CICS and MQ Explorer - making it all work together !
JoeWinchester 110000DQA0 Comments (2) Visits (3456)
CICS Explorer lets you connect to CICS regions - this is cool. You can do stuff such as look at tasks, installed programs, definitions, and tons more. One of the things you can do is look at WebSphere MQ Connections for CICS regions - this is effectively the wire that shunts work from CICS down to MQ. You can install the MQ connection definition and see the status of the connection. Wouldn't it be cool if you could look at the queue manager itself and see the queues, browse their messages, post messages, test whether the queue is working correctly. And do this all from within the CICS Explorer !!!
You can - it's a little bit tricky - but this blog entry will tell you how to do it. You might say "geez, why did IBM make this so tricky", and you're allowed to - in fact you can say that more than once, but once you're finished it's worth it, so if you're a CICS and MQ user, keep reading.
As well as the CICS Explorer, which as we agreed before is cool, IBM has the MQ Explorer, which is also cool. This lets you connect to queue managers,
look at queues. browse their messages, post messages, and so forth.
What we're going to do, or rather you're going to do, is install the MQ Explorer inside the CICS Explorer. When you launch the CICS Explorer as well as having the CICS nd z/OS perspectives, you'll end up with a WebSphere MQ perspective. This blog describes how to do it in a number of steps. Steps 1 and 2 are just homework on how to get the two explorers - the last 3 steps are exclusive - you only need to follow one of them. The instructions here are for Windows only, including Windows 7 which is slightly different to Windows XP.
Get the MQ Explorer
To install MQ Explorer without having to install a WebSphere Studio 3.3 environment, we will fool the installer into thinking that the CICS Explorer is WebSphere Studio 3.3 - this involves editing registry entries and is required for steps 3 or 4.
If editing registry entries scares you, go straigyt to step 5.
Are you sitting comfortably ? Then we'll begin...
If you have already got the CICS Explorer you can skip this bit - go to step 2 and get yourself a nice shiny copy of the MQ Explorer
Get the CICS Explorer
Visit the CICS Explorer web site and follow the download links.
Select the right download depending on whether you're a Windows or Linux user.
Start the CICS Explorer and you should see the Welcome page. You can then connct this to a CICS region, or a CICS Plex SM server region, and start looking at your CICS environment. The latest version of the CICS Explorer is version 1.1 which became publicly available in June this year. The previous version was 1.0. You can see which version you have because it's on the splash screen, and also on the Help->About menu. Don't worry which version you have - MQ Explorer can be made to install with either one - we'll cover the steps for both of them.
The top bit is the CICS Explorer. It's a bunch of Eclipse plugins - about 25M of them. You can actually get them on their own (using the SDK download above) but more about that in another blog. What you did was get the Windows or Linux build. This is larger than 25M, so what's the extra stuff ?
The next bit is some plugins that the CICS Explorer needs to runs. These are plugins from eclipse.org that we include with the CICS Explorer download. It's not a full Eclipse environment so you can't edit Java files or build Eclipse plugins in it - it's just the bits we need to make the CICS Explorer run.
The last bit is a Java runtime environment. Eclipse has an OSGi Java stack so it needs a Java runtime environment to operate.
Usually, you, as a user of the CICS Explorer, don't need to know anything about this - stuff just works. However, to get MQ Explorer running it helps to keep a mental picture of 3 layers, rather like a cake. At the top - the icing - the tasty sweet stuff - is 25M of CICS Explorer plugins - beneath that about 35M of Eclipse plugins that the CICS Explorer needs to run (stuff like the resource perspective and the preference page) - and beneath that about 60M of Java Runtime environment.
The CICS Explorer 1.0 is based on Eclipse 3.4.2, so the eclipse plugins in the middle layer of the cake are at 3.4.2. CICS Explorer 1.1 is based on Eclipse 3.6.2 so the eclipse plugins in the middle layer of the cake are at 3.6.2.
Get the MQ Explorer.
If you came here directly because you already have the CICS Explorer - welcome. You might want to read the previous couple of paragraphs which talk about how the CICS Explorer download is composed of three different layers - don't worry if it doesn't make any sense - it will when things break and I'll explain what went wrong.
