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Announcing the new IBM z/OS IMS collection to manage middleware components using Ansible

By Haley Fung posted Tue May 26, 2020 05:11 PM



The Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z now has an exciting new addition!

Earlier this year, IBM announced new capabilities for Red Hat Ansible Certified content for IBM Z. The IBM z/OS core collection was announced shortly thereafter. Today, the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z has another exciting new addition!

We are thrilled to announce the first release of the middleware-specific Ansible collections for z/OS. The IBM z/OS IMS collection, now available on Galaxy, simplifies how you interact with and manage IMS components by providing modules that bring the key utilities together. 

The IBM z/OS IMS collection aims to automate your IMS system operation needs. The IMS collection provides out-of-the-box Ansible features to standardize automation across the enterprise in a centralized way. 

By facilitating database administration tasks such as updates and reorganization, integrating the application changes into a CI/CD pipeline for application deployment and delivery, performing day-to-day operational tasks, and provisioning an IMS system for development or testing, the IMS collection empowers you with tools to run routine automation tasks without the requirement for any specific skills to run them for IMS on Z.
The beta release of the IBM z/OS IMS collection contains 4 modules: ims_dbd_gen, ims_psb_gen, ims_acb_gen and ims_command which enable the generation of IMS database descriptors and IMS Program Specification Blocks (PSBs), updates to the Application Control Block (ACB) library as well as the execution of IMS type-1 and type-2 commands. 

With the PSB, DBD, and ACB modules, you can automate your IMS online change process with Ansible in a standardized way. For example, to update the program view due to an application change, your developer and DevOps team can build a playbook using the PSB and ACB modules to generate the new PSB and drive the IMS online change. These tasks can be integrated as part of a CI/CD pipeline for application resource updates without any other manipulation. 

The IMS command module, on the other hand, opens up endless opportunities to automate your operational tasks on IMS with Ansible. While a database administrator can use the module to issue IMS commands to take an IMS database offline for processing and put it back online when complete, a system administrator can create a reporting tool to query the status of IMS transactions or programs and send out notifications to report issues. Developers can use the module to issue commands to restart an IMS transaction for testing right from their preferred development tool such as VS Code or CodeReady. 

The Red Hat Ansible Certified Content for IBM Z will continue to add more use cases to cover configuration, provisioning, and application deployment for z/OS. Stay tuned for the updates. 

Check out and download the new modules at IBM z/OS IMS collection 1.0.0-beta2
  • ims_dbd_gen: Generates IMS Database Descriptor (DBD) resource(s) to define a database so that it can be used by IMS application programs.
  • ims_psb_gen: Generates IMS Program Specification Block (PSB) resource(s) that describe the characteristics of IMS application programs and resources to be used. 
  • ims_acb_gen: Merges and expands IMS DBD(s) and PSB(s) into an IMS internal format called IMS Application Control Blocks (ACBs) to be used during IMS runtime for program execution.
  • ims_command: Enables a user to submit Type 1 and Type 2 IMS Commands and retrieves the result and output. 

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