MQEdit version 9.0.3 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.

This version of MQEdit makes it easier to manage a group of users using the editor from a central position. The following items have been added:

  • The concept of a master configuration file
    Users can reference a master configuration file and any new or change locations can be automatically imported into their own configuration.
  • Import from another MQEdit (or MO71) Configuration file
    You can now import locations direct from another configuration file.
  • Splash screens
    An MQ Administration department can now cause users of MQEdit to see centrally controlled information whenever the user starts MQEdit or attempts to connect to a Queue Manager. This could, for example, display maintenance schedule information, Queue Manager ownership or support contact numbers.
  • Licence Command
    You can now configure a command to be automatically run if the current licence is either invalid or nearing its renewal date.
  • MQEdit Program update notification
    You can ask MQEdit to periodically check whether there is a later version of the program available.

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.

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MQGem Monthly (February 2018)

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VOLUME IV. – No. 2. WEDNESDAY, 28 FEBRUARY, 2018 PRICE: FREE

Welcome to the February 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 Software is now a registered company in New Zealand. You will find the new company address on any quotes or invoices you are sent from now on. If you need company details in advance of your next quote, please get in touch.

MQGem Software tools for IBM MQ can be used with MQ on IBM Cloud. Read more here.

IBM announced its IBM MQ on IBM Cloud service has now moved into Beta. 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.

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.

Handy IBM MQ Resources

If you want to read blog posts on IBM MQ subject matter, these resources are good places to follow. There are a great number of IBM MQ Experts that write in the IBM MQ Blogosphere.

Contact Information

MQGem hopes you had a great Valentine’s Day. 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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I can haz error logs?

IBM MQ on IBM Cloud has now reached the Beta phase. See Jen’s latest Blog Post: MQ on IBM Cloud – we’ve hit beta and one of the new things in the beta is the ability to view your queue manager’s error logs.

I Can Haz Error LogsThis is a very important step since one of the first things you should learn is how to discover what your queue manager is trying to tell you when there is an error. In fact this is one of the most important things my MQ training modules also teach you.

Here’s a quick summary of exactly how you can view your IBM Cloud queue manager error logs.

Having created your queue manager, as per Woz Arshad’s YouTube video:

YouTube Introducing MQ on IBM Cloud

you can view your queue manager and get connection information on how to connect to it. From this same view you can also get hold of your queue manager’s error log. Select the “Logs and diagnostics” option.

IBM Cloud MQ Logs and Diagnostics

Select the Logs and diagnostics section

This will show a panel where you have two choices. You can download a smaller zip file which is mainly about obtaining your error logs, or you can go for the full RAS package. For just the error logs click on the “Collect logs” button, and you will then be prompted to supply a password which you will use to unlock the error log files in the zip you download.

IBM Cloud MQ Collect logs

Press the button to collect the queue manager error logs

IBM Cloud MQ Download Log file zip

Download your password protected zip file

After a few moments your zip file will be ready and then you can download it to view the contents.

Inside the zip file there will be three folders:-

  • FDCs
  • QM Logs
  • trace

You’ll be interested in the folder called “QM Logs”. N.B. This is the error logs from the queue manager not the transactional logs.

Inside that folder you will find three files AMQERR0n.LOG – usually you will find all you need in AMQERR01.LOG.

IBM MQ on IBM Cloud – MCA Channels

One of the first things I wanted to do with my new IBM Cloud Queue Manager was to make channels to/from another queue manager on my own machine. Here are some tips that I learned from doing that. Screenshots below show the MQ Console making MQ objects, but of course you can also use all your favourite tools to manage your IBM Cloud queue manager.

Inbound Channel to an IBM Cloud Queue Manager

So I defined a sender channel and transmission queue on the queue manager on my own machine, thus:-

DEFINE CHANNEL(MORAG.TO.MQG1) CHLTYPE(SDR) TRPTYPE(TCP) +
       CONNAME('mqg1-xxxx.qm.beta.mqcloud.ibm.com(nnnnn)') +
       XMITQ(MQG1)
DEFINE QLOCAL(MQG1) USAGE(XMITQ)

And defined a receiver channel on my IBM Cloud queue manager, thus:-

IBM Cloud MQ Console Create Receiver

Create a Receiver channel using the MQ Console

Starting the sender channel on my own machine, targeting my IBM Cloud queue manager failed with:-

AMQ9558: The remote channel 'MORAG.TO.MQG1' .. is not currently available.

Turns out you also need to allow this receiver channel through CHLAUTH. IBM Cloud queue managers come with a back-stop rule already in place, unlike any queue manager you have created yourself using crtmqm. Once you know this, it is a simple matter to get the channel running.

I created a CHLAUTH rule on my IBM Cloud queue manager. I chose to make a Queue Manager Map and not to put an Address filter on it because of all the network translation that goes on between you and your IBM Cloud queue manager. Perhaps later I’ll look into the address the queue manager thinks I’m connecting in from to add an Address filter to my inbound check.

IBM Cloud MQ Console Create CHLAUTH

Create a CHLAUTH rule to allow my receiver in

And then my inbound channel was able to run successfully

IBM Cloud MQ Console Running Channel

And now my receiver is running

Outbound channel from an IBM Cloud Queue Manager

If you have an external IP address for your own machine then you should be able to just plug it into the CONNAME of a sender channel on your IBM Cloud queue manager and get going as you might expect.

If you’re trying this out from home, you may well be behind a router, and using the ipconfig command (or equivalent) will only tell you the IP address assigned to your machine internally, e.g. if it’s a 192.168.* address it’s an internal private address and external connections such as the channels coming out from your IBM Cloud queue manager cannot see it.

