IBM has a free webcast coming up next week that would appear to have some great information for those that have not delved into the world of web services yet. Paul Cooper’s presentation will include an overview of CICS web services, an introduction to using RD/z (IBM’s Rational Developer for System/z), and some best practices.
The webcast starts at 11 am EDT on September 22. This is just part one of a two part series … While Part One covers developing CICS web service applications, Part Two will be exactly one week later, in which Nigel Williams will share details regarding deploying CICS web services.
CICS Web Services Development – 11 am EDT, September 22, 2009
CICS Web Services Deployment – 11 am EDT, September 29, 2009
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In case you missed the June 10 teleconference on CICS Events in CICS/TS 4.1 presented by IBM, it is now available for downloading. If you have any interest at all in CICS/TS 4.1, or just keeping up with what is just around the corner with CICS, I would recommend checking it out. Learn about yet another way to open up legacy applications to new systems with minimal effort. Educational dollars are hard to come by in this economy, so take advantage of IBM’s free education!
IBM is presenting another free web conference this Tuesday at 11 am EDT: CICS Hangs and Slowdowns – How to use a dump to determine the cause. The speaker will be Dan Zachary, and this one looks to be one that anyone in CICS support should not miss. Dan will be showing how to use IPCS to identify the cause of CICS hangs and severe slowdowns. Be sure to grab a copy of the presentation now and attend the presentation (password will be wste21apr) a few minutes early to ensure that you do not miss anything. The US toll-free number to call into will be 888-296-4215; see the webcast web page for complete list of numbers for other countries, as well as all other details.
With IT budgets being tightened, it would certainly make sense to take advantage of any free education opportunities, and IBM has done a great job of making some very useful information available via free webcasts. Don’t forget that past webcasts are generally still available for about a year after the original broadcast date. There are over twenty webcasts specifically on CICS available!
You may have noticed that I didn’t include any info on the presenter in the blog entry on IBM web conference on CICS Performance Basics … Dan Zachary’s name sounded familiar, but I could not recall anything about him.
I shot Dan an email, and it turns out that Dan works in CICS Level 2 Support, and he assisted me with a PMR back in 2003. (I believe that was the last PMR I worked on; it’s been ETR’s since.) On this PMR, we had a linked program that was abending; it had a GOBACK coded instead of an EXEC CICS RETURN. Changing the GOBACK to an EXEC CICS RETURN was a workaround, but IBM was able to provide a fix to allow the code to run with the GOBACK. It turned out to be an LE issue, but Dan was very helpful in making that determination.
Now-a-days a GOBACK is handled same as an EXEC CICS RETURN … Anyone else remember when issuing a GOBACK in CICS caused CICS to terminate? Instead of returning back to the calling program, it returned control back to the operating system. I do not recall when that was changed, but I still pause when I see a GOBACK in CICS application code.
Anyway, Dan is an Advisory Software Engineer with IBM and has worked with CICS Level 2 Support for going on 20 years. He knows what he’s talking about – be sure and catch the web conference if you can! I’ll have to miss the original broadcast, but will catch up when it is made available for replay.
On February 3, at 11 a.m. EST, Dan Zachary will be presenting a free web conference on CICS Performance Basics. According to the write-up, he will be focusing on the most important CICS performance monitoring fields, including how to access them in a dump and how to use them to identify the source of performance issues. Sounds like a great topic, and should be well-worth the time. By the way, the price is right (did I mention that it’s FREE?).
I have a meeting scheduled that conflicts with this, so I’m hoping someone can post a review to let us that can’t attend know how it went. Hopefully IBM will be making the web conference available for replay sometime afterwards.
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.
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!).