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CA MSM Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is MSM?

    CA Mainframe Software Manager (MSM) is a product that provides a revolutionary way to acquire, install, deploy, and configure z/OS-based mainframe products through a web browser, providing a familiar look and feel to new mainframe professionals. It eliminates the need to code JCL, specify SMP/E commands, interact with 3270 "green screens", and perform other mainframe-specific tasks to install and maintain products. It also increases the productivity of seasoned mainframe professionals by downloading base products and maintenance from CA Support Online, and by automating common processes like product installs. This eliminates manual tasks such as editing sample JCL and checking batch job return codes.

  2. Is MSM a priced product?

    No. CA MSM is provided at no additional charge to licensees of any CA Technologies mainframe product for z/OS who are active on maintenance, pursuant to the same licensing terms applicable to that product.

  3. Does MSM require LMP keys?

    No. License Management Program (LMP) keys are not required to use CA MSM.

  4. How can I get MSM?

    CA MSM can be downloaded like any other product from CA Support Online. It can be accessed under product name "CA Mainframe Software Manager - MVS".

  5. How do I install MSM?

    CA MSM installation is different from other CA products. A prerequisite validator tool is provided to determine whether your system has the necessary prerequisites and a setup utility is provided to perform the installation. Consult the CA Mainframe Software Manager Product Guide available from the CA MSM Bookshelf on CA Support Online for more information. In addition, several instructional videos are available on the CA Mainframe Software Manager Resource Center to guide you through various installation and usage tasks.

  6. Does MSM replace SMP/E?

    No, but it does eliminate the need to intimately understand SMP/E. CA MSM invokes SMP/E via published APIs to perform various installation tasks requested from CA MSM's browser-based user interface. CA MSM creates a complete SMP/E environment (or uses an existing one), so that when a product has been successfully installed, the resulting CSI, target and distribution libraries, etc. will look the same as if the product had been installed via traditional batch jobs. All SMP/E output (commands issued, messages generated, etc.) is retained and stored by CA MSM and may be reviewed after the associated task has been completed.

  7. Can I use MSM to maintain a product I installed prior to getting MSM?

    Yes. CA MSM includes a "Migrate an Existing CSI" function specifically for this purpose.

  8. Can I use both MSM and traditional SMP/E batch jobs to maintain a product?

    Yes. CA MSM can detect external changes made to any SMP/E CSI it maintains and will synchronize with those changes. However, we do recommend that CA MSM is used exclusively to maintain products under its control.

  9. What platforms does MSM run on?

    All CA MSM components run exclusively in address spaces on z/OS. No other platforms (Windows, Unix, etc.) are required.

  10. Does MSM exploit zAAPs?

    Yes. As a Java application, a significant amount of the CPU resources used by CA MSM is eligible to be dispatched on zAAP or zIIP (if available) specialty engines.

  11. Does MSM require an internet connection from z/OS?

    In order to download products and maintenance, an internet connection from the CA MSM address space to CA Support Online (CSO) and valid CSO logon credentials are required. CA MSM supports several different proxy and firewall configurations to facilitate a secure internet connection. Alternatively, an intermediate platform (e.g. a Windows PC) can be used to download files from CSO and upload them to z/OS where CA MSM can install them as an external package.

  12. Do I have to download and maintain a version of Tomcat to use MSM?

    No. Apache Tomcat and all other third party products used by CA MSM are provided with the product install package and are maintained via CA MSM PTFs. You do not have to manually download or maintain any of them individually.

  13. Does MSM use CA Datacom? Do I need to become a Datacom DBA?

    CA MSM uses CA Datacom/AD as its enterprise database repository. CA Datacom/AD is a prepackaged suite of CA Datacom components used internally by other CA products, and is included in the CA MSM install package. You do not have to download and install any version of CA Datacom separately. No Datacom product expertise is necessary to install and use CA MSM.

  14. Does MSM require a specific Java level?

    Yes. Please consult the CA Mainframe Software Manager Product Guide available from the CA MSM Bookshelf on CA Support Online for the CA MSM release you're installing for the specific z/OS Java SDK required. The required level can be downloaded from IBM and can be used exclusively for CA MSM, or can be shared with other Java workloads on your system, if applicable.

  15. Does MSM use z/OS Unix (a.k.a. Unix System Services)? What about HFS and zFS file systems?

    CA MSM does use z/OS Unix and supports both types of file systems.

  16. Is MSM just for new mainframers?

    No. CA MSM is intended for all of our mainframe customers regardless of experience level. Our internal benchmarks have shown that experienced mainframe professionals can install CA products 87% faster (on average) using CA MSM compared to traditional batch jobs. In addition, CA MSM provides enhanced functionality not available anywhere else, such as automating maintenance downloads from CA Support Online and automating much of the CA Recommended Service installation process.

  17. What products are MSM-installable?

    Please see CA Mainframe Software Manager Enabled Products, available at:

  18. Is MSM required to install CA mainframe products?

    In general, CA MSM is not required to install CA mainframe products, but it is strongly recommended. Some new products, such as CA Mainframe Chorus, do require CA MSM for installation. In addition, installing CA Recommended Service for many CA z/OS products is significantly easier using CA MSM.

  19. Can I use MSM to install products from other vendors?

    Not at this time, but we are working with several vendors to package their products so they can be installed using CA MSM.