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October 2009
Subscribe: http://tinyurl.com/kw5slv (link resides outside of ibm.com)

What's New?

This CICS e-NewsLetter highlights a number of CICS-related product announcements and communications

Product news and announcements

New communications

Message from Dave Andrews, Director - CICS Products

Dear CICS community,

Let me take a couple of minutes to update you on recent CICS product announcements:

Finally, I would like to thank all those customers that have joined the CICS team at various conferences and user groups all over the world. These events are a vital way to get technical education and updates and to meet fellow customers, IBMers and Vendors to help you get the most out of your mainframe systems. The next major event on my calendar is the IBM Transaction and Messaging conference (T&M) that takes place in October in Hamburg Germany. I hope to see many of our European CICS customers there so that we can update you with more details on the rich set of functionality that you can exploit with CICS and CICS Tools. Further details of how to register for this, and other key events, can be found later in this newsletter.

CICS-related product highlights

CICS Explorer update provides access to CSDs in CICS TS V4.1

The CICS Explorer now provides the ability to create and display groups, lists, and resources in CICS TS V4 CSD files. Other relevant actions such as edit, delete, install, lock, etc are also provided. This new ability has been provided in response to many customers who store their CICS resource definitions in CSDs. The CICS Explorer now provides a common experience, whether you use CSDs or the BAS respository, using either CICSPlex SM or the new CICS Management Client Interface (CMCI).

In order to use the new CSD support, you will need to apply APAR PK90112 (PTFs UK50319, UK50340, UK50341) to your CICS TS V4.1 system. CICS Explorer V1.0.0.2 and updated versions of the plug-ins for CICS Interdependency Analyzer, CICS Performance Analyzer, and CICS Configuration Manager can be downloaded now from http://www.ibm.com/cics/explorer/download

IBM Problem Determination Tools V10.1

IBM Problem Determination Tools V10.1 were announced on 6 October 2009 and will be generally available on 6 November 2009. This new version of Application Performance Analyzer for z/OS, Debug Tool for z/OS, Fault Analyzer for z/OS, and File Manager for z/OS will deliver many new capabilities that help to improve application delivery throughout the life cycle for traditional, Web-based and SOA applications, including:

IBM's continued support for and enhancement of its PD Tools portfolio reflects the important role these tools have in our System z strategy. To learn more, read the announcement letter at http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_ca/7/897/ENUS209-307/ or visit the PD Tools web page at product: http://www.ibm.com/software/awdtools/

IBM Session Manager V2.2
IBM Session Manager V2.2 provides reliable, secure, and user-friendly access to multiple z/OS systems from a single 3270 terminal. It gives users a single secure signon, and then allows access to all their applications from multiple concurrent virtual sessions, with a wide range of tools and facilities. New functions in Session Manager V2.2 include improved serviceability and installation, improved migration assistance from other session management products, and support for Certificate Express Logon enabling single signon for multiple applications. This new version also includes numerous security, installation, configuration, and operational enhancements, including requirements raised by individual customers and user communities, working together to make Session Manager V2.2 even easier to deploy, manage, and use. For more details please read the announcement letter http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_ca/7/897/ENUS209-317 or visit the web page http://www.ibm.com/software/htp/cics/smanag/

Rational Developer for System z V7.6

Announcing Rational Developer for System z V7.6 -- the newest release of the eclipse-based development environment for CICS and the mainframe

IBM Rational Developer for System z enables business flexibility to design and construct traditional transactional and web CICS COBOL, PL/I, C/C++, Assembler, and Java applications while extending and integrating those applications to SOA-based composites quickly and efficiently. IBM Rational Developer for System z has embedded the most recent version of embedded version of the CICS Explorer, allowing integration with the CICS tools, as well as enhancing the traditional application development experience; RDz V7.6 also adds support for new CICS TS V4.1 capabilities, including tools to create Service Component Architecture components, work with events, deploy bundles, create new Web 2.0 style RESTful services, as well as helping to update existing CICS applications to take advantage of new CICS TS 4.1 functions.

When IBM Rational Developer for System z is used with the IBM Software Development Platform, developers can extend processing to meet a broad range of requirements, including change management with such tools as IBM ClearCase, IBM Rational Team Concert for System z, or CA Endevor, and testing tools such as IBM Debug Tool, IBM Fault Analyzer, and IBM File Manager. RDz V7.6 has updated interfaces to the IBM Problem Determination tools to give access to more functions from the eclipse desktop and reduce the need to return to the green screen. All of these products can be integrated into a single development environment usable directly from the IBM Rational Developer for System z desktop.

