As stated in the August 2008 Statement of Direction, IBM is providing a Software Development Kit (SDK) to facilitate the development of CICS Explorer plug-ins from the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) community. This thread has been created to provide ISVs with a forum to announce and describe such plug-ins, and discuss them with other forum users. The thread is sticky, to ensure that it will always be easily visible, near the top of the list of threads.
When posting messages to this thread, ISVs are requested to modify the subject, which will provide enhanced visibility and enable discrete sub-threads of discussion for their plug-ins.
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12 replies Latest Post - 2009-07-07T13:07:26Z by Edoardo
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Updated on 2009-07-07T13:07:26Z at 2009-07-07T13:07:26Z by Edoardo
JoeWinchester 110000DQA032 PostsACCEPTED ANSWER
Re: SDK Additional documentation?2008-12-26T17:11:09Z in response to SystemAdminHi,
The SDK is designed for folks who want to create plugins that can sit on top of the CICS Explorer and exploit some of its capabilities. The best way to get started is to get a full Eclipse SDK 3.4.1 or later from www.eclipse.org and then import the plugins from the SDK. Then create a launch configuration for the CICS Explorer product and you should be able to launch the CICS Explorer from your Eclipse development environment.
What kind of functionality are you looking to exploit using the SDK ? Eclipse itself offers a lot of rich extension points for pop-up menus, additional views, toolbar contriubutions, and so forth. If you can let us know the kind of capabilities you're thinking of adding it will be easier to point you in the right direction for what extension points to use and what parts of the CICS Explorer underlying model to exploit.
Re: SDK Additional documentation?2008-12-29T19:07:47Z in response to JoeWinchesterJust kicking the tires (tyres?) at this point.
I was expecting the SDK to let me use some of CICS Explorer's underlying classes to access CICS SM.
So, I was looking for documentation on classes, methods, diagnostics, etc.
I am able to successfully launch CICS Explorer in my Eclipse development environment.
Misread what the SDK offers, sorry for the misunderstanding.
Happy New Year - Clark
JoeWinchester 110000DQA032 PostsACCEPTED ANSWER
Re: SDK Additional documentation?2009-01-03T23:59:22Z in response to SystemAdminHi Clark,
No misunderstanding, you're spot on with what the SDK is intended for. We've given a couple of talks at conferences about the SDK and a typical example we present is adding a standard eclipse pop-up menu to an object contribution for one of the interfaces in the com.ibm.cics.explorer.model package, such as ITask or IProgram. The list of public methods on the interface will let you access the object's attributes, and there is Javadoc that should help. As much as possible we've tried to use Enums (Java 5 - yeah!) for attributes that have a set of restricted values, or Long for numeric, Date for dates, and String for all others. This model has no pre-requisite on any Eclipse stuff so the idea that it could be launched outside of Eclipse and hopefully will offer a general purpose API into SM.
The model is light, so that if there is a referential link from say a Task to a Transaction then you won't find a method with a return type of ITransaction on ITask, instead the return type is always a String. This comes from a design pattern whereby you are guaranteed a fast response time on lookup - null return implies there wasn't a related object, the String is the related ID, and if you want to get and get the other object then you need to be responsible for finding it. The motivation for this is that retrival requires I/O and doing I/O is an exercise left to the implementor who might decide to do it in the same, if batch, or separate, if the application has a user interface, thread.
The API is in-flux at the moment which is one of the reasons the CICS explorer is a support pac, so parts of it might change. One of these might be in the area by which CICS magic values are treated - this is where a value can be a number, say a value from 0 to 24, but also blank, the word SYSTEM or the word NO. At the moment these are Strings, however going forward we're thinking it might be nice to have these as Longs with the wierd String ones as final statics which is more Java ish. Also, the code responsible for retrieving an object for a given key (e.g. "now I have this task and the ID for a Transaction give me the transaction") will most probably change.
