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A new era CICS in
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By John Knutson,
CICS - Market Enablement Team.
Fifty years is a long time in anybody’s money. While IBM was introducing the mainframe to an IT-innocent world, I was still at grammar school, reading too much science fiction and developing my love of jazz and blues. Forty-five years ago, when CICS first hit the streets, I’d moved on to science fact – working as a computer operator – still listening to jazz and blues. It took another five years before our paths crossed and I was writing my first on-line CICS program in the days before any mapping support, basic or otherwise. Ten years later – give or take – I was working for IBM, helping to develop CICS on VM.
CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.2 was announced last week, on the 50th anniversary of the mainframe (#mainframe50), and forty-five years after the first CICS release (#CICS@45). CICS has moved on a lot since my first CICS DOS/Entry system, with the new release adding an updated web container, integrated RESTful JSON support for mobile devices, more autonomics, new support for distributed security models, and more cloud support. I’ll write more about why this new stuff is really valuable in another post here, but to learn more about how you can use it, you should connect with the CICS technical team over at CICSdev. There’s still time to try out the CICS TS V5.2 open beta or the CICS Transaction Gateway V9.1 open beta that was announced last week.
CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Value Unit Edition V5.2 provides identical function with a one-time charge pricing model, ideal for new projects, or to web-, service- or mobile-enabling existing CICS applications. If you are not ready to commit to an upgrade, CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Developer Trial V5.2 lets you experience the value of the latest CICS capabilities without obligation. With this latest release, you no longer need to reinstall the full product when moving from trial to production use. The CICS Tools have also been updated to V5.2, helping you to maximise service agility, improve operational efficiency, cloud-enable your applications and infrastructure, in order to get the best from your CICS investments. I’ll also write about the CICS Tools updates in a later post. You can learn more about all the CICS V5.2 updates at Impact later this month, so be sure to check out the CICS menus if you are planning to attend, and if you are not, there’s still time to register.
So much has changed. Many of the things I read and dreamed about as a boy have turned into reality: universal computer access, all-knowing search engines, the all-seeing eye, intelligent machines, and virtual currencies are all real now.
Some things haven’t changed. While the mainframe is no longer the only player, along with CICS, IMS, and DB2, it continues to play an essential role, managing the systems of record of thousands of enterprises and organisations across the world, running transactions and accessing data, securely, reliably, and efficiently, 24/7/365, without fuss.
In my early days as a systems programmer, I used to think that 2000 transactions was a busy day. Now some CICS clients each daily exceed a billion. My first CICS programs used device-dependent control codes. Today developers can write standards-based programs, and then decide to deploy them to CICS. My first CICSgen is far removed from today’s cloud deployment in CICS V5.2. With physical terminal connections, I knew who all of my users were. Today’s CICS sysprogs can rely on Kerberos and SAML to identify their world-wide users.
Who knows what the next fifty years will bring. More and different should probably sum it up. What I do know is that CICS will be around to help. Oh yes, and I’ll still be listening to jazz and blues. Plus ça change, as the French say, so bring it on!