Rather more important for its mainstream customers than any of the items announced by the company with such a flourish on Tuesday, IBM has introduced a major new release, 2.0, of the CICS Customer Information Control System transaction processing monitor, which makes use of the XRF Extended Recovery Facilities of the 3090 mainframes to confer a substantial degree of fault-tolerance. The new release, which was developed at IBM UK’s Hursley Laboratory just outside Winchester, follows on from the current CICS/OS/VS 1.7 release, and is a sufficient advance that it is baptised with a new name, CICS/MVS. The new release – which will not be available until the third quarter of 1988 – is designed to detect automatically the failure of system components, and to manage the transfer of the CICS workload to an alternative system, either in the same processor or on another processor. It will also be able to switch remote VTAM SNA terminals to an alternative CICS system automatically, without losing end-user sessions, and non-switchable VTAM terminals will also be recoverable. It has also been designed to assess the impact of a failure and take appropriate action such as restarting elements of the system if the failure is too minor to justify switching processors. It provides support for automatic data set and database transfers to an alternative system and is designed to make better use of virtual storage, and to improve usability, problem determination, security and integrity. It will be available on a managed basis in the UK in the third quarter of 1988 but CICS/MVS without XRF support will be out in first quarter 1988. It is announced in the US, but was not included in Tuesday’s press material because of the long lead time – but in the same breath, the IBM spokesman described it as the first new release of CICS for 15 years.
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