Event formatter changes with MQ 9.2.4

IBM has just announced MQ 9.2.4. No matter how hard you search the announcement letters you will still not be able to find anything about the event formatter changes that I was able to slip into the release. That’s because changes to samples don’t normally deserve highlighting in formal marketing documents. But I hope this change still turns out to be useful.

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This post was last updated on November 24th, 2021 at 01:12 pm

Using Loki and Grafana with MQ logs

It is odd how often similar questions come at the same time from unrelated places. Because of the projects and articles I’ve written about visualising MQ’s metrics in Grafana, I recently had a couple of people asking about using that same front-end but able to work with log-file data. Specifically would it be possible to use Loki and Grafana together with MQ. My immediate reaction was that I didn’t know what Loki was in this context, but clearly they couldn’t be asking about a Norse god or Marvel character. Instead after a very short search and a few minutes reading, I guessed that it ought to be possible to use it. Which was my reply.

But of course, I’m not likely to leave it there when I learn about a new tool. Especially when I have a reasonable starting point like a working local Grafana setup. And so I have done some very quick experiments to prove that the approach really can work. On the way I’ll also take a brief digression into using logrotate.

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This post was last updated on February 9th, 2021 at 02:37 pm

Application Activity – formatting and extracting key information

MQ Application Activity reports have a lot of detail. This post shows a simple way to extract key fields for simpler processing.

Application Activity Trace

Application Activity Trace is a mechanism on the MQ Distributed platforms that give a report of all the MQI calls made by a program. Originally configured via a text file, MQ V9 enhanced them by allowing a monitoring application to subscribe to topics that describe the application or channel of interest.
See how to extract key fields from events

This post was last updated on November 25th, 2019 at 09:45 am

SMF reports for MQ with JSON format

Turn MQ SMF data into JSON for simple consumption and analytics. Use a free open source tool for Windows and Linux to process your mainframe statistics.

On z/OS, MQ produces a lot of information about its usage through SMF records. One tool I published on GitHub a couple of years ago was designed to take collected SMF data and process it into a more consumable format. The goal was to create something that did nothing more than format the data, rather than try to analyse it in the manner of SupportPac MP1B. The analysis would be done using independent tools.

The comma-separated-value format is ideal for importing into spreadsheets and databases. Many of our z/OS customers have been helped by reports created from their data, and analysed through SQL queries.

While I didn’t write about it in a blog post then, I did publish a short video showing it in action. And since the original release, I’ve made regular updates to the code. Mostly these have been to simplify the SQL processing.

I’ve now updated the program to give a further output format option. It is intended to make it easy to feed SMF information to other analytics tools, many of which work with JSON structures. Other aspects of MQ administration can now be done with JSON-format data – the error logs on Distributed platforms, an event formatter (which is also available in MQ V9.0.5), the REST APIs for administration and messaging – and this is one further piece of a consistent story.

Read more about formatting MQ SMF as JSON

This post was last updated on November 25th, 2019 at 09:48 am