When CICSPlex SM was released in the early ’90s, it was widely regarded by the CICS community as a complex beast to install and operate. At its inception, it was released as a chargeable product separate from CICS. To encourage users to try it, IBM (in the U.K., at least) provided a couple of days of free consulting support with the system. This was to assist users in getting it up and running and to provide some guidance on its use! To get the whole system to run well, some significant tuning and configuration were required. That necessitated a degree of expertise that wasn’t widely available in those early days.
Times Have Changed
Since then, CICSPlex SM has undergone some significant transformations in terms of its installation process and usability. However, many customers still associate that “complexity baggage” with the system; this means they rarely bother to extract the installation files from the delivery tape—even though it’s now packaged for free as part of CICS Transaction Server for z/OS. This is a shame because CICSPlex SM has so much to offer users of midrange CICSplexes. This article attempts to challenge those concerns head-on and show that establishing a CICSPlex SM evaluation environment is no longer the technological marathon it once was considered.
First, let’s make some assumptions about your current environment:
- You’re familiar with MVS Job Control Language (JCL) and can submit batch jobs without any difficulties.
- You’re an experienced CICS user and are comfortable with the prospect of defining and configuring a CICS region.
- Your current CICS environment is comprised of up to 20 CICS regions, which are becoming difficult to manage on an individual basis.
- You looked at CICSPlex SM once before, but after glancing at the installation guide, you decided it was too complex to quickly evaluate.
Now, let’s talk about today:
- CICSPlex SM no longer requires defining any complex Time Share Option (TSO) or ISPF interfaces. To implement CICSPlex SM, a minimum of one extra CICS region must be created.
- You can simplify your life: If you’re already defining one CICS region, define one more for the Web User Interface (WUI) server; we’ll explain why in a minute. For evaluation purposes, we’ll omit the awkward security stuff and keep the configuration pared down to the basic level. Remember:
- You don’t have to adopt the entire feature- rich function set of CICSPlex SM at the outset.
- You can use it initially to manage your existing CICS systems with a minimum of CICSPlex SM definitions.
Again, to implement CICSPlex SM, it would be smart if you created two extra CICS regions to keep things simple. Why two?
- One region is the CICSPlex SM management region known as the CICS Management Address Space (CMAS); it’s the processing hub of CICSPlex SM and must have a CICS region all to itself.
- The second region will act as the server for all your Web browser interactions to CICSPlex SM—known as a WUI server. You can merge the WUI server function into one of your existing private regions, but since we’re talking simplicity (and performance) here, let’s give it a CICS region all to itself.
CICSPlex SM Implementation: Part 1
Let’s assume you’ve cloned two CICS regions from your existing setup. All the CICS system data sets have been defined, their APPLIDs are defined to VTAM, and they can be started in “native” CICS mode. You’ve even logged onto them and run CEMT (to shut them back down). What’s next?
We’ll do the CMAS first. The first thing that defines a CICS region as a CMAS is the existence of the CICSPlex SM control data set EYUDREP. Every CMAS has its own private EYUDREP— they can’t be shared like CICS System Definitions (CSDs). When you define the EYUDREP (we’ll call it the DREP from now on), you have to execute the VSAM definition, followed by a CICSPlex SM batch program (EYU9XDUT) job to write some control records to it. Details about sample JCL appear in the CICS Information Center, accessible online at http:// publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/cicsts/ v4r1/topic/com.ibm.cics.ts.installation. doc/topics/dfha1n2.html.
There are two sets of XDUT control parameters—one on the EXEC PARM statement and the other in the EYUXDPRM DD cards. The EXEC PARM definitions are concerned with the CMAS itself; you need to: