5655-YA1 IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 6.1

IBM United States Sales Manual
Revised: April 5, 2022


Table of contents
Product life cycle datesProduct life cycle datesDescriptionDescription
Program numberProgram numberOperating environmentOperating environment
AbstractAbstractPlanning informationPlanning information
Product positioningProduct positioningPublicationsPublications
HighlightsHighlights


Product life cycle dates

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Program Number VRM Announced Available Marketing Withdrawn Service Discontinued
5655-YA1 06.01.00 2022-04-05 2022-06-17 - -
5722-DV1 06.01.00 2022-04-05 2022-06-17 - -
5655-YV1 06.01.00 2022-04-05 2022-06-17 - -


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Program number

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  • IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 6.1.0 (5655-YA1)
  • IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Value Unit Edition 6.1.0 (5722-DV1)
  • IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Value Unit Edition S&S 1.1.0 (5722-DFK)
  • IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Developer Trial 6.1.0 (5655-YV1)
  • IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Developer Trial S&S 4.2.0 (5655-Y15)


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Abstract

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IBMCICS Transaction server for z/OS (CICS TS) 6.1 is a world-class, secure, and scalable platform for hosting transactional enterprise applications in a hybrid architecture. CICS TS 6.1 delivers new capabilities in the following areas:

  • Enhanced developer productivity
  • Improved security and compliance management
  • Reduced cost of management


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Product positioning

Top rule

CICS TS is the premier, enterprise grade, mixed language, application server. For over 50 years, CICS has consistently delivered innovative solutions that companies have used to differentiate themselves by creating, extending, and evolving mission- critical applications.

CICS TS is designed to enable organizations to create and maintain a competitive advantage by building custom, differentiated CICS applications. For these organizations, this is the fastest and most effective way to maintain and extend the leadership position they have earned.

IBM creates innovative and essential CICS TS technologies that enable organizations to deliver on their business imperatives. CICS TS is continuously enhanced to help organizations add value to their core CICS assets, first by extending them to the internet, then by embracing Java workloads, and more recently by building comprehensive SOAs from existing systems.

CICS TS 6.1 has satisfied over 95 requirements made by organizations through the requirements process. Many of these satisfied requirements help to solve the two most pressing challenges companies face, which are driving operational efficiencies while increasing service agility.

New and enhanced capabilities in CICS TS 6.1 are delivered in a way that positions CICS users for the next transformational era in technology that moves them towards a service delivery platform for cloud computing. In particular, CICS TS 6.1 extends the cloud-style development, deployment, and operations capabilities that were introduced in earlier releases of CICS TS. It provides the opportunity to evaluate these capabilities, determine their relevance to the enterprise, and provide feedback to IBM on the concept and implementation.

Note that the end of support for CICS TS 5.3 was effective on December 31, 2021.

Note that end of support for CICS TS 5.4 will become effective on December 31, 2023.

CICS TS VUE

CICS TS VUE 6.1 offers an OTC price metric for eligible workloads that are deployed in qualified zNALC LPARs.

The term eligible workload is defined as net new Java workload that executes within the CICS TS VUE JVM server environment, on condition that the workload is qualified and approved through the zNALC qualification process.

The OTC price metric provides an alternative pricing model for new CICS Java applications and new CICS Java-based, service-enablement workloads.

Support for the zNALC metric offers a reduced price for the z/OS operating system on LPARs that run a qualified application.

CICS TS VUE 6.1 can connect to other supported versions of CICS TS (whether in zNALC or non-zNALC environments) for the purpose of workload federation and systems management.

CICS TS VUE is a separately licensed program and does not initiate any SVC period for monthly license charge (MLC) versions of CICS TS. This means that new CICS TS VUE applications can federate with existing CICS TS version 4 and CICS TS version 5 workloads without mandating an upgrade of those systems.

CICS TS Developer Trial

CICS TS Developer Trial 6.1 is available as a try-before-you-buy edition of CICS TS 6.1. CICS TS Developer Trial is available at no charge and does not initiate any SVC period. Organizations that want to assess the value that could be gained from a CICS TS upgrade, before making an upgrade decision, should order this product.

CICS TS Developer Trial contains the complete set of CICS TS features and functions. However, there are a number of imposed restrictions, in performance and capacity, licensing terms, and a fixed expiry date, that make CICS TS Developer Trial suitable only for use in non-production environments.

Organizations can now obtain support from IBM for CICS TS Developer Trial. Furthermore, if organizations order a full product version of CICS TS 6.1 or CICS TS VUE 6.1, they can upgrade from the CICS TS Developer Trial without the need to reinstall the product.

