Conference Material from 2016

A popular section of last year’s round up blog post was the section containing all the conference material from the year. So this year, it’s getting a post all to itself!

There have been quite a number of events throughout 2016 that have had IBM MQ content delivered at them. I hope you were able to attend at least one. The presentation material is online for many of these events, and download links are shown below where we are aware of them.

MQEDIT Prize Draw at MQTCv2.0.1.6

At the recent MQTC Conference, MQGem ran a Prize Draw where one lucky entrant would win an Enterprise licence to use MQEdit for free for a year. An Enterprise licence allows your whole company to use the product worldwide.

The draw was made at lunchtime on the final day of the conference and the lucky winner was Gary Schmincke from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.

The prize draw winner

Gary Schmincke, The prize draw winner, with Morag Hughson (MQGem)

Gary will receive his licence file sometime before the end of January 2017 when the free beta period expires. Currently, EVERYONE can use it for free. Just go to the website and download a copy to try, no sign-up, no obligation to buy.

MQGem at MQTCv2.0.1.6

MQTC Sponsors

MQTC Sponsors

We’ve just finished three days in Sandusky, Ohio at this years MQTC Conference, the best, and only dedicated conference for IBM MQ Technical Education.

It was great to see so much interest in MQ at the conference, with numbers up from last years attendance, and more vendors in the sponsors pavilion than in previous years. Paul and Morag both gave technical presentions as we mentioned in an earlier blog post.

MQGem was a Gold Sponsor of the conference, and so also had a couple of vendor presentation sessions which were presented by Paul; the first on Monday, about our new product, MQEDIT, a live parsing MQ message editor; and the second on Wednesday, about our other three products, MQSCX, MO71 and QLOAD.

Paul presenting

Paul presenting the MQGem editor – MQEDIT

MQGem also had a booth in the vendor pavillion on Monday and Tuesday evening, where we gave personalised demos of any of the products to attendees who came by, gave out product brochures and free mouse mats, and collected entries for our prize draw to win an MQEDIT 1-year Enterprise licence. We were very pleased with the interest in our products shown by the attendees that visited the booth, and Paul spent a lot of time demonstrating the many features of all our products.

It was great to catch up with many friends and customers that we hadn’t met face-to-face for a while.

Yet again, the Kalahari Resort has done this conference proud, and huge thanks go to Capitalware for putting on a great three days.

Session Directory

Which sessions would you go to?

Next years conference, MQTCv2.0.1.7 has already been announced for 25-27th September and we hope to see many more people attending this marvellous event next year. MQGem hopes to be able to support MQTC again next year.

Other blog posts about the conference:

Looking forward to MQTCv2.0.1.6

MQTC IconIt’s September, and at the end of this month is the MQTC conference in Sandusky, Ohio.

MQTC – the only conference dedicated to IBM MQ – takes place from September 26 to September 28. There is a full schedule of technical sessions as well as a number of vendor sessions. There’s also lots of information about the conference on the CapitalWare Blog, and you can follow the twitter hashtag #MQTC2016.

MQGem Software is a Gold Sponsor of the conference, so come and find us in the evening Sponsor Pavilion, held in the Zambezi room, on Monday and Tuesday, and we can demonstrate any of the MQGem products to you and you can enter our prize draw. Or just grab a beer from the bar and come and say “Hello”.

Paul Clarke and Morag Hughson will be there from MQGem Software, doing a number of technical sessions:-

Introduction to the MQI
Morag Hughson
Monday 8:30am Leopardwood; Wednesday 9:50am Salon F
Abstract: This entry level session will teach the basics of the beautifully simple MQ API – the MQI. You’ll have heard many describe how writing an application for MQ is very simple, just MQPUT a message, or MQGET a message. Come to this session and learn it for yourself. Example code in C and COBOL will be used, and a live demonstration using an API Exerciser will show how some of the input and output fields operate.
Securing your z/OS Queue Manager
Morag Hughson
Monday 2:30pm Rosewood; Tuesday 2:30pm Aloeswood
Abstract: This session looks at how security facilities are provided in IBM MQ for z/OS. It will provide an introduction to IBM MQ for z/OS Security, looking at, what security is available, how it is activated/deactivated, what types of resources can be protected and an insight as to how IBM MQ for z/OS determines which userids it uses for the checks it performs. IBM MQ V8 introduced a number of new security features and many of these were just as applicable on z/OS as other platforms, so we will show how these features work on z/OS, and what error messages to look out for when using them.
Authentication in MQ
Morag Hughson
Tuesday 9:50am Leopardwood; Wednesday 1:00pm Salon E
Abstract: Over the last few releases of MQ, there have been a number of security features added that provide authentication features. This session illustrates all those features and how they work together. This session will cover the use of SSL/TLS on channels (and some recent changes in this area in MQ V8); the security exit facility which is still available although some of the common uses for it are now built into the MQ product; the use of CHLAUTH rules (added in MQ V7.1 and enhanced in MQ V8) and the MQ V8 feature Connection Authentication, which allows the validation of user ID and password from an application at connect time.
Introduction to MQ Channels
Paul Clarke
Monday 1:00pm Rosewood; Tuesday 4:00pm Aloeswood
Abstract: This entry level session describes how IBM MQ moves messages around your network of queue managers. The various concepts of remote messaging are introduced and the session shows how the various components fit together. Attendees learn the basic IBM MQ configuration necessary to have application messages moved from one queue manager to another.

