3 Quick Ways that TIC LogWatch Can Enhance Your NonStop Appilcation Logs

logwatch-monitor-183 TIC LogWatch

Are you looking for ways to make better use of your NonStop Application logs?

TIC LogWatch is a Guardian program that watches different log files, looks for error patterns, and generates alerts when an anomaly is detected.

Here are some quick out-of-the-box ways that TIC LogWatch can be used to enhance your NonStop logs. Continue reading

Happy 2015! Modernize Forward to NonStop X!

When we started working with Tandem/NonStop technology in the 1980’s, we along with the rest of the user community put our faith in this rock-solid computing foundation, with fault tolerance, high performance and scalability at its center stage. Today, those fundamentals remain the key tenets of the platform, while we have witnessed a continuous evolution and modernization of the hardware and software architectures. We anticipate 2015 to be an exciting year as HP highlight their continuous commitment to the NonStop platform with the NonStop X announcement.

Intel XEON

The availability of NonStop X means that the future is brighter than ever for the NonStop community as this platform continues to evolve – to meet and exceed customer expectations. The arrival of this new architecture means faster processing power, higher scalability, new software offerings and room for more mission critical applications. That also translates into new opportunities to modernize your enterprise applications to take full advantage of all that the NonStop infrastructure has to offer. Continue reading

3 Good Reasons for Application Modernization

Your company’s NonStop application was developed years, if not decades, ago; and you’re wondering whether to move on to new technology which may be a big headache, or update your current system, which you suspect may be an even bigger one. Well, fret no more as legacy application modernization may just be the answer you’ve been searching for… Continue reading

Extend Your NonStop with XML

XML

Extensible Markup Language, or XML, defines a set of rules for structuring and coding documents in a format that are both human and machine readable. XML is developed to be non-proprietary (open standards) and simple to implement for Internet usability. XML design focuses on documents, but is also widely used to represent data structures in applications such as web services. XML has also been employed for such diverse uses as communication protocols, source code configuration and is commonly used for data interchange via the Internet such as FIX and OFX (Finance), SWIFT (Banking), ACORD (Insurance) and many others. Continue reading

Java SE8 is here!


Java SE 8 lands with Lambda expressions making coding easier for multi-core processors

Lets developers treat functions as method arguments or code as data. By Lee Bell

SOFTWARE VENDOR Oracle has released its Java Platform Standard Edition 8, Java SE 8, as well as the latest Java SE
Development Kit, JDK 8. The release of the updated Java software has been anticipated for some time, but was delayed by Oracle as it worked on making the software more secure and some additional features.

Oracle said that Java SE 8 delivers “enhanced developer productivity and significant application performance increases” through reduced boilerplate code, improved collections and annotations, simpler parallel programming models and better use of multi-core processors in more efficient ways.

One of Java SE 8’s biggest new features is support for Lambda expressions, a new language feature in Java borrowed from LISP that lets developers treat functions as method arguments or code as data. Lambda expressions also allow users to express instances of single-method interfaces, referred to as functional interfaces, more efficiently.

IDC analyst Al Hilwa said that Lambda support in Java SE 8 makes it an important milestone for the language and platform because it will make it easier for developers to write code for multicore processors, but he also noted other Java 8 features that mark significant language improvements.

“There are a variety of interesting things in [Java] SE 8, like the Streams API focused on parallel processing large data sets, Project Nashorn’s faster Javascript engine, and of course implementing Lambda expressions,” Hilwa added.

“These are significant changes to the language that will have a long-term impact as we shift into a highly parallel world populated with multi-core devices and big data. To see the team do this while simultaneously investing heavily in securing the platform in the face of escalating malware attacks everywhere is a huge achievement.”

Among the list of new features are a new Date/Time API, Type Annotations, and a set of Compact Profiles, which allow Java SE 8 implementations to be scaled down more easily.

“Help! My EMS is overloaded!”

Does this sound familiar? When your NonStop gets very busy, your EMS also
gets very busy. In fact, sometimes you may find that EMS processing consumes a
lot of your CPU resources just for processing the flood of error messages. Why
are there so many messages in EMS?

Does this remind you of your EMS?

