New project platform selection for CICS users
CICS Transaction Server for z/OS is IBM’s premier transaction processing platform for handling mainframe-based online business workloads, and almost all large companies have major swathes of their key corporate applications based on it. However, there are many more options for addressing new business requirements today than there were in CICS’s early days. Consequently, as companies look to embrace new opportunities, decisions must be taken on where to house these new workloads. Should new CICS applications be built? Perhaps CICS applications should form part of the new workload, driven through some sort of service-oriented architecture from other platforms. Or maybe the new work should be built in an entirely separate environment, either sharing data through some sort of remote access capability or a data warehouse.
These are decisions that will be familiar to most CICS users, and it is not easy to take all the various conflicting factors into account to make the right choices. A few do not have to worry about this tricky selection process because the decision has already been taken at a senior level. Some companies have a strategic imperative in place not to increase the mainframe workload in any way, while others have decided to maximize their extensive CICS investments by making CICS the preferred platform for new and updated business applications. However, the majority of CICS users will find themselves faced with working through the platform selection decision minefield, trying to address multiple different needs in the optimal way.
The purpose of this report is to provide some independent guidance to ease this process. After in-depth discussions with a range of different CICS users across the world, Lustratus has gathered together some of the most common platform selection criteria employed by users today. Of course, not all will be relevant to every company going through this decision process, but the complete list should provide a useful checklist. As might be expected, some of the influencing factors seem to push the decision away from CICS, while others favour CICS as the best choice for new business application workloads. The diagram below summarizes some of the key factors that will be discussed further, and an idea of the extent to which these factors are likely to influence the decision one way or the other.