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Top Point Earners

Global WebSphere Community Newsletter — February 2012
By The Global WebSphere Community Management Team
Feb 20, 2012 3:10 PM CST

           

Impact 2012

Impact 2012 Early Bird Registration: $300 Savings
Early bird registration is still on. But it won't be forever. After March 2, the significantly discounted registration rates ($300 savings!) will cease and full rates go into effect. Encourage your clients to register early.


The Global WebSphere Community Customer Recognition Awards
IBM Business Partners, nominate your customers for an Impact 2012 Global WebSphere Community Customer Recognition Award highlighting their 2011 WebSphere related IT or business solution implementations for an opportunity to have your customers recognized at Impact 2012. 

  • All IBM BP nominated customers meeting the award criteria are eligible for an award.
  • Customer award winners will receive a plaque marking their achievement in a special Customer Awards Ceremony at Impact 2012 and an opportunity to have a professional video created with their IBM BP and featured on IBM.com and the GWC (a $15K value).
  • Both the IBM BP and the customer award winners will be featured in the GWC Newsletter and special edition GWC Press Release during the week of Impact.
  • The first 10 IBM BPs to respond with eligible customer submissions and who are also Impact 2012 exhibitors or sponsors, will receive a feature article published in the GWC Newsletter, a banner ad on the GWC web site in 2012, and a 25% discount on a whitepaper featuring their solutions hosted on the GWC in 2012.  Leads resulting from the whitepaper will be provided to the IBM Business Partner.
Business Partners can nominate their customers here. For full details, please visit the GWC Customer Recognition page.

Deadline for submissions: March 16, 2012

Attend the Unconference and Let Your Voice be Heard
Developers: Set the agenda, submit and vote on the topics you want to discuss--online and onsite. 


Deadline Extended to March 14: You Could Win an Impact 2012 Pass for Contributing an Unconference Topic
Submit your Unconference topic and then blog about your idea on the GWC site between February 1 and March 14, 2012 to be entered into a drawing to win a complimentary pass to Impact 2012. Additionally, GWC Members who blog on the GWC site about their Unconference submission during February and March will also receive 100 GWC Member Rewards bonus points.  Each quarter, the GWC rewards its top contributors one complimentary IBM WebSphere Education course for adding valuable content to the community.
 
So submit your Unconference topic today, then go to your GWC Account (or register for your free account on the GWC) and blog about your Unconference topic idea by March 14th and you will be entered into a drawing to win a complimentary Impact 2012 pass.  Check out these instructions if you need help blogging on the GWC

Read the contest rules


Impact 2012 GWC Activities You Don’t Want to Miss
This year at Impact, the Global WebSphere Community is giving all it's members a chance to win some great prizes.  All you have to do is participate!  

GWC New Member Contest: April 30-May 4
We want to welcome any and all who attend Impact to become a member of the Global WebSphere Community.  By signing up, you will automatically be entered into a daily drawing for a $50 gift card.  The best part is, you don't even have to be at Impact to win!  If you are already a member, help out a friend or colleague by inviting them to join and give them the chance to win! Read the contest rules.

GWC Daily Chirp Challange Contest: April 30-May 4
While attending sessions or other events at Impact, we want to hear your thoughts and interests.  Post WebSphere- or Impact-related content to the GWC site, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter and you will be entered into a daily drawing for a $50 gift card!  If you are unable to attend Impact this year, but would still like to contribute, you are also eligible to win! Use #GWC in your post in any of the following to be included in the drawing:

  • Blog on the GWC site
  • Post to your Facebook page
  • Tweet on Twitter
  • Post to LinkedIn

Read the contest rules

GWC Shout Out Interviews: April 30-May 4
We on the GWC Management Team love to hear the opinion and feedback of those members of the community.  While at Impact, stop by the GWC Room and give a short interview about the most valuable thing you have learned.  The first 10 members to share their story will be rewarded with a nice GWC gift as a thanks for your contribution. 


Impact 2012 Global Conference Shaping Up as Boon for Business Partner Sponsors
Attendance at the Impact 2012 Global Conference is expected to exceed that of 2011, meaning even greater opportunities for event sponsors. If that weren’t enough, there’s more exciting news for Business Partners. In addition to the many benefits enjoyed by last year's sponsors — including hosting Summit sessions and a Solution Center Welcome Reception, both of which drew thousands of attendees — there are new conference locales, new discounted EXPO passes, enhanced pre- and post-event marketing opportunities and enhanced turnkey booth packages.

