Technical Blog Post
Determining if CICS products are compatible with other products like z/OS
Are you preparing for your next z/OS upgrade or an upgrade to another IBM product?
Do you need to confirm if your CICS Transaction Server (CICS TS) or one or more of your CICS Tools is compatible or needs any additional maintenance?
Does your site's IT governance policy require you to contact your software providers to confirm there are no compatibility issues for the z/OS upgrade?
These questions are typical in most shops, and very often when working with IBM, you might use the IBM Support Community to open a case to ask what if any compatibility or coexistence problems might be lurking related to your upgrade plans.
For the CICS portfolio of products, IBM has information in a the following places depending on what you are upgrading:
- Software Product Compatibility Reports (Detailed System Requirements)
- Program Directory
- Product documentation
- PSP Upgrades and Subset(s) if the product's Program Directory identifies them
- README files for CICS or z/OS Explorer
- Technotes created by Support
You would begin by looking at the Software Product Compatibility Reports because it typically will have the most current information on supported operating system versions. Next, check the product's Program Directory. If the product was recently made generally available (GA), it might already list the newest release of z/OS in the target system requisites. If it doesn't, the next place to look would be in the product documentation. There may have been a recent update specifically discussing an APAR that introduced some functional support for z/OS 2.4. If you don't find anything in the product documentation, the Program Directory will identify the name of the Preventive Service Planning (PSP) upgrade and subset. The PSP upgrade and subset might identify a specific APAR or refer to a technote for z/OS V2.4. See Finding CICS PSP Buckets for CICS Transaction Server buckets.
The Detailed system requirements information are the complete lists of hardware requirements, supported operating systems, prerequisites and optional supported software, with component-level details and operating system restrictions. You can create in-depth reports or just check operating system compatibility, or other compatibility information, hardware requirements, or end of service. To see the in-depth "Detailed system requirements", you can click on the links for the release of CICS Transaction Server that you are running in the Detailed System Requirements for CICS Transaction Server" technote. Alternatively, you can use the Software Products Compatibility Reports website to create a report for any product by clicking "Create a report" (below 'Detailed system requirements'):
If you selected "Create a report", fill in the form as follows (in this example a report is being created for 'CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS 5.4'):
- Type "CICS Configuration" as your search argument into the search box
- Select the product from the Search results box (in this case it returned one result 'CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS')
- Click the selection arrow for the Version and chose version "5.4" from the versions that display
- Use the other "Filters" to limit the report to specific operating systems platforms... or just let it default to include everything
- Click "Submit" and a new browser window will open to display the report
In the "Operating Systems" tab of the Detailed system requirements report, you can see all the operating systems that are supported.
You can scroll down or select the operating system that you are interested in to see the details. In this case, the newest release of z/OS (2.4 as of 30 August 2019) is not included in the report. This is because z/OS 2.4 became available after CICS CM 5.4 became available. The report will usually indicate that future releases are supported. But, it is always a good idea to look at the other resources to make sure that there are no additional required PTFs.
If you click on the "Prerequisites" tab, you can see the supported Eclipse Runtime:
You will find the IBM products that CICS Transaction Server supports in the 'Supported Software' tab of the Detailed system report of the various release of CICS TS:
If the 'Notes' column in the report contains a number, you can click on the number(s) or the 'View' button to see the additional notes. For example, when looking at the 'Supported Software' for CICS Transaction Serverfor z/OS 5.4, the report lists a specific APAR that is needed for all releases of IMS: