IBM Doc Buddy: System z Mobile Problem Diagnosis


Having worked with the IBM Mainframe over the last several decades or more, I have always found a need for quick access to error messages, for obvious reasons.  In the 1980’s, I would have a paper copy of the “most common” MVS messages I was likely to encounter.  In the 1990’s, the adoption of optical media and the introduction of BookManager allowed the transport of many more messages, for numerous products on CD-ROM.  With the advent of higher speed Broadband, Wi-Fi and Mobile networks, I graduated to accessing BookManager on-line and eventually using the Mobile edition of LookAt.  So, isn’t it time for an IBM documentation app?

In August 2016, IBM introduced Doc Buddy, a no charge mobile application that enables retrieving z Systems message documentation and provides the following values:

  • Enables looking up message documentation without Internet connections after the initial download
  • Improves your information experience
  • Accelerates the time you spend in resolving problems
  • Includes links to the relevant product Support Portals and supports calling a contact from the app

IBM Doc Buddy, provides the message documentation of the products including z/OS, z/VM, TPF, DB2, CICS, IMS, ISPF, Tivoli OMEGAMON XE for Messaging for z/OS, IBM Service Management Unite, IBM Operations Analytics of z Systems, InfoSphere, et al.

Obviously to make this app local, you need to download the relevant manuals to your Mobile device and so this might generate storage capacity considerations.  However, once downloaded, this is a great tool for quick access to error messages.  There will be times where you can get a mobile signal to take a call, but no or limited access to mobile data or Wi-Fi services.

I have used this app on both iOS and Android and it works great.  At the time I downloaded this app, there were less than 100 downloads on both Apple and Google platforms.  Therefore, if you ever need to access System z error messages, give this app a go, as IBM have dropped support for LookAt.  It’s an awful lot easier than accessing paper manuals of firing up your PC to access a CD-ROM!