CCSS Boosts Problem Resolution in QMessage Monitor
May 24, 2005 Alex Woodie
iSeries shops will benefit from faster and more accurate technical support as a result of a new feature that CCSS announced last week. Instead of requiring administrators to manually describe what has gone wrong with the OS/400 server, the new URL-linking feature in QMessage Monitor version 6 provides technical support with hyperlinks that lead them directly to the corresponding support documents for particular iSeries message IDs.
QMessage Monitor is a mature OS/400 message management tool that provides message filtering and notification capabilities for iSeries administrators, among other administrative functions. Instead of manually going through all the various message logs on the iSeries server, administrators can put QMessage Monitor on the case while they tackle other tasks, and rest assured knowing that the product will send out an alert (via e-mail, pager, SMS messaging, or the Windows console) if an unexpected message or a sudden problem crops up. The software provides other capabilities as well–for example, it will look for looping jobs, and send notification if an expected message does not arrive on the queue–but message queue monitoring is at the core of this product.
The capability to link iSeries message IDs to specific technical support documents furthers the product’s manage-by-exception mantra. When unexpected (or even expected) problems do occur, the faster a description of the problem is sent to the technical support team, the faster the application can go back to green-light status.
Paul Ratchford, CCSS product manager, likens the new feature in QMessage Monitor to a “portal” that provides groups of users with fast and consistent access to a body of iSeries technical knowledge. “An iSeries message has good technical help that explains what the problem is, but each site may have a different procedure for resolving the problem that the message highlights,” Ratchford says. “We have provided a portal through which the operator can access this additional information.”
The new feature uses QMessage Monitor’s auto-reply feature, and works by turning an iSeries message ID into a hyperlink that leads to technical support documents stored on a Web page, or to a document that’s stored on a PC server. The iSeries message IDs can also trigger an e-mail to be sent automatically, to alert somebody of the problem.
In addition to linking specific iSeries messages with technical support documents, the new feature will also help train operators, and ensure that all operations staff know how to follow the same procedure, CCSS says.
The new feature was added to QMessage Monitor version 6 release 55. QMessage Monitor 6.0, which brought new security and auditing features, shipped in May 2004 (see “Message Monitoring Software from CCSS Gets Tighter Security”).
Other enhancements in version 6 release 55 include: the new Starting and Ending Monitoring (MMSTRLCLQ) command; new variable values for message escalation and for auto-deleting of messages; new auto-reply maintenance capabilities; new FTP command monitoring; new command value prompt values; and enhanced installation. Pricing for QMessage Monitor starts at $3,000. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.ccssltd.com.