Using z/OSMF workflows for TCPIP.

I found it hard to set up the AT-TLS configuration for MQ. The easiest way was to use the sample configurations provided by MQ. See here for an overview. I used Scenario 5 – Between an IBM MQ for z/OS queue manager and a client application running on IBM MQ for Multiplatforms.

This took about 10 minutes once I had PAGENT and SYSLOGD set up.

I thought I would try to use the TCP provided facilities. There is a lot of documentation, but it is not easy to find what you need. It has been written as an IBM developer, rather than from an end user perspective.

I then thought I would try to use the “way of the future” and the z/OS configuration tool z/OSMF. You use a browser to connect to z/OSMF and do your work through the browser interface. The z/OSMF interface has configuration tools, and workflow tools which guide you step by step through configuration.

I found using the workflow tools was harder than using the TCPIP documentation and TCPIP samples, and I would not recommend its use.

Ive blogged Using z/OSMF Network Configuration assistant for TCPIP, to define AT-TLS configuration. Which worked.

The workflow stuff makes the easy bit “easier”, but does not help with the hard stuff. An improvement would be to skip the workflow, and have one page of instructions saying copy samples into Proclib, and Unix; run a RACF job. We could do with a workflow to help configure syslogd, which I had a struggle to get working in a non trivial situation. For example having error messages for PAGENT go to one file, and have the TLS trace go into another file.

My mission.

My mission was to configure AT-TLS and to provide two ports for use with MQ.

I wanted to do this using two people (me with two userids) and do the typical steps when changing systems, such as saving configurations before changing them, and deploying them, when I had a “change window”.

Initial steps

z/OSMF provides facilities like ISPF, Workload management configuration, system status etc. I used Workflow.

It was hard to know where to start. I assumed (wrongly) that there would be a workflow to define the AT-TLS definitions.

It seems you use Workflow to define the PAGENT and syslogd JCL, and not for configuring the PAGENT or syslogd.

Instructions to use Workflow to configure TCPIP JCL procedures

  • Double click the workflow icon.
  • From the actions pull down, select Create workflow…
  • You need to select Workflow definition file: I could not find what I had to specify. There was no prompting. The “?” basically said “put a value here”. The help key just gave me a panel with information about using creating a workflow.
  • I found an IBM support document which says
    • Workflows for Policy-based Networking
    • ezb_pagent_setup_wizard.xml – This workflow provides the steps for setting up the Policy Agent (Pagent). Pagent is required for all of the policy-based networking technologies: IPSec, AT-TLS, IDS, PBR, and QoS. Pagent uses syslogd for logging.
    • ezb_syslogd_setup_wizard.xml – This workflow provides the steps for setting up syslogd.
    • ezb_tcpip_profile_sample_wizard.xml – This workflow provides a sample TCP/IP profile which contains common statements required to enable AT-TLS and IP Security, and additionally includes port reservation statements for running daemons.
  • I had to use the fully qualified filename /usr/lpp/zosmf/workflow/plugins/izuca/ezb_syslogd_setup_wizard.xml
  • This came up with an error in the workflow name because the default name has ‘z/OS… ‘ and ‘/’ is not a valid character. I removed the ‘/’.
  • At the bottom of the page you can Assign all steps to owner user id. I did not do this, and had to assign steps below
  • You get a list of steps that need to be done.
  • Assign the work to a userid
    • Select all of the steps, and use Actions-> Assignment and ownership -> Add assignees.
    • This displays the assigned roles. I used Actions -> add to add my SAF userid. I pressed OK and returned to the list of steps – all now assigned to me.
  • I selected the first step “define the “RACF userid for Syslogd”, Actions -> Accept .
  • Click on the task, and it gives you a window with tabs. The important tab is Perform. If this is greyed out, you have not accepted the task!
    • Fill in the details and click Next, Next etc. You can edit the contents.
    • You can save it – but you need to give a data set. It suggested SYS1(SYSLOGD). I had to change it (every time) to COLIN.ATTLS(…)
    • Next – gives you the save panel. You have to specify the dataset where you want to save it. The default was wrong for me.
    • Once saved you have to submit it manually, check the output, and edit the file if needed.
  • Back at the workflow details, it had step 1 complete (even though you may not have submitted it)
  • I accepted step 2 and started working on it.
    • It asks for Dataset HLQ – but I could not change it.
    • I stepped through the definitions – and had to type in my dataset again (why can’t it remember what I specified last time).
    • This step just creates a job with some RACF definitions in it.
  • I ran step 3 -again just creating a JCL member of definitions
  • Step 4 “Sample Syslogd Configuration Setup“. This just copies in a sample configuration.
    • “Save” did not do anything
  • Step 5 “Sample started procedure for Syslogd” creates a sample Procedure.
  • On the workflows page, it shows the workflow is 100% complete.

Having been through all of this, the create JCL did not run, one line in error was

// VARS=”,
// PARMS=”
// ‘/&PARMS.’)

  • &PROG had not been specified – you gave to go and find what you need to specified (SYSLOGD)
  • There is a blank after the &PROG., so the REGION=0K,TIME=NOLIMIT, is ignored
  • The location of the configuration (in &VARs) is not specified.

Create the PAGENT JCL

I followed the same process to create the PAGENT file.

I used file /usr/lpp/zosmf/workflow/plugins/izuca/ezb_pagent_setup_wizard.xml.

When this JCL ran, it produced messages

06/16 08:00:20 SYSERR :000: …plfm_config_medium_open: cannot open ‘/etc/pagent.conf’, errno EDC5129I No such file or directory.

You have to know to copy the configuration file from the PDS to /etc/pagent.conf.

Comments on using the workflows

This seems a lot of work to produce code which does not work. The process feels unloved. I am surprised that the problems I found have not been fixed – they are Unit Test level bugs.

I think it is far simpler to follow the documentation, for example to create the procedure. The documentation says

Update the cataloged procedure, syslogd, by copying the sample in SEZAINST(SYSLOGD) to your system or recognized PROCLIB. Specify syslogd parameters and change the data set names to suit your local configurtion See the syslog daemon section of SEZAINST(EZARACF) for SAF considerations for started procedures

The instructions could be on one side of paper, and would be quicker than using the workflow.