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Life begins at forty

CICS - I am 40!

CICS is 40 years old today!

Today is forty years since CICS was first released to the unsuspecting world, in the month that saw the first Moon landing, and just weeks after the first flight of Concorde. While those other technological triumphs have faded away, CICS remains at the centre of the software industry and continues to run the world’s business.

Followers of this blog already know of CICS’s strengths, but this anniversary is a useful time to review some of the innovative features introduced by CICS in those four decades. It’s hard to imagine now, but all of the following, which we now take for granted, were difficult new concepts at the leading edge of technology when they were first introduced:

  • Separately priced software, unbundled from hardware, effectively spawning the “software industry”
  • An application programming environment that isolates programmers from having to understand low-level details of telecommunication and data storage devices
  • Support for multiple high-level language applications running concurrently
  • Support for the 3270 terminal, which was brand new in 1972, originally in monochrome but later in full colour
  • Exploitation of virtual storage
  • Client-Server architecture, through APPC and MRO
  • Atomic transactional access to files and databases, using two-phase commit
  • User identity management and security control
  • Distributed systems on multiple hardware platforms
  • High availability and warm takeover, with XRF
  • Support for Java and Enterprise Java Beans
  • Access from Web browsers over HTTP
  • Support for SOAP, Web Services, and the Service-oriented architecture.

And of course CICS continues to introduce leading-edge features with Event processing, Atom feeds, and RESTful access just some of the facilities available in the all-new CICS Transaction Server Versions 4.1.

Not bad for a forty-year old!

Categories: CICS, nostalgia

Computer Business Review: Hursley supplement

August 5, 2008 Leave a comment

The July edition of Computer Business Review contains a supplement that celebrates 50 years of innovation at Hursley. You can see an electronic copy of this supplement here. (Note that this online viewer requires Flash.)

Categories: CICS TS, IBM, nostalgia

IBM 50 Years at Hursley

July 1, 2008 Leave a comment

This Saturday, IBM Hursley is celebrating being at Hursley for 50 years.

Full CICS responsibility didn’t come to Hursley until 1st January 1975, when Hursley traded PL/I with the Palo Alto Lab for CICS, making CICS a significant part of IBM Hursley History.

Although I am a relative ‘new boy’, first visiting Hursley in 1989, I have had a dig through my cupboards for some nostalgia, I came across a couple of old CICS ‘cherry picker’ photos.

These photos were taken by the Hursley photographic department perched perilously (though I am sure in full compliance with health and safety standards of the time) on a cherry picker, while all the teams involved in producing the new release were invited out onto the lawn in the front of Hursley house.

First up is circa 1989, CICS 3.1.1 photo:

CICS Lawn Photo
Read more…

Categories: CICS, IBM, nostalgia
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