IBM z/OS Provisioning Toolkit, V1.0, delivers a simple command line utility for the rapid provisioning of development environments

IBM United States Software Announcement 217-020
January 10, 2017


Table of contents
OverviewOverviewPublicationsPublications
Key prerequisitesKey prerequisitesTechnical informationTechnical information
Planned availability datePlanned availability dateOrdering informationOrdering information
DescriptionDescriptionTerms and conditionsTerms and conditions
Product positioningProduct positioningPricesPrices
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At a glance
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IBM z™/OS Provisioning Toolkit enables z/OS® development environments to be provisioned and deprovisioned by application developers themselves in minutes, without requiring any z/OS specific administration skills.

System Programers can pre-configure the environments that are allowed to be provisioned, authorize access to specific developers or development teams, and configure appropriate provisioning controls and limits.

Application Developers can then use a simple command line interface to provision running z/OS development systems from these pre-configured environments, in minutes.



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Overview
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DevOps tools and processes allow development and operations teams to collaborate on reducing time to market for innovation. Automation is critical to an efficient development process.

The IBM z/OS Provisioning Toolkit V1.0 helps to automate the development process by providing developers with immediate access to the middleware environments they need, while the operations team retain overall command and control of the provisioning process.

The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit consists of three components:

  • Command line utility
  • zosptfile scripts and accompanying images
  • z/OSMF workflows

A systems programmer within the operations team can define development environment templates in z/OSMF for provisioning IBM® CICS® Transaction Server for z/OS (CICS TS) or IBM MQ for z/OS (MQ) environments using the provided workflows. These workflows can easily be customised to support local naming standards and operating procedures. The appropriate provisioning controls and limits can be set using IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS including exactly how many environments can be provisioned. Individual developer userids, or a group of developer userids can then be granted access to run these templates, subject to the set of controls and limits.

As soon as the operations team have configured the templates, application developers can then use the new command line utility to issue simple commands such as build, run, and start to provision entirely new z/OS environments themselves, such as for a CICS region, or an MQ queue manager. Sample zospt build scripts and pre-built images are provided for different types of environments, including traditional CICS development, CICS Liberty development and embedded IBM z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition (EE) development. These allow developers the freedom to provision their specific application and the z/OS environment it requires, while the total number of environments and the details of their configuration remain within the control of the operations team.

The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit V1.0 is fully supported and available to existing clients of IBM z/OS V2.1, or later, at no additional charge. It can be downloaded direct from IBM.



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Key prerequisites
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The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit has the following key prerequisites:

  • The minimum required hardware prerequisite is z Systems™ z10™ or subsequent 64-bit z/Architecture® processors.
  • The minimum required level of operating system is z/OS V2.1, with APAR PI71068, or z/OS V2.2 with APAR PI70526.
  • The minimum required level of Java™ is IBM 64-bit SDK for z/OS, Java Technology Edition, V7.0 SR1.
  • For provisioning a CICS region, IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.2, or later, is required.
  • For provisioning a MQ queue manager, IBM MQ for z/OS V9.0.1, or later, is required.


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Planned availability date
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January 10, 2017



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Description
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DevOps tools and processes allow development and operations teams to collaborate on reducing time to market for innovation. Automation is critical to an efficient development process. The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit helps to automate the DevOps process by allowing developers immediate access to the middleware environments they need, while the operations team retain overall command and control of the provisioning process.

Standard features of the z/OS operating system are used to create and underpin the provisioning and deprovisioning of a set of predefined environments. The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit provides a command line interface to easily invoke and manage the execution of these predefined environments. In the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit V1.0, these are single address spaces, each running a customized instance of the prerequisite middleware environment. For CICS TS, this is a preconfigured CICS region. For IBM MQ, this is a preconfigured MQ queue manager.

To introduce commonality across different instances of different IBM products, the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit introduces some common terminology, such as 'images' and 'containers'.

Before a predefined instance of a customized environment is executed, it is referred to as an 'image'. Until an image is run, the environment it represents is neither configured nor executing on z/OS. Images can be thought of as blueprints that can be rapidly provisioned to create runtime environments.

Once a built image is run using the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit, the provisioned execution environment is referred to as a 'container'. Once a container is provisioned, the configuration for that environment is created and the execution environment is brought up to a running state. Containers can then be stopped, restarted, and managed from the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit command line.

The overall DevOps flow of control is to build an image, run an image to create a container, and then manage that container using commands. The use of image and container terminology allows development and operations to use a common nomenclature that is consistent across different products and execution environments.

