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the Application Profiler for z

Technical Information

AP4Z is a non-intrusive continuous profiler that may be used to build a composite view about the actual behavior of entire workloads. Application profiling is a dynamic code analysis technique where a program’s behavior is investigated using data collected as the program runs.


At the heart of AP4Z is its unique ability to report on dynamically-called programs    – these programs typically execute behind the scenes, largely invisible to most IT staff.

AP4Z includes everything you need to collect information about your z/OS-based applications, to efficiently move profiling data off-platform for analysis, to run queries and reports against the historical database,  to manage the lifecycle of such data.

AP4Z is made of a z/OS component called Continuous Collector, which is responsible of the actual profiling activity, and of a distributed component called Data Analysis Engine. The latter is based on popular open source technologies and is provided  as a cloud-ready containerized solution. The Data Analysis Engine is accessed by authorized users via a browser interface. Other than a browser, no software is required on the user’s workstation

AP4Z is able to profile LE-enabled application programs written in any compiled language, including COBOL, PL/I, C/C++, or Assembler. It supports profiling CICS transactions, IMS transactions, Db2 stored procedures, Batch jobs, TSO sessions, USS processes. 

AP4Z can be enabled or disabled dynamically, doesn't require any application change, JCL change, or program recompile. It does not require the use of APF-authorized functions, and does not employ any system exit. System programmers can install it in minutes, no IPL is required to activate it.

At first the unique value of continuous application profiling, which is quite a new concept for the mainframe environment, may not be immediately apparent. To help you understand it we provide a comparison with two popular categories of mainframe products:

       The use of static-program-calls reduces AP4Z visibility into applications' behavior.



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