Self-Documenting?

(Originally posted 2006-01-24.)

As a performance consultant I used to think it was only me that needed to glean configuration information from performance data – because I didn’t want to ask foolish questions of the customer.

But gradually (it seems to me) customers have ended up in the same boat as me:

  • What we thought we bought ought demonstrably to correspond to what we actually bought.
  • Settings we thought were in play ought to be demonstrably in play.

The utter complexity of machine configurations and settings – whether z/OS, or DB2, or CICS, or Websphere, or MQ, or … – means that it’s increasingly difficult to check that things are as we thought they were.

I’m not asking anyone to declare themselves out of control 🙂 but does this view – that things ought to be self-documenting – chime with anyone?

Because that’s an argument I’m increasingly using with Development groups.

Most such groups do a good job, whether it’s DB2 providing its dynamic settings in a Statistics Trace record, or the wealth of configuration information in RMF. There are however some untidinesses that I’m working to see fixed.

Published by Martin Packer

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