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 and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.


IBM MQ Maintenance level checking with MO71

The newest version of MO71 is able to check what the latest available maintenance level of IBM MQ and inform you if you are back level.

MO71 File Menu

MO71 File Menu with options for checking versions

In its simplest form this comes as a file menu option which you can manually select at any time. However there is also an option to have MO71 check for new versions automatically to save you having to remember to do it, and to pop up a reminder to you if there is a new maintenance level.

MO71 MQ Maintenance Levels

MO71 MQ Maintenance Levels

In addition, if you run a HealthCheck on your queue managers, one of the problems that can be checked for is whether your queue manager is running at the latest maintenance.

MO71 Problem checking Fixpack

MO71’s Problem checking can indicate if you are behind on maintenance

And finally if you look at a multi-queue manager list of queue manager attributes, there is a new column that can be added to this display which shows the latest maintenance applicable to the version each queue manager is using. If a queue manager is up-to-date on maintenance then this field is blank. Therefore, a simple filter showing only those rows with something in that field can immediately show you which queue managers need maintenance applied, or you can make a simple filter to highlight the queue managers that have a newer MQ maintenance level available, by changing their background colour, as shown below.

MO71 QMList filtered by Maintenance

MO71 QMList filtered by Maintenance

The new version can be downloaded from the MO71 Download Page. Any current licensed users of MO71 can run the new version on their existing licence. If you don’t have a licence and would like to try out MO71 then send an email to and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

MO71 version 9.0.6 is released

MQGem Software is pleased to announce that a new version of MO71, our GUI Administrative tool for IBM MQ, is now available.

The main features of the release are as follows:-

Improvements to Column Filters

Following on from version 9.0.5, when column filters were first introduced, this version improves them for integer values which are now shown as a selectable list of values in use.

MO71 Integer Column Filters

For fields with integer values, view how many of each value are present and filter by them

Splash Screens

You can configure MO71 to display a panel of information either when MO71 initially starts or when a user connects to a Queue Manager. This allows a central MQ Administration department to disseminate information to MO71 users. For example, tell them about Queue Manager ownership, status or maintenance schedules.

IBM MQ Fix Pack check

MO71 can now check for the latest available MQ fix pack levels and help to inform you that a later fix pack is available for a particular Queue Manager. Read more in IBM MQ Maintenance level checking with MO71

MO71 Version Check

The MO71 Version Check dialog

MO71 Update notification

MO71 can now check and notify you if there is a later version of MO71 available for you.

Import from another MO71 Configuration File

You can now import location definitions from another, central, MO71 configuration file. Not only that but you can ask MO71 to merge any definitions from this file into the local configuration each time it starts.

Licence Command

Another feature which makes central administration a little easier. You can configure MO71 to run a command if the licence file is either not present or due to expire soon. This enables you to automatically copy or FTP a new licence file from a central location without the end user needing to do anything.

The new version can be downloaded from the MO71 Download Page. Any current licensed users of MO71 can run the new version on their existing licence. If you don’t have a licence and would like to try out MO71 then send an email to and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

How to activity trace the MO71 application

MO71 utilises the MQCNO_ACTIVITY_TRACE_DISABLED option so that while using it to view activity trace records, you are not also generating even more! This is of course, only honoured if the queue manager allows it which is controlled by the queue manager attribute ACTVCONO. So in addition, the MO71 Activity trace viewer also has some quick check boxes to hide from view all its records should they be generated.

Inspect MO71What if you want to see the activity trace for MO71 though? For example if you want to trace the API Exerciser?

There are two ways to over-ride the use of MQCNO_ACTIVITY_TRACE_DISABLED. One is to use the following command (which applies the over-ride to all applications that have specified it).


The other is to add a stanza like the following to your queue manager’s mqat.ini file. Remember if MO71 is already connected, you can make an alteration to the queue manager object to get it to pick up the new mqat.ini file or just disconnect and reconnect to the queue manager to pick it up.

# Turn on tracing for MO71

Now looking at the Activity Trace window, on the “Settings” tab, uncheck “Exclude this process” so you can see records from this process ID, and also “Exclude MO71 processes” which just causes the filtering for the “Output” tab to hide any records that come from any “mqmonntp.exe”. Remember to press Apply Settings once you’ve made these and any other filtering changes.

Activity Trace Settings Exclude Checkboxes

Activity Trace Settings Page – Check boxes to exclude MO71 trace records

Note: With these two check boxes, you could run one instance of MO71 to view the Activity Trace records, and a second instance of MO71 doing the activity you want to trace, for example using the API Exerciser, then you could leave “Exclude this process” checked and only uncheck “Exclude MO71 processes”.

