MQ Explorer 7.1 and CICS Explorer - making them work together (with no hacks)
JoeWinchester 110000DQA0 Comments (5) Visits (6857)
This blog entry talks about how to install MQ Explorer 7.1 into CICS Explorer 1.1. Before MQ Explorer 7.1 the solution was a bit tricky, and involved either downloading an seemingly unnecessary Eclipse environment, as well as copying files between directories on disk. We've made it much better though with MQ Explorer 7.1, so put the kettle on and hopefully it'll be ready for a nice cup of tea by the time you've finished reading this and got it all working !.
For those of you who have tried to get the MQ Explorer and CICS Explorer working side by side, before the 7.1 release, it was a bit tricky. I won't go into the details of how you could make things work, but they involved downloading a seemingly unecessary entire Eclipse environment which were never used to get MQ Explorer to install, although I did write a blog post sometime back telling folks how to avoid this by hacking registry entries which in hindsight probably confused and/or annoyed people more, and then you had to copy files between folders on disk. "All a bit duck tapey" was how one customer described it to me on a call a while back, so we've tried to oil things up a bit and make it a bit slicker.
1) you'll need a CICS Explorer. If you haven't got one, then download one. It's free, so you've nothing to lose and lots to gain !
2) you'll need an MQ Explorer 7.1. If you haven't got one, then it too is free to download and install.
3) you'll need to use the Install New Software Dialog to connect to the down
I assume you're all OK with step 1, in which case I'll just move on to step 2.
2) Get the MQ Explorer 7.1
In the MQ Explorer 7.1 installer, it will ask for the installation folder, whether you accept the license, and install a stand-alone version of MQ Explorer. In the previous release the installer was designed to install MQ Explorer into an existing Eclipse environment, even if what you wanted was just the stand-alone MQ Explorer. Now it's the other way around - you install the stand-alone MQ Explorer. When you launch MQ Explorer.exe, you'll see the MQ Explorer in all its glory - letting you connect to queue managers and do awesome MQ things.
If you find the folder that has MQ Explorer.exe in it, which on my PC is C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\WebSphere MQ Explorer you'll also see another file called MQExplorerSDK.zip
The MQExplorerSDK.zip file is an Eclipse archive update site. This is a rather long winded name for saying that it contains all of the code needed to install the MQ Explorer into another Eclipse environment, such as ... drum roll ... the CICS Explorer !!!!!
In the CICS Explorer select the pull down menu option Help->Install new softare... and you should see the Install dialog. This is a hugely powerful dialog, but I find it actually quite tricky to use sometimes, so I'll include lots of screen shots for the steps to get the install to work.
The dialog in the combo box at the top lets you select a site. A site is somewhere that has some Eclipse plugins that you want to add to your CICS Explorer, or one that contains plugins already in your environment you want to update. A site can either be on a web site, in which case you connecnt to it using its URL. If you drop down the list of available sites you'll see that there are three of them that are already pre-loaded in the CICS Explorer.
The last site is the one used by us - IBM - to deliver updates to the CICS Explorer 1.1 release. If you need to get any updates from us then you can select this site and use the dialog to check to see whether there is any newer software available - I'll write another blog entry I think about how IBM releases new versions of software and how to get them automatically, or not if you don't want them, so for now I'll stay focused on the task in hand - getting MQ Explorer code into CICS Explorer.
3) Add the Java tooling into the CICS Explorer
When we create the CICS Explorer we base it on a level of Eclipse, for CICS Explorer 1.1 it's Eclipse 3.6.2, but we don't include all of Eclipse. If you were to visit the eclipse.org site and download Eclipse, or use another IBM product such as Rational Application Developer which is based on Eclipse, you'll see that they have lots of more stuff. They have perspectives for Java and Debug to help you write Java code for example. The reason we don't include these in the CICS Explorer is because they'd make it larger, and also more importantly they'd make it confusing because the CICS Explorer is really a system programmer tool. To keep things simple we threrefore just include the bits of Eclipse we need to make the CICS Explorer work, which includes only the resource perspective.
This works great until something gets installed into the CICS Explorer that needs a bit of Eclipse we left behind. In this case the install will fail as the necessary bits of code are missing. The MQExplorer is one of these such things, becuase for the Test function included with it to work which lets you test an MQ Queue Manager, the Eclispe debug tooling is required, and we don't include this with the CICS Explorer. If you were to jump straight to the bit of this blog where I talk about how to install the MQ Explorer, without first adding the debug tooling, you'll see the following error.
