Today I will provide some information about the history of the CICS Transaction Server for VSE and its future.
CICS TS for VSE/ESA 1.1 was introduced in June 1999. It was a completely new port from OS/390 at that time. That port required also major changes in the VSE base system. We ported about 100 OS/390 interfaces - control blocks and services, such as GETMAIN, FREEMAIN, ATTACHX, STORAGE, ESTAEX, cross memory services and more. A major gain was the extensive storage constraint relieve (Extended Dynamic Storage Area). A new security concept was necessary too. We introduced the Basic Security Manager (BSM). CICS TS supports command level APIs only. Therefore we introduced a coexistence environment, where VSE installations could run CICS TS and the former CICS/VSE 2.3 together within on VSE system. The coexistence environment made it easier to migrate from the old CICS/VSE to CICS TS.
Just a year later - in September 2000 we updated CICS TS to CICS TS for VSE/ESA 1.1.1 with new functions such as the CICS Web Support, REXX for CICS, subsystem storage protection for integrity and availability, external CICS interface (EXCI) and front end programming interface (FEPI), shared data tables and more.
Since then we added small enhancements in PTFs, such as networking and security enhancements (secure socket layer - SSL).
The next major enhancement was in June 2012 - the support for the CICS Explorer client, which required the port of the z/OS system management interfaces to CICS TS. The CICS Explorer provides a system management framework to manage CICS TS resources. Since then you can monitor CICS resources via the CICS Explorer. By the way it's the same CICS Explorer client, that CICS TS for z/OS uses - downloadable from the CICS Explorer web page.
Thanks to customer requirements an complaints we got a statement of direction (SOD) announced in April 2014 - included into the z/VSE 5.2 announcement. The announcement letter is here.
The SOD talks about a new CICS TS release with new functionality. Here the SOD:
IBM intends to provide new capability in a future release of IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/VSE, to provide:
(i) Updates to CICS resources for CICS Explorer, and
(ii) Channels and Containers to enable the transfer of large amounts of data between CICS applications.
As always consider that all statements regarding IBM's plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.
The CICS Explorer update capability was an immediate requirement after we released the CICS Explorer. It wasn't possible at that time. When the update function is available you may enable / disable CICS resources, change selected CICS definitions, and more.
Channels and containers will fulfill customer requirements and resolve the 32 KB commarea limitation. That is you then may transfer large blocks of data between programs as long as they fit into the 31 bit address space. You may transfer such containers between local CICS partitions (regions), CICS regions in different z/VSE images or between CICS regions on z/VSE and z/OS.
If you can't wait and want to read more about channels and containers, you may consult the CICS TS for z/OS documentation or channel and container IBM Redbook.
It takes some time to develop such major new functions and verify the quality. Therefore it's not yet available.
However, if you want to verify the new functions early as a beta customer, please let me know.