Sponsor / Exhibitor Application
IBM Business Partner Sponsorship & Exhibitor Package


Impact 2012 Agenda Preview Tool
With over 9,000 people expected to attend Impact 2012, while the networking opportunities are practically limitless, you might want to start thinking about how to maximize your time.  Use this new tool to discover interesting sessons and help you plan your conference experience.


Impact 2012 GWC Member Discount Begins on March 3rd
GWC members, if you missed the Early Bird discount, don’t worry we still have savings for you off of the standard Impact registration rate.  Beginning on March 3rd - April 29th, GWC members and WebSphere User Group members will receive $150 dollars off of the standard Impact registration rate.  Be sure to check that you are a GWC member when you register for Impact to get your GWC Impact registration rate.


Network. Listen. Engage.
The NEW Impact Social Playground is an exciting social hub that will bring together all the social movers and shakers. Catch the social buzz!


Impact 2012 Technology Program; Better Than Ever!
Discuss the latest technology trends and quickly build skills in WebSphere, BPM, SOA and Cloud solutions.  Explore a rich array of tracks at Impact 2012.


Impact 2012 GWC Business Partner Special Offer
Don’t miss out on this added benefit of Impact 2012 Sponsorship. Take advantage of a special promotional offering to receive a 20% discount on any new Global WebSphere Community (GWC) Business Partner sponsorship package and extend your marketing and messaging following the Impact 2012 Conference through the global reach of the GWC.  Deadline for sign up is May 2, 2012.

For additional information about the Global WebSphere Community (GWC) Business Partner Program please contact Scott Treggiari (scott.treggiari@wispubs.com) or 781-751-8734.  For Impact 2012 sponsorship and exhibitor inquiries, please contact Pari Lasch at 312-541-0567 ext. 654 or via e-mail at pari@corcexpo.com.


WUG News and Updates

Upcoming WUG Meetings:


Highlights From the February Blogs:


10 Minutes with Sandy Carter on IBM and Social Media Week
By Sarah Cenedella
Follow me @SarahatWIS

I spent 10 minutes with Sandy Carter, Vice President, Social Business and Collaboration Solutions Sales and Evangelism, IBM, to learn more about IBM’s participation in Social Media Week – a worldwide, week-long series of interconnected activities and conversations regarding emerging trends in social and mobile media across all major industries.

As part of the week-long event, Carter hosted a Social Business Agenda Coffee talk in New York on Wednesday where she discussed how organizations can apply social techniques to their businesses to gain competitive advantages. She was also available to sign her new book, Get Bold: Using Social Media to Create a New Type of Social Business.

Q: Why is participation at Social Media Week important to IBM?
A: Over the past year, we've witnessed a shift in "social." Social today is not just about leveraging public platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it's about embedding social into all parts of an organization, embedding it into the heart of workflow processes to increase collaboration, reach new markets, and ultimately drive business value. IBM's involvement in Social Media Week is a unique opportunity to educate those who are already social media believers to take the next step towards truly becoming social businesses. The speakers provided an amazing mix of business points of view as well as highlighting the technology. IBM is honored to be included as a thought leader in the mix.  

Q: What about its significance to you personally?
A: I personally enjoyed my involvement because it provided me with an opportunity to bring social business to life and meet people who I network with online. My session in NYC, "Social Business Agenda Coffee," provided the audience with guidance around how to apply social techniques to their business to gain competitive advantages while offering best practices for creating a social business agenda. The group had great questions, and ideas, it was a wonderfully interactive discussion on social business.

Q: What is one tool for social media you could not live without, and why?
A: I am a big micro blogger. I leverage Twitter externally and IBM Connections internally. I couldn't live without [them]! It causes me to pause and focus on the most important thoughts in 140 characters. Mark Twain once said, "I made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter."  I love micro blogging because the ideas are well thought out!

Q: How do you measure “success” in social media?
A: Success in social is about the impact on the business.  In most cases that is about ROI. The McKinsey study drives home the point of strong ROI that comes from embedding social into business processes. For instance, on average adding social to the customer service process can increase your customer satisfaction by up to 18%.  

Q: What is the one take-away you want attendees of your session at social media week to leave with?
A: Social is not just about the technology but about People and Relationships. Forming a relationship with your clients, business partners, and employees takes time, and therefore you as a company need to start now so that you are not left behind!  

Want to stay on top of IBM’s  participation in social media, and learn something along the way? You can read Sandy’s Marketing 2.0 blog or follow her on Twitter.


GWC Member Rewards Program: Announcing Member Loyalty Badges!
You may have noticed new badges under your profile photo when you’ve logged into your GWC account, or you may have seen new icons on forum posts under the member’s picture.
We are pleased to announce that these badges are the newest additions to the GWC Member Rewards Program.

