Tag Archives: cics explorer

Make CICS/TS V3 Function Like 4.1 (For Free!)

Still running CICS/TS 3.1 or 3.2, and cannot upgrade yet to the recently released 4.1 version due to budget constraints or other restrictions? You can still get some of the benefits available in 4.1 by installing these free SupportPacs for CICS available on the IBM web site!
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CICS/TS 4.1 Announcement Letter

Compete, comply, and control. Those are the themes behind the new release of CICS, which IBM plans to have available starting June 26, 2009. Until then, there is an open beta that can be downloaded and installed; it can be used until July 31, 2009.

Some of the new features that I saw that I thought were big include:

  • CICS Explorer
  • Application bundles (grouping logically related resource definitions)
  • Support for Java 6
  • Use of z/OS Systems Service XML parser (meaning that parsing could be offloaded to a zAAP)

Read the official IBM CICS/TS 4.1 announcement letter for full details.

CICS/TS 4.1 Beta Now Available

IBM has made the beta release of CICS/TS 4.1 available at no charge. In it, we are promised the uncut version of CICS Explorer. Originally released in a SupportPac with the update options grayed out, CICS Explorer in the CICS/TS 4.1 beta is said to have all of those options available. John Knutson, IBM Marketing Manager, reports that the full CICS Explorer will be available for version 3 in a future SupportPac.

If you are interested in CICS/TS 4.1, I would encourage you to check out the free beta. And also take the poll on my site!

4/2/2009 Update: The beta software will expire on July 31, 2009.  The last beta required re-installation when the product went GA, so I presume this beta will be the same. If you can’t or do not want to install the beta, but you do want to follow what problems and questions people are encountering, visit the forum that IBM has set up for comments and feedback.

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.

CICS Explorer Webcast

On November 5, IBM presented a webcast on CICS Explorer. It repeated much of the information previously released about the product, but did have some new info.

CICS Explorer is available now as a supportpac (CS1J), as are plugins to support optional CICS products such as Interdependency Analyzer and Performance Analyzer (CS1N) and an SDK (CA1R). It is available at no cost, and IBM pledged that it would remain a no-cost part of CICS in the future. In the question and answer portion of the webcast, IBM hinted that CICS Explorer may be made available for shops that do not run CPSM.

Hopefully the webcast will be available to view soon for those that missed it. In the meantime, IBM has a section of their web site dedicated to CICS Explorer, complete with a list of features, requirements, and a link to where it can be downloaded.

November 10 Update: The webcast can now be viewed by those who missed the original event.

The New Face of CICS

IBM is coming out with a new Eclipse-based interface for systems programmers, operators, and developers, that it is calling CICS Explorer. It requires Version 3 of CICS/TS (any release) and the CICSPlex WUI server on the mainframe; Windows and Linux requirements have not been announced yet for the client. Since it is stated by IBM to be “a significant step in our commitment and quest for IT Simplification for both CICS and System z,” it is obviously an attempt to appeal to the younger people to make the mainframe look “sexier”. Hey, if it works, that’s fine – but the bottom line on its success will be determined by the functionality provided. It looks interesting. If you missed the preview at SHARE, plan on viewing the webcast in November. If you can’t wait, sign up for the beta program! For details, email Francis Burgess (tell him that The CICS Guy sent you!).