Overview

IBM CICS TX is a mixed-language application server that supports a subset of CICS APIs and provides cloud deployment options for suitable business transaction applications.

You can deploy IBM® CICS® TX in a cloud environment, as a stand-alone transaction server, or with an existing CICS Transaction Server on z/OS® as a hybrid deployment model.

IBM CICS TX (CICS TX) is available in two versions - CICS TX Advanced (formerly called CICS TX on Cloud) and CICS TX Standard. Each version is designed to suit different requirements in terms of load and services. You can find out more about CICS TX Advanced and CICS TX Standard in What's new. The product documentation applies equally to both versions, unless specifically stated. A CICS TX trial version is also available to support learning, developing and testing with CICS TX for free. To access the trial version, go to the CICS TX product page and click Request trial.

Key features of CICS TX

CICS TX 11.1 provides the following key features and capabilities:
IBM Debugger
A new IBM Debugger is provided as part of CICS TX, making it easier to debug CICS online applications and COBOL batch programs.
Certified Red Hat CICS TX Containers
CICS TX provides a Red Hat® certified container image, enabling quicker time-to-value by providing pretested components on the Red Hat OpenShift® container platform (Red Hat OCP). Use this capability to easily move existing applications on distributed platforms to containers in cloud. CICS TX supports a subset of APIs and features of CICS Transaction Server for z/OS® (CICS TS), enabling the creation of high value hybrid applications which connect to CICS TS. CICS TX Operators are provided with CICS TX to support Day 1 and Day 2 operations in Kubernetes orchestration.
Container orchestration using industry standard tools
You can deploy suitable CICS applications on a cloud platform and manage the deployment and life cycle of those applications by using Docker and Kubernetes. Containerization of applications by using Docker technology allows you to create and run applications that are portable across different cloud platforms, enabling a simplified continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) pipeline in DevOps. Kubernetes supports elastic scaling, self-healing, automated deployment and rollback of containerized CICS applications.
Scalable CICS online applications
In CICS TX, some resources can be defined as global resources. This means that those resources can be used across multiple instances of a CICS TX region running on Kubernetes. The resources are CICS temporary storage queues and serialization resources (ENQ and DEQ) and global files where IBM Db2® is the file manager. The expansion of these resources is achieved through global storage and, for this, you need a global storage provider. CICS TX supports Redis as the global storage provider.
Load balancing capability (CICS TX Advanced only)
An optimized L7 load balancer capability is provided with the CICS TX Advanced version, efficiently distributing workload across elastically scaled application clusters.
Monitoring experience in cloud
CICS TX supports log monitoring, metrics monitoring, and alerting, by using a standard set of cloud tooling. Logs from CICS TX application clusters can be centralized and analyzed by using Elastic Stack (ELK stack). Key operational metrics are exposed to Prometheus and can be visualized by using Grafana. Both Prometheus and Grafana support an alerting infrastructure that can be used to send out alerts on chosen CICS TX operational metrics.
Integrated IBM COBOL Compiler for Linux x86
IBM COBOL for Linux® on x86 provides a powerful development environment for building and modernizing COBOL applications, enabling you to create, maintain, and deploy COBOL applications in a cloud environment and includes an optimizing COBOL compiler and a COBOL runtime library.
Integration with enterprise products
CICS TX supports the integration of applications and data on both cloud and enterprise systems, for example, IBM Db2, IBM MQ, and Oracle.
CICS TX provides optimized bi-directional connectivity with CICS TS on IBM Z® and TXSeries for Multiplatforms. Extend transaction capabilities with WebSphere Application Server by using CICS Transaction Gateway and share data and business logic.
CICS Structured File Server (SFS)
This VSAM-emulating, record-oriented file system delivers indexed, relative, and sequential access to file-based data. SFS enables developers to store fully recoverable file-based data that can be processed in a batch environment. CICS SFS files can be shared among TXSeries, CICS TX, CICS TS, and non-CICS applications, for example, IBM IMS, maximizing the ability to inter-operate in an enterprise environment.

Next steps:

Find out more about the benefits of CICS TX, why CICS TX is different, and the architecture overview.

Related topics:

To learn more about some of the key features that CICS TX provides, see the following topics: