Category Archives: CICS

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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Mobile Mainframe – Check It Out!

I just received a very nice email from IBM’er Andy Armstrong, letting me know about his new blog, Mobile Mainframe. I see that he has posted that he had seen that I mentioned him and his IBM Impact session in one of my recent posts.

Andy’s session at IBM Impact 2013 was a great introduction to having a CICS back end to a mobile application, using JSON. With CICS TS 5.1, all the tools are there. Andy even had the courage to do a live demo … We all know from Bill Gates’ infamous blue screen of death demo years back how dangerous that can be! But no glitches for Andy – his sample insurance claim demo went smooth.

Check out Andy’s blog and bookmark it – I have already done so. I am sure you will find interesting reading there.

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Try CICS TS 5.1 – For FREE!

If you are running anything other than CICS TS 5.1, you may wish to consider installing IBM’s Free CICS TS 5.1 Developer Trial. You can install 5.1 in a test environment and check out all of the new features; the only limitations are: limited time (though you can download a new copy and install it again at no cost), some performance and capacity restrictions (to ensure that it is used only in a test environment), and licensing (you agree to only use it to test, and not for production work).

IBM has done us a tremendous favor here – take advantage of it! Whether to just check out the new features, or to “pre-install” it to prepare for upgrading to TS 5.1 (which you can do with this trial and not have the clock ticking on having two releases installed), you can’t beat free!

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