Tag Archives: CICSPlex

IBM Impact 2014

I am fortunate once again to be attending IBM Impact. The general session again focused on mobile, and featured speakers from Tangerine Bank, Square, and Daimler Car2Go. Live demos did not go too well due to apparent networking issues, but speakers covered nicely.

Here are some of my biggest take-aways from today’s CICS sessions:

  • The 5.2 Developer Trial can be turned into a full version without re-installing.
  • The mobile feature pack introduced in 5.1 is integrated into the base in 5.2.
  • “Simple” Occurs Depending On is supported in 5.2 web services.
  • 5.2 has something called Multi-Versioning, which allows a new version of a program to be implemented, and taken out, quickly. It is possible to have the new version and old version available simultaneously.
  • Of course, as with every new release of CICS in recent years, more things are moving above the bar for virtual storage relief, and more commands are threadsafe.
  • It was not explicitly stated, but all indications are that the CICSPlex WUI is going away after V5. It is time to really start using the CICS Explorer, if you’re not already using it.

I had a great one-on-one “Lunch and Learn” session on the CICS Explorer. It was originally slated for myself and one other person, but they were a no-show. The session was a good review of many of the things I already knew, and I picked up a couple of new tidbits. The one-on-one and Lunch and Learn sessions alone pretty much make the trip for Impact worthwhile.

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z/OS Explorer and CICS Explorer

CICS Explorer

I have just installed the new z/OS Explorer, and the latest version of CICS Explorer (5.1.1) under it. If you are not running CICS/TS V5, no worries; CICS Explorer V5.1.1 supports CICS/TS V3, V4, and V5. With the z/OS Explorer, now you can view/edit MVS and zFS datasets and review output on the JES spool from the same Eclipse environment where you define/control CICS resources. In this post, I will review the steps to install these (free) products and why.

The installation process is fairly simple, but if you have not started working with the CICS Explorer, you will find using it a big sluggish compared to the  CICSPlex WUI if your workstation is low on horsepower. It does take some resources to run the Eclipse environment, but that’s just the way things are going; mainframe support personnel need beefy client workstations as well as PC developers. Maybe not as beefy, but much more so than the thin clients many use today. After all, the mainframe is a server, too.

Here is an overview of the steps I took in installing the tools:

  1. Download the zip file containing z/OS Explorer and Installation Manager
  2. Expand the zip file and run launchpad.exe
  3. Select z/OS Explorer, Installation Manager, and Eclipse
  4. Load Installation Manager and add URL http://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/htp/zos/2/1/0 to Preferences > Repositories.
  5. Choose CICS Explorer SDK

From there, just point to your z/OS FTP servers and CICSPlexes (IP address/port number), and supply authentication info. Be sure to use your CICSPlex CMCI port rather than TCP/IP port, or else the CICS view will be read-only. (I made that mistake.)

The process is much easier than it once was; IBM has done a great job of bundling everything needed. IBM  also has some great information regarding installing the z/OS Explorer and installing the new CICS Explorer. Several scenarios are covered for the installation of CICS Explorer; the process I outlined above was Scenario 1 (“new to Installation Manager and CICS Explorer V5.1.1″).

If you haven’t started using CICS Explorer, now is the time to start. The CICSPlex WUI will be going way, all the CICS tools are being engineered to use this interface, as well as all the development tools, and MQ Explorer. Get z/OS Explorer today and get started!

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Accessing “The Good Stuff” With CICS Explorer in CICS/TS 4.1

When I initially installed CICS/TS 4.1 in our Systems test environment, I started looking for what was new and improved in this version over the 3.2 we had been running. One thing I was looking forward to was seeing the “update” options available in CICS Explorer; in version 3 of CICS/TS, there were many options teasingly grayed out. However, when I loaded CICS Explorer and pointed it at my shiny new CICS/TS 4.1 region, those options were still grayed out!

After doing some web searches, I found information that indicated that to access the update functions, I would need to change the CICS Explorer connection type from CICSPlex SM Data Interface to CICS Management Interface. Of course, nothing is ever that easy …

When I changed the CICS Explorer to use  the CICS Management Interface, I got the following error when I tried to connect:

org.xml.sax.SAXParseException: The element type “HR” must be terminated by the matching end-tag “</HR>”

Boy, it is really clear what this means, isn’t it? Translated into English, this is what it is really saying:

“You tried to access a port with the wrong protocol; make sure you are using a CICSPlex SM Data Interface to access a WUI port, or a CICS Management Interface to access a CMCI port.”

Up to this point, I had never heard of a CMCI port. However, it was fairly trivial to define new WUI parm, CMCIPORT, and point CICS Explorer to that port when using the CICS Management Interface. Once that was done, I magically got all the update options.

IBM has a procedure documented for setting up CMCI in stand-alone (non-CICSPlex) CICS regions so that they, too, can be accessed with CICS Explorer. (Thanks go to Chris Hodgins over at The Master Terminal for that link!)

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Implementing CICSPlex Part 4 – Connecting “Regular” CICS Regions to the CICSPlex

If you have performed the first 3 parts of this series of blog posts, then you are ready to connect your “regular” CICS regions to the CICSPlex. And that is probably the simplest part of the process!

The “regular” CICS’s are known as LMAS’s, or locally managed address spaces; in the CICS documentation, you may see them referred to as just managed address spaces.

As in the CMAS and the WUI regions, add the SEYUAUTH library to the STEPLIB concatenation, and the SEYULOAD library to the DFHRPL concatenation, and add an EYULOG DD.