RDz V7.6 has improved performance (content assist 80% faster, member edit 25% faster,...), consumability (25% smaller install size and resource requirements, Improved installation procedures,...), usability (Form-based build procedures, real-time PL/I syntax checking, more rubust real-time COBOL syntax check), and integration (PD Tools, Team Concert for System z, Rational Asset Analyzer, CICS Tools, ...). Learn more about the great new release by reading the RDz V7.6 announcement letter here http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi- bin/ssialias?infotype=an&subtype=ca&appname=gpateam&supplier=897&letternum=ENUS209-380 or by visiting the web page at http://www.ibm.com/software/awdtools/rdz/

WebSphere Business Monitor V7.0 and WebSphere Business Events V7.0

Continuing to Transform Insight into Action
With the new V7.0, both WebSphere Business Monitor and WebSphere Business Events continue to provide industry leading capabilities for empowering business users. Business leaders can now use business leader widgets to map out their strategic goals, link these goals to operational metrics and then capture these in real-time via Monitor. Then, via a port to role-based business spaces, business users can harness the power of complex event processing through the same login they’d use for the Monitor widgets.

Debuting more than just business user empowerment enhancements, both Monitor and WBE provide further points of integration across IBM Middleware and Industry Frameworks. In addition to recent updates to event-enable CICS, now IMS, WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Sensor Events, WebSphere ILOG JRules, and WebSphere Message Broker all have additional points of integration/interoperability. Industry Frameworks focus comes via WBE inclusion in Chemical and Petroleum, Healthcare, Retail, and the recently announced Energy & Utilities Framework.

More details at http://www.ibm.com/software/integration/wbimonitor/ and http://www.ibm.com/software/integration/wbe/

ILOG BRMS V7.0

The IBM Websphere ILOG Business Rule Management System (BRMS) will be released in mid-December that provides functionality for CICS/COBOL applications to easily utilize new technology (ILOG BRMS) within their core Business Applications. The externalization of business rules provides benefit to your business, as well as improve the efficiency of maintaining your COBOL applications.. An organization’s success depends largely upon its ability to respond quickly to today’s complex, ever changing markets and regulatory climate. Businesses today need a Business Rule Management System (BRMS) solution that supports business changes and cycles far more effectively than traditional methods, and takes direct advantage of business expertise.

A true BRMS provides the technology to manage business logic separately from application code with minimum disruption to the application when the business logic changes. There are two solutions from IBM Websphere ILOG BRMS for System z both focus on author once and manage centrally then execute per your architecture design. For Java execution we have JRules Core BRMS the ILOG Java Run Time Engine on WAS for z - and for COBOL execution there is Rules for COBOL.

For more details on what's new with ILOG, visit http://www.ilog.com/products/jrules/whatsnew/index.cfm (link resides outside of ibm.com)

New COBOL and C/C++ compilers

Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V4.2 announced 8/25/09, GA 8/28/09
IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS, V4 offers hardware exploitation, XML support, usability enhancements and serviceability improvements. Enterprise COBOL for z/OS, V4.2, provides new enhancements to XML parsing, including XML Validation and parse performance improvements. Read the announcement letter here: http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?subtype=ca&infotype=an&appname=iSource&supplier=897&letternum=ENUS209-244&open-_-n-_-vrm_newsletter-_-10577_126133&cmibm_em=dm:0:16632745

z/OS XL C/C++ V1.11 announced 8/4/09, GA 9/25/09
z/OS XL C/C++ V1.11 improves portability & performance of your business-critical applications and accelerates system programming. This new release implements new standard syntax, as well as providing additional system programming capabilities, performance and productivity enhancements. Read the announcement letter here:
http://www.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?subtype=ca&infotype=an&appname=iSource&supplier=897&letternum=ENUS209-242

CICS TS V2.3 reached end of service on September 30th 2009

Support for CICS Transaction Server V2.3 has now been withdrawn, effective September 30 2009. Customers still running CICS TS V2.3, or earlier versions and releases which were 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 or CICS TS V4.1. When planning version-to-version migrations (including migrations to CICS TS V4.1), don’t forget that CICS Interdependency Analyzer V3.1 now contains new queries to help to identify those applications most sensitive to change, helping target testing where it is most needed.
For more details about support period of CICS products, please visit the IBM Software Support Lifecycle website at http://www.ibm.com/software/support/lifecycle/.

CICS-related communications

Training and Education

Introducing new e-learning bundles for System z - Affordable education at your fingertips
Now is a great time to boost your IBM System z skills with new, low-cost e-learning bundles for System z. For only $350 a bundle, a student receives three months of unlimited access to 55 comprehensive system z courses through the IBM e-learning portal. Choose from two bundles:

For additional details visit http://www.ibm.com/training/us/catalog/systemz and search on EZ110 and EZ120.

New Publications

Redbook - Implementing event processing in CICS
Governance concerns the methods that businesses use to control important aspects of their business and these methods must be measured. Compliance is the tolerance to the criteria that have been set. CICS v4 allows you to configure your system to produce application compliance data feeds and events without application change to show solution compliance on a dashboard.
The governance theme will largely be linked to CICS TS v4.1 which allows you to generate business events without requiring application change. This new capability will allow you to populate business dashboards provided by WebSphere® Business Monitor and to search for patterns in events with WebSphere Business Events. For business event processing, when CICS TS is operating as a stand-alone system, or used in conjunction with WebSphere Business Monitor or WebSphere Business Events (or both), it will enable you to understand and manage your business more easily, and to monitor risk and business compliance more effectively.
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg247792.html

Redbook - CICS Explorer
This Redbook® focuses on the new CICS Explorer. The first part of the Redbook overviews the CICS Explorer, along with all the CICS Tools plug-ins. The second part of the Redbook follows different scenarios in which the CICS Explorer can be used, along with the CICS Tools plug-ins to resolve different problems. Here's some customer feedback on the public review draft “RedBooks are very good, this one is just Excelsissimus! I can't wait for the final!”
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/abstracts/sg247778.html

White paper - Expecting the unexpected: How to manage high peak workloads and maintain your service level agreements
Establishing IBM CICS® environments that can cope with unexpected fluctuations in workloads might seem to be a difficult task. However, such an environment can be achieved by employing the dynamic workload management capabilities of IBM CICSPlex® System Manager and automation products such as IBM Tivoli® NetView®.
This paper concentrates on the use of the dynamic workload management and operational capabilities of CICSPlex System Manager, along with automation products for implementing systems that can provide highly available applications capable of coping with both predictable and unpredictable demand.
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/software/htp/cics/tserver/library
/7121_Expecting_the_US_White_Paper_PRF2_Sep12_09.pdf
(PDF, 1.1MB)

White paper - Achieving business resilience through integrated systems management
Providing low-risk, resilient IT services that can rapidly adapt to business needs while controlling costs is not an easy task. The task can seem almost impossible with the additional pressures of legislative controls that add to these constraints, such as Sarbanes-Oxley for IT governance, as well as other controls that result from the current economic environment.. An integrated management experience which can optimize and simplify interactions along with providing more autonomic-based capabilities must be provided to minimize intensive manual interactions. Base server capabilities, augmented by tools that aid application understanding and support controlled change management processes, must be available to reduce the risk of inadvertent effects on runtime and to provide audit capabilities to satisfy governance requirements.
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/software/htp/cics/tserver/library
/7094_Achieving_business_White_Paper_ZSW03130USEN00_Final_Sep9_09.pdf
(PDF, 2.2MB)

White paper - Deploy CICS data Atom feeds into your mashups in minutes
An enormous amount of business data is currently managed by CICS® applications. One of the aims of IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS® Version 4.1 is to unlock that data and to make it available in modern rich Internet applications (RIAs) without requiring extensive CICS application programming skills. CICS now makes some of its internal business assets available as Atom feeds, which can be consumed by standard Web client toolkits and presented to end users, either alone or in combination with data from other servers, to produce composite mashup applications. When the CICS data is combined with data from other sources, it can easily be used to produce new and highly intuitive displays of that data, giving the viewer an informed view of aspects of the business represented by the CICS data. Because CICS uses the Atom Syndication Format to produce its output, the data can also be simply consumed as a feed to which end users can subscribe using most modern Web browsers or dedicated feed readers.
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/software/htp/cics/tserver/library
/7189_Deploy_CICS_White_Paper_ZSW03133-USEN-00_Final_Sep29_09.pdf
(PDF, 2.5MB)

New Videos

CICS Business Value video in Italian by Elisabetta Flamini (soon to be on CICS website)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDD02SdldWw (link resides outside of ibm.com)

CICS Business Value video in Chinese by Shanna Xu (soon to be on CICS website)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnGjK4sy4Zc (link resides outside of ibm.com)

New Articles

IBM System Magazine CICS Business Value
http://www.ibmsystemsmagmainframedigital.com/nxtbooks/ibmsystemsmag
/mainframe_20090910/index.php?startpage=4294967295

zJournal Improving performance using CICS TS Threadsafe VSAM
http://www.zjournal.com/index.cfm?section=article&aid=1216 (link resides outside of ibm.com)

