Mini-Health Check for your Queue Manager

You can pay expert IBM MQ consultants to do a full health check of your queue managers, but in between such events, or even in preparation for such events, how about running a mini-health check of your queue managers without the expense of consultation hours?

MO71 will look for a number of problems in your set of queue managers. Not just problems in an individual queue manager, but also the resolution of the various IBM MQ objects that refer to other objects, for example, from QREMOTE to transmission queue to sender channel to receiver channel to target queue across mutiple queue managers.

MO71 HealthCheck Queue Resolution

MO71 will follow the resolution of your queues across queue managers.

Do you have a naming convention? Great! Do all your queue managers stick to it? MO71 will check that for you too.

MO71 HealthCheck Queue Naming

Tell MO71 your naming convention and it will check whether you have any objects not following it.

In order to have MO71 run these checks against your queue managers, open the Network view, and after selecting the list of queue managers you are interested in from the Queue Managers list, look at the Verify view. For each queue manager, you can open up the twisty labeled ‘<QMName> Problems’ to see the various things MO71 has detected.

MO71 HealthCheck Network View

Chosen queue managers in the left window; Verify view with problems in the right window.

If there are any of the problems that you don’t want to include in the check, you can deselect them from the Problems list. This is also the view that allows you to see all the problems that are looked for by MO71.

MO71 HealthCheck Problem Selection

The current list of problems checked for by MO71. Can you think of any others you would like to see?

If you have fixed any of the problems, you can refresh the data that the analysis is based on from the Action menu to see if you’ve fixed them all. Alternatively you can click on the database icon next to the queue manager name to only refresh the data from a single queue manager. If you’ve changed the problems being checked for, you can also Re-analyse the problems without retrieving new data from the queue manager.

MO71 HealthCheck Refresh Data

Use the Action menu to request data is Re-analysed, or refreshed from the queue manager.

As you can see, there are quite a number of things that MO71 can check for you, and it’s quick and easy. You simply need to tell MO71 where your queue manager is by adding it as a location into the tool, and then you can use it to detect these problems.


This is not a new feature of MO71. You already have it in the version you’re using. However, we do add new problems to be checked for from time to time. If you would like to see other things checked by MO71 to add to a mini-health check, please drop us a line or add a comment below.


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

MQGem Products: Minor Updates

MQGem products licences are time based, allowing you to use the latest version of the product without needing to buy a new licence. One of the advantages of this is described as follows in the manual:-

Features are available sooner
Using this model it is not necessary for us to collect a large group of features together to ‘justify’ a new release of the product. Instead a new release can be made available whenever a new feature is added which is regarded as sufficiently useful since all current users will be able to migrate to the new version at no cost to themselves.

This allows us to do even very small minor updates to the products from time to time. These minor updates are notified to you in a couple of ways. At the end of each month, any minor updates will be included in the News section of our MQGem Monthly newsletter.

In addition to this, minor updates will be tweeted using each product’s hashtag on the day of the upload.

You can see all the minor updates so far using each of the following links. Even if you’re not a twitter user, these posts are all public for you to view. Below each link is an example tweet. Whenever possible, these tweets will include a screenshot to demonstrate the new update.

MO71 Minor Updates

MQSCX Minor Updates

MQEdit Minor Updates

Remember, if you have a minor change you’d like to see to one of our products, please tell us about it. Small updates don’t have to wait for a whole new version!


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

Running User Commands in MO71

MO71 User Commands

The User Commands menu on a queue manager in MO71

Do you have a number of commands, or scripts, or batch jobs that you regularly use against your queue managers? How would like to be able to invoke them from the queue manager menu in MO71? In the latest version of MO71 just released, you can do just that. This might be useful when setting up MO71 for your operations team to use (see Delivering an MO71 Bundle to your MQ team) to pre-configure MO71 with the various scripts they should be using for tasks outside MO71.

MO71 User Command strmqm

A User Command that will invoke strmqm for the queue manager

Of course, not all user commands you might want to run would apply to all queue managers in your MO71 configuration, so when setting up User Commands in MO71 you can say which queue managers they apply to. For example, if your queue manager is local to MO71 you can use commands such as strmqm, but for remote queue manager’s you’ll need some sort of remote script to achieve the same. The easiest way to categorize your queue managers is to put them into various “networks” (MO71’s way of categorizing them – see Can you see your QMgr for the trees?). You could imagine a network called “Local” and another called “Remote” which you can then use to determine whether the User Command that runs strmqm can be used. You can make one User command definition which applies to all queue managers in the “Local” network and use the %q substitution character to pass the queue manager name through to the command.

Here you’ve seen an example of a substitution character allowing you to pull information from the location to build up the command. Other substitutions that pull information from the location details are as follows. If there are other things that might be useful to use from the location details as substitutions in User Commands, let us know.

Insert Meaning
%c Location CLNTCONN connection name
%g Location Group Name
%l Location Name
%q Queue Manager Name

If you need to use any environment variables, for example MQ_DATA_PATH or MQ_INSTALLATION_PATH, these can also be used in substitutions in your User Commands with the following syntax:-

%[MQ_DATA_PATH]
MO71 User Command SSH

A User Command to launch an SSH session to the machine the queue manager is on

For “Remote” queue managers you might want to have quick access to a telnet/putty/ssh session to the machine the queue manager is running on. The session you use might vary based on the platform of the machine. For example, for your z/OS queue managers you might want to start a 3270 session. So there’s another possible network, you could also categorize your queue managers by platform. You can use the %c substitution character to pass the connection name (without port number) through to the command.

These User Commands can run anything you can imagine doing in a script. These might be quite simple wrapper scripts or quite complex scripts. You could use it to run an MQSCX script that generates a report with a known file name, and then open the script with something like notepad to view the results.

mqscx -x -f -C "=import file(C:\MQGem\MQReport.mqx) parms(%1)"
notepad C:\MQGem\Output\MQReport_%1_%2_%3_%4.txt

The User Command would then run the command file:

C:\MQGem\runReport.cmd %q %y %m %d

When generating files, it is common to use dates and times in the file names. The other inserts available as substitutions in User Commands are those you can use to generate dates and time, as follows.

Insert Meaning
%d Day of the month e.g. 16
%D Day of the month e.g. Mon, Tue, Wed
%H Current time hours
%m Current Month e.g. Jan, Feb, Mar
%M Current time minutes
%S Current time seconds
%t Current time in HH.MM.SS format
%y Four digit year

You can also start other programs directly from MO71, and pass in the queue manager name as a parameter where required. For GUI applications make sure the User Command is defined with Hidden set to No or the GUI won’t be visible. If you are an MQSCX user as well as an MO71 user, you may prefer to use MQSCX rather than the MQSC window in MO71 for command line operations. You can create a user command to start an MQSCX session up for the queue manager through a User Command.

The flexibility of running any command scripts means you can do a lot with this, but if you think of other inserts or requirements on this feature, please drop us a line, or leave a comment below to let us know.


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 support@mqgem.com and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

Displaying host names in MO71

When looking at channel status as reported by IBM MQ, you see the connection name of the channel’s partner, which shows the IP address. IP addresses are not all that memorable, especially as we move into a world with more IPv6 addresses! If you use generic receiver (RCVR) or server-connection (SVRCONN) channels, as is good practice, this can be especially difficult as the channel name is the same for all connections.

MO71 Channel Status IP addresses

All MQ shows you in channel status connection names are the IP addresses

It is possible to improve your understanding about the connections by also displaying the Remote Queue Manager Name (RQMNAME) or Remote Application Name (RAPPLTAG), but with the latest version of MO71, you can now also improve it further by displaying the host name associated with the IP address.

MO71 Channel Status Hostnames

You can configure MO71 to show you hostnames too

In the background, MO71 will make a call to DNS to find out the host name associated with an IP address should it need to be displayed. You choose to display hostnames in a Channel Status List Dialog (such as those shown above), by going into the Alter List… option on the context menu and adding the “Host Name” column to your display. DNS calls can be slow to return so MO71 will cache the results it obtains. You can control how long this caching is for, and clear the cache completely from the Connection tab in the Preferences dialog. If you check the “Save resolved hostnames” option, MO71 will also save the cached values across a restart of the application.

MO71 DNS preferences

The preference options associated with the host name feature

If you find that host names are mainly from a particular domain, and it would be easier to read them without all those dot separated suffixes, you can also configure in the above preferences section, any DNS suffixes to be removed, for example, we could remove mqgem.com in the above examples.

MO71 Channel Status Hostnames Suffix Removed

You can configure MO71 to remove DNS suffixes from host names

If you find that host names are still not memorable enough, or if you are not able to resolve all your IP addresses to suitable hostnames, there is an additional feature. You can create a DNS User file containing your own values. These will be used in preference to any system values retrieved from the DNS. This file could look as follows:-

* MO71 DNS User Values file

192.168.2.106             Dept ASN.RQ server: Contact x2479
192.168.2.107             Dept SALES server: Contact x2588 (Bob)
fe80::9075:a1eb:379d:e7be Business Partner RGHT: Contact Mark 222-567-9765
fe80::9543:124e:4bf7:6374 Devt/Test server: Contact x2544

which would cause MO71 to display that data as the host name in preference to the DNS retrieved values.

MO71 Channel Status User Hostnames

Using the DNS User file you can display any string you want

UPDATE: A minor enhancement to MO71 V9.0.3 adds this host name display to the Queue Usage (DISPLAY QSTATUS) and Connection List (DISPLAY CONN) dialogs too.

So, never be puzzled about what machine an IP address is again. Set up MO71 to show you the string that is most memorable for you.


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 support@mqgem.com and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

MO71 version 9.0.3 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:-

MO71 Auto Export Authrecs

You can now export Authority Records along with all your other objects

Export of AUTHREC in MQSC format

This was one of the most commonly requested features. You can now export AUTHREC definitions in MQSC format from the object and list dialogs as well as include AUTHRECs in the automatic Queue Manager export list.

API Exerciser enhancements

We are pleased to say that this version allows you to experiment with the MQCONNX, Message Handle and Message Property API calls. More information will be coming soon in another blog post.

Hostname display

When displaying a Channel Status output, MQ will send you the IP address eg.198.51.100.34. However, this is not hugely memorable. You can now ask MO71 to issue a gethostbyaddr() and display the result in a hostname field. You can go even further and put your own description of this in a dns file, MQMON.DNS, and have MO71 display that instead. Read more about this in Displaying host names in MO71.

User Commands

You can define your own commands which are then available in the Queue Manager context menu. Read more about this in Running User Commands in MO71.

Message Operations are now Message Token based

By basing message operations on Message Tokens the message operations such as browse, copy, mode and delete are much faster and more specific.

Can now invoke the MQEdit Message Editor directly

When you are browsing a message you can select ‘Edit…’ from the context menu and the MQEdit product will be started editing the same message, saving you having to re-navigate to that message in another tool. This is possible through the use of Message Tokens. You can also open the MQEdit product from a queue list and a single queue dialog and it will open with the messages from that queue already loaded into the list. Ensure you have MQEdit V9.0.1 (or higher) in order to do this. If you don’t have a licence for MQEdit, these options will not be available.

MO71 Message List Edit Option

If you have the MQEdit product, you’ll get an Edit option

New Default Max. Column preference option

Some MQ fields can now be quite large, for example topic strings, subscription names and subscription selectors. This can mean that lists of objects can be have columns which are wider than you would like. You can now say how wide the column should be by default, and a new ‘…’ indicator shows if there is more to be seen than the column is currently displaying.

New Max Column and Field lengths for HTTP browser output

As above these large MQ fields can mean that the browser output is hard to read or it results in an output with a large horizontal scrollbar. You can now tell MO71 how much data to return in these situations.

More CipherSpecs considered weak

IBM recently updated the list of weak CipherSpecs to include those using the Triple DES algorithm, and so MO71 will not show you those CipherSpecs by default. You can ask MO71 to show you the weak ones in the Location dialog for the queue manager in question, but you will also need to enable them in MQ too if you want to use them. Read more about how in Deprecated CipherSpecs

Support for Command Level 902

UPDATE: With a minor update to MO71 after the release of IBM MQ Continuous Delivery Release 9.0.2, support for Command Level 902 has been added. Read more about the new command level in What’s in Command Levels 90x.


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 support@mqgem.com and a 1-month trial licence will be sent to you.

Running MQGem GUIs under WINE

MQGem with WINEWe spent the festive season partaking of a little wine which resulted in our recent announcement of the capability to run both the MQGem Software GUI applications, MO71 and MQEdit, on Intel Linux. This is achieved by running them under WINE. WINE is a fabulous piece of free software that comes from the WINE project. This software allows a huge range of Windows applications to run, virtually unchanged, on an Intel Linux machine. The software is not an emulator but rather translates Windows API calls to POSIX calls on the fly which means that it is fast and efficient. For most users, wine may even be already installed on your Linux system, for others, it will be as simple as issuing the command:-

yum install wine.i686

N.B. The MQGem GUIs are 32-bit Windows applications which is why you must install the wine.i686 package rather than letting the system decide which wine package you need based on the bitness of your O/S.

However, everybody’s Linux is just that little bit different. If you find when using the above command that it responds with:-

No package wine available.

then this means that the yum source repositories you currently use do not contain the WINE packages. The WINE packages are in the EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) repository which can be added to your yum as described in How can I install the packages from the EPEL software repository?

If the EPEL repository still refuses to play ball, there are a plethora of StackOverflow questions (with answers) to solve Cannot retrieve metalink for repository: epel.
Once you get WINE installed, there is one other piece of the puzzle. If you tried to run the mqmonntp.exe under WINE as-is, the GUI would run, but when you try to connect to MQ using it the following error would be shown.

Error connecting to 'MQG1' RC(2012) Environment error.

So before you do, you should download a new package from MQGem Software, an MQ WINE mapping layer. This is a shared object that maps from the MQI calls made that the Windows application expects to find in mqm.dll or mqic32.dll, and instead calls the locally installed entry points in the libmqm_r.so and libmqic_r.so libraries. These mapping packages are called mqm.dll.so and mqic32.dll.so.

So download the zipped tar file mq_wine.tgz, and untar the file using a command such as

tar -xvzf mq_wine.tgz

You need to put these libraries where WINE will find them. Your two choices are:

  • Put them in /usr/lib/wine
  • Put them where ever you like but ensure that the path is added to WINEDLLPATH environment variable.

Now download the latest version of MO71 or MQEdit and unzip it on your Linux system. We have made one or two minor changes to the programs to fix things we have discovered in our testing of them under WINE, so it is best if you start off with all the fixes to things we’ve found. If you already run MO71 with a Diamond or Enterprise licence then you can also copy your licence file across onto your Linux machine (assuming you’re on the same site for your Diamond licence). If you use an Emerald licence, then you’ll need one for this machine. If you’d like to try it out on Linux before you make your mind up to buy another Emerald, then please email support@mqgem.com to request a trial licence.

To run the program, use this command:-

wine mqmonntp [ MO71 parameters ]

Once you are comfortable that MO71 starts and runs correctly you may want to set up an icon on your desktop to issue this command and possibly run it in the background.

Cheers!

Looking back on 2016

In this post we look back on the year that was 2016 and what happened in both IBM MQ, and MQGem Software.

New Versions

Both IBM MQ and MQGem Software products had a number of new releases in 2016.

MQGem Software products

Three new versions of our premier product, MO71 – a graphical administrative product for IBM MQ. Major version 9.0.0 was released in June to support the IBM MQ V9.0.0 release as well as adding several new features. Then two micro releases, version 9.0.1 was released in August, and version 9.0.2 was released in October.

An update to version 8.0.1 of MQSCX – our extended MQSC product, was released in January, and a series of blog posts described the new features. Then later in the year, major version 9.0.0 was released in July to support the IBM MQ V9.0.0 release as well as adding several major new features, for example, functions.

A new version of QLOAD – our unload/load IBM MQ queues product, QLOAD V8.0.2 was released in January.

Our newest product MQEdit – a live-parsing IBM MQ message editor – was announced in Beta in August, and is free to run until at least January 2017. A new driver was released in November providing a new major feature, user formats.

IBM MQ Fix Packs and new function

The last Fix Pack on IBM WebSphere MQ V7.0.1, Fix Pack 7.0.1.14 was released in August. Two new Fix Packs on IBM WebSphere MQ V7.1. Fix Pack 7.1.0.7 in November, and 7.1.0.6 in January. Two new Fix Packs on IBM WebSphere MQ V7.5. Fix Pack 7.5.0.6 was released in March. Fix Pack 7.5.0.7 was released in September. One new Fix Pack on IBM MQ V8. Fix Pack 8.0.0.5 was released in February.

2016 saw the latest major release of IBM MQ, V9.0.0, announced in April and available in June. At the same time, hardware updates were made to the MQ Appliance. As we were later to discover, V9.0.0 was the starting point for a new delivery model for IBM MQ. In November, V9.0.1, the first continuous delivery (CD) release was made available. You can now choose whether to move forward with new function in regular drops, or stay on the Long Term Service (LTS) release and get new function after a longer period has elapsed. At the same time, the MQ Appliance became a V9 queue manager.

Changes were also made to the MQLight function. Now it is available in IBM Message Hub, with advice to migrate from the MQLight Service to Message Hub if you’re a Bluemix user.

Conference Events

There have been quite a number of events throughout 2016 that have had IBM MQ content delivered at them. A separate post contains all the material that is available on-line from these various events.

Online articles

There have been some really great blog posts written throughout 2016. Lots of the guys in IBM Hursley have been blogging about the new features they have been releasing throughout the year. The IBM MQ Blogosphere has really grown over 2016. Read more in IBM MQ Blogosphere in 2016.

2016 has been a great year for all things MQ. MQGem wishes all its customers, readers, and friends a Happy and Prosperous 2017. HAPPY NEW YEAR!