CICS Explorer 5.4 built on IBM Explorer for z/OS Aqua 3.1 is now available for download and includes a number of new and improved features.

Java support

CICS bundles are a convenient way to package and manage related components, which include Java applications and CICS resources. The CICS Explorer is enhanced to make it easier and quicker to export, install/enable, and disable/remove all types of CICS bundles.

Additionally, z/OS UNIX™ file systems (zFS) paths within CICS Explorer resource tables and editors are now rendered as hyperlinks to quickly navigate to the underlying file or path. Together, these enhancements save time and reduce the number of steps required to manage the lifecycle of CICS bundle resources.

The operations experience is also enhanced by using the improved management of JVM servers and associated CICS tasks. CICS is now better able to remove disruptive tasks from the JVM server using the purge option, and can now remove associated threads and tasks in a more orderly sequence when disabling the JVMSERVER.

Policy-based management

Policies deliver automated control over critical system resources, and now provide the same capabilities previously provided by CICS system events. In addition to the existing support for task-based rules, policies are now expanded to support a new set of system-based rules. This simplifies CICS systems management by providing a single place to create and manage both task-based and system-based policy rules.

A new policy rules editor in the CICS Explorer replaces the more limited functionality provided by the previous policy definition wizard. The new policy rules editor adds substantial new capabilities and makes it much easier to create and manage polices. Additional capabilities beyond the previous policy definition wizard include the ability to:

  • Edit existing policies, including policies created using all previous versions of CICS Explorer.
  • Define multiple rules in a single policy, including a combination of task-rules and system-rules.
  • Specify a user-defined abend code for the abend action on task-rules.

Security

CICS Explorer smart card support is added. The CICS Explorer can now authenticate using certificates that are either stored on disk, or stored on a smart card that must be attached during CICS Explorer usage.

Usability

The quick filter capability of CICS Explorer was redesigned in 5.3 to easily create additional views that focus on specific information. Quick filters can be added to existing views and a full set of operators are available. This was further improved in 5.4 to allow quick filters to be easily saved to permanent view configurations to provide rapid access to frequently used information.

Permanent custom view configurations can now be exported to enable sharing across teams and for back-up purposes. Exported view configuration files can be imported into CICS Explorer instances either as a file, or from a central Web server.

Summary

With improvements to Java support and policy-based management, as well as new security and usability features, we hope CICS Explorer 5.4 will bring something new and exciting to many of you. Head over to our downloads page and try it out; we would love to hear your feedback!

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