The wonderful local team in Slovenia had organised a range of CICS customers to attend and listen to the awesome stuff we added into CICS 5.1. Over the day I introduced the new release to them, extolled the virtues of cloud based application deployment, Gave them the news that we had removed JVM Pool support but replaced it with our JVMServer. We finished with the history of CICS Connectivity and DUMP analysis.
The local IBM team were magnificent hosts and kept us well supplied with food and drinks throughout the day. They also hosted a 3 course lunch which was enjoyed by everyone there. So a big thank you to Peter Pavkovic and his team for all his hard work in organising the event.
During the conference I heard a lot of stories from CICS customers about which technologies they liked in CICS and which ones they were looking forward to. All the customers were on CICS 4.2 which is fantastic! There is an awful lot of value in keeping with the current version of CICS. If you stay current then you will find it easier to migrate release to release, exploit the new technology as it comes along and so increase you business value. Finally it will help you to understand the strategic direction of the product. The reason why these customers hadn't migrated to V5.1 (released Dec 2012) was that it required a z/OS upgrade to v1.13.
The customers that I spoke to were very forward looking and like the rest of the CICS team see CICS not just as the backend processor but as an integral part of the enterprise. Transactions flow through CICS, and permeate the whole enterprise. They understood that modern access to CICS applications and data was how they were going to be able to support their business in the future. These customers were avid web services users, were planning to move java code off of other application servers and embed it into CICS. Finally were interested in moving their applications to be deployed and consumed in a much more agile way.
One question that I did get asked but could not answer was if there was a developer trial of CICS 5.1. I am glad to say that there is.
The CICS developer trial allows you to (for free) download and install an evaluation copy of CICS 5.1. It's fully functional and you can 'play' with all of the new functionality and see how this version of CICS will transform the way you think about your applications. For more information you will need this link:
Thanks again to the lovely customers and IBMrs I met in Slovenia. I had a lovely time and wish you all the best in your CICS work