Home > API, BAS, CICSPlex SM, RTA, SSI, WLM, WUI > 6 reasons to start using CICSPlex SM today

6 reasons to start using CICSPlex SM today

Before I begin, I should inform you that I am super-biased. I’m a CICSPlex SM developer and have been since I joined IBM almost 3 years ago now.  However, I really think this is a superb product, that does a horrendously hard job.  I like to think of CICSPlex SM as something that does all the painful, boring work so you just don’t have to.  Now to me, that is pure value!  So let’s get to it..

If you have CICS regions to manage or even just monitor, CICSPlex SM provides an ideal environment for getting your job done.  With CICS TS 3.2 it now has a much improved installation that is integrated directly with CICS, so it has never been easier to try it out.  Better yet, you don’t have to convince anyone to “show you the money” as it is bundled right there alongside CICS.

So why use CICSPlex SM?  What makes it so great?  Well here are 6 things, that I think makes CICSPlex SM a must have!

  1. Single System Image (SSI)
    CEMT is a great transaction for keeping an eye on your regions but it can become a bit of a chore to run CEMT on each, even if you only have 3 regions running.  Using SSI, CICSPlex SM pulls all of your regions together into a CICSplex that you can manage and monitor as if they were a single system.  For example, you can run CEMT-equivalent queries CICSplex-wide in one request.  Using CICSPlex SM’s powerful criteria and filter mechanism you can take it a step further and make requests like discarding all programs, CICSplex-wide with a name matching “PRG*” (starting with “PRG”).  SSI is not just limited to CEMT like operations, infact it provides huge amounts of power when combined with the other reasons.
  2. Business Application Services (BAS)
    Slap a pair of underpants on the outside of CEDA’s clothes and sew a great big S on it’s chest and you have BAS.  Simply, BAS is a resource definition and deployment manager but as with all things CICSPlex SM, it does it on a much bigger scale.  Instead of using the CICS CSD, BAS uses it’s own data repository, that we affectionately call the DREP (catchy eh?).  From BAS you can define any CICS definition you like and you don’t need to put them into groups to install them (yes, installation CICSplex-wide in one request).  That’s pretty cool in itself but BAS is all about applications.  Individual resources are all well and good but BAS lets you define and deploy entire applications faster than a speeding bullet (ok this is just a rough guess, but a quick straw pole suggests a top speed of somewhere between that of a speeding bullet and the CICSPlex SM team heading for a team breakfast – thanks Neil! :-)).  Define your resources, put them into logical groups of your choosing (multiple applications can share resource groups) and define your application to CICSPlex SM.  BAS will install both your remote and local definitions for you into the scopes you specify (again CICSplex-wide).  This literally scratches the surface of what BAS can do.
  3. Workload Management (WLM)
    So now you have deployed your application, you want to make sure it absolutely flies and it’s availability is assured.  CICSPlex SM WLM is just the tool that you need.  At it’s simplest, just tell WLM where your routing regions and target regions are (remember to connect them) and WLM will start efficiently routing your work in an optimal manner.  If you have an affinity to a particular system (say you have GETMAIN’d some shared storage on a region and while a particular user is signed on you need to keep routing them to that region) don’t sweat, with WLM you can also separate a particular part of your workload to handle this sort of affinity and others.  Using the WLM queue algorithm WLM can balance your systems by analysing the health, link, load and affinities, so you can be sure we will choose the right regions to maximise your throughput.  Using the WLM goal algorithm, WLM will do everything queue does but it can also take your z/OS WLM goals into account as well when making routing decisions.  If availability is your goal the WLM is king, even if the region managing your workload goes down, your workload can continue to function as normal until is recovered.
  4. Real-Time Analysis (RTA)
    Now everything is up and running, you probably want to make sure everything stays that way.  Sometimes knowing about a problem, 5 minutes after it happens is about 10 minutes too late.  With RTA you can quickly set up monitoring points of interest and provide instant real-time notifications to either NetView, the CICSPlex SM API or even out via our Web User Interface (WUI).  Not only does RTA provide you with notifications but it can also correct the problem for you and naturally it does this CICSplex-wide.  RTA can perform modifications to resources when an event is notified, for example re-enabling a file when it was disabled by that trainee system programmer who keeps clicking on things he shouldn’t (you know the one).  RTA can provide System Availability Monitoring (SAM) for keeping an eye on the health of your systems (going SOS, dumping, load is getting high), MAS Resource Monitoring (MRM) for keeping and eye on your resources and Analysis Point Monitoring (APM), which is pretty much the same as MRM but limits the number of events you will receive if you are monitoring cloned or similar systems.
  5. Application Programming Interface (API)
    So all that power is great but it is nothing without some rock solid ways of accessing it.  The first of these is through the CICSPlex SM API.  If you have any experience writing EXEC CICS commands the EXEC CPSM commands that CICSPlex SM provides should feel at least syntactically familiar to you.  With the API, you can manage resources (create, delete, discard, install, perform actions, set attributes, filter and copy) and even listen for RTA events.  Again, all of this is CICSplex-wide.  You can run the API as part of a normal CICS application or even in batch or TSO.
  6. Web User Interface (WUI)
    The second of the interfaces mentioned here, and pretty much the main entry point to CICSPlex SM for most users, is the Web User Interface (WUI).  I should point out that there are also another couple of really nice interfaces (BATCHREP and EYU9XDBT) but you’ll have to rely on the infocenter for more information on those right now.  The WUI provides a single point of control for all of this CICSPlex SM power.  It sits on top of the CICSPlex SM API and the ever awesome CICS WEB API to provide a clean, fast and super-quick browser interface into your CICSPlex SM world.  A WUI is not limited to just a single CICSplex either.  It will happily show you information about any CICSplex you have specifically given the WUI access to.  Everything you can do in CICSPlex SM is available through the WUI and fully RACF-enabled too!

