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CICS communication

A View from Development - Dave Andrews

Earlier this year I told you about the pre-announcement for CICS Transaction Server V4.1 and I am now pleased to be able to tell you that the full announcement is now available here. This follows close on the heels of the CICS Performance Analyzer V3.1 announcement from 21st April here. In mid March we also announced TXSeries for Multiplatforms V7.1 which you can see here, so you can see we have been very busy upgrading our CICS Family software with formal announcements as well as continuing to deliver function outside of our formal releases and more evidence of this can be found with out CICS Transaction Gateway SupportPac providing '.NET application support' here.


CICS TS V4 is another significant milestone in the 40 year CICS history. I will be at Impact in Las Vegas where I hope I get the opportunity to speak with many of you, and I encourage you to read the announcement letter here to hear how you can Compete in the Marketplace, Comply with regulations and policies and Control Costs through IT Simplification. Turn Insight into Action with CICS TS V4.

CICS highlights

CICS Transaction Server V4.1 Announcement

Following on from our Pre-Announcement in February this year the full CICS TS V4.1 announcement, Coming two years after the release of CICS TS V3.2 continues to place CICS at the forefront of enterprise computing with the introduction of new capabilities such as Event Processing, Web 2.0, and the CICS Explorer. There are three main themes you will hear about with this release, Compete in the marketplace, Comply with regulations, standards and policies and Control costs by making things simpler to do. The new functions in CICS TS V4.1 can be aligned to our initiatives - Business Flexibility, Governance, and IT Simplification although there are examples where the capability crosses over more than one initiative.

An open beta program is has been running since March 31st 2009 and will end July 31st 2009, so customers who would like to participate should An open beta program is has been running since March 31st 2009 and will end July 31st 2009, so customers who would like to participate should visit the open beta web page.

CICS Performance Analyzer V3.1 Announcement

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

CICS PA V3.1 will also deliver many new capabilities helping clients to control costs and complexity, and to comply with governance requirements.
Support for the CICS Explorer will enable users with broader and less-specialized skills to access the power of CICS PA and deliver additional value when used in conjunction with other CICS tools.
Additional sample reports, historical database (HDB), and the ISPF dialogs will be provided to support the new metrics and statistics provided by CICS TS V4.1.

New statistics alert reporting automates the generation of batch reports that highlight occasions when key CICS statistics exceed specified thresholds.
Support for resource signatures (new in CICS TS V4.1) can be used to indicate changes to resource definitions, for audit, tracking, or problem resolution purposes.

CICS PA is a CICS system and application performance reporting and analysis solution built to address the needs of CICS systems programmers, subject-matter experts, architects, application developers, and IT managers who will value its ability to improve CICS system performance, lower maintenance costs, and strategically plan IT investments.

TXSeries for Multiplatforms V7.1 Announcement

The latest release, TXSeries® for Multiplatforms V7.1, offers significant enhancements in integration and connectivity, system resilience, application development and problem determination tooling, web administration console, and installation.

Major enhancements in the latest release are classified under:

More information on the latest release can be found here.

Product Withdrawals from Marketing and Service

CICS TS v2.3 EOS Sept

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 April 28th, 2009, we have 155 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 September 2009

IBM System z - the power of many, the simplicity of one! Are your systems secure from external and internal threats? Are you concerned about costly, complex "server sprawl?" Managing security, IT costs and complexity are the top challenges facing enterprises of all types and sizes. This conference provides expert insight into the powerful capabilities of IBM System z, designed to help simplify and secure your infrastructure. This conference will help you boost your advanced mainframe skills or begin with mainframe basics, improve planning of hardware/software investments, test drive new technologies in hands-on labs, and see product demonstrations in the Solutions Center.

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 further details and to register, please visit the SHARE website at www.share.org.

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.

CICS Seminars

Cross Brand Technical Seminars

Exploiting your zPotential: Creating a modern responsive application platform

Hear all about how System z software drives a modern enterprise in this one day event. Discover why the mainframe is the smart tool that helps you do more with less, by providing the business insights, processes and speed you need to thrive. Designed for IT managers, Enterprise Architects, Application Developers and Programmers. In this valuable seminar you will learn how to:

In today's economy, this briefing will be time well spent, in discovering how best to leverage your dynamic enterprise infrastructure and being responsive to business changes. Six cities in North America in Q2! Register by clicking here.

