CICS Explorer 5.3 FP8 which is released today at IBM developerWorks Mainframe Development (and 5.4 Open Beta),  let you customize views to show exactly what you wish to see and then name them to suit. (See Customising views in CICS Explorer). So you have been creative and customized some views that are really helpful in your job. What do you do if a co-worker looks over your shoulder and says “Hey that’s neat, can I have a copy of that view”?

In this blog post you’ll discover:

  • How to share views with co-workers
  • How to load a views file shared with you

View sharing, a play in two acts.

The Cast:

Stanley Stanley Cicero, the expert senior systems programmer is an experienced CICS guru who is familiar with ‘green screen’ terminals and more recently PC’s
Julian Julian James is a junior systems programmer. He is familiar with modern intuitive interfaces and loves his PC, so he likes to use CICS Explorer.

Act 1: Views worth sharing

Julian has asked Stan for help with a CICS files problem and Stan is helping him. Stan sees that Julian has a created a couple of useful file views.

One shows local KSDS files that have a Key Length greater than 20 and another view displays record counts on open local files, like this:

Two local files views annotated

Stan asks Julian to share the views because he doesn’t have the time to set them up himself.  Julian uses a quick way to export the files.  He clicks on the open view configurations spanner icon (shown above) in one of the views to show the CICS View Configurations in the Eclipse Preferences.

CICS View Configurations

He then clicks on the Export button to display the Export Views panel.   To quickly find the views Stan wants, Julian types “files” in the filter box at the top of the view. He is in a rush so he uses the Select All button to check all of the views shown for export. Finally he uses the browse button to navigate to the Desktop folder and then modifies the file name as shown.

Export Views

He presses finish and the views are exported to the file.  Stan finishes helping Julian and returns to his PC, meanwhile Julian emails the “files views.xml” file to Stan.


Act 2: Stan loads Julian’s views

Stan sees the email from Julian and saves the attached file to his Desktop.   Stan opens the CICS View Configurations and clicks on the Import Views button.  He browses to his Desktop and selects the file he saved.

Import conflicts

Because Julian was in a hurry when exporting the views, he exported two standard views provided by CICS explorer as well as his customized views.The Import Views panel highlights these views because Stan already has them in his CICS Explorer.  Stan isn’t sure if Julian has also modified these views so he chooses to import them.  He also wants to remember where the new views came from so he types “Julian” in the suffix box at the bottom of the panel.

Import conflicts resolved with suffix

Adding the Julian suffix has resolved the conflicts and Stan can continue without overwriting his existing views.  He presses the Finish button

Impored unsaved filtered

Stan sees the new views in the CICS View Configurations.  (He has used a “files” filter to exclude other views, but without a filter CICS explorer will position the first imported view so it is visible).   The imported views are marked with an asterisk because this is a preferences page. Until OK is pressed Stan can still back out of any changes by pressing Cancel.  Stan can see he still has his original local and remote files views as well as the ones he imported from Julian.  Stan is reassured so he presses OK.

Stan can display the imported views by using the Operations menu in CICS Explorer.

Operations menus updated

Or by typing “julian” into the quick access box   Quick Access box  in the CICS Explorer top toolbar and selecting a view there.

Quick access julian

Tips and Tricks ?

  1. If you customize a lot of views you could export all of the views as a backup file in case you lose your eclipse workspace.
  2. The Export and Import buttons on the CICS View Configurations preferences page are a convenience. The panels displayed are standard export and import wizards – so you can get to them from the Files menu like this:
    Files import menu                     Import views from the files menu
    However if you Import from the files menu, when you press Finish on the wizard the views are imported immediately.  You don’t get another chance to back out like you do from the Preferences page.
  3. Quick Filters are not included in the configuration so they don’t get exported.
  4. If you want to try importing these views yourself then here they are: files views
    Important note: Please right click and use “Save Link As…” to  save a copy of the views file.  (If you click directly on the link, the file will open in your browser missing a header line which is required).

Please comment and let us know what you think of this facility.  Thanks!

1 comment on"Sharing Views in CICS Explorer 5.3 Fix Pack 8"

  1. Updated to add that sharing views is available with CICS Explorer 5.3 Fix Pack 8 available from 30/9/2016.

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