CICS / WebSphere

Performance monitoring capabilities are improved, including identifying the cipher suite that was used and specialty engine usage (and possible usage) for potential financial cost savings.

Enhancements to Core CICS

Enhanced CICS events allow a system event to be sent when a specific message is issued or when a write-to-operator event is issued. We now have the concept of adapter sets, so a single event can now output to multiple targets (previously, there was a single target). The CICS-WebSphere MQ DPL bridge now provides support for a channel and a container, so we’re able to move beyond the 32 KB limit, and we now have IPIC support for IMS (transaction manager) for the asynchronous start and retrieve functionality (see Figure 5).

Policies can be applied to everything running in a given CICS region and can be achieved by defining the policy—regardless of whether it’s CICS Explorer, packaged in a bundle or installing a bundle definition in CICS. The resource policy will apply to everything. In previous articles, we examined cloud technology and the underlying application and platform technology. This policy can be applied to a given platform, so everything running in this platform is now affected by this policy. Similarly, we can also apply a policy to a specific application so this particular application has a resource threshold policy, or we can apply a policy inside an application in terms of application context.

There are several challenges facing users who want to take advantage of these polices:

• What to set as resource policies and how to do it?
• What’s the typical transaction view in terms of the number of file requests and link/sequel requests?

CICS Performance Analyzer (CICS PA) lets you look at the CICS performance records and extract any number of pieces of information about your CICS system. One of these pieces will help you set polices. CICS PA can help you nurture the performance of your CICS environment. You can use it for ongoing systems management and measurement, to create reports to keep track of your CICS performance and to do trend analysis. CICS PA can be used to diagnose performance issues within CICS. Using SMF records, it can help you track, process and tune your CICS system to optimum performance. It can produce a single report showing all the CICS performance along with your MQ or DB2 performance. CICS PA comes with more than 240 supplied reports, ranging from CPU analysis, response time analysis, CPT analysis and so on. CICS PA integrates with the CICS Explorer and lets you view report data graphically. CICS PA gives you performance insight for TS V5.1, supporting all the new metrics for CICS TS V5.1 (see Figure 6).

CICS Independency Analyzer (CICS IA) is a discovery tool that captures information about your CICS applications, transactions and programs and the resources they use. This gives you the ability to conduct threadsafe analysis (see Figure 7). In CICS IA V5.1, you can generate a threadsafe report through the CICS Explorer plug-in (see Figure 8). This report lets you scroll by region, by transaction and by program. It can show you the commands it ran, whether or not it was threadsafe, and whether it was a command that uses shared resources and may therefore not be appropriate to make threadsafe. For more information on threadsafe, see the Redbook Threadsafe Considerations for CICS (SG24 6351). This report will help you determine which programs you can make threadsafe and which programs require some work before they can be made threadsafe. Once you’ve used CICS PA to determine threadsafe candidates, the next step is to use CICS IA to determine what the transactions are doing, what commands they’re issuing and if they’re doing any dynamic calls.

To help with the performance of your CICS system, CICS VSAM Transparency V2.1 is a tool that migrates VSAM data to DB2 while allowing your application programs to remain unchanged. Major inhibitors to upgrading to DB2 and taking advantage of the value DB2 provides, such as 24x7 availability, or having a new distributed application that needs to have access to data and update the data, are the time and cost associated with rewriting your application programs. VSAM Transparency allows you to migrate to DB2 without having to do a wholesale modification to your application programs. You can upgrade on a file-by-file basis. Over time, you can open a program, modify a program to make use of SQL, and uninstall VSAM Transparency, as it’s no longer required.

Conclusion

CICS 5.1 delivers a mix of operational efficiency, performance, capacity and scalability enhancements as well as service agility with the introduction of cloud concepts into CICS with platforms and applications. We’ve introduced new ways of interfacing your applications with Liberty and Liberty Application Profile, servlets and JavaServer Pages for CICS. These improvements will help you move forward with CICS while remaining competitive and able to react to change without breaking business processes or compliance agreements.

 

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