Tag Archives: release information

IBM Impact 2014

I am fortunate once again to be attending IBM Impact. The general session again focused on mobile, and featured speakers from Tangerine Bank, Square, and Daimler Car2Go. Live demos did not go too well due to apparent networking issues, but speakers covered nicely.

Here are some of my biggest take-aways from today’s CICS sessions:

  • The 5.2 Developer Trial can be turned into a full version without re-installing.
  • The mobile feature pack introduced in 5.1 is integrated into the base in 5.2.
  • “Simple” Occurs Depending On is supported in 5.2 web services.
  • 5.2 has something called Multi-Versioning, which allows a new version of a program to be implemented, and taken out, quickly. It is possible to have the new version and old version available simultaneously.
  • Of course, as with every new release of CICS in recent years, more things are moving above the bar for virtual storage relief, and more commands are threadsafe.
  • It was not explicitly stated, but all indications are that the CICSPlex WUI is going away after V5. It is time to really start using the CICS Explorer, if you’re not already using it.

I had a great one-on-one “Lunch and Learn” session on the CICS Explorer. It was originally slated for myself and one other person, but they were a no-show. The session was a good review of many of the things I already knew, and I picked up a couple of new tidbits. The one-on-one and Lunch and Learn sessions alone pretty much make the trip for Impact worthwhile.

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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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Dynamic Scripting Now Supported in CICS/TS 4.2

IBM had stated in the CICS/TS 4.2 Announcement Letter that it intended to provide support for dynamic scripting in 4.2, and now it has come through on this promise. Feature Pack for Dynamic Scripting 1.1 is now available for those running CICS/TS 4.2.

Dynamic Scripting, introduced as an unsupported SupportPac in CICS/TS 3.2, and supported in CICS/TS 4.1 as a Feature Pack, opens up CICS for the 4 million plus PHP and Groovy developers, and provides mainframe CICS shops with an environment that can be used to quickly develop prototypes and/or build productivity applications such as dashboards or widgets, most often associated with Intel or UNIX servers.

The availability of a version of the Feature Pack for CICS/TS 4.2 is welcome news for those of us curious about the 4.1 Feature Pack, but hesitant to invest time in it until it was supported in CICS/TS 4.2. Now that dynamic scripting has been supported in consecutive CICS/TS releases, it must be taken seriously as a viable option for PHP development!

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CICS/TS 4.1 Now GA

CICS/TS 4.1 went GA on 6/26. As we’ve already looked at on this blog, this release features CICS Explorer and Event Processing, and more. If you’re considering ordering, be sure that you are aware that CICS/TS 4.1 requirements include z/OS 1.9 and Java 6.

Upgrade Info

Will you be upgrading CICS soon? Or will your shop be upgrading z/OS and/or DB2 in the near future? Of course one of these will be happening soon – it is changes like these that keep us gainfully employed. The only bad part about these upgrades are the problems that often come with them. Here’s something to help resolve these issues more quickly and enhance your status as a systems hero … IBM has a nifty page available that shows what issues that you may run into when upgrading to various levels of CICS, as well as issues that you may run into in CICS if z/OS or DB2 is upgraded. This is one to bookmark!

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 2.3 End Of Support Announced

In addition to preview announcement of CICS/TS 4.1, IBM has announced that the end of support for CICS/TS 2.3 effective September, 2009.

CICS/TS 2.2 went out of support last April, and CICS/TS 1.3 went out of support in 2006. No dates have been announced for CICS/TS 3.1 or 3.2, but recent history indicates that CICS releases typically go out of support in 5-6 years. So, CICS/TS 3.1 should be good through the rest of next year, and 3.2 may be supported until sometime in 2013. If you believe in the Mayan calendar prophecy, CICS/TS 3.2 may be all you need  – but what CICS release you are running is probably the least of your worries if you give that any credence.

If you are running anything older than CICS/TS 3.1, you need to decide whether to order 3.2 now, or wait and order 4.1 when it is available. There are typically price increases with new versions, so ordering 3.2 may be the way to go for the thrifty; if you want to get onto the latest and greatest (and have the capabilities to utilize the latest enhancements), or if you want to get on the release that would be supported farther out, 4.1 would be the way to go.