2019-04 ZOWE for Continuous Delivery – It’s worse than that – he’s tested Jim!

Terrible quote usage I know… But now, with the all new and Agile Db2 12 being picked up and used globally, I think it is time to review a few things that companies and individuals must do, or at least plan, in this “Brave New World” of ours.

To wrap up at the end, I will delve into the idea of using ZOWE to help you test!

This Db2 12 testing checklist, helps to navigate into the Db2 Continuous Delivery world, well supported by Zowe, the modern IBM z/OS GUI

Table of contents – Db2 12-testing-checklist
  1. Cloning
  2. Workload collection
  3. Dynamic & Static SQL storage
  4. IFCID376 & co
  5. EXPLAIN-& Access Path
  6. Execute the SQLs
  7. Db2-12 Test Review
  8. Zowe – Open Source z GUI – for CD

The Db2 12 Testing Checklist

1. Do not be afraid of the clones!

To even begin to start testing Db2 12, you’ll need to start with a complete production clone. I know a lot of people get suddenly scared about this due to audit requirements or, more commonly, space requirements. I mean, who can possibly support a complete 100% data clone of their productive system?

A real clone or a partial clone?

Of course you do not actually need all of your data! All you must have is the Db2 Catalog and Directory, all of the user objects should be DEFINE NO style empty shells. After all, do you really need TBs of productive data to do a test run? Nope! So now we have removed two major problems (Space and Audit) from the list of testing problems.

2. Collect as much workload as you can

You’ll need to gather as much of your current executed SQL as you possibly can. At best 13 months is a good target. “Not possible” I hear you all scream – “Oh yes it is!” say I.

3. Dynamic & Static SQL: Store it cleverly away

You do not need the same SQL statement 12,000,000 times. Just once, but with an execution count. Store the dynamic SQLs and the retrieved Static SQLs away somewhere nice and safe with a COMPRESS YES to save room, and then you can easily get 13 months of data. Another major problem gone from the list of testing problems.

4. Gather your friends close but your enemies closer – IFCID376

Make sure you are running with IFCID 376 always on and everywhere! Test, QA and Prod. The moment it starts spitting out possible “problems”, start trying to track down the causing event (SQL) and verify that it is OK, or get a code change implemented. This only has a little to do with agile Db2 12 but should be on at every shop anyway!

But I don’t get the Dynamic SQL!

You do if you are fast and good enough! If you are permanently snapping the DSC and catching the flushed statements, then you can indeed find out the SQL that caused the IFCID. Another major problem disappears from the list of testing problems.

5. Access Paths a go go

Now it really makes a lot of sense to EXPLAIN all of the SQL that you have before and after the Db2 12 Functional Level (FL) change to see if just flipping to, for example, FL 504 caused access paths to head south… This is something you should all be doing now as well of course. Always validate the access path before being forced to do a REBIND or PREPARE. This way you will not get any nasty surprises… Another major problem vanishes from the list of testing problems.

6. Execute the SQLs

I have one last thing for you…

Take all of the SQL that you have just processed and transform it so it can actually execute.

  1. Logarithmically reduce the execution count and execute all of the SQL while monitoring all of the Db2 KPIs – On the Clone, of course.
  2. Then reset the world back to your starting Clone, do the FL change and then re-execute all the SQL again.
  3. Once finished, compare all of the KPIs – looking for outliers as there has only been the FL change then.

Any differences you see should be just “background noise” but there could also be some nasties in there. This will light them up so that the root problem(s) can be found and corrected way before you actually do the FL change in production.

Well done, you’ve made it!

That’s it! With all these processes set up and fully automated you can actually do repetitive pipeline tests within hours instead of weeks or months or never!

7 – Db2 12 test-Review:

What does this mean for me?


  • You need to get a fast, good, automated Cloning system in place.
  • You need to get a fast, good, automated IFCID 376 system in place.
  • You need to get a fast, good, automated SQL workload collection system in place.
  • You need to get a fast, good, automated Access Path comparison system in place.
  • You need to get a fast, good, automated SQL replay system in place.

… this means :

“ Continuous testing in a continuous development world „…

You might, in fact, need to actually buy some software that does all this for you…

May I introduce you to our newest member of the SEGUS/SEG Family:

Db2 Continuous Delivery Deployment Check

is the software that does all of this, and more!

Check out our website for details of how this software really helps in :

  • Reducing the time to test

  • Enabling you to actually go forward with a good, clear conscience!

Visit our CDDC

CDDC for Db2 z/OS - Continuous Delivery Deployment Check - Agile & Environment simulation, Zowe IBM mainframe GUI

8 – ZOWE – Open Source zUI – to the rescue?

You have probably heard of ZOWE by now, the first open source software on z/OS from IBM, Rocket Software and CA Technologies (A Broadcom company). It was launched last year and is growing very quickly.

Introduction to Zowe:


My firm is also using it now and all future developments will also be ZOWE enabled.

In a nutshell,

it allows users to interact with the Mainframe using a modern GUI.

