z/OS Basics for Systems Programmers

This course is a general introduction to the basic components that make up z/OS systems today. The course is presented fro the perspective of trainee systems programmers, and focuses on topics that are particularly relevant to them.
Due to the wide range of topics introduced, th course is essentially high-level, and would also be very useful to managers without a systems programming background who will be taking over responsibility for a technical support team.
The course includes a number of practical, hands-on exercises.

This course is available on demand either as a public classroom course or as a one-company, on-site course.

What you will learn

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

  • describe the basics of z/OS architecture
  • identify basic components of a z/OS system
  • describe LPARs
  • describe maintenance principles
  • identify and list the POR process
  • describe the IPL process
  • identify the basic address spaces
  • explain how to shut down z/OS
  • implement a basic JES2 environment
  • describe the two networking schemes in the z/OS environment: SNA and IP
  • identify SNA networking resources
  • explain how SNA sessions are established
  • describe the role of TCP/IP as a physical filesystem in UNIX System Services
  • implement and start a local VTAM instance to provide the base for SNA applications such as TSO
  • implement and start TSO
  • start a TCPIP stack and check accompanying messages
  • identify the main functions of Security Server (RACF) and the role it plays in controlling user access to the system
  • describe the contents of RACF user, group, and resource profiles
  • describe how RACF profiles are used to authorize user access to a dataset resource
  • identify two key members used for TCAS startup
  • name the components of ISPF
  • describe the general layout of ISPF/PDF panels
  • describe how UNIX System Services are used in z/OS
  • describe the UNIX Shell and utilities and how they are accessed
  • describe the application services provided in UNIX System Services
  • describe how security is handled in UNIX System Services
  • describe z/OS data management
  • define load-parameters for IPL
  • define symbols for use in system initialization
  • define a configuration for system initialization
  • define a library for procedures
  • identify the sysplex resources required to run WLM
  • list the main components that comprise a WLM service definition for a system/sysplex
  • describe the function of WLM service definition parameters such as workloads, service goals, periods, and WLM subsystems
  • describe how SMF datasets are created and used
  • explain SMF record types and how they are used
  • identify the three RMF monitor types
  • describe how the RMF monitor is used for reporting purposes
  • identify System Logger component and usage
  • identify and list the HCD definition process sequence
  • describe how the HCD dialogs are used to define a configuration
  • describe the overall concepts of SMP/E: Global, target and DLIB zones
  • describe what elements and SYSMODs are
  • create an SMP/E working environment
  • identify the batch and ISPF interfaces to SMP/E
  • install a user function using RECEIVE, APPLY, and ACCEPT
  • explain how to remove a SYSMOD with RESTORE
  • describe the installation options available to install z/OS
  • use the attributes of z/OS elements and features to identify the contents of a z/OS product
  • describe the contents of the ServerPac offering and important install documentation sources
  • list the main steps in the ServerPac build process
  • describe hardware and software prerequisites for performing a ServerPac installation.

Who Should Attend

Trainee systems programmers and system administrators.


Familiarity with the z/OS computing environment and previous exposure to JCL, VSAM, TSO/ISPF, SMP/E and/or ServerPac.


5 days

Fee (per attendee)

£2550 (ex VAT)

Course Code



The z/OS Platform

The components of a mainframe computer; Real Storage; Central Processing Unit (CPU); Channel Subsystems (CSS); What is a computer program?; A computer program needs memory; A Control Program; Multiple programs in memory; Multiprogramming; The concept of Interrupts; The purpose of an Operating System - summary; Middleware; The System z/architecture; MVS - z/OS operating systems; The history of MVS; Release cycle for z/OS; IBM zSeries processors; PR/SM; Logical Partitioning (LPAR); CF partition; Logical Partitions; Resource distribution in LPAR mode; Parallel Sysplex; Coupling Facility (CF).

