Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

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jmphilippe
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Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

#1 Post by jmphilippe » 2006-03-21 15:35

We are transferring files from a workstation (Win XP + FileZilla) to a mainframe under z/OS. When we passed the command SITE RECFM=FB LRECL=80 BLKSIZE=800 (for example) to override the defaults parameters of our z/OS TCPIP/FTP server, the command STAT relate that these parameters have been overrided, but z/OS did not care and allocate the data set with the defaults parameters. Has anybody already experienced this situation ? Thank you.

DESIRONF
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#2 Post by DESIRONF » 2007-02-21 14:56

Hi ,
I am trying to get Fileizlila to work with Z/OS, but amg getting the same error
as you did . Whetver I try to set as RECFM or LRECL with a SITE Command,
it just gets ignored on the upload. The new dataset gets allocated on
the hoist with the default file attributes.
The suggested circumvention of limiting the number of connections to 1
doesn't work for me neither.
Did you ever get around this ?

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#3 Post by botg » 2007-03-01 13:10

A solution is planned for FileZilla 3. Next beta hopefully.

gimmely
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#4 Post by gimmely » 2007-08-08 22:39

I haven't tried v3beta, but have questions:

1. Is "SITE RECFM=FB LRECL=80 BLKSIZE=800" allowed or would I have to do "SITE RECFM = FB", "SITE LRECL = 80" and etc. one at a time? I'm working in a similar situation.

2. I'm a bit concerned about "till v3", because I'm dealing with production. I'm still waiting for mainframe people to provide confirmation after checking data file. But, is v3 our only hope? In my project, there're other SITE commands such as SYSDA as suggested by mainframe, which I'm not familiar with. Please advise.

Thanks.[/quote]

Jose Luis
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Answering to your questions...

#5 Post by Jose Luis » 2007-08-28 10:05

1. The number of connections has nothing to do with this (it prevents to establish new control/data connections until some users log off), and you should not need to split the command into pieces: "SITE RECFM = FB", "SITE LRECL = 80" because FTP clients do not parse the syntax of what comes after SITE. SITE is used for non-standard commands, specific to the site (server) you are using.
I have used it many times, even adding more parameters, so it should work fine for you; but I have to add that it was using other FTP clients because I have never used FileZilla. I was looking into the Filezilla pages to see if it can be suitable for my needs when I read your note.

It seems to me that you are sending the command but it is not reaching the server and that is why the mainframe uses the defaults, so you need to see the log to see what is happenning. If you are not sure about the interpretation of what the log says you can reply here pasting the relevant part of it (discarding the login details, of course).

Have you tried using QUOTE: "QUOTE SITE RECFM=FB LRECL=80 BLKSIZE=800" ? Many FTP clients use that word (QUOTE) to know that you do not want it to analyse what comes afterwards, it has just to send it to the server.
Since I am not yet familiar with FileZilla I am sorry I cannot say if that works with it. Theoretically is something easy to be implemented, so it is reasonable to think that it is a feature already included, or it can be in a future release.

2. "I'm a bit concerned about "till v3", because .... In my project, there're other SITE commands such as SYSDA as suggested by mainframe, which I'm not familiar with. Please advise."
You need a list of the SITE commands of your server, so ask for it (to your local resources who deal with the mainframe, if any) or get it by yourself issuing a HELP SITE command against the FTP server (not against the FTP client!), so check the syntax.

You will get a series of commands and their usage. Alternatively, you can go to the website of the vendor of your FTP server and read there the documentation. If you do not know who it is, have then a look at the greetings displayed by the server when you start with it a new FTP session, because it is usual to see there the name of the company, the product, version, etc.

There are many commands and their explanations cover many pages, but I am afraid that you need some knowledge of that mainframe to take advantage of them (SYSDA is the disk storage dedicated to temporary usage, so if you need to save a file you'd better avoid it for a long term availability, or you can find one day that the file was deleted!).
By the way, using BLKSIZE=800 could be not the best choice; currently it is possible for many mainframes to use BLKSIZE=0 and then the system calculates the optimum block size (it depends on the type of disk as well on the record lenght), but it will not make any harm to use 800, so consider it an enhancement to do after your FTP works.

If I install FileZilla then I will try all that, so perhaps I can give you more info in the nexts days or weeks.

