H&W Computer Systems has announced the release of the 2015 CICS report, which covers the state of CICS now and compares to past results to identify trends. The report analyzes the continued use of business-critical applications through CICS and those applications’ relevance in modern uses like mobile and Web. It also considers its relationship to business-critical data, as well as looking at how respondents view its future and examining past predictions for accuracy. The report further reveals variances in usage, based on industry. More information can be found here.
Part 2: CICS and its relationship to crucial business data is available here.
Part 3: Key CICS findings and survey demographics is available here.
Compuware has announced Version 12.4 of Abend-AID, its fault management tool. The new release features tighter cross-product integration, modernized utilities, and usability enhancements. There's deeper integration between Abend-AID and File-AID within the Eclipse plug-ins, which facilitates faster problem solving. Abend-AID Fault Analytics now shares common Web services with iStrobe to help users simplify and automate common tasks. Compuware Find & Fix functionality has been expanded to include Batch, IMS, and DB2 components along with existing CICS support.
HostBridge Technology is licensing its HBZT CPU Monitor Software (HBZT) to IBM mainframe users at no cost and no obligation. HBZT is a CICS transaction that provides an interactive, real-time view of the timer information contained within the MVS ASSB control block. It provides CPU usage statistics for a CICS region since the region began or during a dynamically-defined interval of time. The statistics can be used to ascertain how much CPU time was used by a particular workload. HBZT was designed to facilitate rapid testing and performance assessment of software that exploits IBM specialty engines like the zIIP. More information can be found here.
BMC Software has announced BMC Subsystem Optimizer for zEnterprise, which removes the traditional requirement that DB2, IMS, and CICS subsystems must reside on the same LPAR to communicate and process workloads. Users can now reduce MLC charges by reconfiguring their subsystem placement across partitions. More information can be found here.
IBM has announced CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.2 will be available on Friday 13 June. This release includes support for stronger cryptographic ciphers per Special Publication 800-131A from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). A Service Stream Enhancement (SSE) to IBM Security zSecure 2.1 is planned for the same date. Besides providing support for this new CICS release the SSE will also further enhance the zSecure Compliance Testing Framework. More information can be found here.
Critical Path Software has announced Turbo CICS, which analyses and identifies improvements to CICS online response times and reduces R4HA and MLC. It is completely compatible with Striping and Record Level Sharing (RLS). The analysis is fast, non-invasive, and free of charge upfront to determine the impact of discoveries. More information can be found here.
IBM has announced CICS Tools V5.2, which support the new features, resources, options, and metrics in CICS TS V5.2.
CICS IA V5.2 collects more information about applications and platforms, to help clients create a more dynamic CICS cloud environment. The new Command Flow visualization provides yet more insight into program behavior. A new variable sampling technique is introduced to help reduce the CPU overhead by up to 75% while collecting data. This technique can be applied to production regions to balance the impact of collection, the fidelity of the data collected, and production throughput.
CICS DA V5.2 introduces a new RESTful API that allows the deep insight captured in the discovered model to be shared with other management tools, or viewed from mobile devices and browsers. New cloning options deliver value to a wider range of client environments. A new compare option highlights key differences in region configuration and helps to ensure standards conformance and system reliability.
CICS PA V5.2 supports the CICS cloud with new Performance Summary reports for platforms and applications, while multi-version application support enables fine-grained analysis of ever-changing mobile applications. New, simply configured, batch reporting of CICS TS and CICS TG statistics provides a wealth of valuable diagnostic and planning information. Plug-in enhancements, which include new Performance Alerts, and more advanced visualization and analysis, help development and systems staff to identify and resolve performance issues quickly.
CICS CM V5.2 improves DevOps collaboration with new plug-in support for Migration Schemes and Deployment Analysis. New support to manage CICSPlex SM Topology and Workload Management definitions allows dynamic mobile workloads to be quickly reconfigured.
CICS VR V5.2 adds new support for extended address volumes (EAVs), and delivers usability, installation, coexistence, and customization enhancements. CICS VR provides Disaster Recovery support for online data and operation support for batch to minimize the batch window. CICS also supports the replication of VSAM data for IBM GDPS® Active-Active continuous availability, enabling cross-site workload balancing, continuous availability, and disaster recovery.
CICS Optimization Solution Pack for z/OS, V5.2 is updated to include the new releases of CICS IA, CICS DA, CICS PA, and CICS CM.
More information can be found here.
Compuware has announced enhancements to Compuware Strobe, a component of Compuware APM for Mainframe. Strobe is a mainframe application performance measurement and analysis solution that helps users pinpoint application inefficiencies. Amongst other enhancements, Strobe Advisor now automatically highlights the largest performance opportunities and provides recommendations on how to resolve problems. Strobe Advisor now includes information on CICS, IMS, and Language Environment (LE) performance issues. Strobe furthers its integration with PurePath for z/OS CICS and now includes the ability to profile CICS transactions from within the dynaTrace dashboard. More information can be found here.
CA Technologies has released Version 7.1 of CA LISA. New features include support for CICS Transaction Gateway (CTG), and the ability to virtualize more types of mainframe implementations as well as to trace and virtualize transactions through mainframe CICS. More information can be found here.
Parasoft has announced a new release of its Service Virtualization solution, which helps development and QA teams access the complete, realistic test environments needed to develop or test an application. They can capture real system behaviour by using monitors to record live transaction details, by analysing transaction logs, or by modelling behaviour from a simple interface. This latest release introduces advanced service virtualization for mainframes and enables fast, easy manipulation of complex data structures for use in defining sophisticated simulation behaviour.
Parasoft's Service Virtualization enables organizations to simulate the application under test's interactions with subsystems including CICS regions, DB2 databases, and IMS. Communication may occur over protocols such as MQ, HTTP, TCP/IP, and JDBC, and it may involve payloads such as Copybook, XML, fixed-length or other custom message format. This not only promotes faster, more complete testing, but also minimizes disruption to high-value mainframe resources that could be better utilized for runtime or later-stage testing and validation. More information can be found here.
Compuware has announced enhancements to Compuware APM for Mainframe, its 24/7 end-to-end transaction management solution. The product has extended its support for CICS to include CICS Transaction Gateway (CTG) and CICS Web Services (SOAP). These enhancements enable customers who use these technologies to reduce MIPS usage, accelerate mean time to resolution, and deliver better performing applications to their end users. More information can be found here.
HostBridge Technology has released HostBridge Version 6.62, which helps organizations increase efficiency and service agility when using CICS, CICS socket applications, and DB2 in enterprise integration. Improvements include: tighter integration between HostBridge Socket Support and HBz (HostBridge for zIIP) server. Organizations replacing CICS Socket Support (EZASOKET) with HostBridge Socket Support shift MIPS to specialty engines, cutting general processor MIPS consumption, and reducing mainframe TCO. More information can be found here.
IBM has announced the IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V5.1 compiler, which works with the latest versions of CICS, IMS, and DB2. It's expected to be available later this quarter. The new software: provides support for Java 7, new UTF-8 built-ins, debugging enhancements, and support for unbounded tables and groups; supports a new level of z/OS System Management Facilities (SMF) tracking, which allows users who implement sub-capacity tracking to reduce their administrative overhead; Improves control over XML documents with the z/OS XML parser, allowing parsing workload to be off loaded to specialty engines to reduce operating costs. More information can be found here.
IBM has announced CICS Transaction Server for z/OS (CICS TS) Value Unit Edition (VUE) V5.1, which offers a one-time-charge (OTC) price metric for eligible workloads that are deployed in qualified System z New Application License Charge (zNALC) logical partitions (LPARs). CICS TS VUE offers the following benefits for eligible workloads: an OTC licensing option for CICS TS V5.1, with subscription and support; deployment to zNALC LPARs, which delivers a reduced price for the z/OS operating system; the ability for new CICS TS VUE V5 workloads to federate with existing CICS TS V3, CICS TS V4, and CICS TS V5 workloads; and a licence that does not initiate any SVC period for any other monthly licence charge (MLC) versions of CICS TS. More information can be found here.
CASI Software has announced JES2RSS, mainframe software for publishing z/OS report content via RSS Web feeds. It takes report content directly from the JES queue or designated datasets, transforms them into Web friendly formats (PDF, HTML, etc) and publishes the results so an RSS reader on any device - laptop, tablet, smartphone - can retrieve the published content. Web feed publication of mainframe report content can be immediately deployed without any mainframe TSO or CICS access requirement. More information can be found here.
Attachmate's MobileNow initiative, along with updates to Verastream, will help IT let smartphone and tablet users access mainframe data, applications, and more. The list of Attachmate’s mobile-optimized capabilities across MobileNow, Verastream Host Integrator, and VeraStream Process Designer includes: allowing IT to design and support customizable mobile UIs for host applications, including those using COBOL copybooks; and integration with multiple backend mainframe resources including 3230, 3270, and CICS. More information can be found here.
Virtel has announced Virtel for iPad. Mobile users can access the traditional screen interface of CICS, IMS, TSO, and other 3270 applications with iPad ergonomics and BOYD-capable security features. Android tablet support will follow (Q2 2013). More information can be found here.
Virtel has also announced that Virtel Transaction Server reduces the footprint of Web-initiated CICS/DB2 transactions by over 50 percent, while doubling their performance and throughput. More information can be found here.
Compuware has announced Compuware APM (Application Performance Management) for Mainframe, which provides transaction management from the edge through to the mainframe. By combining Compuware dynaTrace's PurePath Technology with Compuware Strobe's mainframe application management expertise, distributed system and mainframe teams can resolve performance problems faster, reduce MIPS costs, postpone hardware upgrades, and accelerate time-to-market for new applications. Compuware APM for Mainframe is available in two versions - PurePath for z/OS CICS, for monitoring CICS application transactions in a CICS region or CICSPlex; and PurePath for z/OS Java, for monitoring mainframe Java applications. It automatically discovers, maps, and monitors all transactions through distributed tier and mainframe applications with complete mainframe CICS and Java transaction steps and timings. More information can be found here.
IBM has announced CICS TS Version 5.1, which drives operational efficiencies with:
And increases in service agility with:
IBM also announced CICS Explorer Version 5.1, CICS Interdependency Analyzer for z/OS V5.1, CICS Deployment Assistant for z/OS V5.1, CICS Performance Analyzer for z/OS V5.1, CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS V5.1, and CICS VSAM Recovery for z/OS V5.1.
Also announced were updates to IBM CICS Transaction Gateway for z/OS V9.0, CICS TG for Multiplatforms V9.0, and CICS TG Desktop Edition V9.0.
IBM Session Manager V3.2 was also announced. More information can be found here.
GT Software has released Ivory Hub, a product suite that allows rapid application delivery for mobile, Web, and cloud. Ivory Hub helps organizations tap the valuable data inside their mainframes and meet current business needs faster. The Ivory Hub product suite enables users to tackle various business challenges from direct access to data and applications to transferring data between mainframe and non-mainframe systems. The product removes the complexities from these tasks, requires minimal professional services, and operates in a multi-platform environment. It also provides SQL access to distributed data and allows users to deploy access through a gateway or directly, depending on their preferred deployment option. Ivory Hub Enterprise Access enables SQL access to distributed data on mainframe and non-mainframe (LAN-based) platforms from single SQL queries Supported access environments including: CICS, DB2, IMS and DL/I, VSAM, Adabas, Datacom/R or Datacom SQL, and sequential disk. More information can be found here.
Oracle has announced Oracle Tuxedo ART 12c, which lets sites run mainframe applications on Exalogic. Tuxedo ART currently emulates CICS, and, with this release, ART will also emulate IMS. Sites running CICS could move their applications to Tuxedo and have them run on Exalogic. More information can be found here.
IBM has announced IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ mainframe edition, which means that mainframes will be available for its SmartCloud customers later this year. It will support recent releases of z/OS, CICS, DB2, IMS, WebSphereMQ, and WebSphere application server. More information can be found here.
Nastel Technologies has announced Version 6.5 of AutoPilot, which monitors and manages applications end-to-end across the enterprise by automating the analysis of complex issues. This unified platform manages multiple middleware technologies. The new version simplifies monitoring and management, automates the analysis of complex issues, improves IT staff efficiency, and reduces risk and overall costs - they claim. AutoPilot 6.5 now monitors CICS, WebSphere MQ and DataPower, TIBCO RV and EMS, Solace, and homegrown middleware. There's a new Web-based GUI for ease of use and simplicity in management. A unified middleware management strategy can be beneficial in removing some of the duplicate tools or at least funnelling their events into a single view and analysis engine and thus reduce both cost and error. More information can be found here.
IBM plans to make the CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.1 open beta available on 13 July. It introduces cloud-style CICS development, deployment, and operations. More information can be found here.
IBM has announced CICS TS Developer Trial V4.2, which is free of charge and for evaluation (non-production) use only, and offers a full set of features but with restricted performance and limited operational lifespan. It will be updated, periodically, to include the latest service fixes, and to provide an evaluation period of at least 90 days.
IBM has also launched CICSdev, an online community for CICS users to discuss, share, and learn. More information can be found here.
Compuware has announced Strobe 4.3. This mainframe application performance management solution, now includes the ability to automatically measure batch jobs that exceed dynamically calculated thresholds. Other new capabilities include: integration with existing monitoring tools; improved CICS transaction reporting; and new views of DB2 accounting statistics. More information can be found here.
Viaserv has announced Version 4.5 of ViaSQL, which is now able to provide CICS 4.2 support. ViaSQL connections now support use of SSL/TLS protocols. The Viaserv TCP/IP Secure Tunnel Processor is distributed with Access Server to support its use and of multiple TCP/IP resource managers in the same CICS region. ViaSQL V4.5 is available immediately for both the z/OS and z/VSE platforms. ViaSQL provides access to VSAM, sequential, DB2, IMS, DL/I, Datacom, Adabas, and other z/OS and z/VSE data stores, and to mainframe applications and stored procedures. More information can be found here.
DSI Document Systems (DSI) has announced SysQManager, which dynamically creates and manages CICS extra-partition Sysout Transient Data Queues (TDQs). SysQManager automatically manages CICS TDQ output, thereby eliminating the risk of non-stop CICS processing generating Sysout TDQs that could interfere with 24x7 CICS operation. SysQManager includes Critical Message Alert Detection, which can be set to e-mail notify designated users. DSI has also refreshed BatchCICS-Connect for real-time interfacing to CICS via batch. More information can be found here.
Progress Software has announced Version 2.0 of its Progress Responsive Process Management (RPM) suite, which comprises the Progress Actional Business Transaction Management (BTM), the Progress Apama Complex Event Processing (CEP), and the Progress Savvion Business Process Management (BPM) platforms, all of which are managed using the Progress Control Tower interface. Progress Control Tower is a browser-based interactive interface that can be accessed on an Apple iPad anywhere with Internet connectivity. Users can monitor, manage, analyse, and also act on information stored across a variety of data sources, including IBM mainframe CICS, Tibco, Oracle, FUSEsource, and SAP environments. Progress RPM suite uses Progress Actional interceptors to gain access into IBM CICS/MQ mainframes, Tibco Activematrix BusinessWorks, SAP ABAP, and Lombardi TeamWorks facilitating real-time cross platform visibility without additional mainframe costs. More information can be found here.
