IBM United States
Software Announcement 201-097
April 17, 2001
Preview: VSE/ESA Version 2 Release 6 Continues Interoperability Focus
At a Glance
Customers need to implement the application that best meets the needs of their business, regardless of platform.
VSE/ESA V2R6 expands opportunities to create world-class, integrated e-business solutions in a hybrid environment. It protects your investments in core VSE data and applications, yet leverages advanced, open capabilities of platforms such as Linux (including Linux for S/390), Windows 2000, Windows NT, AIX®, OS/390®, z/OS, and others. VSE/ESA V2R6 e-business capabilities are based on open standards described in the powerful three-tier model outlined in IBM's Application Framework for e-business.
VSE/ESA V2R6 adds TCP/IP support for CICS External Call Interface (ECI). VSE connectors will be updated to the Java 2 standard. Internet security will be improved with the addition of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to TCP/IP. SSL exploitation includes CICS Web Support (CWS).
VSE/ESA V2R6 also supports enhanced technology including zSeries 900 (31-bit mode only), FICON, 2074, VSAM support for large 3390-9 disks, TCP/IP support for OSA Express, xSeries Enabled For S/390 (x/EFS), and Fastcopy utility exploitation of the Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) FlashCopy feature.
Many VSE customers have a hybrid IT infrastructure that includes several platforms. Application decisions, including e-business needs and opportunities, determine the platforms selected and no single platform is best for every need.
A platform is the combination of server and operating system. With the introduction of Linux for S/390®, VSE customers may now exploit the popular Linux operating system on the same IBM S/390 or IBM zSeries server that runs their core VSE applications. Thus even a single server may represent a hybrid environment.
In a hybrid world, interoperability is a key requirement.
VSE/ESA Version 2 Release 5 (V2R5) expanded VSE interoperability with the addition of e-business connectors based on open standards. Connectors allow easy access to VSE resources from other platforms, including, for example, Linux for S/390. They complement IBM connector middleware such as CICS® Transaction Gateway, DB2 Connect®, and MQSeries® clients.
VSE/ESA V2R6 continues the focus on interoperability. Enhancements add TCP/IP support for the CICS External Call Interface (ECI), let customers avoid SHARE OPTION 4 and the associated performance penalty when using connectors to remotely update VSAM data from another platform, and add Java 2 support to the VSE connector beans.
Internet security will be improved with the addition of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to TCP/IP for VSE/ESA. The SSL standard allows highly secure connections to CICS applications using CICS Web Support (CWS).
Hardware support includes zSeries 900 (31-bit mode only), FICON channels, 2074 management console to eliminate the non-SNA 3174 requirement, VSAM support for large 3390-9 disks, TCP/IP support for the OSA Express Adapter (available on S/390 G5/G6, and zSeries 900), IBM Solution xSeries Enabled For S/390 (x/EFS), and Fastcopy utility exploitation of the Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) FlashCopy feature.
Fast Service Upgrade (FSU) from VSE/ESA V2R4 and VSE/ESA V2R5 will be provided.
Previews provide insight into IBM plans and direction. Availability, prices, ordering information, and terms and conditions will be provided when the product is announced.
VSE e-business Connectors require TCP/IP for VSE/ESA V1R4 or equivalent. Tier 2 servers require the Java Development Kit (JDK) V1.1.x or above and WebSphere Application Server or equivalent.
In addition, those based on a DB2® infrastructure require DB2 Server for VSE & VM and stored procedure capabilities. Tier 2 servers require DB2 Connect or equivalent.
Interoperability through e-business Connectors
To exploit e-business opportunities, low cost and fast time-to-market are key. Few customers have the time or resources to convert fully functional core VSE applications to another platform. Instead, most want to protect their extensive investment in core applications, data, business processes, and skills. Furthermore, they want to leverage that investment to advance their e-business initiatives whenever possible. Connectors address those two requirements.
VSE e-business Connectors are designed for a three-tier environment. Using the three-tier model, the user interface may be a standard Web browser (tier 1). Requests from the user are handled by a Web application server (tier 2). The target Web application server is WebSphere. WebSphere runs on a variety of server platforms such as Linux (including Linux for S/390), Windows 2000, Windows NT, AIX, OS/390, z/OS, and others. When necessary, the Web application server (tier 2) requests services from a VSE system (tier 3). The Web application server integrates local and external content into a response that is returned to the user's browser (tier 1).
The three-tier model allows VSE customers to build truly world-class e-business applications yet protect their sizeable investment in VSE skills and information assets. Leveraging core VSE applications and data may allow them to deploy e-business applications with lower cost, less risk, and quicker time-to-market than alternatives requiring wasteful conversion or replacement of core VSE applications.
These VSE e-business Connectors complement other IBM middleware such as CICS Transaction Gateway, DB2 Connect, and MQSeries. They offer additional ways to help customers more easily integrate VSE core applications and data into productive, cost-effective e-business solutions.
Enhancements to VSE Connectors
Currently the CICS External Call Interface (ECI) supports only SNA. VSE/ESA V2R6 will add TCP/IP support for ECI. For example, TCP/IP connectivity will allow VSE users to exploit WebSphere Application Server and CICS Transaction Gateway in the Linux for S/390 environment to access applications running under CICS Transaction Server for VSE/ESA.
Support for Java 2 (JDK 1.2 and 1.3) will keep VSE connectors up-to-date with current open standards. Connectors will be supported for Linux (including Linux for S/390) and Windows 2000.
In VSE/ESA V2R5 VSAM requests are handled by a VSE connector server, a long-running batch partition. If data in a file that's under the control of CICS needs to be updated, SHARE OPTION 4 was required to resolve potential contention. The resulting overhead not only increased the time needed to service a connector request, but affected the performance of production applications using the file. With VSE/ESA V2R6, requests for VSAM data may be routed to CICS. The improved design can avoid performance impacts that would have resulted from the use of SHARE OPTION 4.
VSE connectors provide a basic, record-level API to VSE/VSAM and DL/I.
Some Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) offer products with more
capability. For example, proven ISV products are available with a rich
set of application functions including a SQL language API from the client
(tier 2) system, powerful mapping services, support for selected
non-IBM databases, equivalent OS/390 products, and so on. Customers who
need access to VSE data from another platform should consider these ISV
products. VSE e-business Connectors are complementary and aren't
intended to be a replacement or alternative for products that address a
more fully featured part of the connector spectrum.
Internet security will be enhanced with the addition of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to TCP/IP for VSE/ESA. SSL conforms to industry standards. It provides the protocols and algorithms needed to enhance confidentiality and verify content. The SSL encryption services include both Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Triple DES.
The SSL feature includes secure versions of common TCP/IP for VSE/ESA applications, including TN3270 and HTTP Server. CICS Web Support (CWS) will exploit SSL. The SSL Application Programming Interface (API) can be exploited by customers for new or existing sockets-based programs.
Continuing the objective of affinity between VSE and z/OS, the SSL API in
VSE/ESA V2R6 is compatible with the OS/390 and z/OS SSL API. Like TCP/IP
for VSE/ESA and related features, the SSL feature is licensed from
Connectivity Systems Incorporated.
Support for Leading Technology
Differences between VSE/ESA V2R6 and VSE/ESA V2R5
VSE/ESA V2R6 is the replacement for VSE/ESA V2R5. Upon general availability of VSE/ESA V2R6, VSE/ESA V2R5 will no longer be marketed.
Fast Service Upgrade (FSU) from VSE/ESA V2R4 and VSE/ESA V2R5 to VSE/ESA V2R6 will be provided.
IBM Global Financing offers attractive financing to credit-qualified commercial and government customers and Business Partners in more than 40 countries around the world. IBM Global Financing is provided by the IBM Credit Corporation in the United States. Offerings, rates, terms, and availability may vary by country. Contact your local IBM Global Financing organization. Country organizations are listed on the Web at:
Most product media is shipped only via Customized Offerings (that is, CBPDO, ServerPac, Systempac®). Noncustomized items (CDs, diskettes, source media, media kits) will continue to be shipped via the stand-alone product.