By Andrew Sica
The z Software ecosystem now has a common approach to determining product license capacity.
Since sub-capacity pricing was introduced many years ago, z System customers asked ISVs to adopt similar models for their software licensing. In turn, ISVs asked IBM to enable SCRT to report on their products.
SCRT, the Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool, is the IBM tool that reports required license capacity for sub-capacity products that run on z/OS, z/TPF, or z/VSE. SCRT generates a product usage report – the SCRT report – that the customer sends in monthly.
The SCRT report is full of environment and product data, including the peak rolling four-hour average for IBM software products based on where and when they execute. This product’s peak value is the basis for how IBM determines the monthly charge for MLC products and the required value units for one-time charge products.
It is a drastic understatement to simply state that software pricing is a sensitive subject. While the SCRT report doesn’t contain actual software prices, it does contain a view of the customer hardware and IBM product configuration as well as specific sub-capacity metrics. The sensitive nature of this information has been a major inhibitor to opening SCRT to ISV products.
With a recent enhancement in V24 R11, SCRT now provides a straightforward approach to reporting on ISV products – simple for both the ISV and their clients.
As a participating ISV, you can get detailed product information from each of your customers – information to help you understand how your products are deployed and used.
This support relies on a participating ISV defining a “product library” file. This is an easy to implement XML file that defines the set of products that SCRT should check for in each customer environment.
A participating ISV then provides this file to each customer. The customer, in turn, executes SCRT, providing it with the ISV product library file and the same SMF data used for their monthly IBM reporting. The result of this execution is an ISV-specific SCRT report that is generated using the same algorithms and approach as the IBM sub-capacity report, but contains the ISV products that were detected in the customer environment. The same sort of information is provided, such as the peak four-hour rolling average, data collection statistics, and more.
With this approach, the ISV product library file and generated report stay between the ISV and their customers. SCRT only generates, at most, one report at a time – whether an IBM Sub-Capacity Report or a report for a specific ISV. This is intended to further reduce the chance of any output being directed to the wrong party.
Another benefit is that an ISV has no application to maintain or distribute because the standard, IBM distributed SCRT is used. This benefits the customer too of course, who only have one copy of SCRT to maintain.
There is no charge for using the SCRT ISV support. Interested ISVs must sign a license agreement to obtain instructions on creating the product library file.
Andrew Sica has 17 years’ experience working in z/OS development on various projects. Most recently he has been focused on Sub-Capacity Reporting and related z/OS enhancements, focused on enabling a better technical framework for new offerings.
For more information about the SCRT ISV support, see: http://dtsc.dfw.ibm.com/ .
Please scroll down to the “Information Center” section and click the “Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool (SCRT)” link.