Tag Archives: PHP

IBM Impact 2013 Days Three and Four

Days three and four at IBM Impact 2013 were filled with more details on the overviews presented on day one. Probably the biggest highlights of the week were the individual sessions I had with IBM CICS experts on days three and four. The last time I was at Impact, these opportunities were not available. I highly recommend signing up for at least one of these events if you attend Impact, more if you can – regardless of which technical track is emphasized in your agenda. I was able to discuss the differences between the release our shop is currently running and Version 5.1 with an IBM’er who was very knowledgeable on the subject, and I had the unique opportunity to discuss the upcoming Dynamic Scripting feature pack with the developer that created it. There is more to gain from the “normal” sessions at Impact than can be acquired just from reading manuals, and the individual sessions are even beyond that.

Every IBM CICS person I talked with at Impact were genuinely excited about CICS TS 5.1. I can’t say enough about their passion, and their interest in answering any question any attendee had. Their enthusiasm made the week that was Impact 2013 an enjoyable learning experience.

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IBM Impact 2013 Day One

I saw a lot of good CICS sesssions right out of the gate at the IBM Impact 2013 conference. Version 5.1 has an amazing number of new features, including a couple of new and upcoming feature packs, and many enhancements to existing features.

New features include a cloud-like way to define and manage resources, autonomic policy-based management, a new version of CICS Explorer coming out in June, and a new product called CICS TS Value Unit Edition. New feature packs include Modern Batch and Mobile /JSON support. A statement of direction was given indicating upcoming feature packs for Security Tokens and V5 support of Dynamic Scripting. The new Dynamic Scripting feature pack will be built upon Liberty instead of Zero; one at least hopes this will give it a fast track into inclusion into the base product.

More than a few significant enhancements have been made in version 5.1. There is 24-bit and 31-bit storage relief, as much of the CICS system storage has been moved above the bar. As always with new releases and versions, more commands have been made thread safe. CEMT SET, PERFORM, ENABLE, and DISABLE commands are now audited – no more wondering who issued a newcopy command right before response time tanked!

Still much to learn in the remaining days of Impact 2013, but the preview on Monday certainly wets the appetite.

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Dynamic Scripting on Hold for Now

Just as a lot of folks were getting excited about using PHP in CICS, IBM pulled the plug on WebSphere sMash and Project Zero. Since Dynamic Scripting was built on these, and these are not being updated to support Java 7, and since CICS/TS V5 requires Java 7, there is no support for Dynamic Scripting in CICS/TS V5 at this time.

If you still have CICS/TS 4.1 or 4.2 regions, the Dynamic Scripting feature pack works great and can be used for pilot projects. However, it probably would not be a good idea to go production with them until the dust settles. IBM encourages PHP development in V4, but does not recommend using Groovy because of upward compatibility concerns.

IBM is currently investigating technologies for continuing providing PHP support in CICS. If you are interested in this support, you are encouraged to contact the IBM CICS team to discuss it through your IBM account representative.

For more info, see PHP and Dynamic Scripting in CICS TS on IBM’s web site.

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