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CICS Explorer: SM Perspective

The SM (System Management) perspective in CICS Explorer provides different capabilities depending on the connections you choose to configure and the CICS TS version that you have. This post attempts to describe some of the differences with the connections you can use.

CICSPlex SM WUI Data interface

This connection is available with all currently supported CICS TS releases. It requires that the customer has setup CICSPlex SM and a CICSPlex SM WUI (Web User Interface). CICS Explorer users configure a connection to the usual WUI hostname and port (that you would use in a web browser).

This interface is ‘read only’. You can retrieve data, but not ‘alter’ it, for example, while you can see CICS tasks, you cannot purge them.

As this is a CICSPlex SM interface, you can work with the context and scopes that are normally available, exploiting the CICSPlex SM ‘Single System Image’ (SSI) capabilities.

CICS Management Client Interface (CMCI)

This is the connection that has been keeping my fellow blogger, Chris, busy. It is new with CICS TS V4. It provides full ‘CRUD’ (Create / Remove / Update / Delete) capabilities, so unlike the Data Interface option previously described, you can purge tasks, discard files etc.

The CMCI can operate with two different types of host:

CICSPlex SM WUI

This option requires CICSPlex SM. Using a CICS TS V4 WUI, there is a new WUI System parameter (CMCIPORT) to allow you to configure an additional port number that is used for the CMCI interface. A WUI can now have two TCPIPSERVICEs and ports, one for HTML based WUI web browser users, and another for the XML based CMCI users – which includes CICS Explorer.

As this is a CICSPlex SM interface, you can work with the context and scopes that are normally available with the CICSPlex SM ‘Single System Image’ (SSI) capabilities.

System Managed Single Server (SMSS)

SMSS allows the CMCI with a standalone CICS region. You don’t need to configure any CICSPlex SM components, or set up any CICSPlex SM infrastructure like CMASes and WUI Servers.

Using this variation of the interface, you can only work with the single CICS region that you are connected to. Each CICS, that you manage, needs to run the SMSS code, and you have to have a TCPIPSERVICE and unique port number configured for each region.

Examples

The following graphic attempts to show some different CMCI topologies. With CICS Explorer, the SM perspective is connected via one connection at a time. So to work with any of the green CICS in the CICSplex, the Explorer user connects to the CMCIPORT on the WUI server on the left and CICSPlex SM handles the requests to all of the CICS that are part of the CICSplex, e.g. CICSPlex SM communications will be used to manage the green CICS on the right.

CMCI Topologies

The brown CICS in the graphic above, attempt to show that the CICS Explorer user must connect to each of these CICS in turn to manage the ‘single system’.

With the CMCI, a CICS can either be CICSPlex SM managed, or an SMSS. You can’t use both interfaces at the same time. Only one of the ‘pink arrows’ can be active at a time.

Getting to CICS TS V4

If you are a CICSPlex SM user today with CICS TS V3, you can get up and running to look (and not touch) with the SM perspective very quickly – using your existing WUI.

Depending on your configuration, as soon as you get a CICS TS V4 CMAS (MP) and WUI server running, you may be able to start performing actions on your CICS TS V3 CICS while you complete your migration to CICS TS V4. However There are some rules you need to follow:

  1. The CICSPlex SM Maintenance point CMAS must be the highest level, so CICS TS V4.
  2. The CICSPlex SM WUI Server must be the highest level and connect to a CICS TS V4 CMAS.
  3. The CICSPlex SM code in a CMAS and WUI Server must run on a CICS 660 region.
  4. The CICSPlex SM agent code running in a user CICS (MAS) needs to be the same as CMAS release.

The CICSPlex SM V4 code can run in older releases of CICS, so you can manage a CICS 640 region with CICSPlex SM V4, and use the CMCI to gain CRUD access (for supported resources) to this ‘CICS TS V3 CICS’.

CMASes can be different releases, so for example, you can have a CICSPlex SM V4 CMAS communicating to a CICSPlex SM V3 CMAS, but see rule 1 above, the V4 CMAS must be the MP CMAS for all the CICSplexes that are to be accessed. Using this setup, you will have CRUD access to the CICS TS V3 CICS managed by the CICSPlex SM V3 CMAS.

The following graphic attempts to illustrate:

Releases

Depending on the other CICS tools installed, you may have support for additional types of connection, but this post is just attempting to describe the capabilities of the SM perspective.

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