This is based upon z/OSMF and uses work flows to actually do stuff. You define a “micro service” to do one thing and then you can string as many of these together as you like to get something done like, e.g. Provisioning a Db2 system or Cloning a Db2 subsystem etc.

The IBM web based UI for Db2 z/OS

Zowe at SEGUS and


We will be using ZOWE for two things:

1 – For the Installation and Maintenance of our software at customer sites

ZOWE enables people to do things that normally require “green screen” and we are keenly aware that green screen people are disappearing. If we want the z/OS platform to survive, it must be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the modern world.

2 – For using ZOWE as the front end for the users of our products

The CDDC product that I described in this newsletter will be built around ZOWE, thus expanding its usability in the market of tomorrow.

We are convinced that ZOWE is the way to go – are you?

Roy Boxwell
Senior Architect

Tridex März 2019

TRIDEX  – Tri-State Db2 Technology Exchange – NY, USA – März 2019


1 – An Audit a day keeps the lawyers at bay!

> Pdf Präsentation

2 – ZOWE – The zGui (r)evolution – First hands on experience and best practices

> Pdf Präsentation

1 – An Audit a day keeps the lawyers at bay!

GDPR, GLB, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, Basel III, Sarbanes-Oxley, CA SB1386, Federal Information Security Management Act, “Red Flags”Rules confront us us with serious requirements to protect the data and to fulfil Auditors requests.

There are different ways and tools that promise they are able to do it, but what can they really do and what are the associated costs?

This presentation introduces Db2 technology exploitation that delivers DML, DDL, DCL activity in a Db2 environment along with identification details.

This presentation helps you understand the way Auditors look at Db2 and what they require in order to do their daily work. Learn how you can satisfy your Auditors needs, by interfacing with an SIEM system, like:

  • QRadar, Splunk, AlienVault, et al,
  • combining the Db2 information with RACF, SMF and Master Log data.

Mehr über Audit for Db2 z/OS

Speaker biography

Roy Boxwell has more than 33 years of experience in MVS, OS/390, and z/OS environments – 31 of those in Db2. He specializes in installation, migration, and performance monitoring and tuning. Roy leads the SEG development team responsible for the real time database maintenance solutions. He is also an active participant, speaker and contributor on the IDUG Db2 Listserv and sends out a monthly Db2 z/OS Newsletter.

2 – „ZOWE – The zGUI (r)evolution – First hands-on experience and best practices“

For a couple of years, the importance of a GUI for z/OS has seemed to grow significantly. This may be one of the most important factors if the z platform is to remain strategic over the next decade and beyond – probably less because of the potential benefit of a specific GUI implementation, but simply because recent generations of DBAs, SYSPROGS, and Programmers aren’t that familiar with the beloved green screen of those who’we been working with ISPF for decades.

DS, RDz, DSM, z/OSMF -to name just IBMs recent ones- always had a common downside, which I believe customers didn’t like at all: Users were unable to access all mainframe products from, and through, a common interface.

Bottom line:

We need a GUI that not only comes with a monitoring dashboard, job submission capabilities, includes a JES explorer, data set explorer and editor, scripting for automation and interaction with all major product, like CICS, Db2,

BUT it should be used by ALL vendors!

Of course, this GUI should also seamlessly integrate into all those robust security and resource management components we’re already familiar with. It needs to be the preferred interface for administrative tasks, development, test, and operation, no matter if using old applications, or brand-new ones.

Am I asking for too much?

ZOWE – THE z ecosystem to securely manage, control, script and develop – seems to be the way to go.

It comes with a RESTful API, an extensible command line interface and an HTML 5 web-based UI framework designed to fuse everything we already have with anything we want to do today and tomorrow. It is exactly what many of us have been asking for years. We see a clear commitment from some of the most important companies in the mainframe world and we also see the technical components required to do our daily work and to open up new opportunities for tomorrows modern apps.

  • All well-integrated into RLF, SAF and USS and
  • interfacing with MVS, Db2 , CICS, and JES
  • as well as products from a variety of other vendors
  • and by the way, it’s EPL-2.0 (Eclipse Public License)

Late 2018 our company strategically decided to build UIs based on the ZOWE ecosystem.

Learn how you can quickly define entire workflows and interact and control them using a Db2 z/OS cloning example along with workload capture and replay in a simulation environment – fully automated quality assurance as part of continuous delivery in an agile world.

Speaker biography

Ulf Heinrich is the Director of Solutions Delivery at SOFTWARE ENGINEERING GmbH. He specializes in Db2 operations and performance tuning, focusing on the growing requirement for cost reduction and 24×7 operations. As a consultant at large customer sites, he has implemented database maintenance procedures and recovery strategies, and also experienced the pitfalls of recovery scenarios under realworld recovery pressure. His activities cover EMEA, as well as North America through SE’s U.S. subsidiary, SEGUS Inc. As a member of SE’s Request Board he’s working closely with customers and the development labs.