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CICS Portfolio e-Newsletter

May / Jun 2008

CICS communication

View from Development – Dave Andrews

Dave AndresIn this issue I would like to provide you with some insights into what we are working on in CICS development. You will be pleased to hear that we are making good progress on our next CICS release. Much of our work so far has been to validate our assumptions and to work closely with customers to ensure that the new capabilities are engineered correctly. We have had great feedback on our proposed functions so far and I would like to acknowledge and thank the customers that have helped us to date.

You may have noticed that we are taking the opportunity to preview selected new capabilities with our Beta program, plus shipping early enablement via SupportPacs. This has proved very successful in demonstrating that CICS is a vibrant platform for new customer applications. The popularity of this incremental approach in delivering new capabilities also showed that there is a great demand for new technology to underpin both growth in existing applications, as well as addressing some challenges customers have regarding skills and management of their CICS infrastructures.

I am confident you will be delighted with the work we are doing; if you would like to find out more about how to participate in our Beta we would be delighted to talk to you. Simply send an email to Francis Burgess.

On a more personal note, I have been busy supporting and sponsoring some of our CICS user groups all over the world as well as supporting customers who have been visiting our Hursley Development Labs for 1-1 Briefings with our engineers. Customers tell me how critical the user groups are in providing them with technical education, but also providing a place to meet other CICS customers to share experiences. If you have not attended a user group I would certainly recommend that you try. There are many to choose from all over the world. For example, customers and business partners representing 30 companies joined us recently in the second CICS User Group in Greater China early May in Sanya. I have also presented and spoken to a lot of customers at the Transaction & Messaging conference in Milan, Italy, as well as at the GSE Nordics in Elsinore, Denmark. The next CICS user event on my calendar is the SHARE conference in San Jose, California. For this and all upcoming events, refer to the CICS Events section.

Last but not least, I want to thank you all for your continued support for this newsletter. The non-IBM subscriptions to the CICS Portfolio e-Newsletter have doubled since the end of 2007. I hope you continue to feedback to us about the features and contents that this newsletter is delivering so we can best serve your needs.

Dave Andrews,
Director, CICS Development

CICS Scene Rick Thomas

Richard ThomasBy now you probably have heard a lot about SOA and when you think about it, CICS is a strategic platform on which to build your SOA. It supports and enables SOA entry points including Reuse, Connectivity and Business Process Management and provides the best-in-class transaction integrity. Since 2003 we have been developing Web Service integration in CICS. With CICS TS V3.2 we saw this maturing in line with the tremendous market momentum and adoption of SOA. Indeed recent research by WinterGreen claims that the SOA market is expected to jump fourfold by 2014. CICS TS V3.2 and its post-GA enhancements make CICS and System z well-placed to support customers and their proliferation of services, while maintaining the Qualities of Service that CICS and System z are renowned for.

In the May/June Mainframe edition of the IBM System Magazine, you will find three articles which reinforce these messages. You can read Build Your Own World with SOA which explores the benefits of SOA can offer your business, Align Your Computing Focus which explains how to harness the power of SOA with CICS and System z, and Speaking a Common Language which illustrates the value of the new version of WebSphere MQ. You can also find great technical overview of SOA and how the features delivered in CICS TS V3 supports the SOA mission in the same magazine.

As you move along the SMART SOA adoption spectrum, governance plays an increasingly important role, so, I strongly encourage you to listen to the replay of the System z operations tools for governance and compliance Teleconference.

Richard Thomas,
Program Director, CICS Marketing

CICS highlights

New! Enhanced CICS SupportPac for WSRR Integration

The IBM CICS SupportPac CA1N provides the tools to enable CICS Transaction Server Version 3 to publish and retrieve WSDL documents to and from the IBM Websphere Service Registry and Repositiory (WSRR). In this SupportPac update we have added some usability enhancements including the ability to retrieve mutli-part WSDL files and upgraded the SupportPac Category to Category 3.

When enabling your CICS application to be a Web service provider, you can use the CICS Web services assistant (DFHLS2WS) provided with CICS TS V3 to generate the WSDL interface from your programs HLL structures. You can then use this SupportPac to automate the publication of this WSDL directly from z/OS to WSRR. WSRR enables you to publish, find, enrich, manage and govern the services and policies in your Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

When developing a CICS application that invokes a Web service, you can use this SupportPac to retrieve the WSDL document from WSRR directly to z/OS. You can then use the CICS Web services assistant (DFHWS2LS) to generate the HLL structures which will be needed by the application program in order to invoke a Web service.

For more information and to download the SupportPac, follow this link.

What does the System z10 improvements mean to CICS Transactions?

