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IMS V9 Includes Integrated TCP/IP Support

IBM IMS V9 is the first version of IMS to include integrated TCP/IP connection management support.

IBM IMS V9 is the first version of IMS to include integrated TCP/IP connection management support.

Version 9 of the IBM* IMS* - the current release of IBM's premier transaction and hierarchical database-management system - is the first version to include integrated TCP/IP connection-management support.

Prior to IMS V9, support for TCP/IP connectivity with IMS was provided solely by the separately sold IBM tool IMS Connect for z/OS*. Now in IMS V9, the TCP/IP interface provided by IMS Connect is integrated into the core IMS product, including IMS Connect's TCP/IP socket support, message-manipulation support between the TCP/IP client and IMS, as well as support for local, non-TCP/IP access to IMS for applications running on the same OS/390* or z/OS image.

With the initial integration of the IMS Connect functionality into the IMS product and subsequent authorized program analysis report (APAR) updates to that functionality, IMS has enhanced its TCP/IP interface to provide even more robust and flexible TCP/IP connection support.

Most recently, IMS has released significant updates to the IMS Connect function for IMS V9, including reroute support for send-only transaction output in April 2006; XML-to-COBOL message conversion support in October 2006; and the capability to retrieve asynchronous output from an alternate client ID in February 2007.

With these recent updates, which are outlined in this article, IMS is, now more than ever, designed for Web-enablement in the on demand world.

New Features for IMS Connect in IMS V9 The latest enhancements to the support for TCP/IP clients and connectivity provided by IMS V9 include:

  • Integrated XML support
  • Improved management of asynchronous message output, including:
    • Reroute and purge options for asynchronous and program-to-program switch output
    • Output sharing using the IMS Open Transaction Manager Access (OTMA) super member feature
    • Port affinity for asynchronous output
    • Retrieval of messages from alternate IMS queue names
    • Improved support for z/OS Sysplex Distributor

New options for the send-only transaction protocol include guaranteed serial delivery, acknowledgement (ACK) response option and reroute option.

This article focuses on three new enhancements: IMS Connect XML support, rerouting output for send-only transactions, and retrieving output from alternate IMS queues. Figure 1, shows possible product configurations used with IMS Connect.

Integrated XML Support

Prior to IMS V9 and APARs PK24912 and PK29938, IMS provided no XML conversion capabilities. If IMS users wanted to submit XML messages to IMS, they had to provide the XML-conversion capabilities themselves. Now you can submit XML messages to IMS Connect for processing by COBOL IMS applications using the IMS simple object access protocol (SOAP) gateway. You don't have to modify existing client or IMS application programs. IMS Connect can recognize the XML messages, convert them into the COBOL data structure the IMS application expects and convert the response into XML when IMS processing is complete.

When IMS Connect receives a transaction message, it checks the input message prefix to see if the input message is in XML format. If it is, then IMS Connect calls the IBM-supplied XML adapter, which converts the XML input message into the COBOL application input data structure and returns the message to IMS Connect. IMS Connect processes the COBOL stream and forwards it to IMS in the message format that IMS expects (LLZZ_ trancode_data).

After processing the input message, the IMS COBOL application returns the output message to IMS Connect in the IMS message format. IMS Connect calls the XML adapter again, which converts the output message back into XML format and sends it to the client application via the IMS SOAP gateway.

IMS Connect supports XML message conversion for messages received from the IMS SOAP gateway, an XML-based connectivity solution that enables existing or new IMS applications to communicate outside the IMS environment using SOAP. IMS SOAP gateway is available at no charge to IMS V9 customers.

The IMS COBOL application isn't aware of any message conversions to XML. To convert messages from XML to COBOL, you need the COBOL copybook for the IMS application program that processes the input transaction messages. The copybook is used to create the artifacts necessary for XML conversion: an XML converter specific to the IMS application program, as well as the correlator and WSDL files that are used by the IMS SOAP gateway.

IBM WebSphere* Developer for zSeries* generates the necessary artifacts based on the COBOL copybook for the IMS application program. To enable XML Conversion support for IMS V9, apply APARs PK24912 and PK29938. Figure 2 shows the supported configuration for the XML adapter support.

Ben Johnson is an IBM information developer. He has been writing about IMS since 2003, focusing on both IMS database administration and IMS communications and connections, with a particular interest in OTMA and IMS Connect. He can be contacted at bpj@us.ibm.com.

Jack Yuan is a senior software engineer for IMS development. He can be contacted at jackyuan@us.ibm.com



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