A Beautful Day in the (Shopz) Neighborhood

I arrived at the office in a very good mood today, and not just because it wasn't snowing. And not just because it was Friday.

I knew that when I arrived, I could immediately logon to Shopz and order the very first CICS ServerPac that was packaged as a z/OSMF Portable Software Instance!  Yes, indeed.   Today was the day that we are making Generally Available the option to order any of the CICS products (in the USA, that is 25 of them) as part of the z/OS platform strategic installation method.  We did a Statement of Direction on 26 February, 2019 for this deliverable, and I'm happy to say that it is ready for CICS customers to use and enjoy today.

Why should you care?

This is important, as it is the first IBM deliverable of what will be the future of packaging for the z/OS platform.  You've been hearing from IBM and other leading software vendors on how we are consolidating and simplifying the installation of products,  IBM is offering one SMP/E SREL at a time as this new package type (CICS was first, we are planning that z/OS's Z038 will be last).   

Can I still get CICS as a CBPDO or a traditional ISPF-installable ServerPac?

Sure you can, however, we'd like you to become comfortable with how the new package installs, and even offer enhancements for what you'd like to see it do in the future. As we've mentioned several times, the much much older packaging formats will not be around forever.  Installing (or "deploying") with the new packaging format should help you speed restoring the new product you have ordered, and the consistency between vendors should make "unique skills" less necessary.  And moreover, with a more intuitive z/OSMF guidance path, it is expected that it will be easier to install.  

This is a z/OSMF package, so do I have to have z/OSMF up and running to install it?

Yes.  I hope that you are well along your z/OSMF activation path if you aren't already there. Note, you only need z/OSMF active on your driving system - and that can be back as far as z/OS V2.2..  You do not need z/OSMF deployed throughout your entire enterprise (unless you want to take advantage of some of the advanced capability that is there today with z/OSMF Software Management).  On your driving system,  you'll need these z/OSMF PTFs:

z/OSMF Software Management requires the PTF that fixes APAR PH11650 (August 2019) as follows:

  • z/OS V2.4 (HSMA244) = UI65888
  • z/OS V2.3 (HSMA234) = UI65887
  • z/OS V2.2 (HSMA224) = UI65896

z/OSMF Workflows requires the PTF that fixes APAR PH04817 (Jan 2019) as follows:

  • z/OS V2.3 (HSMA237) = UI60040
  • z/OS V2.2 (HSMA227) = UI60042

How do I get this new packaged offering on Shopz?

It is so simple...When you have selected your ServerPac CICS products in Shopz, on step 7 or 8 there is a new question:  "How do you want to install your package"?  From there,  you select the drop down "z/OSMF SW Management".  The "CustomPac installation dialog" is the other option (which is the legacy ISPF ServerPac method).  See the little attached image at the top of this blog.

Where should I start to learn about this new packaging format...this is all new to me!

Start here:  https://www.ibm.com/support/z-content-solutions/serverpac-install-zosmf/ .  This is a high level web page of what this is, why our industry is doing it, and the steps you'll need to take to do the installation ("deployment").  We are in the process of making additional information on this web page, so you could check back periodically to see when we've added such as videos and examples, if that is a way that you like to learn about new topics. 

What if I have problems with this CICS Portable Software Instance?

This packaging method is fully supported by IBM, so you can open a Case for any problems you find.  Just like you might have had to open a problem with your ISPF ServerPac order, you can open a problem with your Portable Software Instance, should you need to.

I hope this entices you to try out this new packaged offering!  It's such a good feeling.  

-Marna

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