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LongEx Mainframe Quarterly - Feb 2024


Messages - Essential Diagnosis Tools

We at Longpela Expertise are perhaps the only people in the world that get excited about z/OS messages: messages produced by z/OS and other mainframe software.

But these messages and their documentation are brilliant, and make debugging and problem solving so much easier. So in this edition, we're goint to take a look at messages: how to use them, and how to produce them.

In our technical article, we step through how to get the most from these messages.

In our opinion article David Stephens gives his opinion on what these messages should look like: even if produced by a user application.

Finally, in our management article we list five (relatively) new z/OS features that are becoming critical, and so need to be understood and managed as well as we manage traditional things like IMS and CICS.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

technical: Deciphering z/OS Messages

One of the best things about z/OS, and any product running on z/OS, are the messages they create. Really. When there is an error, these messages are brilliant at figuring out and fixing the problem. They're awesome at finding out what is happening, and even ensuring that what should happen, does. In this article, we are going to see how to decipher these messages, and how we can use them to fix our problems.


opinion: A Beginners Guide to Creating Messages

So, I look down through the SYSLOG using SDSF, and I find this message:


But what does this message mean? Is this a serious error, or just informational? What issued it, and who should I talk to about it?

Or in other words, this message is terrible. So, let me jump on my soap box and tell you how I think error messages that may appear on a z/OS console, or anywhere for that matter, should work.


management: Five New z/OS Technologies We Can No Longer Ignore

50 years ago, IBM announced the MVS operating system, now called z/OS. Over these 50 years, IBM has continually changed z/OS to keep it relevant. This change hasn’t stopped in recent years, and today there are some technologies that z/OS systems programmers and administrators can no longer ignore. They’re not coming, they’re already here, and are probably running on your z/OS system today.

Let’s take a look at five (relatively) new z/OS technologies I think need to be understood by z/OS systems administrators and others working with z/OS today.



LongEx Quarterly is a quarterly eZine produced by Longpela Expertise. It provides System z Mainframe and z/OS related articles for management and technical experts. It is published every November, February, May and August.

The opinions in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of any other person or organisation. All trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced in these articles belong to their respective companies.

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