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Problems with ISPF workstation agent and Windows 7

 
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Stefan

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Joined: 12 Jan 2006
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Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject: Problems with ISPF workstation agent and Windows 7
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Hi,

my client recently migrated my workstation to Windows 7 64bit.

Now the ISPF Workstation Agent (WSA) acts a little bit strange.

Whenever WSA gets a command and spawns a process (i.e. opens a command window) the function is performed successfully but the separate window is not closed. It stays open although the connection to the mainframe is closed. It even can't be closed manually because the WSA itself obviously has exclusive access to it.

As I use complex mainframe-based processes where WSA is an integral part of at many points within the process chain, my desktop gets cluttered within minutes and open command windows spread over my screen.

The only way to get rid of them is to close WSA itself.

Did anyone experienced this before and have any solution or suggestions for this problem?
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don.leahy

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:27 pm    Post subject:
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I use WSA under Windows 7 and haven't noticed any change in behaviour. I am just grateful that it still works given IBM's indifference to it.

There aren't many settings to tweak in WSA itself. Have you looked at the Windows settings for WSA.EXE?
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Ed Goodman

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject:
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Do you know how WSA spawns the process? I mean, is there a batch file being built, or a shell command being run?

I've seen something similar with command windows when the program uses the "cmd" program to run them. There are defaults on the machine that can leave the window open.

Open a command prompt and do "cmd /?" to see what I'm referring to. I think it's the /C /K switches that can change based on defaults.
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Stefan

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject:
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Many thanks for your replies.

to don.leahy:
I played around with the compatibility settings of the wsa.exe file. But this had no effect.

to Ed Goodman:
I have no idea how WSA spawns the processes. The product consists of only a few data files (translation tables, msg files etc.), a single DLL, and a single EXE file. There is no chance to configure anything besides the settings offered by the product's user interface. But these options only belong to TCP/IP settings and user authorities. I know what you're thinking of when you refer to the switches used by the CMD.exe. But it's not the way the product start a process because the same installation runs successfully on a Windows XP machine.

Any further ideas?
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don.leahy

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:33 pm    Post subject:
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How does your host application use WSA? Does it issue workstation commands via the Select ISPF service?
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Stefan

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Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:20 pm    Post subject:
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Yes, the typical sequence of services is as follows:
Code:
'ISPEXEC VGET ZIPADDR SHARED'
'ISPEXEC WSCON IP(ZIPADDR) NOGUIDSP'
h = 'MY.HOST.DATASET'
w = 'c:\list.txt'           
'ISPEXEC VPUT (H W)'
'ISPEXEC FILEXFER HOST(H) WS(W) TO(WS) TEXT'
'ISPEXEC SELECT WSCMD(%COMSPEC% /C START /MAX' w !! ') MODELESS'
'ISPEXEC WSDISCON'

Currently I'm checking if it has something to do with authorization. I haven't found any entry in the Windows event log, but there are fundamental changes in this area between Windows XP and Windows 7.

By the way: Sorry for the delay in my responses. I'm busy with other tasks too, and I'm in Europe (+ 6 hours to U.S. east coast).
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don.leahy

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject:
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Have you tried the MAX|MIN VIS|INVIS parameters of the SELECT service?

I'm not a Windows guy so I don't know much about the START command, but perhaps they've added a switch that might be useful.
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Stefan

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Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject:
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don.leahy wrote:
Have you tried the MAX|MIN VIS|INVIS parameters of the SELECT service?.

Many thanks, Don. icon_biggrin.gif

This did the trick.

For the SELECT WSCMD service I simply added the INVIS parameter. This surpressed the command window but not the application itself started by the command. Fortunately all of my REXX programs use a central WSA connection module. So I only had to change it once and do a thorough test.
What still doesn't work is the interactive use of the WS command. As this command does not allow any parameter, the command window always comes up and "hangs".

As a sample:
    I type "WSCON" and enter the connection details.
    Then I type "WS dir p:\*.* >p:\dirlist.txt" to create a directory list and write it to the specified file.
    Now "WS notepad p:\dirlist.txt" will start Notepad on that file.
    Finally "WSDISCON" closes the connection to WSA.

In this scenario both WS commands create a command window which stays open.
This behaviour was definitely different with Windows XP on my client's site. icon_cry.gif

But my main focus is on the programmatical integration of WSA via "SELECT WSCMD" and "FILEXFER".

Thanks to Don this works now.
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don.leahy

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:02 pm    Post subject:
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Sorry to tailgate on a old topic, but IBM has a fix for the WSA installation issue. See OA17073. http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=isg1OA17073

It's not yet on our system so I cannot verify it for myself (the APAR was closed on 2012-10-15).
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Graham Hannington

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Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject:
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I'm using WSA to open a web page in the default browser on a Windows 7 PC:

Code:
"SELECT WSCMD(cmd /c ""start /max " url """) INVIS"                       


where url is a variable that contains the address of the web page.

As you say, specifying INVIS suppresses the command window, but each SELECT WSCMD creates a cmd.exe *32 (Windows Command Processor) process (that I can see in Windows Task Manager) that doesn't end until I end the Workstation Agent (wsa.exe).
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Stefan

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:44 pm    Post subject:
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What's about this:
Code:
'ispexec select wscmd(%comspec% /c start /min' url ') modeless min invis'
Give it a try
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Graham Hannington

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:53 am    Post subject:
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Quote:
What about this


Thanks very much for the suggestion, but nope, the cmd.exe remains.

I suspect (but I do not know) that this has nothing to do with WSA, and everything to do with the Windows START command.

From the help for the START command:

Quote:
If it is an internal cmd command or a batch file then [...] the window will remain after the command has been run.


I could try explicitly referring to the .exe for a particular browser, but that isn't what I want: I do not want to rely on a particular browser being installed in a particular path, and I do not want to start another browser instance each time.
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