CICS Explorer 5.5 is released today to coincide with the CICS TS 5.5’s general availability. For this version of CICS we’ve had a team focussed on filling some of the gaps in Explorer that would have caused users to open the WUI.

Additions to Explorer

  • New views available, including Feature Toggles (FEATURE), Global TCP/IP Statistics (TCPIPGBL), Policy Rules (RULE), and BAS Resource Assignments (RASGNDEF).
  • Enhancements to the policy definition editor to allow for more system rules to be defined.
  • The Groups and Lists view for BAS and CSD resources are now separated into 4 separate views – this allows for filtering and aggregation, as well as fixing a number of bugs.

New API to query CICS resources and definitions

The CMCI JVM server introduced in CICS TS 5.4 is extended in CICS TS 5.5 to provide a new GraphQL API (read more details in our previous post). This new API allows for broad queries across a range of CICS types in one HTTP request. It’s used by CICS Explorer and can be queried from any environment that can make HTTP requests.

Stew Francis, our lead architect, recorded a 5 minute podcast talking over the benefits of GraphQL.

Users who install CICS Explorer 5.5 and are using CICS TS 5.5 with the CMCI JVM server enabled (to provide the GraphQL interface) will utilize this interface with options to aggregate resource and definition tables, or map between resources.

Aggregation to highlight mistakes, oversights, or anomalies in your resources

Aggregation highlights attributes which differ between the aggregated records. You can also collect records into sets with similar attribute values by grouping.

Read more in our previous post.

Mapping to understand relationships between your CICSPlex SM WLM and BAS artifacts

Workload Management (WLM) and Business Application Services (BAS) in particular are configured using a number of related resources. For instance, Workload Specifications refer to Workload Definitions by use of a joining table, WLMINSPC. This is a cumbersome relationship to follow. Similar relationship exist for BAS definitions.

Mapping uses the new GraphQL interface to make one request for all relevant definitions, displaying them in a tree structure. You can explore the tree structure further by remapping, or open resources within the tree structure.

Read more in our previous post.

Ben Cox, our design lead for this piece of work, recorded a 10 minute podcast talking through aggregation and mapping.

Next steps

  1. Upgrade to CICS Explorer 5.5! CICS Explorer is backwards compatible so even if you are not yet on CICS TS 5.5, you can benefit from bug fixes and usability improvements, as well as some of the new improvements such as the new resource tables.
  2. If you are using CICS TS 5.5, enable the CMCI JVM server to benefit from aggregation and mapping. The CMCI JVM server is automatically configured, by a feature toggle, to inherit your previous CMCI interface settings. More information in the CICS Knowledge Center.

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