Getting the latest CICS Explorer version
Theresa Hamilton 2000001H3B Visits (2684)
Have you been using the CICS Explorer but want to start using the newest functionality that's available or are you just installing CICS Explorer for the first time. In either case, I hope you'll find this blog helpful! See my other blog post "Start using the CICS Explorer today!" to learn why I think you'll like using the CICS Explorer.
How to get the latest version of CICS Explorer
The CICS Explorer isn't shipped with CICS TS V4 or available to order as a separate component of CICS TS V3. The CICS Explorer is only available from IBM by downloading it from the CICS Explorer Downloads Web page. The downloads are free, but you will be asked to register with ibm.com to receive the downloads. The CICS tools plug-ins are also free with the purchase of each product.
IBM provides updates to the CICS Explorer on a regular basis. When new versions of the CICS Explorer become available, they are downward compatible with all supported releases of CICS TS. But, when the new version or release of CICS TS becomes available, you will need the new version of the CICS Explorer. For example, CICS Explorer V188.8.131.52 is the minimum release required for CICS TS 4.2. If you are running an earlier version of the CICS Explorer, IBM would like to encourage you to take advantage of the new functionality in this new release. And, since the new CICS Explorer release will work with the older versions of CICS regions, you don't need more than one CICS Explorer on your desktop to work with all supported levels of CICS and CICS tools. You can just create one that does it all. Keep in mind, when getting a new version, it's a free update!
See CICS Explorer for CICS TS 4.2 is available and compatible with earlier releases of CICS TS for more information about CICS Explorer V184.108.40.206. In addition to the new functionality that is available, this document goes into more details about installing the new release. For example:
There is another blog that you would benefit from reading if you are going to install the tools plug-ins. CICS Explorer 1.1 - getting APA, CTG, FM, FA, IA and other uncategorized plugins to install shows you how to get each of the tools plugins on the IBM CICS Explorer download site installed inside the CICS Explorer 1.1.
You can also take a look at Getting started with the CICS Explorer for more information about how to download and configure the CICS Explorer, and how to obtain updates.
And, refer to the Latest version of CICS Explorer and CICS Tools plug-ins for CICS TS V4 or V3 if you want to know if there is anything new available. This document also contains information about compatibility between releases of the plug-ins and the CICS Explorer. I update this document shortly after any new version, release, functionality, or APARs become available.
Once you have installed the CICS Explorer, I think you will find it is worth taking a look at the CICS Explorer quick reference PDF. And, if you do choose to install the latest version of the CICS Explorer, it is worth taking a look at this Webinar replay on What is New in CICS Explorer - 220.127.116.11. George Bogner did a nice job showing general changes and specific areas such as the z/OS perspective, Event Processing, Atom Feeds, XML Transforms, the new SM Administration Perspective, and Javatm features.
Note: The only time you will need to install the CICS Explorer SDK is if you require development features or prefer to use your existing Eclipse environment.
Where to go for CICS Explorer help?
The CICS Explorer forum enables you to interact with other users and with the CICS Explorer development team about questions and problems related to the CICS Explorer. Use this forum to better understand the CICS Explorer, to debug problems, to make requests, and to get answers. This forum is moderated by CICS Explorer architects, developers, and testers.
You can also search the CICS support site for known problems using symptoms like the message number and error codes. Or, search the CICS Explorer Help. This is where you will find CICS Explorer messages. As they are not documented in the CICS information center. If you find a fix, see Service process for the IBM CICS Explorer for the options that are available for ordering Explorer maintenance.
The CICS Explorer is fully supported so you can use the Service Request (SR) application to open, update, and monitor your service requests (formally called Problem Management Records - PMRs). If you have a SoftwareXcel enterprise edition for zSeries contract, you can also use SR to ask a non-defect installation and usage questions.
If you are opening a Service Request, try to collect troubleshooting data before opening the problem. These 2 documents tell you what you must gather, depending on the type of problem, for the CICS Support team to diagnose your problem:
CICS Explorer home page
YouTube videos highlighting some of the CICS Explorer and plug-in capabilities
CICS Explorer technical exchanges
FAQs on the CICS Explorer forum
IBM CICS Explorer - an IBM Redbooks publication