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Some demos of what can be done with IBM's WSA

 
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prino

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Joined: 07 Feb 2009
Posts: 1072
Location: Oostende, Belgium

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:55 pm    Post subject: Some demos of what can be done with IBM's WSA
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IBM WSA Demos, impressive!
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don.leahy

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Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 659
Location: Whitby, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:19 am    Post subject:
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Indeed. I have been using WSA for years. I and others have called it one of ISPF's hidden gems.

I generally don't run my ISPF session in GUI mode because I find it aesthetically unappealing.

Distributed Edit/View/Browse is excellent, but there can be issues when the workstation path + file name is verbose. ISPF uses the workstation path + file name to allocate a temporary data set on the host; if the name is too long, the allocation fails. IBM "functionally stabilized" WSA many years ago, so it is unlikely that this problem will be fixed.

IMO the best features of WSA are found in its file transfer capabilities. It's way faster than IND$FILE based solutions, but what I like best is that it puts the host session in the driver's seat so there is no need to expose your password to an FTP session. You can easily run file transfers in a batch job which avoids tying up your TSO session. And it understands ISPF statistics and member name masks. i.e. You can use option 3.7.2 to download MYPREF.MYPDS(MEM*) to your workstation. All matching members will be downloaded, with file names derived from the member names. Sweet! You can even tell it to only copy members whose last modified date is > the corresponding file date on your workstation.

All it takes to unleash this functionality is to install a small client program on your desktop. It sits there unobtrusively listening for requests from the mainframe. If I recall correctly, the installation is very old school, with no registry dependencies. As far as I know it runs just fine on all versions of Windows.

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Stefan

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Joined: 12 Jan 2006
Posts: 110
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject:
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I absolutely agree on calling the WSA one of IBM's best hidden secrets.
Years ago I convinced my client to build a highly sophisticated software delivery application based on the ISPF workstation agent. But since IBM has functionally stabilized it, I'm getting very nervous every time we switch to a new z/OS release.
Currently I have to ensure that the application still runs smoothly with WSA running on Windows 7 and talking to z/OS 01.12 ... We'll see what happens icon_question.gif
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don.leahy

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Location: Whitby, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject:
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Let me know how it goes. Around here we are still on Windows XP (z/OS 1.12) and are planning to upgrade to Windows 7 "soon".

I do know of someone running WSA under Windows 7, but I don't know what z/OS version he is connecting to.
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Stefan

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Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject:
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First results:

I've downloaded member ISPGUINX from data set SYS1.ISPF.SISPGUI to a Windows 7 machine and renamed the file to "ispfinst.exe".
This program could not be executed due to compatibility problems. Playing with the different settings in the context menu of the file didn't fix the problems. It definitly had nothing to do with running in administrator mode or not. Maybe the installer has its own problems.
So I copied the current ISPFCS directory to the Windows 7 machine containing the "unpacked" application files, for example wsa.exe.

And hey-presto - it works! icon_biggrin.gif

My first small tests have been successful. I'll update this entry when I have finished a complete run of our application including file transfer and remote command execution via batch jobs.
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don.leahy

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Joined: 06 Jul 2010
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Location: Whitby, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:02 pm    Post subject:
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That's what I meant by my "old school" comment earlier. The last time I "installed" WSA on a desktop I just copied the ISPFCS directory as you did. (In my case I did it because I was lazy, not because I was having problems with the WSA install program)

I think that this works because WSA doesn't need to use the Windows Registry; it is a standalone executable.
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