sd2html, An Open Source WLM Service Definition Formatter

There have been a number of WLM Service Definition formatters over the years. So why do we need another one?

Well, maybe we don’t but this one is an open source one, covered by the MIT licence. That means you can change it:

  • You could contribute to the project.
  • You could modify it for your own local needs.

While IBM has other WLM Service Definition Formatters, it was easy to get permission to open source this one.

It’s the one I started on years ago and have evolved over the many engagements where I’ve advised customers on WLM.

If it has an unusual feature it’s that I’ve stuck cross links in wherever I can – which has made it easier for me to use. For example, everywhere a Service Class name appears I have a link to its definition. So, a Classification Rule definition points to the Report Class definition.

Installing sd2html

sd2html is a single PHP script, originally run on a Linux laptop and then on a MacBook Pro. Both platforms come with web servers and PHP built in. In the Mac’s case it’s Apache.

So, to use it you need to provide yourself with a tame (perhaps localhost) web server. It needs to run PHP 7.

Place sd2html.php somewhere that it can be run by the web server.

Extracting A WLM Service Definition

In my experience, most customers are still using the ISPF WLM Application. there is a pull down menu to print the Service Definition. Choose the XML option and it will write to a FB 80 sequential file. This you need to place on the web server, as previously mentioned.

Customers send me their WLM Service Definitions in this format, downloaded with EBCDIC to ASCII translation. It’s easy to email this way.

When I receive the file it looks broken. I keep reassuring customers it isn’t because I can one-line it, throwing away the new line characters. This used to be a fiddle in my editor of choice – then Sublime Text, now BBEdit. That works well.

But I’ve eliminated the edit step: sd2html now does the edit for me, before passing the repaired text onto the XML parser. (Originally the XML parser read the file on disk directly. Now the code reads the file in, removes the new lines, and then feeds the result to the XML parser.)

Using sd2html

So you’ve got the Service Definition accessible by your PHP web server. Now what?

From a browser invoke sd2html on your web server with something like


You obviously need to adjust the URL to point to sd2html. Also the sds query string parameter needs to point to your WLM Service Definition file.

Then browse to your heart’s content, following links which you’ll find in two places:

  • The table of contents at the beginning.
  • Within the document.

Open Sourcing sd2html

I said in filterCSV, An Open Source Preprocessor For Mind Mapping Software I had another open source project in the works. sd2html is it. I have one more piece of code that will need a lot of work to open source – but I think mainframers will like it. And two more potential ones – that aren’t specific to mainframes.

So, I welcome contributions to sd2html, or even just comments / ideas / requirements. Specifically, right now, I’d value:

  • Documentation writing. (This post is all there is right now.)
  • Early testers.
  • Creative ideas.
  • People who know PHP better than I do.
  • People who can think of how to handle the national language characters that show up from time to time.

Anyhow, try it if you can and let me know what you think.

Published by Martin Packer

I'm a mainframe performance guy and have been for the past 35 years. But I play with lots of other technologies as well.

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