Paul will also be giving two vendor sessions:-

The MQGems – tools from MQGem Software
Paul Clarke
Wednesday 11:15am Salon F
Abstract: In this session, Paul Clarke, founder and CEO of MQGem Software, will take you through the tools that MQGem produces. This includes MO71 – our GUI administrator for MQ, MQSCX – a huge improvement on MQSC, and QLOAD – the load/unload messages tool. The presentation will include demonstrations of some of the above.
What’s New from MQGem Software – New Message Editor Product
Paul Clarke
Monday 11:15am Rosewood
Abstract: In this session, Paul Clarke, founder and CEO of MQGem Software, will tell you all about a new product developed by MQGem Software, MQEDIT – a new live parsing message editor. The editor is still in Beta, so this is the ideal opportunity for you to come along and shape the direction of its development. The session will be largely demonstration based, so come along and see the editor in action. You can also enter a prize draw to win a free one-year licence!

We look forward to seeing you there!

WebSphere Integration User Group (UK)

WebSphere Integration User Group (UK)
Tuesday 14th July was the WebSphere Integration User Group (UK) annual event hosted in IBM Hursley.

After the opening keynote, the break-out sessions split up into five tracks, Integration; Messaging; Cloud / API Management; Business Process Management; and Architecture & Related topics. I was there for the Messaging track.


We started in the Auditorium for the Keynote “2-Speed IT” by Andy Humphreys, a Cross Portfolio Product Manager at the IBM Hursley Laboratory. One strong message was that we’re still going to need lots of integration.

After the keynote we split into the five tracks, and first up on the Messaging track was “What’s new in IBM Messaging” presented by Mark Taylor. This presentation included the new features added in IBM MQ V8 FixPack 3 which was recently released, including the new 802 command level – which I recently updated my “What’s in Command Level 801” blog post to include; the deprecation of more weak CipherSpecs (read more in Deprecated CipherSpecs); PAM based Authorisation; and extensions to the Channel Exit Parameters structure to provide exits with RVERSION and RPRODUCT (very handy fields that I recently described in “IBM MQ Little Gem #2: RPRODUCT and RVERSION”). As a result of this presentation I have been able to update my earlier blog post about FixPack to be more complete.

After lunch in the central hall of Hursley House, and chatting to a number of people I hadn’t seen in a while, it was back to the sessions. Matt Whitehead kicked things off after lunch with “MQ Light and IBM MQ”.

After a very short break, next up in the same room was “IBM MQ and Security” by Mark Taylor. This was an overview of all the security features in IBM MQ, including details on those added in V8 at GA, and the features that were released later in Fix Packs 2 and 3.

After coffee and cake in the Central Hall, the last breakout session of the day was about the “MQ Appliance” with Anthony Beardsmore. This session was very interactive with lots of discussion in the room about the Appliance.

Links to the presentation material that is embedded above are also available on the WebSphere Integration User Group webpage.

The day finished off back in the Auditorium with a brief “Ask the Experts Panel” session before it was time to head home.

It was a great event, and I’d like to thank the organisers who I know work very hard to arrange this event, including lots of their own personal time. You guys rock!

Previous years events:-

IBM Certified Specialist

Morag Hughson is a Certified IBM MQ Specialist
IBM Certified System Administrator – MQ V8.0
Find her on: LinkedIn:   Twitter:   SlideShare:

MQGem at GSE Nordic

GSE Nordic IconMQGem Software was at the Guide SHARE Europe (GSE) Nordic Region Conference in June. Morag Hughson was there presenting on IBM MQ topics, as was Jamie Squibb from IBM Hursley.

The conference is a three day event held each summer somewhere in the Nordic Region. In 2015 it was the turn of Gothenburg in Sweden. The conference is a z/OS platform conference having the following tracks of technical education:-

Day One – Monday

So, what comes to mind when you combine Gothenburg and IBM mainframes, and the answer is of course Volvo. The Volvo company is very important to Sweden, and they have a truck plant in Gothenburg which is all run by IBM mainframes. The plant assembles trucks on a production line, however, unlike many factory production lines, each truck is unique since each is ordered by a customer with the customisations they need. The applications that ensure the correct parts are available at the correct point in the production line at the correct time, are all running on an IBM mainframe. The conference began in the morning with a tour of the plant on the “Tuve Train” and then a presentation by Volvo IT.

After lunch on Day 1, the technical education sessions began, with an opening keynote from IBM speakers Gene Fuh (Director of z Systems WW Technical Enablement and Business Development) and Ian Mitchell (CICS Distinguished Engineer from the IBM Hursley Lab). They told us about the new z13 mainframe and how the z/OS subsystems were exploiting its new capabilities, “z Technology the power in the future”.

