Progress DataDirect Offers Complementary Support for IBM CICS TS v4.1

End-to-end solution extends CICS events capability to include mainframe database business events, complex event processing

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Progress DataDirect, the data infrastructure division of Progress Software Corporation announced it support for event processing capabilities available in the IBM Customer Information Control System (CICS) Transaction Server (TS) version 4.1, allowing organizations that rely on System z mainframes to more fully exploit the benefits of event-driven architectures.

IBM mainframes are the dominant platform for financial services and serve as a vital infrastructure component for many industries, including manufacturing, telecommunications, and state and local government institutions. With cross-industry appeal, the top 50 worldwide banks and 22 of the top U.S. retailers run IBM System z. IBM CICS is one of the most widely used mainframe application hosting environments in the world, and as such is an environment rich in business meaningful events.

With the launch of CICS TS v4.1, IBM has included new event technologies to enable CICS to be configured to feed business event processing engines and business dashboards without the need for application change. CICS event processing is focused on application events of significance to the business rather than systems management or IT events. The primary intent of this function is to allow existing applications to be non-invasively instrumented for events, so that events can be produced by the applications without the need for any code changes. The ability to generate business events without changing application programs both reduces cost and complexity and delivers compliant flexible business solutions.

Progress Software, through its Progress Apama event processing and Progress DataDirect Shadow products, provides a comprehensive, end-to-end solution to complement and extend CICS TS v4.1 events. Apama offers a flexible, complex event processing (CEP) platform for building event-driven applications.

Apama event processing monitors rapidly moving event streams, detects and analyzes important patterns, and acts in less than a millisecond. With Apama event processing, CICS business events now can be correlated and analyzed in real-time, providing new levels of decision-making that dramatically improves operational responsiveness.

The DataDirect Shadow platform is a single, foundation architecture that supports all industry-standard requirements for integrating mainframe data, business logic, and screens with SOAs and/or data-centric applications. Within the DataDirect Shadow product is a complete facility for the real-time capture and publication of events that occur within mainframe databases including DB2 for z/OS, VSAM, IMS/DB, CA-IDMS, or Adabas.

The DataDirect Shadow platform complements the CICS TS v4.1 out-of-the-box event capabilities with the ability to persist and deliver CICS events over MQ and/or HTTP/HTTPS; and to augment CICS-generated events with database events that collectively provide rich and contextual information that can be further analyzed by Apama event processing. The DataDirect Shadow product not only captures and persists all events, it provides capabilities to filter, aggregate and enrich events to increase the context and business meaning of the technical database change.

The DataDirect Shadow platform’s technology for reducing mainframe integration costs enables all processing related to events to be diverted from the mainframe general purpose processor (GPP) to the System z integrated information processor (zIIP) specialty engine. This capability was developed in close partnership with the IBM System z group and therefore does not cause IBM or any other third-party code to become zIIP-enabled.

Additional Support for CICS TS v4.1

CICS TS v4.1 introduces a wide range of technical and operational capabilities. In addition to the support for business events, the DataDirect Shadow platform provides support for key features within CICS TS v4.1 that simplify development, systems management and installation between the two products. Additional support includes:

  • Integration with CICS Explorer: The CICS Explorer is an Eclipse-based systems management tool framework for CICS. Shadow Studio is an Eclipse-based integration administration and systems management tool for all DataDirect Shadow mainframe resources. In support of the CICS Explorer, the Shadow Studio can now be accessed from within CICS Explorer.

  • Utilization of Bundles: A bundle is a collection of CICS resources, artifacts, references, and a manifest that users can deploy into a CICS region to represent an application. The DataDirect Shadow platform utilizes CICS bundle support to simplify customer installation and configuration of the DataDirect Shadow software into CICS environments.

“The majority of Fortune 500 and major government entities use CICS running on z/OS for their core business functions. The addition of event capture support in CICS TS v4.1 will undoubtedly increase the interest in events and CEP for mainframe customers,” said Gregg Willhoit, chief architect at Progress DataDirect. “By capturing mainframe-based events in real-time and offloading the event-capture processing to the zIIP specialty engine, the DataDirect Shadow product can react to a rapidly changing business environment while helping lower mainframe TCO and providing a more streamlined integration within the context of SOA.”

More information can be found at www.datadirect.com.