Getting Started

Includes an overview of CA Recommended Service (CA RS), FIXCAT, HOLDDATA, and CAUNZIP requirements.
After you have successfully installed any
mainframe product software, it is time to check for important product maintenance that may have been released after the product installation package was prepared. The product releases are built and maintained using standardized SMP/E packaging and installation procedures. These procedures include error and fixcat holddata, new product features, and product interoperability validation. PTFs that pass interoperability test criteria are released monthly and designated as CA Recommended Service (CA RS) for z/OS.
mainframe maintenance philosophy is predicated on granting you the flexibility to maintain your sites and systems in a manner that is consistent with industry best practices and your site-specific requirements. Our philosophy focuses on the following maintenance types, which help you maintain your systems in the most efficient manner:
  • Corrective maintenance
    Helps you address a specific and immediate issue with the primary goal of returning your system to the same functional state it was in before the issue was experienced. This type of maintenance is necessary after a problem in the software has been encountered and is applied on an as-needed basis. We may provide a test APAR or a confirmed PTF to resolve the problem.
  • Preventive maintenance
    Lets you bring your software to a more current level, which helps you to avoid problems that others have reported. Preventive maintenance can also contain compatibility fixes for hardware and software. You may or may not have experienced the issue that each PTF addresses.
    CA Recommended Service for z/OS (CA RS) is an integral part of any good preventive maintenance policy. CA RS provides a way to easily identify published maintenance that has been successfully integration-tested with other
    products, current z/OS releases, and IBM subsystems such as CICS, Db2, and IMS. CA RS levels are published monthly and include PTFs, HIPERs, and PE-resolving PTFs.
  • FIXCAT maintenance
    Identifies maintenance that is required to support a particular hardware device, software, or new product function. We provide fix categories in the form of SMP/E FIXCAT HOLDDATA statements that are associated with an APAR and its related fixing PTF.
Review the following process for a high-level overview of the steps to install product maintenance:
You can initiate a maintenance installation activity at any time. However, before you do so, we recommend that you obtain the current SMP/E HOLDDATA. See Download HOLDDATA and ++ASSIGN Statements.
  1. Acquire product maintenance using CA SMP/E Internet Service Retrieval, CA Chorus Software Manager (CA CSM), or manually from
    Broadcom Support
    as described in the following steps:
    • Download published product PTFs.
    • Download published APARs if applicable.
    • Download CA RS files.
    • Download current ERROR HOLDDATA and ++ASSIGN statements.
  2. Receive maintenance (PTFs, ERROR HOLDDATA, and CA RS files) using CA CSM or provided SMP/E jobs.
  3. Apply maintenance.
    • CA RS level if performing preventive maintenance.
      Accept the previous CA RS level PTFs before applying the new CA RS level PTFs.
    • Individual PTFs or APARs for corrective maintenance (SOURCEID).
  4. Deploy runtime libraries to your systems.
Keeping your products current with maintenance helps your team remain productive and minimizes errors while safely protecting your systems. If you do not install preventive maintenance regularly, you risk encountering known problems for which we have published and tested PTFs.
We recommend that you develop and implement a proactive maintenance strategy whereby you regularly apply maintenance. You can follow the same schedule that you use to apply IBM maintenance, or you can implement a schedule for
mainframe products only.
We recommend that you review this collection of articles for more information about how you can apply maintenance to your
mainframe z/OS and z/VM products. This site includes all options to apply maintenance. Some products have more maintenance customization requirements, which are described in the product documentation.