CICS TS V4.2 extends the support for event processing in CICS, which allows the power of event processing to be used to increase responsiveness and insight into business. CICS TS V4.2 adds the ability to emit system events to notify certain changes in the system as they happen, such as when VSAM files or DB2 connections fail unexpectedly. New capture points for transaction abends allow events to be emitted and routed to a suitable event consumer when an application encounters an unrecoverable failure condition. CICS system events are specified using an enhanced CICS event binding editor in the CICS Explorer and Rational Developer for System z.
New assured emission allows events to be included in a single unit of work, ensuring that if the event emission succeeds then the application will continue, but that if it fails and the event is not emitted, then the application will also fail, enabling CICS event processing to be used where emission of the event is critical to the application.
Lifecycle management for CICS events will make it easier to manage events when the applications that emit them change and evolve. Sharing of event processing adapters across event bindings reduces event set-up time. A HTTP event processing adapter enables events to be emitted over HTTP without any customization, as an alternative to existing transports, such as WebSphere MQ.
The pooled JVM and JVM server environments have both been updated to support the latest 64-bit Java runtime environment, which provides significantly increased processing capacity in a single CICS region for Java applications. The JVM server infrastructure with integrated OSGi support and tooling provides a new industry standard Java runtime environment in CICS.
CICS now supports the running of multiple Java transactions as threads in a single JVM server process. The JVM server also provides integrated statistics for the monitoring of JVM garbage collection, which simplifies the job of performance tuning Java applications in CICS.
Using the JVM server simplifies the setup and management of the CICS Java runtime environment, improves portability for Java applications and tools deployed in CICS, and provides a new standard Java runtime environment in CICS.
The JVM server environment supports the development and deployment of Java applications through the use of industry standard OSGi bundles. This will require Java applications to be packaged into an OSGi bundle, and then deployed as a CICS BUNDLE resource with reference to the OSGi bundle and its version, removing the need to load Java applications from a statically defined class path. This function will significantly improve the system management of Java applications in CICS through the provision of application isolation and versioning, cross-package prerequisite checking, and simplified package redeployment.
The CICS Explorer SDK supports the development of Java applications for both JVM servers and pooled JVMs. Users with the appropriate prerequisite Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE) can use documentation, examples, and wizards in conjunction with the plug-in development environment to develop applications as a set of OSGi bundles and deploy them using the CICS bundle support in the SDK. This enhanced plug-in will significantly improve the development of new Java applications and accelerate the migration of existing Java applications to exploit the OSGi environment in a JVM server.
CICS TS V4.2 now supports the function shipping of file control, transient data, and temporary storage requests between CICS regions over a TCP/IP network using an IPIC connection. This function, together with the prior support for DPL, transaction routing, and asynchronous starts, provides a modern alternative to IBM Systems Network Architecture (SNA) for CICS-to-CICS intercommunication, allowing migration of SNA networks to TCP/IP, performance enhancements resulting from the use of threadsafe mirror programs, improved security, and simplified administration.
CICS TS V4.2 also provides the option to use the common Axis2 Java-based SOAP engine, which is also used in WebSphere Application Server, to improve interoperability. The Axis2 infrastructure and the data conversion bindings have been implemented in Java, making them eligible for execution on available specialty zAAP processors, which can lead to lower software processing costs.
CICS will now optionally cache HTTP connections to enable the pooling of outbound connections, which greatly reduces the processing associated with opening and closing large numbers of HTTP connections. Additionally, CICS provides the option to control the number of persistent HTTP connections allowed for each port, which can improve workload balancing of connections in a sysplex. Other enhancements include simplified deployment and administration of ATOM feeds, and extensions to support for WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere MQ.
Improving the management of CICS is a continued focus in this release. New transaction tracking capability provides the ability to identify the point of origin of a CICS task, for example an IP address or a queue name, and then to track those tasks as they flow across regions in a CICSplex, displaying the relationships between these tasks as they flow. This will be a significant aid in auditing and problem determination, and simplifies the administration skills required to diagnose business applications.
New CICSPlex System Manager (CICSPlex SM) Workload Management (WLM) algorithms allows more control over how workload is distributed, enabling workload to be more evenly shared between local and remote systems if desired. Additionally, CICSPlex SM provides the ability to vary the algorithms for particular workloads non-disruptively, enabling mixed mode operation and algorithm switching without shutting down any workloads. Taken together, the enhancements improve the efficiency of workload management and simplify the creation of highly available CICSplex configurations.
New support for password phrases allows a 9-100 character string of mixed-case letters, numbers, and special characters, including blanks. Longer password phrases offer improved system protection and greater usability since they are less likely to be guessed and require more processing power to sustain an attack.
First shipped with CICS TS V4.1, CICS Explorer has been continuously updated and improved, including the following new and enhanced capabilities:
At general availability of CICS TS V4.2, new and enhanced capabilities will be available in CICS Explorer V1.1, in support of CICS TS V4.2, and will include:
CICS TS V4.2 makes a number of enhancements to increase the scalability of CICS, by extending threadsafe support in key areas. These enhancements increased multiprocessor exploitation, and by extending its support for 64-bit architecture, further reducing virtual storage constraint.
Multiprocessor exploitation is improved by allowing threadsafe applications and commands to run on open Task Control Blocks (TCBs), and hence avoid the bottleneck of the CICS quasi-reentrant (QR) TCB. Further use of open TCBs and additional threadsafe capability in this latest release enable increased multiprocessing capability and potentially provide significant performance benefits.
The CICS DBCTL interface, which is used to communicate between CICS applications and IMS data, is now threadsafe, leading to the possibility of significant performance improvements. The mirror program (DFHMIRS) can now run on an L8 open TCB, and when used in conjunction with the new support for function shipping over IPIC connections, this provides optimization for large customers whose file-owning regions are CPU constrained.
CICS TS V4.2 introduces a new CONCURRENCY REQUIRED option which can eliminate even more TCB switches, and makes even more of the CICS API threadsafe, improving the performance of threadsafe applications which utilize those additional APIs.
Trace tables and both main and auxiliary temporary storage use the 64-bit storage capabilities of the hardware to increase region capacity, and reduce short on storage conditions. By enabling trace tables to hold considerably more data, problem determination of first failure data capture can be significantly improved.
The maximum number of LSR pools has been increased from 8 to 255, enabling customers with diverse requirements for VSAM caching to optimize the performance and manageability of their VSAM data.
CICS TS V4.2 now makes more use of the large 64-bit virtual storage to increase capacity by supporting a larger number of concurrent users and concurrent transactions, as well as keeping up with the virtual storage demands of increased workload of existing applications and the larger memory requirements of new applications and new technologies.