The MQ Explorer is available at MQ Explorer - it's called ms0t. Once you've followed the links, entered your user ID and password, unchecked the boxes that let us send you e-mail, you'll get to a download screen like this
You might think to youself "Why do I have to check two things for Windows given that the CICS Explorer folks only asked me to check one, and why is the linux one so large?". The good news is that for this solution - all you need to select is the small file ms0t
What the Install program does, once you've answered what language you're installing, is try to look for an installed version of WebSphere Studio 3.3.1. This would be present if you downloaded, unzipped, and installed the ms0t
Before we trick it, you'll see an error box complaining that there isn't WebSphere Studio 3.3.1 installed
What the installer did was look at the Windows registry for some entries which WebSphere Studio put there. What you need to do is add these yourself - the key i
and the value is installdir that points to a directory, which is the folder containing the cicsexplorer.exe file.
For Windows 7, it's slightly different - the key is going to be
If you've done this correctly, the installer should get past the "Eclipse not installed" error dialog, and onto the install folder.
Follow all of the options and when it's done you should have a program group created for you, and a folder where it all got installed, e.g.
C:\Program Files\IBM\WebSphere MQ Explorer V7
The quick and dirty - what we're going to do is get everything in the directories /features and /plugins in the MQ Explorer and copy them on top of the CICS Explorer. For example, go to C:\Program Files\IBM\WebSphere MQ Explorer V7\eclipse\features and do a select of the two directories in there - then go to C:\CICS Explorer (or whereever you unzipped your CICS Explorer into) and paste these two folders into the /features folder. Do the same for the /plugins folder, so copy from C:\Program Files\IBM\WebSphere MQ Explorer V7\eclipse\plugins the contents (which should be around 100 or so files and 9 folders) and paste these into the /plugins folder in the CICS Explorer location.
Once you've done the two copy and pastes, start the CICS Explorer. If all went well then when you start the CICS Explorer you should see a new perspective called MQ Explorer. This has two views - the navigator and the content - and is the MQ Explorer - inside the CICS Explorer !
The good news is that this is fairly easy - just copy a the contents of the /plugins and /features folder from the MQ Explorer to the CICS Explorer. If you think back to the layer cake of what the CICS Explorer is - 25M of CICS Explorer on top of some Eclipse plugins on top of a Java runtime environment - all we did was put some MQ Explorer plugins into the mix.
The bad news is that some of the MQ Explorer plugins we put there aren't going to work - they need some other Eclipse plugins to be there to function. If you don't mind these bits not working - they're related to testing queue managers and don't stop you from doing the basics of looking at queue managers and viewing queues and browsing content - then you're done.
It you do want the ability to test queues (which you can always do with the stand-alone MQ Explorer if you want to) then you will need to install the missing plugins that the MQ Explorer needs. There are two ways you can do this. Either get the CS1Q support pac which contains them and install this into the CICS Explorer - the screen show below is from http
What CS1Q contains is the Eclipse plugins that the test function in MQ Explorer needs to run inside the CICS Explorer. If you don't have it the steps above will still mean that the MQ Explorer, albeit in an unsupported configuration, will work inside the CICS Explorer.
or, if you have the Debug Plugin, this has the bits needed by the MQ Explorer. This is the 4th download in the list above.
If you install CS1Q the Debug Tool Plugin CN0D will not install. This is because the Eclipse plugins inside CS1Q are for Eclipse 3.4, and Debug Plugin has these for Eclipse 3.6. The remedy for this is to uninstall CS1Q, and then to install the Debug Plugin.
Remember - if you have Debug Tool Plugin don't install CS1Q - it won't work and you'll get nasty messages during the install. Uninstall CS1Q, install the Debug Too Plugin, and then carry one. When you install Debug Tool Plugin you will see that it nicely breaks down the list of components - the bit that has the stuff that is also used by MQ Explorer is the stuff marked as "Debug Perspective for Eclipse 3.6". This is the same stuff that CS1Q contains, except that one has it as 3.6 Eclipse level, and one at 3.4. The MQ Explorer will work with the 3.4 or the 3.6 Debug Perspective plugins. The Debug Tool Plugin will only work with the Eclipse 3.6 ones that it includes.
If you don't mind not having the ability to test queue managers, you don't need to do any more than copy /features and /plugins across, or use the /links files. If you want the ability to test queue managers get the debug perspective into the CICS Explorer - either using the Debug Tool Plugin, or CS1Q - not both !