The operations perspective

The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit, V1.0, builds on the value of IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS and the z/OS MF workflow technologies, which are features of the z/OS operating system. Using these technologies, system programmers can now allow development teams to provision for themselves standard development runtimes, such as CICS regions or MQ queue managers, while retaining complete command and control over what can be provisioned and by whom. From an operations perspective, this can dramatically reduce the burden of managing development and test systems.

IBM z/OSMF is a feature of the z/OS operating system that provides a number of capabilities, including the ability to predefine workflows that can provision runtime environments, such as CICS regions. A workflow is an XML document comprising one or more steps, each typically making REST API calls or running JCL jobs. These workflows can easily be customized to local naming standards and operating procedures by editing a simple properties file. Security features, such as SSL, and resource requirements, such as storage, can also be set. This allows tools and third party products required by the environment to be automatically configured and provisioned at the same time as CICS.

IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS is a feature of the z/OS operating system that provides the ability to manage and control the execution of the workflows that are predefined in z/OSMF. System programmers within the operations team retain total control over which developers can provision middleware instances for themselves and how many can be provisioned at any one time. Individual developer userids or a group of developer userids can then be granted access to run these templates, subject to the existing controls and limits.

The main component of the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit is the zospt command line utility. This utility enables the creation and management of images and containers. Containers are dynamically given a name by z/OSMF, based on the APPLID or SSID so that they are easy to recognize. The following set of simple commands are issued to build, run, and manage images and containers:

Command Function
zospt build Builds an application image using a zosptfile.
zospt images Lists all available images.
zospt inspect Displays details about a specific image.
zospt run Runs an image and automatically provisions a container.
zospt ps Lists all of the created containers and their properties.
zospt stop Stops a container.
zospt start Restarts a container.
zospt rm Removes a container.

The zospt command line utility is used by both development and operations. Development can issue these commands against the containers they own. Operations can issue these commands against all containers across the organization.

Simple files called zosptfile scripts specify the configuration for an image and the target z/OS MF workflows to be executed. The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit includes example zosptfile scripts and accompanying images that create standard CICS regions, CICS regions running a Liberty JVM server, and CICS regions running a separately licensed and embedded z/OS Connect EE.

The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit also includes z/OSMF workflows for provisioning unmanaged CICS regions, system-managed single server (SMSS) CICS regions, and CICSPlex® System Manager (SM) managed application system (MAS) regions. Workflows for IBM MQ are included with the latest releases of IBM MQ for z/OS.

By exploiting the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit along with standard features of the z/OS operating system, operations teams can now allow developers to provision for themselves middleware instances of the environments they need, while retaining complete command and control over what can be provisioned and by whom.

The development perspective

Once the operations team have completed the above tasks, development can then use the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit to rapidly provision these standardised environments, improving their productivity and reducing their reliance on the availability of the operations team.

An image that reflects the environment to be provisioned is built using a script file called a zosptfile. For example, this could be a Java application such as a WAR file, along with the required CICS region running a configured JVM server. Using various zosptfile examples that are provided by the operations teams, developers can then issue a simple build command using the zospt utility to create an image that has configuration level fidelity with production runtime environments.

Developers issue a zospt run command against the image to create an instance of the provisioned environment, which is referred to as a container. Once provisioning is complete, the developer is presented with the information required to access and manage the environment, such as the name of the container, the APPLID, the TCP/IP address, and port numbers.

All of the commands listed in The operations perspective section are available for use by developers. Developers are only able to issue commands against containers that they own. For example, a developer can stop and restart containers they own using simple zospt stop and zospt start commands. When a container is no longer required, it can be completely deprovisioned and removed using the zospt rm command. Containers can be easily and quickly reprovisioned by using the zospt run command.

Application images can be shared between developers or moved to a different stage of the development process, without change. A build step can be added to existing automation to create a complete DevOps pipeline.

The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit V1.0 is fully supported and available to clients of z/OS V2.1, or later, at no additional charge. It can be downloaded direct from IBM.

Availability of the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit, V1.0, satisfies the IBM statement of direction published in Software Announcement 216-354, dated October 4, 2016.

Accessibility by people with disabilities

A US Section 508 Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), containing details about accessibility compliance, can be found on the IBM Accessibility website.

Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act

z/OS Provisioning Toolkit V1.0 is capable, as of January 10, 2017, when used in accordance with the associated IBM documentation, of satisfying the applicable requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, provided that any assistive technology used with the product properly interoperates with it.



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Product positioning
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The license terms for z/OS Provisioning Toolkit allow it to be used by any client with a license for a supported release of z/OS. This makes it a valuable tool for z/OS-based technical roles, as well as a suitable platform for both third-party and client-developed tooling.



