Planet Mainframe and iTech-Ed Ltd. Announce Collaboration on Mainframe User Groups

A marketing partnership expanding access and resources for the mainframe community.

[Nashville, TN, USA] — May 31 2023 — EIN Presswire - Planet Mainframe and iTech-Ed Ltd. are pleased to announce a new collaboration supporting mainframe education and community. The partnership brings together two leading organizations in the mainframe industry to provide comprehensive resources and support for those interested in learning, working, and growing their mainframe expertise.

More information can be found here.

On 11 January 2023, IBM announced that CICS® Transaction Server for z/OS®, Beta Version 6 Release 2 enables development teams to create powerful mixed-language applications, while allowing the operational teams to manage these applications from a single point of control.

The following features and enhancements are delivered as part of CICS Transaction Server for z/OS, Version 6 Release 2, and cover the following areas:

More information can be found here.

On 17 June, IBM announced the general availability of CICS Transaction Server 6.1. The new features in CICS TS 6.1 together with interactions with other products are grouped under three themes:

  • Enhanced developer productivity, eg support for Java 11 on Z, Jakarta EE 9.1, Eclipse Microprofile 5, and Node.js 16.
  • Improved security and compliance management.
  • Reduced cost of management.

More information can be found here.

For sites using CICS APIs, Adaptigent has launched its Intelligent Caching engine, which is a distributed, in-memory, data cache designed to reduce mainframe integration load and costs, while reducing API response times by up to 50 times for mission-critical data and transaction calls.
The technology can pre-load highly cacheable data during periods when mainframe demand is relatively low, allowing customers to offload mainframe processing when demand is high. The Intelligent Caching engine also supports partial caching, in which a single API request has cacheable and non-cacheable data elements to it. The engine can pull data from the cache and combine it with live data to fulfil the API request.
The caching engine uses workflows, allowing users to set caching policies for individual mainframe transactions. This adds a layer of intelligence to the caching approach.

More information can be found here.

IntelliMagic has announced IntelliMagic Vision for z/OS release 10.9.0, which includes major enhancements to reporting on CICS SMF data that lets users monitor the performance and resource usage of applications and transactions. New functionality includes support for 19 fields in the Statistics data, and more than 70 automated Health Insights for the CICS 110 SMF data.

More information can be found here.

IBM has announced COBOL for Linux on x86 1.1, bringing IBM's COBOL compilation technologies and capabilities to the Linux on x86 environment. COBOL for Linux on x86 supports the integrated CICS translator to handle native COBOL and embedded CICS statements in a CICS COBOL application. This enables COBOL batch applications to access VSAM emulated files stored in Db2 and CICS TX SFS. COBOL for Linux on x86 in conjunction with IBM TXSeries for Multiplatforms are compatible with IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS and IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS.

More information can be found here.

Infotel has announced Version 2.0 of its Eccox Application Parallel Testing (Eccox APT®) solution, which was designed to quickly spin up developer testing 'containers' on the mainframe. Built for Agile and DevOps methods, Eccox APT accelerates application production on z/OS by running tests in parallel, allowing a team of developers their own 'sandbox' to test and release iterations of their code. Eccox APT can find all the components of a CICS or IMS transaction with a click, and all programs and tables that the transaction uses are cloned in a test container. Mobile application and Internet development teams can create their test tracks of all the CICS or IMS transactions required and work completely independently of the mainframe developer teams.

More information can be found here.

Microsoft has announced Host Integration Server 2020 (HIS 2020), which allows organizations to use Microsoft services and products to connect to IBM tools such as CICS 5.4, z/OS 2.3, IBM i 7.3, MQ 9.1, and Db2, using industry-standard High Performance Routing (HPR) and TCP/IP) This reduces operating expenses and total cost of ownership while supporting existing and new computing workloads.

More information can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS TS V5.6, which, they say, delivers significant new capabilities to improve the developer experience, including the choice of APIs, frameworks, editors, and build tools, while at the same time providing updates in the key areas of security, resilience, and management.

More information can be found here.

