z/OS System Programmer Fundamentals (ES40G)


This course is designed to describe the basic components that apply to all z/OS systems. It includes high level concepts that apply to the z/OS hardware platform and the z/OS software. It then provides a more detailed analysis, description and lab activities that can be applied to the system programmer role to maintain z/OS systems.

Discussion activities include: The POR, IPL process, JES implementation and operating environment, VTAM environment for TSO, ISPF, SNA and TCP/IP networking, RACF, ISPF/PDF and UNIX System Services. It defines the classic approach to data management in a z/OS system. It identifies various software products and utilities used to define, maintain, and manage catalogs and data sets in the z/OS environment. It also discusses Parmlib usage and requirements for system initialization and operation that include: System symbolics, WLM, SFM, RMF and system logger. Both single system and multi-system sysplex usage is identified. z/OS install, upgrade options, maintenance using SMP/E and I/O configuration requirements using HCD is listed and described.


This intermediate class is intended for new System Programmers and System Administrators, who require an overall understanding of the z/OS platform, z/OS components, data management, and installation and maintenance activities used in z/OS systems.


You should:

  • Have z/OS installation experience or have attended z/OS Installation (ES41A)
  • Be familiar with end user activities on MVS, including knowledge of JCL, IDCAMS, the MVS address space structure, and the concept of batch scheduling using JES initiators


  • Describe the basics of z/OS architecture
  • Identify basic components of a z/OS system
  • Discuss what you have learned about LPARs
  • Describe maintenance principles
  • Identify and list the POR process
  • Describe the IPL process
  • Identify the basic address spaces
  • Describe how to shut down z/OS
  • Implement a basic JES2 batch environment
    • Identify how work can be started in z/OS and it's relationship to the job entry subsystem
    • Describe how JES2 prepares and executes work in z/OS
    • Explain JES2 start options
    • Describe JES2 parameters that can be customized to support z/OS batch
    • Identify how communications and control of JES2 can be done using the operator commands and SDSF
  • Describe JES3 configuration and job processing phases
  • Identify JES3 start options
  • Describe the two networking schemes in the z/OS environment: SNA and IP
  • Identify SNA networking resources
  • Explain how SNA sessions are established
  • Describe the role of TCP/IP as a physical filesystem in UNIX System Services
  • Implement and start a local VTAM instance to provide the base for SNA applications such as TSO
  • Implement and start TSO
  • Start a TCPIP stack and check accompanying messages
  • Identify the main functions of Security Server (RACF) and the role it plays in controlling user access to the system
  • Describe the contents of RACF user, group, and resource profiles
  • Describe how RACF profiles are used to authorize user access to a data set resource
  • Identify two key members used for TCAS startup
  • Name the components of ISPF
  • Describe the general layout of ISPF/PDF panels
  • Describe how UNIX System Services are used in z/OS
  • Describe briefly the UNIX Shell and utilities and how they are accessed
  • Describe the application services provided in UNIX System Services
  • Describe how security is handled in UNIX System Services
  • Describe the classical z/OS data management
    • DASD init: VTOC, VTOC index
    • ICF catalog creation: BCS, VVDS
    • IDCAMS utility
    • DFSMS: DFSMSdss, DFSMShsm
    • Data, storage, and management classes
  • Define the hierarchical data management
    • HFS file system
    • zFS file system
  • Define load-parameters for IPL
  • Define symbols for use in system initialization
  • Define a configuration for system initialization
  • Define a library for procedures
  • Identify the sysplex resources required to run WLM
  • List the main components that comprise a WLM service definition for a system/sysplex
  • Describe the function of WLM service definition parameters such as workloads, service goals, periods, and WLM subsystems
  • Describe how SMF data set are created and used
  • Explain SMF record types and how they are used
  • Identify the three RMF monitor types
  • Describe how the RMF monitor is used for reporting purposes
  • Identify System Logger components and usage for:
    • Sysplex configuration and CF logstreams
    • Single system and DASD-only logstreams
  • Describe SMF usage of logstreams
  • Describe the differences between IOCDS and IODF
  • Identify and list the HCD definition process sequence
  • Describe how the HCD dialogs are used to define a configuration
  • Discuss the purpose of Hardware Configuration Manager
  • Describe the overall concept of SMP/E: Global, target and DLIB zones
  • Describe what elements and SYSMODs are
  • Create an SMP/E working environment
  • Identify the batch and ISPF interfaces to SMP/E
  • Install a user function using RECEIVE, APPLY, and ACCEPT
  • Explain how to remove a SYSMOD with RESTORE
  • Describe the installation options available to install z/OS
  • Use the attributes of z/OS elements and features to identify the contents of a z/OS product
  • Describe the contents of the ServerPac offering and important install documentation sources
  • List the main steps in the ServerPac build process
  • Describe hardware and software prerequisites for performing a ServerPac installation in:
    • The driving system
    • The target system
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Course Outline

Day 1

  • Welcome
  • Unit 1 - What makes up a z/OS system?
  • Exercise 1- Introduction to z/OS setup
  • Unit 2 - System boot: POR and IPL
  • Exercise 2 - Complete the IPL: Start JES, start networking
  • Unit 3 - Processing user work with z/OS
  • Exercise 3 - LOGON into TSO and create a new user profile

Day 2

  • Unit 4 - Networking, z/OS communication server
  • Exercise 4 - Data administration
  • Unit 5 - What else is needed for end user access to the system?
  • Exercise 5 - Automate startup and monitor the system

Day 3

  • Unit 6 - Data management
  • Exercise 6 - System logger
  • Unit 7 - A closer look at IPL: IPLPARM, SYS1.PARMLIB, SYS1.PROCLIB
  • Exercise 7- Define a string of DASD and ACTIVATE dynamically

Day 4

  • Unit 8 - System management: WLM, SMF, RMF, and system logger
  • Exercise 8 - Install and maintain a user function
  • Unit 9 - Hardware configuration definition
  • Unit 10 - Software maintenance: SMP/E
  • Unit 11 - Change management: ServerPac and other IBM services