Tag Archives: cics tips

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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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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CICS-L Listserv

A great source of CICS information and help is the CICS-L Listserv. As of this post, there are over 1800 members, but only a handful of regular contributors. Still, it is a good resource for when you get stuck, and its archive is a great source of info. Since you are reading my blog, I highly recommend that you check out the CICS-L archives and consider subscribing.

Handy Listserv Commands

Below is a list of listserv commands you may find handy should you subscribe. All of these commands are issued by sending an email from the email address that is or that you wish to be subscribed to the CICS-L listserv.

Subscribe: Send a message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU, with the following in the text (not the subject): SUBSCRIBE CICS-L

Temporarily Leave: If, for example, you are going on vacation, send a message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU, with the following in the text (not the subject): SET CICS-L NOMAIL

Rejoin: When you are back from your vacation, send a message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU, with the following in the text (not the subject): SET CICS-L MAIL

Leave Permanently: Send a message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU, with the following in the text (not the subject): SIGNOFF CICS-L

For More Information: Send a message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU, with the following in the text (not the subject): HELP or INFO … HELP will have a short help message sent to you, where INFO will have a list of documents that you can order with more extensive help sent to you.

A few notes on listserv etiquette:

  • Do your homework before asking for help. Be sure you RTFM (read the fine manuals); you don’t want to ask a question and take up others’ time on something that you can look up yourself.
  • Be sure to include a descriptive subject line. E-mails received with no subject line may likely be perceived as spam by an email filter and be deleted before reaching the recipient’s inbox, and those with a concise subject are more likely to be read and/or answered.
  • Don’t just automatically hit “reply”; that will send your response to the entire list. If your response is only of interest to the person who wrote the message you are replying to, then cut their email address and send your message just to them.
  • Never use CICS-L to market a product. Posting independent reviews or help tips on CICS-related products is usually OK, but marketing is not acceptable.
  • Temporarily leave CICS-L when going on vacation. Please be aware that if you use an auto-responder while on vacation without setting your subscription options to NOMAIL, your “out of office” messages will be broadcast to everyone on the list. Most of them do not care and do not wish to receive such messages from other listserv members.

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