IBM has announced new automated unit testing capabilities for CICS COBOL programs using Db2 with IBM Developer for z/OS (IDz) V14.2.1. Users are now able to stub out CICS Db2 calls for COBOL programs through the enhanced record and playback functionality, as well as export results in new formats. The automation of testing is a key component for agile development.

Enhancements include:

  • New support for stubbing out CICS Db2 completely, enabling users to automate their testing processes for complex applications.
  • New data record and playback capabilities for CICS Db2 programs, enabling the interception of EXEC CICS and EXEC SQL application calls under CICS to allow data capture during a live run.
  • Automated unit testing capabilities for CICS Db2 that are independent of a debugging tool, reducing the load on the system and system programmers.
  • Improved user experience for generating and executing automated unit tests, including new ways to filter recorded data for modification, as well as general performance improvements.

More information can be found here.

Compuware has announced enhancements to Topaz for Total Test, its automated testing tool. The new release includes improvements that enable unit testing to be applied to a larger range of programs. New support is included for complex programs that make advanced use of pointers, as well as virtualization for CICS APIs, return-codes, and accept statements.

More information can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS Statistics Visualizer V1.0.1 with more deployment options besides the original Docker deployment method. The tool allows users to check the health status of CICS regions faster by generating charts and graphs for their CICS statistics reports. Three types of report are available: Indicators Overview, Regions Overview, and Regions Trend Report. CICS Statistics Visualizer is provided free for CICS PA users only.

More information can be found here.

Dynatrace has announced that it has extended Dynatrace, its AI-powered platform, to include IBM Z support for CICS, IMS, and middleware. This gives customers precise information about the performance of digital services across hybrid environments; from modern cloud applications to the mainframe. Dynatrace provides software intelligence to simplify enterprise cloud complexity and accelerate digital transformation. It provides end-to-end visibility by automatically discovering and mapping every transaction with a single AI-powered solution. This real time visibility, from cloud to the mainframe, gives enterprises a competitive advantage – they can eliminate inefficiencies and consequently, innovate at a faster rate.

More information can be found here.

IBM has announced IBM Z Open Unit Test, an automated unit testing tool for batch and CICS programs. IBM Z Open Unit Test works in conjunction with IBM Z Open Development to create a powerful continuous development, testing, and delivery environment. Some of the key features out-of-the-box include:

  • Automated data capture and recording.
  • Test case generation for COBOL CICS programs with stubbing capabilities.
  • Ability to store test cases in any SCM, including modern SCMs like Git or RTC.

The automated unit testing capabilities are delivered as an integrated part of:

  • IBM Developer for z Systems V14.1.6
  • IBM Developer for z Systems Enterprise Edition V14.1.6

More information can be found here.

Compuware has enhanced Topaz for Total Test, its automated unit testing solution for the mainframe, to support CICS. The patent-pending technology creates virtual CICS commands, eliminating the need to access active CICS test regions. The CICS test cases can be automatically executed through a Jenkins plug-in.

More information can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.5. New in this version are:

  • Node.js in CICS
  • CICS Explorer now uses GraphQL to map relations between resources
  • Security and resiliency improvements
  • Better API/SPI restrictions
  • z/OS WLM health value more prominent in CICSPlex SM workload routing decisions.

GraphQL allows users to map relations between resources, aggregating and summarizing data when using RESTful interfaces. GraphQL also lets users define those relationships and query them directly.

More information can be found here.

Compuware has updated its Topaz for Total Test, automating mainframe unit testing testing software. It has acquired XaTester from Xact Consulting A/S. The software enables developers to create unit tests for both batch and CICS-based programs written in COBOL, PL/I, and Assembler.

More information can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.4,which adds support for a programming concepts that are critical to a mixed language application hosting environment, and includes:

  • Support for applications written to the Java™ EE 7 Full platform specification
  • A powerful and new asynchronous API to extend programming language capabilities
  • Dynamic policy-based management of applications that span multiple languages
  • Enhanced security and resiliency of applications across all languages
  • API extensions that enable improved interoperability with batch applications
  • Enhanced management capabilities for applications that utilize IBM MQ for z/OS
  • Numerous enhancements to simplify or automate common workflows.

More information can be found here.

