z/OS Entry Level Systems Programmer - Boot Camp

For a fast-track start to a career in z/OS systems programming, this is the course for you.
In addition to providing a solid knowledge of z/OS, this course also teaches how to set up and customize a JES2 system and how to work with DFSMS. The use of SMP/E for applying maintenance is covered. Students will learn how to use HCD panels to define I/O configurations. The Workload Manager (WLM) is covered, and students are also introduced to dump diagnostics.

This course is available for exclusive, one-companyThis course is available for exclusive, one-company presentations either on-site at your location or live over the Internet, via RSM's Virtual Classroom Environment service.

What you will learn

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • identify the state of a CPU and describe potential problem scenarios
  • describe the purpose of AMODE and RMODE
  • describe a page fault and its consequences
  • set up a flexible paging/swapping subsystem
  • explain how dataspaces and hiperspaces work
  • describe how an IPL works
  • set up and install an efficient JES2 system
  • customise JES2 to specific requirements
  • install products & service (PTFs & APARs) in a z/OS environment (including related products such as CICS, DB2, IMS etc.)
  • identify and correct common SMP/E installation problems
  • understand the major configuration and control options available in SMP/E
  • interpret the output produced during SMP/E processing
  • correctly handle missing prerequisite, requisite, and conditional requisite conditions
  • use HCD panels to define a configuration comprising Processors, Logical Channel Subsystems, LPARs and EMIF, Channels (ESCON, FICON, OSA, CF links, Hipersockets and Routers), Control Units and I/O devices
  • exploit the hardware features utilised by SMS
  • define VTOCs and VTOCIXs
  • administer ICF Catalogs
  • write and maintain optimised ACS routines
  • define WLM service policies, service classes and classification rules
  • describe the mechanisms for managing and balancing any workload in a WLMPlex
  • use the appropriate diagnostic procedure for each type of dump
  • identify the failing operating system component in standalone and SVC dumps

Who Should Attend

New or trainee Systems Programmers who will be working in a z/OS based computing environment.


A sound understanding of mainframe concepts and the ability to use TSO/ISPF and JCL. This can be gained by attending RSM's z/OS Foundation Skills Boot Camp.


10 days

Fee (per attendee)



This includes free online 24/7 access to course notes.


Hard copy course notes are available on request from rsmshop@rsm.co.uk

at £50.00 plus carriage per set.

Course Code



Week 1

JES2 Processors & Subsystem Interface

JES2 Job Processing; Input Processor; Converter Processor; Execution Processor; Output Processor; Why the Subsystems Interface (SSI)?; Subsystem Interface; Using SSI; Using the Subsystem Interface; Requesting SS service; Defining subsystems; Control block definitions; What the function IDs represent.

JES2 Installation

JES2 installation components; JES2 load modules; JES2 libraries; IBM-supplied basic JCL procedure; Subsystem definition; PROCLIB & INCLUDE; JES2 data sets; Allocating Spool and Checkpoint; Program Properties Table (PPT); Secondary subsystems; Defining Secondary Subsystems.

JES2 Initialisation

JES2 initialization flow; Types of JES2 start; Specifying type of JES2 startup; JES2 start options; Initialization parameter format; JES2PARM; Console statements; Key initialization statements; SPOOLDEF; CKPTDEF; MASDEF; MAS display commands; INITDEF and INITnnn; JOB/STC/TSUCLASS; ESTLNCT; CONDEF; PCEDEF; JES2 Monitor.

SMP/E Introduction

SMP/E elements; how products are packaged; system modifications; the SMP/E database; sysmod: receiving, applying, accepting, restoring; System Generation; CSI; CSI configuration options; invoking SMP/E.

Receive Processing

The Receive process; Modification Control Statements; MCS: header statement functions, software environment statement; the Global Zone definition entry; GZONE entry example; Global Zone options entry; options entry example; Global Zone utility entry; Utility entry example; SMP/E allocation; Global Zone DDDEF entry; DDDEF entry example; review of Global Zone entries; creating Global Zone entries - UCLIN; relative file packaged tapes; receive processing; Global Zone sysmod entry example; Exception sysmods; held sysmod entry example; Holddata example; the RECEIVE command; Sysmod entry with SOURCEID example; REPORT SOURCEID output examples; SMP/E dialogs primary option menu & query selection menus.

Apply Processing

Product function & installation methods; Target Zone definition entry; TZONE entry example; Target Zone DDDEF entry; Target Zone DDDEF entry example; Target Zone DDDEF PATH entry; Target Zone DDDEF PATH entry example; MAC, SRC, and MOD element MCS; Data Element MCS; Program Element MCS; identifying the target system structure; how JCLIN processing works; JCLIN processing example; JCLIN report example; JCLIN - MAC and ASSEM entries; JCLIN - MOD and LMOD entries; JCLIN - DLIB entries; Invoking JCLIN; the save control dataset; determining target libraries; apply processing; concatenating macro libraries for assemblies; SYSLIB DDDEF example; the APPLY command; Target Zone SYSMOD entry example; element service level; Target Zone MAC and SRC element entries; Target Zone MOD and DATA element entries; base and dependent functions revisited; replacing an existing product; Sysmod installation via the SMP/E dialogs; SMP/E dialogs - sysmod management options.

Accept Processing

Function installation methods; Distribution Zone definition entry; DZONE entry example; Distribution Zone DDDEF entries; Distribution Zone DDDEF entry example; Accept processing; concatenating macro libraries for assemblies; the ACCEPT command; Distribution Zone SYSMOD entry example; Distribution Zone MAC and SRC element entries; Distribution Zone MOD and DATA element entries; Sysmod installation via the SMP/E dialogs; SMP/E dialogs - sysmod management options.

Product Maintenance

Product maintenance (service); product maintenance sysmods; product maintenance sysmod naming convention; product maintenance ++VER statement; updating MAC and SRC elements; updating MOD (and LMOD) elements; Sysmod relationships; the prerequisite relationship; the requisite relationship; the supersede relationship; the negative prerequisite relationship; TZONE sysmod entries - examples; related APPLY command parameters; element service level; tracking the service level of an element; element entries - service level; exception sysmods; resolving error holds; resolving system holds; the RELEASE MCS statement; maintenance exposure; the REPORT ERROR SYSMODS command; Sysmod regression; Sysmod construction rules; managing regression; restore processing; concatenating macro libraries for assemblies; the RESTORE command; Sysmod relationships and restore; Reject processing; the REJECT command; service delivery mechanisms used by IBM; the Recommended Service Upgrade.

Introduction to HCD

I/O configuration principles; I/O configuration practicalities; I/O configuration addressing; HCD definition process; Objects managed by HCD; LOAD member of PARMLIB; IODF processing at IPL; IPL & NIP LOAD messages.

Creating a New Configuration

Getting started; Configuration structure; Sample configuration; Operating system definition; Operating system configuration list; Add an operating system Update operating system List; Processor definition; Processor list; Add a Processor; LCSSs in a Multi-Book Server; Logical Channel Subsystems; Multiple Logical Channel Subsystems; Define Processor support level; Updated processor list; LPAR definition Flow; Actions on selected processors (LPARs); Channel Subsystem List; Partition List; Add Partition; Updated Partition List; Channel Path definition; Actions on selected Channel Subsystems (CHPIDs); Channel Path Lists; Connect CHPID to LPAR; Control Unit definition; Control Units; Connect CU to Processor; Actions on selected processors; Logical Control Units; Device definition; I/O Devices; Define Processor Device Parameter; Define OS Device parameters; Parallel Access Volumes; Define Eligible Device Tables; Esoteric definition; Action on EDTs; Esoteric List; Assign Devices to Esoteric; NIP console definition; Actions on Operating System consoles; NIP Console List; Creating a Validated Work IODF; IODF Activation Menu; IODF build messages: errors, error actions, error explanation; Validated Work IODF name.

Catalogs & VTOCs

Catalog overview; Catalog search order; Catalog environment ; Multi-level aliases; Catalog address space; VTOC and IXVTOC; ICF environment review.

DFSMS Constructs

Service levels for data; SCDS Base Definition Panel; Data Class; defining a Data Class; defining Data Class Attributes; data set compression; data set compression information; Data Class control; Data Class implementation; JCL keywords; JCL changes; Generation Data Sets; new JCL requirements; non-VSAM Data Classes; VSAM Data Classes; Management Class; Management Class characteristics; defining Management Class Introduction Menu; defining Management Class Panel; Storage Class; Storage Class characteristics; cache attribute determination (simplified); Storage Class application selection; Storage Class define; Storage Class maintenance; Storage Groups; Storage Group major activities; isolate non-SMS data: defining a Storage Group; defining VIO Storage Group attributes; defining Pool Storage Group attributes; Storage Group rules; Device selection; Defining a Copy Pool.

