AGENT & iPACK
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The ISC iCAN and E-GEN software have been designed to run under several operating systems (z/OS, Windows, Unix/Linux, z/Linux).
For convenience, our software solutions were often installed on the operating environment containing the components to be generated or collected. However, it is also common for companies to look for ways to reduce system load, especially on z/OS, so they move our software to an open environment to generate or collect remote components. The iPack and Agent software greatly simplifies the implementation of the latter configuration, by allowing remote file transport and manipulation, without the need for a third party transfer tool.
Whats is AGENT ?
AGENT is a software that simplifies the exchange of files with z/OS.
It is made up of a Responder installed on the target z/OS environments that responds to E-GEN and iCAN through demands of the Requester. It is compatible with the following OS: Unix, Linux, Windows and z/OS.
Its functions include :
Submission of JCL on the target machine, with execution log retrieval.
JCL can preexist in the target environment or sent along with the files for execution (i.e.: to automate the deployment of the transferred materials).
Ability to write messages in the system log.
Access to every iPACK function
And iPACK ?
iPACK is a software that manipulates Containers, that are essentially a file meta format,
similar to a tar file.
The Container format was thought out to simplify the exchange of data with z/OS.
On z/OS, the dataset and the library members have attributes (RECFM, LRECL, ISPF statistics..) without an equivalent in a distributed environment.
iPACK makes it possible to store datasets and z/OS members in a ISC format called Container, while preserving their attributes and page code.
How does it work?
A Container has a binary structure that is not susceptible to record length.
The Container has to be transferred from one environment to the other in binary. It remains readable even if it is reblocked.
The data is always stored in the format of the original system (page code and endian). This allows to preserve the original text data in the event of a translation parameterization error.
iPACK allows to manipulate the Container : to create it, to load it from the local data, list its content, extract data from it. The software is available for z/OS,Unix/Linux and Windows.
Independently of E-GEN and iCAN, iPACK can be useful when exchanging text files between z/OS and distributed machines. iPack does not handle the transfer, but keeps the z/OS attributes in the container. iPack can also be used between z/OS machines if the transfer medium cannot transmit the z/OS attributes.
Types of files supported
PDSE (V1 and V2)
ISPF statistics ( simple and extended )
Supported file formats:
RECFM : F or V, blocked or not blocked, non-spanned, with or without ASA code
Record size : from 1 to 32760.
On disc SMS or non-SMS
Simplifies data exchanges with z/OS (data contained in sequentiels or partitioned files).
Manages a non destructive conversion of the encoding (i.e.: EBCDIC <-> ASCII) and endianness (Big Endian <-> Little Endian).
Members updated on Z/OS have their ISPF statistics updated.
The z/OS attributes of the files (RECFM, LRECL...) are stored during creation and can automatically be taken into account during extraction.
ISPF statistics are stored in the Container at creation. They come from the PDS directory under z/OS, from the import command of Linux/Windows.