Upcoming events

Conference - Information on Demand (IOD) - Register for THE event that will help you drive an information-led transformation of your business. Visit the CICS, CICS Tools, and PD Tools pedestals in the Expo area.
October 25-29, 2009 MANDALAY BAY RESORT LAS VEGAS http://www.ibm.com/software/data/conf/

Conference - European Transaction and Messaging (T&M) Technical Conference - 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
Hamburg, Germany, 19-23 October http://www.ibm.com/training/conf/europe/tm

Conference - UK Guide/Share Europe - z/OOM into the 6th Decade with GSE - The UK’s premiere independent annual event addressing the challenges of delivering and maintaining solutions based on IBM architectures and open standards.
Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Towcester, UK 4-5 November 2009 http://www.gse.org.uk/tyc/ (link resides outside of ibm.com)

Teleconference -Adapting Business Rules in CICS Applications quickly and with confidence
October 7 - http://www.ibm.com/software/os/systemz/telecon/oct7/

Teleconference - Work Smarter: Delivering Business Agility with Dynamic, Interconnected Processes teleconference:
October 21 - http://www.ibm.com/software/os/systemz/telecon/oct21/

Teleconference - Bridging the IT Silos: An evolutionary approach to Application Development & Delivery, November 4, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, http://www.ibm.com/software/os/systemz/webcast/nov4/

Teleconference - Leverage Compilation Technology to Optimize Investment on System z, November 11, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, http://www.ibm.com/software/os/systemz/telecon/nov11/

Teleconference - Building and streamlining your processes for your business applications, November 18, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, http://www.ibm.com/software/os/systemz/telecon/nov18

Interview with Development

In this series, we interview members of the CICS development team to find out more about their work and interests. Stewart Francis is a software developer working on CICS Explorer.

Editor: Hi Stewart, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Let’s start by finding out a bit more about you.

Editor: What were you doing before you joined IBM?
I joined IBM's graduate programme in 2006, after studying Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. I joined IBM because it provided me with the opportunity to try my hand at so many different things.

Editor: What attracted you to CICS?
I joined CICS from the IT department when I was presented with the opportunity to work on CICS Explorer. At the time, I was eager to try a new role, ideally as a software developer. CICS Explorer development is a great area for me to work in, as I get to actually help shape a brand new product, one which hopefully there's some excitement regarding, and anticipation for.

Editor: Where do you see CICS in 10 years?
It has been great to see a significant uptake in the CICS Explorer, and I'd like to see it progress further. One of the most interesting aspects of CICS Explorer for me is that it exists not only as a new front-end to CICS, but also as a platform for the development of more Eclipse-based tooling for CICS. IBM has already developed some CICS Explorer plug-ins for existing CICS tools: CICS CM (Configuration Manager), CICS IA (Interdependency Analyzer) and CICS PA (Performance Analyzer). Third parties can use CICS Explorer as a platform in exactly the same way to develop their own CICS tooling. It will be interesting to see what people do.

Editor: What do you see in your future with CICS?
I'd like to continue working on development for CICS Explorer – the foundations are laid now, it'll be great to see where we go next.

Editor: What Interests do you have outside of your role as an IBM software developer?
I love listening to and playing music. I play guitar, and I'm trying to remember how to play piano, after a 10 year break. I'm also learning how to ski, before going on a skiing holiday in January. I play football for a 4-a-side team in the work league, and squash on a decidedly more casual basis!

Editor: Finally, do you have any insights and tips for customers who are using CICS V4.1?
CICS V4.1 includes the new CMCI (CICS Management Client Interface). A CMCI connection to CICSPlex SM, or a stand-alone CICS region, can be made with CICS Explorer. This type of connection introduces the ability to make changes to your CICS resources and definitions, for example, you can create new CICS definitions, update them, install them, and delete them. You can also modify installed CICS resources, and perform actions on them.

Feedback

Training and Education

The CICS eNewsletter is sent to over 1000 subscribers around the world, the vast majority of whom are CICS professionals. We would like to see that number increase, so, if you think it gives you value, please forward it to your CICS colleagues and suggest that they subscribe too, either using this shortcut URL http://tinyurl.com/kw5slv (link resides outside of ibm.com) or this expanded URL https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/iwm/web/preLogin.do?source=hotwire

On the other hand, if you think the CICS eNews could be improved, please write to me with your suggestions. We have maintained a fairly primitive format, avoiding html, graphics, tabs, and other modern innovations, because we feel that results in a more immediately consumable publication. However, if you disagree and would like to receive CICS eNews in a more modern format, please write and let me know.