It may also be wise to turn off any automatic operations that are being done by MO71, such as exporting objects on a scheduled time interval, which would generate a lot of activity from MO71 in the trace.

Then you’ll be able to see any API calls made by the MO71 application, for example:-

13:38:35   8220( 21) [   85us] C:\MQGem\mqmonntp.exe MQOPEN INPUT.Q 
   Connection Id:414D51434D514731202020202020202027E1F55920005205
   Hobj         :8 QUEUE(MQG1/INPUT.Q)
   Open Options :00000010
                 00000010 MQOO_OUTPUT                    (Output)
   Dynamic Queue:AMQ.*
   CompCode     :0    
   Reason       :0     OK.

Other resources that you may find useful about Activity Tracing.

Configuring List Dialogs in MO71

MO71 is our graphical administration tool for IBM MQ. You can manage all the different object types in MQ using its lists and object dialogs. The lists are fully flexible allowing you to determine which fields are interesting to you and which are not and choosing only to display those columns in the list as a result.

You can make these changes temporarily, just to the instance of the dialog you are currently using. You can make them more permanently, so that every time you bring up that list on that queue manager, you have the same columns. Or finally, you can make these changes across all your queue managers, because the columns you want are the ones you think should be the default set. You can also change the columns in a dynamic manner using filters.

This post will cover these various different mechanisms.

Temporarily alter the list shown

When looking at a list of objects you can change the columns that are displayed by selecting the Options -> Alter List… item from the context menu.

MO71 Alter List Menu

This will bring up a dialog where you can locate the additional columns you want to display. So I’ve got a list of queues, with some cluster queues and I want to see the Cluster Queue Manager that hosts the cluster queues, so I locate the field Cluster Queue Manager Name (CLUSQMGR) in the right hand side of the window in the list of “Remaining Fields”, and move it to the “List Contents” by pressing the  <<  button. Then I can move its position in the columns on the left hand side using the up and down buttons, and press   OK   to complete the change.

MO71 Change Queue List attributes

Now you’ll see that your queue list has the additional column you selected. However, if you close the queue list dialog, and later open another queue list dialog, you’ll see that your alteration to the list of fields shown has been forgotten, it was a temporary change that you made.

Permanently alter the list for one queue manager

Following exactly the same process as above, with one small change, you can make the change permanent for that queue manager. On the dialog which allows you to change the columns shown, instead of just pressing   OK   to make the change, first press Apply All which applies the change to all instances of that particular list dialog for this queue manager, both those currently open, and any future invocations of that list dialog. This change is also remembered across a restart of the MO71 program.

MO71 Change Queue List attributes Apply All

Permanently alter the list for all queue managers

In essence, this mechanism is changing the defaults for list dialogs. If you add a new queue manager to MO71, it will pick up the default columns too.

Using the menu option View -> Set Default Lists -> Queue List… (or whichever list dialog you want to change), you will be presented with a very similar dialog to the one above, except instead of referring to a single queue manager in the window title, it will indicate that it is a “global” list.

MO71 Change global Queue List attributes

Pressing   OK   or  Apply  on the global change list dialog will set the new default and all queue managers that have not had their list changed by the above mechanisms will pick up these new defaults. Pressing Apply All on this dialog will set all queue managers to use this list instead of anything that may have previously been altered by the above mechanisms. Because this is a ‘destructive’ setting (i.e. you lose previous set up you might have done), there is a confirmation dialog for this change. This change is also remembered across a restart of the MO71 program.

MO71 Change global Queue List attributes Confirmation

Changing columns in a filter

You can also change the column display from within a filter. This can particularly useful when creating pre-defined dialogs. Especially if you want to have several different ‘default’ sets of columns.

This can be done in two ways. Firstly by adding a ‘#’ character after a keyword or user variable name, to show it as a column on the end of the display. The example below has a filter which creates a user variable called “Fullness” and as a result of the ‘#’ character on the end, also displays that as a column.

MO71 Fullness column

The other way to manipulate columns from within a filter is to use the showcol and hidecol functions. This is very useful in a pre-defined dialog, allowing you to change the default set of columns to exactly what you need for this dialog. You might, for example, have several different queue lists, one for cluster queues, one for transmission queues, and one for dead-letter queues across all your queue managers. You can imagine wanting slightly different columns on display for each one.