Our Member Rewards Program recognizes the importance of community participation on the site and the effort made by those who contribute frequently. As a GWC member, you earn loyalty points for contributing content to the site — like making a blog post or answering a forum question.  Those points add up, and these new icons enhance your achievements with a bolder, graphical representation of your contribution efforts.

Your My GWC page (the page for your GWC account) and your profile page will include new achievement level badges under your profile picture. In addition, when you post in a forum or reply to a forum post, your achievement level will be noted with an image of the badge or badges you’ve earned under your profile picture.

Badges are earned at the following levels:

  • 500 lifetime points = Rising Star
  • 1500 lifetime points = Comet
  • 5000 lifetime points = Super Nova
If you should have badges and don’t see them, just do a quick activity on the site that earns you points, and you should see the badges the next time you refresh your page.

Don’t miss out! Get started today: earn points, achieve badges, get prizes!

Share a Time-Saving Tip or Best Practice (and Spread the Love)
by Sarah Cenedella

Follow me @SarahatWIS

Do you have a great time-saving tip or best practice that other WebSpherians could also put to use? Maybe you know a trick or work-around that has saved you time (aka money).

Share your WebSphere-related time-saving tip and it could be used in an upcoming article featured here on WebSphereUserGroup.org. This could be a work-around, technique, trick, or process that has saved you or your team time. It can be regarding any WebSphere product, project, or task. Please reply with a comment below and include:

  • Which WebSphere product(s) and/or project the tip is about
  • The tip itself
  • How much time it saves you or your team (a day, a month, a year, etc.)

Remember, you get 10 Loyalty Points just for adding a tip in a comment below, as well as the appreciation of your peers (priceless). Plus, your tip could be used in an upcoming article featured here on Global WebSphere Community.

Here is an example: Did you know when you are installing WAS that you can save up to 5 hours installing time-consuming fix packs and ifixes by using the IBM WebSphere Installation Factory? This is a free tool that enables you to pre-package a GA version of WAS with a specific fix pack, set of ifixes, and even your application EAR and deployment scripts. Learn more.


March 8 Webcast: Developing for the Evolving Application Lifecycle Experience

Date: March 8, 2012
Title:
Developing for the Evolving Application Lifecycle Experience
Time:
12:30 PM EST (GMT -5)

Watch the video replay and Download the presentation here

Businesses around the world are undertaking transformational journeys to become smarter, and IT is at the center of that transformation. A key challenge to overcome is the pains and many phases involved with application deployment. Attend this webcast to learn from the experts about the challenges faced throughout the application lifecycle, how technologies today, like IBM Workload Deployer with the Intelligent Management Pack, can address those challenges, and how new technologies like systems with integrated expertise can further simplify your overall experience.


March 14 Webcast: WebSphere Unconference Lightning Round 1

Date: March 14, 2012
Title: WebSphere Unconference Lightning Round 1

Watch the video replay and Download the presentation here

Andrew Glover, Disco blog editor, developer, entrepreneur, will moderate Lightning Round 1, provides colorful, insightful commentary.

Christof Ebert, Software Technology Editor, IEEE Software, managing director at Vector Consulting Services, and internationally renowned author, talks about how global development is changing the way developers work, sharing best practices and survival strategies from projects of various types and sizes that involve different continents and diverse cultures.

James Governor, Principal Analyst and Founder of RedMonk — the developer-focused industry analyst firm — gives a lively, engaging talk about how developers are defining the future of technology. James' presentation will be followed by two five-minute lightning talks.

Michael Rheinheimer, Advisory Software Engineer for IBM mobile solutions, talks about how enterprises have a unique problem today in supporting a BYOD (bring your own device) environment.  How can they reduce cost supporting the wide variety of mobile devices, operating systems, and capabilities brought into their infrastructure?  How can apps be managed without relying on third-party app "stores"?  What is the best solution for mobilizing all these legacy desktop and web apps?  How does the enterprise ensure their intranet remains secure?  He will briefly discuss the costs and solutions for all of these problems.

Cindy Reyna, Developer Relations, talks about the new WebSphere® Application Server V8.5 Beta Liberty Profile and how it has been redesigned - by developers, for developers - to provide a lightweight application foundation and optimized developer and operational productivity.

Ewan Auguste, Developer Relations, talks about how MQ telemetry is leading the way in M2M and device connectivity and the profound impact it is having on mobile messaging and application development.

Check out this webcast for valuable information and insights you can use today and a preview of the WebSphere Unconference 2012!


