CICS Advances on All Fronts
Attain your SOA deployment goals more easily with CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2.
Illustration by Michael Austin
Exchanging Data in CICS
CICS Transaction Server now extends the support for exchange of large data objects in the previous CICS release. CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2 supports message transmission optimization mechanism (MTOM) and XML-binary optimized packaging (XOP) for optimizing binary large objects (BLOBs) such as JPG, GIF, WAV, PDF and .doc files, within SOAP messages. This significantly reduces message size, improves message parsing processing time and optimizes transmission.
This new release of CICS Transaction Server also increases the influence of IP for CICS interconnectivity, starting with distributed program links (DPL), and SSL encryption and authentication. IP interconnectivity for DPL offers transactional syncpointing, security control and a link with COMMAREAs or channels and containers.
The previous release of CICS Transaction Server introduced an alternative to COMMAREAs for inter-program exchange of data with two new concepts: containers and channels. Conceptually, containers are named COMMAREAs, which can be grouped together in sets called channels. Channels are analogous to parameter lists. This gives the advantage that the data passed is limited only by the amount of CICS storage available below the 2 GB limit. CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2 extends this capability by exploiting 64-bit storage. This allows containers to exceed the current sizes, frees up storage below the bar for use by other CICS data and user data, and reduces the performance overhead.
Another aspect of CICS data exchange is the MQ adapter, which previously shipped as part of WebSphere* MQ products on the System z* platform. With CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2, the MQ adapter now ships along with the MQ trigger monitor and the MQ Bridge. Now CICS/MQ applications can exchange messages with optimized performance while being monitored and diagnosed as normal for CICS resources.
Process Flows in CICS
A no-charge, separately orderable feature of CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2 is the service flow feature (SFF) which, as well as CICS service flow runtime, includes 10 restricted license copies of WebSphere Developer for System z Service Flow Modeler/XSE for building Web services from existing CICS applications.
The Service Flow Modeler enables business-service integration for CICS applications through transforming and reusing existing application processes. The product is designed to leverage your investment and the quality of service of your existing enterprise information systems, working with the CICS Runtime and Host Access Transformation Services (HATS). The Service Flow Modeler provides the capability to use channels and containers when providing input to and receiving response from service flows.
The CICS SFF enables the implementation of CICS business service interfaces to CICS transactions and applications. CICS business services are inboard adapters that enable CICS application interfaces to be composed into business-service components that can then be externally orchestrated, published as Web services and integrated with Java* 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and other message-based solutions. The CICS SFF infrastructure is highly optimized and preserves the CICS application quality of service when accessed from an SOA, a business integration choreography engine, a J2EE application server or enterprise application integration (EAI), or a message-based solution.
The capability delivered by the CICS SFF ensures that the time-to-value of the new enterprise solutions based on modern SOA, business process or J2EE architectures is enhanced by the capability to reuse existing software and data assets. This provides the capability to sequence reusable CICS application and data assets into series of related service invocations that support business-service interfaces.
Business-service interfaces are published at the boundary of the CICS environment, and can be accessed in different ways (e.g., Web services, MQ, Java Connecter Architecture and Internet Inter-Orb Protocol or IIOP). This ensures that the business-service implementation is adjacent to the application and data components on which it relies, preserving the performance, reliability, scalability and security characteristics that are critical to the solution while enabling easy integration.
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Trends | Upgrade offers improved performance and enhanced features
Cover Story | Attain your SOA deployment goals more easily with CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.2.
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