My work

Over the years I’ve been involved in many different IT projects and have developed various tools and utilities for making life easier on the System i platform. Some of these pieces of work have been larger than others but my goal has always been the same – to save the business money and enhance the customer experience by improving system reliability.

The following is just a taste of some of the things that I’ve done:

Automated operations

Complete automation of a UK insurance company’s iSeries operations environment using Syan and Help Systems products, realising savings in real terms in the order of £80,000 per annum in staffing costs.

POWER 5 to POWER 7 migration

Consolidation of systems on multiple POWER 5 machines onto IBM 720 hardware. Liaised with IBM business partner in the design and build of a virtualised I/O IBM i configuration.

Maxava HA to MIMIX conversion

Conversion of systems previously using Maxava HA data replication software to use MIMIX.

ODBC monitor

Cheap and cheerful (but accurate) performance monitor for capturing CPU utilisation of ODBC jobs by actual user profile. Find out who is gobbling up all your processing power with those pesky QZDASOINIT jobs without purchasing expensive monitoring software.

Storage dump utility

A handy little utility to produce a hexadecimal dump of selected areas of storage, akin to the z/OS SNAP macro. Dump out only those areas of storage you are interested in without producing large spooled files and killing trees.

MI compiler

A user-friendly CRTMIPGM MI program compilation command with member-include support and full help text.

CRTMIPGM screen

Save and restore spooled file utilities

SAVSPLF and RSTSPLF commands, with full help text and backed by an RPG  service program to front-end IBM’s horrible QSRSAVO and QSRRSTO APIs. Save and restore individual spooled files using save files without having to go through the bother of processing the entire output queue. Much more flexible than using a SAVOBJ command. Versions also available using user spaces as the save media, for systems on older versions of IBM i.

RSTSPLF screen

In addition, a simple but efficient system for the replication of spooled files from one system to another by taking regular snapshots of selected output queue contents. Avoids the audit journal receiver overhead of full-blown MIMIX spooled file replication – this can be considerable on a busy system.

User profile switching tool

Simple ‘superuser’ facility for providing temporary and controlled access to a high-privilege user profile for maintenance and problem resolution.

CL command and FTP scripting using substitution variables

Utilities for using substitution variables in CL commands, FTP scripts or similar. Allows activities such as file transfers to be automated by substituting file names, month-end dates etc. at run time.

Intelligent end-of-day batch shutdown routine

A flexible end-of-day batch shutdown routine that can wait for critical batch jobs or programs to complete before continuing. Can be configured to wait for jobs by job name, program name, user name, or any combination of the three.

Batch job attribute control

Control of batch job attributes such as run priority based on job queue, user name, job name, or any combination of the three. Allows batch jobs to be prioritised appropriately without resorting to application changes or alterations to job descriptions and/or subsystem routing entries etc..