Statement of Direction: Planned enhancements to the CICS family of products

IBM United States Software Announcement 206-096
May 2, 2006

 

 ENUS206-096.PDF (25KB)

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Overview

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is a strategic and high value model for computing. This Statement of Direction for the CICS® family confirms the intent of IBM that CICS will continue to strengthen its support for SOA — particularly in the strategic areas of asset reuse, integration, and governance — so that proven CICS applications can continue to play a central role in delivering business value.

The ability to reuse program assets in new applications is important for rapid business innovation and reduced costs. IBM plans to extend the integration of the CICS Service Flow Runtime with CICS Transaction Server for z/OS® (CICS Transaction Server) so that services built with the Service Flow Modeler (SFM) become CICS-managed entities, with the same consistent approach to monitoring, statistics, and life cycle management. For broad reuse and performance advantages in service workflows, the SFM integrates with service development and assembly technologies, like WebSphere® Developer for zSeries® and WebSphere Integration Developer. It is intended to include Business Process Execution Language (BPEL)-based capabilities for building and running CICS sub-process flows that can be reused within multiple external processes.

For easier integration, IBM intends that Web services created from CICS transactions can be entered into the WebSphere Service Registry and utilized across an SOA for discovery and incorporation into applications anywhere. In addition, it is intended that CICS will implement the WebSphere Service Registry and Repository API so that Web services can be called dynamically from within CICS applications.

SOA governance is the extension of IT measurement, policy, and control mechanisms to the life cycle of services to ensure the business value of SOA. To build upon its robust security and authentication capabilities for meeting governance obligations, IBM intends to support Event Driven Architecture (EDA) to initiate the event-triggered delivery of a message for appropriate action in managing and separately maintaining infrastructure and business processes. It is planned for CICS to provide non-invasive instrumentation of business logic that can be used by both business analysts and developers. As a first step in its longer-term EDA strategy, IBM intends that the complementary product, CICS Business Event Publisher for MQSeries®, will be extended to conform with the Common Event Infrastructure for working with a wide range of business, system, and network events.

With this Statement of Direction, CICS customers can make their CICS systems a central part of their own SOA strategies, confident that the CICS portfolio of products will continue to be well-aligned with the SOA model.
 
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Description

CICS is a family of application servers, connectors and tools that provides industrial-strength, online transaction management and connectivity for mission-critical applications. CICS Transaction Server already participates fully in SOAs, supported by the rest of the portfolio. As leadership products in transaction processing, it is planned that they will continue to evolve to enhance their SOA capabilities. This Statement of Direction shows how CICS customers can expect to realize further benefits in three important aspects of SOA:

  • Asset reuse
  • Asset integration
  • SOA governance

Asset reuse

The ability to reuse program assets in new composite applications is of critical importance in SOA. Reuse enhances innovation by enabling rapid assembly of new business solutions from existing software services, extends core applications to a broader set of skills, and supports IT governance by extending proven business processes and best practices. In addition to CICS Transaction Server, the CICS portfolio includes a range of evolving tools that support reuse.

CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.1: The CICS Service Flow feature, a no-charge, supported feature of CICS Transaction Server, will continue to be a critical element in enabling the transformation of CICS applications for reuse as services. CICS Service Flow Feature is a business service integration adapter for all CICS applications, offering both tooling and run-time components.

In the future, IBM intends to improve the integration of the CICS Service Flow Runtime with CICS Transaction Server to simplify solution deployment, configuration, and management. This strategy will also enable a CICS business service built using the Service Flow Modeler to become a managed entity in the CICS environment, so it benefits from a consistent approach to monitoring, statistics, diagnosis, and life cycle management.

Additional planned enhancement of the application transformation capabilities in CICS will focus on further integration with service development and assembly technologies, such as WebSphere Developer for zSeries and WebSphere Integration Developer, to promote effective reuse of CICS applications. It is intended to include BPEL-based capabilities for building and running CICS sub-process flows that can be reused within multiple external processes.

WebSphere Studio Asset Analyzer and Asset Transformation Workbench help customers understand the logic of their mature CICS applications, helping identify program components, and making visible the application structure and dependencies within and between applications and their data. IBM's intent is to continue to expand support for composite application scenarios, including Web services, and provide additional means to simplify the discovery, assessment, and preparation of candidates for reuse in an SOA.

