Image Control Environment 8.0 (ICE 8.0) is now generally available from NewEra Software. ICE 8.0 includes same-day support for IBM Corporation's z/OS V1R11. "This is the 12th year in a row that we have been able to meet same-day delivery of our Image Control Environment with a new release of the IBM z/OS operating system," Paul Robichaux, CEO of NewEra Software, tells 5 Minute Briefing. Additionally, with the release of ICE 8.0, he points out, "we entered the CICS market, which was a new market for us." ICE now provides support for CICS TS V4.1, the transaction-processing environment that is used on large IBM computers, Robichaux states.
In general, capabilities in the new release reflect a continued emphasis on adding functions that give users the ability to enhance the integrity of their mainframe environment and increasingly demonstrate that integrity to independent reviewers whether those be internal auditors or external auditors, Robichaux adds.
According to NewEra, ICE 8.0 includes enhancements to the Control Editor (TCE), which allows for the tracking of changes such as edits, adds, deletes and renames to critical datasets. In ICE 8.0, the use of these datasets is also tracked by capturing the SUBMIT command when using a member of these critical datasets, creating not only a notice of use but also a copy of the JCL as it was submitted. In addition, the Control Editor will allow the user to test the integrity of a JCL member during an edit session by allowing the user to simply enter a single command, SCAN, and receive the analysis of the JCL, in the edit session, as if it had been executed with a TYPRUN=SCAN JCL statement. This will help users save both time and CPU resources to perform these simple yet important validation tests.
ICE 8.0 also includes enhancements to its Subsystem Inspectors. A new CICS Subsystem Inspector joins ICE's JES, VTAM and TCP/IP Subsystem Inspectors. The CICS Subsystem Inspector will monitor, detect and validate changes in the CICS System Initialization File (SIT). There are also enhancements to ICE's Supplemental Inspectors in the latest release. The CSDS Supplemental Inspector will (ISNCSDS) will join the other Supplemental Inspectors (ISNLOAD and ISNMBRS) and will monitor, detect and validate changes to the CICS System Definition File (CSD).
Finally, ICE 8.0 includes a new Image SENTRY Application, the DFHz Explorer, which provides a framework for auditors as well as technical users. It addresses the organization, maintenance and auditing of crucial CICS resources, focusing on Load Libraries, the External Security Manager, System Definition Dataset (CSD) Groups and Lists, System Startup JCL and related procedures, and the System Initialization Table (SIT).
As NewEra did its work in CICS, it became obvious that the knowledge that is available on CICS-its integrity, how to audit it, how to manage it, how to control it-"is woefully out of date," notes Robichaux. "Working with a team of authors around the world, we commissioned the writing, production and distribution of a new book called ‘CICS Essentials - Auditing CICS - A Beginner's Guide.' " A free soft-copy of the book can be downloaded here. For more information about NewEra, go here.