Circle Software has announced C\Prof, a product that uses a new approach for gaining business and operational value from the CICS internal trace. C\Prof peeks inside CICS, but doesn't interfere with its execution. It is not a monitor and does not require changes to CICS. Unlike traditional approaches, C\Prof makes the CICS trace inexpensive to capture and simple to interpret. More information can be found here.

Compuware has announced the latest version of Topaz Workbench/Xpediter. Xpediter provides interactive mainframe debugging to help developers integrate, build, modernize, and extend applications. Topaz Workbench provides a modern, Eclipse-based IDE for Xpediter. Topaz Workbench now offers additional data viewing capabilities in Xpediter when debugging CICS applications that leverage CICS channels and containers. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced that the following key features are part of its continuous delivery release of CICS TS V5.3:

  • Additional Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 7 features are supported in integrated mode Liberty.
  • The LINK and START commands now support invoking Java applications in a Liberty JVM server.
  • The Java developer experience is improved, when working with CICS bundles.
  • Additional CICS Explorer views and view configuration options are provided.

Additionally, the CICS TS V5.4 open beta offering is refreshed to add major new and enhanced capabilities in the following areas:

  • Automated provisioning capabilities that now support the building and running of binary images
  • Improved control of applications by using the new asynchronous API
  • Ability for applications to pass channels and containers over External CICS Interface (EXCI)

Additionally, a CICS TS V5.4 open beta offering is announced for customers to provide feedback on potential future capabilities. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced that the following key features are supported on this continuous delivery release of CICS TS V5.3:

  • Support for Liberty Java Enterprise Edition (EE) 7 Web Profile, in integrated mode
  • Support for Liberty Java EE 7 Full Platform, in a new standard mode
  • Remote development and testing of Java EE applications that use Java Connector Architecture (JCA) to call CICS programs
  • Improved zIIP offload eligibility for Liberty workloads
  • Support for embedding the separately licensed z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition V2.0
  • Several other enhancements to CICS TS V5.3, including a new non- Java JSON parser and an updated CICS Explorer

Additionally, a CICS TS V5.4 open beta offering is announced for customers to provide feedback on potential future capabilities. More information can be found here.

Enterprse Systems Associates Inc (ESAi) has announced Version 4.2 of Inspect CPU for CICS. ICPU is a low-overhead CICS Application Performance Management product that identifies applications programs and the lines of code causing issues or spikes in CPU usage. The new release provides TCB switching information, which, in addition to the current CPU usage information, provides a complete performance picture of the application programs. ICPU now identifies the programs that are the best candidates for threadsafe conversion opportunities. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.3. New and enhanced capabilities are delivered in three main areas:

  • Service agility – focuses on enhanced support for Java and WebSphere Liberty profile;
  • Operational efficiency – includes performance optimizations, enhanced metrics, and additional security; and
  • Cloud with DevOps – introduces new cloud and DevOps support to automate CICS deployments.

More information can be found here.

HostBridge Technology has announced HostBridge Redis for z/OS. The product enables customers to put their mainframe data to work in analytics, and mobile and cloud architectures. Redis is the in-memory NoSQL data store used by cloud and mobile apps. HostBridge Redis for z/OS is a modernizing extension for transaction processing systems such as CICS and IMS, and database systems such as DB2 and VSAM. Using HostBridge Redis, customers can share their data with applications on any platform, inside or outside the enterprise. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced Rocket’s Mainframe Data Access Service on Bluemix. It provides clients with a simple, seamless, and secure connection to data on the IBM z Systems mainframe for development of new mobile and hybrid cloud apps through Bluemix. Starting in June, clients can access a no-charge trial of the service, which provides universal access to the data, regardless of location interface or format, including CICS, IMS, VSAM, ADABAS, and DB2, SMF, Tape and Sys Logs, and allows access to that data through methods developers prefer, including MongoDB APIs, JDBC, Web services, SQL and the REST protocol via z/OS Connect. More information can be found here.

