At the end of October, we released a new version of our CICS Bundle Maven plug-in. There are no tricks, just treats to enable you to create CICS bundles as part of your Java code build and simplify deploying Java code into CICS during development.

We blogged about the plug-in at the end of July initially – for a primer you’ll want to revisit that blog post.

Why Maven?

Maven is the leading build automation tool for Java – reducing the amount of build scripting required and with a rich set of plug-ins available to extend function. Plug-ins for organisation/enterprise-specific function can be written and distributed internally to users. The CICS Bundle Maven plug-in offers an IDE-independent way to generate CICS bundles, particularly those that contain Java code.

Because of the popularity of Maven, it’s likely that Java developers within your organisation will already be familiar with Maven and feel at home taking advantage of the CICS Bundle Maven plug-in. Their existing skills can be utilised in an environment familiar to them!

Earlier in 2019 we published the JCICS API and related libraries to Maven Central, allowing Maven-based projects to easily access CICS APIs.

To find out more about Maven, see this getting started guide.

Version 1.0.0

The highlight features in the 1.0.0 release:

  • Support for automatically deploying bundles to a CICS region using the new CICS bundle deployment API, provided in CICS TS 5.6 open beta (documentation here).
  • Support for EBA (Enterprise Bundle Archive) CICS bundleparts.
  • Support for wrapping an existing Java project in a lightweight way without creating a separate module for the CICS bundle. (documentation)
  • Significant improvements to the README (https://ibm.github.io/cics-bundle-maven/) and plug-in usage documentation.
  • Samples to show common ways of using the plug-in.

Get started

Use the CICS Bundle Maven plug-in to build your CICS bundles as a lighter-weight alternative to the CICS Explorer GUI or the CICS build toolkit.

To use the plug-in, reference it in your Maven pom.xml; it will automatically be downloaded as part of your build:

<plugin>
  <groupId>com.ibm.cics</groupId>
  <artifactId>cics-bundle-maven-plugin</artifactId>
  <version>1.0.0</version>
  <extensions>true</extensions>
</plugin>

Deploy faster with the CICS TS 5.6 open beta

Combine the plug-in with CICS TS 5.6 open beta to enable automatic bundle lifecycling as part of your developers’ workflow. The old bundle will be uninstalled and the new bundle deployed in a few seconds at the end of your build. This significantly reduces the time and effort to test your code within CICS, at development time. A blog post about the CICS bundle deployment API is coming soon, or you can read the documentation in our Knowledge Center.

Get involved

To encourage community participation, we’re developing the plug-in as an open source project on GitHub – https://github.com/IBM/cics-bundle-maven. Have a look, raise issues, and make suggestions!

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