CICS TS Developer Trial 6.1 is available through IBM Shopz as a standard offering. In countries where Shopz is not yet available, contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner to handle their order by using the traditional IBM ordering process.

CICS TS Developer Trial is complemented by the continuing availability of IBM Z Development and Test Environment, which provides a low-cost, IBM Z environment for developing and testing mainframe applications on Intel and Intel-compatible platforms.



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Highlights

Top rule

IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 6.1

CICS Transaction server for z/OS (CICS TS) is a world-class, secure, and scalable platform for hosting transactional enterprise applications in a hybrid architecture. CICS applications can efficiently update data and messages in IBM Db2, IBM IMS, IBM VSAM, and IBM MQ with transaction integrity, while meeting demanding service level agreements. CICS TS provides an excellent foundation for a stepwise, low-risk, high-return approach to application modernization.

CICS TS 6.1 delivers the following new capabilities:

  • Enhanced developer productivity
    • Support for Java 11, Jakarta Enterprise Edition 9.1, and Eclipse MicroProfile 5
    • Improvements to Java getting started documentation
    • Java annotation now available to define methods to link to OSGi Java applications
    • Bundle deployment, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and advanced IBM CICS Explorer functions supported in single CICS regions
    • Maintain CICS resource configuration with application source using the CICS TS resource builder
  • Improved security and compliance management
    • New support for Transportation Layer Security (TLS) 1.3
    • Additional TLS monitoring and statistics
    • Support for Application Transparent Transport Layer Security (AT-TLS) monitoring and statistics
    • New messages to simplify diagnosis of TLS security problems
    • New messages associated with authorization errors to assist in identifying the user
    • Simplified diagnosis of sysplex-wide CICS security problems
    • New SMF 1154 type 80 record to simplify collection of compliance data for auditors
    • New CICS health checks for IBM Health Checker for z/OS
    • Customization of CICS health checks
    • Improved security documentation based on scenarios
    • Removal of the need for category 1 security definitions
    • New protection to guard against executing code in data-only memory
    • Addition of MFA authentication sign-on from CICS Explorer to a single CICS region
    • Enhanced information for the ASSIGN command
  • Reduced cost of management
    • Tagging of CICS regions to identify usage
    • Resource definition overrides
    • New compound condition system policy rule
    • New ALL option for selected policy task rules
    • Enhanced support for policy statistics
    • New system rule type for transaction dump threshold
    • Improved temporary storage expiry processing
    • Extended short on storage notification
    • Limit on concurrent TLS handshakes
    • Enhancements in support of IBM Db2
    • Increased capacity of shared data tables
    • Enhanced CICS event processing support
    • Advanced CICS Explorer functions in single CICS regions
    • Enhanced performance monitoring
    • Enhanced API, SPI, and diagnostics
    • Improved recovery for Logger failures
    • CICS installation using z/OSMF Software Management
    • Ability to use an alternate IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty installation location

IBM Explorer for z/OS and CICS Explorer

The latest capabilities delivered in Explorer for z/OS (z/OS Explorer) are supported by CICS Explorer.

CICS Tools support for CICS TS 6.1

The following products, referred to collectively as CICS Tools, can be used in support of CICS TS 6.1:

  • CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS (CICS CM) 5.4
  • CICS Deployment Assistant for z/OS (CICS DA) 5.3
  • CICS Interdependency Analyzer for z/OS (CICS IA) 5.5
  • CICS Performance Analyzer for z/OS (CICS PA) 5.4
  • CICS VSAM Recovery for z/OS (CICS VR) 5.2

CICS TS Value Unit Edition 6.1

CICS TS Value Unit Edition (VUE) 6.1 delivers all of the speed, reliability, and value of CICS TS with a one-time-charge (OTC) price model. Eligible workloads include Java applications that are deployed in qualifying IBM Z New Application License Charges (zNALC) logical partitions (LPARs). These workloads can be integrated and managed alongside existing CICS TS workloads using IBM CICSPlex System Manger (SM).

CICS TS Developer Trial 6.1

CICS TS Developer Trial 6.1 is available as a try-before-you-buy edition of CICS TS 6.1 and is available at no charge. With CICS TS Developer Trial 6.1, organizations can assess the value to be gained from a CICS TS upgrade before making an upgrade decision. CICS TS Developer Trial 6.1 can be upgraded to either CICS TS 6.1 or CICS TS VUE 6.1, without the need for a full reinstallation. It is fully supported by IBM and is updated periodically during the trial period.



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Description

Top rule

CICS TS 6.1 enhances the experience and productivity of developers by adding support for familiar languages and APIs, such as Java 11, Jakarta 9.1, MicroProfile 5, and build tools such as Gradle and Maven. In addition, the new CICS TS resource builder tool empowers developers to define CICS application resources themselves in YAML alongside the code. Use of the CICS TS resource builder enables fully automated application build and deployment pipelines, which can typically save time and reduce errors.

In addition, CICS TS 6.1 provides improved security and now gathers evidence for compliance. This includes support for TLS 1.3 and new documentation and diagrams based on scenarios to help secure systems and applications. CICS TS now collects configuration evidence required by compliance authorities and writes it to SMF. This evidence is collected by IBM Z Security and Compliance Center to provide detailed reports to enable executives, administrators, and auditors to understand compliance metrics with ease, and to track compliance drift over time using dashboard visualizations.

CICS TS 6.1 also provides a broad range of enhancements to reduce costs and make it easier to manage. For example, CICS regions can be classified using tags to identify the applications it hosts, enabling system programmers to understand the purpose of the region and for automation to dynamically target actions. In total, CICS TS 6.1 addresses over 95 ideas that have been raised by clients.

Enhanced developer productivity

  • Support for Java 11, Jakarta Enterprise Edition 9.1, and Eclipse MicroProfile 5

    Developers can now make use of the latest language features and enterprise APIs available in Java 11, Jakarta Enterprise Edition 9.1, and Eclipse MicroProfile 5 to write CICS applications. The build and deployment of these applications can be automated using CICS plug-ins for Gradle and Maven. Java 11 support in CICS requires IBM Semeru Runtime Certified Edition for z/OS 11. Jakarta 9.1 and MicroProfile 5 are included with CICS TS and use the CICS Liberty JVM server.

  • Improvements to Java getting started documentation

    To help Java developers to get started with applications in CICS, updated information is available in IBM Documentation. It provides a simple overview of what is involved as well as key CICS concepts and access to resources, such as samples, videos, and tutorials.

  • Java annotation now available to define methods to link to OSGi Java applications

    Java applications deployed into an OSGi JVM server can now exploit the @CICSProgram Java annotation to identify the methods that can be called as targets of LINK, START, or RUN commands. CICS automatically creates PROGRAM resources for the annotated methods when the Java application is enabled, making this approach easier to deploy and more flexible than the existing CICS-MainClass approach. This Java annotation is already available for Java applications running in a WebSphere Application Server Liberty JVM server. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Bundle deployment, multi-factor authentication, and advanced CICS Explorer functions supported in single CICS regions

    Support is introduced for a CICS Management Client Interface (CMCI) JVM server to be installed and configured in a single CICS region. This makes it possible to use the following capabilities in a single CICS region that were previously only available in a CICSPlex System Manager environment:

    • The CICS bundle deployment API, which lets developers use a CICS provided plug-in for Gradle or Maven to deploy CICS bundles into a single CICS region
    • The CMCI GraphQL API, which enables advanced functions of CICS Explorer to be used, such as aggregation and grouping of result data, in a single CICS region
    • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to securely sign-on from CICS Explorer to a single CICS region.

    Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Maintain CICS resource configuration with application source using the CICS TS resource builder

    CICS applications consist of source code that is compiled and CICS resources, such as TRANSACTIONs, PROGRAMs and FILEs. These elements are typically managed by separate teams in separate places, using manual steps and causing delays to coordinate changes.

    The CICS TS resource builder is a tool to facilitate configuration as code for application resources. It enables developers to manage resource definitions in a readable source format using a modern source control management (SCM) and modern pipeline. It is designed to run alongside the application build and provides output to be used in later steps in the pipeline to deploy resources alongside the application. Developers are now able to change application code and resources together in a single pull request, giving a consistent and efficient approval and audit process, enabling applications to be deployed with confidence in minutes rather than hours.

    With the CICS TS resource builder, CICS resource definitions are defined in a YAML file that is easy to read and update. Enterprise standards for resources, such as naming conventions and required or optional attributes, can be included in a YAML schema. Editors can use the schema to provide help and content assist while developers edit the file. Within the build pipeline, the CICS TS resource builder reads and validates the YAML file then generates output that can be used with CICS system definition utility program (DFHCSDUP). The output is then used by a deployment pipeline to update the CICS system definitions dataset ready for use in CICS.

Improved security and compliance management

  • New support for TLS 1.3

    CICS supports the TLS 1.3 protocol so that TLS applications can be protected with the most current TLS protocol and continue to inter- operate with other TLS 1.3 applications. This TLS support requires z/OS 2.4, or later.

