CICS Portfolio e-Newsletter
Welcome to the July/August 2007 issue. We hope you find this compilation of what's happening in the busy world of CICS and System z useful, informative and enjoyable.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2 Open Beta program. This was the first time we ever provided an Open Beta for CICS Transaction Server and we hope that those customers and IBM Business Partners who joined in feel that the program was a success and has proved useful
Please feel free to provide additional comments and views on the Open Beta process and on the CICS code itself. Let us know if you think the Open Beta was a worthwhile process, and whether the experience has encouraged you to order CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2 earlier than you would have done. Also let us know what improvements and enhancements we should consider for future releases of CICS Transaction Server, whether you think IBM should offer an Open Beta again, and whether you are interested in participating in future beta programs. Thanks again to our customers and Business Partners for taking part.
If you missed the highly-successful IBM Impact 2007 event earlier this year, why not for the SHARE user group events which run August 12-17 in San Diego, California. Attend SHARE and find out how CICS products can help your business achieve even greater success.
A reminder about another key event - the 2007 IBM European Transaction & Messaging Technical Conference (T&M) which runs November 5-9 in Vienna, Austria. Find out how to exploit business applications more fully, and get the latest information, tips and techniques for managing CICS and WebSphere systems. Note that IBM hardware and software certification is also available at the T&M.
Finally we look forward to helping CICS users to migrate to CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2 so that they can take advantage of the great new features in this recent release
Director, CICS Development
CICS Scene – Rick Thomas
System z users - make the most out of your mainframe! A new IBM initiative called Destination z provides a single point of information,
Destination z enables customers, systems integrators, IBM Business Partners, software vendors and academic institutions to exchange ideas and information with each other and with other mainframe experts. Destination z also provides access to a range of System z development tools and the latest mainframe solutions.
With Destination z, users get links to platform economics support (for example total cost of ownership tools), and to case histories that reveal the strong financial and business benefits delivered by System z. For administrators, Destination z provides technical guidance from top systems integrators, links to workload management tools and academic resources to make mainframe migration faster and easier to use through standards-based code, such as Java and C++, or popular Web services capabilities such as DB2 and WebSphere.
An additional System z initiative helps systems integrators drive business development and provides a broad spectrum of technical resources. More than 20 IBM Business Partners and leading systems integrators, including information technology services company Sogeti based in France, have already joined IBM Destination z – don’t miss the party!
Click the link to find out more about Destination z.
Program Director, CICS Marketing
Brand new OMEGAMON - to help you monitor your CICS Transaction Gateway in real-time!
This newest addition to the OMEGAMON family, IBM Tivoli OMEGAMON XE for CICS Transaction Gateway on z/OS V4.1.0, reports on statistics and monitors the activity of CICS TG for z/OS. This is the first solution for monitoring CICS TG V7 for customers who are now deploying SOA and J2EE new generation services that access CICS applications. OMEGAMON XE for CICS TG offers a central point of management for CICS TG systems running on z/OS and a comprehensive way of gathering critical information needed to detect and prevent problems. The product helps system administrators and capacity planners analyze CICS TG utilization metrics and make better informed operating decisions.
OMEGAMON XE for CICS TG on z/OS supports IT Service Management solutions through focused monitoring and management of all critical resources associated with key business applications. Integrating these capabilities with event and incident management processes helps improve the overall availability of IT service delivery.
The editor asks?
This month we hear from Bill Supon of IBM Software Group, about IBM’s Transaction Processing Facility (TPF) products.
Editor: Bill, what can you tell us about The TPF family of products?
Bill: The centrepiece of the TPF family of products is TPF itself, along with its latest version: z/TPF. These are IBM’s unparalleled high-end, high-volume operating systems and transaction processors. As many of our readers will know, business critical transaction processes require extremely high levels of availability and reliability; beyond that which off-the-shelf software may be able to provide. The TPF products provide this, along with impressive levels of scalability, and have done so for several decades. TPF systems have been the cornerstone of transaction processing within the travel industry for many years.
Editor: What can you tell us about TPF?
Bill: Well TPF is the result of project decades ago between IBM and the leading airlines. It has been consistently improved and enhanced to provide the levels of function and service that the airline companies need in order to provide their own customers with the best services possible. Today we estimate that 90% of all travel reservations and credit card authorizations are processed on IBM mainframe platform TPF systems. TPF is also used within other industries ranging from financial switching and options markets to overnight package tracking and emergency services support.
Editor: Bill, can you tell us something about z/TPF?
Bill: Sure, z/TPF is the latest version of the TPF System. Enhanced to include many state-of-the-art technologies, it is based on a 64-bit architecture. z/TPF also supports what I’ll call an open development environment, which is to say, z/TPF uses a Linux based infrastructure for software development. This is somewhat revolutionary; z/TPF based users are able to make use of both "open" code, and programmers who are familiar with open development processes and tools, to develop new functions for their z/TPF system. Importantly, z/TPF allows the users to maintain their existing investments in prior code. The continued investment into z/TPF includes a focus on IBM’s Service Oriented Architecture Strategy. z/TPF includes a SOAP handler, XML parser, support for common protocols such as HTTP, email, and asynchronous messaging, and is being enhanced with additional functions such as Service Data Objects. z/TPF not only uses Linux for a development platform, but support for many standard libraries and functions also allows code to be shared between Linux and z/TPF. This includes the ability to port "open" code right into the z/TPF system. Security is also a key focus. The ongoing addition to z/TPF includes support for on board-cryptographic functions as well as secured data storage.
Editor: Bill, who would be interested in z/TPF?
Bill: Any customer? or group of customers? whose business model focuses on investing in an operating environment which can process extreme transaction volumes at the lowest possible cost per transaction. The growth in the demand for reliable transaction processing has increased exponentially with the advent of the internet. Systems which used to have a closed, knowledgeable set of users are now open to all of us. Within the travel industry, for example, operations that were performed by trained travel agents a few years ago are performed by you and me. Many of us have hopped onto an airline’s web site and explored options to travel to an exotic location, without having purchased a ticket. These types of actions have resulted in an explosion in the transaction processing requirements of the airlines and associated industries. TPF is a scalable system, z/TPF has expanded on this capability – z/TPF allows a user to combine up to 1728 parallel mainframe class engines into a single cluster, all working on a single massive database.
Editor: Bill, what future do you see for z/TPF?
Bill: Well we live in an interconnected and web services SOA world? devices, files, applications, systems are often interoperating? z/TPF excels at the efficient handling of data in complex environments? think of logging, routing, switching, security, compliance, and so on? let me give you some examples. One application that I’ve personally been interested in, is text messaging or SMS. The number of text messages sent world wide grows daily – not only between individual users, but this technology is used as a means to communicate with customers from many industries. I mentioned that TPF has support for email technologies, to give you an idea of what a z/TPF system can do; we have estimated that a single TPF complex could handle basic mail services for in excess of 250 million users. The growth in the clustering ability of z/TPF, as well as z/Series processors over the past 2 years is not even factored into this estimate; we can go much larger than that now. There are many other applications for such a system; the list goes on and on. Knowing the capabilities of z/TPF it’s really quite exciting – z/TPF can and will be fundamental in help companies break new ground in information sharing.
Iterative development works wonders for CICS
The iterative development process used in CICS development brings a number of major benefits to the software team and to the product end-users. The CICS team applied the iterative development process to developing CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2, and made a beta available to customers at the end of each iteration. This was a great way of obtaining customer feedback to guide product enhancements.
CICS Performance Analyzer V2.1 GA
June 15 saw the general availability of CICS Performance Analyzer for z/OS V2.1. The new release contains a wealth of enhancements including:
CICS On Demand seminars reaching out to customers!
The Technical Specialists from the CICS Tools team have been supporting the CICS On Demand seminar program worldwide. To date, customer events have taken place In Turkey and Asia, including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. These events have delivered the SOA message to CICS customers, and have resulted in orders for CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3, along with customer participation in the CICS TS 3.2 Open Beta program, as well as customers downloading the CICS Tools from the download website.
To request a CICS On Demand seminar, contact your IBM account representative or send an email to: email@example.com
Participate in CICS Tools BetaWorks programs
BetaWorks is a global IBM organisation that works closely with selected customers who are given early access to new IBM products, through managed beta programs. These programs allow customers to gain early experience with new IBM products and technologies. Install, evaluate and gain early experience with CICS Tools, influence CICS Tools design, get free-of-charge CICS Tools education, become a valued CICS Tools reference site! Click the link to find out more about the BetaWorks program. Send an email to BetaWorks@uk.ibm.com to register your interest.
TXSeries like you have never seen it before! - the next generation of distributed CICS
In this short article, Wen Lu from IBM Software Group looks at TXSeries for Multiplatforms V6.1 (also known as TXSeries V6.1). This is the next generation of CICS for the IBM AIX, Microsoft Windows, HP-UX and SUN Solaris distributed platforms. In particular, Wen looks at why customers are using a distributed transaction processing product to support their mainframe solutions and their CICS implementations.
IBM SOA Executive Summits
A flexible IT infrastructure means a flexible business that can respond effectively to rapid change. Boost your ability to compete and foster innovations that can change the game to your advantage. IBM SOA Executive Summits are a prime opportunity to make SOA a successful key to your strategy.