Hope this helps.

gimmely
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#6 Post by gimmely » 2007-08-30 19:43

Issue #1 on number of connections was not on my question. But, I'd like to point out that QUOTE doesn't work with FileZilla, which is why people are writing "SITE ...". However, as I asked on my own post, I'm afraid that FileZilla doesn't work (well) with one line of SITE for multiple commands to be executed on the mainframe. In another thread, [u]botg[/u] suggested v3 might have fixed this problem.

Issue #2 was on my question. However, please note that the issue was not on understanding of those SITE commands. Instead, it's on whether or not FileZilla could transfer multiple SITE commands in one line, as Windows Command-prompt FTP can do.

Thanks for the post, though.

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#7 Post by botg » 2007-08-30 20:59


davidnicol
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Re: Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

#8 Post by davidnicol » 2008-04-24 17:20

I have seen successful execution of a SITE command against MVS, with the specifics having to do with changing the record width, succeed, using the "enter custom command" feature. But the problem seems to be, when a transfer is attempted after this, a new control connection is created for the transfer.

This looks like a simple enough bug to repair for someone who is familiar with the internals; just make sure to re-use an existing control connection to a client instead of opening a new one for file transferring!

I can get more details of the particular control channel encryption discipline in use on the site in question if needed

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Re: Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

#9 Post by botg » 2008-04-24 18:04

Use site manager, limit connections to 1.

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Re: Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

#10 Post by davidnicol » 2008-04-25 19:23

Thanks! Limiting control connections to one did the trick. To save the Lusers I am supporting from having to key in the site commands all the time (or paste them in -- i think they might be sophisticated enough to save those crazy mainframe heiroglyphics into a text file instead of hunt-and-pecking them in from a post-it) is there a way to associate a custom script of site commands to be run on connecting, so they can define two hosts for the mainframe, one for the 80-char files and a different one for the 120s?

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Re: Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

#11 Post by botg » 2008-04-25 19:26

Makes me wonder, what is the reason IBM requires these SITE commands anyhow? It's not really in the spirit of modern FTP.

And IBM systems have the worst filesystems one can imagine, even worse than the Windows filesystem hierarchy. z/OS is particularly bad...

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Re: Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

#12 Post by davidnicol » 2008-04-25 20:15


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Re: Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

#13 Post by botg » 2008-04-25 22:13

I don't see how that's any different from writing aligned data into ordinary files in a classical Unix filesystem.

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Re: Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

#14 Post by davidnicol » 2008-04-26 00:14

You know how when you're reading a stream of aligned data, you read some of it into a buffer, then look at the buffer, and have to keep track of the extra bits of buffer? with a record-oriented read, you don't have to do that; and with variable-length records, you don't have to muck with escaping line terminators. These systems were set up when it mattered; when a 1% reduction in CPU use due to not having to muck around with record alignment in everything that touched some data could save enough money to send the CEO's grounds-keeper's children to private school twice. Okay? Anyway it is completely beyond our control now.

The fact is, there are today systems that do record-oriented file access, they have FTP servers on them, the files that the data get streamed into are supposed to have non-standard record lengths (standard is 80, in our case, we need to change to 120 before uploading) and when the FTP server thinks it is reading 80-char-per-record data when it is in fact reading 120-char-per-record data, this is what happens:

how the file is supposed to be:
0123456789AB
0123456789AB
0123456789AB
0123456789AB
0123456789AB

how the file winds up:
01234567____
89AB0123____
456789AB____
01234567____
89AB0123____
456789AB____
01234567____
89AB________

because the server starts a new record every RECORDLENGTH octets, because fifty years ago some nice executive decided to give his servants' children scholarships.

Are you opposed to the "upward mobility" portion of the American Dream?

Anyway, my happy Filezilla user now has the required site commands in question enshrined in a text file for convenient copy and paste, my trouble ticket is closed, and I'm still here merely wondering if you's guys's fancy graphical FTP dingus has all the per-site customization traditionally obtainable by adding a "macdef init" section to a .netrc file. For all I know, filezilla might actually read .netrc files. That would be cool.

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Re: Using FileZilla with a mainframe under z/OS

#15 Post by botg » 2008-04-26 09:56

Are you opposed to the "upward mobility" portion of the American Dream?
Yes, I'm European :P
I'm still here merely wondering if you's guys's fancy graphical FTP dingus has all the per-site customization traditionally obtainable by adding a "macdef init" section to a .netrc file. For all I know, filezilla might actually read .netrc files.
Haven't heard of this file before, are there any formal specifications in form of an RFC or perhaps IETF draft?

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