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Disappearing exit points



fixed

This has been quite a week.

After Monday night's (10/25) SAVLIB(*NONSYS) backup in a restricted state,
neither FTP nor REXEC would start again.  This is a real problem for us
since that is how _all_ our sales reps orders get into the iSeries.  After
trying everything I could think of (which doesn't take long) I opened a PMR
with Supportline.  What the tech determined after a relatively short period
was that all the exit point for FTP and REXEC were gone.  Completely.  In
toto.  It wasn't just that the programs weren't listed in the exit points, I
mean the actual exit points themselves did not exist.

It was a known problem that usually happens 'right after a release update'.
I upgraded this 270 to V5R3 a month ago, and we do a SAVLIB(*NONSYS) every
night so it had quite a number of chances to fail.  He had me do a couple of
program calls out of lib QTCP that reinstalled all the exit points and all
was well.  Or so I thought.

Tuesday at 1pm or so, I did a CHGSMTPA (which will be the subject of another
post later).  When that didn't work as planned, I changed it back and tried
to STRMSF and STRTCPSVR(*SMTP).  MSF would not start.  No email in or out.
One of the escape messages indicated an exit point program.  I called back
in on that same PMR, thinking it might be related.

To make a long story short, it wasn't related.  We were without email Monday
afternoon, all day Tuesday, and I missed part of a WDSC seminar Wednesday
morning getting it straightened out.  MSF was missing 15 exit points.  They
had disappeared between Monday night and Tuesday noon.  It took a _long_
time for the tech to find it, but there was an internal document that
started out with the following:

|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| These exit points and exit programs are for QMSF/ SNADS and any other    |
| application that will be using the mail server framework exit points and |
| programs.  These are part of the Operating System and should always exist|
| if the installation was completed correctly.                             |
|                                                                          |
| On occasion, errors may be encountered with the system load and some, if |
| not all, of the exit programs will be missing.  The data below can be    |
| used by IBM Support to get the exit programs re-defined.                 |
|                                                                          |
| These should not be faxed to the customer.  Walk-through assistance on   |
| the exit programs should be worked under a Consult Line contract.        |
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|

What followed was a list of 26 exit points that might be missing.  We were
missing 15 of them.  Note the last line.  There is no program to put these
back in, IBM wants to charge Consult Line fees to fix a 'failed
installation'.  The installation showed no failure a month ago and worked
for that long.  Note also the document was also not to be faxed to me, the
customer.  I put the exit points in manually.  My other alternatives were 1)
reload TCP1, 2) reload OS/400, or 3) pay IBM to do 1 or 2.  The tech also
told me that a complete reload would not necessarily fix the problem.

Hey, this goes a long way toward increasing my trust in IBM.  Why the
secrecy?  I think I will call back and talk to a duty manager or someone to
try to find out the whole story here.  Any suggestion of who to call is
welcome.  The handling of this sounds more like Microsoft than IBM.

-- 
Jeff Crosby
Dilgard Frozen Foods, Inc.
P.O. Box 13369
Ft. Wayne, IN 46868-3369
260-422-7531

The opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily the opinion of my
company.  Unless I say so.








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