Nostalgia: MQ’s 10th Birthday Party

As we approach the date for MQ’s 25th birthday at the end of this month, I want to provide you with some nostalgia from earlier birthday parties as MQ was growing up. I hope some of you recognise the parties that you attended, what fun we had.

We start with the party report from MQ’s 10th Birthday Party.

WebSphere MQ’s 10th Birthday

MQ 10 year Logo
MQ’s 10th Birthday was celebrated in high style at the SHARE conference in Long Beach, California (http://www.share.org) this week [24th February 2004]. The party was held as part of a week long program of MQ and WBI sessions.

Anthony O'Dowd

Anthony O’Dowd

The session began with a brief history of MQSeries and WebSphere MQ, respectfully and humourously given by Anthony O’Dowd from the Hursley Lab. This historical look at the product recognized the various people who helped to bring MQ to the position it is in today. [The script from Anthony’s speech that day can be read here.]

After the serious business of a history lesson was over, the fun began, in the form of a “Weakest Link” style MQ quiz. Six volunteers dressed in T-shirts sporting the new WebSphere MQ 10 year logo, participated as contestants and were asked questions ranging from MQ topics; 10 year ago facts; UK and USA comparisons; and photos of developers at age 10. After each round of questions, the contestants were asked by quiz mistress Morag Hughson, to vote off the weakest link. In a change from the television program, the weakest link did not leave with nothing, but in fact left with a bag of nostalgic MQSeries goodies.

The final round of questions went to a sudden death stage with the final two contestants being equally matched. However, Victoria Albanese from JP Morgan Chase was the eventual winner. Once the nip-and-tuck of that final round was over, the audience sang “Happy Birthday” to MQ and we cut the cake generously provided by Candle Corporation. Everyone relaxed and enjoyed the cake whilst reminiscing.

Team Cake

The SHARE MQ Project Team
Gary Ward, Richard Harran, Steve Hanson, Victoria Albanese, Ian Harwood, Morag Hughson, Andy Wilkinson, Ray Sun, Matthew Golby-Kirk, Anthony O’Dowd, Prasad Imandi

All in all, the party was a great success and everyone who attended had a great time.

Audience

Audience at MQ’s 10th birthday party at SHARE

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Announcing Q from MQGem

SupportPac MA01 was written by Paul Clarke back in June 1995. It was one of the first SupportPacs for MQ as you can tell by its number. Paul wrote it because the amqsput, amqsget and amqsbcg samples didn’t give him the flexibility he wanted. It became a very handy tool in the pocket of many an MQ administrator over the years.

When Paul left IBM to form MQGem Software, the MA01 SupportPac was discontinued, and it’s source code put on GitHub for anyone who wanted to build it and run it themselves. However, many MQ users don’t want the complication and expense of looking after home-built tools, and would prefer a fully supported product. As such, a few of our customers have asked whether we would be willing to continue to maintain and enhance the Q program, and so here it is.

Q program pocket knife

A veritable pocket knife of features

The Q program from MQGem has moved on a little from the last version that was the MA01 SupportPac, after all we’ve continued to use it as a very helpful tool here inside MQGem Software. Some of the new features are:-

  • IBM MQ Multi-version Support
    Q will load the MQ libraries from the place identified by setmqenv.
  • New help features
    To make it easier to find the option you are looking for since the Q program does have a lot of flags!.
  • Message formatters added
    Formatters for JSON, EDIFACT, CSV and FIX message formats have been added.
  • Character substitution
    This will display text such as > as the character ‘>’.
  • 64-bit executable
    The Q program is now 64-bit across all platforms.
  • Minor flag enhancements
    1. The special message format string which starts with the ‘#’ character previously had a 40 character limit. This has been lifted.
    2. MQRO_PASS_CORREL_ID has been added to the confirm options on the -n flag as -n[passc].
    3. You can use -dt to print out the offsets of a message
    4. The prompt menu used by -xc to set various client connection channel settings such as TLS and exits has been updated to only request valid exits for a client channel, and to use a more modern CipherSpec by default.
    5. The use of truncation on an MQGET has been made safer by requiring the user explicitly select MQGMO_ACCEPT_TRUNCATED_MESSAGE when using the -=> flag by using the optional ‘t‘ flag, to give -=t<length>.
    6. The Commit interval (-p) flag has been extended to also take an optional commit interval after which an incomplete transaction, that is one that has not reached the requested total number of messages, will be committed anyway.
    7. The subscribe call created with the -S flag can be additionally configured to use MQSO_SET_CORREL_ID by using the -gc:CorrelId flag.
  • Flags renamed
    Some minor flags have been renamed to improve usability and consistency. These are listed in full in the User Guide. The majority of the flags are exactly the same as they were in the Support Pac.

