IBM z Systems: Course Materials for the community

IBM z Systems course materials

This page holds the course materials to assist the mainframe community with skills. Most of the materials are intended for use in a 15-week semester IT course (although some are smaller and can be used to supplement other course materials).


IBM Academic Initiative resources can be used for internal purposes only. These resources can not be posted externally, sold, distributed, or used for commercial purposes.

Introduction to z Systems® Mini-Boot Camp

Program Description

The Introduction to z Systems Mini-Boot Camp provides fundamental knowledge of the z Systems environment to new or experienced IT professionals who seek basic skills in z Systems and z/OS®.

The Introduction to z Systems Mini-Boot Camp is an end-to-end program designed to help each student become more productive in the z Systems environment using z/OS. This Mini-Boot Camp is a blended-learning program comprised of 13 Web-based modules, 12 simulations/demonstrations, hands-on exercises, use of a technical partner/expert and a pre- and post-assessment.


At the end of this program, you should be able to:

Program Package

How to Host the Program

Hosting the IBM Introduction to z Systems (DOC, 300KB) – This is a guide to set up a hosting site for this program and explains how the IBM internal site is set up.

How to Set Flash Security to Run Program

Set Flash security to run program (DOC, 47.5KB) – This guide steps through setting up Flash security in order to run the Introduction to z Systems Mini-Boot Camp program.

How to Navigate the Program

IBM Design Document: Introduction to z Systems (DOC, 174KB) – This guide should be read by the student, the student’s manager and the student’s mentor.


Note: These modules are intended, and packaged, to be set up on a host Web site, as explained in the How to Host the Program section above. However, if the modules are accessed individually from the zip file, save the zip file to a pc and then unzip the file. Run the module by double-clicking player.html.


Program Reference Material


Introduction to the COBOL Language

This course introduces the student to COBOL Language on the mainframe platform. The student will learn computer programming and reporting for file-oriented, computerized information systems utilizing the COBOL language. It introduces COBOL sorting routines, table handling features, structured coding techniques, and sequential disk organization. There are 14 modules consisting of PowerPoint slides.


An Introduction to the Mainframe: Large Scale Commercial Computing

Today the mainframe plays a central role in the daily operations of most of the world's largest corporations. The reasons for mainframe use are many. This course helps students gain an understanding of the reasons companies chose mainframe systems to run (and grow) their large scale computing environments. Topics include capacity, scalability, integrity and security, availability, access to large amounts of data, systems management, and autonomic capabilities. Materials include a textbook with 8 chapters, a set of PowerPoint slides for each chapter, and exercises.


An Introduction to the Mainframe: Networking

This textbook for a full-semester course provides students of information systems technology with the background, knowledge, and skills necessary to begin using the basic communication facilities of a mainframe system. It provides a broad understanding of networking principles and the hardware and software components necessary to allow the mainframe to participate in a high volume data communications network. Topics covered include: overview of the importance of the mainframe environment, functions and roles of networking professionals, TCP/IP, SNA, SNA/IP implementation on the mainframe, networking operations, security, and problem determination. Materials include a textbook with 13 chapters, a set of PowerPoint slides for each chapter, and exercises.


An Introduction to the Mainframe: z/OS Basics (course text)

This course includes a 20-chapter Student textbook, PowerPoint slides with speaker notes for each chapter, and 11 lab exercises (in the textbook). The text is divided into four parts: introduction to z/OS and the mainframe environment, application programming on z/OS, online workloads for z/OS, and system programming on z/OS.


An Introduction to the Mainframe: Security

This textbook for a full-semester course provides students of information systems with the background, knowledge, and skills necessary to begin using the basic security facilities of large systems (mainframes). It enables a broad understanding of both the security principles and the hardware and software components needed to insure that the mainframe resources and environment are secure. Topics include elements of security, system architecture and virtualization, cryptography, as well security in operating systems, networks, middleware and applications. Materials include a textbook with 24 chapters, a set of PowerPoint slides, and questions for review and discussion.


e-business with WebSphere Application Server for z/OS

This course describes WebSphere Application Server for z/OS V5 and shows how it enables Java programs to be used in a z/OS environment. The course covers Java on z/OS, Enterprise Java beans, installing and configuring WAS for z/OS, managing WAS for zOS, deploying Java applications on z/OS, and using Java to access IMS and DB2 data on the mainframe. The audience is college students with some knowledge of z/OS, Java and the UNIX System Services component of z/OS.


z/OS Basic Interfaces: ISPF

This course introduces students to the basic end-user interface of the z/OS operating system, Interactive System Productivity Facility (ISPF), with special emphasis on the Program Development Facility (PDF). It begins by describing the menu system through which you access ISPF starting with the ISPF Primary Options Menu. You will learn ways to navigate and jump throughout the system and use interesting ISPF features. The course also covers the fundamentals of manipulating data sets, including browsing, viewing, and allocating.

