IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS, V5.5 delivers significant Node.js, foundation and developer experience updates by using the continuous delivery model

IBM United States Software Announcement 219-103
July 2, 2019

Table of contents
OverviewOverviewTechnical informationTechnical information
Key requirementsKey requirementsOrdering informationOrdering information
Planned availability datePlanned availability dateTerms and conditionsTerms and conditions
DescriptionDescriptionOrder nowOrder now
Program numberProgram number


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Overview

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IBM® CICS® Transaction Server for z/OS® (CICS TS), a powerful, mixed-language application server, is capable of processing hundreds of thousands of business transactions every second. The continuous delivery (CD) model for CICS TS further extends its capabilities with innovative new functions and additional enhancements. The following key features are part of this CD release of CICS TS V5.5:

  • New CICS plug-in for Maven to automate building CICS bundles that include CICS Java™ applications
  • Support for IBM WebSphere® Application Server Liberty product extensions and the Liberty Admin Center in the CICS Liberty environment
  • Support for Node.js version 8 applications and a new command line tool to deploy Node.js applications into CICS
  • New policy system rule types for the status of CICS database control (DBCTL) connections, IBM MQ connections, and PIPELINE resources



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Key requirements

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For CICS TS for z/OS, V5.5, CICS TS Value Unit Edition V5.5, and CICS TS Developer Trial V5.5, the minimum required hardware prerequisite is IBM System z® 196 or subsequent 64-bit IBM z/Architecture® processors. The minimum required level of operating system is IBM z/OS, V2.2 (5650-ZOS), and the minimum required level of Java is IBM 64-bit SDK for z/OS, Java Technology Edition, V8.0.

Details of system requirements for CICS products are available at the Software Product Compatibility Reports website.



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Planned availability date

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  • July 5, 2019: The majority of CICS TS V5.5 CD enhancements
  • September 30, 2019: The remainder of CICS TS V5.5 CD enhancements



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Description

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Enhancements to CICS TS V5.5 that are included in the CD model

CICS TS for z/OS, V5.5 was generally available on December 14, 2018. With this update, CICS TS V5.5 delivers a number of new and enhanced capabilities by using the standard CICS TS service channel to implement a CD model. For details of related Software Announcements for CD models and general availability of products, see the Reference information section.

New CICS TS plug-in for Maven to automate building CICS TS bundles that include CICS Java applications

CICS TS delivers enhancements to the development experience of Java developers who are familiar with a Maven-style approach to automatic dependency resolution and build chains. These capabilities can be used with CICS TS V5.2, or later and include:

  • The J CICS library and CICS annotation processor, which is now available in the Maven Central repository. This enables Java developers to add easily the required versions of the Java CICS APIs and the CICS annotation processor to their dependencies in a Maven-style build. CICS TS will publish J CICS, the CICS annotation processor, and CICS annotations, along with a bill-of-materials (BOM) that specifies the latest versions of the set of artifacts. These can be referenced by Java developers as a simple way to specify the set of dependencies. Java developers can either pull these artifacts directly from Maven Central, or have them referenced as approved dependencies from a local repository using tools such as Artifactory or Nexus.
  • The Maven plug-ins build CICS Java bundles for Java development. The plug-in is an open-source project and is licensed under Eclipse Public License (EPL) 2.0. This open source project provides a collection of Maven plug-ins and utilities that can be used to build CICS bundles as part of a Maven build and ready to be installed into CICS. The cics-bundle-maven-plugin supports the building of CICS bundles containing the following bundle parts:
    • WAR (.war)
    • EAR (.ear)
    • OSGi bundle (.osgibundle)

    A Maven archetype is also provided, which can be used as a template and, as supplied, will build a CICS bundle containing a dynamic web (WAR) module.

Support for Liberty product extensions in the CICS Liberty environment

A product extension is a group of one or more user-features that provides customization of Liberty. A new JVM profile option LIBERTY_PRODUCT_EXTENSIONS enables the installation of a user product extension into a Liberty server. A product extension is located and maintained separately from the server. This avoids overwrites from server maintenance or updates. Providing a JVM profile option for configuration ensures that the product extension is registered with the Liberty server on start-up, without the need for manual file copying and registration that would otherwise be required for each and every server during creation, set-up, or refresh.

Updated CICS JVM server defaults for Xmso, shared library region, and dump patterns

The native thread stack size, set by the -Xmso setting on a JVM, does not control or accurately reflect the underlying operating system stack size. Setting -Xmso below the Language Environment® (LE) runtime value will artificially constrain the JVM and may cause unnecessary StackOverFlowExceptions. The default value is increased to match the value set in LE runtime options, which is controlled by DFHAXRO.

Use of a shared library region for JVM servers may consume larger amounts of 31-bit storage than it saves. Each address space must allocate enough up-front 31-bit storage to map to the entire shared library region. If the shared library region contains many different versions of native libraries or libraries that are not pertinent to JVM operation, then much of that storage is wasted. Additional fragmentation, due to course-grained paging, causes further inefficiencies. The LE process under which a JVM server runs will now disable shared library region support by default. However, care must be taken to ensure that all processes within the CICS address space disable support. Any single process that uses the shared library region will incur the cost for all activity within the region.