GSENordic Opening Keynote

Gene Fuh and Ian Mitchell were the speakers for the Opening Keynote
Photo by Larry England

After the opening sessions the audience split into the various tracks for more targeted breakout sessions.

Monday Evening

GSENordic Paddan Tour

The Paddan boats took us under some very low bridges – Duck!
Photo by Larry England

The evening event on Day 1 was a tour down the Göta älv in Gothenburg on Paddan boats, under lots of low bridges and through the one remaining canal lock, and out into the harbour where we then arrived at the River Cafe for a standing buffet. Our tour guides were very entertaining, and apart from a badly timed heavy rain shower that meant some people in the boats got wet, it was an excellent evening event.

GSENordic Buffet

A standing buffer and some networking for evening 1
Photo by Larry England

Day Two – Tuesday

The timetable for Day 2 provided six breakout session slots with a choice of 36 different technical sessions to choose from. Morag gave a presentation about “Monitoring and Auditing MQ”, and Jamie gave the “Introduction to IBM MQ and IIB/MB” presentation in the afternoon.

One of the other sessions that ran on Day 2 was a panel discussion with a number of z platform IBM experts. The discussion ranged from the visibility of the platform to how you can be more agile in the development of your applications on the platform.

Tuesday Evening

The evening of Day 2 was the Gala Dinner. This was held in the Imagine restaurant on the top (29th) floor of the hotel where we were treated to a great view over the city, once the rain stopped and the clouds lifted. After a lovely meal, music from local cover band Claes Lindberg Covershow began and quite a number of people were up dancing.

Day Three – Wednesday

On the third and final day there were four more breakout session slots before the closing keynote. Jamie gave a presentation about “Business Availability during an MQ upgrade” and then stood in to present “Designing and Analysing MB/IIB performance on z/OS” since the speaker was unable to be there. Morag gave a presentation on “Securing your z/OS Queue Manager” after lunch.

GSENordic Morag presenting

Morag gives a presentation on z/OS MQ security
Photo by Jamie Squibb

The closing keynote was given by Larry England, an IBMer from the USA, who told us about a number of “Cool thing on z/OS” including the ability to run z/OS emulation images with RD&T in SoftLayer and then be able to record snapshots using IBM Development and Test Environment Services (IDTES) a.k.a. SkyTap. We can see lots of opportunities with this very cool combination.

After the closing keynote, Rajesh Khare, the incoming conference manager, took us through a summary of the conference and also told us where next years event will be. It will be in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2016.

The Steering Committee said a public Goodbye to Morag, who has served on the GSE Nordic Region Conference Steering Committee since 2009.

It was a great conference, enjoyed by all who attended and was at a very high standard as we have come to expect from this great conference and its organising committee.

Here’s a great album of photos from Jamie.

MQGem at Capitalware’s MQ Technical Conference v2.0.1.4

MQTC 2014 Sponsor sign

Conference sponsors

MQGem Software was a Silver Sponsor of the Capitalware MQ Technical Conference this September, in Sandusky, Ohio. Everyone agreed that the conference was a great success, with the attendees commenting on the wide variety and depth of the technical information provided. Not only that, the catering was impressive – we were continually having cakes and cookies thrust at us during the breaks! The MQ community owes a debt of thanks to Roger Lacroix and his team at Capitalware, and MQGem would like to extend its thanks for the effort that they put into making the event such a success.

Paul Clarke was there as a speaker on a number of IBM MQ subjects, including channels and clients, and also presenting a vendor session about the MQGem tools.

MQTC 2014 MQGem USB Key

MQGem USB Key from MQTC 2014 Conference

In the vendor session, Paul gave out MQGem USB keys which contained the latest versions of MO71 and MQSCX, along with a trial license for the conference attendees to use for one month after the end of the conference. If you’d like to try out the products yourself, but you weren’t at the conference, you can download the programs from the MQGem website, and email to request a trial license.

The sessions were very well attended, and there were only just enough USB keys to go round – next year more keys will be needed since the attendance at this conference is clearly growing.

The session presented some of the less well known features of MO71, those features that have previously resulted in exclamations of, “I didn’t know it could do that!” For example, lots of people still haven’t realised that MO71 can show the results of a list of objects from multiple queue managers in a single dialog; for instance, you could look at the current depths of all your dead letter queues in one dialog.

Another feature that caused a lot of excitement and questions was pre-defined dialogs. This is the feature that allows you to preset all the aspects of a display window and invoke it with a single click, or even choose to have it appear at startup. As an example, you could pre-define a dialog that shows all the transmission queues with messages on them; or show all the queues that are more than half full; or all the channels that are retrying.

A number of the features were demonstrated in a real hands on session, for example the new MQSCX control language, showing how you could easily collate the responses back from the command server, into a single sorted list.

I’m sure everyone attending sincerely hopes that MQTC becomes a fixed date in the MQ calendar, and that it continues to go from strength to strength. MQGem would recommend anyone looking for MQ Education to seriously consider this conference which offers excellent value for money. Not only were there 85 technical sessions, but also ample opportunity to talk to the MQ experts from IBM.

MQGem looks forward to supporting the conference in the future.

Other people’s Blog Posts about this conference