Do you find it hard to manage CICS resource definitions split across multiple repositories and interfaces?
How do you migrate changes to definitions through your different environments, or track changes to help in problem determination?
Can you compare what definitions you have in your repositories and runtimes? Or simulate the result of a cold start of a CICS region?
If you struggle with any of these issues then IBM CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS V5.2 (CICS CM) could help your organization! This blog post will introduce CICS CM and why you would find it an invaluable tool in managing your CICS environments.
All the features in this blog are in CICS CM V5.2, which provides an ISPF and batch interface, a CICS Explorer plug-in, as well as a complete SOAP RESTful API for integrating with current processes or to produce bespoke interfaces.
Single Point of Control
Using CICS CM you can create, update and delete resource definitions, whether they are in a CSD file, or held in a CICSPlexSM Data Repository (DREP). Each CSD or DREP maps to a CICS CM “Configuration” and allows manipulation of these Configurations using a single interface.
One of the most powerful features of CICS CM is allowing the migration of resource definitions through the different Configurations that you have set up. These Configurations most probably represent repositories in different environments within your organization, for example Development, Test and Production environments. When you configure CICS CM you specify Migration Schemes, which define one or more migration paths, linking two Configurations.
For each of these paths you can also specify a Transformation Rule Set, which is simply a set of rules to apply when a resource definition is migrated from one configuration to another. This can be, for example, to change the group field for all file definitions from the development group to the test group, as shown below:
After configuring the Migration Schemes and Transformation Rules, any changes to resource definitions can be added to a CICS CM “Change Package”. A Change Package is a collection of resource definition changes that is then assigned a Migration Scheme, defining what Configurations you want to migrate through.
When you then choose to migrate you can set CICS CM to ask for approvals before allowing the migration to take place, this allows greater auditability and trust throughout your organization, while maintaining control over the environments.
Lastly, after migration, if you need to return to a known good configuration you can “Backout” a Change Package returning the target Configuration to its state before the migration occurred.
Deployment Analysis allows you to quickly and easily query your CICS repositories (CSD or DREP) and running CICS regions, as well as simulating conditions and changes in your environments, for example simulating changes in the GRPLIST SIT parameter as described below.
CM supplies six different reports allowing listings and comparisons of definitions in regions and repositories. One of the most powerful of these reports allows simulation of a cold start of a CICS region. This compares what is installed and running in a CICS region to what would be installed when the region is started. This will avoid any resources being unavailable due to a cold start.
A simple application of this is to configure this report using the same Lists that appear in the GRPLIST SIT parameter for a given region, but you can also use this report to simulate what affect changes to the GRPLIST parameter would have on a cold start.
Every change that you make through any of the CICS CM interfaces, whether it be creating, updating, deleting, or installing a definition, the change is written to the CICS CM “Journal”.
When you navigate through definitions using the Explorer CICS CM interface this history is displayed allowing you to easily view any changes that have been made. You can also search the history as shown below:
or display the history for an entire Configuration:
With any of these options you can refine search options by specifying a date range for changes in the History view:
That was a very quick introduction to the features that CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS V5.2 can offer. If you have any questions please comment on the blog and I’ll do my best to respond. If you want to find out more on what CICS CM can you for your organization please visit the resources below. Thank you for reading...