For the first time, we are asked to try to develop a virtual service that will involve using IBM's IMS Connect. I have no experience with IMS Connect and I was wondering if anybody out here could point out some guidelines, or tutorials?
Even better yet, is there a sample program or project I could use to experiment/practice to make a DevTest recording or any sort of virtual service involving IMS Connect?
I am reading all I can through IBM's knowledge base and I am a bit overwhelmed trying to understand all the different IMS technology. Any advice or guides would be greatly appreciated!
Sorry, I do not have a sample project to share. Think of the IMS Connect virtualization as following a basic virtualization pattern except that some additional configuration is required to describe the transport and data characteristics that IMS is expecting. This picture is scrubbed a bit. The actual content is not that important. It is here to help develop an understanding of the flow:
1) The consumer app needs to send its request to DevTest.
2) DevTest needs to be able to take the raw payload and map it to a copybook -- most likely.
3) And, then convert copybook to XML so it can display properly in the VSI.
Chances are, you will need to focus most on the copybooks to get the IMS Connect transport recorded and ready for playback.
Key elements to configure:
a) Identify the endpoints. The service will need these for recording and Live Invocation.
b) My guess is that the transaction request / responses are in Cobol Copybook format. The team will need to provide you with the layout (copybooks) so you can describe the mapping to DevTest. (NOTE: It is possible that IMS might use PL/1 format so you may need to manually convert PL/1 formats to a Cobol representation to get a usable copybook.) You will use the copybooks to configure the Copybook bundle so DevTest knows how to parse the information. Create Copybook Bundles - DevTest Solutions - 10.0 - CA Technologies Documentation
c) After figuring out the copybooks, ask the team what IMS expects with regard to record lengths and starting bytes within the payload (these are called LLLL and LLZZ fields). Check out: IMS Connect Transport Protocol - DevTest Solutions - 10.0 - CA Technologies Documentation. If you get some blank stares when you ask this question, set up in local.properties with the following settings and adjust from there as you get more information:
# REQUESTS FROM CLIENT USE LLZZ RECORD LENGTHS
# RESPONSES USE THE LLZZ RECORD LENGTH
# CLIENT SUT USES COPYBOOKS FOR PARSING
d) When recording, you will need to tell the recorder where to send the transactions and what codepage to use. The endpoint in this case is the IMS Connect server.
You will also specify your Copybook DPH on both the request and response side of your service.
The DPH wizard will ask you to identify the location of the Copybook bundle file.
You may or may not add additional DPHs depending on your requirements.
And, as best practice, save off a Raw Traffic file during recording so you can playback the transactions in case you need to adjust the copybook layouts or settings. This will enable you to replay the recording without sending transactions from the consumer application.
Thank you so much for this insightful guide. This was a great explanation and helps my understanding a lot more. If I have anymore questions as I tinker with the setup I will definitely post again!