Benefits of installing SimpList
Some benefits are easy to quantify while others are more difficult. Examples of benefits that occur from installing SimpList that are difficult to quantify include things like enhanced morale, the ability to retain employees and attract new ones by offering a better working environment, and the ability to retain customers and attract new ones by getting products to market faster. Each of these benefits alone can pay for SimpList many times over. However, some of the more quantifiable benefits are noted below:
With SimpList, far less time is spent moving between options and typing in object names, and much more time is spent doing actual productive work. Customer feedback shows SimpList saves about 4 hours per week per user, or roughly 5 weeks per year. If the cost of hiring an employee is $1,000 a week, SimpList saves approximately $5,000 per year per employee, or roughly half a million dollars a year for every 100 employees.
Reduced training costs
Very few of today's IT graduates have any mainframe training. Whether training is performed by professionals or co-workers, the costs can be substantial. With SimpList, the time required to teach employees how to use a mainframe is dramatically reduced.
The built-in context-sensitive tutorials and field-level-help allow each user to study SimpList by themselves, with no formal training required. The object oriented, point-and-shoot concepts are so intuitive that even new users are instantly productive. Users who are new to an area can import object lists from other users, thereby instantly making them aware of objects that are used within a project team. Comments can be entered after any object name, allowing the contents and purpose of each object to be readily understood. When certain types of objects are selected (e.g. DB2 tables and VSAM files), a third-party vendor tool that supports that type of object is automatically launched. This means users do not have to waste any time navigating to third-party vendor products or learning where they are kept.
When data sets run out of space regular ISPF users are forced to perform multi-step processes to increase the allocation size. To avoid the time and complexity of doing this, it's common practice for data sets to be allocated with much more space than actually required. The over-allocated space might never be used, and when multiplied by tens of thousands of data sets the amount and cost of wasted space can be enormous. SimpList solves this problem by allowing data set attributes to be changed very easily. When a data set is selected using function "I" (Information), attributes display on a panel and any of the displayed attributes can be replaced by entering new ones. For example, the type of allocation could be changed from Tracks to Cylinders or the primary and secondary space could be increased (or decreased). Record length, block size, number of directory blocks, data set organization, SMS attributes (and so on) can all be changed. As a result, over-allocation of size is no longer required, leading to substantial space saving costs.
When a migrated data set is selected it is
usually recalled in foreground. This can tie up a terminal and add
overhead to a system. The user might decide to cancel the wait for the
recall, but the system recalls it anyway, wasting valuable disk space.
With SimpList, a pop-up panel warns whenever a selected data set is
migrated. The user can recall the data set in foreground or background
or cancel the recall.
When PDS members are saved, an entirely new copy of each member is written to disk, even if no changes are made to a member. For example, if a member contains 1000 lines and no changes are made but the member is saved, the amount of storage increases to 2000 lines. If another save is made, the amount of storage increases to 3000 lines, and so on. The only way to free the wasted space is to compress the data set. With SimpList, members are only saved if actual changes are made. This reduces I/O, prevents data sets going into unnecessary extents, reduces the need to compress, reduces the number of needless space abends, and conserves storage space.
Each time an interrupt key is pressed (e.g. ENTER), the mainframe is called to process the request. While the request is being processed, the user has to wait. The wait time, when multiplied across many users throughout a day, can be substantial and mainframe response can significantly degrade. Poor response increases the hidden cost of human wait time, and eventually results in the need for faster hardware. SimpList helps reduce these expenses by requiring far fewer system interrupts to perform any given task. For example, a user can simply click a DB2 table and the table opens directly in the editor of a third-party vendor product. This minimization of interrupts allows mainframe resources to be used for other more important tasks.
SimpList has a print facility that allows an optional line and/or column range to be entered. Instead of printing an entire file, users can print just the actual range of lines or columns they are interested in.
Fast return on
Unlike many tools that target a specific audience (e.g. programmers) or a specific phase of a project (e.g. testing), SimpList is used throughout the day by everyone who uses ISPF. This includes analysts, developers, systems programmers, DBs, help desk, end-users, and so on. This results in a very early and substantial return on investment usually occuring with a single user.
SimpList is compatible with OS/390 2.10 and above, including all versions of z/OS. No changes are required to SimpList when upgrading from one level of an operating system to another. SimpList does not interfere with the operation of regular ISPF in any way, and does not require customization to any IBM supplied panels or utilities.
SimpList is easily installed in a matter of minutes, and requires no special installation skills or privileges. The installation instructions explain how to upload 5 XMI (Transmit) files to a mainframe, and RECEIVE them into 5 partitioned data sets. Once the data sets are attached to their respective DD names, SimpList is available. Nothing needs to be compiled or linked, no programs need to be authorized, no customization is required to any ISPF panels, and no installation settings need to be changed. SimpList does not override any existing tools or options, and all regular ISPF panels remain fully accessible at all times.