Tag Archives: CICSPlex

IBM Impact 2014, Part 1

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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