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 Monthly (April 2017)

MQGem Monthly Banner
VOLUME III. – No. 4. THURSDAY, 27 APRIL, 2017 PRICE: FREE

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

News

MQGem is a Gold Sponsor of the MQ Tech Conference v2.0.1.7. Both Paul and Morag will be there giving MQ sessions.

A minor update was made to MO71 to add some more issues to be checked for as possible Problems in the Network View.

A minor update was made to MQSCX to add support for the latest MQ command level, 902.

Interesting IBM MQ links

Here are a few links that caught our eye this month. Quite a bumper crop 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 which shows you how to export IBM MQ definitions using the MO71 product.

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 hopes the Spring weather is being good to you. We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch by email or follow us on one of our social media channels.
EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTubeWordPress

← Previous Newsletter

What’s in Command Levels 90x

MQ90x StairsIBM MQ released Long Term Support release V9.0.0 back in June 2016 which had a Command Level of 900. The subsequent Continuous Delivery releases, V9.0.1 and V9.0.2 have each introduced their own Command Levels, 901 and 902 respectively.

This post captures the changes that are available in each of those Command Levels.

Release Command Level Features protected by Command Level – details below
V9.0.0.0 900 AMS Protection Policy enhancement – Confidentiality Policy
LDAP Authorization on Windows
V9.0.1 901 No changes protected by Command Level
V9.0.2 902 Log management features

AMS Protection Policy enhancement – Confidentiality Policy

With the introduction of Confidentiality Policies in Command Level 900, there is a new attribute on the Set Policy command. A confidentiality policy has no signature algorithm, but does have a encryption algorithm. The Key Reuse feature is applicable to this type of policy. Jon Rumsey has a great write-up of this IBM MQ V9 feature on the MQDev blog, MQ V9 Fast encrypted messages with MQ – Introducing AMS Confidentiality Policies.

AMS Policy

New Attribute MQSC name
See SET POLICY
Look for KC 9000 indicator
PCF constant and values
See Set Policy
Look for KC 9000 indicator
Key Reuse

KEYREUSE

  • DISABLED
  • UNLIMITED
  • 1 – 9999999

MQIA_KEY_REUSE_COUNT (267)

  • MQKEY_REUSE_DISABLED (0)
  • MQKEY_REUSE_UNLIMITED (-1)
  • 1 – 9999999

LDAP Authorization on Windows

Introduced in Command Level 801 on Unix, this feature extended the V8.0.0 Connection Authentication feature which checked your user ID and password, to allow LDAP authorization as well. The fields now available on Windows are the same as those noted in the earlier post for Command Level 801, and are not repeated here.

Log management

With the introduction of Automatic management of linear log extents, and Automatic writing of media images, in Command Level 902, there are new attributes on the queue manager object, queue manager status, and one on queue objects. Mark Whitlock has written about this in an MQDev Blog Post: Logger enhancements for MQ v9.0.2.

Queue Manager Object

New Attribute MQSC name
See ALTER QMGR
Look for KC 902 indicator
PCF constant and values
See Change Queue Manager
Look for KC 902 indicator
Image Schedule

IMGSCHED

  • AUTO
  • MANUAL

MQIA_MEDIA_IMAGE_SCHEDULING (268)

  • MQMEDIMGSCHED_AUTO (1)
  • MQMEDIMGSCHED_MANUAL (0)
Image Interval

IMGINTVL

  • 1 – 999 999 999
  • OFF

MQIA_MEDIA_IMAGE_INTERVAL (269)

  • 1 – 999 999 999
  • MQMEDIMGINTVL_OFF (0)
Image Log Length

IMGLOGLN

  • 1 – 999 999 999
  • OFF

MQIA_MEDIA_IMAGE_LOG_LENGTH (270)

  • 1 – 999 999 999
  • MQMEDIMGLOGLN_OFF (0)
Image Recover Object

IMGRCOVO

  • NO
  • YES

MQIA_MEDIA_IMAGE_RECOVER_OBJ (271)

