Last year, I wrote about the idea of PowerShell CmdLets for WebSphere MQ. PowerShell is a beautiful scripting environment, you see, and it allows you to load any managed class library and then call into it. This is what allows me to, for example, create zip files within Powershell. But there are of course a zillion other possibilities. On the other hand if you are doing scripting, another opportunity for integration with PowerShell is CmdLets. CmdLets are little bits of function that get added to the Powershell base function. All the capabilities within PowerShell are exposed via commands that have a verb-noun structure, like Get-ChildItem. Or Write-Output. If you create a new cmdlet and add it to PowerShell , you’ve added to its vocabulary of functions. CmdLets offer better utility in a scripting environment, as compared to just loading an assembly and calling into the loaded class library.
It seems IBM have been busy doing CmdLets for MQ, and somehow this escaped my attention. Starting back in December 2007, Dale Lane at IBM published a series of posts about the topic of PowerShell CmdLets for MQ. There is also now an official SupportPac for this stuff, it goes by the catchy name of mo74. (direct FTP link here). In IBM-speak, a SupportPac is an add-on to the IBM product (in this case WMQ). Very good to see! Keep in mind that there are different categories of SupportPac and just because it says “support” in the name does not mean it is a “supported” part of the IBM product in the sense that you can call up their support engineers and ask for bugfix on it. mo74 is listed as Category 2, which means it is AS-IS software. SupportPacs can transition from “AS-IS” to a supported part of the product; this happens when customers demand it. Last updated April 16th, mo74 is currently at version 1.6.
One of the things you can do with the MQ cmdlets included in the mo74.zip SupportPac is administer queue managers on remote machines, including machines running MQ on Windows, Linux, or Unix. (If you know MQ, this shouldn’t be too surprising, as you know that MQ can use the queue itself to send administrative commands.) IBM plans to add z/OS to the list of platforms that can be administered remotely using PowerShell. You can read about their plans and progress on integrating PowerShell with WMQ on the “Hursley on MQ” blog.
By the way, Dale also has a personal blog, where he writes about a bunch of stuff, some of which is related to PowerShell and WMQ.
It’s good to see this integration.