The event features a line-up of executive speakers from IBM, reference customers, and analysts so whether you are just beginning your SOA journey or are already a seasoned traveler, this event packs more knowledge, collaboration and empowerment than any other you are likely to experience. Speakers and networking opportunities will demonstrate the value of SOA and how IBM can help you build a better, more flexible business model with strong ROI returns on investment.
IBM SOA Architect Summits
Businesses are depending on Enterprise and IT Architects to make Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) work. The right implementation will add immediate value and business flexibility. IBM SOA Architect Summits can help you develop a winning strategy and set you and your team on the path to success.
The event features a formidable line-up of senior IBM subject matter experts so whether you are just beginning your SOA journey or are already a seasoned traveler, this event packs more deep technical knowledge, collaboration and empowerment than any other you are likely to experience. Speakers and networking opportunities will demonstrate the value of SOA and how IBM can help you build a better, more flexible business model with strong ROI return on your investment.
GSE Nordic Technical Conference a big success
Over 140 delegates from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, UK and the USA attended the GSE Nordic Technical Conference in Hameenlinna, Finland, from 21-23 May. The participants were a mix of developers, architects, systems programmers and other technical specialists in the mainframe arena. The conference feedback highlighted the continued high standards of technical content and locations, but surprisingly food scored a record low for this event! Individual speakers were rated for their sessions, with Jack Jones of IBM US first with his session ?What's in a Name? - the z/OS LDAP server or TDS (Tivoli Directory Server) for z/OS’. Highly rated were Alan Cooper and Alison Coughtrie of IBM UK with their IMS sessions. Top of the list for Hursley was Jonathan Woodford with his ?Message Broker in ESB/SOA solutions’ at number 10. From the Hursley CICS attendees, both Ian Mitchell and Scott Clee made the top 20. In total, there were over 80 sessions in all tracks. The conference takes place annually, with next year's event scheduled for Elsinore in Denmark. For full details of this year's conference and for future events, click the link.
SHARE a non-stop technology experience
SHARE later this year is in San Diego from August 12-17. SHARE provides what no other conference venue does – a non-stop interactive experience for attendees to address their organization’s technological and business needs. New in San Diego, SHARE now provides IBM Certification Testing on System z Mastery and STG and SWG Certification Tests. If you missed IBM IMPACT 2007 in May, register for SHARE.
European WebSphere Technical Conference, 5-9 November, Vienna-Austria
Select from over 100 unique sessions to expand your knowledge of WebSphere administration, architecture, development and integration. Gain insight into IBM's software strategy and learn about the latest development directions for the products in the WebSphere software platform, including IBM WebSphere Application Server, IBM WebSphere Process Server, IBM WebSphere Extended Deployment, IBM WebSphere Portal, IBM WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), IBM WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliances, WebSphere Service Registry and Repository, and WebSphere Transformation Extender. There will be sessions for the most-experienced WebSphere users, as well as introductory and getting-started sessions for novice users.
As a special offer, our 2007 European WebSphere Technical Conference will run in parallel with the European 2007 European Transaction and Messaging Technical Conference. Attend sessions from both great conferences for the price of only one.
Enroll before 5 August and receive a 100 Euros discount!!
European Transaction and Messaging Technical Conference, 5-9 November, Vienna - Austria
Update your skills and expand your knowledge of CICS and the WebSphere MQ family of products. Select from over 100 technical, information-packed elective sessions on WebSphere MQ, Version 6; IBM WebSphere Message Broker, Version 6; messaging in the IBM WebSphere Application Server environment; IBM CICS Transaction Server, Version 3.2; CICS connectors; CICS tools and more. Build conceptual knowledge by attending sessions on XML, service oriented architecture (SOA), enterprise service bus (ESB), Web services and other emerging technologies. Learn how the latest enhancements to the CICS and the WebSphere MQ family of message queuing products enable SOA and support implementation of a robust ESB.
Don't miss the opportunity about the new enhancements of the CICS Transaction Server version 3.2, which will be available in June 2007!
And as a special offer, our 2007 European Transaction & Messaging Technical Conference will run again in parallel with the 2007 WebSphere Technical Conference. Attend sessions from both great conferences for the price of only one.
Enroll before 5 August and receive a 100 Euros discount!!
Events worldwide in 2007
Business Partners: join PartnerWorld and put the power of IBM behind your business! Get access to the best solutions and offerings, and the skills to help you win in the marketplace. Gain quick and easy Web access to valuable IBM benefits and resources. Realize competitive advantage in industries, services and solutions. Enjoy increased opportunities to generate awareness and leads. IBM PartnerWorld: ?Teaming for success to deliver the expertise to meet client needs’.
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