The showcol function takes the MQSC spelling of the keyword and the column position, and the hidecol function just takes the keyword.

MO71 showcol hidecol

Heopfully now you can have exactly the columns you want on display in any list you are viewing. If you have any questions please leave a comment below, or get in touch.

If you don’t have a licence and would like to try out MO71 then send an email to and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

MO71 version 9.0.5 – Column Filters

MQGem Software is pleased to announce that a new version of MO71, our GUI Administrative tool for IBM MQ, is now available.

This release was created for one specific requested feature – Column Filters.

MO71 has a very powerful filtering capability already, but with power often comes complexity and some find this daunting to learn. The introduction of column filters allows for, very easy to use, filtering by columns, to reduce the amount of data you are looking at on a list dialog.

To use it, look in the column heading of a column in a list dialog, and you will see a new filter icon. Click on this icon and a filter dialog will pop-up. This dialog will look a little different depending on the type of attribute you are trying to filter. For strings, you can type in a string, or part of a string to match on; for integers you can provide a minimum and/or maximum; and for enumerated values, you can see all the possible values and select or deselect them.

MO71 Column Filters

The column filter dialog shows the number of each type

In the case of enumerated values, you also see a count of how many of each value there are in the current list dialog. This can be handy in itself without using any filtering!

Now I can reduce the amount of data shown in my list, by deselecting the values that I am not interested in at the moment.

MO71 Column Filtered

Use the check boxes to reduce what is shown

In case you forget that you have filtered the list, and wonder where your other objects are, there are two visual clues that filtering is currently in effect. Firstly, the icon in the column heading changes to show that a filter is active, and the count of objects displayed does not match the total number available as shown in the bottom right of the window.

MO71 Indication of Filtering

You can tell that your display is filtered

You can filter on several columns at once in a single dialog, and so if you later want to turn them all off, you can do so with one click, using either the context menu option, Options -> Remove Column Filters, or the toolbar button for the same.

The new version can be downloaded from the MO71 Download Page. Any current licensed users of MO71 can run the new version on their existing licence. If you don’t have a licence and would like to try out MO71 then send an email to and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

Application Activity Trace Viewer

IBM MQ has a feature called Application Activity Trace, which allows you to trace what an application is doing, see the progression of MQ API calls, the objects utilised, the options used, the time taken for each call and so on.

To get the most out of this feature, which writes its output as PCF messages, you need to be able to, not only read the content of those PCF messages, but display them in a way that allows you to drill down into the data, exclude data from your view to allow you to focus on what’s important, search for particular objects in use, or particular reason codes, and so on.

To this end, MO71 now has an Application Activity Trace viewer. At it’s simplest, it allows you to see the progression of MQ API calls, just like the IBM-supplied sample amqsact. However it can do so much more than that.

Activity Trace Output

MO71 Activity Trace Output

Drilling down

Rather than having to decide to view every MQ API call in high detail, the viewer allows you to drill down into the verb you are interested in, without the confusion of seeing high detail of everything else at the same time.

Activity Trace Drill down MQINQ

MO71 Activity Trace – Drill down into MQINQ

Activity Trace API Selection

MO71 Activity Trace API Selection

Filter the output

With a trace that spans many pages full, even when only showing one line per verb, you may wish to reduce the clutter on your screen further. You can filter the output in many different ways to see what you’re looking for. For example, you could choose to hide all the MQPUTs and MQGETs and focus on the other calls, like the MQOPENs.

Activity Trace No PUTs and GETs

MO71 Activity Trace with PUTs and GETs excluded

You can filter the output to focus on a particular object or objects that you are interested in, or a particular process id. In fact there are many different factors that you can used to filter down the data to make is easier to view.

Activity Trace Settings

MO71 Activity Trace Settings Tab with filtering

Health-checking your application

There are a number of behaviours that MO71 can check for in your application. These are listed on the Health tab, and if any issues are found you will see them highlighted with a red exclamation mark. You can display the instances in a separate window which then allows you to jump into the main output window at the point where the issue was detected.

Activity Trace Health

MO71 Activity Trace Health Tab

The current list of health issues is not final, and if you have any other issues you would like to see MO71 check for, please comment below or get in touch in the usual ways.

The Application Activity Trace viewer in MO71 will help you make sense of, and get great insight from, your tracing of your applications.

The new version can be downloaded from the MO71 Download Page. Any current licensed users of MO71 can run the new version on their existing licence. If you don’t have a licence and would like to try out MO71 then send an email to and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.