Technical Blog Post
How to let the team know what you want in CICS - use RFE !
CICS is now available in RFE - "Request for Enhancements". This lets you give us feedback in CICS-land for ideas of where we could make changes and improvements, as well as collaborate with other RFE users by browsing all requests - voting on them - and making comments. It's sort of like CICS meets social media!
One of the things we always worry about at IBM in CICS development land (which is where I'm from) is whether what we're working on is what our customers, i.e. you, want us to work on. If we get it right then you're happy - we're happy - and if we get it wrong then we're both unhappy and, just to make us even more unhappy, we spent time working on something we thought would make you happy and we failed. Everyone is unhappy and we don't want that.
To help make sure that both of our futures are full of happiness we got involved with the WebSphere RFE community. This is something that's been around for a while inside IBM and successful for other areas.
Here is an example of a search for all CICS Transaction Server RFEs:
What's worked well for other IBM products isn't just yet another way to collect requirements, but by having visibility to others, folks can vote for and comment on other requirements, and this really helps to test the collective mood for whether something is needed or not, and also to have ideas refined and finessed by being debated in a forum fashion.
Here are the RFE actions you'll see when viewing an RFE- including vote:
We - IBMers - can see stuff that gets added. If you create something in the WebSphere - CICS - Explorer bit of RFE I'll get an email about it in my in-box. I can then add comments that will get emailed back to you so we can chat about the issue or, if I feel someone else is more knowledgeable I'll get him or her to engage with you.
The bottom line is that you get a hot line right into CICS - to the developers - to the marketing folks - to the product managers - we're all RFE users. This helps us to better shape future releases of CICS (all usual caveats apply - previous release doesn't mean future release of an IBM product - don't make decisions based on anything you enter in an RFE or that me or anyone else writes, and don't ride rollercoasters if you think you're going to be sick - trust me I've found out the hard way!).
Oh, and when you write comments, other users can see the overall idea and add their own comments and vote on the idea. What this means is that if there is anything you don't want others to see then don't use RFE, you should contact IBM through your client rep or technical sales folks or IBM advocate, or another more private route. The advantage of RFE though is precisely because it is public - if others like things and add ideas and vote for it - then this can help to refine the solution and also add weight to it - which means we can get really good content designed and specified in the open.
(Update on 27 May 2014)
These links should help speed up the process of submitting a request:
- CICS Transaction Server (CICS TS) RFE pre-populated submission form (for CICS Tools, in the Product box type over "CICS Transaction Server" with the Tool name then select the tool).
- CICS TS RFE Home Page where you can see the requests for enhancement that have been submitted.
(Update on 30 July 2019)
Updated images and changed Brand from "WebSphere" to "Servers and Systems Software".