  • MQIMGRCOV_NO (0)
  • MQIMGRCOV_YES (1)
Image Recover Queue

IMGRCOVQ

  • NO
  • YES

MQIA_MEDIA_IMAGE_RECOVER_Q (272)

  • MQIMGRCOV_NO (0)
  • MQIMGRCOV_YES (1)

Queue Manager Status

New Attribute MQSC name
See DISPLAY QMSTATUS
Look for KC 902 indicator
PCF constant and values
See Inquire Queue Manager Status
Look for KC 902 indicator
Archive Log Extent Name

ARCHLOG

MQCACF_ARCHIVE_LOG_EXTENT_NAME (3208)

  • String of length MQ_LOG_EXTENT_NAME_LENGTH (24)
Archive Log Size

ARCHSZ

MQIACF_ARCHIVE_LOG_SIZE (1416)

Media Log Size

MEDIASZ

MQIACF_MEDIA_LOG_SIZE (1417)

Restart Log Size

RECSZ

MQIACF_RESTART_LOG_SIZE (1418)

Reusable Log Size

REUSESZ

MQIACF_REUSABLE_LOG_SIZE (1419)

Archive Log In Use

LOGINUSE

MQIACF_LOG_IN_USE (1420)

Archive Log Utilization

LOGUTIL

MQIACF_LOG_UTILIZATION (1421)

Reset QMgr command

Updated attribute MQSC name
See RESET QMGR
Look for KC 902 indicator
PCF constant and values
See Reset Queue Manager
Look for KC 902 indicator
Action

TYPE

  • REDUCELOG
  • ARCHLOG

MQIACF_ACTION (1086)

  • MQACT_REDUCE_LOG (10)
  • MQACT_ARCHIVE_LOG (11)
Archived Log

ARCHIVED

MQCACF_ARCHIVE_LOG_EXTENT_NAME (3208)

  • String of length MQ_LOG_EXTENT_NAME_LENGTH (24)
Log Reduction

REDUCE

  • AUTO
  • ONE
  • MAX

MQIACF_LOG_REDUCTION (1422)

  • MQLR_AUTO (-1)
  • MQLR_ONE (1)
  • MQLR_MAX (-2)

Queue Local and Queue Model

New Attribute MQSC name
See DEFINE queues
Look for KC 902 indicator
PCF constant and values
See Change, Copy, and Create Queue
Look for KC 902 indicator
Image Recover Queue

IMGRCOVQ

  • NO
  • YES
  • QMGR

MQIA_MEDIA_IMAGE_RECOVER_Q (272)

  • MQIMGRCOV_NO (0)
  • MQIMGRCOV_YES (1)
  • MQIMGRCOV_AS_Q_MGR (2)

You can get the equivalent information for earlier Command Levels from these posts.

MQGem Monthly (March 2017)

MQGem Monthly Banner
VOLUME III. – No. 3. THURSDAY, 30 MARCH, 2017 PRICE: FREE

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

News

Earlier this month we released MO71 version 9.0.3 which contains a number of new features, such as User Commands, and Hostname displays, as well as support for the latest Command Level for IBM MQ, which came in the newest CD, IBM MQ V9.0.2.

A minor update was made to MQEdit to add parameters to allow it to be invoked directly from MO71 to edit exactly the same message you were browsing in MO71.

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 which shows you how to export IBM MQ definitions using the MO71 product.

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

← Previous Newsletter

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.

IBM MQ and MQ Appliance News – March 2017

On Firday March 17th, IBM Hursley made available the next in the series of Continuous Delivery releases for IBM MQ V9.0 and the MQ Appliance. IBM MQ V9.0.2 is now available.

Unlike V9.0.1 there are no announcement letters.

Read about the changes in this blog post by Leif Davidsen.

Other links of interest:-

Or read this IBM InterConnect 2017 conference presentation from David Ware and Pete Siddall.

Or watch this video.


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

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.