When a customer is approaching for the first time to schedule workloads on iSeries environments, a set of questions are usually raised. This blog is a collection of these questions and related answers, on a WA 94FP3 base.
1. Which agent should you install? Where is the documentation?
For the iSeries platform WA provides two different agent types:
This agent supports the dynamic scheduling capabilities WA provides allowing the execution of several job types (see FAQ 2). Agent installation is documented in the Planning and Installation Guide, while the User’s Guide and Reference contains a chapter dedicated to scheduling on iSeries (Managing an IBM i dynamic environment).
After installing the agent, it automatically registers to the master with AGENT as TYPE and IBM_I as OS.
Limited Fault Tolerant Agent (LFTA)
This agent type is based on the Fault Tolerant Agent architecture. It can work even if there are communication problems with its domain manager while the Dynamic Agent cannot. It is called “Limited” because its capabilities are at V8.5.1 level and all the features implemented on FTA in V8.6 and V9.x releases were not ported on this agent. Execution of iSeries jobs only is supported. Installation and usage is documented in a specific manual called Limited Fault-Tolerant Agent for IBM i.
After installation, manual agent definition is needed specifying FTA as TYPE and OTHER as OS.
This agent is not available in WA 9.5 version.
2. Which jobs can I run on iSeries Dynamic agents?
The types of job iSeries dynamic agent supports are:
The most used job type is the IBM i and it is used to run iSeries jobs and commands (see FAQ 3).
3. Which jobs can I run on LFTA agents?
LFTA supports native jobs only (DOCOMMAND). Select “UNIX” from DWC to define jobs from the user interface. For more details refer to the Limited Fault-Tolerant Agent for IBM i manual.
4. How can I use IBM i jobs?
IBM i jobs can be used to submit iSeries jobs or to run specific iSeries commands.
When you define an IBM i job in the “Task” tab you can see two different options:
Use this option to run whatever iSeries command, for example DSPLINL, WRKSYSSTS, WRKDSKSTS.
Use this option in case you need to run the SBMJOB command and you prefer a simplified interface to specify parameters. When selecting this option text boxes for the main SBMJOB parameters can be edited and you don’t need to remember the exact command syntax.
In case you need to specify a parameter that is not present (for example USER) you need to use the Generic command format.
5. I’m not interested in the jobs (child jobs) my Workload Automation iSeries job starts. How can I ignore them?
When you submit an IBM i job, it might start one or more batch jobs (child jobs). By default, the IBM i agent monitors these batch jobs, waits until their completion and collects their job logs but this activity is resources and time consuming. Use the CHILD and NOCHILD options to override the default at the agent, that is for all the jobs running on the agent, or at a single job level. For more details, refer to the User’s Guide and Reference, chapter Child job monitoring on IBM i agents.
6. I’m using LDA (Local Data Area) to pass as communication mechanism among my iSeries jobs. Is it supported?
Support for LDA is added to the IBM i agent in V9.4 FP6 and V9.5. With this option, you can pass the name of the LDA and the library where the area is located when submitting a job.
7. I would start the job execution when a file is created or updated on my iSeries agent. How can I implement this?
You can use the features available for the other agent types except EDWA.
Starting from V94FP1 you can use the filemonitor utility as a stand-alone command in a job implementing job dependencies or you can set the filemonitor keywords as additional parameters for the start condition of a job. The use of the OPENS dependency is supported.
8. I have a set of jobs that needs an answer to operator messages to proceed. How do I know when a job is waiting on a message?
Workload Automation iSeries jobs waiting for an answer to an operator message are in the SUSP state. This state is displayed on the DWC or in the conman output. The operator can answer the message in three different ways:
9. I have a zCentric iSeries agent connected to my controller but to define jobs to run on that agent I must use JSDL syntax or DWC. Is there a simpler way to define my jobs?
iSeries agent can be configured to interpret JOBREC command syntax as an iSeries job.
If you set the RunExecutablesAsIBMiJobs property to true in the JobManager.ini file you can define your jobs using the JOBREC syntax as in the following example:
You can find details on this option in the manual Scheduling End-to-end with z-centric Capabilities.
10. Known limitations
The following features are not supported on IBM i agents:
EDWA file monitor event rules
EDWA file monitor rules use SSM (SystemService Monitor) Workload Automation component to monitor file system but this component is not available on iSeries. In case you need to continuously trigger the execution of an action when a file is created or modified you can use the FILECREATED/FILEMODIFIED start conditions with the RERUN option to implement an equivalent behavior. In details:
For details on STARTCOND FILECREATED, STARTCOND FILEMODIFIED and RERUN options refer to the User’s Guide and Reference, chapter Defining objects in the database and look for the syntax to define the Schedule object.
If you have other questions on how to schedule jobs on iSeries contact Enrica Alberti email@example.com
Advisory Software Engineer at Workload Automation
Enrica is an Advisory Software Engineer at Workload Automation L3 support team. After 20 years spent developing several software products she joined the Workload Automation group and after a her experience in development she moved to the DevOps team and L3 support. Currently, Erica supports several areas of the product and is the reference for problems on iSeries.