(Originally posted 2017-04-08.)
The ‘“Principle” Of Sufficient Disgust’ 🙂 kicked in – as it so often does – about a year ago.
The issues outlined in that original posted revolved around having only one way to identify a machine. My code accepted only one type of specification for a machine:
By the way Ewelme is a real place with one of those quintessentially English names few people can pronounce. 🙂
02 is the plant number (Poughkeepsie, in this case) and
12345 is the last five digits of the machine’s serial number.
Getting to the hallowed state of being able to construct a string like that was a pain. Hence my frustration. And you could probably tell I was frustrated from the original post.
So today I’ve enhanced the code to accept the following additional forms of syntax:
?-12345=EWELME Awhere the plant isn’t known but the 5-digit serial is.
?-?2345=EWELME Awhere we only have the 4-digit variant of the serial number.
SYSC=EWELME Awhere I mean ‘the machine on which SYSC sits is called “Ewelme A”’.
To be fair, Case 1 is a rarity; Most people, if they know the 5-digit serial number, know the plant number.
Case 2 I see quite a bit in customers’ machine diagrams. It, I think, relates to SCRT and there is at least one place in SMF 70 where the 4-digit variant appears. It seems silly to be using it when we have the full plant and serial numbers in SMF 70.
Case 3 is probably the most user-friendly. I see diagrams and descriptions where customers say or depict ‘We call the machine with SYSC on it “Ewelme A”’.
Previously, I would take whichever of the previous 3 description types I got and manually work with the data to figure out the plant and 5-digit serial number (and use that in e.g. VPD look ups, as well as relating it to the machine’s human-friendly name).
I don’t think I ever got it wrong but it sure was tedious.
Now, with the new code you use all those semantics, plus the original one – because I automated it.
Here’s how I did it:
- Extract From SMF 70 records the cutter’s SMF ID (
SMF70SID) and the plant (
SMF70POM) and serial number (
SMF70CSC), building a lookup table.
- Perform lookups in that table for every utterance in one of the 4 forms above.
Really very simple.
There is one (obscure) catch: If I specify
SYSA=MACHINE A and I have two different SYSA z/OS systems I will pick the first match. This won’t be quite right. But this is very rare.
The upshot is I won’t be quite so desperate to get your machine serial numbers, though I’ll happily take them. I don’t know how you refer to your machines but now I have a foolproof way of handling them.
One more thing: I recently had an engagement where a customer moved LPARs from one machine to another. My code doesn’t handle that at all; We just have to be careful.
And if you listen carefully to this you will hear the refrain “Back To Machines”. 🙂
But one most unlikely to ever host a machine room, despite water (for the cooling) flowing through it. 🙂 lt’s one stream over and has watercress beds, if you can picture that. ↩
Vital Product Data ↩
Though there is no accounting for the, um, “ingenuity” of customers. 🙂 Sorry, that’s a very old joke. Probably old enough to be retired. 🙂 ↩