EMS_mess
Many users dump EVERYTHING into EMS. The original intention of EMS is to allow
all the different errors to be analyzed and filtered in one place. But when everything
goes into this one pipe, the result is an overloaded, clogged pipe. When you dump
too much stuff into EMS:

  • It becomes difficult to find the error messages
  • It consumes a lot of CPU resource for EMS to file the messages
  • Operation tends to start ignoring messages in EMS console because they are too overwhelming

There is a better way –LogWatch

Logwatch Diagram

Instead of clogging up EMS, use LogWatch to monitor the different log files and work in conjunction with EMS.

LogWatch can monitor different files including:

  • Guardian files
  • OSS logs
  • VHS logs
  • Pathway logs
  • Third party logs, etc.

Lighten up the EMS load

Here is quick way to reduce EMS load: instead of routing your application errors to EMS, write them to disk logs.
Funnels

  • Use LogWatch to monitor these application log files for errors.
  • LogWatch is scalable – you can have different instances of LogWatch monitoring different things.
  • LogWatch is easy to set up – you can set one up in minutes, and it won’t interfere with other instances.
  • Have LogWatch route only the errors to EMS.

Perfect companion to Prognosis or MOMI
If you are using a performance monitoring tool like Prognosis or MOMI, you will find LogWatch will work with it very effectively.

  • Use LogWatch to monitor disk log files for errors.
  • Configure LogWatch to route a message to EMS with specific Message ID or text pattern.
  • Enable Prognosis or MOMI to pick up these specific messages from EMS to take corrective actions.

Take Away – “Prevention is better than cure”
More than many other IT folks, NonStop users understand and appreciate the importance of availability, the cornerstone of the platform. But applications do encounter errors, which could lead to stoppage. When that happens, it is important to recover from the failure as quickly as possible. Any extended down time due to an unavailable application translates to loss of revenue and users’ confidence. With some advanced planning and a good implementation plan for log monitoring, problems can be detected early and remedied promptly.

  • Analyze your logs – Where are the logs? What is written to the application logs? Take a look at some of the old logs and see what is going on in the environment.
  • Plan ahead – What are some of the log messages that require specific actions? What actions? Who should be responsible for actions?
  • Execute the plan – Start implementing a plan to monitor the key log files, and automate the log monitoring process with a tool like LogWatch.
moreinfo_icon LogWatch FAQ

Feedback please

Do you find this tutorial blog helpful? Let us know what you think, and how we can make it even better. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to our blogs (top right-hand corner of the home page) to get automatic email notification when a new blog is available.

448Phil Ly is the president and founder of TIC Software, a New York-based company specializing in software and services that integrate NonStop with the latest technologies, including Web Services, .NET and Java. Prior to founding TIC in 1983, Phil worked for Tandem Computer in technical support and software development.

Modernizing SCOBOL Programs Part 3: Blu Age Methodology

Part 3: Blu Age Methodology

In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed the benefits of modernizing SCOBOL requesters, and the challenge of handling programs with extensive business logic..
In Part 2, we talked about how to approach these business logic embedded programs via re-engineering and the benefits of using a tool like Blu Age.

In this Part 3 installment, we will review how one can ensure a successful modernization project by using the Blu Age tool according to its effective methodology.

Bluage logo

Modernization Methodology

Blu Age is not just a tool suite. It offers a  set of best practice that will facilitate your  modernization process. Here is an overview of the Blu Age methodology.

Establish the blueprint

Re-engineering your SCOBOL program is like redesigning your home in a home improvement project. You wouldn’t remodel your home without having your blueprints at hand, just as you wouldn’t re-engineer your SCOBOL program without first building the model that represents it. You specify the new blueprint of your application in UML by using Blu Age’s MagicDraw tool. This specification includes the all the screen and storage data elements, user interaction, screen flow, and process logic. This represents your “vision” of the new final product, which could include some or all of the functions, features and business logic of the original SCOBOL program.

Blog BA 1

A properly reengineered application carries many benefits, including:

  • Maintainability
    Creation of the code based on the new design blueprint using modern development methodology ensures there are readily available resources and tools for it to be maintained easily.
  • High performance
    Test tools are readily available in Open Source or commercial market to measure and tune applications designed with modern framework.
  • Adaptable
    Once an application has been modernized, there is a good chance that its functions will continue to evolve. Adopting a proper design framework will ensure that the new application will continue to adapt to new requirements and can be enhanced easily.

