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CICS Web Services configuration question

 
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SickPup404

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Joined: 04 Nov 2019
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:56 pm    Post subject: CICS Web Services configuration question
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Good morning,

We are in the process of implementing CICS Web Services as a provider in our shop - all homegrown code without any real expertise, so we are really starting from the ground floor.

We have defined our TCPIPService/Port and WEBService, and are using the default PIPELine "PIPEPR12". During the PIPELINE SCAN, CICS has defined the URIM.

Background:
- We currently are working on a service to do a single business logic function for a Requisition.
- We will be working on the rest of the purchasing stream - POs, Inventory Receiving, and Vouchering.

My question is:
- From a "best practice" and/or "performance" standpoint, do we need to have separate PIPELines or TCPIPServices for each WEBService?

I have done a lot of searching in the IBM RedBooks and through a lot of the PDFs/PPTs available online from various webcasts and can't find a definitive answer.

TIA for any advice/help.
Steve
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John Poulakos

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:59 pm    Post subject:
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My advise is to keep it simple. Moving a webs service into production from a test environment is a pretty involved process. Don't make it more difficult. I configure multiple pipelines in test CICS, to facilitate different developers doing different things with web services. I may have two pipelines in production if I have a lot of web services, just to group them and provide some order. But, there isn't any particular benefit to be had from multiple pipelines.

More than one port definition may be used to provide different security at the port level. But if all of your web services use the same security, I don't see the need. Make sure each CICS region uses a different port though. Especially TEST and PRODUCTION CICS regions. You don't want to accidently direct a test web service to a production CICS region.

I don't know which kind of files your web services will use, but I would strongly recommend DB2. Early web services I created using VSAM all had to be changed to DB2 because VSAM presents far too many obstacles and performance issues.

I don't know what programming language you are using, but if it's COBOL or PL/1, I would use CICS container support to write the programs and use SmartBear SoapUI to test with. Once you understand how containers work, you can develop new web service providers in a matter of hours. I can put together a pretty complex web service and test it in SoapUI in 2 days.
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John Poulakos

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:25 pm    Post subject:
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I should have said use CICS Channels and Containers. I always forget to say channels.
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SickPup404

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply to: CICS Web Services configuration question
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Thanks very much for the reply John!

I should have included a few more details in my original post.

For background, this is an existing procurement MF application and we are writing "wrapper" web service programs around the business logic for posting transactions through the procurement stream. This will eventually be the "back end" for transactions coming in from multiple points via a middleware setup.

We do have separate test/prod ports currently defined. All of the wrappers will be using the same security, but I was just worried that we would need to separate them at the port or pipeline level. Good to know that isn't necessary.

The application is a COBOL/CICS/DB2 application, so the wrappers are as well and will be using Channels/Containers with SOAP WSDL.

We picked up on the SmartBear SoapUI test package a bit ago - good to know it was the right choice! Really nice package for the price ($0)!

We had previously created a web service provider on the web/PC side and have the MF as requestor, so we do have a bit of familiarity with Channels/Containers at least.

It seems like we are just about there with everything - just need a few additional tweaks with our CICS configuration and firewalls.

Thanks again for your insight John!
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John Poulakos

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:23 am    Post subject:
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Are your requests or responses single occurrences or arrays? Arrays can be a little tricky.

Did you define a CICS transaction to serve as the DB2 anchor?

Are you using wsdl or RestFul?

You can get a lot of the CICS setup and commands needed in the IBM CA1P SupportPac for web service samples.
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SickPup404

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:28 am    Post subject:
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We are using WSDL for the data structure and have hooks to a CICS transaction.

I read quite a bit on how tricky arrays can be, so we've written them to be mostly limited and not too complex (no ODOs, only single-level, etc.).

I appreciate the tips!
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John Poulakos

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:47 am    Post subject:
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If you need any help feel free to ask. I have about 6 years experience with mainframe web services using channels and containers. I have a "sniffer" program that will show you what your containers are doing, if you are interested. It works great but you have to restart your CICS region to turn it on and off.
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