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IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 5.6 is updated (January 2022) in the areas of developer productivity, management, resilience, and security



Details are provided of continuous delivery updates to IBM® CICS® Transaction Server for z/OS® (CICS TS) 5.6.


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS overview

IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS (CICS TS) is a secure and scalable platform for hosting transactional business applications in a hybrid architecture. The Continuous Delivery (CD) update release for CICS TS 5.6 in April 2021 delivered capabilities in the areas of resilience, and management.

CICS TS 5.6 update (January 2022)

Planned availability: January 19, 2022 (Majority of CD enhancements); March 31, 2022 (Remainder of CD enhancements)

In addition to the features announced in the last CD update in April 2021, the following features are now available:

  • Developer productivity
    • Bundle deployment, multi-factor authentication, and advanced CICS Explorer functions supported in single CICS regions
      Support is introduced for a CICS Management Client Interface (CMCI) JVM server to be installed and configured in a single, non-CICSplex, CICS region. This makes it possible to use the following capabilities in a single CICS region that were previously only available in a CICSPlex System Manager (SM) environment:
      • The bundle deployment API, which allows Java developers to use the CICS-provided Gradle or Maven plug-ins to deploy bundles into single CICS development environments. 
      • The CMCI GraphQL API, which enables advanced functions of CICS Explorer to be used in a single CICS region, such as aggregation and grouping of result data.
      • Multi-factor authentication (MFA), to sign-on to CICS Explorer accessing a single CICS region.

      Available for CICS TS 5.6 with APAR PH35122 and CICS Explorer 5.5.20 or later. In addition, to deploy bundles using the CICS Bundle Gradle plug-in, version 1.0.2 or later is required. Alternatively, if the CICS Bundle Maven plug-in is used then version 1.0.3 or later is required.

    • Java getting started
      To help Java developers to get started with applications in CICS, a new set of pages in IBM Documentation provides a simple overview of what's involved, key CICS concepts, and access to resources such as samples, videos, and tutorials. Visit topic Get Started with Java at IBM Documentation.
    • Node.js 16 support

      Developers can use Node.js 16 to build microservices and web applications using the latest JavaScript features and frameworks, with optimized access to CICS TS programs with the ibm-cics-api API. This feature requires IBM Open Enterprise SDK for Node.js 16.

      Available for CICS TS 5.5 and CICS TS 5.6 with APAR PH30707. Further details are available in topic CICS and Node.js in IBM Documentation.

  • Management
    • Advanced CICS Explorer functions in single CICS regions
      Support for the CMCI JVM server in a single, non-CICSplex, CICS region makes it possible to use advanced functions of CICS Explorer, such as aggregation and grouping of result data, in a single CICS region.
    • New system rule type for transaction dump threshold
      This new rule type is used to set a maximum threshold for the total number of transaction dumps in a CICS region and take an automatic action when the threshold is exceeded. With this system rule, users can monitor transaction dumps and prevent an excessive number of dumps being taken in a CICS region.

      Available for CICS TS 5.6 with APAR PH34348. The enhanced policy editor supporting this new rule is available with CICS Explorer 5.5.17 or later.

    • New releases of DFHCSVC and DFHIRP modules

      The latest level of CICS TS supervisor call (SVC) and multiregion operation (MRO) modules are available that are compatible with the next CICS TS release. These latest modules are shipped with alternative names DFHNCSVC and DFHNIRP. Clients who apply the maintenance and take no further action will cause no effect to their CICS systems, because the modules are not used unless renamed. For clients who want to coordinate with their scheduled IPLs, the modules can be renamed to DFHCSVC and DFHIRP respectively, as installed in the link pack area (LPA). Following a system restart (IP), the updated SVC and MRO code can be used with all in-service CICS releases due to backwards compatible and the next CICS TS release.

      Available for CICS TS 5.4, CICS TS 5.5, and CICS TS 5.6 with APAR PH39798.

  • Resilience
    • Improved CICSPlex SM sysplex optimized workload routing

      The default behavior of CICSPlex SM workload management routing algorithms is updated to increase the likelihood that work is routed to target regions that are healthy and local. This update applies only to the QUEUE and GOAL algorithms and not to the link neutral variants LNQUEUE and LNGOAL. Where a routing region might be subject to surges of extremely high frequency and short duration transactions, workload batching might occur. A new feature toggle,{true|false}, is introduced to mitigate these surges by reducing the likelihood that recently selected target regions are re-selected.

      Available for CICS TS 5.4, CICS TS 5.5, and CICS TS 5.6 with APAR PH30768.

    • Improved CICS-MQ configuration

      The CICS-MQ interface is improved to employ only a DFHCKBR temporary storage (TS) model with a non-zero expiry interval when the CICS-MQ bridge has been started, otherwise a zero expiry interval is used. This improvement avoids unwanted TS queue scans.

      Available for CICS TS 5.6 with APAR PH40409.

  • Security
    • Multi-factor authentication log-in to CICS Explorer in single CICS regions
      Support is provided for the CMCI JVM server in a single, non-CICSplex, CICS region to use MFA to sign-on from CICS Explorer to a single CICS region. Further details are provided in the Developer productivity section above.

Stabilization of support and discontinued functions

  • Enterprise Bundle Archive
    Enterprise Bundle Archive (EBA) support is stabilized for CICS TS. Furthermore, the ability to build EBAs as part of CICS bundle export is stabilized for both CICS Explorer and CICS TS build toolkit. Consider using Gradle or Maven to build EBAs, or copy a built EBA in a CICS bundle before export.

Planned availability

  • January 19, 2022: Majority of CD enhancements
  • March 31, 2022: Remainder of CD enhancements


Product documentation for CICS TS 5.6 is hosted online in IBM Documentation. The documentation is refreshed regularly to reflect feedback from users, and includes changes that result from continuous delivery and IBM Service.

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Document Information

Modified date:
19 January 2022