IBM has many SOA tools in its armoury, and has made it quite clear that SOA is a key focus for the company.
I find it disappointing, therefore, that IBM seems to have slipped up a bit on its normally strong record of providing onward compatibility with its SOA solutions. Users of IBM’s power-house mainframe transaction processing product, CICS, have a bit of a headache coming – CICS TS 3.1 offered many useful tools for using CICS resources as part of an overall service-oriented architecture, including the Service Flow Feature. However, as IBM rolls out the new CICS TS 3.2 level of the product, it turns out that according to IBM, service flows built for the CICS TS 3.1 environment wont work with TS 3.2. The IBM announcement letter states:
CICS Service Flow Feature:
The level of CICS Service Flow Feature that is provided with CICS TS V3.2 cannot be used with CICS TS V3.1. The CICS Service Flow Feature of CICS TS V3.1 cannot be used with CICS TS V3.2. Customers who have implemented service flows using the CICS Service Flow Feature of CICS TS V3.1 must migrate the service flow models created to the CICS Service Flow Feature for CICS TS V3.2 and regenerate the service flow executable for deployment to CICS TS V3.2. Tools to assist in migration of flow models created using the CICS Service Flow Feature of CICS TS V3.1 will be delivered when the CICS Service Flow Feature of CICS TS V3.2 is available. Service flow executables generated using the CICS Service Flow Feature of CICS TS V3.1 will not run under the CICS Service Flow Feature of CICS TS V3.2. Forward binary compatibility between offerings is the usual migration approach that IBM strives to offer. In this instance, as the result of the maturing of the implementation to deliver enhanced serviceability, forward migration at the model level is the required approach.
Although IBM says it will offer tools to help, I think it is a bit of a poor show that onward compatibility could not be maintained. Customers who have used the CICS service flow feature will not welcome this headache.