In the SIT table, add the CPSMCONN=LMAS parameter, and make sure MN=ON is set.

That’s it! When you start up LMAS’s, you should see messages in the log where they connect to the CICSPlex. If you point a browser at http://hostname:portnumber, you should be able to sign on with your security id/password, and see information for the LMAS’s, such as current tasks active, files, programs, and other resource information – it is amost like CEMT on steroids!

This concludes the series of postings on establishing a CICSPlex, but we surely have not seen the end of this topic! I’m sure in the future I’ll post write-ups about CICS Explorer and other topics related to CICSPlex.

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Implementing CICSPlex Part 3 – Convert an Existing CICS into a WUI

The WUI, or Web User Interface, is the “console” for the CICSPlex. Originally a TSO interface was supported, but now there is only the WUI. There are several good sources that show how to create a WUI, including Dave Williams’ excellent article on MainframeZone.com, but some may not wish the overhead of another region and would prefer to use an existing region; a TOR is a good logical choice. However, be aware that the WUI runs auxtrace constantly (regardless of what you may have in the SIT or overrides), so you’ll be adding that activity to a region within which you choose to implement the WUI. To avoid constant changes of auxtrace files, you’ll probably want to reallocate the trace datasets for the WUI to be pretty large. If the tracing activity is a concern, then you’ll want to choose a different region, or create a new region for the WUI.

Start-up JCL

As in the CMAS, you’ll need the SEYUAUTH library in the STEPLIB concatenation and the SEYULOAD library in the DFHRPL concatenation. You’ll want to allocate a SYSOUT DD for EYULOG.

SIT and Overrides

In the DFHSIT table, or its SYSIN overrides, add the CPSMCONN parameter and set it to WUI. Add an INITPARM and set it to (EYU9VKEC=’ENU’,EYU9VWAN=’ENU1′); if you already have an INITPARM, then add the EYU9VKEC and EYU9VWAN parameters. Make sure that TCP is set to YES.

WUI Repository

Allocate a VSAM dataset to serve as the WUI repository:

//DELWREP  EXEC PGM=IDCAMS
//SYSPRINT DD SYSOUT=*
//SYSIN    DD *
DELETE YOUR.EYUWREP
SET MAXCC=0
/*
//DEFWREP  EXEC PGM=IDCAMS
//SYSPRINT DD SYSOUT=*
//SYSIN    DD *
DEFINE CLUSTER(NAME(YOUR.EYUWREP)-
INDEXED -
CYL(5 1) -
SHR(2)-
CISZ(8192) -
SPANNED -
VOLUME(your-volume)) -
DATA(NAME(YOUR.EYUWREP.DATA)-
RECORDSIZE(8192 32000) -
KEYS(20 20)) -
INDEX(NAME(YOUR.EYUWREP.INDEX))
/*

Add a EYUWREP DD to the start-up JCL, with DISP=SHR.

CICSPlex Parms

You’ll need a dataset to contain the CICSPlex-specific parms for the WUI:

NAME(wui-name),
CICSPLEX(CICSPlex-name),
CMASSYSID(CMAS-id)

Set NAME to match what you put in for WUINAME in the CMAS repository, and CICSPLEX must be set to the same value as that in your CMAS’ CICSPlex parms, and CMASSYSID must be set to the SYSIDNT of the CMAS. You’ll probably want to add  a SEC parameter and set it to NO initially, and set security after you have basic functionality.

Add a EYUPARM DD to the start-up JCL pointing to your parm file and member, with DISP=SHR.

WUI Parms

The WUI will need a WUI parm dataset defined, with the following parameters:

TCPIPHOSTNAME(tcpip-host-name)
TCPIPPORT(port-number)
DEFAULTCMASCTXT(cmas-name)
DEFAULTCONTEXT(CICSPlex-name)
DEFAULTSCOPE(scope)
AUTOIMPORTDSN(YOUR.SEYUVIEW)
AUTOIMPORTMEM(EYUEA*)

Set TCPIPHOSTNAME to the host name for your MVS image, and TCPIPPORT to the port number you wish for the WUI to use. Once this region is up, you can access the WUI by pointing a browser to http://tcpip-host-name:port-number .

Set DEFAULTCMASCTXT to the the CMAS name (same value as the CMAS name in your CMAS parms), and set DEFAULTCONTEXT to the CICSPlex name to the Plex name (same value as WUIPLEX in your CMAS repository). You will probably want to set DEFAULTSCOPE to the CICSPlex name, as you’ll probably prefer the scope of the WUI views to default to the entire CICSPlex than a specific CICS or group of CICS systems.

The last two entries can be removed after the initial successful start-up of the region. They specify to load the English “views” from the SEYUVIEW dataset. You can modify these or code your own views and load them later.

Add a EYUWUI DD to the start-up JCL pointing to this dataset, with DISP=SHR.

That’s it for the WUI. Start it up, and it should connect to your CMAS. Load your browser and point it to the host name and port number, and you should see the shell of a CICSPlex. Next time we’ll look at adding CICS regions to the new CICSPlex.

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Implementing CICSPlex Part 2 – Defining the CMAS

The CMAS, the primary CICSPlex region, is pretty much the same as any other CICS region with a few exceptions. In this posting, we’ll review the special parameters and data sets necessary for the CMAS CICS to perform CICSPlex functions. Continue reading

Implementing CICSPlex Part 1 – Planning the Environment

It will take more information than I can provide here to fully plan out a new CICSPlex environment, but I will hit on some of the primary things that should be considered, and how I decided to lay out the CICSPlexes in our shop. Continue reading