IBM TXSeries

IBM TXSeries for Multiplatforms is a distributed CICS (Customer Information Control System) online transaction processing (OLTP) environment for mixed language applications.

TXSeries was introduced by IBM's Transarc subsidiary in 1997 and bundled CICS version 2.1.2 with Encina, MQSeries middleware, Lotus Domino Go web server, and other software.

TXSeries is a transaction server available on AIX, Windows Server, Solaris and HP-UX. It shares similar design principles and some functions with CICS on mainframe. End of 2006 saw a major and popular release of TXSeries V6.1, with DCE and Encina components removed. This brought huge simplification to the product. There is also a new graphical web-based administration console.

TXSeries 7.1, announced in 2009, includes new features such as Channels and Containers that eliminate the 32KB size restriction that previously existed for data being passed between programs. It also includes a new protocol, IPIC that enables communication with mainframes using TCP/IP protocols.

Features and benefits

As a part of CICS family, TXSeries for Multiplatforms is a distributed CICS Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) environment for mixed language applications. It is widely used for integrating data and applications between distributed solutions and enterprise systems, and the deployment of CICS applications written in COBOL, C / C++, and PL/I.

The high-performing, distributed transactional services created by TXSeries software can be used in a stand-alone environment, or in support of larger mainframe and Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) application deployments. And TXSeries uniquely offers you the ability to scale up to a centralized IBM.

It can be integrated as a component of a service-oriented architecture (SOA), enabling end-to-end, distributed mixed language solutions through integration with WebSphere Application Server and CICS Transaction Gateway. WebSphere MQ can be used to connect TXSeries to IBM WebSphere Message Broker, or to any other product that supports native MQSeries transport.

TXSeries also provides extremely good connectivity with CICS Transaction Server (CICS TS) on z/OS. This acts as a gateway to CICS TS on z/OS to increase the performance of CICS TS on z/OS and protect it from client-originated disruption. Uniquely, TXSeries allows you to scale up to CICS TS on the mainframe if the needs of your business grow.

TXSeries for Multiplatforms V7.1 offers significant enhancements in integration and connectivity, system resilience, application development and problem determination tooling, Web administration console, and installation. Earlier versions of TXSeries vastly simplified infrastructure, enhanced the administration capabilities by introducing the Web administration console, improved usability, system resilience, and interoperability, addressed a large number of customer requirements.

TXSeries also provides an External File Handler (EXTFH) component which allows COBOL applications to transparently access its data stored in a RDBMS product. All the File I/O verbs such as READ, WRITE, DELETE, etc. used in the COBOL applications would remain unchanged. As a result, the COBOL application programmer sees no apparent difference between a standard COBOL File I/O and access to RDBMS through EXTFH.

Common Deployment Scenarios

A distributed transaction server

As a distributed transaction server, IBM TXSeries for Multiplatforms provides base-level CICS programming interfaces, allowing industry-specific COBOL, C, C++, PL/1, and Core Java specialists to create simple solutions for business-critical transaction processing. TXSeries supports screen-based terminals and provides programming interfaces for connectivity with graphics-rich displays, depending on the business requirement. Data can be accessed from the integrated CICS Structured File Server, local and remote RDBMS such as DB2, or messaging subsystems like WebSphere MQ. With excellent enterprise integration support, TXSeries is ideal for creating mainframe value-add or stand-alone distributed transaction processing solutions. Common transaction server deployment scenarios include:

As a stand-alone distributed transaction server for industry-specific applications written in COBOL, C, C++, PL/1, or Core Java applications running inside TXSeries, or where TXSeries provides the transactional run time for a vendor-produced packaged application

As a stand-alone COBOL, C, C++, PL/1 or Core Java transaction server, connecting to a stand-alone J2EE application server, such as WebSphere, delivering high performing transactional applications that are tightly integrated with graphics-rich intuitive applications developed in Java EE

As a physically distributed transaction server for simple CICS workloads that require a level of local branch level processing before periodically replicating the data with a back-end mainframe system

The key features of this deployment are:

Cost-effective and robust solution for deploying and running business transaction

Ideal solution for customers who do not have CICS or large-scale EIS systems, but require the transaction handling qualities of service offered by CICS

A rapid deployment integration server

As a rapid deployment integration server, TXSeries for Multiplatforms has extensive support for many enterprise information systems (EIS), such as CICS Transaction Server, IMS, DB2, WebSphere MQ, and WebSphere Application Server. It can use TCP/IP and SNA-based communication protocols. The ability to run intelligent business logic in a mid-tier environment that supports the same languages and APIs as the systems that require the integration enables a complex integration solution to be deployed extremely rapidly. Common integration server deployment scenarios include:

As a consolidating mid-tier terminal server, between internal customer service representatives at end-user terminals, using industry-specific graphical or screen-based interfaces to access applications and data from more than one EIS

As an intelligent mid-tier gateway between a Java EE application server that delivers intuitive interface rich Web content to Internet users who are unknowingly accessing applications and data from more than one EIS

As a comprehensive mid-tier integration server for applications and data residing on more than one heterogeneous EIS, as a result of consolidation within a corporation, or after a merger or acquisition, for example.

The key features of this deployment:

Reduced resource consumption on the EIS because TXSeries takes over a number of business operations

Intuitive and rich Web-based interfaces are now available to users

Consolidated data from multiple EIS systems before presentation to users