IBM distributed a survey at the TPF User's Group Meeting in Atlanta asking you to prioritize several projects we are working on to improve TPF maintainability. One thing we learned from this was that we needed to inform you of the maintainability aids that are currently available to you. As a result, we are providing you with a description of materials and systems which are available. Please note, "PUT" tapes are synonymous to "PTF" tapes.
We added a new document to the library of TPF manuals starting with PUT 16. The TPF 3.1 Migration Notebook, GH31-1025, was introduced to provide migration information that is helpful when installing a PUT tape. This manual will be updated (via TNL) for each PUT tape, adding a new chapter for that tape. Migration information for major APARs on that tape is one of the features of this book.
Critical APAR List
A list of "critical APARS" is available to your IBM TPF SE. This critical APAR list contains data indicating APARs which have correcting APARs and references to other key APARs on that tape which we need to bring to your attention. This information is also included in the Migration Notebook beginning with PUT 17, thus directly available to you.
Your SE has access to fixes, in MVS and CMS format, for completed TPF APARs in advance of the availability of a PUT tape. All closed TPF 3.1 APARs are available in these formats. APARs which have been coded and through unit test, but not through regression testing, are available prior to APAR closure. Please note that we have not fully tested this code, and it is subject to withdrawal and change. Your SE can obtain these early versions as well.
PUT Cross Reference (PTFXREF)
This file contains a cross reference of APARs and the PUT tape they were released on, including the functional area impacted, the severity, and the TPF feature if applicable (ex."C"). Also included in this file is a reference chart of past TPF 3.1 PUT tape availability. Your SE has access to this file.
Along with the fixes, your SE has access to "Usermemo" files. If we find that we have additional information about an APAR after CLOSING IT, a Usermemo file associated with that APAR number is updated and your SE can get notified. For example, if we find that a specific MVS level should have a certain PUT applied corequisite with this APAR, that information will be put into the Usermemo file.
A single file, called FIXES USERMEMO, is an accumulation of portions of the individual Usermemo files, namely all APARs which correct previous APARs. This file allows the SE to keep track of correcting APARs in between Put tapes.
Your Se can also access a document, created for each PUT tape, which contains a description of each APAR on the tape, information about the functional areas, segments, and manuals affected, and cross reference data.
Finally, we would like to share some more information on a change to the TPF problem reporting process. Currently your SE runs a program on his or her VM system which will report problems to us. They then only have access to a summary file containing the abstracts, severity, etc. of all problems reported, by all customers.
We will be migrating to make use of a system (RETAIN) which will allow your SE to access the status for problems reported by your account. In addition, customers who have ServiceLink access that allows viewing "ETR" records will also be able to access this information.
Customers of EOCF/2 and TPFDF may have already accessed this data since those products are already on this system. More information about these systems will be made available in the future
The first six items (above) are already available to you. We are planning on continuing to implement additional aids to maintainability. If you have suggestions that you would like to make known to us, or any feedback on these or other issues from past articles, you can contact us by FAX at 1-203-790-2031, through IBMLINK id KGNVMC (TPFUG), or IBMMAIL ids USIB2S7M or USIB1BFG. Please indicate that this is attn: Heather Kahan or Bill Supon if you either Fax us or use KGNVMC id.
Heather Kahan, Bill Supon, John Killian, Paul Austin
TPF Systems Customer Service and Software Support.