I/O Devices in a z/OS Environment

Input/Output devices; Storage devices: Non-storage devices; The I/O configuration; I/O processing in principle; The channel concept; FICON; Control units, Device numbers, One control unit - many channels; Shared DASD; Tape devices; Tape robots; Virtual Tape; I/O devices - disk; Mainframe disks (DASD); RAID devices; I/O configuration in an IBM-type mainframe; Hardware Configuration Definition (HCD).

z/OS Overview

What hardware can do; Software responsibilities; z/OS - an operating system; z/OS components; z/OS - always in storage; Getting real work out of it; Initiators; The application program; Program Execution Environments; Running 'real' programs; Job Management; Resource Control; Allocation; Task Management; Program Management; Supervisor Services; Storage Management; I/O processing; Access Methods; IOS drivers; I/O Supervisor (IOS); I/O processing; Workload Manager (WLM); Recovery Termination Manager (RTM); Abnormal termination - application; Sysplex; Using sysplex; z/OS components that exploit sysplex; Other components that use sysplex; Parallel sysplex; Exploiting the parallel sysplex.

z/OS Data Handling

Data access methods; Data structure: VSAM, OAM, QSAM, BPAM; Batch systems access; Utilities: Text editor, Assembler, Compilers, Binder, Interpreters; Networks; Teleprocessing systems; Application program; Mainframe networking protocols; SNA; TCP/IP; How is z/OS communications software packaged?; Importance of a teleprocessing system.

The Total Mainframe Software Package

Mainframe software control; A typical z/OS system; IBM system software; System Software in the z/OS environment; Required add-on products; DFSMS/MVS; Important operating system software; Communications system software; Network support in z/OS: SNA, TCP/IP; Transaction Managers and Data Base Systems; Terminal Monitor (TM) systems; Database systems; Application development tools; High level languages; Other z/OS related products.

Working with z/OS

Starting a TSO session; VTAM application selection; TSO logon panel; TSO logon procedures; ISPF primary options; UNIX support in z/OS; The Kernel address spaces; Using UNIX services; File systems; UNIX Shell; ISHELL ISPF panels; Batch processing; JCL statements; One or more jobs in a JCL stream; Getting a batch job into the system; Batch job queues.

Network Addressable Units

SNA NAUs; SSCP functions; CMC and data hosts; PU types and function; LU functions; NAU data flow; address awareness; network addresses message format.

SNA Sessions

Sessions and half-sessions; half session layers; session types; setup flows; initiation sequences; logon request processing; LU-LU session types.

SNA Resources

Applications and local terminals; Application programs; Local terminals; VTAM and application programs; The Application Major Node; TSO session establishment; VTAM and Local SNA terminals; The Local SNA Major Node; VTAM and Local non-SNA terminals; The Local non-SNA Major Node; VTAM and TCP/IP; The Application Major Node for TCP/IP; TN3270; Transport Resource List for MPC + TCPIP resources; Dynamic Models; Switched Major Nodes.

APPN & Enterprise Extender

Why APPN?; APPN node types; Resource registration; Resource location; LU-LU session activation; Locating resources; Route calculation; APPN Class Of Service; APPN COS definition in VTAM; APPN route setup; APPN routing; High Performance Routing; APPN/HPR and SNA; APPN/HPR message formats; ANR operation; RTP features; RTP path switching; APPN and Subarea SNA; APPN definitions in ATCSTR00; Enterprise Extender; z/OS services for SNA traffic; APPN parameters in startup options; Implementation considerations; TCP/IP implementation; IUTSAMEH; DYNAMICXCF; DYNAMICXCF & HiperSockets; Modifications to TCP/IP profile; Modifications to OSPF interface; Proof of initialisation of IUTSAMEH; VTAM implementation; Defining the XCA HPRIP major node; Defining model Major Nodes for EE connections and RTP pipes; Defining switched PUs for EE connections.

Introduction to TSO

What is TSO; main uses of TSO; using TSO; when the TSO screen fills; logging on to TSO; logging off.

Introduction to ISPF

What is ISPF; the ISPF panels; the pull-down menus; the Primary Option Menu; changing ISPF settings, function settings and log/list defaults; identifying error messages, entering TSO commands from ISPF, exiting from ISPF.

Data Management

ICF catalogs; ICF components; ICF catalog layout; HSM functional overview; HSM working with SMS; SMS managed data.