MatthewWebster 060000AMGC24 PostsACCEPTED ANSWER
Re: SDK Additional documentation?2009-01-12T16:38:05Z in response to SystemAdminRight now the SDK is perhaps not a useful as it could be although it does allow you to run the CICS Explorer within and existing Eclipse-based environment. We are currently working on providing javadoc for the interface classes and a programming guide to show you where to start. We are also developing samples that could be used as the basis for Explorer plug-ins.
Re: SDK Additional documentation?2009-01-15T12:44:05Z in response to MatthewWebsterI've built a couple of sample views showing how to extend the CICS Explorer using the SDK and posted the source code here on this forum http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=247562&tstart=0
Please give them a try and let me know how you get on. I'm planning to post a short video showing how the do the necessary Eclipse stuff. It's very easy - takes less than 10 minutes.
CICS Tools Marketing (Yes, Marketing, so if I can do it, I'm sure you can too!)
cicswolf 100000D64S4 PostsACCEPTED ANSWER
Re: SDK Additional documentation?2009-07-06T18:36:52Z in response to JohnKnutsonGentlemen,
Just unloaded and installed the V1.0.0 of CICS Explorer, unloaded the SDK also, but I don't know how to install SDK,
I want to start using it to create customized plugin for my company.
would you please help?
Re: SDK Additional documentation?2009-07-06T22:53:00Z in response to cicswolfHi CICSWOLF, I'm glad to hear that you are going to build your own plug-in and would love to hear later what you eventually build and learn about your experience with the SDK.
You will find the SDK documentation is part of the SDK plug-in, so you will need to install that first. If you haven't installed a plug-in, it's very easy:
From a running CICS Explorer, or Eclipse RCP development environment:
From Available Software tabe, select Add site...
Select Archive and navigate to the SDK zip file (don't unzip it first)
When the Available software tab refreshes with the zip's contents, select the SDK at the highest level and click Install
Select OK when requested.
The CICS Explorer will restart and the SDK help will be available
Help and sample source code and eclipse projects are supplied, along with javadoc for the whole SDK. A short YouTube video is available to show you the mechanics of building (an earlier version of) the sample plug-in here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtcXuYaDyJ4&feature=channel_page
Marketing Manager - CICS Tools
cicswolf 100000D64S4 PostsACCEPTED ANSWER
Re: SDK Additional documentation?2009-07-07T11:28:40Z in response to JohnKnutsonHi John,
Thank you for your reply, even though, I'm familiar with CICS Explorer, I have installed and use three different releases until now which is a fully supported IBM product.
In previous iteration I was able to install the SDK with the instructions that you just described.
I did download the SDK zip file and tried, found that the zip does not have the license in txt format only in PDF format which probably the installer cannot process, please see the message below:
"Requested operation cannot be performed because it would invalidate the current configuration. See details for more information.
IBM CICS Explorer SDK (22.214.171.124906121003) does not have a valid license agreement."
also I'm familiar with the youtube clips about CICS Explorer.
meanwhile I will wait until a proper ZIP with the license is provided either in CICS Explorer site or here.
Thanks and Best Regards, CICSWOLF, Antonio Lopez.
Edoardo 060000UGR79 PostsACCEPTED ANSWER
Re: SDK Additional documentation?2009-07-07T13:07:26Z in response to cicswolfHi Antonio
I have double-checked your problem,
and actually I have just repeated the installation process on my workstation
which went through just fine for me ...
there is no issue with us having provided a license in PDF format :-)
You should not install the SDK in a copy of the CICS Explorer, though.
To develop plugins for the CICS Explorer
please install the CICS Explorer SDK in an Eclipse 3.4.2 SDK
(with the additional dependency of the RSE-ftp 3.0.3 plugin)
Edoardo Comar (IBM UK)
PS : This is an extract of the readme included with the Explorer:
If you are installing the CICS Explorer SDK, the following versions of software are required:
* Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 1.6 or higher
* Eclipse platform version 3.4.2 with the Eclipse RSE FTP v.3.0.3 plug-ins.
If you are developing a third-party application to run as a plug-in in CICS Explorer, you must download the CICS Explorer SDK and install it into an existing Eclipse environment.