Rational Developer for System z version 9.0 - how to enable a full CICS Explorer
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We've included the CICS Explorer with Rational Developer for System z (aka RD/z) for a number of releases now, starting with 7.6 back in 2009. When we did this we talked to a number of RD/z folks who were a little worried about having all of the CICS Explorer function available to developers - so RD/z users instead get to see a lightweight "developer only" theme. With RD/z version 9.0 we've added the option to turn on the full fat heavyweight version of the CICS Explorer.
We've always actually included the full CICS Explorer codebase inside RD/z - the hiding of the non developer parts was done with Eclipse activities and in RD/z 8.5 we did provide a
What we've done with RD/z version 9.0 is provide the option to toggle between this developer experience and the full CICS Explorer with a nice documented checkbox that can be switched on or off, depending on your mood
Way back when we first designed how to include the CICS Explorer with RD/z the sysprogs we talked to about this told us that they didn't allow their developers update access to the CSD because this was their domain of expertize and if they allowed developers free reign over CICS definitions mayhem would ensure. For this reason we hid all CSD base tables, and we provided developers in RD/z with the ability to connect to regions, either stand-alone or as part of a CICS plex, and only work with operational installed CICS resources, such as programs, TDQs, files and other bits and bobs that made sense. As well as obscuring the CSD access we also hid a lot of base tables related to CICS region connectivity, topology, and other areas where the sysprogs didn't want their developers poking around and getting up to mischief. The problem we ran into is that there are times when developers might need full access to the CSD and topology - perhaps when working with Rational Developer and Test Environment which I always think of as "z on a stick" where they can have at it with their own private sandbox, or just as valid when the developer is testing their changes in an isolated environment that the sysprog has set up safely away from production. Rather than the developer bugging a sysprog every time he needs a program or file definition created the empowered developer can create and install these without risking a production catastrophe.
To change the CICS Explorer between developer/full experience open Window>Preferences and use the Gene
This is the CICS SM perspective with the CICS System Administration disabled and CICS Application Development enabled - the default settings.
After the CICS System Administration is enabled - this adds the Definitions menu (which includes all of the CSD - or CICS plex Data Repository) base tables - it also enables all of the New wizards to create definitions in a repository (with just CICS
This is a list of the available operational views once the CICS System Administration is enabled - also showing the Definitions menubar menu which is now available for CSD or CPSM Data Repository definition base tables.
This developer/full CICS Explorer hopefully allows developers with RD/z to become more productive as they can rule and own their development regions, but also gives the option of a more restrained experience when working with production regions. We do get asked for more of this kind of "who am I - change the user interface" and we're thinking of doing more in this area, possibly hiding options that the user isn't enabled to in the connection regions, or having more fine grained control than just developer/full. Let us know what you think.