Introduction to RACF

What is RACF?; Why do we need security?; Security in the 'old days'; Security these days; What security do we need?; Where are the dangers?; How can RACF help?; RACF profiles; How RACF operates; The RACF database; Multiple data set database; Resource classes.

Dataset Profiles

Dataset profile commands; Basic ADDSD; Discrete data set profiles; Discrete profile parameters; Generic data set profiles; Generic wildcard characters - %; Generic wildcard characters - *; Generic wildcard characters - **; Specifying data set attributes; Access levels; Auditing access attempts; Profile copying; Security level & category checking; Other profile attributes; Full ADDSD syntax; Basic ALTDSD; ALTDSD-only parameters; Full ALTDSD syntax; Basic LISTDSD; Listing many data set profiles; Listing generic or discrete profiles; Specifying what to list; Full LISTDSD syntax; LISTDSD output; Full DELDSD syntax; Data set command authority; Basic PERMIT; Conditional access lists; Permitting many users access; Removing users and groups; Deleting access lists; Full PERMIT syntax; PERMIT command authority; SETROPTS REFRESH GENERIC(data set); SEARCH command basics; SEARCH control parameters; The FILTER & MASK parameters.

z/OS, JES2 & Other Products - How They Relate

What is an operating system; z/OS overview; JES2 overview; z/OS & JES2 Job Management; Operator roles; Operator communications; z/OS products; DFSMS/MVS; Network software; Application development tools.

Operator Communication - the Console

Console types; Master Console authority; Operating modes; Operator command types; Route codes; Message Levels; z/OS command syntax; Commonly used z/OS commands; JES2 command syntax; Console message format; Console screen layout; Control (K) command; DISPLAY command; VARY CN command; Syslog & Hardcopy; SEND command.

Starting & Stopping z/OS & JES2

IPLing z/OS; IPL messages; IPL flow; TOD clock; Starting JES2; Controlling JES2; JES2 cold & warm starts; Stopping JES2; JES2 errors; JES2 Error codes; Stopping z/OS.

Input/Output Devices

I/O overview; Device types; Channel subsystems; Channels; FICON; Control units; Device numbers; Shared DASD; Offline/online; DISPLAY U command; VARY device command; VARY PATH command; JES2 devices; $D U JES2 command.

z/OS Workload and the Active System

Program execution environments; Batch processing; Started Tasks; Time Sharing Option (TSO); Executing program requirements; Program identification with JCL; All the JCL statements; The most used JCL statements; JES2 information in the job stream; Relationships between JCL statements; One or more jobs in a JCL stream; Getting work into the system; Getting a Started Task into the system; Getting a TSO user into the system; Getting a batch job into the system; Batch job queues; Job initiation; Step initiation; The job schedule' Reports and listings; Standard reports; Job log example; The active system; A job's phases; What is a System Task?; What is a TSO logon?

Reading and Queue Management

Reading job streams; Stopping and starting a reader; Cancel ($C) and halt ($Z) of readers; Examples of reader commands; Reading to the job queue; Readers and job attributes; Job name and Job number; $T for a READER; Job queues; Display of queues - $DQ and $DN; Examples of $DQ and $DN; Information on specific jobs - $DQ; Examples of $D for individual jobs; To change queue attributes; Examples of changing job status; HOLD and RELEASE jobs on the job queue; Examples of $H and $A; Job Control: CANCEL, RESTART, PURGE; Example of job control.

Active Job Requirements

Executing in MVS - the address space; Batch Initiators; JES2 and Initiators; Controlling initiators; Example of initiator control; Jobs in z/OS; Active jobs; DISPLAY active jobs; Examples of $DA; Examples of DISPLAY activity in MVS; Cancelling job; Examples of CANCEL; The $C command; Examples of $C; Volume mounts; Examples of MOUNT messages; The REPLY command; Examples of REPLY; DISPLAY requests; Example of DISPLAY R.

Started Tasks

Started Tasks; The START command; Examples of the START command; The STOP command; Examples of the STOP command; The MODIFY command.

Output Queue Management

Output listings; List attributes; Commands for list queue administration; Display forms - $DF; Examples of $DF commands; List job - $L; Examples of the $L command; Display details of job output - $DO; Example of the $DO command; To remove list output - $PO and $CO; Examples of using $L, $DF, $PO, $O and $CO commands; Held output; Release output - $O; Examples of the $O command; Actual printing of output.

