Author Archive

Cloud or fog?

December 5, 2011 1 comment

AppFog is intriguing – but is it a sign of how developers expect to get things done in the future? Imagine CICS and the mainframe being that friendly to developers –  Dream or nightmare?

Categories: programming Tags:

Joe Winchester’s blog – where the CICS Explorer action is

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Just a plug for Joe’s blog over on Developerworks – lots of good info on CICS Explorer and other Eclipse stuff.

For example, there’s Rational Developer for System z – enabling a full CICS Explorer experience and IMS and CICS – Exploring z/OS together.


Categories: blog, CICS Explorer, links

CICS Development and Rational Tools

June 11, 2011 2 comments

The next few weeks and months will be a time of change to some hugely important aspects of life in CICS Development. We saying goodbye to our much-loved LCS (Library Control System) which has been the most important tool since way before I joined in 1987. LCS has held the vast majority of the CICS source code for every release since…. well, I don’t actually know when! (I just looked at one of the REXX execs implementing LCS and it has change history going back to 1982.)

Over the years we’ve had people come along approximately every 4 or 5 years with an offer to give us a new system to store our source code and provide a development environment. We’d look at who they are and what they were offering… and politely decline their offer. Having the luxury of a bespoke system is hard to beat!

However, it’s been getting harder to get the new folks on the team to be quite as enthusiastic about a VM/CMS command line and XEDIT.

So from now on all 18,000+ source files are entrusted to Jazz technology in Rational Team Concert (RTC) v3, and our development environment is Eclipse-based with a bang up to date build system based on Apache Ant on z/OS. And this is a hugely positive move – RTC, in contrast to the previous replacement candidates, allows us to maintain the most important aspects of how we’ve worked with LCS, but has the potential to re-energise our development habits. It’s going to be an exciting time!

We’ll all have to work out the best ways to configure our RTC clients. I prefer separate windows to alt-tab around so I’m going with a perspective with detached views – Eclipse is so flexible that I suspect I’ll be playing around with the options for a while. Here’s what my development desktop is looking like currently…

(click on the image for a better view)

That’s not an editor in a 3270 – I just find the black background more comfortable, honest!

Categories: programming

IBM Support Portal and CICS Explorer

May 9, 2011 9 comments

You probably know about the CICS Explorer and you probably know about the IBM Support Portal… how about making them play together?

I only recently discovered the Support Portal (via this blog entry and video) but when, erm, exploring it I found it supported RSS feeds. I’m a fan of feeds but hadn’t thought of integrating them with the CICS Explorer. I have wanted to think of the Explorer as being the centre of more than just CICS operation and admin tasks, and something aimed at service and support would be a good direction to look at. Hmm… so service and support news on the web, available via a feed, plus the Explorer… bingo! How about a feedreader in Explorer.

A quick look on led me to RSSOwl, the feed reader for Eclipse, and its update site. A quick addition of to the Eclipse with Explorer SDK and hey-presto, feeds for CICS Transaction Server from the Support Portal right in my CICS Explorer!

CICS Explorer with an integrated RSS feed reader

CICS Explorer with an integrated RSS feed reader

Apologies for not actually connecting up the Explorer, but I’ve not brought up my CICS for a while and it probably need some attention before I get it going in single-server mode. Update 25th May – I did this with the Explorer SDK installed in Eclipse, and it worked smoothly. It should install into the standalone RCP Explorer too, just like the CICS Tools plugins and the PD Tools plugins, but that’s not what I did.

Of course, you can add other feeds to your enhanced Explorer… you can see I’ve added the feed for Master Terminal into mine alongside the Support Portal feed.

Update 11th June…

Rational Team Concert has a very nice Feed Reader built in:


Categories: CICS Explorer, Web 2.0
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