Acquisition of WDS by Syncsort

On February 18th 2015, Syncsort announced the acquisition of William Data Systems. You can learn more about this exciting announcement here.


New Distributor for Israel

WDS are very pleased to announce that Log-On Software Ltd has become our distributor in Israel.

Commenting on the appointment, Simon Cooper,
Business Development Manager at WDS said "We are delighted to have Log-On Software representing us. Log-On are an extremely professional outfit who will undoubtedly help us as we seek to gain new customers in Israel".

Click here to visit
28th November 2013

New Blog Site Launched

We‘ve launched a new blog site relating to WDS products and all things ZEN. WDS staff will be posting regular articles, hints and tips and providing insight about about how to get the most from the products. The site can be found by clicking the Blog menu item at the top of this page or by going to

Initial articles include a guide to using the new ZEN multi-desktop facility, a comparison of v4.7 and v5.1 of ZTS-EXIGENCE and some very useful examples of using the capabilities of ZEN-Rexx, including automating trace file clean-up in ZTS-EXIGENCE.

More articles will be posted soon. Check our Facebook/Twitter feeds for updates.

6th November 2013

ZEN REPORTING (ZRP) v2.3 Now Available

ZRP has been enhanced so that it can process definitions for IBM SMF data. Definitions for IBM SMF type 119 records, subtypes 20 and 21 are supplied, enabling the production of detailed reports relating to telnet sessions, TN3270 session start and stop times, response times, traffic processed and so on.

ZRP v2.3 also features rationalized and enhanced menus, with all of the tools and utility items that previously appeared under the Reporting Admin drop-down menu moved to the new Reporting Tools item under the ZEN Tools menu. The Reporting Admin menu now contains only Administration options and new drop-down menu items provide SMF record upload/download facilities.

Contact your local William Data Systems office for further information.

7th August 2013

New IPv6 on z/OS White Paper
IPv6 White Paper Implementing IPv6 on z/OS may present some difficulties that are not immediately apparent at project start. Many of these can be temporarily bypassed or ignored for initial setup and testing, but as you progress they can hinder and even prevent full support for IPv6.

This new white paper, written by our Chief Technical Architect, Tony Amies, discusses the challenges associated with implementing IPv6 on z/OS and examines the efficacy of the APPLICATION LAYER GATEWAY as a means of overcoming the pitfalls you may encounter on the way.

To download the white paper click here.

2nd April 2013

WDS Sponsors Arcati Yearbook
For the second year in a row we have sponsored Arcati's Industry Yearbook. The 2013 Yearbook is an extremely useful source of information for all things mainframe and includes:

The 2013 Mainframe User Survey - An analysis of the profile, plans, and priorities of mainframe users

Vendor Directory - Vendors, consultants, and service providers in the z/OS environment

A media guide for IBM mainframers - Information resources, publications, social media, and user groups for the z/OS environment

Glossary of Terminology - Definitions of mainframe-related terms

Technical information:
Hardware tables - zEC12, z114, z196
Mainframe hardware timeline 1952-2012
Mainframe operating system development
Arcati Yearbook 2013

You can download the full Yearbook from the Arcati website here or read the WDS article about network tracing on z/OS, 'Lost without a Trace', here.

22nd Janury 2013

ZEN TRACE & SOLVE v5 Released

The new version of EXIGENCE - ZEN TRACE & SOLVE (ZTS) v5 - is available for download from the customer portal. ZTS is now a full component of ZEN, benefiting from ZEN's advanced, 2-tier, web user-interface that it shares with the other ZEN network management components.

ZTS v5 features include:

  • Improved Navigation
  • Enhanced Trace List
  • Advanced Trace Options
  • Enhanced Trace Flow
  • Dynamic Group Trace

To find out more about ZTS v5 click the document downloads below:

18th December 2012

Experian Improve Efficiency by Replacing NetView®
Experian Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients operating in more than 90 countries. Ensuring mainframe network connectivity with its many clients' systems is essential to the business model.

Installing ZEN has allowed Experian to reduce annual mainframe network management costs:

"ZEN presents information in a friendly way and without having to use lots of commands, compared with other tools in this arena. The product completely satisfies our requirements and is a good value proposition."

Click here to read the full story.

20th June 2012

ZEN Reporting v2 now available

ZEN Reporting v2 is now available from the customer portal for all ZEN v2 users.

This sophisticated report generator and viewer has been improved with the addition of the following enhancements:

  • Create, display, print and download reports in PDF format
  • Batch Reporting for automating the production of reports
  • Report formatting for selecting data fields and editing column headings
  • Local PC download facility for reports built as CSV files
  • Reporting support for the ZEN IP MONITOR - IMPLEX
  • New v2 Reporting Job Control Decks

3rd August 2011

ZIM v5 - Not Just A Pretty Interface
Latest version of ZEN IP MONITOR - IMPLEX now available

ZEN IP MONITOR (ZIM) version 5.1 is now generally available. Integration with ZEN's advanced web-browser presentation means ZIM benefits from imaginative and flexible data presentation.

Further ZEN-enablement benefits come in the form of interoperability with other ZEN components. For example, once ZIM has detected an error condition, customers of ZEN's class leading TRACE & SOLVE – EXIGENCE (ZTS) product can start, stop & view ZTS traces, directly from ZIM displays, for deep-dive problem analysis.

ZIM Desktop ZIM Realtime Graphs

In addition to the new user-interface, ZIM v5 has several other enhancements, including:

  • Significant new monitoring capabilities for complex Sysplex Distributor environments*
  • Improvements and enhancements to the Alerting function
  • Enhancements to TN3270 and NTT Monitoring and Displays
  • The introduction of a Command Input Area to many of the 3270 panels
  • Large Screen Support for 3270 Emulated Panels
  • Packet Trace Panel Improvements
  • Enhancements to Enterprise Extender Alerting Group
  • Delete and Add Service Group Ports by Server

*Available via PTF update July 2011

To find out more about ZIM v5.1 click the document downloads below:

5th July 2011

Latest release of ZEN TRACE & SOLVE - EXIGENCE v4.7:
Features in-flight viewing of traces and more...

ZEN TRACE & SOLVE (ZTS) version 4.7 is now generally available. The premier z/OS network tracing product continues to evolve, delivering more customer-suggested enhancements for network tracing and solution solving, helping busy z/OS network support people do more in less time.

To find out more about ZTS v4.7 click the document downloads below:

12th Apr 2011

Enhanced SyslogD Support blows the whistle on security violations

The new Syslog Daemon (SyslogD) support in ZEN extends its system and network log services to include messages originating from the SyslogD. SyslogD is a critical part of z/OS's Intrusion Detection and Prevention services (IDS) because detailed event messages, such as security violations, are sent to SyslogD, as well as messages from many other important communications services including FTP and AT-TLS.

Real-time monitoring of the SyslogD is vital for z/OS system security. This is important for two groups of people in organizations; those who are responsible for z/OS system operations and those who are responsible for risk management and corporate compliance. Real-time notification of system violations and potential customer disruption should now be a minimum z/OS requirement. Trying to defend delayed SyslogD reporting, or worse, with an insurer after a systems "event" could be a challenge.

The new ZEN SyslogD support has the following capabilities:

  • Collect SyslogD messages from z/OS Syslog Daemon
  • Collect SyslogD messages from remote z/OS SyslogD Daemons
  • Collect SyslogD messages from any other network device
  • Filter SyslogD messages based on Origin, Facility and/or Priority
  • Display filtered SyslogD messages in the ZEN System Log
  • Forward SyslogD messages to the ZEN Network Log (kept historically)
  • Drive automation commands/Rexx procedures for SyslogD messages

You can see and potentially automate any SyslogD-enabled device by routing its messages to the ZEN System Log.

