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nickpb
nickpb
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Pinned topic Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - updated 10 February 2010

‏2010-02-10T10:07:19Z |

What is the CICS Explorer?

The CICS Explorer is:
• A common, intuitive Eclipse RCP-based environment for architects, developers, system administrators, system programmers, and operators.
• An integration point for the CICS runtime environment, providing a rich set of CICS views, data, methods, and widgets.
• Extensible by IBM, other vendors, and customers, to deliver integrated solutions to key CICS users.
• A Software Development Kit (SDK), which can be used by clients and business partners to construct and integrate their own plug-ins.
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Why use CICS Explorer?

Managing CICS systems currently requires staff with experience of traditional systems. Using CICS Explorer removes the learning curve for staff with little or no traditional system skills, and reduces the number of user interfaces required.

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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 plug-ins. However, you benefit from a more complete experience and greater value when you have more tools.

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Do I need to deploy CICSPlex SM to use it?

Not necessarily. The CICS Explorer connects to either a CICS TS version 3 or version 4 CICSPlex SM WUI server, or a single CICS TS version 4 region. However, an added benefit when connected to a CICSPlex SM WUI server is that the CICS Explorer operations views provide a single-system image of all the CICS resources within a CICSplex.

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Do I have to buy it?

No. The CICS Explorer is available without charge if you have a CICS TS version 3.2 or later license.
Existing CICS Tools licensees can download plug-ins that will work with the current releases.
Updated tool-specific plug-ins will be shipped with future releases.

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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 rich, integrated user experience. A CICSPlex SM user, depending on the task, can use both tools concurrently.

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Where should I put future investment - Explorer or WUI? How do I choose which interface to use? Do my staff have to learn both?

Use the interface that best meets the needs of the end user and installation concerned.

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Can you connect to multiple WUI servers?

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?

If both WUI servers are connected to the same CICSPlex SM network, the information you see will be the same whichever WUI server you connect to. If the WUI servers are connected to different CICSPlex SM networks, you can define a connection to each WUI server, but only one can be active at a time. However, it is straightforward to switch between connections. You can also open a second instance of the CICS Explorer, and point that at the other WUI server.

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Management of connections isn't obvious. Can we have a connection menu item like operations and administration to connect and manage connections?


The connection definitions are managed from the Window > Preferences dialog. In the connections pane you can see a list of all your connections by connection type, and you can add or change them from that one dialog. You can switch between different systems using the status icon menu in the connection status bar.

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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?


CICS Explorer does not currently provide that function.
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How do I open a new tabular view?

To open a new view, click one of the view items (Operations, Administration, WLM or RTA)
on the CICS Explorer menu bar, and select the view from the list provided.
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How do you deal with overlap of function from different tools, when more than one product provides similar function?


This happens today, for example, RDO versus BAS, ‘native’ versus Configuration Manager. The choice is yours to decide which capabilities of the tools to exploit, for example, Configuration Manager users will want to use the Configuration Manager connection to exploit the journaling capabilities of CM. The benefit of the interfaces used here is that, apart from the setup, creating the CICS resource definitions is the same.
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How do I know which plug-in I'm using and how do I configure which I want to use?


You can see which plug-ins are installed by clicking Help > Software Updates on the CICS Explorer menu bar. You can tell which the active perspective is from the shortcut bar and determine which plug-in is in use. If you create your own perspectives you should ensure that you choose a name that identifies the tool it supports.
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How long does it take to configure

Not long at all, probably less than a minute per configuration, as long as you have the IP port data available.
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If Operations use the same computer for multiple users, how will they gain access to the views they need?


Each user can create a layout of views that is most suitable for their own use, and save the layout as a perspective. When they next use the computer they change to their own perspective and see the views they need.
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Can I import, export, and share views and where are they kept, so that I can back them up?


CICS Explorer does not currently provide that function.
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When I open a view, what is displayed?

This question relates to WUI tabular and detail views compared with LOCTRAN pane and attributes pane.

In Explorer, a view contains a number of columns containing default set of attributes for the selected resource type. Using standard eclipse controls you can add or remove columns. You can view detailed information for an individual resource in the properties view, which displays all the attributes for the resource.

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How do I get the equivalent of a hyperlink, providing contextual navigation between data in the WUI (tabs and details, for example)?

The CICS Explorer does not use hyperlinks in the views. However some views have actions that let you display associated resources. For example, when you right-click a resource in the Transactions view, you can select to open the related Program or Transaction Class for associated with the transaction.

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What are the default layouts shipped for each resource?

The operational views shipped with the CICS Explorer display a standard set of data that is similar to the default WUI views. You can add or remove columns in the views to show the data that is most useful to you.
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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 CICS 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.

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Can I do multiple filters on different columns?

Yes. Using the view menu you can add filter fields for one or more attributes and use them to enter your filter details.

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Can I do searches?

Yes, for the CICS IA and CICS CM plug-ins. Other search capabilities are being investigated.

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How do we customize attributes and placement?

You can drag and drop columns, and you can customize views using the Customize Columns menu item in the view menu.

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Can I have multiple (different) views of same resource table up at same time?

This facility is not available in the CICS Explorer. However we are interested in any scenarios where you believe this facility would be useful.
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How do I launch the CICS Explorer?


Instructions for installing and downloading the CICS Explorer are in the Release Notes provides on the download site.
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How do I customise the CICS Explorer?


You can customize the layout of the CICS Explorer and save the layout as a new perspective. You can add or remove columns from a view to display the information that is suited to your organization.
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What help facilities are available?

Topic based help, including a Getting Started section, is available from the Help menu on the CICS Explorer menu bar. A CICS Explorer Quick Reference Guide is also available, as well as context help using the F1 key, and hover help.

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Can I export a tabular view to a spreadsheet for reporting or further analysis?


This facility is not available in the CICS Explorer.
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I don't use BAS, how do I work with my CSD based resources?


CICS CM users with CICS TS V3 or V4 can use the CICS CM plug-in to work with CSD resources. Non CICS CM users with CICS TS V4 can also work with CSD resources as long as APAR PK90112 is installed.
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How do I print from CICS Explorer?


Currently there are no printing capabilities in CICS Explorer apart from those provided by the OS, for example, print screen. With some plug-ins you can copy data to the clipboard, which you can print using other applications.
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I am worried about security. Where does Explorer save my password?


If you choose to let Explorer save your password, it is stored in an encrypted file in your workspace. You should protect the workspace on a multi user system to ensure the appropriate access. You can control the workspace with the -data option. See Changing the CICS Explorer workspace location for details.
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Can I install Explorer on a read only drive, for example on a network?


Yes, See Installing on a remote network drive. However the user will require read/write access to the workplace. You can override the default workplace name by following the instructions in the topic Changing the CICS Explorer workspace location
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If users can access CICS Explorer on my system, will they be able to do things I don't want them to?

No. CICS Explorer relies on the underlying Security mechanisms of the services it exploits. So if they are protected, then those protection mechanisms apply to CICS Explorer Users. For further information see http://themasterterminal.com/2009/08/21/cics-explorer-security/
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I am using a stand alone CICS TS V4 system with CICS Explorer. Why is the CICS default user being checked for access to resources rather than the user I specified in Explorer?


The TCPIPSERVICE you setup for the CMCI needs to be defined with AUTHENTICATE(BASIC) to validate the userid/password sent from CICS Explorer.
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Updated on 2010-02-10T10:27:19Z at 2010-02-10T10:27:19Z by nickpb