    The use of numeric ciphers in the CIPHERS fields of resources and the WEB OPEN command is deprecated. Default ciphers for resources are now obtained from the file defaultciphers.xml in the directory specified by USSCONFIG.

    Numeric ciphers are not compatible with TLS 1.3. These ciphers will be ignored for WEB OPEN commands when TLS 1.3 is used.

    Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Additional TLS monitoring and statistics

    New monitoring and statistics are introduced that report on the TLS protocol levels and ciphers used by CICS on inbound and outbound connections. Use of these new features simplifies the upgrading of MINTLSLEVEL and removing ciphers.

    The new statistics help to identify if unwanted protocols or ciphers are being used by the CICS region. If they are being used, then the new monitoring can help to identify the client or server that is using them.

    Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Support for AT-TLS monitoring and statistics

    New monitoring fields are introduced that indicate whether a network connection is configured using AT-TLS or CICS configured TLS.

    New monitoring and statistics are introduced that report on the TLS protocol levels and ciphers used by CICS on inbound and outbound connections when using AT-TLS.

    The INQUIRE TCPIPSERVICE command is updated to indicate if connections use AT-TLS.

  • New messages to simplify diagnosis of TLS security problems

    A series of new messages are issued for common errors with TLS connections when CICS is a client (DFHSO03xx messages) or a server (DFHSO04xx messages). The new messages are primarily configuration errors and are accompanied by additional information to the DFHSO0123 message. They also include specific advice on diagnosing and fixing the error.

  • New messages associated with authorization errors to assist in identifying the user

    Authorization errors are accompanied by an ICH4081 message or DFHXS1111 message. These messages identify the failing request and user ID. However, in many cases it is difficult to locate the user from this information. A new message DFHXS1117 is issued with origin data, including the distributed identity, if available. This extra information will simplify diagnosis of authorization errors.

    Additional information on ICH4081 can be found in IBM Documentation. Additional information DFHXS1111 can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Simplified diagnosis of sysplex-wide CICS security problems

    A new capability called Security Request Recording (SRR) enables sysplex-wide logging of CICS security requests to simplify the diagnosis of complex security problems. The log can be activated for a specific origin request, such as a request to a TCPIPSERVICE, and then record all CICS security requests associated with origin data of this request, including those which do not result in a call to the external security manager (ESM).

    The information can then be output to a summary report and a CSV file on IBM z/OS File System ( zFS), for diagnosis using the DFHSRR utility.

    Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • New SMF 1154 type 80 record to simplify collection of compliance data for auditors

    CICS TS 6.1 provides SMF 1154-80 records to assist with the data collection of compliance information for auditors.

    Data collection on all CICS regions on selected LPARs can be requested by a new z/OS RESTful service.

    A sample program is provided to output a summary of this information and a CSV file on zFS for more detailed analysis.

    This capability requires z/OS 2.5 or z/OS 2.4 with APARs OA61443 and OA61444. Additional information about APAR OA61443 can be found on the IBM Support website. Additional information about APAR OA61444 can be found on the IBM Support website.

    Additional information about compliance data collection can be found in the IBM Z Security and Compliance Center software announcement. Details of this announcement are in the Reference information section.

  • New CICS health checks for Health Checker for z/OS

    CICS supports five new checks in Health Checker for z/OS. These new checks cover best practice advice for security configuration of regions, resources, and CICS TS use of zFS.

    Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Customization of CICS health checks

    The region tagging mechanism can be used to exclude regions, such as development regions, from reporting configuration errors to Heath Checker for z/OS. In addition, specific health checks, which are not applicable for a client, can be excluded for all regions.

  • Improved security documentation based on scenarios

    The CICS Security documentation is restructured in order to provide education on CICS security principles and topologies.

    To assist application architects, developers, and system administrators, the documentation is restructured to give advice on designing and configuring current security topologies, such as WebSphere Application Server Liberty, web services, IP interconnectivity (IPIC), Multiregion operation (MRO), and 3270 terminals.

    For each topology, there is a new security reference section based on common scenarios. The scenarios show examples of how to design security with accompanying task-based configuration information.

    The new security reference section includes recommendations and best practice advice. Best practice advice is accompanied by checks in Health Checker for z/OS.

  • Removal of the need for category 1 security definitions

    In CICS TS 6.1, it is no longer necessary to define security profiles for CICS category 1 transactions, using the DFH$CAT1 CLIST. In addition to simplifying CICS region setup, this improves security because CICS ensures that only the CICS region user ID is permitted to run these category 1 transactions.