To get the debug tooling installed, select the down
The debug tooling insn't available separately on the helios update site - you must select something which needs it - so the simplest thing is to select the Java tooling. You can do this by typing java into the filter field, and then expanding Programming Languages and selecting Eclipse Java Development tools.
(The reason the download is called helios, and not Eclipse 3.6.2, is because the Eclipse foundation uses codewords for releases which, because they're a bunch of space teccie types, are often inspired from astronomical stuff. Helios is Eclipse 3.6, Galioeio is Eclipse 3.5, Ganymede is Eclipse 3.4, and Indigo is Eclipse 3.7. We include the correct update site for the version of Eclipse we base the CICS Explorer on, so for CICS Explorer 1.0 which was based on Eclipse 3.4.2 we included a link to the Ganymeded release site on eclipse.org)
Follow the wizard with next buttons and when you've restarted the CICS Explorer you should see the new welcome page announcing that you have got the Java tooling there, and also the Show Perspective menu will have Java and Debug there. This means you could actually start to write Java code and deploy it into CICS if you wanted to, but that's the subject of another blog entry. For the task in hand of getting MQExplorer to install you've managed to add the Debug tooling into the CICS Explorer - the absence of which would have prevented the MQExplorer from installing.
To install the MQExplorer you're going to add the MQExplorerSDK.zip as another site to the list of ones already there, and then select and install the MQ Explorer. This is a bit tricky, so I'm going into slow motion now, and going to describe this step by step with lots of screen shots. Apologies if it's too much detail.
4 ) Install the MQ Explorer into the CICS Explorer
Select the Add.. button. What we're going to do is point the CICS Explorer at the MQExplorerSDK.zip file, which is in the install folder of where the MQ Explorer ended up on your disk.
This dialog has two text boxes and two buttons, but don't be fooled by its simple user interface. I've seen very seasoned Eclipse experts get wrong what needed to occur next. What we want to do is point to the MQExplorer.zip file which is on our local hard drive so you'd think we pushed the Local... button. However, that's not what local means. Local means on our local drive, but in an unzipped formed. The MQExplorer.zip file is zipped, which trendy folks like to called Archived, so we must select the Archive... button. (The other things that confuses people is that the Location: text field has http:// pre-filled so it looks as though it only accepts a URL.
Point this at the MQExplorer.zip file and select the Open button (which here means select).
If you look at the dialog, it has put the location as jar:file:/ which stricly speaking is a URL - it's the location and the protocol. Some folks add a name before pressing OK, but it's not needed. If you press OK then as long as the update site in the archive file has a name, which the MQ Explorer folks helpfully put for us as IBM Websphere MQ Explorer, then this will be picked up and used as the name of the site.
I did skip one step here, which was to expand the IBM WebSphere MQ Explorer, to show that it has been divided into two separate parts. The top one - the WebSphere MQ Explorer - contains the code. The second one - the WebSphere MQ Explorer Translations - contains the files needed to switch into other languages. Select what you want to install - if you select the top level tree item called IBM Websphere MQ Explorer, then you get everything beneath it, but if you're feeling confident and you don't need/want the language files, you can select just the WebSphere MQ Explorer.
How's that kettle coming along ? Hopefully it's ready in which case maybe go make that cuppa and as you've got this far, maybe pick up a cookie or two while you're in the kitchen as a reward.
Having selected the item(s) you want to install, press Next and the progress bar will say "Calculating requirements and dependencies". What's occurring here is that the update site in the MQExplorer.zip file can specify any pre-requisite levels it needs to work in terms of Eclipse release. This should all be tickety boo and the next page of the wizard will show you the two things it's going to install. which hopefully are the two you selected.
The next page of the wizard asks you to accept the license agreement. If you do want to read it, then as the page says, it's in the install location, which for my PC is C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\WebSphere MQ Explorer\license.
Now press Finish and some heavy lifting will be done by the Install dialog. What it will do is attempt to install all of the plugins in the MQExplorerSDK.zip into the CICS Explorer.
During the install of the MQExplorerSDK you'll see a dialog appear asking about whether you're OK installing unsigned content. Just press OK - assuming you're happy that the MQExplorer.zip is the bona-fide thing.
After you've watched the progress bar chug along and messages flash up about checking and installing and so forth, the CICS Explorer should prompt you to shut it down and restart.
When it restarts you should now see on the Window->Open Pers