Interaction with complex CICS systems when performing operational and system management tasks can be time-consuming. The latest CICSPlex System Manager Web User Interface (WUI) simplifies these tasks through standard, customizable views, diagrammatic display of relationships between CICS resource definitions, view-specific help for resources, attributes, hyperlinks, and better accessibility—all via a modern Graphical User Interface (GUI).
About the CICSPlex System Manager Web User Interface
Introduced in CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V1.3, the CICSPlex System Manager WUI is a browser-based interface for interacting with CICSPlex System Manager. It provides an interface that’s intuitive and familiar to people new to CICS and the mainframe. The initial release was targeted toward operators who tend to have joined an organization straight out of high school or college and aren’t likely to have ever encountered a mainframe. Thanks to programs such as the System z Academic Initiative, hopefully, this trend will be reversed.
The WUI has evolved and today is a fully functional interface that can be used by anyone—from systems programmers to operators—who needs to interact with CICSPlex System Manager. Users can perform operations tasks, workload management, or real-time analysis; they also can manage CICS resource definitions through Business Application Services.
WUI vs. EUI
In releases prior to CICS TS V3.2, it’s possible to run both the WUI and the End User Interface (EUI). In CICS TS V3.2, the EUI has been removed because the technology on which it’s built is rapidly becoming obsolete, and the WUI is the main method of interacting with CICSPlex System Manager.
While the EUI is restricted to using two attribute filters per view, the WUI can have as many as needed. The WUI also provides additional advantages in:
- Customization: Users can create their own sets of views
- Accessibility: The WUI conforms to the latest guidelines
- Internationalization: The WUI is available in simplified Chinese and Japanese
- Architecture: The WUI will allow more languages to be added in the future.
In CICS TS Version 3, the WUI provides additional functions equivalent to those provided by the EUI and that users told IBM were essential.
More WUI Enhancements
CICS TS V3.1 adds the favorites function, which lets users quickly and easily access views they often use. When the user saves a view as a favorite, filters, sort, and summary information are also saved. The links to these views are displayed on the left of the browser view and (as with other browser favorites) users can reorder favorites on the screen. The concept of user groups also is provided; these let a system administrator define default WUI characteristics for different groups of users. For example, systems programmers could have an initial menu and scope different from the operations team.
Additional features now available in the EUI include record count warnings and dynamic selection lists. In CICS TS V3.2, the map function was added because users told IBM this was essential. It displays the relationships between definition resources in the form of a diagram. A similar structure has been maintained so EUI users will be familiar with the layout of maps. The WUI version of the map function also lets users collapse and expand sections of the map to reduce the amount of visible data on the screen. This function also is available for CICS TS V3.1 in two APARs: PK19401 and PK21988.
Another key function available in CICS TS V3.2 is view-specific help. This lets users click on a help icon on any view or menu and view help information for resources, attributes, hyperlinks, and more.
Configuring the WUI
Users point their Web browsers to a WUI server, which is a specialized form of Managed Application System (MAS). The MAS, managed by CICSPlex System Manager, is a CICS system that runs the WUI server application. The first step in setting up a WUI server is to configure the MAS. Subsequent steps for creating a WUI server are simple:
- Create a WUI repository, which is a VSAM data set that stores all the views and menus the WUI server will use.
- Set the CPSMCONN SIT parameter to WUI rather than MAS.
- Set the WUI parameters needed in the JCL such as the TCP/IP hostname and port to be used.
- Ensure the correct codepage conversions are defined. This is the most common user error when initially setting up a WUI. This error is indicated if the user points his browser to the WUI and receives garbage characters. In CICS TS V3.2, the WUI conversions are supplied by default in DFHCNV, but in earlier releases, it’s important to copy EYU$CNV1 into the conversion table. It’s then possible to submit the JCL.
When the WUI server starts, users must import some views. The WUI is flexible in terms of the views and menus it can display. Users also can create their own sets of views and import them into all the WUI servers. Initially, however, users should import the standard views supplied with CICS TS.
About WUI Views
It’s possible to create customized views, but it isn’t necessary to spend much time doing this to use the WUI. The views supplied with CICS TS are comprehensive; every resource and action is available through the supplied views so it’s possible just to work with the supplied views without creating customized views. It’s also possible to create task-oriented views and menus and views and menus for different sets of users with exactly the right amount of information displayed on the screen and to override the names of attributes and resources. View customization is powerful, but it isn’t necessary to use this feature if the supplied views suit your needs. To learn more, visit www-306.ibm. com/software/htp/cics/tserver/v32/. Z