Do you have an application or a key process running on the IBM i that writes to a message queue (or QHST) at regular intervals, let’s say every 30 minutes? Providing you receive this message you can relax in the knowledge that your application is functioning normally. What happens if the heartbeat dies or the time in between the heartbeats extends beyond an acceptable level?

Do you want to monitor regular heartbeats and raise a flag if one is not received?

Heartbeats being received every 30 minutes as seen on the QSYSOPR message queue

Heartbeats Received Every 30 Minutes

What happens if this message doesn’t appear, appears incorrectly or arrives at an unacceptable interval? That’s where Halcyon’s Message Manager “Start Watch” facility comes into its own to provide intelligent monitoring coupled with flexible alerting and automated remedial actions. This function of Message Manage can also cater for jobs or processes that have variable start times such as application end of day phases.

Halcyon have two simple rules defined that work as a pair that will handle the monitoring and associated customizable actions.

Rule 1
Monitoring for the first Heartbeat text arriving on the message queue any day, any time

Heartbeat Text Arriving

We’re looking for the message ID CPF9898 from any job, user or program although as you can see we can be very specific here if required.

Message ID CPF9898


Looking for the text “Heartbeat” appearing

Heartbeat Text

When the “Heartbeat” first arrives on the QSYSOPR message queue the rule carries out the associated action, which in our case in the STRWATCH (Start Watch) command.



This STRWATCH action ‘starts the clock ticking’ for 30 minutes on the current message queue (by default) on another paired rule linked by providing a unique WATCHID “HEARTBEAT”

Rule 2
This second rule gets activated by the arrival of the Heartbeat and is looking for the same text not arriving in the next 30 minutes. Note the receive status set to ‘N’ for not received and the Watch ID “HEARTBEAT” (which is the link between the pair of rules)

Heartbeat Not Reveived

Again we’ve been very generic in what we’re looking for

Heartbeat Not Recieved


Heartbeat Text

Each time the heartbeat is received on QSYSOPR it starts the countdown from 30 minutes. When the next one is received it initiates the next 30 minute countdown and no alert is sent. If the text isn’t received we can provide real time alerts in many different forms and in addition can process any IBM i command.

Example Alerts

Graphical Enterprise Console

Enterprise Console Alert

SMS and Email

SMS         Email


Once configured, the setup can quickly be deployed to other systems or LPAR’s with the use of the powerful import facility.

What else can Halcyon’s Message Manager monitor?

Message Manager allows you to monitor any user, system, application message queue (plus the QHST history log) for messages arriving or more powerfully not arriving. It also provides an inbuilt facility for monitoring FTP activity on the system providing the capability of tracking critical objects and / or user profiles.

Still have questions? We can help. Submit a case to Technical Support.

Last Modified On: April 03, 2019