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April 2, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

Compuware Ltd of Luton has brought to Europe CICS Radar, an expert system-based tool for diagnosing and analysing CICS region crashes on IBM mainframes running MVS/XA. The product resides in the address space of CICS Release 1.7 or any higher versions. When a region goes down, it formats a dump and produces a report, detailing events leading up to the crash. The kind of information analysed by CICS Radar includes invalid control blocks, storage violations, and broken CICS chains. It then compresses the dump, and stores it, together with the report, in a VSAM dataset. Both items can be printed out during the subsequent review process. It can also be used to provide a snapshot of the dump, showing activity at any one time in the CICS region. International vice-president Steve Fagan believes this facility will prove particularly useful for monitoring the introduction of new applications into CICS, or checking a region that has undergone recent rectification. CICS Radar will be available in Europe at an introductory price of UKP12,000 to UKP15,000, from April 1. In the US, where it has been available since January, Compuware already claims some 50 CICS Radar installations. The product is the latest offering in the 16-old company’s CICS product family. Its software product division pioneered the expert system technology for its first product Abend-Aid, a software tool for analysing program abends released in 1977. Exploiting the trend for shielding the increasing complexities of CICS behind easy-to-use application interfaces, it then applied the same technology to analysing CICS transactions abends. This process culminated in the launch of CICS Abend-Aid in 1984. A year later, it linked CICS Abend-Aid with a CICS dBug-Aid, an interactive de-bugging and testing tool. And in 1986, it expanded its integrated offerings still further with CICS Playback, an automated simulator for testing new and revised systems, under low and high volume conditions. Privately-held Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Compuware Corp was recently ranked by Software News as 25th largest independent software company in the world. It employs some 970 staff worldwide, including 100 European nationals, divided between offices in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. In the UK, where its European headquarters are located, the company acquired its local Luton-based distributors, Namic Ltd, in 1986. In 1988 it saw a corporate turnover of $116m, and claims a projected turnover for 1989 of around $135m. Some 60% of turnover is generated by software product sales, but it also maintains training and implementation divisions. Future plans include the development of an existing CICS Abend-Aid option for diagnosis within DB2 transactions.

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