Skip to main content

CICS communication

A View from Development - Dave Andrews

June 26th marked the general availability of CICS Transaction Server V4.1 with it's Web 2.0 capabilities, Business event production and the CICS Explorer, touted as the new face of CICS but is really so much more than just a new front end when used in conjunction with the version 4 restful interfaces. CICS Performance Analyzer V3.1 also became available from May 22nd and interacts directly with the CICS Explorer, the increased monitoring facilities for new function in CICS V4 enable customers to understand the DNA of their environment and in these challenging times ensure that their CICS environment is performing at an optimum level.

As we celebrate the CICS 40th birthday on July 8th we look forward to the SHARE conference about to take place in Denver Colorado, where there will be many technical sessions on the new aspects of CICS to have come out as well as birthday celebrations, I hope to get the opportunity to speak with you at SHARE and would urge you to read the announcement letter to prepare yourself with what is in CICS V4 so that you can make best use of your time in Denver and quiz the CICS Technical specialists that will be present. CICS V4 was designed and developed help you Compete in the Marketplace, Comply with regulations and policies and Control Costs through IT Simplification.

CICS highlights

CICS Transaction Server V4.1 Available
Following on from our Announcement in April this year CICS TS V4.1 is now available.

Read the Announcement Letter or visit the CICS TS V4.1 web page at http://ibm.com/cics/tserver/v41 for more details.


CICS Performance Analyzer V3.1 Available
CICS Performance Analyzer (CICS PA) for z/OS® V3.1 is now available and provides Day 1 support for new and updated system management facilities (SMF) records produced by CICS TS V4.1.

CICS Configuration Manager V2.1 Announced
CICS Configuration Manager (CICS CM) for z/OS V2.1 is now announced, providing full support for new and updated resources produced by CICS TS V4.1 and a plug-in for the CICS Explorer.

Read the Announcement Letter at http://tinyurl.com/cicscm21 or visit the CICS CM web page at http://ibm.com/cics/cm for more details.


Product Withdrawals from Marketing and Service

CICS TS V2.3 End Of Service - September 2009
IBM has announced the withdrawal of support for CICS Transaction Server V2.3, effective September 2009 - see details in the announcement letter here. Customers still running CICS TS V2.3, or earlier versions and releases which are already out of support, should seek the advice of their local IBM sales or technical sales representatives to help plan their migration to CICS TS V3.2 in good time.

When planning version-to-version migrations, don’t forget that CICS Interdependency Analyzer V2.2 now contains new queries to help to identify those applications most sensitive to change, helping target testing where it is most needed.

Countdown: at July 15th, 2009, we have 77 days until the EOS of CICS TS V2.3.

For more details about support period of CICS products, please visit the IBM Software Support Lifecycle website.

Events

CICS related events to the end of 2009

Open mic on CICS TS V4.1 Event Processing Support
Date: 30 July 2009
Time: 11 AM EDT (GMT 4) - 12:30PM (up to an hour and a half)
Panellists: IBM Development and Test

You are invited to this IBM Open mic call about CICS Transaction Server V4.1 Event Processing Support. Open mic calls are Question & Answer focused sessions with a panel of subject matter experts answering your questions rather than going through a presentation. There is no charge for participating.

IBM would like to encourage you to submit your questions prior to the scheduled date of the July 30 Open mic. However, additional questions will be accepted during the Open mic, as time permits. Please go to http://tinyurl.com/lb7wnb for the email address that you can use to send IBM your questions, phone and web conference information, and a list of the panel of CICS experts.

You will need to provide your name and company affiliation when dialling in and you will need a touch tone phone to be able to ask questions.

The Open mic will be recorded for replay. To see previously given presentations and Open mics for CICS click on Webcasts for CICS Transaction Server and OMEGAMON.


Share Conference, Denver Colorado August 23 - 28 2009
SHARE in Denver will feature technical information that will take your job and organization to the next level. Continuing focus on the 2009 conference themes, SHARE will also provide in-depth education regarding these two industry hot topics:

For more details and registration visit http://www.share.org/


Interaction Australia, Sydney, September 14 - 16 2009
A conference, in tandem with a major Trade Expo, is run annually. Designed to provide business solutions, technical skills and tools for career development, the conference comprises around 80 sessions over a 3-day event and attracts over 300 attendees. A feature of the annual conference is hands-on labs where you can gain valuable, practical experience. Also, the Trade Expo attracts vendors who show the latest leading edge technology products and services.

IBM System z Expo, Orlando Florida, October 5 - 9 2009
The IBM System z Expo is the conference devoted to skilled professionals who support the mainframe environment. Learn the System z skills you need to support the New Enterprise Data Center, an evolutionary new model for efficient IT service delivery: virtualization, real time integration of transactions, integration and analytics, business driven services, and service oriented.

Technical experts from IBM System z™ development, System z customers, and the community of independent software vendor (ISV) providers will share their experience and expertise for a memorable week of technical education.