 Analysis

Building a new SCOBOL program model starts with you feeding the SCOBOL program source into the Blu Age tool suite, where it is analyzed, and incorporated into a special knowledge base. One important use of this knowledge base is to help you find repeating patterns of code that you may choose to model, or to ignore and leave behind.

Blu Age’s built-in editor also includes very powerful search and cross reference capability that enables you view code relationship, data attributes, called paragraphs, etc. in multiple windows by clicking on links.

Blu Age can also take the SCOBOL SCREEN SECTION and automatically generate a mock-up version of the user interface in web format. This allows you to visualize the existing user interface, and apply design changes in the process.

Blog BA 2 Mockup

 

Annotation

Once the knowledge base is initialized, you begin to browse the SCOBOL code, looking for paragraphs that contain valuable business rules, calculations, and other key artifacts you want to preserve. The process of browsing and marking your code as “Keep” or “Ignore” is called annotation.

Blog BA 3 Annotation

Blu Age has a built-in capability that facilitates the browsing process and helps you keep track of the progress of your code review of the program. For example, the picture below shows how much of the original program has been reviewed and annotated in the modernization process.

Blog BA 4 Statistics

Patterns

As you identify SCOBOL “keepers”, Blu Age updates the knowledge base to reflect the patterns you identify. The patterns are more than simple text matches. The knowledge base uses artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to help you find other similar code that is similar to a “keeper”, even if it is not identical to your first “keeper”.

This is particularly beneficial because it enables any pattern that you have identified once to be automatically applied to other programs. For example, as we know, many SCOBOL programs were actually “derived” from only a handful of original programs. As you identify and store a paragraph pattern in one SCOBOL program, Blu Age can automatically scan other program sources in the repository and apply the same defined rules to the paragraphs in those programs. This automated process will accelerate your transformation effort dramatically.

Blog BA 5 Patterns

Extracting business logic

TransModeling is the point when the “magic” happens. Once patterns have been identified as useful to retain in the modernized system, you can select any particular code segment for Blu Age to generate an equivalent UML2 model from it. You and your business rule and business calculation experts will review the model diagram to ensure that the right rules and calculations have been properly represented and staged for modernized development. You can also modify the model to remove any obsolete logic or to add some enhancements to it. The end result is a complete model of the new application that includes the business logic of the original SCOBOL program that you have decided to keep.

Blog BA 6 Forward

Forward Engineering

This is the easy part! Once you approve the model developed from your legacy SCOBOL program, Blu Age ingests the model diagram and other information in the knowledge base to produce your modernized code (Java or .Net). The modernized code is now ready for incorporation into the systems engineering build process that is managed by the Blu Age Deliver (BDE) portion of the Blu Age tool suite. You are now on your way to replacing SCOBOL with a state of the art presentation layer, and all business rules and calculations properly located within a modern layered architecture.

Blog BA 7 Forward Engineering 2

Conclusion

Modernizing NonStop applications is a cost effective investment that enables an organization to reduce risk, reduce costs, and to increase agility. Web enabling SCOBOL represents an important part of modernizing an existing Pathway application, as a new GUI will usher a new wave of increased productivity and higher service levels.

Depending on your need and scope, there are different approaches in migrating the UI from green screen to web browser. If your SCOBOL programs include a fair amount of business logic, then you should consider using automated tools to facilitate the modernization process. With Blu Age, you will be able forge ahead  to incorporate important business logic of the existing programs into your new programs, using modern language, framework and methodology.

Like any tool, Blu Age can produce the best result only when it is properly used and well managed. Our advice is to start with a Proof of Concept (POC), which will allow you to better understand the project scope and required effort. Also, seek out professional services assistance from Blu Age and their partners like TIC Software and HP Enterprise Services to help you jump start your initiative.

Based on what you learn from your POC, you and your team will now be ready to plan out the rest of the necessary steps to ensure a successful full scale modernization project.

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Feedback please

Do you find this tutorial blog helpful? Let us know what you think, and how we can make it even better. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to our blogs (top right-hand corner of the home page) to get automatic email notification when a new blog is available.

Phil LyPhil Ly is the president and founder of TIC Software, a New York-based company specializing in software and services that integrate NonStop with the latest technologies, including Web Services, .NET and Java. Prior to founding TIC in 1983, Phil worked for Tandem Computer in technical support and software development.