IBM Support

Need to do tracing? How to turn on the CMOD trace facility

Technical Blog Post


Need to do tracing? How to turn on the CMOD trace facility




Trina D Morgans is a Support Engineer with IBM Content Manager OnDemand for z/OS in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Trina has worked at IBM for 12 years. Her areas of expertise include  database performance and tuning, installation, migration, and Content Manager OnDemand troubleshooting. She has co-authored books on DB2 data warehousing and referential integrity. Trina holds multiple degrees in Computer Science and Technology.



Have you ever been in a dark room and need a flashlight to find your way?  That is what the IBM Content Manager OnDemand trace facility does for you….


When you are working in your Content Manager OnDemand applications and encounter an error, you contact IBM Content Manager OnDemand Support for help. If the Support team needs more information, they will request you to turn on the Content Manager OnDemand trace facility so they can see in the dark.  The trace enables the Support team to see what is going on behind the scene. 


Content Manager OnDemand has incorporated a trace facility to help the Support team to perform problem determination. In this blog, I will show you how to enable the Content Manager OnDemand trace.


Before you do anything, remember the trace impacts Content Manager OnDemand server performance . It should be enabled only when requested by the Support team.  You enable it to gather documentation and you should disable it afterward.  It is not something you want to keep running all the time.  You only want to run it when requested by the Support team.


Enabling trace facility


To enable the Content Manager OnDemand server trace facility, complete the following steps:


1. Locate your trace.settings file.

– On AIX, it is in /usr/lpp/ars/config

– On Windows, it is in C:\ProgramFiles\IBM\OnDemand for WinNT\config

– On z/OS, it is in /SYSTEM/etc/ars

– On other platforms, it is in /opt/ondemand/v9.0/config


2. Edit the trace.settings file to trace server for trace server startup routines by setting the following trace parameter:



3. Edit your ars.cfg file by adding the ARS_TRACE_SETTINGS parameter and

referencing the full path to your trace.settings file. For example:



For Windows, the ars.cfg configuration is in the registry. Edit the registry settings for the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\OnDemand for WinNT\@SRV@_ARCHIVE\CFG, where ARCHIVE is the name of your Content Manager OnDemand instance. Create a string value ARS_TRACE_SETTINGS and

set the value to the full path to your trace.settings file.


After you enable tracing, start the Content Manager OnDemand Administrator Client.


Note: The information from the Content Manager OnDemand trace facility is for informational purposes only and should be used only under the direction of IBM Support personnel. How tracing is enabled and what gets traced is subject to change at any time and is not to be used as a programming interface.


Setting trace parameters


After you enable tracing, you can set the appropriate option for a runtime trace by using the Content Manager OnDemand Administrator Client.


Log on to the Content Manager OnDemand Administrator Client and configure tracing by completing the following steps:


1. Right-click the server name and select Trace Parameters, as shown below:



2. In the System Trace Setting window (shown below), complete the following steps:


a. Select the Activate System Trace check box to turn on tracing for the whole system.



b. Enter information in the trace parameters entry field. The trace parameters can be name=value pairs that are separated by commas to define the trace level. These name=value pairs are provided by IBM.


c. Click Update. You do not need to restart Content Manager OnDemand. After the trace is collected, you can send the trace file to IBM Support.


Note: You can stop or start the runtime trace from the Administrator Client anytime without restarting arssockd.


Important: Again, use trace only with the help and request of IBM Support because activating it might severely impact the performance of your Content Manager OnDemand system.


Once you got a trace file, you can send it to IBM Support so they can further diagnosis your problem!  For more information on tracing and troubleshooting, check out the IBM Redbooks publication listed below and other related blogs.


Additional references

For Content Manager OnDemand related blog posts, see:

For more information on Content Manager OnDemand, see IBM Redbooks publications:



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