March 22 Webcast: Embracing Mobile: A Guide for Enterprises

Date: March 22, 2012
Title: Embracing Mobile: A Guide for Enterprises

Watch the video replay and download the presentation here

The explosive growth of mobile devices in consumer and enterprise environments creates new opportunity and significant demand for mobile access to applications and services. Companies need a way to adopt mobile solutions that deliver value quickly, leveraging their current investments in technology and skills, while retaining high levels security and manageability as they expand and grow.

This one hour presentation covers:

  • What companies who “get” mobile are doing today
  • What technologies will help you get to a mobile enterprise quickly and efficiently
  • How IBM is enabling its customers to build, run, and manage mobile applications, while securely connecting to back-end infrastructures

The recent acquisition of Worklight® and how its offering enhances the IBM mobile products.


Recap: February 9 Webcast: Delivering the Agile Discipline of BPM Through the Agile Infrastructure of the Cloud

Date: February 9, 2012
Title: Delivering the Agile Discipline of BPM Through the Agile Infrastructure of the Cloud
Time: 11 am EST (GMT -5)

Watch the video replay and download the presentation here

Business Process Management has always been about delivering value. Quickly. With IBM Blueworks Live, business and IT leaders have been collaboratively delivering significant value through the cloud for more than 4 years around the areas of process modeling and documentation. Join Bill and Mihnea in this webinar to hear about the latest announcements that will enable you and your team to extend the value you can deliver your organization through the most comprehensive end-to-end BPM solution powered by the cloud. You haven't been closer to achieving process excellence than with the IBM BPM cloud offerings!


Recap: February 15 Lab Chat: WebSphere Operational Decision Management: The Next Generation of Business Rules Platforms

Date: February 15, 2012
Lab Chat: WebSphere Operational Decision Management: The Next Generation of Business Rules Platforms
Time: 11 am EST (GMT -5)

Watch the video replay and download the presentation here

What’s the right offer or price for a particular customer? How should varying levels of transaction risk be handled? Which cases or processes should be flagged for review? Every day, your organization needs to make hundreds or thousands of decisions like these, quickly and consistently. Added up across all the interactions taking place every day, these decisions affect every measure of business success — customer satisfaction, top-line revenues, profitability, risk avoidance and competitiveness.

Join us for this interactive look at WebSphere Operational Decision Management, the next generation of IBM's market leading business rules platform that enables the intelligent automation of a wide range of transactional decisions across business processes and applications, combining the situational awareness of business events with rules-based decisioning.


Recap: February 22 Webcast: The DevOps Cycle: Accelerating Application Change Cycles 

Date: February 23, 2012
Title:
The DevOps Cycle: Accelerating Application Change Cycles 
Time:
11 am EST (GMT -5)

Watch the video replay and download the presentation here

Agile development and Cloud computing are causing organizations to consider how DevOps strategies support the entire application change cycle. Companies are looking to enable rapid, open collaboration between all application stakeholders including Dev, QA, Operations, application owners — even end users. The DevOps Cycle extends across the application release phase to managing the end-user experience and change management functions that channel problem records, requirements and change requests back through Development to drive the next iteration of the change cycle.

The DevOps Cycle enables enterprises to become truly agile across all the business functions supported by web-based applications. A critical challenge in the cycle is visibility across both development and operations tools. Join us and learn how your organization can achieve a high-performance DevOps Cycle and accelerate application delivery.


Recap: February 23 Webcast: Better Together (More Than Ever): BPM & SOA with IBM BPM and WebSphere Message Broker V8

Date: February 23, 2012
Title: Better Together (More Than Ever): BPM & SOA with IBM BPM and WebSphere Message Broker V8
Time: 11 am EST (GMT -5)

Watch the video replay and download the presentation here

BPM and SOA have always been better together.  At the heart of an SOA are services —  repeatable business tasks —  like “new account opening” or “customer credit check”.  These services can then be used (and re-used) in the context of multiple business process or combined to deliver new, composite processes. The key for mid-market and departmental users is that this integration approach must be easy to implement and manage. Too often enterprises have shied away from the necessary SOA approach vital to many BPM use cases because the solution has been too complex, the enterprise has been too strapped for resources or the project simply doesn’t mix with their current staff or set of skills. The combination of IBM BPM and the new WebSphere Message Broker (WMB) V8 looks to change this tune for good.  Join Joe Speed and Bill Hahn as they delve into the new features and functions of WMB V8 that, when combined with IBM BPM, help deliver real business agility.


Interested in Becoming a GWC Business Partner?
The Global WebSphere Community reaches tens of thousands of WebSphere professionals every month – the GWC Partner Program allows companies to get their message to decision makers in the community that they may otherwise not have the opportunity to reach. “When we want to send a targeted message specifically to people working in the WebSphere platform, the GWC Partner Program makes that happen for us”, says XebiaLabs CEO Coert Baart, a recent GWC Partner Program participant. He added, “A recent email sent to the community on our behalf resulted in dozens of new leads overnight.”

