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6 CICS Products With Key Importance and Focus

Joseph Gulla examines six CICS products introduced in his last post, and identifies the orientation and focus for each.

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This is the second post on this series about CICS® products. This week, I start the discussion of 12 different CICS products that have system and application management uses. For this discussion, I will use a two-part framework that I introduced last week. Is the product used for systems, applications or both? Does the product have a system or application management focus and what specifically is that focus? For this article, I will start with the first six of the CICS products.

CICS Batch Application Control for z/OS

CICS Batch Application Control for IBM z/OS® is part of the family of CICS tools that increase operational efficiency and service responsiveness for CICS. Specifically, CICS Batch Application Control simplifies and automates the switch of resources between batch and CICS applications, reducing the need for manual intervention by operators and system programmers. In its role of application control, the software integrates systems and applications by keeping CICS up while deallocating resources and reallocating them when batch processing is complete.
Orientation: Both system and application
Focus: Availability

CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS

CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS supports the administration and maintenance of CICS resource definitions for complex CICS applications. It provides audit, reporting and lifecycle change management control facilities to support application build, management and deployment.
CICS Configuration Manager simplifies the management and improves the governance of CICS with full lifecycle management of all CICS resource definitions. To do this, the product utilizes a plug-in for CICS Explorer that improves productivity of CICS developers and other users. It also has automation features like packaging, migration and transformation to speed up repetitive and complex tasks and ensure dependable quality. Also incorporated are control capabilities including an audit log, the ability to locate and roll-back previous changes, standards enforcement and role-based approvals. Integration with source code library management systems is also supported. Additionally, views are provided that highlight duplicate or conflicting resource definitions, lists and groups. Deployment analysis reports ensure referential integrity to avoid CICS restart issues.
Orientation: Both system and application
Focus: Configuration

CICS Deployment Assistant for z/OS

CICS Deployment Assistant for z/OS provides a centralized, complete model of your CICS infrastructure to improve data discovery to help better control deployment of new CICS capabilities and line-of-business applications. Specifically, CICS Deployment Assistant provides a centralized model of your CICS infrastructure to improve data discovery. It uses a policy driven engine to accelerate deployment of new CICS capabilities and line-of-business applications.
In “Getting Started With CICS Deployment Assistant,” David Harris created an article for developers to help answer questions like “Are you trying to understand your z/OS topology?” and ”Wondering how all those CICS regions link together in a CICSplex that has grown beyond recognition?” He also proposes help with the task of trying to create a test environment that accurately reflects production.
Orientation: Both system and application
Focus: Deployment

CICS Explorer

IBM CICS Explorer is a system management tool that offers a simple, integrated and intuitive way of managing one or more CICS systems by enabling users to view and manage CICS Transaction Server regions. The product also integrates CICS tools and provides visibility and control of the CICS run time and its resources. CICS Explorer features powerful task-oriented views, context-sensitive resource editors and wizards for access to a broad range of CICS and IBM z/OS data and control capabilities.
It also includes IBM Explorer for z/OS, a common connection management and single sign-on component that simplifies access to z/OS-based sub-systems. It features a centralized user interface that makes CICS easier to manage and boosts productivity. It also includes smart resource editors and wizards that simplify creation or editing of complex CICS resources. This provides the ability to define, install and manipulate CICS runtime resources and their definitions, including events, Atom feeds, policies, applications, platform and OSGi bundles.
Orientation: Both system and application
Focus: Manage

CICS Interdependency Analyzer for z/OS

The CICS Interdependency Analyzer for z/OS is a dynamic discovery tool that helps system programmers and application developers better understand the relationships and dependencies of CICS applications and the environment. With this information, users can make changes to the CICS environment in a reliable fashion, helping to quickly address needed updates to applications.
Features include resource-relationship data collection using IBM Db2® DBMS and CICS resource relationships insights by transaction, program, application or service. Also included is relationship navigation with built-in queries, views and visualizations and powerful query management. Data collection control can be used to turn data collection for multiple CICS regions on and off, or pause it with a single CICS Interdependency Analyzer command.
Orientation: Both system and application
Focus: Analysis

CICS Online Transmission Time Optimizer

CICS Online Transmission Time Optimizer (OTTO) increases network utilization through 3270 data stream optimization by reducing the number of characters transmitted to supported devices by making optimum use of all available orders for each device type. This optimization makes users more productive.
The product identifies and removes repetitive data and dynamically compresses 3270 data streams and improves 3270-network resource utilization. It can be used to monitor optimization to see how effective CICS OTTO optimization is in a specific environment. The product provides an operational statistics display with controls and settings that can be entered on a temporary or permanent basis.
Orientation: Both system and application
Focus: Performance

Next Week

Next week, I will continue the discussion with the remaining six CICS products that have systems management uses. In addition, I will summarize the analysis of the orientation and focus of the entire 12 products.
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