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Reference information
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For information on the January 2017 continuous delivery update of CICS TS V5.3, refer to Software Announcement 217-006, dated January 10, 2017.

For information on the general availability of IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.3, refer to Software Announcement 215-363, dated October 5, 2015.

For information on IBM MQ for z/OS V9.0, refer to Software Announcement 216-206, dated April 19, 2016.



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Program number
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Program number VRM Program name
5655-CI1 1.0.0 IBM z/OS Provisioning Toolkit


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Offering Information
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Product information is available on the IBM Offering Information website.



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Publications
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Documentation accompanies the product, and further publications are available from IBM Knowledge Center.



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Services
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Software Services

IBM Software Services has the breadth, depth, and reach to manage your services needs. You can leverage the deep technical skills of our lab-based, software services team and the business consulting, project management, and infrastructure expertise of our IBM Global Services team. Also, we extend our IBM Software Services reach through IBM Business Partners to provide an extensive portfolio of capabilities. Together, we provide the global reach, intellectual capital, industry insight, and technology leadership to support a wide range of critical business needs.

To learn more about IBM Software Services, contact your Lab Services Sales or Delivery Leader.



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Technical information
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Specified operating environment

Software requirements
  • The minimum required level of operating system is z/OS V2.1, with APAR PI71068, or z/OS V2.2 with APAR PI70526.
  • The minimum required level of Java is IBM 64-bit SDK for z/OS, Java Technology Edition, V7.0 SR1.
  • For provisioning a CICS region, CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.2, or later, is required.
  • For provisioning a MQ queue manager, IBM MQ for z/OS V9.0.1, or later, is required.

Planning information

z/OS Provisioning Toolkit is available by download only, direct from IBM.

Packaging

Not applicable

Security, auditability, and control

The z/OS Provisioning Toolkit uses the security and auditability features of the operating system under which it is running.

The customer is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.



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Ordering information
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Charge metric

z/OS Provisioning Toolkit V1.0 is available by download only, direct from IBM.



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Terms and conditions
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The information provided in this announcement letter is for reference and convenience purposes only. The terms and conditions that govern any transaction with IBM are contained in the applicable contract documents such as the IBM International Program License Agreement, IBM International Passport Advantage® Agreement, and the IBM Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance.

Licensing

IBM International Program License Agreement including the License Information document and Proof of Entitlement (PoE) govern your use of the program. PoEs are required for all authorized use.

Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance

This program is licensed under the IBM Program License Agreement (IPLA) and the associated Agreement for Acquisition of Software Maintenance, which provide for support with on-going access to releases and versions of the program.

Limited warranty applies

Yes

Limited warranty

IBM warrants that when the program is used in the specified operating environment, it will conform to its specifications. The warranty applies only to the unmodified portion of the program. IBM does not warrant uninterrupted or error-free operation of the program or that IBM will correct all program defects. You are responsible for the results obtained from the use of the program.

IBM provides you with access to IBM databases containing information on known program defects, defect corrections, restrictions, and bypasses at no additional charge. For further information, see the IBM Software Support Handbook.

IBM will maintain this information for at least one year after the original licensee acquires the program (warranty period).

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Money-back guarantee

If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the program and you are the original licensee, you may obtain a refund of the amount you paid for it, if within 30 days of your invoice date you return the program and its PoE to the party from whom you obtained it. If you downloaded the program, you may contact the party from whom you acquired it for instructions on how to obtain the refund.

For clarification, note that for programs acquired under any of IBM's On/Off Capacity on Demand (On/Off CoD) software offerings, this term does not apply since these offerings apply to programs already acquired and in use by you.

Volume orders (IVO)

No

Passport Advantage applies

No

IBM Operational Support Services - SoftwareXcel

No

System i Software Maintenance applies

No

Variable charges apply

No

Educational allowance available

No



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Statement of good security practices
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IT system security involves protecting systems and information through prevention, detection, and response to improper access from within and outside your enterprise. Improper access can result in information being altered, destroyed, or misappropriated or can result in misuse of your systems to attack others. Without a comprehensive approach to security, no IT system or product should be considered completely secure and no single product or security measure can be completely effective in preventing improper access. IBM systems and products are designed to be part of a lawful, comprehensive security approach, which will necessarily involve additional operational procedures, and may require other systems, products, or services to be most effective.

Important: IBM does not warrant that any systems, products, or services are immune from, or will make your enterprise immune from, the malicious or illegal conduct of any party.



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Prices
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Business Partner information

If you are an IBM Business Partner -- Distributor for Workstation Software acquiring products from IBM, you may link to Passport Advantage® Online for resellers where you can obtain Business Partner pricing information. An IBMid and password are required to access the IBM Passport Advantage website.



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