The GWC Partner Program delivers value far beyond simple advertising. They work as an advisor helping partners choose the right mix of sponsored articles, white papers and webinars that are likely to deliver the desired outcome to partners in terms of brand recognition and lead generation.

To learn how the GWC Business Partner Program can help you deliver targeted messages to WebSphere professionals, contact Scott Treggiari at scott.treggiari@wispubs.com or 1-781-751-8734.


WebSphere News and Announcements

 
Avada Software’s Infrared360 is Simple, Powerful, and Intuitive for Managing IBM Middleware
Imagine you are providing IT services for a financial institution. It is 10 minutes to 4pm (when the markets close) and $20M worth of electronic transactions has gone missing. If the trades are not completed, the financial institution will not only be liable for regulatory fines but also for interest foregone and, potentially, any price change that occurs the next day. The department providing the services will be taken to task or worse if it proves to be an IT issue that has caused the problem. This is a scenario that is not as uncommon as you might think. The financial implications are unpleasant. The customer relationship and internal management implications may be worse.  This happens in other industries such as travel, retail, manufacturing as well; anywhere that sophisticated technical environments operate.

Traditional Systems Management Can Be Insufficient

The technical environment depicted above is a real life example.  The infrastructure is comprised of an extensive network of IBM’s WebSphere Application Servers and WebSphere MQ servers running on everything from zOS mainframes to HP nonstop servers to many flavors and instances of UNIX, Linux and Windows. These middleware servers provide the mission critical foundation that carry transactions to different businesses and applications.Availability and reliability are critical both to commercial operations and, in the case of travel industries, safety. While standard industry monitoring solutions worked fine when the world was simpler and managed in silo’d environments, like everything else, the world has changed.Managing widely distributed environments among many business units and across varying geographies is now more the norm.   It is no longer safe, expeditious, or even possible in some cases, to roll out monitoring agents across an entire global business environment; never mind testing them.  The cost of doing business this way is prohibitive and limited in scope and ability.

Making a Choice

Avada Software is the only vendor whose monitoring solution – Infrared360 – scales to thousands, not hundreds, of managed middleware endpoints from a single server without deploying anything (no agents, no scripts, and no programs) to those endpoints.   There is nothing to deploy on client desktops either.  Infrared360 is a 100% web application; not partially web, partially client.  It doesn’t even use applet technology (which is essentially a client and requires firewall configuration allowances).Infrared360 was created with two goals in mind:

  1. Reduce the time of initial and subsequent deployments of middleware management tools
  2. Allow infrastructure groups to collaborate in problem solving without compromising security in any way; in fact enhancing it in a way that allows corporations to leverage, not segregate staff.
Results

The result is that any costs, like those described above, are taken out of deploying and running a management and monitoring solution, directly improving the bottom line.

Improved Management


Alerts are the bedrock of systems management. When a threshold is exceeded, someone is notified, then investigates and remedies the outstanding issue. While in principle this works well, the downside is that the alert can be sent to a large number of people and can cause one of two effects:
  • The first is that nobody does anything (thinking that someone else is dealing with it).
  • The second is that too many people become involved — and too many are ‘contributing’ to the resolution, an extremely wasteful use of precious skills and resources.
Using Infrared360, our customers are able to quickly create or modify complex, cascading alerts that notify only the people that matter for that business unit or application.  But the magic is not only in doing it; it’s doing it without using rule engines, scripts, or programs of any type.

Automated Problem Correction (self-healing)


The traditional solution sequence was to solve each issue as the operator encountered it. The response of this ‘alert’ normally would be for a support person to try their hand at correcting the problem and then escalate to a system administrator if needed.  But there are many situations where there may be more complex reasons to trigger an alert.  This compound grouping of issues usually entails scripting, rules engines, or complicated configuration files. Infrared360 requires simply the selection of the different events.Using Infrared360, the remedy to the event can then be enabled via a graphical association of the alert with any services referenced by the product (email, sms, web services, logging, home grown scripts, remote processes, etc.).  There is no user intervention required if the criteria for a given alert are satisfied and the associated steps are taken by the product.   In some instances, Avada Software customers have seen the time for problem resolution and remedy drop from 7 hours to 30 seconds.