A JVM does not run authorized code. Therefore, system dumps taken from a JVM are not performed by SVCDUMP, but IEATDUMP instead. IEATDUMP writes at the location typically determined by the value of the JAVA_DUMP_TDUMP_PATTERN option. Additional guidance for setting the JAVA_DUMP_TDUMP_PATTERN is provided by the CICS TS Knowledge Center and in the default JVM profiles. Further recommendations are made that users should ensure that their CICS region userid has access to the JAVA_DUMP_TDUMP_PATTERN location and that the location is large enough to store multiple system dumps.

Link to Liberty DPL subset relaxation

The CICS distributed program link (DPL) subset and SyncOnReturn restriction for Link To Liberty applications is removed. FULLAPI capabilities are available when linking to Liberty applications.

Support for Node.js version 8 applications

At general availability, CICS TS V5.5 introduced support for running Node.js applications when packaged and managed as part of a CICS bundle. CICS is updated to support IBM SDK for Node.js - z/OS V8, which provides the more recent Node.js version 8 runtime. For more information on IBM SDK for Node.js - z/OS V8, see the Reference information section.

New command line tool to deploy Node.js applications into CICS

The CICS Explorer® supports both packaging and deploying Node.js applications into CICS. However, Node.js developers may not be familiar with Eclipse and CICS views and operations. The new (open source project) Zowe CLI and CICS deploy plug-in provides the capabilities to package Node.js applications into CICS bundles and deploy them into CICS. This is similar to the experience of deploying to a cloud platform. The Zowe CLI also provides a wide a variety of commands and together with the Zowe extension for Visual Studio Code enables developers to be productive when working with z/OS. These commands can also be used as part of a cloud integration (CI) or CD pipeline.

Node.js scenario for CICS TS in IBM z Systems® trial program

A new scenario is delivered for CICS TS, in the IBM z Systems trial program (zTrial). A Node.js application can be created and deployed into CICS using this scenario to enable Node.js developers and system programmers to try out new support for Node.js applications in CICS TS V5.5.

zTrial provides a no charge remote IBM Z® environment, with no set-up, no install, and minimal lead times. A full IBM Z environment is provisioned typically within 30 minutes of registration and request, accessible using a web browser. A zTrial system is available for use for up to three working days and further zTrial environments can be requested as required.

New policy system rule types for the status of DBCTL connections, IBM MQ connections, and PIPELINE resources

System rules define the action to be taken when something of interest to the users occurs in a CICS system, such as a resource state change, a threshold being crossed, or an unusual system state or action. Policies that define system rules can be deployed either to a stand-alone CICS region or with a CICS platform. New policy system rule types are:

  • DBCTL connection status. This rule type can be used to define the action to be taken when the status of the connection between CICS and DBCTL changes from or to a specific state.
  • IBM MQ connection status. This rule type can be used to define the action to be taken when the status of a connection between CICS and IBM MQ changes from or to a specific state.
  • PIPELINE resource enable status. This rule type can be used to define the action to be taken when the enable status of a CICS pipeline changes from or to a specific state.

In addition, CICS Explorer 5.5.0.3 includes an updated policy editor to create and modify these new system rule types.

Enhancements to CICS TS by using continuous delivery

IBM follows a continuous delivery roadmap for current releases of CICS TS, that delivers regular capability updates by using the standard CICS TS service channel.

The following table lists the enhancements that were applied to CICS TS V5.5, as part of this CD update:

Capability Availability method
JCICS and CICS annotation processor published to Maven Central Binaries and bills of material (BOM) available in Maven Central
Maven plug-in to build CICS bundles that include CICS Java applications Available in Maven Central repository and managed as an open source project.
Updated CICS JVM server defaults for Xmso, shared library region, and dump patterns CICS TS V5.5 APAR PH09400
Support for IBM SDK for Node.js z/OS V8 - CICS TS V5.5 APAR PH10453
Zowe CLI IBM CICS deploy plug-in Available in npm registry and managed as an open source project.
IBM Z trial scenario: Create and deploy a Node.js application into CICS IBM Z software trials under section Database and applications server.
New policy system rule types CICS TS V5.5 APAR PH07632 and CICS Explorer 5.5.0.3

Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act

CICS TS V5.5 is capable, when used in accordance with associated IBM documentation, of satisfying the applicable requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, provided that any assistive technology used with the product properly interoperates with it. A US Section 508 Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) can be requested.



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Hardware and software support services

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SmoothStart/installation services

IBM SmoothStart Services and Installation Services are not provided.

Further information about CICS services is available.



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Reference information

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IBM Software Announcements

For information on the general availability of CICS TS V5.5, see Software Announcement 218-352, dated October 2, 2018.

For information on the general availability of CICS Explorer® V5.5, see Software Announcement 218-430, dated October 2, 2018.

