The beta release of the CICS TS plug-in for UrbanCode Deploy is now out, allowing you to manage deployment of your CICS TS components along with other components across your enterprise. We've put together a little video to show you how to get started with the plug-in.
Installing the CICS TS Plug-in
There are a few things you will want to set up. The first step is to download the CICS plug-in from the UrbanCode Deploy plug-ins site. To install the plug-in into your UrbanCode Deploy server, click Settings, then Automation Plugins. Finally, click the Load Plugin button and choose the downloaded plug-in .zip file. The plug-in will be uploaded to the server. Check that it's installed by looking for it in the table. Our first beta release is version 6.20141205-0846.
Testing the Agent
UrbanCode Deploy works as a server that talks to a number of agents, and when using the CICS plugin you may want to run your agent on z/OS. To do so, follow the instructions on the Knowledge Center to install via the command line or SMP/E. To test your connection from the server to the agent, click Resources, then Agents. Finally, click the Test button on your agent. Hint: if your agent has already appeared in this view and its status is 'Online', it's probably pretty healthy anyway.
Creating a CICS Resource Topology
Next, create a topology of resources that relate to the CICS systems you want to deploy to. Producing a good topology lets you ensure you only have to configure things in one place. Of course, your exact topology will differ from what we have here, but there are likely to be similarities too. Go to the Resources tab to start creating resources.
We started by creating a sysplex as a top-level resource. Within that we added the agent resource to represent an LPAR (though, of course, your CICSplex probably spans LPARs), and within that a resource for a WUI server. Inside that, we created our CICSplex as a resource, and inside that we put CICS system groups and CICS regions.
Your components (these are the parts that actually get deployed) can then be added where they best fit. For example, you might deploy a component to a whole CICSplex, or it might be more specific to a particular CICS system group or even CICS region.
Tag Your Resources
You can customise your resource tree with tags. Tags can be useful to help produce different grouping of resources that might appear in different places in the tree, and you can then do things like run processes just on specifically tagged resources. We've added different tags for our different types of resource - sysplex, agent, WUI, CICSplex, CICS system group, and CICS region.
Now for the really important part - putting in your configuration. On each resource, we set the properties that are specific to that resource - so for the sysplex we added some authentication information, at the agent level we added the hostname, at the CICSplex level we set the CICSplex name and at the CICS system group and CICS region levels we set the scope for CICS.
Properties on one resource are inherited by all its descendants, so that enables us to just define properties in one place.
Create Component Processes
Having created a resource topology, it's time to create a process for your component that can run on those resources. Click Components, then Your Component Name, and finally, click on the Processes tab. In the Processes view, click the Create New Process button, enter a Name and click Save. You can now begin editing your new process.
You'll find the CICS steps that are provided by the plug-in in the palette on the left of the window, in Application Server > CICS TS. In our video, our first process copies datasets in from our repository, deploys them into a target location, and performs a NEWCOPY on the CICS PROGRAMs to pick up the new CICS load modules.
Look out for our next article on the CICS TS plug-in for UrbanCode Deploy, where we will take a deeper look at creating a process for CICS components.