Systems Programming under Endevor Control

Some time ago, I polled the Endevor community to discover who might be using Endevor to manage and control the changes that the systems programming area does.

This document contains the original question and responses (without editing aside from removal of name and company). I thought you might find the content interesting and thought provoking….!

Question posed:

“Who might have their systems programming people also under Endevor control? Also, what components of Systems Programming do they have under control – i.e. all aspects, just parmlibs, just “their” programs, etc. I am in the process of designing and putting together a presentation on putting virtually all aspects of systems programming under Endevor control and I am curious as to the “state of the nation” today. “

Responses:

  • “It is the same old story, but now they have SMPE so the argument has be very solid in order for us lowly Endevor admins to convince the big Systems Programmers.”
  • “You must be kidding! I consider myself lucky that I get to assemble my own routines (C1DEFLTS, BC1TNEQU, etc…) in Endevor and have them copied to the systems libraries so I have footprints to check when things go south.

Besides don’t you know that the SMP installer does its own configuration management? (at least that’s the excuse the systems programmers give me).

I have tried to get some of the Endevor install into Endevor as a foot in the door, but have failed. If nothing else after the install creates the system libraries I would like Endevor to do the copies from LPAR library to LPAR library so when I need one thing changed they don’t copy the whole library and along with it those LPAR specific modules that then break the ‘TO’ instance of Endevor. I will try again when (and if) 7.0 SP1 ever goes GA. We have just outsourced most of our systems programming so who knows. Any ammunition I can get would be a great help.”

  • “Hi John, I am one of the systems programmers here at xxxxxxxxxxxx and the Endevor Administrator and there is no way that I would put our systems under Endevor. I can’t say that we would enjoy bringing Endevor into the mix if we had a problem with a parmlib member during an IPL.

So, that’s a big no for Endevor control for systems as long as I’m at this site. Of course, we are breaking one of the number one rules of Endevor (never let the programming staff administer Endevor), so we may just be the exception. Good luck with the presentation.”

  • “Although we have some older systems programmers still using Librarian to maintain their personal JCL files, none use Endevor for this purpose (including myself) and none of our z/OS datasets are maintained by either product. SMP/E is a requirement for all app’s that can be installed that way here, so that trumps Endevor. Encouraging systems programmers to use Endevor has been a tough sell. We plan to migrate all our scheduler JCL off Librarian to Endevor probably next year and even then, I doubt many system programmers will show any interest in using Endevor. It makes sense, but doesn’t happen..”
  • “Most in-house written exits, batch jobs etc. used by systems programmers are under the control of Endevor. We also store alot of the parmlibs, syms, includes etc. under Endevor.

In addition, we have a couple of pieces of software managed by Endevor as well.

For example, we use Endevor to manage the Endevor software. A new release gets installed in a development environment. Then, we load all modules associated with the Endevor software into a Product Environment and use Endevor to migrate the new release through the testing state and onto production. This same philosophy is used whenever a PTF is applied to Endevor. We apply the PTF in development, migrate any changed load modules, source etc. through Endevor into our test states, test the ptf, then move it on to Production. This also helps use to track any changes we have made to panels, defaults table etc.

The majority of the software installed by us is not managed by Endevor but we have been trying to recommend it as the route to go. We just put QuickStart under Endevor’s control last month.”

  • “It would have to be without processors, I think, because you would want it to be as simple as possible. I should say that it really wouldn’t be much of a problem, except for the first one that popped into my head, namely trying to fix a problem during an ipl. If we can find a way to work with our data during ipl’s it would be fine. But, obviously, SOX is going to make us audit the system in far different ways than we do right now, but I don’t think Endevor (in it’s current form) is a good solution for systems.   I shouldn’t have said “never”, but definitely the current way of using Endevor for application source is not going to be viable for our systems. Thanks!”
  • “It is nice to see someone else exploring this question.  My position is Endevor has a place for in-house written “things.”  Let SMP/E do the work is was designed for.  In-house written mods for system elements belong with SMP/E. For purposes of this discussion sys-progs work with items/elements that need a separate LPAR to upgrade/test.  Totally in-house programs and other things might fit within the Endevor umbrella. The question always comes back to testing.  How does one relate a stage1 SOL to a TEST lpar?  In a pure application arena I oppose using Endevor as a “junk drawer.”  By this I mean when one does not know where to store something just “put it in Endevor.” “
  • “I’m not sure what all you include in ‘system’ programs.  Because most state agencies use xxxxxxxx, I think any true systems programmers (that work for the state) would be there.

