Documentation and Information
This issue concentrates on mainframe documentation and information. In particular, we look to see where to find it, and also discuss whether it is accurate and up to date, and if we can even trust it.
In our management section, we look at some of the options outside of formal product documentation to find information: including technical information, user experiences, concepts and management information.
In this issue, we're including two technical articles. The first talks about finding the right documentation, and avoiding mistakes from using incorrect information
In the second, we talk about where mainframe information comes from: who produces it, is it biased or impartial, and if we can really trust it
We hope you enjoy this issue.
management: Where Do You Find Mainframe Information?
Every IT product will provide some form of documentation: information that explains how to install, customise, use and administer it. This is essential for technical staff responsible for making it work. But this documentation won't be enough. It will be aimed at technical staff, missing basic information and concepts. It won't include user experiences and gotchas, and may be difficult to understand, or miss some topics or issues. So where can you find this missing information?
technical: The Right Documentation
A few months ago I wrote a document recommending a change to a client to reduce their CPU usage. One of the primary documents I used when researching this recommendation was an IBM Redbook dating back to 1995: 22 years old. This sounds crazy, and in most cases it would be: z/OS and related software is always changing. However in this case, the reference was still valid. But how?
technical:Can You Trust What You Read?
Last year I did a webinar with CPT Global that was hosted by Compuware. In this webinar I talked about how Longpela Expertise and CPT Global had used Compuware's Strobe product to find CPU savings at client sites. This is typical of such webinars in our industry, and are a valuable resource for learning about IBM mainframes and the products that run on them.
But I was paid by CPT Global to do this webinar. And Compuware weren't hosting this as a community service - they wanted more exposure for their Strobe product, and how it can save money. This raises an interesting question about vendor sponsored content: can you really trust it?