What’s The Use?

It’s “Sun Up” on Conference Season – and I have a new presentation.

It’s called “What’s The Use?” And it’s a collaboration with Scott Ballentine of z/OS Development.

It’s very much a “field guy meets product developer” sort of thing. It emerged from a conversation on IBM’s internal Slack system.

The idea is very simple: If a product developer codes the IFAUSAGE macro right, and if a customer processes the resulting SMF 89-1 and SMF 30 records right, good things can happen.

Two “ifs” in that:

  • Scott describes how developers could and should code the macro.
  • I give some examples of how customers might use the data to their advantage.

Of course, when we say “developer” we don’t necessarily mean IBM Developer (such as Scott) – as other software vendors could and should get this right.

And when we say “customer” it could be consultants (such as me) or outsourcers, as well as traditional customers.

So what’s the big deal?

Looking at it from the customer point of view, there are a number of things that can be yielded:

  • CPU when using the product. MQ does this, for example.
  • Names of things. Db2 and MQ both do this.
  • Connectivity. Connectors to both Db2 and MQ do this. And – to a lesser extent – IMS does this.

I’ve listed IBM products – which are the ones I’m most familiar with. One thing Scott brings to the party is how the IFAUSAGE macro works and can be used. Handily, he talks through the lifecycle of using the macro and we both talk through how that turns into stuff in SMF 89-1 and SMF 30 records. The point of the lifecycle is that any vendor could use this information to be helpful to their customers.

We’d like developers to get creative in how they use IFAUSAGE – whether they use it as a basis for billing our not. (At least one famous one doesn’t.) So, a plea: If you are a developer of software that has something approaching a subsystem, consider encoding the subsystem name in Product Qualifier in IFAUSAGE. Likewise for any connector.

We now have a third public booking for this presentation (plus a private one). So I guess the presentation “has legs” – and we’ll continue to put in the effort to evolve it.

Talking of which, the presentation got its first outing yesterday and got numerous questions. One of them prompted Scott and I to discuss expanding the scope a little to cover SMF 89-2. Would that be worthwhile? (My inclination is that it would – and I already process 89-2 in my REXX so could furnish an example of what you might get.)

The abstract is in an earlier blog post: Three Billboards?.

One final note: We think this presentation could be useful enough that I think we’d be prepared to give it to smaller audiences – such as individual software developers.

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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