So that is a whirlwind tour of why you should consider giving CICSPlex SM a shot. I normally run somewhere between 2-10 regions at any time and I can’t remember the last time I saw a CEDA or CEMT screen.

So if you decide to give CICSPlex SM a chance, let us know how you get on, we are always looking to improve on the CICSPlex SM experience and we can only do so with your honest feedback.  Tell us what you need to start using CICSPlex SM today. (Sadly we don’t have any free z10’s to give away but I’m sure we have some more stickers under my desk that could do with a new home for the best answers).

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Categories: API, BAS, CICSPlex SM, RTA, SSI, WLM, WUI
  1. August 7, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Thought it worth adding a seventh reason – when you use CICPlex SM, you’ll get even more benefit from the CICS Explorer, which uses the underlying CICSPlex SM infrastructure.

  2. roger lin
    March 12, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Hi,

    We are running CICS/TS 3.2. What is the minimum requirement to run CPSM? I heard MVS/TSO ISPF end user
    interface is not available in CICS/TS 3.2. If this is true, then does WUI become the way to interface to CPSM?
    I do not have any experience in CPSM. We are thinking
    to implement CPSM. Any answers or comments are appreciated.

    Roger Lin

  3. James O'Grady
    March 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Roger,

    if you’re running CICS TS 3.2 you should be able to run CICSPlex SM as well. The CICS InfoCenter has some checklists as to what needs to be done to activate CICSplex SM. At a minimum you will need a CMAS (CICSPlex SM Address Space) which will manage the CICSPlex, and a WUI (Web User Interface) that is used to interact with CICSPlex SM.

    The InfoCenter has instructions to get CICSPlex SM installed and verified. There is then a learning path called “Installing CICSPlex SM – WUI scenario” which takes you through defining more and more CICS regions, CMASes and links between them.

    You can use CICSPlex for monitoring CICS regions, for performing operations (like changing connections and files to open or closed), for defining resources (using Business Application Services) and for Workload Management between CICS regions too.

    Hope OK,

    James (CICSPlex SM System Test in Hursley)

  4. roger lin
    April 22, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Hi,
    A port number is required to specified for WUI. Would you please tell me what is the correct unique port statement to be defined in TCP/IP profile.

    9000 TCP OMVS is this correct or not?

    I will be appreciated for your reply.

    Regards,

    Roger Lin

  5. Grant
    April 25, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Hi Roger,

    You don’t need to define a PORT in the TCPIP profile, but if you do want to reserve the port to your WUI Server, then the third operand (where you have OMVS) would be your WUI server jobname.

    Cheers… Grant

  6. Ken Snyder
    June 10, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I have a question about CICSPLEX with respect to UOWID, the Unit of Work Id.
    The UOWID is a unique id acquired via the STCK instruction. It is created by CICS and passed to a Task Related User Exit.
    Under CICSPLEX, will the UOWID be unique across CICSs?

    • Ian J Mitchell
      June 11, 2011 at 8:24 am

      We give two fields related to the UOW’s identity to the TRUE.

      UEPURID is the ‘local’ UOWID which is simply a STCK taken when the unit-of-work is initialised. STCKs are unique within an LPAR, but you might get identical STCKs generated on different LPARs.

      UEPUOWDS is the (typically 27 byte) network-qualified UOW id (aka the LU6.2 UOWID, but every UOW has one not just those involved with LU6.2). This is made up of the VTAM network and netname of the region, a portion of the local UOWID and a sequence number. So this WILL be unique within a plex.

      CICS uses the network-qualified UOWID a lot of the time (eg if resync is performed).

      • Jerry Levine
        June 27, 2011 at 9:15 am

        Does a given task define a single unique UOW value in UEPURID for the life of the transaction, or can there be multiple UOW values during a single transaction?

        I’m looking for a unique identifier at trans start TRUE invocation which can be deduced during the trans end TRUE invocation for the same task.

        Thanks.

  7. ijmitch
    June 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    UEPURID will have the value of the local UOW which will change when we create a new UOW during a mid-task syncpoint. So it does not sound useful for your purpose.

    • Jerry Levine
      June 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks for the reply. Would the TCA address + tasknum of the current task make for a good unique identifier?

  1. November 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm

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