During the recent SHARE summer 2016 gathering in Atlanta, IBM Redbooks collaborated with SHARE attendees
to write a paper during the event. IBM Redbooks Live! at SHARE resulted in the completed paper, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about IDCAMS But Were Afraid to Ask,” which was available in draft online before the end of the conference
This paper is aimed at those new to IDCAMS, the program name for access method services used primarily to define and manage VSAM data sets and integrated catalog facility catalogs. The main part of the paper is a scenario where someone new to IDCAMS is asked to build the necessary jobs to provision, maintain, and remove data sets for a new application development project. The jobs may be included later into a workflow.
The paper is authored by Keith Winnard, z/OS project leader at the International Technical Support Organization, IBM, and Stephen Branch, senior software engineer, IBM. During SHARE, these authors led various events and sessions where SHARE attendees were encouraged to ask questions, provide thoughts on the topic, and tell examples and use cases. These participants are acknowledged in the paper as contributors to the content.
The authors engaged SHARE attendees at the following types of sessions:
A Need for the Information
- The “Everything You Wanted To Know About IDCAMS But Were Afraid To Ask” session on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
- Tech Talk Corner sessions
- Discussions at the IBM Redbooks and SHARE booths during the SHARE Technology Exchange Expo
IDCAMS was picked as the topic of the paper because anyone who is on z Systems can use it. “We wanted to put IDCAMS in a modern context of provisioning,” Winnard notes. The paper discusses problems people face and offers hints, tips, and suggestions.
Although writing the paper in Atlanta, Winnard was able to run and verify scenarios by dialing into LPARs on z Systems servers in Poughkeepsie, New York. Using this method, he could try scenarios described in the paper and establish proof points.
During SHARE, being able to write and complete a Redbooks publication “live” created buzz. “People are talking about this paper because they are excited for it,” Winnard says. He adds, "The Redbooks Live! event was meant to showcase how easily and quickly an up-to-the-minute document can come together and the benefits of collaboration. We are still receiving contributions over a week after the event and are continuing to update the published draft. Because of the continuing contributions, we expect the final publication to be available in early September."
More to Explore
"Everything You Always Wanted to Know about IDCAMS But Were Afraid to Ask" IBM Redbooks Publication
IBM z Systems Redbooks publications
Official IBM Redbooks Mobile App
Valerie Dennis is site editor of Destination z.