CICS Transaction Server 6.1, the latest release of our world class mixed application server, is generally available as of today, Friday 17th June 2022.
This new release, together with broader initiatives on IBM Z, provide an excellent foundation for customers to modernize their applications in a stepwise manner that is low risk, enabling them to focus on meeting new business requirements. That stepwise modernization is possible because CICS is very flexible and provides a choice of familiar languages and frameworks to integrate applications and data. For example, a developer can replace a COBOL program with one written using Java Spring Boot framework that interacts with microservices running in a hybrid cloud environment.
The new features in CICS TS 6.1 together with interactions with other products are grouped under three themes:
Firstly, enhanced developer productivity. We have new support for Java 11 on Z, Jakarta EE 9.1, Eclipse Microprofile 5 and Node.js 16. The power of the CMCI JVM server can now be used in a single region allowing, for example, integrated support via Maven and Gradle plugins for push button application deployment for easy Java application development and test. Added to that, we are introducing a new CICS resource builder tool to facilitate configuration-as-code for application resources. It enables developers to manage resource definitions in a readable source format using a modern source control management (SCM) and modern pipeline.
Secondly, Improved security and compliance management. A wealth of new capabilities include automated data collection and recording of new SMF records to assist with the data collection of compliance information for auditors. Greatly restructured documentation simplifies understanding of Security concepts, design and best practices and comes with new checks in Health Checker for z/OS to ensure adherence to those best practices for security configuration of regions, resources, and CICS TS use of zFS. Diagnostic improvements come in the form of enhanced messages and new Security Request Recording (SRR) to enable sysplex-wide logging of CICS security requests to simplify the diagnosis of complex security problems. Finally, there is new capabilities in the form of support for TLS 1.3 and support for Instruction Execution Protection (IEP) to combat buffer overflow threats.
Thirdly, reduced cost of management. Lots of new Foundational capabilities. Resource overrides support means you can override existing resource definitions at the point that those resources are installed, for tailoring of development, test and production environments. Resilience items include more system and task policy rules, exploitation of z/OS SOS support, monitoring of TS capacity and increased shared data tables capacity. There are new API and SPI commands, plus monitoring and statistics improvements.
There lots more than can be mentioned here. In all, 98 RFEs have been satisfied by this new release. To find out more go to CICS TS 6.1 What's New