  • New protection to guard against executing code in data-only memory

    CICS can make use of the z/OS 2.4 Instruction Execution Protection (IEP) facility to protect storage areas that are intended only to contain data, such as USER and CICS dynamic storage areas, from being able to execute code. This new feature requires IBM z14 or IBM z15 hardware, and also z/OS 2.5, or alternatively, z/OS 2.4 or z/OS 2.3 with both APAR OA51030 and APAR OA51643.

    Additional information about APAR OA51030 can be found on the IBM Support website. Additional information about APAR OA51643 can be found on the IBM Support website.

  • Addition of MFA authentication sign-on from CICS Explorer to a single CICS region

    With support for the CMCI JVM server in a single, non-CICSplex, CICS region, it is now possible to use MFA to sign on from CICS Explorer to a single CICS region.

  • Enhanced information for the ASSIGN command

    The new option GMEXITOPT is provided on the ASSIGN command, where it will return the EXIT or DISCONNECT value specified on the GMTRAN SIT parameter. This new option enables user-written sign-on or sign- off transactions to choose whether to disconnect a user based on the GMTRAN SIT setting. Previously, this behavior was only applicable to CICS supplied sign-on and sign-off transactions.

    Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

Reduced cost of management

  • Tagging of CICS regions to identify usage

    CICS regions can be classified using tags to assist in identifying the purpose of the region. A YAML file is used to specify the naming convention of the regions and to define their tags. For example, a region can be tagged to identify usage, such as development, test, or production, and also to identify the applications it hosts. This can be useful to show operators and auditors what a region is used for and also for configuring CICS health check exclusions. Additional information on classifying using tags can be found in IBM Documentation. The region tags can be displayed in CICS Explorer and the new INQUIRE TAG command. Additional information on INQUIRE TAG can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Resource definition overrides

    CICS application resources often need to be installed in many CICS regions, sometimes with different resource attributes. For example, a CICS region used by a developer may require the execution diagnostics facility (EDF) to be set on for programs, and the data set name for files to point to test data. A system programmer is now able to use the same resource definitions in these environments and apply a new resource definition overrides file that contains rules that tailor resources as required. This feature provides the following advantages:

    • Saves time and effort by using the same CICS definitions in development, test, and production environments without change
    • Easily describe and document the resource attributes to override in a separate file for that environment, using generic rules and system-specific symbols, such as the LPAR name, APPLID, CICS job name, USS locations for the CICS home and configuration locations, and sysplex name
    • Apply enterprise standards by ensuring certain attribute values are always on or off, set to a specific value, or follow a naming convention
  • New compound condition system policy rule

    The compound condition rule can be used when users want to define a system rule that specifies two or more conditions. CICS takes the defined action when all of the specified conditions are met. For example, a compound condition system rule can be defined that instructs CICS to set the z/OS WLM health status to OPEN only if both the Db2 connection status and the IBM MQ connection status are CONNECTED. Another example is when setting the z/OS WLM health status to OPEN only when a selected set of bundle resources have been enabled. The set of supported conditions that can be used relate to the status of system resources. The conditions are as follows:

    • Bundle available status
    • Bundle enable status
    • Db2 connection status
    • DBCTL connection status
    • File enable status
    • File open status
    • MQ connection status
    • IPIC connection status
    • MRO connection status
    • Pipeline enable status
    • Program enable status

    Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • New ALL option added to selected policy task rules

    The following policy task rules support the ALL option:

    • File requests
    • Storage allocation
    • Storage requests
    • Transient Data (TD) queue requests
    • Temporary Storage (TS) queue requests

    This enhancement lets organizations apply a threshold to the total cumulative count of requests issued, such as, for example, all file requests issued by the task rather than selecting individual types of file request. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Enhanced support for policy statistics

    The sample statistics program DFH0STAT can now produce reports for CICS policies. The Policy report shows information and statistics about installed policy rules in the region. In support for this enhancement, the EXTRACT STATISTICS command supports a new RESTYPE option POLICY and a new SUBRESTYPE option POLICYRULE that can be used to obtain statistics about a policy rule that is contained in a POLICY resource. In addition, two new commands INQUIRE POLICY and INQUIRE POLICYRULE are introduced to support inquiries on information about installed POLICY resources and the policy rules contained within. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • New system rule type for transaction dump threshold

    This new rule type is used to set a maximum threshold for the total number of transaction dumps in a CICS region and take an automatic action when the threshold is exceeded. With this system rule, users can monitor transaction dumps and prevent an excessive number of dumps being taken in a CICS region.

    This capability is also available for CICS TS 5.6 with APAR PH34348. Information can be found on the IBM Support website.

