Plan for the removal of BookManager READ


z/OS V2R3 is planned to be the last release to include the BookManager READ element. IBM recommends that you use IBM Knowledge Center for z/OS, which was introduced in z/OS V2R2, to access product documentation on the web or from your own local repository.

IBM Knowledge Center for z/OS is the IBM platform for delivering product documentation. It is the replacement for both BookManager READ and Library Server.

In z/OS V2R2, IBM Knowledge Center for z/OS (KC4z) became a base element of z/OS. With KC4z, and Version 5 of the Softcopy Librarian tool, your installation can manage collections of Knowledge Center content (plug-ins) in your own repositories, and serve the content to users from those repositories.

KC4z provides function that is equivalent to BookManager READ and Library Server, as follows:
  • Similar to BookManager READ, you can use KC4z to manage your content collections. One difference is that KC4z provides a web interface to the documentation, rather than the“green screen” TSO/E interface as found in BookManager READ.
  • Similar to Library Server, you can use KC4z to host and serve documentation from your own server, within your intranet. By using links on the KC4z content Landing Page for each "z/OS elements+features" product, KC4z can serve PDFs from the IBM Publications Center website. Or, if the PDFs are loaded into a KC4z repository on your system (using the collection of Adobe Indexed PDFs for "z/OS elements+features"), the PDFs can be served from a local KC4z repository.

In z/OS V2R1, IBM ended its production of BookManager Book format publications. At this time, the need to continue reading documentation by using the BookManager READ “green screen” interface on TSO/E is much reduced or eliminated.

Table 1 provides more details about this migration action. Use this information to plan your changes to the system.

Table 1. Information about this migration action
Element or feature: BookManager READ
When change was introduced: z/OS V2R3
Applies to migration from: z/OS V2R2 and z/OS V2R1.
Timing: Before installing z/OS V2R3.
Is the migration action required? No, but is recommended because BookManager READ is planned to be removed in the release after z/OS V2R3.
Target system hardware requirements: None.
Target system software requirements: None.
Other system (coexistence or fallback) requirements: None.
Restrictions: None.
System impacts: None.
Related IBM Health Checker for z/OS check: None.

Steps to take

Remove any dependencies on BookManager READ from your system.

Check for the following uses:
  • Review any invocation of BookManager READ on any customized ISPF panels that you have provided.
  • Reading BookManager Book format documentation by using the BookManager READ “green screen” interface on TSO/E. Plan to replace your BookManager Book repository with a KC4z repository of Knowledge Center plugins.
  • Using the BookManager READ command line interface to access information in BookManager Book format documentation, such as the older “green screen” version of the LookAT message tool. Replace any use of the BookManager READ command line interface that accesses information in BookManager Book documentation with a Knowledge Center based solution. For example, the “green screen” version of LookAT can be replaced by the KC4z LookAT function. In KC4z, the LookAT function can be configured to perform its message lookup against either the Knowledge Center hosted on, or against a KC4z repository of Knowledge Center documentation hosted locally on your system.

If you still need the ability read legacy BookManager books, you can do so by moving the book files to a Windows system and using Softcopy Reader for Windows to read the files. This tool is available for download without charge from IBM Support Portal on

Reference information

For more information, see IBM Knowledge Center for z/OS Configuration and User Guide.