Macro 4’s Knowledgebase Helps Mainframe Programmers Fix Faults Faster, Cut Downtime

Eases impact of mainframe skills shortages by automatically sharing expert knowledge.

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Macro 4 has introduced a new knowledgebase feature for its mainframe fault analysis tools to help programmers resolve faults faster by automatically tapping into the many years of experience built up by long-serving mainframe experts.

The M4Knowledgebase proactively analyzes the fault a mainframe programmer is trying to fix and to present him or her with instances of similar faults that may have occurred previously, together with in-depth information on how they were resolved by past or present colleagues.

Relevant information is automatically presented to the programmer; details from various sources can be pulled together -- screen views, links, and program code as well as notes and instructions entered by other programmers.

M4Knowledgebase is built into the latest version of Macro 4’s M4Explorer, a fault analysis portal that allows programmers to interact with the company’s mainframe fault analysis tools via a Web browser.

The product includes a virtual notepad into which technicians can drag and drop relevant information about faults they encounter so that it can be available to colleagues who may be called on to resolve similar issues in the future. Users can paste in parts of relevant program code and screen grabs, as well as detailed analysis of applications that were running at the time of the fault, including what data was in memory, what values were in the mainframe registers and what the call sequence was – essentially everything another programmer would need to know in order to investigate and solve a comparable problem.

The data within the notepad is indexed and placed in a searchable repository that has been developed using Macro 4’s expertise in document management technology.

M4Knowledgebase includes search facilities so users can search through all previous fixes for themselves, using a wide range of criteria, such as program step name, subsystem or operating system level, as well as by programmer name or abend code.

More information is available at www.macro4.com/.