CICS resources

White Papers

Click here for CICS White Papers.

Demos/Animations

Build Web 2.0 style Situational Applications Based with CICS Transaction Gateway and WebSphere sMash

This is a short animation showing WebSphere sMash being used to create Web 2.0 style Situational Applications based on a CICS TS application.

Click here to view (link resides outside of ibm.com).

CICS TS v4.1 Business Value Video

Play directly here (link resides outside of ibm.com) or download an executable (EXE, 5.8MB) to play on your PC.

CICS TS v4.1 Brief Technical Overview video

Play directly here (link resides outside of ibm.com) or download an executable (EXE, 9.9MB) to play on your PC.

CICS Events and WebSphere Business Events providing Insight in to Action

This short animation illustrates how CICS can be a prolific producer of business events. Play directly here (link resides outside of ibm.com) or download an executable (EXE, 16.7MB) to play on your PC.

New Face CICS - The CICS Explorer

Short animation displaying the advantages and strengths of the CICS Explorer - the new face of CICS. Play directly here (link resides outside of ibm.com) or download an executable (EXE, 30.1MB) to play on your PC.

Podcasts

Click here for the latest in our series

SupportPac/Feature Packs

CS05: CICS TG plug-in for the CICS Explorer

This new SupportPac provides a Gateway daemons view and a CICS connections view in the CICS TG perspective of the CICS Explorer. You can view the status and activity of one or more Gateway daemons running on the z/OS platform. Use the Gateway daemons view to see an overall status of one or more Gateway daemons. Use the CICS connections view to see the connectivity between CICS servers and one or more Gateway daemons.

CA73: CICS TG V7.2 .NET application support

This SupportPac allows .NET applications to invoke programs in CICS using the CICS Transaction Gateway (CICS TG) V7.2 External Call Interface (ECI) V2 API.

CA1S: REST support in CICS using PHP

This SupportPac permits PHP scripting language capabilities, based on IBM WebSphere sMash technology, to extend the range of CICS assets that can be exposed as REST services. With this SupportPac IBM is offering the capability to use PHP scripts as part of a RESTful enablement of CICS applications. PHP has outstanding productivity characteristics and a simple yet powerful programming model and development paradigm.

CB11: CICS Events for WBE

The other new SupportPac was CICS Events for WBE (WebSphere Business Events), which enables CICS v3 customers to use an API to emit events from CICS programs for consumption with WBE. Events generated using the SupportPac will be compatible with those generated non-invasively in CICS TS v4.1.

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.

Several readers have said that they are unable to access YouTube from their corporate networks, so we have also posted links to executable versions of most of our new demo and animations that can be downloaded from ibm.com. The animations we highlighted in the previous CICS eNewsLetter have been re-posted in this edition with links to versions on ibm.com.

CICSFluff channel: http://youtube.com/CICSfluff
CICS Explorer channel: http://youtube.com/CICSExplorer

Facebook

We also manage a Facebook group called I ♥ CICS where you can hear about new announcements and upcoming events, or exchange relevant 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

Come and join our I ♥ CICS Facebook group at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4907254593

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 feature will appear in the next edition of the news letter.

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:


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!



CICS and Web Services workshops: through a combination of lectures and labs, learn how to use the Web services support provided in CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.1 to expose CICS application programs as Web services and to invoke other Web services.



IBM business partner workshops: the 'Process Integration for Service Oriented Architecture’ workshop can help you learn how to jumpstart your software development of open standards and cross platform applications using IBM business process integration middleware and tools.



Application Development for e-business training: gain the skills you need to build e-business applications. Learn about the core technologies, processes and tools skills that can improve your productivity.



CICS Skills workshops: work alongside CICS Redbook authors to develop useful new CICS skills. These courses are delivered in partnership with IBM IT Education Services.


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.

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