H&W Computer Systems has announced the release of the 2015 CICS report, which covers the state of CICS now and compares to past results to identify trends. The report analyzes the continued use of business-critical applications through CICS and those applications’ relevance in modern uses like mobile and Web. It also considers its relationship to business-critical data, as well as looking at how respondents view its future and examining past predictions for accuracy. The report further reveals variances in usage, based on industry. More information can be found here.
Part 2: CICS and its relationship to crucial business data is available here.
Part 3: Key CICS findings and survey demographics is available here.

Compuware has announced Version 12.4 of Abend-AID, its fault management tool. The new release features tighter cross-product integration, modernized utilities, and usability enhancements. There's deeper integration between Abend-AID and File-AID within the Eclipse plug-ins, which facilitates faster problem solving. Abend-AID Fault Analytics now shares common Web services with iStrobe to help users simplify and automate common tasks. Compuware Find & Fix functionality has been expanded to include Batch, IMS, and DB2 components along with existing CICS support.

HostBridge Technology is licensing its HBZT CPU Monitor Software (HBZT) to IBM mainframe users at no cost and no obligation. HBZT is a CICS transaction that provides an interactive, real-time view of the timer information contained within the MVS ASSB control block. It provides CPU usage statistics for a CICS region since the region began or during a dynamically-defined interval of time. The statistics can be used to ascertain how much CPU time was used by a particular workload. HBZT was designed to facilitate rapid testing and performance assessment of software that exploits IBM specialty engines like the zIIP. More information can be found here.

BMC Software has announced BMC Subsystem Optimizer for zEnterprise, which removes the traditional requirement that DB2, IMS, and CICS subsystems must reside on the same LPAR to communicate and process workloads. Users can now reduce MLC charges by reconfiguring their subsystem placement across partitions. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.2 will be available on Friday 13 June. This release includes support for stronger cryptographic ciphers per Special Publication 800-131A from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). A Service Stream Enhancement (SSE) to IBM Security zSecure 2.1 is planned for the same date. Besides providing support for this new CICS release the SSE will also further enhance the zSecure Compliance Testing Framework. More information can be found here.

Critical Path Software has announced Turbo CICS, which analyses and identifies improvements to CICS online response times and reduces R4HA and MLC. It is completely compatible with Striping and Record Level Sharing (RLS). The analysis is fast, non-invasive, and free of charge upfront to determine the impact of discoveries. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS Tools V5.2, which support the new features, resources, options, and metrics in CICS TS V5.2.

CICS IA V5.2 collects more information about applications and platforms, to help clients create a more dynamic CICS cloud environment. The new Command Flow visualization provides yet more insight into program behavior. A new variable sampling technique is introduced to help reduce the CPU overhead by up to 75% while collecting data. This technique can be applied to production regions to balance the impact of collection, the fidelity of the data collected, and production throughput.

CICS DA V5.2 introduces a new RESTful API that allows the deep insight captured in the discovered model to be shared with other management tools, or viewed from mobile devices and browsers. New cloning options deliver value to a wider range of client environments. A new compare option highlights key differences in region configuration and helps to ensure standards conformance and system reliability.

CICS PA V5.2 supports the CICS cloud with new Performance Summary reports for platforms and applications, while multi-version application support enables fine-grained analysis of ever-changing mobile applications. New, simply configured, batch reporting of CICS TS and CICS TG statistics provides a wealth of valuable diagnostic and planning information. Plug-in enhancements, which include new Performance Alerts, and more advanced visualization and analysis, help development and systems staff to identify and resolve performance issues quickly.

CICS CM V5.2 improves DevOps collaboration with new plug-in support for Migration Schemes and Deployment Analysis. New support to manage CICSPlex SM Topology and Workload Management definitions allows dynamic mobile workloads to be quickly reconfigured.

CICS VR V5.2 adds new support for extended address volumes (EAVs), and delivers usability, installation, coexistence, and customization enhancements. CICS VR provides Disaster Recovery support for online data and operation support for batch to minimize the batch window. CICS also supports the replication of VSAM data for IBM GDPS® Active-Active continuous availability, enabling cross-site workload balancing, continuous availability, and disaster recovery.

CICS Optimization Solution Pack for z/OS, V5.2 is updated to include the new releases of CICS IA, CICS DA, CICS PA, and CICS CM.

