Managing CICS systems currently requires staff with experience of legacy systems. Using CICS Explorer removes the learning curve for staff with little or no legacy system skills, and reduces the number of user interfaces required.
Are the CICS Explorer and the SupportPac the same thing?
Yes. The SupportPac mechanism will be used to deliver the CICS Explorer until the next major CICS delivery is available. As additional function is added to base or tooling, plugins will be enhanced to provide support.
Do I need to have all the CICS Tools to exploit the CICS Explorer?
No. You can use the CICS Explorer on its own, without any product plugins. However, you benefit from a more complete experience and greater value when you have more tools.
Do I need to deploy CICSPlex SM to use it?
The Explorer SupportPac uses the CICSPlex SM API to access CICS resources; However, you do not have to use CICSPlex SM to manage your configuration. All that is required is to have a WUI server, with one or more managed regions.
No. The SupportPac is available without charge, if you have a CICS TS license. The CICS Explorer will be a part of the next major delivery of CICS and also part of CICS TS V3.2
Existing CICS Tools licensees can download plugins that will work with the current releases.
Updated tool-specific plugins will be shipped with future releases.
Does the CICS Explorer replace the CICSPlex SM WUI?
The CICSPlex SM WUI provides browser-based access to all CICSPlex SM function, and will continue to do so.
The CICS Explorer provides an Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) installed client providing a light weight but rich, integrated user experience.
The question relates to displaying information from multiple connections of the same type; for example, if I have a connection to WUIServerA and another to WUIServerB, can I have both connections active at the same time?
Currently, you can define multiple connections of the same type, but only one of each type can be active at one time. However, it's straightforward to reconnect. You can also open a second instance of the CICS Explorer, and point that at the other WUI server.
I seem to have to switch between connecting to a system and establishing the correct perspective for that type of data. Will there be an application tab on the navigation pane, like Business Application scoping in CICSPlex SM?
To open a new operations view, click Operations on the CICS Explorer menu bar, and, in the list provided in the pop-up menu, select the view you want to open. If you want to open an administration view, click Administration on the CICS Explorer menu bar.
Not long at all, probably less than a minute per configuration, as long as you have the IP port data available. When configuring for a large installation, you can create a configuration file and use the Eclipse update facility to propagate the configuration to all users, making a standard configuration available for the whole user community.
Can I sort on columns, as I can with a spreadsheet?
You can sort on columns with the CICS PA plug-in, because the data for CICS PA Explorer is provided locally. For CICS IA, CICS CM, and the SM plug-in, data is accessed remotely using a lazy access mechanism to improve performance; in this case sorting would require that all data is pulled at once. We are currently looking into how we can meet both of these needs.
We received over 100 questions on the recent CICS Explorer web cast, so it has taken us much longer than we'd hoped to respond to them all. Many questions related to common subjects, so we've consolidated some of them and responded accordingly. We've also grouped the questions, and will post them and the answers as sub-threads to this one.
If you feel that your question has not been fully answered, or if you have supplementary questions, please post a reply to the relevant sub-thread.