Collaborative Problem Solving


Traditional ad-hoc problem solving involved a single administrator working deftly via an administration client connected to a targeted problem on a server.  But what if that problem area comprised multiple servers and what if a change needed to be made to multiple objects on those multiple servers at pretty much the same time?   And more so, what if another business unit or person was needed to review, interact, or verify that the proposed changes would in fact correct the issue?   Infrared360 allows administrators and the business unit’s subject matter expert to share and view only the problem environment – while limiting the collaborating subject matter expert to attend to the problem with only the permissions to assist, not effect, changes themselves.  Infrared360’s innovative solution allows quick pinpointing of the problem area without the need to sift through dozens or perhaps scores of servers and screens of information in order to even find the problem area.

Raise Your Expectations


In the mobile communications world, smart phones offer the capabilities people need while maintaining the simplicity they want. There is no reason why it should be any different for enterprise management solutions!  Avada Software’s Infrared360 is simple yet powerful, powerful yet intuitive.Infrared360 Middleware management portal provides administration, monitoring, statistical reporting, and testing for WebSphere MQ, WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Broker Integrator, and WebSphere JMS messaging.

WebSphere S&S: What an Existing Customer Can Expect from WebSphere Message Broker Version 8
Here is a quick sneak peak on the latest version enhancement to the WebSphere Message Broker version 8. The latest version provides feature advancements in the areas of Management and Administration, Data Format and Protocol Support, Transformation, SOA and Standards Support, and Application Development.

The new version provides dramatic feature changes. Feature changes include; comprehensive support in Microsoft.NET environment which improves the ease of deployment, New Graphical Mapping, New command API and Improved diagnostic capabilities which provides the overall ease of use of this latest version.

The enhancements also include Enhanced auditing of data with new edit, record, and replay functionality complemented by advanced graphical tooling, Support for Web Services Reliable Messaging (WS-RM) which provides ease and assured delivery.

Existing customers of WebSphere Message Broker can find detailed information at the WebSphere S&S home page. The site also provides information on the comparison points between previous versions of WebSphere and version 8.


Announcement: Febraury 1st Consolidation of the IBM_Lombardi, IBM_Modeler, IBM_Monitor, and IBM_Process Server Twitter Accounts
On Wednesday, February 1, 2012, the Twitter accounts for the IBM Business Process Management (BPM) product family changed. For your convenience, and to better align with our product family strategy, we are consolidating the IBM_Lombardi, IBM_Modeler, IBM_Monitor, and IBM_ProcessServ Twitter accounts into one Twitter account called IBM_BPM.

For more information and to see how this change might affect you, see the IBM Business Process Management Products Support blog here.


New on the Web

IBM CICS Transaction Gateway V8.1
Much of the world’s data is processed on mainframes, using the qualities of service of proven transaction servers such as CICS TS. Delivering access to CICS applications through standards-based interfaces is becoming a key requirement in many of today’s sophisticated service-oriented solutions.

CICS Transaction Gateway (CICS TG), a market leading Enterprise connector, is production proven by over a thousand customers as a high performing, security-rich, and scalable  method of service-oriented architecture (SOA) access to CICS, which:

  • Delivers JEE standards-based access to CICS applications, while requiring minimal changes to CICS and usually no changes to existing CICS applications.
  • Provides quick and easy connector access to CICS applications from a wide variety of environments, including Java, C/C++, Microsoft .NET, and COBOL run times.
  • Allows the reuse of existing CICS applications as services in comprehensive and sophisticated JEE and Web services solutions hosted on powerful application servers such as WebSphere Application Server.
Implementing CICS TG requires minimal changes to CICS systems and usually no changes to CICS applications. CICS TG is available on a range of platforms and can be deployed in a number of different topologies.

CICS TG is a part of an extensive portfolio of IBM tools, for System z® and other platforms, including CICS tools, problem determination (PD) tools, application development tools, and data and systems management tools. The tools support the entire application life cycle, which helps you to build, test, deploy, and manage enterprise solutions. As a result, you can make the most of your IT investments and take advantage of the latest functions introduced in CICS Transaction Server, Version 4.

IBM CICS VSAM Transparency for z/OS, Version 2.1
Introduced in the early 1970s, virtual storage access method (VSAM) continues to be one of the main file-management systems for CICS and batch applications running on z/OS®. With continued enhancements to meet new technical challenges, such as statutory compliance requirements, many VSAM applications have become increasingly complex. Knowledge of these applications can be scarce. As a result, retrieving business-critical data from your VSAM files or providing Web or mobile access to your existing applications can be difficult. At the same time, the costs of application rewriting and testing to make critical data more accessible through a database management system (DBMS), such as IBM® DB2, can be costly and time-consuming.