Even if you don’t intend to purchase a licence, you may find value in downloading the user guide. At long last we have a manual for Q! As we said above, the parameters are not absolutely identical to the SupportPac, but the majority are the same, and the vast majority of the manual is still applicable to the SupportPac. You may well discover features you never knew that Q had.


Read more about the new product, and download a copy, from the Q Web Page. If you would like to try out MQGem’s Q program before deciding whether to buy then send an email to support@mqgem.com and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

What’s in Command Levels 91x

MQ91x StairsIBM MQ released Long Term Support release V9.1.0 back in July 2018 which had a Command Level of 910. The subsequent Continuous Delivery release V9.1.1 introduced its own Command Level 911.

This post captures the changes that are available in Command Level 911.

Release Command Level Features protected by Command Level – details below
V9.1.0 910 This command level rolled up all the changes in the prior Continuous Delivery releases detailed in What’s in Command Levels 90x.
V9.1.1 911 Simpler TLS CipherSpec selection
Scripting enhancements for stateful objects

Simpler TLS CipherSpec selection

An additional value has been designed for the channel SSLCIPH field to allow the selection of a group of Cipher Specs instead of just selecting an individual one. In addition, the SECPROT attribute I wrote about in Know your protocol has been extended to IBM MQ for z/OS. Mark Wilson has written about this in an IBM Messaging Blog Post: Allow IBM MQ channels to use ANY_TLS12.

Channel Object

Updated attribute MQSC name
See DEFINE CHANNEL
Look for KC 911 indicator
PCF constant and values
See Change, Copy, and Create Channel
Look for KC 911 indicator
SSL Cipher Spec

SSLCIPH

MQCACH_SSL_CIPHER_SPEC (3544)

  • String of length MQ_SSL_CIPHER_SPEC_LENGTH (32), new possible value “ANY_TLS12”

Channel Status

New attribute MQSC name
See DISPLAY CHSTATUS
Look for KC 911 indicator
PCF constant and values
See Inquire Channel Status
Look for KC 911 indicator
SSL Cipher Spec

SSLCIPH

MQCACH_SSL_CIPHER_SPEC (3544)

  • String of length MQ_SSL_CIPHER_SPEC_LENGTH (32) showing Cipher Spec in use
Security Protocol

SECPROT

  • NONE
  • SSLV3
  • TLSV1
  • TLSV12

MQIACH_SECURITY_PROTOCOL (1645)

  • MQSECPROT_NONE (0)
  • MQSECPROT_SSLV30 (1)
  • MQSECPROT_TLSV10 (2)
  • MQSECPROT_TLSV12 (4)

Scripting enhancements for stateful objects

Various IBM MQ objects have state associated with them, for example channels or listeners, and when running commands in a script to start such objects, it can be complicated by the failures that occur when the object is already in the state you want. You didn’t want your script to fail just because the listener is already started, you wanted it to carry on. Command level 911 adds a keyword to help with such scripts.

Start and Stop Channel/Listener/Service

New attribute MQSC name
See START and STOP CHANNEL
See START and STOP LISTENER
See START and STOP SERVICE
Look for KC 911 indicator
PCF constant and values
See Start and Stop Channel
See Start and Stop Listener
See Start and Stop Service
Look for KC 911 indicator
Ignore State

IGNSTATE

  • NO
  • YES

MQIACF_IGNORE_STATE (1423)

  • MQIS_NO (0)
  • MQIS_YES (1)

MQGem Monthly (November 2018)

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VOLUME IV. – No. 11. FRIDAY, 30 NOVEMBER, 2018 PRICE: FREE

Welcome to the November edition of the MQGem Monthly Newsletter, bringing you company news from MQGem Software, information about the MO71, MQSCX, MQEdit, and QLOAD products, our IBM MQ training modules, and interesting articles about IBM MQ.

News

IBM announced, and delivered, the latest Continuous Delivery release of IBM MQ, V9.1.1. Read more here.

A new version of MQEdit was released earlier this month with some customer requested features.