Writing ACS Routines

ACS routines - what are they?; Automatic Class Selection - how many?; an ACS example; ACS routine rules; ACS mask rules; ACS Read/Write variables; ACS Read-only variables; ACS special purpose variables; other ACS variables; OAM & tape ACS variables; ACS operations; ACS statements ( PROC, END, SET, FILTLIST); ACS statements (SELECT, END); coding ACS routines; ACS application selection; ACS translation panel; ACS validation panel; testing ACS routines; defining test cases; ACS coding tips; ACS exit routines; ACS exit steps; programming ACS exits; ACS exit parameter structure; actions in ACS exits; ACS routines - hands-on exercises.

Workload Management Overview

The Workload Manager (WLM); WLM Goal Mode and Parmlib members; WLM concepts; Service Policies; Multi-system workload management; Workload reporting; Building the service definition; Service Policy; Creating workloads; Creating resource groups; Creating service classes; Goal types; Creating Service Classes; IBM specified subsystems; Work qualifiers; Subsystems and work qualifiers; Classification Groups; System-provided Service Classes; Defining service policy overrides; Specifying overriding Goals for a Service Class; The Service Definition; Classification rules for subsystems; Implementing WLM; Create performance objectives; Manuals on WLM.

Understanding RMF Reports

Resource Measurement Facility; SMF Records; Monitor II; Monitor III; Postprocessor Reports; Workload activity report reporting options; Workload activity report - Goal mode; RMF monitor I service class period report Goal mode; Monitor I workload group and service class period report; CACHE - Cache subsystem summary report; CHAN - Channel path activity report; DEVICE - Device activity report; Monitor I shared DASD activity; Monitor I shared tape activity report; FCD - FICON Director activity report; IOQ - I/O Queuing activity report ; HFS - Hierarchical File System global statistics report; HFS - Hierarchical File System statistics report ; OMVS - OMVS kernel activity report; PAGESP -Page/Swap data set activity report; PAGING - Paging Activity report; VSAM RLS activity by storage class; VSAM RLS activity by data set.

Week 2


The architectural principles of the CPU; PSW, registers; interrupts system states; PSW swapping; multi-processing; central storage; addressing modes; storage keys; parallel & serial channels; pathing; HCD; LCUs; CCWs; I/O operation; SCSW.

Introduction to MVS

The functions of the MVS operating systems; components required to prepare MVS for work; creating address spaces; Job Entry Subsystem; initiators; resource control; interrupt handlers and status saving; dispatching work; I/O requests; Workload Manager; execute the work; exit the work from the system.

Control Blocks, Dumps & IPCS

Using IPCS and the debugging handbooks to locate and interpret major MVS control blocks in a dump; finding main control blocks such as PSA, CVT, ASCB, TCB, UCB; main IPCS menus; IPCS FIND command; IPCS subcommands; IPCS labs.

Virtual Storage Concepts

Loading programs; real storage problems; DAT; segments & pages; page stealing & UIC; page faults; demand paging; dispatching address spaces; swapping & paging.

MVS Storage Management

AMODE & RMODE; common storage; private storage; Virtual Storage Manager; subpools; storage keys; RSM; page faults; segment faults; ASM; page data sets; VIO.

Dataspaces and Hiperspaces

Primary & secondary ASC modes; access registers; using dataspaces; VLF; Hiperspaces.

System Initialisation

Sysgen and IPL processes; the function of the LOAD parameter and the LOADxx member of PARMLIB; concepts of authorised programs; the subsystem interface.

z/OS Workload and the Active System

Started Tasks; batch processing; getting work started; job initiations; reports & lists.

Interactive Problem Control System

Control block/data area; Information sources; Control block header; Control block data area map; Cross reference table; Fields and subfields; Field redefinitions; Control block chaining; Finding control blocks; The Prefix Area (PSA); The new Prefix Area (PSA); Dump types; IPCS introduction: what is IPCS?, What makes up IPCS?; Getting started with IPCS - Primary Option Menu; Default values selection; Primary Option Menu; Data entry panel; Pointer stack panel; Getting around in IPCS browse; IPCS subcommand entry panel; IPCS command output display; IPCS LIST command; Indirect addressing; Displaying Control Blocks; Creating SYMBOLS: Dump Directory; Additional Useful Commands; Dump analysis panel; Component Data Analysis Panel; STATUS; Analysis commands; Dump Management panel.

SVC Dump Analysis Approach

Generating SVC dumps; Dump Analysis and Elimination; Types of SVC Dump; Problem resolution overview; Dump TITLE; SDWA; History; RTM2WA; Other dumps.

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