Problem & Dump Management

Non-system problems - ABEND; Job ABEND examples; System failure with recovery; SVC dumps; SVC dump management; Copying SVC dumps; Clearing a dump dataset; Full SYS1.DUMP datasets; 'Unusual' messages; 'WTO BUFFER SHORTAGE'; 'CHANNEL DETECTED ERROR'; 'AUXILIARY STORAGE SHORTAGE'; 'SMF DATA LOST'; Outstanding requests - D R; Examples of D R; The entire system hangs; Types of hung system; The Program Status Word; Displaying the PSW; The status in the PSW; Disabled WAIT; Disabled LOOP; Loop trace; Excessive spin loops; Message IEE331A; Default actions on excessive spin loops; Enabled LOOP; Enabled WAIT; Stand-Alone Dump; Taking an SA-Dump.

Overview of TCP/IP on z/OS

TCP/IP for z/OS; TCP/IP access to SNA applications; How the gateway works; SNA access to TCP/IP applications; Communications Storage Manager; Device connectivity; Device attachments; Direct vs indirect attachment; Direct attachment problem; Virtual IP addressing - the solution; Sharing attachments across LPARs; UNIX Systems Services considerations.

TCP/IP for z/OS Installation

UNIX Systems Services prerequisites; Security Server prerequisites; Customisation procedure (Steps 1 through 8); z/OS customisation procedures; 'Must Have' reference manuals; 'Nice to Have' reference manuals.

TCP/IP for z/OS Command Overview

Available TCP/IP commands, Starting and stopping TCP/IP; commands: MODIFY,DISPLAY, VARY, OBEYFILE, NETSTAT.

UNIX System Overview

UNIX internals overview; The Kernel; System calls; Processes and programs; The shell; Tools; UNIX shells; The UNIX file system; The system files - /etc, /dev, /bin and others; UNIX security basics; UNIX User ids (uids); User attributes; Access control in UNIX; File access control attributes; Meaning of permissions; Changing user and file attributes; Changing user information; Changing file information; File permission and user mask; Additional permission bits; User account information; User-determined information; The root username - the superuser.

USS File Systems

zFS and HFS; Recommended file structure; Lengths of path and file names; File name examples; Specifying UNIX files in z/OS; File attributes.

The Operations Environment

Our example system; Example system - logical view; Cloned images; Cloning support; IEASYMnn; System symbols, types and rules; IEASYSnn; LOADxx, IEASYMnn and IEASYSnn; Specifying the system name (&SYSNAME); An example of a cloned environment; Console configurations; System control & the console environment; MCS consoles in a sysplex; CONSOLnn definitions; CONSOLnn definitions: IPL BP01, IPL BP03, IPL BP08; Synchronous messages; Using the SYSCONS; Using EMCS consoles; New command facilities; Setting up and displaying system symbols; Command scope in the sysplex; Basic command routing in the sysplex; More about the ROUTE command; System groups; Using command and message prefixing; Displaying the command prefixes; CMDSYS and MSCOPE; Command flow in the sysplex; The System Logger; The System Logger environment; The System Logger policy; The OPERLOG logstream; Using SDSF with OPERLOG; The LOGREC logstream environment; Switching LOGREC; Running EREP; Displaying the System Logger.

SMP/E Overview

What is 'System Modification Program Extended'?; What makes a product?; SMP/E elements; How products are packaged; System modifications; SMP/E database; Receiving a SYSMOD; Applying, accepting and restoring a SYSMOD; System Generation; Consolidated Software Inventory; CSI configuration option; Invoking SMP/E.

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.

Installing Products and Service

Reporting problems to the vendor; Preparing for installation; Installing maintenanc; Product delivery mechanisms used by IBM; CustomPac service; The Recommended Service Upgrade; ShopzSeries; PSP buckets; HOLD FIXCAT; Fix Categories; Receiving FIXCAT HOLDs; APPLY / ACCEPT FIXCAT operand; REPORT MISSINGFIX command.

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