IBM "CICS" Java into High Gear


IBM "CICS" Java into High Gear

IBM has unveiled plans to evolve its CICS Transaction Server (CICS TS) for high-volume, mission critical e-business applications, and has announced details for the next generation of CICS - CICS TS 1.3.

Speaking to an audience of more than 1,000 CICS customers and business partners the annual IBM CICS Technical Conference in Washington, D.C., Rob Lamb, IBM's CICS Business Manager, outlined IBM's four-step roadmap to help CICS customers (1) rapidly leverage their investments to take advantage of high-volume, enterprise e-business, and (2) provide a sound foundation for the deployment of new mission critical Web-based applications. The CICS/390 Roadmap includes:

Step 1: Extending Existing CICS Assets to the Web IBM is providing HTML and Java interfaces for both new and existing CICS applications, without changing those applications. These extensions are available today as a free download from the Web (

Step 2: Java Wrapping. Typically, desktop programmers have different skills than mainframe programmers, and vice-versa. CICS TS 1.3 will bring the power of these two worlds together by allowing programmers to wrap traditional CICS programming, such as COBOL, with Java.

Step 3: 100 Percent Pure Java. CICS TS 1.3 will also deliver the ability to write 100 percent pure Java CICS applications and CICS Java Beans. IBM will provide a set of Java classes for CICS/390 services.

Step 4: Full Enterprise Java Beans. The final step in this evolution is the implementation of Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) running on CICS/390, adding transactional capabilities to Java Beans.

The first shipment of CICS TS 1.3 is planned for 3Q 1998 with general availability in early 1999. EJB implementation on CICS is planned for later in 1999. Visit the IBM CICS Web site at

IBM Credit Corp Lets Partners Market Refurbished IBM S/390 Servers

For the first time, IBM Business Partners in the U.S. can offer refurbished first generation, CMOS technology-based S/390 servers, as well as used storage and networking products. This new program offers participating agents a 30-day settlement period and increased incentives if the equipment is leased.

IBM Credit's new offering enables its Business Partners channel, widely used by IBM to service small-to medium-sized businesses, to expand its S/390 solution portfolio. IBM Business Partners already offer the S/390 Multiprise 2000 servers and select, low-end models of the latest S/390 Parallel Enterprise Servers.

The IBM S/390 processors are refurbished by IBM Credit Corp. to deliver most model, memory and channel combinations. All processors are eligible for IBM maintenance. Software and maintenance is marketed separately through IBM's Business Partners or IBM Direct.

IBM Credit and the IBM Global Financing organizations also offer customers in more than 40 countries an array of asset management services and provide remarketers with inventory and accounts receivable financing. The IBM Global Financing home page is at

The Next Wave in Enterprise Storage

IBM announced that the next wave in enterprise storage will be based on their Seascape Storage Enterprise Architecture. These solutions include:

* IBM StorWatch - storage resource management software products integrated with storage hardware.

* IBM Versatile Storage Server - centralized, shared disk storage solution to support multiple UNIX, Windows NT and IBM AS/400 servers.

* IBM Enhanced Virtual Tape Server - Designed to optimize tape storage resources, improve performance and lower the total cost of ownership.

E-Biz That Never Close

IBM's packaged, clustered servers make big-company high-availability simple and affordable for small and mid-size businesses. Together, the RS/6000 HA50 (High-Availability Cluster Server) and the AS/400e custom server ensure that e-business means open for business.

The high-availability servers address the growing demand for "99.999 percent" availability among small and mid-size customers and departments of larger enterprises. These servers support enterprise resource planning (ERP), collaborative computing, e-commerce and other leading e-business applications.

The RS/6000 and AS/400 solutions include services and support from IBM Global Services and IBM Business Partners and attractive financing options from IBM Credit Corporation and IBM Global Financing. Customers can finance the servers through IBM Global Financing's Preferred Rate Financing with rates as low as 6.5 percent. Attractive financing is also available on S/390, Netfinity, and other IBM hardware and software.

High availability solutions for the AS/400e custom server are purchased from Business Partners DataMirror Corp., Lakeview Technology and Vision Solutions Inc. The RS/6000 solutions are available from IBM and its Business Partners.

IBM Cuts Deal with China

IBM signed a strategic agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry and third-party vendors to create new Chinese versions of virtually its entire line of e-business software tools. The agreement includes the creation of Chinese versions of Java OS for Business, Lotus Notes/Domino, VisualAge for Java, IBM eSuite and IBM San Francisco business application components. IBM will work with Chinese third-party developers, such as Great Wall Computer Company, Systems Incorporated and the Chinese Academy of Science, to create the localized versions, and will channel much of its effort through the Solutions Partnership Center that it has already established in Beijing.

In the long run, this project could result in China building low-cost programmer pools schooled in the IBM Java path, just as India has created pools of UNIX programmers who export programming piece work at a fraction of the going U.S. market rates. In China, a state-supported programmer pool could greatly undercut any software talent pool on the planet, including India's.

New Initiatives to Fuel Microchip Business

IBM will spend more than $100 million on several major new initiatives to help fuel its rise in the fast-growing custom microchip business. The investment centers on the addition of more than two dozen chip "cores" to IBM's portfolio.

Particularly significant is a new core that provides full compatibility with a Texas Instruments digital signal processor (the TMS320C54X DSP) - a component used in millions of cellular phones and other communications devices. As the first alternative to the Texas Instruments product, this core allows electronics designers to incorporate IBM's chip-making technology, support and worldwide resources.

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