Back to the future: how IBM Z Workload Scheduler integration in Zowe is bringing the workload automation into the modern age
85% of 1,400 IT professionals agreed about mainframe skills gap. Around 18% of mainframe staff planned to retire within five years. IBM predicts that approximately 37,200 new mainframe administration positions will emerge worldwide by 2020. Are you facing with the challenge to have young talent on board struggling in the interaction with mainframe?
72% of customer-facing applications are completely or very dependent on mainframe processing. Do you have the feeling that mainframe is a black box hard to integrate in hybrid cloud applications?
Recurring questions like these, helped re-thinking the future of mainframe in order to propose new ways to interact with mainframe These have been regular questions in conversations about the future of mainframe that have permitted to explore new solutions for the so-called Gen Z.
What is IBM Z Workload Scheduler?
IBM Z Workload Scheduler (IZWS) brings the power of Workload Automation on the mainframe, allowing users to centrally control all the automation processes. Using IZWS, customers can automate workloads in an hybrid cloud environemnt while leveraging a solid, reliable technology.
IZWS allows customers to use a single point of control and monitoring of complex workflows on hybrid-cloud environments, while making the most out of predictive capabilities, automatic resolution of interdependencies and out-of-the-box integrations such as SAP, PeopleSoft, DataStage, Hadoop and more. IZWS is the ultimate meta-orchestrator for continuous automation, leveraging containerization for the distributed components with an intuitive user interface, while offering the lowest TCO on the market.
IZWS + Zowe: together to do more on the mainframe
IBM Z Workload Scheduler is modernizing the mainframe approach, providing its capabilities in Zowe to facilitate the operations for mainframe users. Zowe consumers need to submit services and check their status, performing several actions on their business processes: submit a job, get list of jobs, retrieve the content of a job file output and many more.
In this landscape IZWS offers a variety of commands based on REST API in Zowe, to manage and orchestrate all services required in a DevOps scenario:
Application developers - creation and execution of all the integration tests needed to validate their new applications.
Operations - deployment, release and monitoring of these applications.
IZWS offers a new plug-in in Zowe CLI: it allows to quickly and easily access IZWS services in an ecosystem where many mainframe common tools are available. It enable young developers and system programmers to easily get onboard and work on mainframe.
IZWS commands exposed in Zowe make possible the automation of all those services needed to application developers and operators to run, test, deploy and monitor business services in different environments.
ZOWE conformance badge
"The Zowe Conformance Program aims to give users the confidence that when they use a product, app, or distribution that leverages Zowe they can expect a high level of common functionality, interoperability and user experience."
IBM Z Workload Scheduler plug-in for ZOWE CLI got the ZOWE conformance badge.
How IBM Z Workload Scheduler integrates with Zowe CLI
Our goal is to simplify and speed up the daily work for both application developers and operators by providing them with a complementary and practical interface that can be quickly adopted by all generation of mainframers.
To achieve this, we leveraged our Transparent Development program, creating a priority list of commands to be integrated in Zowe, among the most rated from IZWS Customers.
The IZWS Plugin provides a new set of commands under the main group workload automation wa as follows:
execute | exec Execute WAPL commands. Workload Automation Programming Language is a programming language that can cover multipurpose scenarios (Including actions available uniquely through WAPL).
get Retrieve the specifics of resources in plan.
list | ls Monitor of jobs, jobstreams (application) and resources in plan, list jobstreams in model (database).
submit | sub Submit/add dynamically a jobstream into the plan.
update Update resources in plan.
All wa commands provides additional information about the jobs, jobstreams or resources when response format JSON parameter is specified.
One extra feature that IZWS exposes as plug-in is the possibility to configure the same as Zowe CLI default credential manager.
As part of our continuous integration process it is our purpose to keep expanding IZWS plugin with additional commands, exposing new features for Zowe users.
Use Case: crisis management resolution
On a daily basis, operators process tickets for issues in PRODUCTION environment. In order to solve a critical situation, some of these tickets include request for submission of recovery or rerun procedures. These applications may require input parameters for JOB, time dependency conditions such as specific Start Time. These processes can be submitted on hold and the execution is triggered when external conditions are satisfied.
In this example we show how an operator can speed up the completion of his assigned tickets by exploiting wa command in a simple script.
1. Submission of a recovery application
In this example the submit.sh script read the jobstream specifics from a Ticket properties file and invokes the following wa commands:
submit jobstreaminplan to add the jobstream to the plan. This command can leverage the possibility to submit the application without running it until an external condition is satisfied and the capacity to provide JOB variables to be substituted with given values once the jobs runs.
query jobstreaminplan to monitor the jobstream that has been submitted.
The script for the submission, automatically moves the ticket in the ready to close folder once the application has been submitted and verified.
2.Release of an application
In this example the release.sh invokes the following wa command to release a jobstream:
exec wapl to execute wapl statements that perform the release of the application. This command can be run directly from the command line or by taking in input a local file such as ticket file in the example above.
query jobstreaminplan to monitor the jobstream that has been released.
3.Monitoring the status of the jobs within a jobstream
In this example the following wa command is invoked from command line to monitor the jobs:
list jobinplan to obtain a list of the status and other information such as the start time and workstation of the jobs within an application.
Enablement of real DevOps scenarios.
Federica Gari, IZWS & IWS Techsales
Started working for IBM in 2001 at the IBM Software Laboratory in Rome. She started her career in the L3 Customer Support department for NetView Access Service and Tivoli Decision Support. During these years, she has held various roles in the product development lifecycle. Two of those years, she spent with the development team for IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler. She then became the L3 Customer Support team leader for the same product. She has covered also the role of Transparent Development Program leader for the entire IBM Workload Automation family. She worked in the L2 Customer Support team in HCL company. Her current role Workload Automation Techsales in the HCL Service offering team. She hold's a master's degree in Mathematics.
IBM + HCL Transparent Devolpment Program: http://www.workloadautomation-community.com/blogs/ibm-hcl-workload-automation-transparent-development-program
Workload Automation Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_R7b8BDt_qaRdzuxczBM1Q
Zowe Conformance Program: https://www.openmainframeproject.org/projects/zowe/conformance
Zowe Official Website: https://www.zowe.org/
Zowe Github Repo: https://github.com/zowe
Open Mainframe Project Official Website: https://www.openmainframeproject.org/
Open Mainframe Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-WTXQQtz2m5iTflJLK59aw
Open Mainframe Project Slack Channel: https://openmainframeproject.slack.com