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IBM Tools Application Maintenance and Development
Operational Challenge IBM Application Performance Analyzer IBM Fault Analyzer
IBM Debug Tools IBM File Manager Guidelines and Best Practices
Copyright Acknowledgement

Operational Challenge

IBM Tools are used to develop and maintain applications in an IBM system software environment. They were designed to address operational requirements and be used in the application life cycle: 1- examining code 2- editing code and data 3- testing and debugging 4- identifying problems 5- ensuring quality code 6- tuning applications.

Organizational enterprise will be making decisions on whether to use IBM Tools or third party software in its mainframe operations.

IBM Tools - Functionality

IBM has had a renewed interest in developing mainframe tools that provide z/OS operating system-level functionality. The implementation has been in the form of separate tools, complementary products, and downloads, which can extend a z/OS environment through application development language support, additional security capabilities, new functions, and z/OS simplification capabilities. Many of the tools support batch, TSO, CICS, Db2, Db2 stored procedures, IMS, and UNIX System Services.

Tools integration with IBM Rational Developer for System z enables developers to debug applications within a workstation application development environment.

IBM Application Performance Analyzer

IBM Application Performance Analyzer monitors and reports on IBM mainframe system software, legacy programming languages, and middleware. Samples are collected from the monitored address space to analyze the system or resource application.

IBM Application Performance Analyzer is used to:

  • Optimize the performance of existing applications and improve the response time of online transactions and turnaround time on batch transactions.
  • Gather the information required to isolate performance problems in applications and test the effect of increased workloads on a system.
  • Monitor, analyze, and report the performance of CICS, Assembler, COBOL, PL/1, C/C++, Db2, IMS, and WebSphere MQ applications.
  • Collect samples from the monitored address space and analyze the system or resource application usage of CPU, DASD, I/O or the total address space.
  • Review online analysis and generate reports that can be created as PDF files and reviewed on workstations.
  • Integrate the software product with Fault Analyzer for z/OS and Debug Tool for z/OS.
  • Apply the Java enhancements, UNIX System Services support, performance comparisons, report and enhancements, and usability enhancements.


IBM Fault Analyzer

When a program abnormally terminates, a dump can be displayed or printed. Dump reading requires knowledge of control blocks, system relationships, and hexadecimal arithmetic to identify the problem: statement, data area, and system information. IBM Fault Analyzer simplifies the debugging process and facilitates the locating and resolution of errors. When data can not be defined within names of fields, datatypes, and decimal position and the size of fields cannot be determined there will be problems and complexities.

Fault Analyzer is used to:

  • Identify and interpret error messages and codes that apply to a failure.
  • Work with an analysis report that describes the problem in terms of application codes; this obviates the requirement to interpret low-level system dump or system-level error messages.
  • Access the analysis engine when the application fails an application-initiated analysis for the program SNAP interface and user-initiated fault reanalysis.
  • Access real-time abnormal end analysis; activation automatically occurs from an appropriate exit of the processing environment and records information from the abend in a fault history file.
  • Extract information about a failure; this can be initiated for either a batch fault reanalysis or interactive reanalysis.
  • Access fault history files which are extended partitioned datasets containing information about the faults that have been analyzed.

IBM Debug Tool

IBM Debug Tool is used for debugging mixed-language applications in the same session. It offers a set of interpreted commands for specifying actions that provide the option of setting breakpoints in an application program, monitoring variables for changes and watching for specified exceptions and conditions during program execution. The product records and counts how many times a statement or verb has been processed in an application program; this allows the programmer to identify high usage areas and dead code.

IBM Debug Tool is used to:

  • Support batch, TSO, CICS, Db2, Db2 stored procedures, IMS, and UNIX System Services.
  • Create a setup file and copy information into a setup file from JCL.
  • Prepare a program for debugging.
  • Debug a program in full screen mode.
  • Use the TEST run-time option.
  • Debug a CICS program.

IBM File Manager

Within a programming language COBOL and PL/1 copybooks are used to locate copy, edit, print, compare, and displays data. IBM File Manager is used for batch and interactive editing and integrating data definitions - field, size, decimal position and attributes with the programming language copybook. A z/OS installation supporting data center and cloud computing operations typically uses more than one language with IBM and third party databases. Each language has its own debugging facilities and structure.

IBM File Manager is used to:

  • Access the IBM Problem Determination Tools suite for displaying, editing, updating, creating, copying, comparing, printing, and erasing data files.
  • Employ the enhanced browse, edit, copy and print utilities found in ISPF.
  • Manage data using COBOL and PL/1 record layouts interactively or in batch.
  • Provide access to CICS resources with the ISPF look-alike interface.
  • Customize the fields used for displaying, copying, or printing data.


IBM File Manager - Db2 is used to:

  • Access the utility functions for integrated editing, browsing, printing, copying, and maintaining of Db2 data.
  • List Db2 objects and manage Db2 privileges.
  • Generate JCL to run Db2 standalone utilities.
  • Export and import Db2 tables to or from QSAM or VSAM datasets.
  • Create data for populating Db2 tables.
  • Prototype SQL SELECT statements.

Guidelines and Best Practices

There are demonstrations on how to:

  • Isolate problematic areas in a program.
  • Tune applications and resolve performance constraints.
  • Determine the location of an Abend.
  • Simplify test data creation and ensure that all mainframe testing conditions are met.
  • Expedite application development.
  • Improve the performance and maintenance of application collections.
  • Manage the creation, storage, and maintenance of mainframe source code.
  • Provide seamless debugging of mixed-language applications in the same session.

Copyright Acknowledgement

IBM Tools, Application Performance Analyzer, Debug Tool, Fault Analyzer, File Manager, File Manager - CICS, File Manager - Db2, and File Manager - IMS are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation.