Parameter Generator (PARMGEN)

Parameter Generator, also known as PARMGEN, is an application that you can use to configure, replicate, maintain, and update runtime environments.

With PARMGEN, you edit a comprehensive list of parameters for all the installed products and components that you want to configure in an RTE. Then, PARMGEN generates the customized files needed to execute the products, and you submit a series of jobs to create the RTE with the parameter values you specified. You can edit the parameters and submit the jobs yourself, or you can use the PARMGEN Workflow interface.

The PARMGEN configuration software often determines default values best suited to your site and validates data assigned to parameters to ensure values are in range. It checks for prerequisites and tries to ensure data sets are allocated properly and that jobs run to proper completion.

However, the configuration software cannot determine all the specifics of your site, nor precisely what you want to do with the products. So you need to customize IBM® template files to configure the products to your specifications. For example, you are probably familiar with modifying the JCL used by applications to submit jobs. At a minimum, you typically have to modify vendor-supplied JCL to add a job card and to change various values to suit your site, such as those values that define the DASD used by the job.

To help facilitate the modifications you need to make to configuration files, the IBM-provided templates are standardized to use variables and string substitutions. The values for almost all of these customizable elements are set in a single location, an editable configuration Profile. The variables names are long enough to helpfully describe the purpose of the parameter.

Sometimes data larger than a single parameter needs to be added into a runtime file. For example, PARMGEN supplies a template job card that you customize once, adding as many lines of input as necessary for your site. The whole job card file gets embedded into template configuration profiles so that the JCL is ready to be submitted. The same concept applies to other types of embedded data, such as program SYSIN data that the configuration software may conditionally embed based on the settings in your RTE profile. The $PARSE program reads the configuration profiles and the embed files and generates tailored user versions of the IBM templates. The output files and jobs are first stored in a work data set, so that your production files are not replaced until you are ready to implement the changes.

Variables can be resolved during the $PARSE process or left as symbolics and substituted at runtime. The use of variables reduces the number of changes you need to make if you clone the RTE to new systems, because system-specific values are automatically picked up by the variables.

Note that both the framework and the monitoring products require additional configuration outside the PARMGEN configuration software. For example, OMEGAMON® for Db2® requires that you run some bind procedures. These product-specific additional required configuration tasks are documented in the Planning and Configuration Guide for each product.