IBM CICS VSAM Transparency for z/OS (CICS VT), Version 2.1 can help you migrate your valuable data from VSAM files to DB2 tables as your business requirements dictate, with no modification to your CICS and batch VSAM application programs and with only minimal changes to your system environment and JCL By migrating to DB2, you can make your data available 24x7 to customers and suppliers to support real-time global operations— with the security-rich reliability and maintainability that DB2 offers.

The perceived cost and risk of moving your critical data from VSAM to DB2 might seem daunting. It can involve rewriting and testing applications, mapping and migrating data, and disturbing existing applications that might have successfully run unchanged for years.

However, moving your data to DB2 can help you add value to your information assets by enabling you to take advantage of robust capabilities like 24x7 availability, integration with DB2 applications, and the use of powerful business intelligence and data analytics tools for the line of business, and function-rich database management, performance, and governance tools for the IT specialists.

With CICS VSAM Transparency, you can quickly and smoothly migrate your business-critical data from VSAM to DB2.

Other benefits gained when using CICS VT include:

  • Enable new applications to be fully DB2 technology-based—allowing database standardization
  • Web and mobile access
  • Phased migration for VSAM files for a low risk approach
  • Preserve investments in core applications— avoiding complex application rewrites.
If you’re running CICS and batch systems on z/OS with VSAM and trying to migrate your data and applications to DB2, CICS VT can really help you by removing the need to modify any of your application programs and by migrating the VSAM data to DB2 tables with minimal effort.

Moving your VSAM data to DB2 will help you to comply with auditing and governance initiatives, for example, to comply with national legislation such as the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act or industry led regulations industry such as Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Basel II, and PCI DSS.

SOA Sandbox Updated With IBM Business Process Manager Online Cloud Trial
Learn how to model and run business processes in the latest cloud trial of the SOA Sandbox, showcasing IBM Business Process Manager 7.5.


IDC Study Shows Impact of Training on Project Success
Is training worth the investment of time and money? A recent report from IDC, a global market intelligence firm, shows an unquestionable link between training, team skill and project success.
Download the report.


Apple Vacations Creates the Perfect Package Solution with SAP and IBM
Apple Vacations, a successful packaged vacations provider, has seen a dramatic rise in direct consumer sales thus necessitating faster web performance combined with reliable back-office systems to support detailed analysis of customer trends and more. The company consolidated core SAP applications to two IBM® Power® 770 servers and implemented IBM WebSphere® eXtreme Scale to provide super-fast web performance. IBM WebSphere Application Server and IBM WebSphere Virtual Enterprise components help Apple Vacations to provide an integrated web experience.


Dynamic Business Process Management for Banking
Consolidation, customer demand for tailored products and services, need for increased transparency and changing regulations compel financial institutions to find a way to address these challenges and differentiate themselves through their business processes. Business Process Management (BPM) can help bridge the gap between business and IT by providing a common means to collaborate around business processes, make more informed decisions, implement rapid changes, exploit global business opportunities and maximize inorganic and organic growth. IBM’s prebuilt banking processes, service models, vocabularies, solution templates and dashboards help jumpstart the delivery of BPM solutions, making banking processes more agile, automated and responsive to change.


Optimizing Healthcare with Middleware
Medical practitioners and healthcare delivery organizations face challenges in the management of patient health, accurate and timely diagnosis of illness, and the delivery of appropriate care and treatment. IT can play a key role in mitigating these challenges; the implementation of application and integration middleware (AIM) is the most cost-effective approach. This paper describes the key aspects of AIM as implemented by IBM together with IBM's offerings for technical and administrative enablers.


Education and Certification


Exclusive Training Savings for WebSphere User Group Members

As a member of the Global WebSphere Community user group, you are eligible to receive a 10% discount on public classes from IBM Training in the United States and Canada! Your discount can be applied to over 250 courses across our most popular curriculums.


Upcoming Webcasts, Seminars, and Events

Don't Miss These Upcoming and On-Demand Webcasts:

February 28: Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap for Social Media & Mobile Marketing (free webcast)
Social media is about being present when people need you. It's about being where customers already are. Today's interactive marketing strategies involve using all appropriate social media channels to find customers in the places they gather for trusted advice. Using social media for business isn't about copying and pasting messages; it's about knowing what communities matter to you and speaking to people in those communities on their terms.

For small and midsize businesses, social media is a productivity goldmine.

Using her plain-English, "no geek speak" style, Heather Lutze demystifies the world of social media so that businesses can make smart choices about how to optimize their presence for search and sharing to achieve rewarding results.

March 1: An InformationWeek Webcast: Exploiting Mobility in the Enterprise
Today's businesses are faced with the paradigm-shifting challenge of providing access to their critical applications and data from anywhere: the mobile device has become a key access point in today's modern enterprise. Meeting this challenge requires the enterprise to deliver applications and capabilities across a fragmented and changing landscape of device ecosystems.

