IBM Preps New IMS, Unveils CICS Performance Manager Tool

IMS version 8 includes Java, XML support; boasts reliability and availability enhancements.

IBM Corp. later this month will release version 8 of its IMS database. IMS v8 is expected to enhance the performance and capabilities of IMS' Transaction Manager and Database Manager components.

New in the IMS v8 Transaction Manager, for example, is beefed-up support for Java and XML, including support for JDBC 2.0 enhancements such as Updatable ResultSet and limited reverse cursors. IMS v8 Transaction Manager also boasts SQL enhancements to IMS DB data, including support for aggregate functions—e.g., MIN and MAX—and scalars.

Also in IMS v8 Transaction Manager is support for IBM's persistent reusable JVM technology, which is said to speed up the processing of Java applications by providing a reusable JVM that can be reset to a known state between transactions. IBM says that it will also introduce support for this feature in IMS version 7 through the service process.

In addition to its augmented Java and XML support, IMS v8's Transaction Manager also benefits from several reliability and availability enhancements, including a new Sysplex terminal management feature that recovers terminal state information after a session reconnect and which allows a terminal user to log back on to another IMS after a failure.

Starting with IMS v8, IMS' Shared Message Queue structures and Fast Path Expedited Message handler (EMH) structures can exploit z/OS' Coupling Facility (CF) Duplexing function. Using CF Duplexing, z/OS can create a duplex copy of the structure for failure recovery. If the IMS Shared Queues structure or the EMH structure fails—or if a connection to the structure is lost—z/OS can switch to the unaffected structure instance.

IMS v8's Database Manager is packed with enhancements, too. For example, IMS Remote Site Recovery (RSR) facility has been extended to support coordinated IMS/DB2 disaster recovery by working with eXtended Remote Copy (XRC) for the DB2 logs. IMS RSR has been enhanced to facilitate coordination of IMS and DB2 disaster recovery processing at a remote recovery site, and now offers a solution for synchronizing logs between the two database environments. In the supported configuration, XRC is used for the DB2 logs.

Performance enhancements in IMS v8 include parallel database processing, which allows IMS to exploit multiple MVS threads; batch resource recovery service support, which makes it possible for IMS batch programs to use MQSeries with coordinated commit; new enhancements to Database Image Copy 2 that allow multiple database data sets to be copied in one utility execution; and a variety of Fast Path Shared Virtual Storage Option Coupling Facility Enhancements that IBM will also introduce in IMS V7 through its service process.

Revamped CICS Performance Monitor
IBM also recently unveiled CICS Performance Monitor for z/OS version 1.1, a new product that provides real-time performance monitoring and management facilities for CICS Transaction Server running on OS/390 and z/OS.

CICS Performance Manager v1.1 exploits a standard API and provides Single System Image (SSI) access to the resources in all CICS regions.

The new CICS Performance Manager features CICS PM workstation client, a GUI display facility that renders user-defined thresholds and other real-time performance data on a Windows workstation. The CICS PM workstation client is downloadable from a mainframe and installs on Windows. It leverages IBM's CICS PM view sets, which provide real-time access to all CICS system- and resource-related performance data, as well as access to all the task level performance data collected by the CICS monitoring facility (CMF).

Big Blue has pledged to deliver an enhanced version 2 release of CICS Performance Manager sometime in 2003. In version 2, IBM will incorporate support for problem determination by means of historical data; graphical status display of key system indicators; increased coverage of system resources; and the ability to launch other performance monitors—such as DB2 PM, for example—from CICS Performance Manager.

In addition, IBM has updated its CICS Performance Analyzer product to provide additional reporting capabilities, some of which will be available for monitoring in CICS Performance Manager.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.