Interesting IBM MQ links

Here are a few links that caught our eye this month.

We share all the above links on our Twitter feed and Facebook page so if you don’t want to wait until the end-of-month newsletter, follow us on there.

Upcoming events

There are a number of conference events where IBM MQ will be featured in the coming months. Hopefully you’ll be able to sign up to one near you and obtain some MQ technical education.

Product Info

This months highlighted product information is a video showing how to use the very powerful filters provided in MO71.

IBM MQ Latest Maintenance

Make sure you’re on the latest maintenance level of your version of IBM MQ. These are the latest Fix Packs at the time of going to press. Check here for the latest versions now, and here for the planned dates for the next ones.

Contact Information

MQGem hopes you have a great holiday season, have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch by email or follow us on one of our social media channels.
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IBM MQ and MQ Appliance News – November 2018

On Tuesday November 27th, IBM Hursley announced the next in the series of Continuous Delivery releases for IBM MQ V9.1 and the MQ Appliance. IBM MQ V9.1.1 was made available on November 30th.

Downloading IBM MQ Version 9.1.1 Continuous Delivery

Here are the various announcement letters:-

Links of interest:-


We’ll collect up any other links about the new release as we find them and put them all here.

MQEdit version 9.1.0 is released

MQGem Software is pleased to announce that a new version of MQEdit, our Live Parsing Editor for IBM MQ messages, is now available.

The main reason for the new MQEdit version number, Version 9.1.0, is to remain inline with the current MQ version. However, the following functional changes have also been made:

  • Character Substitution Mode
    As requested by a customer, to make it easier to read certain types of messages, MQEdit now supports a Character Substitution Display Mode. This will display text such as &gt; as the character ‘>’.

    MQEdit Character Substitution Mode

    MQEdit Character Substitution Mode. The top message can be displayed in the manner shown at the bottom with this formatting mode turned on

    The substitutions performed are the following:-

    Sequence Character displayed
    &gt; >
    &lt; <
    &nbsp; (space)
    &amp; &
    &quot; "
    &apos; '
  • QLOAD ‘other’ file processing
    As a result of another customer request, it is now possible to use the QLOAD feature to load a ‘normal’ text file rather than a standard QLOAD file. This text file may contain multiple messages with some sort of delimiter, common with JSON or XML for example. The file can be parsed into these individual messages before being loaded onto the queue.
    MQEdit QLOAD Other File with delimiters

    Loading a file with message delimiters onto a queue

  • Select All
    To make it easier to copy/paste the entire message a new Select All (Ctrl-A) action has been added.

The new version can be downloaded from the MQEdit Download Page. Any current licensed users of MQEdit can run the new version on their existing licence. If you don’t have a licence and would like to try out MQEdit then send an email to support@mqgem.com and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

MQGem Monthly (October 2018)

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VOLUME IV. – No. 10. WEDNESDAY, 31 OCTOBER, 2018 PRICE: FREE

Welcome to the October edition of the MQGem Monthly Newsletter, bringing you company news from MQGem Software, information about the MO71, MQSCX, MQEdit, and QLOAD products, our IBM MQ training modules, and interesting articles about IBM MQ.

News

MQGem is pleased to announce that all it’s IBM MQ training modules now include instructions for the IBM i platform.

A new version of MQEdit, V9.1 was released earlier this month. New features include Character Substitution Mode and Select All. Read more here.

Interesting IBM MQ links

Here are a few links that caught our eye this month.

We share all the above links on our Twitter feed and Facebook page so if you don’t want to wait until the end-of-month newsletter, follow us on there.

Upcoming events

There are a number of conference events where IBM MQ will be featured in the coming months. Hopefully you’ll be able to sign up to one near you and obtain some MQ technical education.

Upcoming online events

If you’re unable to get to any “in-person” events, then these online webcasts are just what you need.

Product Info

This months highlighted product information is a video showing how to simplify the MO71 GUI interface.

IBM MQ Latest Maintenance

Make sure you’re on the latest maintenance level of your version of IBM MQ. These are the latest Fix Packs at the time of going to press. Check here for the latest versions now, and here for the planned dates for the next ones.

Handy IBM MQ Resources

If you have a question about IBM MQ that you can’t find the answer to, these resources are good places to ask your question.

Contact Information

MQGem wishes you a Spooky Halloween. We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch by email or follow us on one of our social media channels.
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