All JCL used to run our scheduled Production jobs are in Endevor.  I had our procs and parms in at one time, but our database group that is ‘in charge’ of those balked, so I had to take them out, although the boss over all of us had wanted EVERYTHING in Endevor.  I had intended on doing exactly that, including C-lists, database segment definitions, and PSB’s.  Alas, they are not (yet).”

  • “Hi John – We have our in-house written infrastructure code managed in Endevor.  Our primary goal was to get all the “language code” converted, (Assembler, COBOL, etc), this goal has been met.  Over the years we have been chipping away at getting other types of code converted, we’re in good shape here too.  I am happy to say that we are getting requests from the systems programmers, asking…how can Endevor handle this type of code, and of course we always come up with a nice solution.  Please let me know if you have any other questions.”
  • “I have joined the wonderful world of consulting, so bear in mind that the information I am providing is from past employers, but I thought it might be helpful or useful if you get a low percentage of responses.

At xxxxxx, the z/OS team leader wanted all items under Endevor control.  We had entries for just about all aspects (including SYS2 and SYS3 libraries – all CICS regions’ JCL, control cards etc.) except SYS1 libraries.  We were working towards converting all components of both in-house and purchased software tools (i.e. programs, JCL, control cards etc.) to Endevor.  Unfortunately, the bank was bought by xxxxx before we were able to complete that transition.  😦  Keep in mind that the Endevor administrators (myself included) were systems programmers and reported directly to the z/OS team leader who also served as our backup – in the event we were unavailable.  My manager’s exposure and high level of comfort with the product played a major role in driving the team to get systems components under Endevor control.  Everyone had to learn how to use the tool – no excuses.

My position at a subsequent job as Endevor administrator was in the operations area for an insurance company.  They had/have as “little as possible” under Endevor control and if the Systems people had their way, they would take it all out of Endevor and perform their mundane, space hogging, risk laden process of back up member A, rename previous backup of member A, rename member A, copy in member B etc. etc. etc….  It is next to impossible to go back more than one level of change or to determine the exact nature of the change and the approval process is tied in with the change (change record) tool, but there is no fool proof means to reconcile the items that were actually changed with the items referenced in the change record.  Most of the systems programmers have no desire to learn how to use the product and they are not obligated to do so – unless the element currently exists in an Endevor library.  There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to what was put under Endevor.  I think in total there were a couple of applications – programs, JCL etc., and a few unrelated jobs and control cards.  My guess is that there was a programmer that was comfortable with the product (he had administrator authority) and so he setup his applications and then just left them there.”

  • “When I was the Endevor person in charge at xxxxx (seems like it was many, many years ago), we had some of the parmlib members under Endevor’s control (mainly in the network area) and set up the processors to generate some of the network executables (we had multiple sets depending on what the target system volume was). We also had all of the system programmers JCL in Endevor (including IDMS startup) and most of the IDMS homegrown utilities source, but that was about it. Have a nice weekend.”
  • “John, the only things from the Systems side of the house that is under Endevor control are items where we might need a history. Otherwise the systems programmers are controlled by a separate change control system.”
  • “The issue we’re facing, as I see it, is around resistance of change to existing work practices by the Host Systems group and what they see as an ‘intrusive’ solution that requires effort to configure.

Our ‘competitor’, xxxxxxxx, purportedly does not require them to change the way they work.  You define the libraries/datasets to be monitored and audited and it just sits there tracking activity.  Then when you want to report on access and change you run the report and ‘”hey presto”.  Also, if you wish to rollback to an earlier version/backup it provides this capability.  The real clincher selling point (it seems) is that it was written by a System Programmer for Systems Programmers (this has been mentioned to me a couple of times).

Anyway – I’ve told them that I’m not going to give up – that I’m going to get the Product Manager to evangelise why they should use the incumbent product and save spending $’s (well – at least on a competitor’s product).   “

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