Softdate/z version 4.5 is in full release with multiple new enhancements and features as it moves towards demand of DevOps by our clients and prospects. Softdate/z for z/OS is the only SOA product in the z/OS DTS world with an ongoing program of very active enhancement and support. We listen to our client partners and the new version 4.5 once again adds and extends features and functionality. As a virtual time machine, Softdate/z executes across IBM’s z/OS batch, CICS, IMS (including FastPath), DB2, TSO, WebSphere Application Server and all program languages including Java for z, plus more. Software AG support includes all ADABAS and Natural levels.
Softdate/z is always quickly upgraded to support new releases of IBM system software and is regularly enhanced with new, breakthrough features to satisfy customer requests for innovation, expertise and quality.
Whether you are using Softdate/z for date and time simulation in advanced quality assurance testing or production Global Time Zone Virtualization (GTZV), Softdate/z is unique. With its support for enterprise SOA initiatives and unique options such as WebSphere Application Server, Java for z/OS and USS (UNIX Systems Services), customers can be confident they are using the most advanced date and time simulation product available.
Softdate/z v4.5 is an exciting extension of the Version 4 series, with the primary goals of once again reducing the Total Cost of Ownership and enhancing the usability of DTS for testing and GTZV. Softdate/z v.4.5 provides more advanced date and time simulation techniques plus more surround automation to meet more demanding needs of enterprise computing.
Softdate/z v4.5 new features include:
- Beyond-2042 support. This allows for virtual dates to be set beyond the current limitations of the STCK instructions (17th September 2042), this feature requires z/OS 2.1 and DB2 v11.
- Softdate Enterprise Time Syncronisation (SETS) Framework option: The framework for DTS synching of the Softdate Suite for z/OS, Windows, Linux/UNIX variations at the application level (Softdate must be resident on each system or server).
- z/OS-based SNTP system-level testing option: Synchronize any number of connected systems, running e.g. AIX, Linux, Unix, Windows on for example HP, Solaris, IBM pSeries or iSeries, all to the same Softdate/z virtual clock.
- Streamlined distribution: An improved software distribution and installation procedure will mean even simpler and more consistent application of software maintenance. All maintenance will now be applied via a common ISPF panel-‐driven process. Streamlined distribution will further reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and is an important component of the whole Softdate suite (Softdate/z for z/OS, Softdate/w for Windows and Softdate/x for Linux/Unix).
- Enhanced dynamic intercept technology: The Softdate/z unique "dynamic intercept" technology is further enhanced to significantly reduce the need for maintenance updates to the Softdate/z intercepts when a site's system software levels are upgraded. The Softdate/z dynamic intercept technology is already the most advanced in the industry and eliminates the need for permanent modifications to key system routines - a hallmark of other approaches and a cause of serious operational and maintenance issues. Now, with v4.5, these intercepts will require fewer updates in order to maintain compatibility with new levels of IBM system software such as Language Environment or DB2.
- Multiple Softdate/z: Softdate/z v4.5 will allow more than one copy of Softdate/z to run concurrently on the same LPAR as Softdate/z v 4.2, v4.3 or v4.4. This will significantly simplify upgrading to new releases, and represents another unique advantage of Softdate/z within the industry - with the aim of once again improving operational efficiency and reducing TCO. Softdate/z v4.5 will also continue its “Enhanced coexistence support”, giving it the unique ability to coexist on the same LPAR as other date simulator products while testing or converting to Softdate/z.
- Exclusion job rules: These will provide an easy method to specify jobs or job steps that are NOT to run with Softdate/z, even though other job rules would otherwise select them. In some cases this can make job rule specification much simpler by allowing the easy specification of exceptions to general rules. The potential benefits are simplified rule definitions and reduced maintenance overheads.
- New password handling: This will allow a common set of password parameters to be shared amongst different z/OS images, meaning startup parameters containing multiple password specifications can be shared across connected LPARs. Each instance of Softdate/z will look for a matching password parameter for the CPU id it is running on and will ignore any other password parameters it finds, significantly facilitating operation in multi-system Sysplex environments for both testing and virtual production execution.
- DTS ActiveView: A new ISPF panel will show all jobs currently running with Softdate/z active. This display will show job name and other details such as the date/time parameter that the job was started with, facilitating checking for correct environmental setup and enhancing operational oversight.
- User-sorted rule set list: The list of job rule sets can now be sorted by any two user-selected columns. And, as in the previous release, the list may be filtered by any criteria (such as rule set name or user id).
- “My rule set” flag: A new column on the job rule set list panel shows a “U” beside the names of job rule sets owned by the user. If users are restricted to only updating their own rule sets then this flag is a quick reminder of which rule sets are theirs. It is also possible to filter the displayed list on this column value - so, for example, by keying a “U” in the filter value for this column you could tailor the list to only show your rule sets.
- z/OS 2.1 8-character Job Classes: z/OS 2.1 extends job class size from 1 character to a maximum of 8 characters. Softdate/z v4.5 will support this new feature by allowing 8-character job class values to be specified in job rules (Softdate/z 4.3 already supports z/OS 2.1 job class size of 1 character).
With version 4.5 the Softdate Suite further extends its technology superiority over all other solutions by supporting and interacting with multiple platforms outside of z/OS and once again improving efficiency, reducing costs and delivering the most effective solution available.