  • Improved temporary storage expiry processing

    The processing of expired temporary storage (TS) queues has been improved. First, organizations can separate out the processing of main and auxiliary TS queues from shared TS queues so that they use separate calculated intervals. Second, for shared TS queues, an internal queue is used to hold details of when the last scan was performed. The internal queue is used to prevent CICS from scanning the shared TS queues if another CICS has performed such a scan within the previous minute. This means that even if there are multiple CICS regions using a shared TS pool and they each have TS models installed specifying short expiry intervals, then the shared queues will never be scanned more frequently than once per minute. Third, the CICS-MQ interface is improved to only employ a DFHCKBR TS model with a non- zero expiry interval when the MQ bridge has been started, otherwise, it has a zero expiry interval. This improvement avoids unwanted TS queue scans.

  • Extended short on storage notification

    Building on the changes made in CICS TS 5.6 to monitor the use of user region (24-bit) and extended user region (31-bit) MVS storage not managed by CICS, CICS storage manager now notifies other domains of these 24-bit and 31-bit short on MVS storage conditions. The new notifications are as follows:

    • The security domains are notified so that any eligible user ID and its associated attributes are freed, including RACF control blocks. The freeing of these control blocks is normally subject to USRDELAY processing, but in the event of a short on storage condition in 31-bit MVS storage, these control blocks are now freed immediately to help recover from the shortage.
    • The Region status domain is notified so that CICSPlex System Manager factors z/OS MVS short on storage conditions into its routing algorithm. This enables new requests to be directed to CICS regions that have capacity.
  • Limit on concurrent TLS handshakes

    CICS now limits the number of concurrent TLS handshakes to 90% of the MAXSSLTCBS value specified at startup. If the maximum limit is reached, a task that is requesting a TLS handshake is suspended with a resource name of S8TLSHS of resource type DSWC. To help the monitoring of concurrent TLS handshakes in a CICS region, new statistics are introduced in TCP/IP Global statistics. These statistics provide information about the maximum, current, and peak numbers of TLS handshakes that are running in parallel or that are waiting. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

    This enhancement helps avoid issues, such as high CPU, MAXTASK, or lack of S8 TCBs when many TLS handshakes are performed concurrently. It also lets in-flight web alias or pipeline tasks obtain an available S8 TCB in order to send a reply back to the client in the same situation.

  • Enhancements in support of Db2

    Support is introduced into CICS TS for sharing locks across regions in a global unit of work (UOW). A new DB2ENTRY attribute SHARELOCKS is provided to enable CICS to pass an XID to Db2 and then instruct Db2 to share locks between threads that pass the same XID. Using the same XID, other threads that originate from other CICS regions or from other transaction managers, such as IBM IMS Transaction Manager, can access Db2 in the same global UOW. The XID token is not used for recovery between CICS and Db2. The passing of an XID involves a partial sign-on to Db2 for each UOW. This action closes cursors, so held cursors across syncpoints are not supported when the passing of an XID is enabled. Applications will have to reposition cursors after a syncpoint. Passing an XID avoids having to deal with UOW affinities. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

    Enhanced adapter tracking is introduced for CICS Db2 applications. The CICS Db2 attachment facility is enhanced to pass CICS adapter data to Db2. If a CICS task that is accessing Db2 has adapter data in the CICS origin data, then the adapter ID is passed as appl-longname and the adapter data is passed as an accounting-string. Db2 writes the data in its SMF accounting records, and the data is also available online through the Db2 special registers CURRENT CLIENT_APPLNAME and CURRENT CLIENT_ACCTNG. This capability requires Db2 12 with APAR PH31447. Additional information can be found on the IBM Support website.

  • Increased capacity of shared data tables

    The capacity of shared data tables is increased. Shared data tables no longer use the two control data spaces for table entry descriptors, backout elements, and index nodes and instead now use 64-bit storage to hold this control information. This increase removes the constraint on the number of records that can be stored. The records continue to be stored in 31-bit data spaces and now two more data spaces are available to hold the records. Organizations Clients can use the new system initialization parameter SDTMEMLIMIT to set the maximum amount of storage above the bar that is available for shared data tables to use for control information. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Enhanced CICS event processing support

    CICS application events now support capturing the command PUT64 CONTAINER. Users can capture and emit events when their application program issues an PUT64 CONTAINER command or when it invokes one of the methods put() or putString() in the JCICS class com.ibm.cics.server.Container. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

  • Advanced CICS Explorer functions in single CICS regions

    Support for the CMCI JVM server in a single, non-CICSplex, CICS region makes it possible to use advanced functions of CICS Explorer, such as aggregation and grouping of result data, in a single CICS region.

