The CICS Explorer V5.5 open beta, part of the CICS TS open beta, has been enhanced again — and this time, it allows you to understand your Workload Management definitions with the Workload Map!

A major feature of CICSPlex SM (CPSM) is Workload Management. This is a powerful way of routing work from region to region that gives you high availability and redundancy. Many users find that as their system topology gets bigger and bigger and they support more applications, the web of Workload Management definitions can get harder to understand. The new Workload Map view in the CICS Explorer V5.5 open beta allows you to picture the relationships between these definitions.

Opening the Workload Map

The Workload Map is a new view in CICS Explorer. It usually appears at the bottom of the screen, though you can move it wherever you like. To trigger the Workload Map view, select the Show in Workload Map command. This is in the right-click context menu of definitions that relate to workload management, and appears as toolbar buttons in the Workload Specification editor.

For example, suppose I want to discover whether my Workload Definitions (known as Routing Rules in CICS Explorer) for a Workload Specification are used in any other Workload Specifications. If the Workload Specification is active I right-click the Workload in the CICSplex Explorer and select Open Workload Specification, or if it’s inactive, I can just open the Workload Specification by double-clicking it in the CICSplex Explorer.

Opening the WFDEMO Workload Specification in the Workload Specification editor

From here, I see an overview of this Workload Specification. In this case I’m particularly interested in the Routing Rules. I right-click on the second rule, ‘CICS 5.5+’, and select Show in Workload Map. This brings up the Workload Map view at the bottom of the window, and focuses it on the ‘CICS 5.5+’ Routing Rule.

Opening the Workload Map view, focused on a Routing Rule

The Workload Map shows all of the Routing Rule’s relationships. For a Routing Rule, that includes:

  • the Transaction Group that the Routing Rule uses.
  • the Workload Groups that the Routing Rule is in.

By expanding the tree, we can see further relationships. Let’s look for other Workload Specifications that use this Routing Rule:

Expand the Map View to show the Workload Specifications used by the ‘CICS TS 5.5+’ Routing Rule

Aha! Another Workload Specification uses this Routing Rule. Workload Specification ‘EXPWRK1’ uses it via Workload Group ‘Group 63’.

Changing the focus of the Workload Map

If you want to use separate Routing Rules for these two Workload Specifications, you might want to create a new Workload Group to contain the second Routing Rule. But are there other Routing Rules contained by Workload Group ‘Group 63’, that we need to decide whether to separate? To find out, focus the Workload Map view on Workload Group ‘Group 63’ by right-clicking it and selecting Show in Workload Map.

This action puts the Workload Group to the top of the tree, and shows its relationships. For a Workload Group, that includes:

  • the Workload Specifications that use the Workload Group.
  • The Routing Rules that the Workload Group contains.
Focus the map view on Workload Group ‘Group 63’ to see all contained Routing Rules

By expanding the Rules section of the tree, we can see that this Workload Group is only used by one Routing Rule.

This ability to re-focus the Workload Map view to any of the definitions involved in workload management makes it a very powerful tool. If you’re familiar with the Map view in the CPSM Web User Interface, you’ll find this Workload Map view more capable. For example, it shows Transactions inside Transaction Groups. Additionally, it merges the ‘map left’ and ‘map right’ actions into a single view, showing you a full overview of a definition’s relationships.

Find out more

The CICS Explorer V5.5 open beta can be freely downloaded. The Workload Map can be used without upgrading your backing CPSM and CICS systems, so give it a try! We’ll be very happy to hear your feedback, and discover how the Workload Map view relates to your workflow. Contact us by using our dW Answers forum.

4 comments on"Workload Management Map in CICS Explorer"

  1. JimK at PNC May 02, 2018

    Ok, the link above for CICS Explorer V5.5 open beta takes me to CICS Trials and Betas but from there I get lost. All I see are options to download developer trail and the CICS TS open beta. Nothing for CICS Explorer. Any hints?

    • You were on the right track! CICS TS and CICS Explorer are included in the same beta site. Keep following the CICS TS open beta and you’ll eventually have the choice of downloading a number of files – CICS TS is one of them, and CICS Explorer is another.

      We’ll look into making this more obvious in the future, and I’ll update the article to spell this out a bit better too – thanks.

  2. JimK at PNC May 03, 2018

    Thank you for the guidance. Downloaded and playing…
    Two questions come to mind:

    1: I tried to add in the CICS-IA plug in but could not find it via the install new software selection. No biggie. I understand this is a beta.
    2: The “Map” is really nice (I started by right clicking on a workload spec and then selected “show workload spec in workload map”. However, I cannot see the default rule anywhere in the map. That one item missing forces me to open the workload spec. I also cannot see the target regions for any def. Perhaps that is not the intention of this map function. If not please explain. Please understand I’m a novice at CPSM and our shop has only 2 specs so far (but many groups/defs) and the specs are unrelated and thus do not share any defs. Trying to figure out if there are any other uses for this view.

    • OK you should be able to install the IA plugin using the built-in update site (IBM Explorer for z/OS Update Site – http://public.dhe.ibm.com/ibmdl/export/pub/software/htp/zos/tools/aqua3.1/). Just make sure you’re using the long name to search for it – ‘IBM CICS Interdependency Analyzer’!

      Good feedback about the Workload Map, and we’re glad to hear that being able to see the targets will be useful for you — we’ll use that to make it better for our next refresh.

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