|By Jacques Martin||
|October 26, 2004 12:00 AM EDT||
In this Q&A Rick discusses ways in which companies can protect their mission critical data even as they connect their networks with outside partners.
WebSphere Journal: Rick, what do you do over at IBM?
Rick Thomas: I'm the program director for the CICS Tools Marketing within the Application Integration Middleware division.
WJ: I understand that you have a pretty interesting new tool where you can get CICS and WebSphere to interoperate, which has been really hard for a lot of people. Tell me about it?
RT: This new tool is CICS Business Event Publisher. It's actually now in its second release with some interesting new capabilities. The Business Event Publisher is a tool that allows CICS to drive business processing in a mixed workload environment that includes CICS, IMS, WebSphere, WebSphere J2EE, WebSphere MQ and WBI Message Broker.
WJ: A lot of our readers are Java programmers, obviously, but not all of them are experienced with CICS. Who uses CICS today? How big a product is it? It's having its 35th anniversary.
RT: Yes, it is. We just celebrated our 35th anniversary of CICS. CICS is used by 10,000 customers worldwide and it is still the primary engine for business transactions everyday around the world. It's used in all the finance industries, insurance, retail, distribution for all purposes in all walks of life.
WJ: So that's something that's been sitting back there for a long time but a lot of people haven't migrated off it yet?
RT: That's right, and all indications are that they are not going to migrate. In fact, what they are going to do is revalidate the value of their CICS assets in mixed Web environments that include WebSphere with J2EE applications on one side and CICS applications on another.
WJ: What is the most important problem that this tool solves?
RT: The Business Event Publisher allows CICS to be in the driver's seat in business processes. Today, it is very common for customers to write WebSphere applications that drive CICS transactions.
Rick Thomas - Program Director for the CICS Tools Marketing
They make a customer information request, operate on it in some way, and then submit an update of that customer information. That's an environment where CICS is acting as a partner with WebSphere, but the transaction is driven by WebSphere. The Business Event Publisher allows CICS essentially to be aware of actions that occur within CICS and know where to drive outbound business processes based on that. With the Business Event Publisher, CICS now gets to query WebSphere or a WebSphere database or another information database for customer information, get that information, operate on it, and send a response or an update outbound. Business Event Publisher actually allows CICS to have a more direct outbound business process-driving capability.
WJ: Very cool. I understand that you have a new tool to make it easier to migrate from VSAM, the database for CICS, over to DB2. Tell me about that?
RT: It's called the CICS VSAM Transparency Product. This is a product that we brought to market with our eye on supporting a critical mixed workload environment between WebSphere and CICS. Specifically, VSAM Transparency allows customers to migrate their mission-critical data from VSAM into a DB2 database.
WJ: That should be very helpful for a lot of people.
RT: It's pretty helpful for all those WebSphere J2EE application developers who are trying to access that same pool of legacy data.
WJ: That makes sense. There is a lot of that out there.
RT: What you're trying to do, if you are the customer, is enable the WebSphere application developer to access that data without causing the CICS programmer to rewrite all of his or her existing CICS applications. If you were to simply move all of your VSAM data into DB2, the customer would have to rewrite some or all of their CICS applications. The VSAM Transparency product allows CICS to run as if thinking that its data is still in VSAM and allows the WebSphere applications to run against the new DB2 database. Then everybody's happy and it allows customers to deploy interesting new WebSphere applications at a fraction of what would otherwise be a very expensive migration.
WJ: Finally, I'm not an expert on CICS, as everyone knows, but I understand that you have solved a significant problem with VSAM copying. Can you explain that?
RT: Yes. There are obviously CICS systems programmers who have been copying the VSAM data for as long as there has been CICS - 35 years. The problem is that most of the products in the marketplace today have required them to take CICS offline prior to doing these kinds of copies. We have come out with a tool called CICS VSAM Copy that operates uniquely with a copy while open for update function. The copy while open for update function means that CICS does not have to be taken offline to do the copy. Taking CICS offline affects WebSphere when you're using WebSphere as a front end to CICS. So in any environment where you have a WebSphere and CICS mixed workload application, customers will find this copy function to be extremely valuable. It means CICS will no longer have to be taken offline, which means the WebSphere application will no longer have to be taken offline.
WJ: Is there anything that you want to wrap up with?
RT: I'd just like to remind you and all your readers that this is still a growing environment. There are more CICS transactions every year than there were in previous years and it's been this way for 35 years. Likewise, we're now celebrating the 10th anniversary of MQ. So customers are continuing to see significant investment in both CICS and MQ environments.
On top of that, customers are now seeing the obvious value of their WebSphere Application Server as a platform for new J2EE applications. With CICS, WebSphere MQ, and WebSphere Application Server, you have a very powerful ecosystem in which to run business-critical applications. I think that the new CICS tools we are announcing now go a long way to further enable customers to take advantage of this significant CICS investment, and their investment in the new WebSphere Application Server.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
Jul. 24, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,118
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Jul. 24, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,214
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
Jul. 24, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 862
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 23, 2016 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,211
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jul. 23, 2016 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,855
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jul. 23, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,229
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Jul. 23, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,439
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Jul. 23, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,949
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jul. 23, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,658
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Jul. 23, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,778
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 23, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,028
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 23, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,418
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
Jul. 23, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,800
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jul. 23, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,875
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
Jul. 23, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 884
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Jul. 23, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 824
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Jul. 23, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,896
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 23, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,728
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, discussed how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technologi...
Jul. 23, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 942
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
Jul. 23, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,317