What’s a Z Trial?

Z Trial is a platform where you can try the latest IBM Z software for three days without charge, or a need to install. If you are looking for a hands-on experience of IBM Z software, Z Trial is a great platform to start. You do not need any previous knowledge of Node.js, but some CICS experience might help you. All that is required is an email to register and you can try the trial today. Visit the Z Trial page here.

Already familiar with Z Trial?

If you are already familiar with Z Trial, you may have tried our Java in CICS trial which allows you to gain access to a pre-configured, remote desktop environment where you can create a Java web application that provides a RESTful API and then deploy it into CICS. Or perhaps you’ve tried the IBM z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition Z Trial which allows you to create RESTful APIs for mobile and cloud applications securely from your business-critical applications residing on the mainframe? Well we have more for you! Node.js in CICS Z Trial is now available allowing you to package a sample Node.js application in a bundle and install it into CICS.

What is Node.js in CICS?


If you’re unfamiliar with Node.js or the concept of Node.js in CICS, check out our Node.js in CICS page on the CICS Developer Center, or for more technical depth the IBM Knowledge Center can give you further information.
Are you System Programmer, and Enterprise Architect, or maybe a developer with a familiarity with Node.js? We have some useful FAQ pages tailored to you which may answer some of your questions about Node.js and CICS.


What can you do with the Node.js in CICS Z Trial?


This Z Trial takes you through a 30 minute scenario where you can try using Node.js in CICS. It will take you through the steps to package a sample Node.js web application into a CICS bundle and deploy it into IBM CICS Transaction Server.

The sample application provided is a CICS catalogue manager for a stationary store which can be accessed through a web browser. It’s a sample CICS COBOL program to store stock items in a VSAM file and it has been preinstalled for you. When you view a catalogue item, a REST API call is made from the browser to the Node.js application that is running in CICS. 

Before you start the scenario, you will be shown how to set up the necessary connections in IBM Explorer in order to connect to the FTP and CICS servers.

Setting up the connections

Next, you will import a CICS bundle using CICS Explorer. The CICS bundle provides an easy mechanism to package and manage related resources in CICS. In this Z Trial, the bundle already contains a sample application and the resources it needs. 

Importing a CICS bundle

You will have the opportunity to take a closer look at the code and how it connects to CICS. You can explore the different files contained in the imported bundle such as the server.js file which connects to the sample program/catalogue manager through the Invoke API.

Looking at the code in server.js

You will also see how to make changes to your profile. The profile is used by CICS to set up the Node.js runtime and environment variables that are passed to the application. 

Making changes to the profile

You will learn how to export the CICS bundle to zFS using the FTP connection that you set up earlier, and install it in CICS.

Exporting the CICS bundle

Next, you will be shown how to deploy the CICS bundle into CICS using Eclipse. In order to do this, you will need to create a new bundle and then install it. 

Deploying the bundle

Finally, you can play with the sample Node.js application by making purchases on the website in your browser and seeing how it interacts with the application in CICS. You will be able to view the logs (STDOUT) and any errors in Standard Error and Trace.  

Testing the application

And there you have it, a taster of our new Node.js in CICS Z Trial. Want to give it a go? Follow the link below and register for your free three-day trial today!

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