Installing Natural v9.1.1 - soapbox

I opened an SR and some of my issues will be reported back through that, but I wanted to post here because 1) I know R&D and product marketing reads these forums, and 2) I am not sure if what comes through the SR will be strong enough of a message. I am cracking open the installation guide for NAT911 and just going through the initial steps and have already run into enough “problems” that I am concerned about whether or not this will work.

What I have run into so far…

  1. When I got to the step for assembling the Natural license (I007), I noticed the steps for assembling the NAZ (Natural for zIIP) key were not present in NATI007, and unlike prior versions of Natural, there were no supplied jobs for NAZ, nor was there a separate NAZ911.JOBS library. These are completely missing in the NAT911 distribution. I noticed that usually the NATvrs.JOBS library in prior versions included NAFInnn, NCIInnn, NSCInnn, and NAZInnn jobs and most of these now come in their own JOBS library (e.g., NCIvrs.JOBS, NSCvrs.JOBS), which is fine because not all NAT911 subproducts are also v911, but I wish the documentation explained this change. But completely leaving out any delivery of NAZInnn jobs is a dropped ball and is even worse than not having an explanation of where these other ones went. I am not sure how SMA users who also own a NAZ license key would even be able to generate the necessary steps. I adapted older versions of NAZI007 to get past this successfully, but that is not the point.

  2. The next step for “Link Natural Modules to an APF Library” (I009) includes steps 1200, 1210, 1220, 1230, 1232, 1240, 1250, but the NAT911.JOBS(NATI009) job is itself missing steps 1230, 1232 and 1240, which are:

Steps 1230 and 1232: Optimize Monitor Buffer Pool
Step 1240: Message Buffer Pool

Now, these are optional, and if I don’t plan to use the Optimize Monitor Buffer Pool or the Message Buffer Pool, that’s fine, but I am sure some people do and want to. And I am sure I could adapt earlier Natural version jobs as I did NAZI007 if I wanted to, but again, this will hurt SMA users and is needless to leave out.

One of the things NATI009 does is build NATGBP91:


This leads me to…

  1. The next step is “Start the Global Buffer Pool” (I015), which includes steps 0100, 0101, 0102, 0104:

Step Job Function
0100 GBNASTRT Start global buffer pool
0101 GBNASTOP Stop global buffer pool
0102 GBEDSTRT Start editor global buffer pool
0104 GBEDSTOP Stop editor global buffer pool

However, the JCL in NAT911.JOBS(NATI015) is missing steps 0100 and 0101, and unlike some of the earlier missing steps, I am sure most Natural sites use the Natural Global Buffer Pool. Again, not hard to adapt earlier versions of Natural’s JOBS libraries or even to adapt the JCL we use now to start/stop the GBP with the new Natural version, but SMA users or new Natural installations will be unable to generate these steps which will be a problem.

Even worse in I015 that the missing steps is that for the two that are there for the Editor Global Buffer Pool, the JCL that gets written to SMASRCE runs PGM=NATGBP82 (the old name from the prior version) instead of PGM=NATGBP91 which step I009 built. For example, in I015, step ADD0102, creates and stores into NAT911.SMASRCE(GBEDSTRT):

//* ----------------------------------- 
//* Start Editor Global Buffer Pool 
//* ----------------------------------- 

What I worry about, though every issue I have noticed so far is easily remedied is that I will eventually get to a step that I won’t notice a mistake or a missed step and will fail to properly set up a NAT911 environment. This is only 4 steps into the Natural installation manual and I already have this lengthy post detailing error after error. Had anyone actually gone through this before releasing it?

Perhaps if there is a silver lining, it’s that from Natural 2.2.8 through 8.2.6, which is the range of versions I personally was involved with installing, the installation instructions and supplied jobs have been so good that this stands out and I am not used to such poor delivery quality. Perhaps this is what people who use other vendors’ technology are more used to and we’ve been spoiled into expecting better. Or maybe since this is the first SM1 release of Natural I am diving into in all this time (I’ve waited until SM2 at least was out before), I’ve missed out on this kind of issue before. I will keep working through this and fixing what I find, but if someone is an SMA user or is installing from scratch without the benefit of having old version JOBS libraries to pull from, I do not recommend going to v911. Hopefully this all can be fixed by the time we see v912.

I am about ready to give up here. I skipped over to the NDV911 installation to start verifying those instructions. The very first step is “Allocate the development server LOAD library” (Job I008, Step 8410).

The NDV833.JOBS library has a member NDVI008. The NDV911.JOBS library does not. Of course I could adapt the NDV833 library to apply to NDV911, but why should I have to?

Considering the program editor and other things go away because NaturalONE is supposed to be mandatory with Natural 9, I would expect everything to be here. So much of this is going to be new to many people, and it’s hard enough figuring out how to set all this up with all the changes and all the little pieces fragmented in different sections of the documentation.

Has anyone had any success installing NAT911 with NDV911 with CICS adapter, NatONE, NCI834, etc.?