  • Enhanced performance monitoring

    Event processing is changed to generate a monitoring record every 2,000 events processed by long running CEPD tasks in a CICS region. Origin data in the CICS performance record now reports the EXCI jobname if the transaction was initiated by an EXCI request from outside the CICS region.

  • Enhanced API, SPI, and diagnostics

    The START CHANNEL command now supports NOCHECK and PROTECT options to migrate from passing data by interval control (START FROM) to passing data by using a channel (START CHANNEL). When a channel is used to pass data for a START request, users can now use the NOCHECK option to indicate that the request must be shipped to a remote system and no response is expected by the starting task, therefore, improving CICS performance. With the PROTECT option, users can make the START request recoverable by instructing the starting task to take a syncpoint before committing the START request. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

    User-written routing programs can now indicate daisy-chaining support when routing non-terminal-related START requests. The routing program has to opt in by setting new field DYRDCYN field to 'Y' in the communications area or container for the distributed routing program (mapped by the DFHDYPDS copybook). Previously daisy-chaining was only supported implicitly for APPC links, whereas now user-written routing programs have to opt in explicitly. This feature is supported for MRO, IPIC and APPC links between CICS regions. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

    The new INQUIRE STORAGE64 command and new DFHSMMCX XPI call, INQUIRE TASK STORAGE64, can be used to retrieve information about 64-bit task storage. Additional information about the INQUIRE STORAGE64 command can be found in IBM Documentation. Additional information about INQUIRE TASK STORAGE64 command can be found in IBM Documentation.

    The INQUIRE FEATUREKEY command now reports the filepath of the zFS file from where the feature toggle was read. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

    The command WRITE OPERATOR now supports a new option CONSNAME. This option can be used to define a specific console to receive messages as an alternative to using route codes. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

    Organizations get improved messages that report errors following a z/OS IPL that are caused by CICS initializing ahead of the TCP/IP stack being fully available.

  • Improved recovery from Logger failures

    CICS is now able to automatically recover following an MVS logstream failure and subsequent MVS logger recovery. A new system transaction CLGR is attached to reset the state of CICS user journals that use the affected MVS logstream.

  • CICS installation using z/OSMF Software Management

    Users can now optionally install CICS using z/OSMF Software Management. This provides a guided deployment and configuration experience. Users are encouraged to become familiar with the z/OSMF packaging type, which is delivered only as part of CICS TS 6.1, or later. Further information and installation details are available on the ServerPac Installation using z/OSMF website.

  • Ability to use an alternate WebSphere Application Server Liberty installation location

    The CICS TS installation includes WebSphere Application Server Liberty, which is used by default when running WebSphere Application Server Liberty in CICS. You are now able to configure the CICS JVM profile option WLP INSTALL DIR to specify the installation directory of the IBM z/OS Liberty Embedded base element. This feature enables the use of a consistent WebSphere Application Server Liberty fix pack and WebSphere Application Server Liberty angel process across an LPAR. Additional information can be found in IBM Documentation.

Other key enhancements

  • IBM Z Integrated Accelerator for AI

    Applications that run in CICS TS can make more timely and better decisions, and achieve improved business outcomes, by capitalizing on AI within their transactions.

    IBM z16 features the IBM Z Integrated Accelerator for AI, which is designed to bring state of the art deep learning acceleration to enterprise workloads. This centralized on-chip AI accelerator leverages AI at speed and scale, and is designed to provide extremely high performance and consistent low latency inferencing for processing transactional workloads, such as those run on CICS TS.

    Enterprises using CICS TS can exploit the IBM Z Integrated Accelerator for AI when using deep learning AI models, by using the existing options for invoking AI models in their applications. IBM z16 supports popular AI frameworks and tooling, with optimizations that exploit the IBM Z architecture and especially the new AI accelerator.

  • z/OS Explorer and CICS Explorer

    z/OS Explorer can help to improve the efficiency and productivity of the day-to-day activities of system programmers and application developers. It can also simplify the deployment and maintenance of Eclipse-based products. z/OS Explorer is built using a continuous integration and delivery pipeline, and is designed to deliver extensible workstation connectivity to key z/OS functions.

    CICS Explorer is updated to take advantage of the capabilities of z/OS Explorer and its use of the latest Eclipse-based integration platform.

    Both z/OS Explorer and CICS Explorer are available at no charge and can be downloaded directly from IBM. Additional information can be found on the IBM downloads website.

  • IBM Observability by Instana Application Performance Monitoring on z/OS

    IBM Observability by Instana Application Performance Monitoring on z/OS is enhanced to include IBM MQ inbound support. This enhancement allows application tracing of common patterns, such as MQ messages flowing into CICS or IMS, triggering subsequent updates in Db2.