IBM Transaction and Messaging conference, Hamburg Germany October 19 - 23 2009

Extend the power and accessibility of your applications with current information, tips and techniques for managing IBM CICS and the IBM WebSphere Massaging family of products at the 2009 European Transaction & Messaging technical Conference in Hamburg, Germany, 19-23 October.
Don’t miss the opportunity to :

CICS Seminars

CICS Version to Version upgrade Technical Seminars
Register for a System z Seminar focused on CICS version to version upgrade considerations with CICS tools.

CICS Resources

Demos/Animations

CICS Threadsafe Analysis with CICS Tools and the CICS Explorer
This video shows how to perform threadsafe analysis using the CICS Explorer plug-ins for CICS Performance Analyzer, CICS Interdependency Analyzer, and CICS Configuration Manager. This demo replaces an earlier version and highlights the great progress made over the past year. (This video is currently only on the CICSExplorer YouTube site, coming to CICS web page soon.)

Installing and defining a CICS Application with the CICS Explorer
This is a short 3 minute video showing how to install and define a CICS application using the CICS Explorer

Debugging Web services with the CICS Explorer
This is a short 3 minute video showing how to debug web services using the CICS Explorer.

CICS events
This short 6 minute video illustrates how to take advantage of the new CICS event capability in CICS TS V4

CICS on an iPhone
Demonstration of a CICS Transaction on an iPhone by Reggie Barosa – currently only on the CICSfluff youtube site, coming to CICS web page soon

CICS TS v4.1 Business Value Video

CICS TS v4.1 Brief Technical Overview video

Webcasts and Teleconferences

July 22 Teleconference: CICS & Rational: Increase business agility innovative tooling.
A new Web application is in system test, and there's a problem: The application looks slow to the user and no one can figure out why. During this teleconference, you'll see IBM software tools work in concert to help IT teams collaborate and provide a timely, accurate, and documented solution to the problem. Watch a three-person team identify an issue in an application, document the issue, investigate a solution, fix the problem, and deliver an updated and retested application. You will come away with a good understanding of how Rational® and CICS® tools can help your team collaborate to save time and money, while developing enhancements and fixes for cross-platform, enterprise applications.

In this session, you'll learn how these products work together, and enable you to:

Downloads
Licensed users of CICS TS V3 and V4.1 can now download and use the fully supported version of the CICS Explorer from this one-stop-shop page for all CICS Explorer downloads.

Social Networking

YouTube
You may have noticed that we have started to use YouTube to host some of our demos. We have a couple of channels - CICSFluff for general CICS videos and CICSExplorer focussed specifically on our new tooling. We plan to do more on YouTube, so be sure to subscribe to these channels, to be automatically informed of updates.

Facebook
We also manage a Facebook group called I ♥ CICS where you can hear about new announcements and upcoming events, or exchange relevant tips, experiences and useful resources with other group members

twitter
Do you twitter? Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

Follow this link to join today and start receiving IBM System z news, product updates, and other activities including CICS-related tweets.

tinyurl
Since the message size limit on twitter is 140 characters, the tinyurl service is often used to create a much shorter URL that redirects to the real webpage. We will also use them here, from time to time if we have URLs that are especially long.

Forums
We've started using forums a lot more now to share information, to enter into dialogue with you, and foster dialogue between yourselves, our CICS customers, on an informal and open basis. We have active forums for CICS Explorer and CICS PHP support, so visit them to learn a lot more about these exciting new technologies.

Product libraries pages
For the latest white papers, data sheets and more:

CICS People

This issue, we talk to Matthew Whitbourne, a Product Line Manager in CICS.

Editor:
So Matt, when did you join IBM?

Matt:
I joined IBM back in 1999, initially working in the CICS Transaction Gateway test team, but since them I've taken on a variety of roles from working in speech recognition technology, to running IBM's popular Extreme Blue Summer Internship scheme in Europe. However just under a year ago I rejoined the CICS team as product manager for CICS Transaction Gateway and also TXSeries.

Editor:
You were working with the Extreme Blue project, for those readers who might not be familiar with Extreme Blue could you give a brief overview of what it entails?

Matt:
Sure, so Extreme Blue is IBM's premier summer vacation scheme offering the opportunity for high calibre students to work on innovation projects at IBM over a summer. In the past these projects have ranged from translating speech into sign language for the deaf, through to customizing the way that IBM tooling behaves based on a user's role. In fact, the 2009 programme has just started so I’m already keen to find out what latest innovations the team has in store for this year

Editor:
So what have you been looking at in the last year, in your product manager role, what made you join the CICS Marketing group?

