Informing the IBM Community

New and improved: Three big updates from Halcyon, looksoftware gives COBOL folk an IDE, SEQUEL adds pivot tables

MQ Manager
Halcyon Sofware has updated MQ Manager

In the new-look’s first regular product round-up, we’ve got news of three important updates from Halcyon Software, plus new gear from looksoftware and SEQUEL.

First up, Halcyon Software has released a new version of Systems Operations Suite, its the monitoring and automated operations solution for IBM i.

New features include Job Log Monitor, which allows users to view all application, error and other messages relating to jobs that are currently running, whether they take seconds or hours to complete.

The software’s creators says that, normally, this kind of information is transient on the system, hidden from view and only visible if IT staff physically (and continuously) watch the computer screen.

Job Log Monitor enables system or application issues that only occur when specific jobs are running to be identified quickly and resolved. Data can also be captured from all job log entries for future review and analysis.

Halcyon has also enhanced Object Manager to enable journal receivers to be managed more efficiently. Predetermined criteria, such as age and date-last-used, are used to automatically find, check and delete or move Journal Receivers to other locations. It also and save reduces the need for additional disk resource to store old journal receivers.

Systems Operations Suite is now shipping with the latest version of Halcyon’s Enterprise Console, which has been enhanced to provide greater flexibility of how key system information is displayed and managed.

It includes the rolling-up of alerts to reduce the on-screen ‘message storm’ that can occur when errors are reported on jobs that run on a regular basis. The Enterprise Console now allows the use of an unlimited number of panels enabling alerts and critical system messages to be grouped together by device, customer and priority.

Halcyon has also released an updated version of MQ Manager with an enhanced UI to improve the management of WebSphere MQ Server environments.

The latest release automates the monitoring of all key components of IBM WebSphere: MQ Queue Manager, MQ Listeners, MQ Channels, MQ Queues, MQ Services, MQ Cluster Manager Status and MQ Events.

A configurable dashboard automates the delivery of key performance and availability metrics to authorised personnel via any internet-enabled device.

The new version provides a dashboard overview of message queues being monitored in real-time along with other system and performance metrics. Users can customise the dashboard with a selection of dial, chart and line widgets and traffic-light status displays.

MQ Manager proactively checks for impending problems and generates alerts should events such as the breaching of predetermined thresholds. The system also gathers performance data for use in planning, analysis and reporting.

Halcyon’s third announcement is of enhancements to its Advanced Job Scheduler for the i.

A major addition is advanced forecasting which provides IT staff with total visibility of all existing jobs scheduled to run on multiple IBM i platforms over the longer term, enabling additional jobs to be planned without clashing with processes such as month and year-end reporting.

This also allows repeating jobs to be viewed, detailing when they are due to run, giving a clearer view of future system requirements.

Advanced forecasting will also enable IT staff to ensure that jobs can be scheduled to run at the best time for a system and users, say its creators. It lets organisations deploy system and manpower better and handle out-of-hours processing without overtime costs. It also allows tasks to be scheduled across different LPARs or networked servers and process interdependent jobs across the entire IT infrastructure, regardless of operating system.

Advanced Job Scheduler’s UI has been made more configurable appearance-wise. Users can also now view all regular and ad-hoc jobs configured on Power i and schedule them directly from the UI, which is fully web-enabled for real-time access.

Looksoftware has launched Open Access to COBOL which lets COBOL developers deliver web/smartphone/cloud application integration.

COBOL people can use the same syntax and techniques they are already familiar with, says the company. The new product is flexible because the API being invoked has almost limitless capabilities for modern devices and interfaces.

Looksoftware’s tool  automatically converts the output logic for existing COBOL source code. This means existing apps can be transformed to support modern devices.

The new tool is designed to be used with looksoftware’s newlook version10 IDE for the layout of high- graphical interfaces for multiple devices. In addition to COBOL, looksoftware’s IDE supports graphical layout for RPG Open Access and existing 5250 (non-OA) screens, seamlessly switching between these different environments at runtime.

Open Access for COBOL is fully compliant with the Open Access Metadata Open Standard (OAMOS). This, says looksoftware, ensures that modern COBOL development uses a well thought-out architecture, consistency, and open standards when developing graphical applications.

BI specialist SEQUEL Software has updated its ViewPoint and SEQUEL Web Interface data access and reporting offerings for the i.

The updates feature enhanced navigation, a streamlined look and feel, and new, user-friendly toolbars.

SEQUEL Client Tables, aka pivot tables, can now be used in SEQUEL Web Interface. From the browser, users can expand or roll-up data dimensions, slice-and-dice data by adding or taking away fields, and drill down to details. Users can also group and sub total/sum data from the browser.

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