For information on IBM SDK for Node.js - z/OS, V8.0, see Software Announcement 219-350, dated June 11, 2019.


CICS web pages

For up-to-date information on CICS family products, see the CICS home page.

The CICS support web page can be used to search for terms, phrases, error codes, and APAR numbers.


CICS SupportPacs

CICS SupportPacs are available, at no charge, and are designed to complement and extend the capabilities of CICS TS.



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Program number

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Program number V.R.M Program name
5655-Y04 5.5.0 CICS Transaction Server for z/OS
5722-DFJ 5.5.0 CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Value Unit Edition
5722-DFK 1.1.0 CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Value Unit Edition S&S
5655-Y30 5.5.0 CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Developer Trial
5655-Y15 1.1.0 CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Developer Trial S&S


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Business Partner information

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If you are a Direct Reseller - System Reseller acquiring products from IBM, you may link directly to BP Attachment for Announcement Letter 219-103 for this announcement. A PartnerWorld ID and password are required (use IBMid).



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Technical information

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Specified operating environment

Hardware requirements

CICS TS V5.5 runs on any machine that supports the required z/OS operating system. For example, the minimum required hardware prerequisite for CICS TS V5.5 is System z 196 or subsequent 64-bit z/Architecture processors.

Software requirements

For CICS TS for z/OS, V5.5, CICS TS Value Unit Edition V5.5, and CICS TS Developer Trial V5.5, the minimum required hardware prerequisite is IBM System z 196 or subsequent 64-bit IBM z/Architecture processors. The minimum required level of operating system is IBM z/OS, V2.2 (5650-ZOS), and the minimum required level of Java is IBM 64-bit SDK for z/OS, Java Technology Edition, V8.0.

Details of system requirements for CICS products are available at the Software Product Compatibility Reports website.

Compatibility


Application programming summary

The high-level programming languages and compilers that are in service on z/OS and have CICS translator support are detailed in the High-level language support topic in the CICS TS V5.5 product documentation.

Performance considerations

Performance information is available in the online product documentation for CICS TS V5.5, in IBM Knowledge Center.

User group requirements

User requirements for CICS TS can be created, viewed, and voted for in the IBM Request For Enhancement (RFE) community.

Planning information

Packaging

For details of packaging, physical delivery, and electronic delivery, see the CICS TS V5.5 (general availability) Software Announcement 218-352, dated October 2, 2018.

Security, auditability, and control

CICS TS V5.5 uses the security and auditability features of the operating system under which it is running.

The client is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.



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Ordering information

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Publications


CICS TS V5.5 product documentation

Product documentation for CICS TS V5.5 is refreshed regularly to reflect feedback from users and includes changes that result from IBM Service and continuous delivery releases. Detailed information is provided in IBM Knowledge Center, in section What documentation is available?

For CICS TS V5.5, both online documentation is available and PDF format documentation is available in IBM Knowledge Center.

Subsequent updates (technical newsletters or revisions between releases) to the publications shipped with the product will be distributed to the user of record for as long as a license for this software remains in effect. A separate publication order or subscription is not needed.

Customized Offerings

Product deliverables are shipped only through CBPDO and ServerPac. These customized offerings are offered for internet delivery from Shopz. For more details on internet delivery, go to the Help section on the Shopz website.

IBM recommends internet delivery. However, if you still require physical media, you can choose DVD.

Many products can be ordered in ServerPac the month following their availability in CBPDO. z/OS can be ordered through CBPDO and ServerPac at general availability. Many products will also be orderable in a Product ServerPac without also having to order the z/OS operating system or subsystem.

Shopz and CFSW will determine the eligibility based on product requisite checking. For more details on the product ServerPac, go to the Help section on the Shopz website.

Production of software product orders will begin on the planned general availability date.

  • CBPDO shipments will begin one week after general availability.
  • ServerPac shipments will begin two weeks after general availability.



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Terms and conditions

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The terms are unaffected by this announcement.



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Statement of good security practices

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IT system security involves protecting systems and information through prevention, detection, and response to improper access from within and outside your enterprise. Improper access can result in information being altered, destroyed, or misappropriated or can result in misuse of your systems to attack others. Without a comprehensive approach to security, no IT system or product should be considered completely secure and no single product or security measure can be completely effective in preventing improper access. IBM systems and products are designed to be part of a lawful, comprehensive security approach, which will necessarily involve additional operational procedures, and may require other systems, products, or services to be most effective.

Important: IBM does not warrant that any systems, products, or services are immune from, or will make your enterprise immune from, the malicious or illegal conduct of any party.



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Order now

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To order, contact the IBM Digital Sales Center, your local IBM representative, or your IBM Business Partner. To identify your local IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, call 800-IBM-4YOU (426-4968). For more information, contact the IBM Digital Sales Center.

Phone: 800-IBM-CALL (426-2255)

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Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.
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IBM, CICS, z/OS, WebSphere, System z, z/Architecture, IBM Z, Language Environment, CICS Explorer and IBM z Systems are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.

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