NewEra Software Ships Updated Mainframe Configuration Software

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NewEra Software has announced the general availability of Release 3.0 of its z/OS hardware configuration management software, called IODF Explorer. NewEra Software will demonstrate the IODF Explorer in Booth 319 at the SHARE Technology Exchange during SHARE in Austin this week.

IODF, or I/O Definition File, is used to store and manage I/O configuration definitions. The new release of IODF Explorer includes a standalone version, which makes the tool available for all Time Sharing Option (TSO) users. "The new release has a product that will run under TSO," Bob Mancini, product manager, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

Previously, customers had to purchase NewEra's Image Control Environment (ICE) to access IODF Explorer, he says. The standalone version is value-priced, Mancini emphasizes. "We understand the issues that companies are having, and we are hoping that this will allow them to have this tool in-house because we feel it is really valuable." However, he adds, "there is an important difference in that the standalone version would not have the same level of inspection that we have with our other product within the Image Control Environment."

The IODF Explorer complements the IBM configuration products HCD and HCM by offering reports, blueprints, and worksheet capabilities that help users understand the assignment of logical properties to their physical counterparts, NewEra says. This is especially important when hardware planners are mapping logical to physical channels, according to the vendor.

In addition to the standalone version, enhancements include new compare functions and new reports.

A new Group Compare function identifies changes between elements within different IODFs ("generational" information). For example, if a user's current IODF has 40 Input/Output Configuration Program (IOCP) targets, and wants to see exactly what has changed since last month's IODF blueprint, Group Compare will examine both the current and previous IODF blueprints, searching the 40 targets and visually displaying on a single panel all of the additions, deletions, and changes. The user can then select either a Summary or Detail Report for an individual target. This function is also available for comparing OSCP targets, NewEra adds.

Another new function, Partition Compare, provides change analysis at a more granular "partition" level, the vendor says. The Partition Compare can be used to determine whether two LPARs share the same resources. The reports show a further refinement of change activities - resolving device definitions between LPARs (e.g., a device with the associated LPARs). This is helpful when users need to show changes in device connectivity, according to the company.

Additional new reports include the Processor Utilization Report and the Operation Manager's Report. The IODF Explorer is available as a standalone product, starting at $5,000 for a single CPU. It is also available as an Image SENTRY application (a separately licensed component of NewEra's Image Control Environment (ICE). For more information, go here.