When you migrate from one machine to another, you need to think about Total Capacity and Single Central Processing capacity. For a product that relies on a single TCB structure including some CICS traditional workloads you need to consider the speed of a single CP, especially if you are moving to a machine with more CPs than the one you already have. In this case you could find the speed of a single CP slower than the one you have moved from. As you add CPs each becomes a little slower.

The LSPR is a published set of tables where you can compare the speeds of various IBM machines. They show Relative Internal Thoughput Rate (ITR), which means transactions per CPU second.

Product Withdrawals from Marketing and Service

We have 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 June 1st, 2008, we have 490 days until the EOS of CICS TS V2.3.

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

CICS events

Rational Software Development Conference 2008, June 1-5, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Rational Software Development Conference (RSDC) is a great event to attend for CICS and WebSphere practitioners looking for z-specific tools and technologies to improve the application development process for their mainframe-based applications. Come to RSDC for more than 300 technical sessions including:

The 11th annual event will be held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel. You can learn how Rational can help you transform business results through software development and delivery excellence. We have a great line up of keynote speakers (William Shatner), expanded technical tracks, networking opportunities and a high energy Exhibit Hall.

Don't miss this year's event! When you register, remember to use this discount code (EMSZ) to receive a $100 discount. For more information and to register today visit Rational Software Development Conference.

SHARE Conference, August 10-15, San Jose, California
Hear the latest developments in enterprise IT and take part in networking activities at SHARE in San Jose, August 10-15, 2008. With valuable educational sessions on challenging technical topics such as Virtualization and SOA, the opportunity to hear first-hand experiences from users and updates from IBM developers on the new IBM System z10™ and the chance to attend presentations by one of several IBM Distinguished Engineers, SHARE is an opportunity you do not want to miss.

Register by June 27 to save over $200. Plus, SHARE is offering discounted rates for first-time attendees and IT professionals new to System z. Visit the event website to learn more.

Information On Demand Conference, October 26 - 31, 2008, Las Vegas, Nevada
IOD is the premier information management event for business and IT professionals. Learn how IBM Information On Demand solutions can unlock the business value of your information.

In this conference you will find topics on:

This conference will deliver:

For more information visit the event website.

IBM Systems z Expo, October 13-17, 2008, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attend the IBM System z Expo – the IBM Technical Conference where you can hone your System z skills and learn how the new IBM System z10 Enterprise Class, green by design, provides significantly lower total cost of ownership, reduced energy consumption, improved security, and more. Technical experts from IBM System z development, the community of ISV providers, and customers share their experience and expertise for an unforgettable week of technical education.

For more information visit the event website.

IBM WebSphere Technical Conference and the Transaction & Messaging Technical Conference : Barcelona, November 10-14, 2008.

Two conferences at once!

The WebSphere Technical Conference
The WTC has earned the reputation for delivering deep technical content targeted at architects, developers, integrators and administrators by offering lectures and hands-on labs that focus on the best practices and practical skills required to run today's enterprises. This year will be no exception. With up to 15 different concurrent elective sessions going on at once you are sure to find content to enhance your technical skill level and product knowledge. Gain practical experience by test-driving new technology! You will also have the chance to meet with BP's, IBM product experts and fellow attendees during our Networking event. Don't miss the opportunity to pass until 3 IBM Certification tests without charge. And last but not, the latest products in the industry will be showcased by solution providers at our Solution Village!
Learn more.

The Transaction & Messaging Technical Conference
Select from over 100 technical information-packaged elective sessions on the recently announce WebSphere MQ, Version 7; IBM WebSphere Message Broker; IBM WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus (ESB); messaging in the IBM WebSpherre Application Server environment; IBM WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliances; 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 CICS Transaction Server. Learn about the new enhancements, especially in the areas of CICS Application connectivity, Application reuse and Service management, and hear how you can exploit these changes from CICS Technical specialists.
Learn more.

Register for the following upcoming Webcasts and Teleconferences:

CICS resources

Visit the product libraries for the latest white papers, data sheets and more:

Listen to the latest CICS and WebSphere System z Software Podcasts

We have two new podcasts for you to listen to as part of our 'Did you say Mainframe?!' series, where our host Sherrie Abshire interviews technical specialists about aspects and features of the IBM premier platform, System z. Subscribe to this podcast series so that you don't miss any of the episodes.

Latest podcasts include:

CICS and WebSphere Service Registry and Repository - Why is it important to your SOA deployment

WebSphere Extended Deployment for z/OS

For these topics and more, please visit the WebSphere System z Software Podcast page.

CICS people

In this new series, we interview members of the CICS development team to find out more about their work and interests.

The editor had the pleasure of meeting with two ladies who share an office and work on CICS Web Services to find out more about it. Read the interview here.

Training and development

Workshops and seminars