More information can be found here.

Compuware has announced enhancements to Compuware Strobe, a component of Compuware APM for Mainframe. Strobe is a mainframe application performance measurement and analysis solution that helps users pinpoint application inefficiencies. Amongst other enhancements, Strobe Advisor now automatically highlights the largest performance opportunities and provides recommendations on how to resolve problems. Strobe Advisor now includes information on CICS, IMS, and Language Environment (LE) performance issues. Strobe furthers its integration with PurePath for z/OS CICS and now includes the ability to profile CICS transactions from within the dynaTrace dashboard. More information can be found here.

CA Technologies has released Version 7.1 of CA LISA. New features include support for CICS Transaction Gateway (CTG), and the ability to virtualize more types of mainframe implementations as well as to trace and virtualize transactions through mainframe CICS. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced the CICS Transaction Server Feature Pack for Mobile Extensions V1.0, which enables users to extend the reach of their existing COBOL, C/C++, and PL/I programs to mobile devices, without having to change their applications. The feature pack adds support for Web service requests using JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) and the conversion between JSON and high-level language data structures, creating an efficient method of consuming enterprise data on a mobile device. More information can be found here.

Parasoft has announced a new release of its Service Virtualization solution, which helps development and QA teams access the complete, realistic test environments needed to develop or test an application. They can capture real system behaviour by using monitors to record live transaction details, by analysing transaction logs, or by modelling behaviour from a simple interface. This latest release introduces advanced service virtualization for mainframes and enables fast, easy manipulation of complex data structures for use in defining sophisticated simulation behaviour.
Parasoft's Service Virtualization enables organizations to simulate the application under test's interactions with subsystems including CICS regions, DB2 databases, and IMS. Communication may occur over protocols such as MQ, HTTP, TCP/IP, and JDBC, and it may involve payloads such as Copybook, XML, fixed-length or other custom message format. This not only promotes faster, more complete testing, but also minimizes disruption to high-value mainframe resources that could be better utilized for runtime or later-stage testing and validation. More information can be found here.

Compuware has announced enhancements to Compuware APM for Mainframe, its 24/7 end-to-end transaction management solution. The product has extended its support for CICS to include CICS Transaction Gateway (CTG) and CICS Web Services (SOAP). These enhancements enable customers who use these technologies to reduce MIPS usage, accelerate mean time to resolution, and deliver better performing applications to their end users. More information can be found here.

HostBridge Technology has released HostBridge Version 6.62, which helps organizations increase efficiency and service agility when using CICS, CICS socket applications, and DB2 in enterprise integration. Improvements include: tighter integration between HostBridge Socket Support and HBz (HostBridge for zIIP) server. Organizations replacing CICS Socket Support (EZASOKET) with HostBridge Socket Support shift MIPS to specialty engines, cutting general processor MIPS consumption, and reducing mainframe TCO. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced the IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V5.1 compiler, which works with the latest versions of CICS, IMS, and DB2. It's expected to be available later this quarter. The new software: provides support for Java 7, new UTF-8 built-ins, debugging enhancements, and support for unbounded tables and groups; supports a new level of z/OS System Management Facilities (SMF) tracking, which allows users who implement sub-capacity tracking to reduce their administrative overhead; Improves control over XML documents with the z/OS XML parser, allowing parsing workload to be off loaded to specialty engines to reduce operating costs. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS Transaction Server for z/OS (CICS TS) Value Unit Edition (VUE) V5.1, which offers a one-time-charge (OTC) price metric for eligible workloads that are deployed in qualified System z New Application License Charge (zNALC) logical partitions (LPARs). CICS TS VUE offers the following benefits for eligible workloads: an OTC licensing option for CICS TS V5.1, with subscription and support; deployment to zNALC LPARs, which delivers a reduced price for the z/OS operating system; the ability for new CICS TS VUE V5 workloads to federate with existing CICS TS V3, CICS TS V4, and CICS TS V5 workloads; and a licence that does not initiate any SVC period for any other monthly licence charge (MLC) versions of CICS TS. More information can be found here.

CASI Software has announced JES2RSS, mainframe software for publishing z/OS report content via RSS Web feeds. It takes report content directly from the JES queue or designated datasets, transforms them into Web friendly formats (PDF, HTML, etc) and publishes the results so an RSS reader on any device - laptop, tablet, smartphone - can retrieve the published content. Web feed publication of mainframe report content can be immediately deployed without any mainframe TSO or CICS access requirement. More information can be found here.

Attachmate's MobileNow initiative, along with updates to Verastream, will help IT let smartphone and tablet users access mainframe data, applications, and more. The list of Attachmate’s mobile-optimized capabilities across MobileNow, Verastream Host Integrator, and VeraStream Process Designer includes: allowing IT to design and support customizable mobile UIs for host applications, including those using COBOL copybooks; and integration with multiple backend mainframe resources including 3230, 3270, and CICS. More information can be found here.

Virtel has announced Virtel for iPad. Mobile users can access the traditional screen interface of CICS, IMS, TSO, and other 3270 applications with iPad ergonomics and BOYD-capable security features. Android tablet support will follow (Q2 2013). More information can be found here.

Virtel has also announced that Virtel Transaction Server reduces the footprint of Web-initiated CICS/DB2 transactions by over 50 percent, while doubling their performance and throughput. More information can be found here.

Matter of Fact Software has announced Version 2 of CICS JS/Server, its CICS Web Document API that allows Web applications to be built and served right out of CICS. Writing the user interfaces for such applications can be facilitated by using Open Source Javascript Libraries and Toolkits such as Dojo Toolkit, JQuery, YUI Library, Scriptaculous, D3JS, and MooTools. CICS JS/Server V2 also supports bespoke content so you can define and serve your own plugins and other content using the software. More information can be found here.

Compuware has announced Compuware APM (Application Performance Management) for Mainframe, which provides transaction management from the edge through to the mainframe. By combining Compuware dynaTrace's PurePath Technology with Compuware Strobe's mainframe application management expertise, distributed system and mainframe teams can resolve performance problems faster, reduce MIPS costs, postpone hardware upgrades, and accelerate time-to-market for new applications. Compuware APM for Mainframe is available in two versions - PurePath for z/OS CICS, for monitoring CICS application transactions in a CICS region or CICSPlex; and PurePath for z/OS Java, for monitoring mainframe Java applications. It automatically discovers, maps, and monitors all transactions through distributed tier and mainframe applications with complete mainframe CICS and Java transaction steps and timings. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS TS Version 5.1, which drives operational efficiencies with:

  • Greater capacity — achieve cost savings through consolidation
  • Managed operations — control critical resource thresholds with policies
  • Increased availability — reduce the need for planned downtime
  • Deeper insight — extend performance and compliance information.

And increases in service agility with:

  • First-class applications — create agile services from existing assets
  • First-class platforms — create agile service delivery platforms
  • Modern interfaces — build rich Web experiences for critical applications
  • Foundational enhancements — extend core capabilities.

IBM also announced CICS Explorer Version 5.1, CICS Interdependency Analyzer for z/OS V5.1, CICS Deployment Assistant for z/OS V5.1, CICS Performance Analyzer for z/OS V5.1, CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS V5.1, and CICS VSAM Recovery for z/OS V5.1.

Also announced were updates to IBM CICS Transaction Gateway for z/OS V9.0, CICS TG for Multiplatforms V9.0, and CICS TG Desktop Edition V9.0.

IBM Session Manager V3.2 was also announced. More information can be found here.

GT Software has released Ivory Hub, a product suite that allows rapid application delivery for mobile, Web, and cloud. Ivory Hub helps organizations tap the valuable data inside their mainframes and meet current business needs faster. The Ivory Hub product suite enables users to tackle various business challenges from direct access to data and applications to transferring data between mainframe and non-mainframe systems. The product removes the complexities from these tasks, requires minimal professional services, and operates in a multi-platform environment. It also provides SQL access to distributed data and allows users to deploy access through a gateway or directly, depending on their preferred deployment option. Ivory Hub Enterprise Access enables SQL access to distributed data on mainframe and non-mainframe (LAN-based) platforms from single SQL queries Supported access environments including: CICS, DB2, IMS and DL/I, VSAM, Adabas, Datacom/R or Datacom SQL, and sequential disk. More information can be found here.

