If a customer finds a bug in your application, wouldn't it be great if you could build, test and deploy a fix in hours or days, rather than in weeks or months? Reducing turn-around time and aiming for continuous delivery allows your organization to constantly improve and evolve the applications and services provided to customers. There's no reason why your CICS-based applications and services shouldn't be included in the continuous delivery model. Continuous integration and CICS Let's say you have two teams, one team that... [More]
CICS provides different levels of tracing to assist with problem determination. Standard trace level 1 is the default setting for each component to be traced within CICS. The user can use CETR to specify what trace levels are set for each component of CICS. By default, INTTR, SYSTR and USERTR are set ON. This means the master system and user trace flags default to be set on, and internal tracing is active. STNTR defaults to 1, as do all the STNTRxx values. This means standard trace component tracing defaults to level 1 for all CICS... [More]
One of the frequent questions we receive from customers is "How can I customize the CICS Explorer GUI, for instance by removing items that confuse my internal users?" While removing GUI items is not something we provide support for, because CICS Explorer is built on top of Eclipse technology there is an Eclipse technique you can use to hide some elements of the GUI. In this blog post I'll walk you through some using an activity to hide a GUI item, techniques for establishing whether a GUI item might be hideable, and how to deploy... [More]
It's been a busy 18 months for the IBM CICS and Problem Determination Tools development teams, keeping pace with the latest and greatest in CICS TS for z/OS V5.2 and adding lots of new capabilities as well. New releases of five core CICS Tools plus an updated Solution Pack, together with enabling PTFs (where required) for PD Tools will help you to maximize the benefits from the latest run-time release. Don't worry if you are running an earlier release of CICS - most of the new capabilities will help you too. Here's a brief... [More]
The CICS Transaction Gateway for z/OS V9.1 open beta includes new capabilities enabling HTTP clients to invoke COMMAREA or Channel-based CICS programs using JSON data, while benefiting from the established high availability and instrumentation features which CICS Transaction Gateway customers already rely upon. Based upon the WS BIND data transformation technology and tooling already used for CICS Transaction Server web services, the proven reliability and scalability of CICS TG delivers further options for robust integration of... [More]
Abstract: CICS CMCI connections can only be defined manually in CICS Explorer. This is suitable if you have to create a small number of connections but does not fit if you have to define a large number of connections. This document will show you how to generate Connections.pref from an Open Office spread sheet. This article is based on CICS Explorer 5.1.1 Objective: Generate Connections.pref from Open Office spread sheet (See picture below) How you will reach your objective: By following this guide you will define an XML Filter on OpenOffice.... [More]
The Announcement Letter for the CICS TS V5.2 open beta says that “Lifecycle management of first-class applications, introduced in CICS TS V5.1, now supports multiple installed versions of applications.” What is this new capability, how does it work , and why should you be interested? In CICS TS V5.1 we introduced the application resource with a nice long 64-character name and a proper version. So rather than just borrowing characters from an 8 character CICS resource definition name , it was now... [More]
A number of our users create special perspectives tailored to their company, or workflow, pulling together the critical set of views for their situation. For a single user, it's simple enough to customize the perspective and save it using the Window > Save Perspective As... menu, but it's difficult to share these between users. The correct way to share perspectives between users is by Eclipse's extensibility features. As an example, we're going to create a CICS Web Hosting Perspective that shows the information needed to... [More]
Over the past five years the CICS Transaction Gateway team have released a number of SupportPacs to support the development of applications calling CICS using CICS TG APIs. This post provides a summary of these SupportPacs, including detail on the evolution of the API for .NET Framework-based applications. Click the links to the specific SupportPacs to find further detail and API documentation. CA5F: IBM CICS TG 'gateway' intercept plug-in support... [More]
When we talk to customers about z/OS Explorer and CICS Explorer we get a lot of positive vibes. There's talk of how it can help their teams, how it can simplify some of their tasks, and sometimes how they want to extend it with plug-ins they already use. When we get onto discussing how it can be deployed to their teams, the concepts sound good in theory but we've seen that people of get confused, in practice. This is compounded because of the large number of ways it can be installed (to cater for the difference needs of different... [More]
Some of you will have seen me present this picture as part of how I explain our objectives for the new Application and Platform capabilities being created in Version 5 of CICS TS. These two concepts are major foundations for our move to enable to faster and simpler deployments - as valuable outcomes in the strategic Cloud initiative. I typically start by explaining that this is definitely a vision of the future - we're at the start of a journey to a time when this sort of scenario may be business-as-usual, but it we don't start now then... [More]
In CICS TS V5.1 we introduced Policy . This is a set of one or more rules each setting a threshold for resource consumption and specifying an action to be taken when it’s exceeded. You can set limits on CPU consumption and storage use as well as DB2 and VSAM file accesses. The actions CICS can take are to issue a message, abend the task or emit a system event . The last action allows you create or extend automation to perhaps send an email or SMS when an application starts behaving badly.
Hidden in the release notes for the latest CICS Explorer V5.1.1 you will see an enhancement that provides the “Ability to edit a CICS Platform project, CICS Application project, or CICS Application Binding project”. The required server-side APAR PM81540 is now available. These new editors are a significant improvement to the user experience of working with CICS Applications, CICS Bindings and CICS Platforms so if you are interesting in the cloud enablement capability in CICS TS V5.1 please try out these downloads.
CICS PA Plugin (Targeted thinking) In the latest version of the CICS PA plug-in we have attempted to bring a new approach to CICS performance monitoring and assessment. Traditionally users of CICS Performance Analyzer are performance system experts who have honed their skills over many years and have evolved a wealth of knowledge of keeping their CICS systems well balanced and ways of spotting problems before they have a detrimental affect to overall system performance. We are currently distilling this knowledge and experience into the CICS PA... [More]
Mother's Day weekend is always a great opportunity to honor Mom and perform a host of chores around her house. This particular weekend, Mom required her house to be painted and as a good son should, I responded ,"Let's Git-R-Done " ...as Larry the Cable Guy would say. To begin, I saw Mom break-out the paint and a couple of paint brushes. Immediately, it dawned on me how Mom would pull out paint brushes when I was a small lad to teach and discipline me to pay attention to details. Well, not this time, I went to the local... [More]