The ISPF editor facility is covered in detail, describing inserting, repeating, copying, moving, and deleting lines. You will learn to customize the environment through edit modes and creating edit profiles. Advanced techniques like finding and changing text, excluding and redisplaying lines, and shifting text are described.

A thorough foundation in the ISPF utilities is provided. This includes the library utilities, data set utilities, move/copy utility, data set list utility, and compare/search utilities.

The final topic covers the processing of background jobs. It explains the phases of a background job. You will learn how to submit a job for background processing, monitor the status of a job while it is waiting, executing, or waiting for its output to print, and retrieve the output for a job that is completed.


Enterprise Server Transaction Management (course)

This course is based on CICS Transaction Manager for OS/390, and was created in 2000. It introduces you to major concepts and features that are applicable to the entire Customer Information Control System (CICS) family of products. You will learn about the internal structure of CICS, how CICS uses management functions with the associated tables to process a user-inititated transaction and how supplied CICS transactions are used for online system management. This course also covers CICS connectivity and intercommunciation facilities that are used for communicating between CICS systems. The course presents the CICS Application Programming Interface (API), introduces you to general guidelines that support CICS application programming design along with CICS testing and debugging facilities. The course is in four units and has a total of 188 slides.


Enterprise Server Data Management (course)

This course presents the concepts of relational database management with DB2 through the example of the data storage and retrieval issues in a bicycle shop. It has six sections: Overview, DB2 for End Users, DB2 for Programmers, DB2 for Administrators, Data Modeling and Database Design, and Distributed Data Considerations. There are 21 modules in Word format with illustrations. Topics include: file systems, relational database management systems, writing SQL statements, programming roles, creating a test environment, preparing a program for execution, stored procedures, static vs dynamic SQL, system and database administrators, business and data modeling, planning for distributed data, and data warehousing.


Enterprise Server Intro to Programming — Assembler (modules)

This course introduces the student to Assembler Language on the OS/390 platform. It is intended for students with some previous programming background in another language (COBOL, PL/1, C, C++, etc.). It introduces binary data representation, hexadecimal notation, basic arithmetic operations, data representation concepts, addressing, general and special-purpose registers, instruction formats and conventions, data structures, masks and condition codes, widely-used instructions, Boolean logic operations, and macro instructions.

The course is in three sections: Introduction, Intermediate Assembler, and Advanced Assembler, with five modules in each section. Each module consists of PowerPoint slides with speaker notes.


Enterprise Server Intro to Programming — JCL (modules)

This course teaches students how to use z/OS and OS/390 JCL and selected utility programs. SMS considerations are also covered. Students learn how to code basic JCL statements using proper syntax and coding rules, including JCL for: creating new data sets, referring to existing data sets, testing condition codes, using conditional phrases, coding in-stream and cataloged procedures, using symbolic parameters in procedures, using utility programs, and recognizing and resolving common problems. There are sixteen modules of PowerPoint slides.


Enterprise Server Intro to Programming — VSAM (modules)

This course provides a background for people who will be managing data sets using IDCAMS (VSAM Access Method Services). The student is assumed to have a working knowledge of Job Control Language (JCL). Since students will be creating and submitting jobs, as well as viewing and interpreting job output, they should also be familiar with TSO/ISPF/PDF and TSO outlist or SDSF (or equivalent). This course is designed for data processing managers, system analysts, application and systems programmers, storage administrators, and anyone who needs a basic understanding of the VSAM access method as it is used in the z/OS environment. It has eight sets of slides.


Linux on z Systems (course)

This course introduces the major functions and capabilities of Linux on z Systems and describes the technical differences between Linux on z Systems and other UNIX/Linux implementations, especially the UNIX System Services component of z/OS. It also goes into the advantages of Linux on z Systems -- total cost of ownership, scalability, performance, administration, availability, system resouces, memory management, security and connectivity advantages (virtual networking). It shows how Linux on z Systems fits into the e-business/eServer environment and includes a brief introduction to On-demand and Grid computing. There are practical exercises on installing and cloning Linux images as well as installing web servers and firewalls on a virtual machine. The course has 13 modules of PowerPoint slides.


The UNIX System Services component of z/OS (modules)


Introduction to z/VM (course)

The course describes basic z/VM concepts and terminology, including the functions of a Virtual Machine and where z/VM fits in the z/Architecture framework; the major z/VM components, CMS and CP; the REXX programming language; CMS Pipelines; performance considerations for a z/VM system; storage management options for z/VM; networking devices and protocols available with a z/VM system; and system security and data integrity. The course has 13 PowerPoint modules with speaker notes.

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