ZEN Rexx procedures driven by automation on receipt of a SyslogD message can extract the message attributes (facility, priority and origin IP address) as well as the message text. All ZEN automation capabilities are available for SyslogD messages including forwarding the message to console, email, SNMP traps etc.

Liam Hammond, Managing Director of William Data Systems explained "Now that real time monitoring of the SyslogD with automatic responses is available, z/OS system administrators can focus on the organizations' business issues and leave ZEN to 'blow the whistle' when needed.".

Read the ZEN SyslogD Press Release here or download the datasheet here.
16th Nov 2010

Who cares about SyslogD on the mainframe?
Read what the Mainframe Update blog says about ZEN and SyslogD.
7 Dec 2010

z/OS network management comes to the Apple iPhone

Listening to suggestions from WDS's customers about how ZEN could be made even better, it is clear there is a growing requirement for z/OS system support staff to be able to monitor and manage their systems using 'smart' mobile devices. With so many mobile platforms currently competing with each other for market share, WDS took the decision to start their ZEN mobile access developments with Apple's iPad and now the iPhone.

Liam Hammond, Managing Director of William Data Systems explained "Reduced annual costs with improved z/OS network functionality is what we deliver. Add the research and development that we also do to take advantage of emerging technologies and you see what keeps WDS and our ZEN suite one step ahead.".

Read the 'ZEN on the iPhone' Press Release
29th Sep 2010

Monitor your network with ZEN and Apple's iPad

With minimal development to take advantage of its touch screen capabilities, ZEN is available to customers using Apple's iPad, making it a very transportable and deployable system resource. Mainframe system management and intervention can now be done from anywhere.

Liam Hammond, Managing Director of William Data Systems explained "Our customers need to know 24/7, wherever they are, how their mission critical network systems are performing. Our ZEN range of network management products already provides that visibility and control. Now, this blend of cutting edge technology provides mobile accessibility using the Apple iPad".

Read the 'ZEN on the iPad' Press Release
19th Aug 2010

Replace NetView® or NetMaster® with ZEN v2

IBM released NetView® in 1986. Almost 25 years and 14 releases later the product has morphed into a conglomeration of utilities and facilities, some of which may be of questionable value today. Managing modern mainframe networks effectively and efficiently requires a modern, cost-effective solution; a solution where you only pay for the components that you need. That solution is ZEN.

ZEN is a user-friendly browser-based interface, free of all license fees for WDS customers and includes a comprehensive set of core network management functions. Optional ZEN components provide state-of-the-art capabilities for managing SNA, IP, APPN/HPR, Enterprise Extender, FTP and OSA's.

The optional ZEN Automation component includes a full REXX function pack, providing facilities to totally automate your z/OS network environments and even build your own customized ZEN displays.

ZEN can provide a great deal of the function of NetView® or NetMaster® but at a fraction of the cost. Talk to WDS about how we can help you make truly significant cost savings and improve the management of your network.

Read the ZEN version 2 Press Release
2nd Aug 2010


We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the latest addition to our ZEN suite of Network Management products; ZEN OSA MONITOR (ZOM).

ZOM is a dedicated monitoring and management tool that enables you to see at a glance how your Open Systems Adapters (OSAs) are performing.

The traditional approach to monitoring OSAs is to use an IP monitor, but their over-reliance on IP data and inability to interrogate all the elements that make up an OSA will result in an incomplete picture. Providing a truly uninhibited insight into these immensely complex multi-protocol devices has not been possible, until now.

ZEN OSA MONITOR contains several unique capabilities, including the Health Check and Soft Reset features. ZOM dynamically detects any status changes or increases in error counts, with all such changes summarized in easy to read panels in ZEN, with full alerting and reporting capabilities. A simple but effective system of traffic lights highlight any changes to reference values, ensuring these critical devices are maintained at optimal performance levels.

Contact your local WDS office for further details about ZEN OSA MONITOR and our very low-cost introductory pricing.
12 Feb 2010

You can read Trevor Eddolls independent review of ZOM on his mainframe blog: here.
9 Marth 2010