CICS Tools support for CICS TS 6.1

The following CICS Tools can be used in support of CICS TS 6.1:

CICS VSAM Recovery (VR) 5.2 supports CICS TS 6.1 without requiring any update.

Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act

The product or offering is capable as of the planned availability date, when used in accordance with associated IBM documentation, of satisfying the applicable standards, including the Worldwide Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, European Standard EN 301 349, and US Section 508, provided that any assistive technology used with the product properly interoperates with it. An Accessibility Conformance Statement can be requested on the IBM Accessibility Conformance Report website.



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Operating environment

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Hardware requirements

Processor

CICS TS 6.1 runs on any machine that supports the required z/OS operating system. For example, the minimum required hardware prerequisite for CICS TS 6.1 is zEC12 or subsequent 64-bit z/Architecture processors.

Parallel Sysplex support

A Parallel Sysplex environment is not required for CICS TS 6.1 but can be exploited by each of the following data-sharing facilities that are supported by CICS, and by the usage of the MVS system logger's log stream merging facility:

  • IMS databases
  • Db2 databases
  • VSAM data sets
  • CICS temporary storage
  • Coupling facility data tables
  • Named counter server

IBM Z cryptographic hardware

Appropriate IBM Z cryptographic hardware is required if clients need to exploit signature verification functions with Web Services Security (WS Security). For IBM System z9 and IBM System z10, it is the CP Assist for Cryptographic Functions and the Crypto Express 2 Coprocessor. For IBM zEnterprise 196, it is the CP Assist for Cryptographic Functions and the Crypto Express 3 Coprocessor. For IBM zEnterprise EC12, it is the CP Assist for Cryptographic Functions and the Crypto Express 4 Coprocessor. For IBM z13, it is the CP Assist for Cryptographic Functions and the Crypto Express 5 Coprocessor.

Katakana terminal devices

CICS TS has to issue certain messages in mixed-case, and is, therefore, not supported with displays or terminal emulators that are restricted to the non-extended single-byte character set (SBCS) Katakana, part of code page 930.

Software requirements

The minimum required level of operating system for CICS TS 6.1 is z/OS 2.3 (5650-ZOS). Additional information is available in IBM Documentation.

Java Runtime Environment

The minimum level of Java is 64-bit SDK for z/OS, Java Technology Edition 8.0 (5655-DGH). Additional information is available on the IBM Support website.

z/OS Explorer and CICS Explorer

Clients are reminded that CICS Explorer versioning is updated to reflect its ability to connect to any version of CICS TS and identify the platform on which it is built. Therefore, for example, the latest update to CICS Explorer 5.5 is referred to as CICS Explorer for Aqua 3.2(1).

CICS Explorer for Aqua 3.2 is updated to support the latest release of z/OS Explorer and deliver new capabilities in support of CICS TS 6.1.

(1)IBM Explorer for z/OS Aqua is referred to simply as Aqua.

Details relating to service and support for CICS Explorer for Aqua are available on the Ordering maintenance for IBM CICS Explorer and CICS Explorer plug-ins web page.

Details of system requirements for z/OS Explorer and CICS products are available on the Software Product Compatibility Reports website.



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Planning information

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Customer responsibilities

Not applicable.

Performance considerations

On the planned availability date, performance information is available in IBM Documentation.



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Publications

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The following publications for CICS TS 6.1 will be available for download in IBM Documentation. You can also contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.

Program Directories

Title                                            Form      Availability
                                                 number    date
------------------------------------------------ --------- -------------
CICS TS for z/OS 6.1 - base                      GI13-4459 June 17, 2022
CICS TS for z/OS 6.1 - activation module         GI13-4460 June 17, 2022
CICS TS for z/OS Value Unit Edition 6.1 -        GI13-4461 June 17, 2022
activation module
CICS TS for z/OS Developer Trial 6.1 -           GI13-4462 June 17, 2022
activation module

Licensed Program Specifications

Title                                Form      Availability
                                     number    date
------------------------------------ --------- -------------
CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 6.1 GC34-7392 June 17, 2022

The CICS TS Program Directories and Licensed Program Specifications are also available in the IBM Publications Center.

National language versions

Some documentation is translated into languages other than English. For details of the content that is translated and the formats in which it is available, see the CICS TS 6.1 product documentation in IBM Documentation, under section Translated documentation.

Additional product documentation

Additional documentation for CICS TS 6.1, such as technical articles and papers, are available on the IBM Z and LinuxOne Community website. Other CICS publications are available on the IBM Redbooks website.



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Trademarks

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(R), (TM), * Trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

** Company, product, or service name may be a trademark or service mark of others.

Terms of use

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