queue. PCF command messages can therefore be processed by any queue manager in the network and the reply data can be returned to your application, using your specified reply queue. PCF commands and reply messages are sent and received using the normal Message Queue Interface (MQI).

For a list of the available PCF commands, including their parameters, see Definitions of the Programmable Command Formats.