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New web based system for CICS TS customer requirements!

November 11, 2011 4 comments

As of late yesterday, IBM is now using a considerably more open and transparent requirements system for CICS Transaction Server enhancement requests. Everybody can now submit and track their CICS TS requirements directly thorough this new web based system. The new system is called the “Request for Enhancement” system – or RFE – and is located on the developerWorks RFE site at the following link:

https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rfe

RFE has a lot of new capability that should benefit everybody out there working with CICS TS, as well as everybody here in Hursley who spend our days working on it. Customers can now directly create new requirements, and view, comment and vote on other requirements. That information comes through directly to us in the lab, where we can respond straight back with comments and questions about those requirements.

The first CICS TS requirement that was raised in the new system was a no-charge ‘try before you buy’ edition of the latest CICS TS releases. If you want to learn more about that idea, why not test out this new requirements tool by going to the following link and looking at the submission. If you have any comments, or would like to vote for us to deliver it, please join in!

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rfe/execute?use_case=viewChangeRequest&CR_ID=14583

Don’t worry if you currently have open requirements in our existing FITS system, or if you have perhaps submitted them via a recent survey, etc. We are continually reviewing all those requirements. However, if you would like to be a bit more more pro-active, then please feel free to go in and resubmit them (or indeed, add any new requirements) into this new RFE tool. We can’t promise to deliver everything you ask for, but we can assure you that we will respond in a timely manner, and that you will be able to interact with us and track the progress of your requirements though this new tool.

This is an exiting opportunity for all of us, and we are looking forward to using this new technology to have some interesting conversations with you all.

Cheers, Andy (CICS TS Product Manager)

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Calling all CICS customers – a request from Andrew and Ian

January 11, 2011 2 comments

Historically, we here in Hursley have delivered new releases of CICS TS to the marketplace approximately every two years or so. Given that our last major release – CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V4.1 – was made generally available in 2Q 2009, it might be safe to assume that based on historical delivery cycles, 2011 could be exciting year for CICS TS announcements…

So as a CICS TS customer, what does this mean for you? Well, in addition to potentially getting your hand on some new capability in 2011, another thing it could mean for you is that now might be a really good time to start talking to us (and perhaps reminding us) about all those features, functions and enhancements that you want us to put in a future version of CICS TS!

We do of course already have a well defined requirements management process, alongside many other methods of gathering and analysing customer requirements. However, this time round we wanted to do something more – and that is what this post is all about.

We have built a survey containing six questions that we hope will uncover some requirements that we in the lab might not have come across before. The overall theme of the survey is about how CICS TS can do more to make our customers lives easier – something that hopefully we all want – and so the requirements can be big or small, so long as they are something you or your colleagues would benefit from.

These are the three main questions we would like you to think about:

  1. If IBM were designing the next CICS TS specifically for your organisation, what content (features and functions) would you like it to contain?
  2. Are there any custom written CICS capabilities/utilities (Exits, URM’s, Scripts, etc.) that you would rather IBM implemented natively in CICS TS?
  3. Are there any other no-charge custom CICS capabilities/utilities (IBM SupportPacs, etc.) that augment your CICS TS environment with?

Here is a link to the full on-line survey: www.surveymonkey.com/s/CICSReqs2011

The survey also contains three additional open questions: what do you like about CICS TS; what do you dislike about CICS TS; and space for you to tell us anything else you would like us to know. All responses will be included in our planning process and each and every one of them will be looked at and considered.

Ian and I are appealing to all of our CICS TS customers to spend a little bit of time considering and submitting their responses. Perhaps you could even involving other departments with an interest in CICS TS (those AD guys that you SP folks do not always talk to perhaps?).

You never know, in the not too distant future, you might be very glad you did!

Cheers,

Andrew Bates, Product Manager, CICS Transaction Server for z/OS
Ian Mitchell, Chief Architect, CICS Transaction Server for z/OS

India CICS Developer Conferences 2009

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

The first India CICS Developer Conference for 2009, based in Chennai, has just completed. Here we can see Dave Andrews (Director, CICS Products) during the opening keynote:

Dave Andrews opening Keynote - India CICS Developers Conference

India CICS Developers Conference 2009 - Chennai

The second conference based in Bangalore, will start on December the 10th. If you hurry, you might still have time to register. (Note that this link will only be available until the end of the week).

Also launched was the India CICS User Group developerworks space. If you want to find out more, go here and get involved.

Dave arrived last week and spent some time before the conference with his TXSeries team in IBM Bangalore. If you want to see part of the team responsible for producing and supporting TXSeries, here you can see them all in an all-hands meeting with Dave:

TXSeries Team in Bangalore

TXSeries Team in Bangalore

Royal Bank of Canada & CICS Transaction Gateway

Just a very short post here, to highlight a short new video with Roger Middlemiss from Royal Bank of Canada discussing his experience of using CICS Transaction Gateway and IBM’s Betaworks programme. In particular, interesting to hear how RBC are looking to move all CICS TG installations to z in the near future for high availability and consolidation reasons.

Categories: CICS, CICS TS, community, IBM, Q&A, WebSphere

CICS community

August 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Over the past couple of years I’ve slowly seen the CICS community find other avenues to communicate and share great information about CICS. Apart from all of the new blogs popping up everywhere there are a whole ton of new CICS, System z and DB2 folks on twitter.  So I thought I would spend a little time to try and pull all of the various sources together in one place and share some of my favourite people (some IBMers, some not). Feel free to add your own favourites in the comments sections (even if you just want to plug your own CICS blog). It’s about time I updated the CICS bloggers section again anyway.

It’s a great way to stay up to date with all the latest news and links. So give it a go and take your pick from my list below. I’m @chrishodgins, so give me a follow and be sure to say hello!

CICS community on Twitter

IBMers

@chrishodgins – Chris Hodgins (CICSPlex SM) – did I mention you should follow me? 😉

@IBM_CICS – The latest links straight from IBM CICS support

@CICSfluff – Nick Garrod (CICS marketing manager) – expect lots of links to videos, whitepapers and events. Some great content if you like to stay up to date. CICS marketing rock star!

@dianegjohnson – Diane Johnson (IBM zSoftware Partner Programs) – The ultimate CICS evangelist, more energy than a formula 1 car and a true passion for CICS and System z.

@KatSharp – Kat Sharp (CICS Explorer) – Part of the CICS Explorer team and one of us “young ones” (Grant’s term not mine). Super enthusiastic and helping to drive forward the new face of CICS. Go Explorer!

@crshnburn – Andrew Smithson (CICS Transaction Gateway) – lots of experimenting with CICS and sMash of late. This guy knows a scary amount about CICS Transaction Gateway. A definite follow.

@MattWhitbourne – Matt Whitbourne (CICS Product Manager) – Links for CICS and IBM in general, innovation++

@MartinPacker – Martin Packer (Mainframe performance expert) – currently doing some very odd things with SMF records. Mainframe performance guru and firefox extension hacker. A worrying combination for any manager. 😉

@IBM_System_ZSherrie Abshire (System z marketing manager) – lots of nice linkage about our beloved mainframe

@wfavero – Willie Favero (DB2 on z/OS) – a genuinely interesting read. I don’t know huge amounts about DB2 but I’m always interested in what Willie has to say.


Other CICS/Mainframe/DB2 related folks I follow

@hostbridgeHostbridge – Top of this list because they have the best CICS logo in their profile! Need I say more!

@theCICSguySteve Baugh (author of theCICSguy blog) – Lots of linkage and a really great blog about CICS.

@HerbPayne – Herb Payne (Thesaurus [i-tcs.com]) – CICS dude!!

@TroyColeman – Troy Coleman (DB2 on z/OS) – Product manager at CA and a great DB2 blog. Well written and lots of good content.

@zBobThomas, @MainframeZone – Bob Thomas (publisher of zJournal and author of MainframeZone blog)

@ShareHQShare headquarters

@MainframeMagIBM Systems Magazine

@WebSphere_EduGene Fiorina (All of the latest WebSphere education news)


Blogging CICS

Last year I went on the hunt to find other like-minded people who work with an IBM product called CICS Transaction Server. A quick search found the CICS-L mailing list that I’ve been subscribing to for a while but I noticed there was a very limited supply of CICS bloggers out there. There is a wealth of knowledge on CICS-L but it is difficult to get a real feel for the community. So in an attempt to change things we have started this blog in a hope that it will encourage other CICS users to follow suit. Let us know if you do and we will add you to the CICS bloggers list on the right-hand menu so others can find you.

This unofficial blog is written by a hopefully expanding group of people in IBM Hursley and beyond who work on CICS. Expect to see posts on conferences, code samples, helpful hints and anything else that we can think of. If you have anything you would like us to talk about or any questions you are just dying to know the answer to please let us know in the comments and we will do our best to answer them.

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