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What’s New With CICS?

On Oct. 3, IBM announced CICS Transaction Server (TS) V5.1, updates to five CICS tools, and CICS Transaction Gateway (TG) V9. Let’s have a look at these announcements in more detail.

Back in July, IBM was talking about plans to make the CICS TS for z/OS V5.1 open beta available, but now the full product has been announced. And it helps to move users toward a service-delivery platform for cloud computing. In terms of driving operational efficiencies, IBM says CICS TS 5.1 provides:

• Greater capacity—achieve cost savings through consolidation
• Managed operations—control critical resource thresholds with policies
• Increased availability—reduce the need for planned downtime
• Deeper insight—extend performance and compliance information

And to increase service agility, IBM says it offers:

• First-class applications—create agile services from existing assets

• First-class platforms—create agile service delivery platforms
• Modern interfaces—build rich Web experiences for critical applications
• Foundational enhancements—extend core capabilities

CICS TS V5.1 general availability will be Dec. 14.

The strategic system management interface for CICS TS, IBM CICS Explorer, is now also on version 5.1. This supports the latest version of CICS TS and the enhanced capabilities of the upgraded tools, while still working with older versions of CICS.

The new versions of the CICS tools include modern interfaces that integrate with CICS Explorer, helping users be more productive. IBM CICS Interdependency Analyzer for z/OS V5.1 includes application name when collecting dependency and command flow data. This lets users easily analyze and manage their new CICS TS applications.

IBM CICS Deployment Assistant for z/OS V5.1 includes a new IBM System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP)-off-loadable server component with enhanced discovery that can create a centralized and more complete model of a site’s CICS infrastructure. There’s an enhanced plug-in for CICS Explorer that provides advanced visualization with tagging and filtering, which lets users view, print and manage their CICS infrastructure as they want to see it.

In addition, the model can be exported to standard spreadsheet tools for external analysis and reporting. The IBM CICS Performance Analyzer for z/OS V5.1 includes new application-, platform- and policy-performance metrics, in batch reports and plug-in views, to simplify application-centric and platform-centric performance analysis and reporting. There are functional and navigation improvements to its plug-in for CICS Explorer. IBM CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS V5.1 manages the new application and platform resource definitions in CICS TS V5.1. This simplifies the management and improves the governance of the CICS environment. And IBM CICS VSAM Recovery for z/OS V5.1 enables CICS and batch VSAM files to be used in geographically dispersed Active-Standby and Active-Query configurations. There are also some batch logging, migration and other improvements.

Also announced were updates to IBM CICS TG for z/OS V9.0, CICS TG for Multiplatforms V9.0, and CICS TG Desktop Edition V9.0. The enhancements help to increase operational efficiency and improve service agility. They do this by:

• Exploiting the latest runtime environments for distributed applications, including Java 7
• Reducing complexity and management costs for high-volume users with increased vertical scaling on z/OS
• Extending Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connectivity to three-tier topologies for interoperation with high-availability CICS TG features, including connection-level time-out for users migrating from External CICS Interface (EXCI) to IP Interconnectivity (IPIC) connectivity
• Allowing support for 64-bit C distributed platform External Call Interface (ECI) applications that include asynchronous calls
• Allowing end-to-end transaction tracking with the WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Cross Component Trace (XCT) facility
• Providing full eXtended Architecture (XA) transaction metadata for Dynamic Server Selection (DSS) algorithms so eliminating the need to dedicate Gateway daemons to single lines-of-business that need high availability and two-phase commit, and
• Extending the recording of historical statistics to the CICS TG for Multiplatforms product


IBM Session Manager V3.2 was also announced. This has an updated plug-in for IBM CICS Explorer that provides a new online administration (OLA) perspective to update configuration information including users, profiles, applications, terminal, and system parameters.

Full details of the announcements can be found on the IBM website.

Trevor Eddolls is CEO at iTech-Ed Ltd., an IT consultancy. For many years, he was the editorial director for Xephon’s Update publications and is now contributing editor to the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook. Eddolls has written three specialist IT books, and has had numerous technical articles published. He currently chairs the Virtual IMS and Virtual CICS user groups.

Posted: 10/15/2012 9:58:15 AM by Trevor Eddolls | with 0 comments

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