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z/OS Connect EE open beta December 2020 refresh

By Alan Hollingshead posted Thu December 03, 2020 11:00 AM


We've just released the latest z/OS Connect EE open beta which is available now to download from our recently moved open beta website.

The following new features are included in this open beta:

Support for IMS messages longer than 32K that have LL, ZZ, and TRANCODE fields

The z/OS Connect EE API toolkit and server runtime have been enhanced to support COBOL and PL/I data structures for IMS messages longer than 32K that have LL, ZZ, and TRANCODE fields in the request and LL and ZZ fields in the response data structures.

Find out more.

CICS® communication stub has been updated to generate CICS application user trace

The z/OS Connect EE API requester CICS® communication stub has been updated to generate CICS application user trace which can be enabled by using the trace facilities of the CICS region in which the stub runs. This trace capability is useful for problem determination.

Find out more.

Policies can now alter IBM MQ service properties

z/OS Connect EE policies can now alter the following IBM MQ service properties: mqConnectionFactory, mqDestination, and mqReplyDestination.

Find out more.

New interceptor interfaces are added that enable monitoring support for API requester

Request data is available on the request origin and the target endpoint. Timestamps enable the calculation of the z/OSConnect EE processing time and the time spent connecting to the endpoint, as well as the time taken to retrieve access tokens. Monitoring of inflight requests and requests failing early is also enabled. Interceptor writers can take advantage of these new capabilities by implementing the InterceptorRequester interface and optionally the EndpointInterceptor and EarlyFailureInterceptorRequester interfaces.

Find out more.

We encourage you to download this latest refresh, and we welcome your feedback on any features of the open beta.

Useful information about this open beta refresh:

Recent change to Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)

The API toolkit and JavaScript clients require that CORS is enabled on the z/OS Connect EE server to allow you to connect to and test APIs on that server. Since z/OS Connect EE was released, Liberty support for CORS has been enhanced, allowing more control of the CORS headers used. z/OS Connect EE has been updated to no longer send the CORS headers, and the Liberty-supplied capability must now be used.

To enable API toolkit connections, you must have a cors definition in your server.xml. When you create a server by using one of the server templates supplied with the product, a cors element that enables API toolkit connections, is automatically added to the server.xml configuration file. The following excerpt from the server.xml shows a cors element definition that allows API toolkit connections.

You must ensure that your server.xml includes the following configuration:

<cors id="defaultCORSConfig"
allowedMethods="GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, OPTIONS"
allowedHeaders="Origin, Content-Type, Authorization, Cache-Control, Expires, Pragma"
maxAge="3600" />

You may want to customize this configuration further to, for example, restrict the allowed origins.

If you have JavaScript clients that access z/OS Connect EE resources, you may need to further customize your cors element definition. For example, theallowedHeaders attribute, on the cors element, must specify all headers that you want to be permitted on any request. The CORS access control headers themselves do not need to be listed.

Find out more.

Download website for z/OS Connect EE open beta

Our download website for z/OS Connect EE open beta recently moved to a new location. Therefore, please update any bookmarks you have pointing to the old site.

Open beta build and expiry dates

The build date for this version of the z/OS Connect EE open beta runtime is 20201130-1127 and appears on the BAQR0000I message.

This version of the z/OS Connect EE open beta is available for up to 120 days and due to expire on 30 March 2021 and appears on the BAQR9999I message.

However, do not panic! A newer version of the open beta with additional enhancements will be available to download before this version expires.

Open beta version of the API toolkit

The open beta version of the API toolkit to accompany the open beta z/OS Connect EE runtime is V3.9.8.9. This open beta version of the toolkit currently only runs on Windows. You are strongly recommended to use this version of the API toolkit with the open beta z/OS Connect EE runtime to enjoy the full suite of new features available in both the toolkit and runtime, and also to ensure you maintain compatibility.

WebSphere Liberty Profile

The version of WebSphere Liberty Profile embedded in this open beta is version
The version level of the WebSphere Liberty Profile appears in both the top of the z/OS Connect EE messages.log file, and also in the STDOUT log file.

Angel V14

The version of the angel shipped with WebSphere Liberty Profile is version 14.

If you choose to remain at a lower version of the angel, you will see the following warning message in your z/OS Connect EE messages.log file when you start your server:
CWWKB0127W: The current angel version is earlier than the version that the server expects. Update the angel version to the latest available version.

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Java 8 required to run z/OS Connect EE

Java 8 is the only supported level of Java with this version of the open beta. Your z/OS Connect EE server will not start if Java 8 is not used. It will fail with message "CWWKE0042E: The correct Java version is not running. The runtime environment requires Java 8 or higher".

Find out more.

Feedback please!

Note that features delivered in the open beta are not always delivered in the GA product. Please provide feedback on these new features using the API Enablement forum including "z/OS Connect EE open beta" in the title of your post. Your feedback will help influence our decisions.

Get started today

Use the links below to find out more, and to get started with the open beta now!

What's in this release?

Download the open beta now