New Era Software has a free download for auditors called "Auditing CICS - A Beginner's Guide". More information can be found here.
Voltage Security has announced Voltage SecureData z/Protect, which makes encryption easier for any application in any z/OS environment. Mainframes running CICS, IMS, DB2, and batch can now add native encryption. More information can be found here.
Rocket Software has announced the availability of Rocket Seagull LegaSuite 6, its application modernization suite offering new features and functions across the entire LegaSuite lineup of modernization, integration, localization, automation, reporting, and testing solutions. LegaSuite now offers a Java-based runtime CICS engine that leverages the latest multithreaded 64-bit JVM server in IBM CICS TS 4.2 and brings significant savings for SOA deployments, reducing the cost of ownership of an SOA infrastructure. More information can be found here.
Zephyr has announced a new version of PASSPORT Host Integration Objects 2011-826 (HIO), its non-intrusive IBM System z and System i host application integration software that allows fast creation of custom .NET applications to access and integrate with existing host-based systems. Along with the release of this version of HIO, Zephyr is providing open access to a sample z/OS application running under their CICS environment. Zephyr has written a new sample C# .NET application and re-written existing ones to use its CICS-based host application, allowing users to familiarize themselves with its server and client-based custom HIO applications. More information can be found here.
IBM has announced that CICS TS 4.2 is now generally available. More information can be found here.
Also, IBM has announced that CICS has been recognised as an 'Icon of Progress' - meaning CICS has been chosen as one of the 100 most important ideas in IBM's 100 year history. Find out more here.
CA Technologies has announced that CA ACF2 r14 SP1 for z/OS and CA Top Secret r14 SP1 for z/OS have met the requirements of Common Criteria, an independent security certification recognized by governments in more than 26 countries, including the USA. CA ACF2 and CA Top Secret provide access control for z/OS resources across operating systems, subsystems, third-party software and databases, which includes externalized security controls for UNIX System Services (USS) as well as DB2, CICS, and IMS transaction and database management subsystems. More information can be found here
H&W has announced SYSB-II Version 6.4, which allows users to keep mainframe CICS applications online while batch updates VSAM files. This ability allows organizations to increase business capacity, extend the life of crucial business systems, and obtain updated information more often to make better decisions and ensure customer satisfaction. Performance enhancements gained from features designed to avoid unnecessary update locking, optimize use of Read Ahead Buffer space, and take advantage of syncpoint optimization. Full details can be found here.
Rocket Software has announced that its LegaSuite SOA integration and application modernization software will support CICS TS V4.2 when it becomes generally available. Among the new features is a Java-based CICS service flow runtime engine that offloads SOA processing to an IBM System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP). This leverages the latest multithreaded 64-bit JVM server in CICS TS 4.2. Full details can be found here.
IBM has decided to run another open beta program for the new release of CICS TS Version 4 Release 2. The objectives of providing an open beta program for this release are: to give early access to the new function in CICS TS V4.2; to provide feedback to IBM; to test the code in various and unique environments; to ensure that the code functions as designed. Full details can be found here.
Veryant has announced vCOBOL Enterprise, a platform to migrate legacy COBOL applications off IBM mainframes to Unix, Linux, and Microsoft Windows systems. This approach significantly improves critical runtime performance commonly associated with mainframe CICS transactions, the company claims. Full details can be found here.
Alchemy Solutions has announced Version 2 of NeoData, which comprises NeoData SQL, NeoData Utilities, and NeoData zLink, its migration software for COBOL applications and VSAM data. This release of NeoData zLink provides access to VSAM files from batch applications in addition to online (CICS) transactions from the original version. Batch applications can be migrated to Windows even if they still need to share VSAM data with applications remaining on the mainframe. Full details can be found here.