Oracle has announced Oracle Tuxedo ART 12c, which lets sites run mainframe applications on Exalogic. Tuxedo ART currently emulates CICS, and, with this release, ART will also emulate IMS. Sites running CICS could move their applications to Tuxedo and have them run on Exalogic. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ mainframe edition, which means that mainframes will be available for its SmartCloud customers later this year. It will support recent releases of z/OS, CICS, DB2, IMS, WebSphereMQ, and WebSphere application server. More information can be found here.

Nastel Technologies has announced Version 6.5 of AutoPilot, which monitors and manages applications end-to-end across the enterprise by automating the analysis of complex issues. This unified platform manages multiple middleware technologies. The new version simplifies monitoring and management, automates the analysis of complex issues, improves IT staff efficiency, and reduces risk and overall costs - they claim. AutoPilot 6.5 now monitors CICS, WebSphere MQ and DataPower, TIBCO RV and EMS, Solace, and homegrown middleware. There's a new Web-based GUI for ease of use and simplicity in management. A unified middleware management strategy can be beneficial in removing some of the duplicate tools or at least funnelling their events into a single view and analysis engine and thus reduce both cost and error. More information can be found here.

IBM plans to make the CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V5.1 open beta available on 13 July. It introduces cloud-style CICS development, deployment, and operations. More information can be found here.

Matter of Fact Software has announced Version 1 Release 0 of CICS JS/Server, which allows the Dojo Javascript toolkit (which enables the development of browser-based user interface functions) to be installed and controlled on mainframe PDS datasets. CICS JS/Server was devised to provide control over the serving of the Dojo Javascript Toolkit as it is used by their other product, PlexSpy Application Status Monitor. More information about Dojo can be found here. More information about CICS JS/Server can be found here.

IBM has announced CICS TS Developer Trial V4.2, which is free of charge and for evaluation (non-production) use only, and offers a full set of features but with restricted performance and limited operational lifespan. It will be updated, periodically, to include the latest service fixes, and to provide an evaluation period of at least 90 days.
IBM has also launched CICSdev, an online community for CICS users to discuss, share, and learn. More information can be found here.

Compuware has announced Strobe 4.3. This mainframe application performance management solution, now includes the ability to automatically measure batch jobs that exceed dynamically calculated thresholds. Other new capabilities include: integration with existing monitoring tools; improved CICS transaction reporting; and new views of DB2 accounting statistics. More information can be found here.

Viaserv has announced Version 4.5 of ViaSQL, which is now able to provide CICS 4.2 support. ViaSQL connections now support use of SSL/TLS protocols. The Viaserv TCP/IP Secure Tunnel Processor is distributed with Access Server to support its use and of multiple TCP/IP resource managers in the same CICS region. ViaSQL V4.5 is available immediately for both the z/OS and z/VSE platforms. ViaSQL provides access to VSAM, sequential, DB2, IMS, DL/I, Datacom, Adabas, and other z/OS and z/VSE data stores, and to mainframe applications and stored procedures. More information can be found here.

DSI Document Systems (DSI) has announced SysQManager, which dynamically creates and manages CICS extra-partition Sysout Transient Data Queues (TDQs). SysQManager automatically manages CICS TDQ output, thereby eliminating the risk of non-stop CICS processing generating Sysout TDQs that could interfere with 24x7 CICS operation. SysQManager includes Critical Message Alert Detection, which can be set to e-mail notify designated users. DSI has also refreshed BatchCICS-Connect for real-time interfacing to CICS via batch. More information can be found here.

Progress Software has announced Version 2.0 of its Progress Responsive Process Management (RPM) suite, which comprises the Progress Actional Business Transaction Management (BTM), the Progress Apama Complex Event Processing (CEP), and the Progress Savvion Business Process Management (BPM) platforms, all of which are managed using the Progress Control Tower interface. Progress Control Tower is a browser-based interactive interface that can be accessed on an Apple iPad anywhere with Internet connectivity. Users can monitor, manage, analyse, and also act on information stored across a variety of data sources, including IBM mainframe CICS, Tibco, Oracle, FUSEsource, and SAP environments. Progress RPM suite uses Progress Actional interceptors to gain access into IBM CICS/MQ mainframes, Tibco Activematrix BusinessWorks, SAP ABAP, and Lombardi TeamWorks facilitating real-time cross platform visibility without additional mainframe costs. More information can be found here.

New Era Software has a free download for auditors called "Auditing CICS - A Beginner's Guide". More information can be found here.

Voltage Security has announced Voltage SecureData z/Protect, which makes encryption easier for any application in any z/OS environment. Mainframes running CICS, IMS, DB2, and batch can now add native encryption. More information can be found here.

Rocket Software has announced the availability of Rocket Seagull LegaSuite 6, its application modernization suite offering new features and functions across the entire LegaSuite lineup of modernization, integration, localization, automation, reporting, and testing solutions. LegaSuite now offers a Java-based runtime CICS engine that leverages the latest multithreaded 64-bit JVM server in IBM CICS TS 4.2 and brings significant savings for SOA deployments, reducing the cost of ownership of an SOA infrastructure. More information can be found here.

Zephyr has announced a new version of PASSPORT Host Integration Objects 2011-826 (HIO), its non-intrusive IBM System z and System i host application integration software that allows fast creation of custom .NET applications to access and integrate with existing host-based systems. Along with the release of this version of HIO, Zephyr is providing open access to a sample z/OS application running under their CICS environment. Zephyr has written a new sample C# .NET application and re-written existing ones to use its CICS-based host application, allowing users to familiarize themselves with its server and client-based custom HIO applications. More information can be found here.

IBM has announced that CICS TS 4.2 is now generally available. More information can be found here.

Also, IBM has announced that CICS has been recognised as an 'Icon of Progress' - meaning CICS has been chosen as one of the 100 most important ideas in IBM's 100 year history. Find out more here.

CA Technologies has announced that CA ACF2 r14 SP1 for z/OS and CA Top Secret r14 SP1 for z/OS have met the requirements of Common Criteria, an independent security certification recognized by governments in more than 26 countries, including the USA. CA ACF2 and CA Top Secret provide access control for z/OS resources across operating systems, subsystems, third-party software and databases, which includes externalized security controls for UNIX System Services (USS) as well as DB2, CICS, and IMS transaction and database management subsystems. More information can be found here

H&W has announced SYSB-II Version 6.4, which allows users to keep mainframe CICS applications online while batch updates VSAM files. This ability allows organizations to increase business capacity, extend the life of crucial business systems, and obtain updated information more often to make better decisions and ensure customer satisfaction. Performance enhancements gained from features designed to avoid unnecessary update locking, optimize use of Read Ahead Buffer space, and take advantage of syncpoint optimization. Full details can be found here.

Rocket Software has announced that its LegaSuite SOA integration and application modernization software will support CICS TS V4.2 when it becomes generally available. Among the new features is a Java-based CICS service flow runtime engine that offloads SOA processing to an IBM System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP). This leverages the latest multithreaded 64-bit JVM server in CICS TS 4.2. Full details can be found here.

IBM has decided to run another open beta program for the new release of CICS TS Version 4 Release 2. The objectives of providing an open beta program for this release are: to give early access to the new function in CICS TS V4.2; to provide feedback to IBM; to test the code in various and unique environments; to ensure that the code functions as designed. Full details can be found here.

Veryant has announced vCOBOL Enterprise, a platform to migrate legacy COBOL applications off IBM mainframes to Unix, Linux, and Microsoft Windows systems. This approach significantly improves critical runtime performance commonly associated with mainframe CICS transactions, the company claims. Full details can be found here.

Alchemy Solutions has announced Version 2 of NeoData, which comprises NeoData SQL, NeoData Utilities, and NeoData zLink, its migration software for COBOL applications and VSAM data. This release of NeoData zLink provides access to VSAM files from batch applications in addition to online (CICS) transactions from the original version. Batch applications can be migrated to Windows even if they still need to share VSAM data with applications remaining on the mainframe. Full details can be found here.