P-Tracker / z/OS Asset Management

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More than a high performance tracking tool

P-Tracker is not only a high performance tracking tool, it is also a comprehensive software catalog, and a straightforward reporting tool.

P-Tracker has powerful functions but a small footprint, and it helps to keep Software Asset Management simple, efficient, and cost effective.

As a high-performance tracking tool, P-Tracker recognizes any program execution in z/OS systems.

It records the program name and the name of the load library from where a program has been loaded. Furthermore, it delivers information about: who, or, what, demanded the execution (user, job, task), where it has been executed (system, LPAR), and when it has been executed (date, time). As a comprehensive software catalog, P-Tracker accommodates all and any pieces of software that move (and sleep) in z/OS systems.

It identifies product names, vendor names, release numbers, module names, libraries with their location, duplicates of modules and libraries. It stores and regularly updates those pieces of information, the resulting catalog can be searched and modified ad libitum.

As a straightforward reporting tool, P-Tracker combines the recorded program executions with the software catalog and reveals accurate figures about the real life of your software assets. Various reports demonstrate software usage, usage periods, intervals, and frequency, and they also show what has not been used for a long time.

CSV output goes directly into your spreadsheets and easily generates graphical images for your reports. P-Tracker is the ultimate tool for clearly answering the usual questions of Software Asset Management, for example:

  • What applications/products are installed on our systems?
  • Who is using them? How often? When?
  • Is the usage ratio increasing or decreasing (trend graphs to support renewal/upgrade negotiations)?
  • Are there products/applications that are never being used?
  • Which products are seldom/frequently used?
  • Is the current license fee justified given the low utilization?
  • Are different users using different versions of the same software product? Or compatible products?
  • How can we consolidate redundant, or similar products (inherited from company mergers)? Which products should remain?
  • How do load libraries, products, features, components, and versions interrelate?
  • Who would be impacted by an upgrade?
  • Who would be impacted by a replacement (training)?
  • Which products/libs/modules is a job using (error analysis)?
  • What maintenance levels are deployed?
  • What needs to be replicated in our Disaster Recovery Systems?

Let‘s take the simple case of LPAR licenses where the LPAR size needs to increase due to higher demands of the core application. Concurrently, the product usage of another vendor‘s products running on the same LPAR will remain the same, but the license fees are due to increase.

P-Tracker‘s usage stats will empower you, the user, during discussions with the vendor, because now you know precisely how much a product is actually being used. And, in situations where a replacement is the only option on the table, you know in advance which in-house users are affected, and, who needs to be retrained in using the new product.

With in-house software, it is estimated that production libraries increase by 5% of defunct software modules each year due to the fact that they must allow for back-out processes (don‘t delete, rename).

That means that after five years, approximately 28% of the modules in a library are no longer being used, and yet, they are still contracted for maintenance by in-house or outsourced staff. P-Tracker identifies unused modules. Change is inevitable, hardware is upgraded, or removed, but, sometimes the license fees of depending and obsolete software are still paid on time! P-Tracker‘s inventory/usage reports can protect you from unnecessary payments.

P-Tracker will also bring you benefits in the following additional areas:
  • Consolidate product machine/system coverage and optimize sub-capacity licenses
  • Prove to management that your budget is fully utilized in order to avoid funding cuts or to justify increases
  • Become »audit ready« to avoid costly license compliance violations
  • Conduct product inventory verification
  • Conduct an audit trail of product use per LPAR

P-Tracker has two components: one is z/OS software, collecting information on the host system in a very simple and efficient way. It is controlled with an easy-to-handle ISPF application.

The other component is a graphical Java application that executes in any Windows or Linux PC of your choice. It provides a modern graphical interface to the user, which is clearly structured and has all the convenient features you nowadays expect from such an application.

  • Manages a relational database where all P-Tracker data is stored permanently
  • Connects to the host system to load recorded program calls and collected program metadata into the database
  • Provides a Product Explorer where the user may manage vendors, products, versions, features, FMIDs, datasets and load modules in a nice tree view
  • A »Library Assignment« panel enables the user to assign datasets and load modules to products in a convenient way – however, for SMP/E products, there exists an automated assign process which not only identifies the right product data by itself but also automatically creates creates missing vendor, product, or version entries.
  • Another area, the Report Explorer, provides functions to define various types of reports: library, vendor, usage, zero usage and compliance report. P-Tracker is delivered with templates for each report. So the specific layout of each report may be defined by the user and at the user‘s needs. This ranges from the column selection over header and filter definition and grouping of data to the specification of sort criteria. Once executed, each report‘s output may be stored with a meaningful name for later view. A report may also be exported to many data formats like PDF or CSV, etc.
  • An Alias Editor provides support for installations with staged or rollout libraries, e.g. for installation, integration, and production environment.




Software Asset Management for z/OS
Part 1: Introduction

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Software Asset Management for z/OS
Part 2: How it works

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Software Asset Management for z/OS
Part 3: Reporting

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  • Detects avoidable software expenses


  • Verifies compliance with licenses


  • Helps with budget control and
  • Justifies your software budgets


  • Eases negotiations with vendors


  • Helps to maintain streamlined libraries
  • Helps to maintain streamlined libraries

Additional information
about P-Tracker