I was thinking about CICS and the sure progress for web services enablement, which has gotten lots of publicity, and thought of its counterpart:the progress in expanding legacy CICS efficiency through the evolution of ‘Thread-safe’ tasks.
CICS has continued to evolve to take advantage of technologies to maintain application integrity while growing with the hardware evolution of more processors. The process has involved distributing workload across multiple tasks, first with CICS core functions, and later with DB2integration, and now exploitation moves to include potential threadsafe use by some MQ and VSAM functions (CICS 3.2). The enabling of multi-tasking of user applications through multi-threading has helped improve performance utilization while maintaining little things like consistent and predictable throughput results and workload sequencing that large systems have been so obsessed with for the past few decades.
Why is this important? Well, if you can do this sort of thing safely, and improve utilization(there is that old system Z focus again), it can mean serious returns; like5-15% or more. For some of IBM’s larger customers this has translated to saving hundreds of MIPs and Millions of Dollars.
Finding the appropriate candidates and implementation can get pretty involved, but the impact can be worth it, and finding candidates is easier than in earlier implementations via the use of CICS tools such as Performance Analyzer-For which are good candidates, Interdependency Analyzer –For which are not threadsafe (which could fit nicely in CICS Explorer), and Configuration Manager (to enforce a threadsafe environment). Mmmm.. maybe something less sexy than web services,but an area worth looking at, eh?
Some good paces to start:
Threadsafe Considerations for CICS Redbook Does CICS still Love Fast Engines? (zJournal) OTR and Threadsafe: Why they Should be Important to You (also in zJournal)
Webcast on: Thread-safety and CICS file control applications