Category Archives: Education

CICS Events Teleconference Available for Download

In case you missed the June 10 teleconference on CICS Events in CICS/TS 4.1 presented by IBM, it is now available for downloading. If you have any interest at all in CICS/TS 4.1, or just keeping up with what is just around the corner with CICS, I would recommend checking it out. Learn about yet another way to open up legacy applications to new systems with minimal effort. Educational dollars are hard to come by in this economy, so take advantage of IBM’s free education!

IBM Impact 2009

The 2009 edition of Impact, IBM’s Smart SOA Conference, is quickly approaching. Impact is the place to go to learn about Websphere and IBM’s implementation of SOA. Plenty of IBM business partners will also be on hand with add-on or competing products. CICS appears to be becoming a larger part of Impact every year. As is SHARE, Impact provides a great networking opportunity. Also, Billy Crystal will be on hand, as will 80’s rockers Huey Lewis and the News. There are plenty of reasons to attend Impact if you can.

Impact runs from May 3 through May 8, in Las Vegas. Cost is $2150 in advance, or $2250 at the door, which is a little high compared to SHARE, but hotel rates appear reasonable (stay at the hotel where Impact is hosted for under $200 per night), and flights to Las Vegas likely can often be acquired for less than flights to other cities. IBM estimates that attendees can acquire over $15,000 worth of education. It will be well worth the trip for those that can make it.

Free IBM Webcast – CICS Hangs and Slowdowns

IBM is presenting another free web conference this Tuesday at 11 am EDT: CICS Hangs and Slowdowns – How to use a dump to determine the cause. The speaker will be Dan Zachary, and this one looks to be one that anyone in CICS support should not miss. Dan will be showing how to use IPCS to identify the cause of CICS hangs and severe slowdowns. Be sure to grab a copy of the presentation now and attend the presentation (password will be wste21apr) a few minutes early to ensure that you do not miss anything. The US toll-free number to call into will be 888-296-4215; see the webcast web page for complete list of numbers for other countries, as well as all other details.

With IT budgets being tightened, it would certainly make sense to take advantage of any free education opportunities, and IBM has done a great job of making some very useful information available via free webcasts. Don’t forget that past webcasts are generally still available for about a year after the original broadcast date. There are over twenty webcasts specifically on CICS available!

SHARE 112 Review

There were plenty of great sessions at SHARE in Austin last week. I focused primarily on CICS sessions, and from Steve Ware‘s and Kathy Tyrrell’s Project Opening and Product Update through the Q-Box session featuring all of IBM’s CICS representatives, there was a lot of information to absorb. As speculated, there was quite a bit revealed about the upcoming CICS/TS 4.1 release. In case you did not attend SHARE in Austin but are considering attending in Denver, I’ll review some of the things that I thought made SHARE worth the trip. I can’t possibly give details on all of the sessions that I attended, but I’ll mention some of the highlights to give a flavor of what SHARE’s about.

John Tilling gave a CICS/TS 4.1 Technical Overview. In it, he revealed some details on event processing support, ATOM support, and that CICS Explorer, the GUI tool for defining resources, will be part of the CICS/TS 4.1. Where the beta version that was made available for CICS/TS 3.1 and 3.2 was read-0nly and required CPSM, CICS Explorer in 4.1 will be able to update and will not require CPSM. Matthew Webster gave an excellent demo of CICS Explorer in a later session.

I try to keep up with the latest trends in IT (I was involved in a project to serve information from CICS via web services before IBM started providing support for it), but I was behind some of the Web 2.0 technologies, such as REST, AJAX, JSON, etc. Dennis Weiand gave a really good presentation that explained a lot of these terms in easy-to-understand language, and talked about about how PHP can be used in CICS.

If you haven’t seen Ivan Gelb‘s CICS Performance Management and Best Practices session, I would highly recommend it. In fact, since Ivan keeps it current, I would recommend it even if you have seen it before. I saw some things I want to review to make sure we are meeting best practices in our shop.

I also try to catch some non-CICS sessions while at SHARE. I thought John Eells’ New Facilities and Features Beyond 1.10 had a lot of good information. z/OS 1.11 will be GA in September, and this session gave some insight about DS8000 support, extended format sequential files, performance improvements, and much more. z/OS 1.10 is the last to support the old LDAP server, so if you are still running it, it’s time to start converting to the new one.

Liam Doherty and Peter Van Dyke from IBM’s ISPF development facility in Perth gave quite a few sessions. We are lucky they are able to take the time to come this distance to make these presentations. While most speakers did not have handouts, Liam and Peter gave out CD’s with all the vital info from their presentations. SHARE is going “green” and not providing speakers the facilities to make copies of their handouts, so be sure to be ready to take lots of notes while you are there if you get to attend SHARE in Denver. A DVD with the proceedings will be sent in 6-8 weeks, but that’s time to forget a lot of the details if you don’t take good notes!

There is far more information available at SHARE than I have time to hit upon in a quick blog post. There are many sessions on z/Linux, COBOL, Assembler, JES, TCP/IP, VM, personal development – I can’t even begin to list all of the categories of sessions. If you have any chance at being able to attend SHARE in Denver in August, I would highly recommend that you visit the SHARE web site and start making plans.