One way around this is to use a VPN – if you have one for dialing into work when you are working from home that may well be enough. If you run it and then try the ipconfig command (or equivalent) again, you’ll see that you now have an external IP address. It’s likely that your IBM Cloud queue manager can see that address.

Without a VPN

One of the reasons I decided to write this part of the blog post, is that I think IBM Cloud queue managers may mean that more people are trying to connect between them and a ‘home’ address. Trying out MQ in the cloud is free at the moment, and may well encourage lots of people to try it out.

If you don’t have a VPN, and you are behind a router with a 192.168.* address, you do still have an external IP address, and you can find out what it is by asking google (or using a variety of other websites that will also be listed by this search).

If using your external IP address and queue manager’s port number still don’t work, this is likely because you are behind a router that doesn’t know what to do with this inbound connection. It doesn’t know to send it to your computer rather than any other computer on the internal private network.

You’re better off to have a static IP address for your machine when doing the following to save you having to continually make changes to this configuration every time the DHCP server gives you a new IP address, but it is not absolutely essential. My internal IP address in the following examples is 192.168.1.113. You need to configure your router to tell it where to send connections that come in on the port in question, in the following examples, my queue manager is listening on port 2222.

All routers are different, but you’ll find some kind of section, probably in an advanced setup section, that mentions NAT Forwarding. In that section look for something like Virtual Servers, and then add in configuration that tells the router when it sees traffic on your external IP address and the port your queue manager is listening (2222 in my example), to send that on to the machine with internal IP address 192.168.1.113. You can change the port number at the same time, but I’ve kept it simple and used the same port internally and externally.

IBM Cloud Router config

Configuring my router to pass on connections targeted for my queue manager

Now when I start my sender channel from my IBM Cloud queue manager to the queue manager on my own machine, it connects successfully.

IBM Cloud MQ Console Two Running Channels

Now both my channels, inbound and outbound, are able to run

Since you’ve opened up a port to the outside world to get your channel running into your own machine from the IBM Cloud, you’ll now be able to see the IP address it comes in from. You may want to add an IP address filter with a CHLAUTH rule so that only your cloud queue manager can make that connection.

The next thing I’d like to see from the MQ on IBM Cloud team is how to use SSL/TLS on my channels.

Use MQGem tools with IBM MQ on IBM Cloud

You may have seen the recent announcement from IBM about the experimental IBM MQ service running on IBM Cloud.
IBM Cloud

You can learn more with these resources:-

When you read the description of this new service in the Bluemix catalog, you’ll see it says the following:-

Manage MQ your way

Manage your cloud-based queue managers with the tools you know and love – including MQ Explorer, the MQ Console, or via MQ Script Commands (MQSC).

This blog post is here to assure you that the tools you know and love from MQGem Software; MO71, MQSCX, MQEdit and QLOAD can all also be used with IBM MQ running on IBM Cloud.

Once you have created your MQ on IBM Cloud Service and Queue Manager, as shown in the above video, and your queue manager is up and running, you’ll have a view something like this.

IBM Cloud QM List

A list showing my Running queue manager

Click on the three vertical dots on the right of your queue manager to “Download Connection info”, or alternatively view the details of your queue manager and then there is a button there too which allows you to download the “Connection Information”. Either way, you’ll be presented with a pop-up which allows you to download a plain text file which contains the queue manager name, hostname, port number and a couple of channel names, one called an Application Channel and one called an Administration Channel.

IBM Cloud Download Connection info

IBM Cloud Download Connection info

In order to remotely connect to your IBM Cloud queue manager you will also need to be able to log in. As the MQ on IBM Cloud documentation describes here, you need the API key as your password to go with the user id ‘admin’. Follow the instructions on that page to obtain your API key.

Now you have all the pieces of information you need to set up any of the MQGem Software tools to administer your queue manager on IBM Cloud. As a reminder, these are the things you will need.

Item From where
Queue Manager Name You invented it when you created the queue manager. If you’ve forgotten it, it’s also in the text file you downloaded with the connection information.
Channel Name The “Administration channel name” can be found in the text file you downloaded with the connection information.
Connection Name This is built by concatenating the “Hostname” and “Listener port” details (with brackets round the port number) that can be found in the text file you downloaded with the connection information.
User ID This is ‘admin’
Password This is the API Key that you created by following the linked instructions.

On the pages that follow, we cover how to use the above information you have gathered in your table to configure each of our tools to connect to your IBM MQ in IBM Cloud Queue Manager. Go directly to the page for the tool you want to use, or page through each one in turn.

  1. MO71
  2. MQEdit
  3. MQSCX
  4. QLOAD

If you don’t have a licence and would like to try out any of our tools then send an email, noting which tool you’d like to try, to support@mqgem.com and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

MQGem Monthly (January 2018)

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VOLUME IV. – No. 1. WEDNESDAY, 31 JANUARY, 2018 PRICE: FREE

Welcome to the January 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

As many of you know, we have lived in NZ for the last two years. Plans are now progressing well to move the MQGem Business to NZ as well. Look out for prices quoted in NZD as well as your own currency on future quotes.

A new version of MO71, V9.0.6, was released this month.

IBM announced its new experimental IBM MQ on IBM Cloud service. Read more here.

Training module MQG-101-31 “Securing channels using Digital Certificates (SSL/TLS)” now has z/OS instructions as well as Windows and Unix. Go our here for more information.

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 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

Here at MQGem we hope you haven’t broken all your New Year’s resolutions 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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