Feeds

IBM CICS legacy at the heart of SOA

web services world

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

As I mentioned in a recent article IBM is to make a series of software announcements that will bring z/series to the heart of SOA (service oriented architecture). The first announcement included CICS Transaction Server V3.1 and CICS Transaction Gateway V6.0. They include several significant enhancements that show that IBM intends that CICS will not just be a passive legacy system but will be driving new applications and users into the web services world.

The previous release of CICS TS had support for SOAP but only as a service provider. This meant that new web services applications could request services from existing CICS applications; this wrapping of CICS gave the impression that IBM expected all new applications to be non-CICS web services solutions and that the CICS applications would, over time, be phased out and replaced by modern solutions.

However the client experience of CICS SOAP was very positive; it was easy to implement and reliable. So much so that many customers implemented it without any assistance from IBM and therefore without IBM being aware of this use. These customers then came to IBM to say that they needed more function and in particular the ability to develop CICS applications that were requesters of web services. Most of these applications were modifications of existing systems but some were new solutions. Developing an application that is a requester is an indication that there are no plans to phase the application out. This means that CICS users see a long term future for CICS on the mainframe and IBM has extended the functions on that basis. The new versions have a variety of improvements but the most important are:

  • Support of CICS as a service requester with full support for WSDL and SOAP.
  • Enhancements to the interface for CICS as a service provider.
  • Removal of the 32K limit on messages between services. This also applies to the size of the COMMAREA used to communicate between CICS transactions.
  • Improved support for C and C+ giving better performance.
  • Improved documentation and training for new users, an essential feature for new footprints as well as for the long term viability of existing systems.
  • Provision of all system management through a browser interface, rather than TSO, this provides a more effective interface for the operations department and also better integrate CICS system management with other operations functions.
  • Enhanced security using standard SSL facilities.

As an addition to this portfolio of products, IBM also announced CICS Batch Application Control for z/OS V1.1, allowing easier management of batch processes that must co-exist and share resources with one or more CICS online transaction systems. It simplifies tasks of operators and system programmers, reducing the time required for batch processing and moving CICS applications closer to a 24x7 operation.

CICS recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Back in the late 1970s CICS looked like an exciting area for new blood to enter, with lots of expansion and an assured future. It would seem that this is still true in the early 2000s; I would recommend that new recruits look seriously at CICS as a career path as it is still providing excitement, growth and an assured future.

The lessons that can be learnt in helping support a large legacy solution are also relevant to the development and implementation of allegedly trendy new environments. Most of the problems of reliability, scalability, manageability, security and performance that will be faced by distributed solutions have already been faced by the mainframe and resolved.

Copyright © 2004, IT-Analysis.com

Related stories

The mainframe is back
IBM gives in to call for Liberty services for all
IBM software vendors feel the love

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.