Matt:
It’s been quite an exciting time in CICS since I returned. I've seen 2 significant releases go out the door for CICS TG 7.2 and TXSeries 7.1, which are already getting great feedback. Not to mention the release of CICS TS 4.1 and the 40th Anniversary.
I guess there were a number of reasons for joining the CICS Marketing team. Over the last few years I've seen my interest move progressively from the technical side of IBM to the business side, and given my previous experience working in the CICS family this seemed like a great place to take on a new challenge. The number of familiar faces really helped as I was able to get a lot of support when I started. Its amazing the level of experience and knowledge that the team has here and the deliveries that we make are really testament to that skill, so joining a team such as this really was a no-brainer!

Editor:
What changes have you noticed since you joined IBM 10 years ago?

Matt:
It's really interesting to see the changing dynamics of the IBM work place, in particular thinking from a software development perspective. When I first joined there was quite a distinction between those who undertook technical work, versus those in business oriented roles. Now the lines are getting a lot more blurred with our technical team really being able to appreciate the value we deliver to our customers and our business employees really seeing the impact our technology makes. In many ways this has a lot to do with more and more of Generation Y joining IBM and CICS in particular and it really challenges the way that all of us think and work. One of the most exciting things for me now is actually seeing the students I recruited in Extreme Blue coming back to join the CICS family as graduates, an incorporating the innovation they experienced through the programme into the products and services of the CICS family.

Editor:
Do you think it has been a tough transition coming from an innovative, creative area like Extreme Blue into the 'Corporate everyday life' of IBM and indeed CICS?

Matt:
Traditionally I think that had been the case, but its certainly a lot easier for now. Innovation is prevalent in all areas of the company, so hopefully they'll find it easy to take and use their creativity where they go. When I think about CICS I'm actually quite surprised at how quickly they are able to get up to speed. I think a lot of this is the renewed focus that universities and other education institutions are giving to the mainframe, so I'm surprised at times at how quickly they're able to pick things up. Of course, this is only going to get easier with things like the CICS Explorer.

Editor:
Could you sum up CICS in one word?

Matt:
No!

Editor:
I have been asking various people what you were doing on July 8th 1969, but clearly that would be an inappropriate for you, so how about, what do you think would have happened had CICS not emerged back in 1969?

Matt:
Oh that is a tricky one. I suppose you can't underestimate the impact that this kind of technology had and continues to have on the world. When you look at the customers we have and the importance they place on CICS it’s amazing to think how they would operate without it. Thinking about 1969 itself, that’s a difficult question for a guy born in the 80's. I suppose had we not shipped back then maybe the number of IBMers attending Woodstock would have increased!"

Editor:
Thank you Matt, any last insight you would like to pass on to our CICS audience?

Matt:
I guess all I can say is that after leaving the CICS family for 7 years, it’s nice to be home again.

Training and development

Workshops and seminars
CICS On Demand Seminars: have CICS developers visit your location to help you get the best out of CICS and help modernize your systems to exploit SOA. Click the link to send an email request for a seminar at your location.
Contact: cicssem@uk.ibm.com

CICS Development Technical Services: Engage the Hursley development team to ensure that you get the maximum value from your CICS investments. Consultants are now available via a funded services engagement directly from CICS development providing a complete range of CICS services - no one has more experience!
Contact: cicstds@uk.ibm.com

Sign up for a half day session around Business Process Management on System z. The WebSphere Business Applications and Process Management Seminars will cover topics such as Business Process Management for z/OS enabled by SOA, Modeling: Take Back Control – Integrating and Automating your Core Business Processes, Process Automation and Dynamic Service Selection, and Business Event Processing and Monitoring: Gaining insight into your CICS transactions. Sign up at: www.ibm.com/software/os/systemz/seminars/bpm/

Sign up for a half day session on Application Integration for CICS and IMS applications in a Smart SOA. Session topics covered include Introduction to IBM Connectivity portfolio and ESB concepts, WebSphere MQ for z/OS as the messaging backbone for SOA, Web 2.0 and the file transfer, Building an Enterprise Service Bus with WebSphere Message Broker for z/OS, Using WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus for z/OS, Using WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliances to extend the value of System z assets, and Considerations for selecting an ESB. Sign up at: www.ibm.com/software/os/systemz/aiseminars/

Rational Team Concert for System z Beta Programs: We are pleased to announce the IBM® Rational® Team Concert for System z Beta Program. Rational Team Concert for System z (RTCz) enables collaborative software development for agile teams. It provides a unique collaborative development platform that links planning, work items (tasks), a source control system, integrated builds and automated project status in a single solution. The Rational Team Concert for System z 2.0 beta program offers the opportunity to experience new scalability and security features, new support for System z Collaborative Application Lifecycle Management (CALM) and includes automated cross-platform build, CALM dashboard mashups with cross server viewlets, common user identity management across environments and platforms, enhanced agile planning capabilities with taskboard support, and much more. See this website to pre-register for the closed or open beta programs: https://www14.software.ibm.com/iwm/web/cc/earlyprograms/rational/RTCz2009/

Partner newsletters

To provide feedback and comments on CICS portfolio e-news please email the editor.