With the latest CICS TS V5.1
open beta, (CICS TS V5.1 now announced
), it's a great time to check out the latest features coming to CICS TS V5.1. The infocenter
is also now live.
open beta, brings with it a new CICS cloud management bundle called the
Application Binding. So this seems like a good time to talk a bit about
these management bundles. In the next post, I'll cover some of the packaging options this opens up.
these management bundles are intended for processing by the CICSPlex
SM CMAS region. They are not standard CICS bundles and you can't install
them using a BUNDDEF or the E.C. CREATE SPI. Instead you create PLATDEF/APPLDEF CICSPlex SM resource records that reference the bundle on zFS. There are 3 management
bundles that are available to use in CICS TS V5.1.
- Platform - defines WHERE our applications will be hosted.
- Application - defines WHAT application resources will be installed
- Application Binding - defines HOW the application will be installed
let's dig a little deeper and look at what each bundle is for. Each bundle
can be created individually via the CICS Explorer, from the Project
Explorer, then exported out to zFS in preparation of the
The platform bundle can be split into two separate functions.
defines groups of regions with similar capabilities into region types.
These have a 1-to-1 mapping with actual system group (CSYSGRP) resources
in CICSPlex SM. For the current open beta, platforms use a technique known
as the bottom-up approach for defining the environment. With this
approach, the platform bundle adopts (takes ownership of) pre-existing
system groups and transforms them into region types. Once adopted these
system groups can no longer be updated or removed until the platform has
been discarded. This allows the platform to guard and enforce against
changes to the structure or the platforms environment. CICS regions
assigned to the group are also not able to be added or removed to
the region types in the current open beta.
- It defines a set services that should be made
available to all applications hosted on this platform. These services
are created by defining a set of standard CICS bundles selecting one or
more region types to install them into. For example, you may choose to
import a TCP/IP service, a set of file resources or a JVM server into
your platform. These bundles will be installed with the platform and enabled/disabled/discarded as part of the platform
life-cycle. Note that unlike applications, which once installed cannot
be changed, you can dynamically add new CICS bundles to platforms
dynamically, once the platform is installed. These new bundles are also
added to the platform's life-cycle, so get enabled/disabled/discarded
with the platform.
application bundle is of simpler construction. It defines the application id and versions (<major>.<minor>.<micro>) and a set of
standard CICS bundles that make up the majority of your application and
that's it. The standard CICS bundle has been enhanced a lot this release. CICS bundles created using the latest CICS Explorer will now also specify an id and versions (<major>.<minor>.<micro>) for concise identification. Support has also been added for installing programs, transactions, URI maps, libraries and
the new policy resources. On top of that bundle imports now have much
improved resource coverage, so even if you can't install the resource as
part of a bundle, you can still allow the CICS bundle to keep track of whether or not it is
Application Binding bundle
As the name might suggest, the binding ties the platform and application together. Like the platform bundle it can also be split into a few separate roles.
- It references the specific application (referenced by id AND versions) to be installed and the platform it is to be hosted in. Region types specified in the binding bundle should already be defined in the platform bundle.
- It defines a set of additional standard CICS bundles for the application. This allows for an additional level of customisation for your applications. When the application installs, everything contained within both the application and binding bundles are also installed.
- Finally, it defines which region type to deploy each CICS bundle (referenced by id AND versions) to. Every bundle defined to both the application and binding bundle must be deployed to a region type.The region type may be a parent group for many CICS regions and the specified CICS bundle will be deployed to them all.
So go ahead and get started creating some of these new management bundles with the open beta version of the CICS Explorer. In my next post, I'll cover a bit more about some of the different ways you might want to package your applications depending on your role and the level of customisation desired. A great place to get started is the simple scenario for deploying an application into a platform on the infocenter.
Update: Repaired a few broken links as CICS TS V5.1 has now been announced.