z/OS CICS ServerPac in a Portable Software Instance Planned

No doubt you are looking over what we've just announced in a preview of items for z/OS V2.4 yesterday.   

I wanted to point out one item that we've been waiting a particularly long time to get to...IBM's planned delivery of a ServerPac as a z/OSMF-consumable Portable Software Instance!  This you can find in the "Statement of General Direction" section.  

Here is the full and complete text:

IBM's first delivery of a ServerPac in z/OSMF Software Management portable software instance format is planned for CICS® Transaction Server and associated CICS products. Initially, IBM intends to allow you to choose to order ServerPac for CICS and associated products in either the new z/OS MF portable software instance format or the existing CustomPac Dialog-based format. The z/OS MF portable software instance format is designed to be installed using z/OS MF Software Management. The requirements for using the CustomPac Dialog-based format remain unchanged, and this is the first of many offerings that are planned to be delivered in the PSI format. For both formats, IBM plans to continue to offer delivery via internet download or on DVD. This initial offering of an IBM ServerPac in a z/OS MF portable software instance represents the next step in IBM's collaboration with other leading z/OS platform software vendors to deliver a consistent package format intended to be used with z/OSMF software management as a common installer.

Let's pull some important points from here:

1.  It is planned for CICS and the CICS products (about 30 of them today) first.  z/OS and other SRELs are not included in this statement of direction.  I usually don't get to talk to CICS Systems Programmers, so if you have one you know, please share this information with that person.  

2.  The choice to get ServerPac ISPF-consumable or z/OSMF Software Management-consumable is your choice at ordering time on Shopz.  Prepare what you want before you are facing a choice you do not understand. 

3.  If you chose to have ServerPac installed with z/OSMF Software Management, you should have z/OSMF up and running on at least one system.  Meaning, z/OSMF Software Management will be a driving system requirement in this case.  Do you have z/OSMF active on a driving system?

4.  Of course, IBM is just like any other vendor supporting the z/OS-platform installation strategy: packaging as Ported Software Instances, and allowing products to be acquired and deployed (installed) through z/OSMF Software Management.  We want to have a common method to install and package, so if you've already installed a Portable Software Instance from another vendor, you should expect the CICS ServerPac to look and install the same way.   I'd love to know if IBM is meeting that goal when you go through z/OSMF Software Management to lay down your CICS ServerPac. 

5.  Do you need help understanding the z/OS-platform installation strategy?  John Eells has a wonderful session he did at SHARE in San Jose 2017 that you can find here.  It is very entertaining and informative.

Lastly, If you are a CICS customer, I would urge you to keep an eye out on Shopz in the future and choose to use the z/OSMF-installable ServerPac.  Surely, I'll be getting the word out when you should specifically expect to see it on Shopz. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and start z/OSMF on a system (your driving system), and start becoming familiar with the Software Management plug-in and Workflows.

Stay tuned for more news as we have it!



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