The CICS workflows provided with the z/OS Provisioning Toolkit (z/OS PT), enable you to replace your manual or home grown approach for the creation of new CICS regions, with an IBM supported alternative, and what’s more, z/OS PT is free of charge to z/OS customers running z/OS 2.1 and above.

When we talk about provisioning CICS regions using the workflows, one of the first questions customers ask, is whether the CICS regions that are provisioned can be customized to meet specific requirements. They can, and with the new Getting started with CICS scenario that Matthew Webster discussed in his blog post, it’s easier than ever for you to prove this for yourself.

Our challenge to you, is to try provisioning a CICS region using z/OS PT, and once you’re able to provision successfully, customize it for your particular use case using the exposed customization properties, and report back on how you get on! We’d love to hear your success stories, or any additional requirements that might arise for you to make use of this modern approach to CICS region creation (and deletion).

Adding customizations

In this post, I’m going to expand on the Getting Started with CICS scenario described by Matthew, and show you how easy it is to provision a CICS region that is customized for a specific use-case.

For my use-case, I’ve identified the following customizations that would be needed for the CICS region:

STEPLIB Authorized datasets for a CICS monitoring tool must be added MYTOOL.AUTHLIB
MYTOOL.AUTHLIB2
DFHRPL Program library datasets for the CICS monitoring tool are also needed MYTOOL.LOADLIB
CSD definitions The CICS regions CSD must include definitions for the CICS monitoring tool A group of definitions defined in a CSD input dataset MYTOOL.CSD(DEFS), and added to list MYLIST
System initialization parameters The CICS region needs certain system initialization parameters to be set AUXTR=ON
AUXTRSW=NEXT
FCT=DM
GRPLIST to include MYLIST
Additional DD cards The procedure for the CICS region must include additional DD cards required by the CICS monitoring tool //TOOLTRC DD SYSOUT=*,LRECL=1024
//TOOLOUT DD SYSOUT=*,LRECL=1024

From the z/OS PT documentation of the CICS properties, I’ve determined that the following properties can be added to the cics.properties file used by the provisioning workflow:

DFH_REGION_STEPLIB=MYTOOL.AUTHLIB,MYTOOL.AUTHLIB2
DFH_REGION_RPL=MYTOOL.LOADLIB
DFH_REGION_CSD_INPUT=MYTOOL.CSD(DEFS)
DFH_REGION_SITPARMS=AUXTR=ON,AUXTRSW=NEXT,FCT=DM,GRPLIST=(DFHLIST,MYLIST)
DFH_REGION_DD_LIST=TOOLTRC   DD SYSOUT=*\\,LRECL=1024,TOOLOUT   DD SYSOUT=*\\,LRECL=1024

Provisioning the customized CICS region

With these properties added to the cics.properties file, I’m ready to have another go at provisioning a CICS region. (I first need to ensure that the CICS region has been deprovisioned before I can provision it again.)

The JES job submitted to define the CSD now includes the CSD definitions from MYTOOL.CSD(DEFS)

Extract of z/OS PT created JCL showing DFHCSDUP contents
An extract of the customized DFHCSDUP JCL, showing the included dataset member MYTOOL.CSD(DEFS)

The procedure for the CICS regions started task has the additional STEPLIB, DFHRPL, DD cards and system initialization parameters included.

Extract of z/OS PT generated JCL for the CICS regions started task procedure
An extract of the customized JCL procedure generated during the provision of the CICS region

By setting five additional properties I was able to quickly customize the provisioned CICS region for my needs. There are further properties that can be set, which are documented in the IBM Knowledge Center.

I’d encourage you to take a look at the CICS getting started scenario in z/OS PT 1.1.1, try out the provisioning process, have a go at customizing the regions for your own use-case, and let us know how you get on.

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