Web Services Just for CICS

IBM put a fresh coat of paint on an old door, unveiling a
version of the company’s 35-year-old Customer Information Control System
(CICS) transaction server, which is primed for Web services.


An IBM creation, CICS has traditionally made it possible for
enterprises to process billions of transactions per day, totaling in the
trillions of dollars. It was one of the first software engines that could
process credit card purchases.

But Big Blue has been bringing the software up to date of late with the CICS
Transaction Server for z/OS V3.1. The software allows workloads on
mainframes to process Web services and business processes as an integral
part of service-oriented architectures (SOAs) .


IBM said in a statement the company recognizes this as an important step at
a time when many clients are demanding infrastructure to support their SOAs,
or distributed computing environments that curb infrastructure costs by
reusing assets, such as software.


A key part of SOAs, Web services allow application-to-application
communication, and are believed to be the future driver in executing
transactions on the Web.


Ideas International analyst Pierre Fricke said bringing CICS up to speed
with Web services will benefit not just customers, but help IBM boost its
mainframe workloads.


“It’s a hot-topic with users,” Fricke told internetnews.com. “Larger
enterprises that have been running CICS for a long time really want to
integrate CICS with their modern SOA business processes, and they don’t want
to have to do hand-coding to do it. This announcement really opens up CICS
to a whole new vista for users.”

IBM is making Java-based Web services software to compete with BEA Systems and
Sun Microsystems in this space, while Microsoft is hashing out the
challenges of the multi-billion-dollar market with .NET .


To wit, CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.1 now includes better
integration of SSL security and WebSphere Studio Enterprise Developer for
CICS applications. The extension of the CICSPlex System Manager Web User
Interface also provides improved workload throughput and faster performance
of C/C++ software.


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.1 will be available in the United States and Canada
in the first quarter of 2005, with pricing based on the size of the machine.


Big Blue also upgraded CICS Transaction Gateway in version 6, which provides
secure access to CICS applications in J2EE and Web Services on
IBM WebSphere Application Server. V6 now has optimized performance to curb
CPU overhead and better administration interfaces, enhanced SSL support and
z/OS security integration.


CICS Transaction Gateway for z/OS V6 and will be available in the United States and
Canada in December 2005, with pricing per processor or unit-based on z/OS.


IBM will provide updates in the first half of 2005 to simplify the process
of converting CICS business logic into reusable components that can share
throughout the entire enterprise.

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