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Customer Information Control System


CICS Portfolio e-Newsletter

October 2007

CICS communication

View from Development – Dave Andrews

Dave AndresThe second SHARE conference of 2007 ran August 12-17 in San Diego. The conference was a great opportunity for enterprise computing specialists to attend a host of events, to network with others, and to ultimately help shape the future of information technology.

Steve Zemblowski gave an excellent technical overview of CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2. Steve looked at some of the new capabilities delivered in this release, including DPL communication between CICS regions over TCP/IP, 64-bit channels and containers, and enhanced service management.

Ian Mitchell discussed CICS enhancements that enable larger workloads and system configurations to be more easily supported. These include the ability to handle larger data volumes, and the removal of the XCF constraint.

Scott Clee looked at CICS in the context of Web services, enabling technologies such as SOAP, ESB, WS-Security & WS-Atomic Transactions, and how these can be used for integrating systems on any platform with total data integrity and security.

Paul Kettley explored why transactions are so important today, the role of large systems in a typical online business, key attributes common to most transactional systems, and how some of these are realized in today's production environment software.

I hope that provides some idea of what was available to interest CICS users at SHARE, and my apologies to those SHARE presenters who aren’t mentioned here due to space limitations.

Finally, a reminder to register for the European Transaction & Messaging Technical Conference (T&M) which runs November 5-9 in Vienna, Austria.

Dave Andrews,
Director, CICS Development

CICS Scene – Rick Thomas

A question often asked is 'What's the value is of leveraging existing business applications for reuse in Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), when surely it's easier to start with a clean sheet?'

Richard ThomasExisting business applications are among the most valuable assets a company owns because they support business critical processes and information which impacts every aspect of the relationships the business has with its customers, partners and colleagues. Put simply, existing business applications are the functional DNA of the enterprise.

The advantages of reusing these applications (which are already tried and tested) are significantly lower risk, lower cost and less development time.

Does this mean that the business does not have to change its existing application portfolios? Well the answer is 'maybe not' but 'maybe yes' because it is vitally important that reuse is based on the best functional elements drawn from the portfolio and integrated successfully in order to deliver the required implementation of business services.

SOA-enabled business application modernization approaches identify asset reuse and gaps so that the technical implementation roadmap for an SOA can be defined. For example, where duplicated functions and processes exist across different business areas, which is best one to use?

Getting to 'smart' SOA is all about meeting the challenge of integrating existing applications. For more information see

Richard Thomas,
Program Director, CICS Marketing

CICS highlights

CICS Service Flow Feature now available
The Service Flow Feature of CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2 is now available. It offers a combined tooling and runtime package to complement the Web services capabilities of CICS.

SHARE mainframe users like CICS Transaction Server V3.2!
At the SHARE event in San Diego in August, users of the CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2 Open Beta said that new features such as additional Web services capabilities made the product a good choice. Read the Data Center News article to discover the reasons why.

The editor asks?

This month we hear from Daniel Moul who works for IBM Enterprise Tools and Compilers.

Daniel MoulDaniel looks at how IBM 'discovery' tools such as WebSphere Studio Application Analyzer (WSAA) and Asset Transformation Workbench (ATW) can help users locate and understand their applications. Click the link to listen to the podcast on developerWorks.

"Did you say mainframe?!" - a great new podcast series on developerWorks!
The mainframe is being reinvigorated! To complement this, a new series of podcasts on mainframe-related subjects arrived on IBM developerWorks recently. Listen to IBM's Paul Kettley as he talks to the experts and discovers how IBM, with the help of a great product range, is revitalizing the mainframe as the platform of choice for modern, secure, services-based infrastructures, such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

IBMLINK/ServiceLink Web outages
Our sincere apologies to all users who experienced problems with IBMLINK/ServiceLink Web tool recently. A number of planned actions will deliver improved availability of the IBM Web tools you use. The ServiceLink VM systems in the US will remain available pending stability of the IBMLINK/ServiceLink web platform. We believe that restoring access to the VM IBMLINK/ServiceLink platform was the best way of providing a stable alternative and we thank those of you who took that step.

The disruption on 30 and 31 July for around 3 hours on both days was due to an information technology infrastructure problem with the IBM Web Authentication system. This is used by over 150 web applications and currently houses over 5 million registered users worldwide. The problem was rectified at the end of the day on 31 July.

The ServiceLink outage on 1 August lasted around 5 hours and was due to two unique problems: The first was due to an incorrect IBM Web Authentication system setting. The second was due to an error in the Domain Name Server which caused IBM Web Authentication and other applications such as IBMLINK/ServiceLink Web platform requests to fail in the IBM Network.

IBM has an architectural enhancement planned for IBM Web Authentication service redundancy. A major deliverable related to this should be completed by 4Q 2007. Prior to then, all system changes related to IBM Web Authentication are being suspended to maximize stability.

Many thanks for you patience as IBM stabilizes IBMLINK/ServiceLink and we look forward to continuing to provide the quality of service you have come to expect.

The 'voice' of System z software puts on a fresh face!
Have you read CCR2 lately? The voice of System z software for more than 30 years adds a fresh look to its always fresh outlook. This 'practitioner's guide' contains exciting features on technology, product updates, technical tips and more. And, because communication between IT and the business side is becoming more and more essential, an expanded Executive corner discusses top of mind issues concerning today's corporate executives.

What's new on IBM TV? software development gets
IBM opens the development platform to customers and partners to improve development collaboration and visibility. Informix Dynamic Server (IDS) 11 arrives. Make your data center more energy efficient. See what customers are saying about the upcoming IBM Lotus Notes and Domino poducts. Plus, IBM Impact 2007 highlights and details of governance and risk management solutions. Get all this and more on IBM TV.

Two great new white papers
Two new white papers are now available on the CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2 library page under the 'White papers' section:

Teleconference: 'Open SOA access to CICS applications - and keep your business logic intact'
Listen to Andy Bates discussing business and technical benefits of using IBM CICS Transaction Gateway to extend your existing CICS applications to a J2EE-based SOA. CICS TG is a production-proven, security-rich and scaleable J2EE connector that requires minimal changes to CICS systems and usually no changes to existing CICS applications.

Introduction to the CICS tools
The CICS Tools are an essential part of any CICS system because they help businesses become more flexible and efficient, and they help reduce costs. Click the link to read the article. To read the full article, go to the online version of the CICS Portfolio e-newsletter.

Session Manager V2.1 for highly available 3270 session management
IBM Session Manager delivers market-leading recoverability 3270 session management for continuous access to key System z applications. To read the full article, go to the online version of the CICS Portfolio e-newsletter.

Problem Determination Tools V8
IBM’s market-leading Problem Determination Tools portfolio helps to optimize the development of System z applications and maintain control of critical processes. To read the full article, go to the online version of the CICS Portfolio e-newsletter.

New IBM Red paper: 'SOAP message size performance considerations'
Find out about system performance considerations when using different size SOAP messages in CICS Web Services. This paper includes technical information plus a real scenario from a customer in the banking industry.

New Wiki for the CICS community!
A new CICS Wiki is now available. The site runs the same software as Wikipedia and provides a knowledge base aimed specifically at the CICS community.


European Transaction and Messaging Technical Conference, 5-9 November, Vienna - Austria
Update your skills and expand your knowledge of CICS and find out about the new enhancements delivered by CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2. 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? discount!

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