CICS Interdependency Analyzer for z/OS (CICS IA) helps understand the relationships between CICS components so they can be composed to form services for SOA implementations. Information provided by CICS IA is also critical for improved maintenance and availability of CICS systems and applications. IBM intends to enhance CICS IA to exploit future releases of CICS Transaction Server. This support would enable a faster migration path to new releases of CICS Transaction Server, as well as easier exploitation of new SOA functionality.

WebSphere Developer for zSeries (WDz) consists of a common workbench and an integrated set of tools that support end-to-end, model-based application development, run-time testing, and rapid deployment of on demand applications. WDz makes it straightforward and productive to wrap existing CICS applications as Web services, as well as to develop new CICS services.

IBM intends to provide easy-to-use and productive application development from Unified Modeling Language (UML) specifications and database schemas. Application modeling support is planned to be delivered in Rational® Software Architect, integrated with code generation provided in Rational Application Developer and WDz. The generic patterns of transformation are based on a public API, which third parties can also use as a basis for more domain-specific implementations. Application code generated from these models will include user interface-based WebSphere JSF components, Web services-based connectivity, and business and data processing in COBOL and CICS.

Asset integration

Flexible integration is crucial to the connection of both program and data assets into new business processes. Integration is a fundamental attribute of SOA, and the CICS portfolio includes a range of evolving tools to promote integration of both applications and data.

CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.1 : IBM will ensure that CICS Transaction Server conforms with the latest Web services integration standards. It is intended that Web services created from CICS transactions can be entered into the WebSphere Service Registry and utilized across an SOA for discovery and incorporation into applications anywhere. In addition, it is intended that CICS will implement the WebSphere Service Registry and Repository API so that Web services can be called dynamically from within CICS applications.

It is planned to exploit optimized XML z/OS parsing services for efficiency in transformed applications. This conformance will be complemented by interoperation with DataPower XI50 XML Integration Appliance. Also, some CICS application interfaces will be enhanced to take advantage of 64-bit technologies to promote the efficient exchange of the large amounts of data content common in new enterprise solutions.

Easy integration of CICS applications continues to be a priority. IBM's intent is that additional capabilities that support the execution of mixed language applications in an SOA environment will be delivered in the next release. CICS will broaden its support for the HTTP transport and the latest content exchange format standards. In addition, it is a goal to reduce network administration costs by enabling calling between CICS applications over a TCP/IP network infrastructure while continuing to support the expected qualities of service.

CICS Transaction Gateway enables J2EE standards-based access to CICS applications, for straightforward participation of CICS applications in an SOA. IBM intends to deliver, across all CICS Transaction Gateway platforms, a range of systems monitoring functionality that will assist customers with capacity planning and problem determination. This capability should integrate with products from the Tivoli® systems management software portfolio. IBM also intends to extend the functionality of the JCA resource adapters to enable interoperation with the channels and containers programming model.

TXSeries™ for Multiplatforms is an entry-level CICS server that for more than a decade has delivered high-performance, CICS-managed transactional services, across a range of distributed platforms. To facilitate the ease of integration of existing assets into a modern SOA, IBM has recently removed all dependencies on the separate Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) and Encina® products from TXSeries on the AIX® platform. It is planned that this capability will be extended to the remaining platforms later this year. Following that, IBM intends to focus on the integration of TXSeries assets in modern SOAs by delivering a structured method of inter-program communication that can be used across standards-based networks. This will be delivered in line with established CICS design principles to maintain upward compatibility with CICS Transaction Server for z/OS.

CICS Business Event Publisher for MQSeries (CICS BEP) delivers a business rules engine which allows real-time enterprise application integration based on event-driven "push" technology, enabling business events from CICS, DB2®, and IMS™ to drive new business processes. CICS BEP is planned to evolve towards a key role within an SOA with the planned introduction of XML support for outbound messages.

CICS VSAM Transparency for z/OS (CICS VT) provides one-time low-risk data movement from a VSAM data store to a fully-featured database in DB2. As well as centralizing data management on DB2, CICS VT simplifies the integration of CICS data into a single DB2 repository. Existing mainframe applications can continue to function unchanged, while other modern applications access data in DB2. Planned improvements will include enhanced VSAM datasets support and record-by-record migration.

SOA governance

SOA governance is the extension of IT measurement, policy and control mechanisms to the lifecycle of services to ensure the business value of SOA. Automated capabilities to address governance requirements include measurement of service levels, accountable security, standards implementation, and auditable ownership of services.

CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.1: With its robust security and authentication capabilities — combined with effective management of large runtime configurations for meeting demanding service-level objectives — the fundamentals for governance in CICS are already in place. CICS customers can already specify the controls and collect the data to meet governance obligations.

To build upon its security and authentication capabilities for meeting governance obligations, IBM intends to support Event Driven Architecture (EDA) to initiate the event-triggered delivery of a message for appropriate action in managing and separately maintaining infrastructure and business processes. It is planned for CICS to provide non-invasive instrumentation of business logic that can be used by both business analysts and developers. This will provide business analysts with all the information they need to be able to prioritize applications and resources for alignment with corporate initiatives and directions. As a first step in its longer-term EDA strategy, IBM intends that the complementary product, CICS Business Event Publisher for MQSeries, will be extended to conform with the Common Event Infrastructure (CEI) for working with a wide range of business, system, and network events.

CICS Business Event Publisher for MQSeries has a significant role in IT governance and best practices. With its detection/notification capabilities, it can take part in activity audits and produce audit trails. It is intended that CICS BEP will conform with the CEI in a future release. The CEI is IBM's implementation of a unified set of APIs and infrastructure for the creation, transmission, and distribution of Common Base Event (CBE) formatted events, derived from the Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) Web Event Format (WEF) standard. CBEs can represent a wide range of business, system, and network events, and they can be used in IT and business governance.

CICS Performance Analyzer for z/OS (CICS PA) and Tivoli OMEGAMON® XE for CICS (OMEGAMON XE for CICS) together play an important role in day-to-day (OMEGAMON XE for CICS) and long-term (CICS PA) performance management strategy, and they are critical to meeting service-level agreements in IT governance. IBM intends to deliver further integration between OMEGAMON XE for CICS and CICS PA by supporting additional, OMEGAMON-recorded, SMF record types. Further plans include additional enhancements in CICS PA reporting functions in order to support customer business requirements in the performance analysis area, and to exploit new functions in future releases of CICS Transaction Server when they are made available.

CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS (CICS CM) simplifies CICS administration, and helps improve availability and reduce errors. Its role in governance is to demonstrate control and change management over CICS function. For more information about CICS CM V1.2, refer to Software Announcement 206-097 , dated May 2, 2006.

Summary

This Statement of Direction for the CICS family reinforces IBM's intention to ensure that CICS continues to strengthen its support for SOA so that proven CICS applications can continue to play a central role in delivering business value.

To enhance the ability to reuse program assets in new applications, IBM plans to extend the integration of the CICS Service Flow Runtime with CICS Transaction Server. The integration could include service development and assembly technologies, with BPEL-based capabilities for building and running CICS sub-process flows that can be reused within multiple external processes.

For easier integration of program assets, IBM intends CICS to interface with the WebSphere Service Registry and Repository so that Web services can be called dynamically from within CICS applications.

To build upon its robust security and authentication capabilities for meeting governance obligations, IBM intends to support Event Driven Architecture (EDA) to initiate the event-triggered delivery of a message for appropriate action in managing and separately maintaining infrastructure and business processes.

All statements regarding IBM's plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.

Other information

Program services for CICS Transaction Gateway V5.0 (5724-D12) and CICS Universal Client V5.0 (5724-C78) are extended to September 30, 2006. The previously announced date for discontinuance of program services was April 30, 2006.

Program services for TXSeries for Multiplatforms V5.0 (5724-B44) are extended to April 30, 2007. This extension will enable customers on the Windows+, HP-UX, and Solaris platforms to migrate directly to the forthcoming version of TXSeries referred to in the above Statement of Direction. The previously announced date for discontinuance of program services was September 30, 2006.
 
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Reference information

For more information about CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.1, refer to Software Announcement 204-285 , dated November 30, 2004.

For more information about the CICS Service Flow Feature, refer to Software Announcement 205-303 , dated November 22, 2005.

For more information about TXSeries for Multiplatforms V6.0, refer to Software Announcement 205-322 , dated December 6, 2005.

For more information about CICS Transaction Gateway for Multiplatforms V6.0, refer to Software Announcement 204-284 , dated November 30, 2004.

For more information about CICS Transaction Gateway for z/OS V6.1, refer to Software Announcement 205-248 , dated October 4, 2005.

For information about the CICS family of products, refer to

Trademarks

 
TXSeries and IMS are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
 
CICS, z/OS, WebSphere, zSeries, MQSeries, Rational, Tivoli, Encina, AIX, DB2, and OMEGAMON are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
 
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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