Companies need a scalable approach to developing rich mobile apps across multiple platforms in order to deliver compelling capabilities and experiences, while maximizing existing investments in skills and infrastructure. In this one hour presentation, we will cover the ways that IBM is enabling its customers to build, run, and manage mobile applications, while securely connecting to back-end infrastructures. We will also present a demonstration of some of the exciting new technologies we are working on in the IBM Labs.

March 14: Live Monthly Demos: For WebSphere Operational Decision Management
Each month one of our technical experts provides an interactive walk-through of the WebSphere Operational Decision Management product -- the next generation of business rules management capabilities. This live demo is a good opportunity to see key product features and functions in action with live Q&A.

On-Demand: Succeeding with Business Agility: Three Forward-Thinking Organizations
Attend this webcast series to hear from Nationwide, Aetna, and Parker Hannifin -- three companies that took different paths to becoming more nimble and creative in how they deliver new policies and products, enter new markets, serve clients and comply with new regulations. Listen to their experts discuss business goals, what challenges they needed to overcome, what they needed to focus on and how they got results.

Consider this a mini-course in Business Agility taught in the best possible way – by example.  This webcast series is sponsored by IBM.

Nationwide
Aetna
Parker Hannifin


Don't Miss These Upcoming Events:

February 27 - March 1: Mobile World Congress, Barcelona
Come see IBM speakers, Ling Shao, Zygmunt Lozinski & Malcolm Nicholas and Scott Burnett speak at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

February 27 - March 1: Embedded World Conference 2012 - Nuernberg, Germany
IBMers, Jeff Crume and Sridhar Muppidi will be speaking at Embedded World Conference 2012.

February 28: SOA Architect Summit Montreal
The IBM SOA Architect Summit is a full-day SOA event focused on the important role architecture plays in aligning IT and business goals by enabling greater integrity, scalability, performance and agility across the enterprise.  IBM technical experts will provide the practical knowledge you need in a professional interactive learning environment.  You’ll also have the opportunity to network with your peers and leading IBM strategists and architects at this flagship event for the architect community.        

SOA Architect Summit Montreal
Tuesday, February 28
Hilton Montreal Bonaventure
900 Rue de La Gauchetiere W.
Montreal, Quebec H5A 1E4
8:30am - 4:30pm

Sommet Des Concepteurs d’Architecture Orientée Services (SOA) de Montréal
Le Sommet des concepteurs d’architecture SOA d’IBM se penche principalement sur le rôle important que joue l’architecture dans l’harmonisation des objectifs TI et organisationnels, en améliorant l’intégrité, l’évolutivité, la performance et l’agilité au sein de l’entreprise. Au cours de cette journée, des experts techniques d’IBM vous transmettront les connaissances pratiques dont vous avez besoin dans un en-vironnement d’apprentissage interactif professionnel. À l’occasion de cet événement phare pour la communauté des concepteurs d’architecture, vous pourrez également échanger avec des pairs ainsi qu’avec d’importants stratèges et concepteurs IBM.

Le mardi 28 février 2012
Hôtel Hilton Montréal Bonaventure
900, rue de La Gauchetière Ouest
Montréal (Québec) H5A 1E4
De 8 h 30 à 16 h 30

March 4 - 7: Pulse 2012 Optimizing the World's Infrastructure
Pulse 2012 Optimizing the World's InfrastructureRemove the barriers to innovation and foster a business without limits…

As a leader in your industry, you recognize the critical role an agile infrastructure plays in fostering business without limits. In fact, leaders who have successfully applied cloud, mobility, smarter physical infrastructures and other advances for strategic advantage have not only driven new levels of innovation in their own organization -- many have irreversibly transformed entire industry business models. With this, however, where do today’s business infrastructures really begin and end? The infrastructures, products and services we rely on have grown more open, complex, and dynamic than ever before presenting a unique set of challenges.  To make new things possible, technology and operations leaders must overcome these challenges and play a more strategic role in driving innovation across the business. IBM has helped leaders across industries remove the barriers to innovation, helping them gain the visibility, control and automation needed to embrace complexity, drive innovation, and foster a business without limits.  Invite your clients to register now and secure their space among more than 7,000 attendees who will take part in Pulse.

March 6, 7, 21 & 23: IBM Rational RoadShow 2012 Spain (Bilbao, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisboa)
Learn how to make teamwork the basis for a software development more automated, transparent and predictive IBM Rational JAZZ Roadshow 2012.

Descubra cómo convertir el trabajo en equipo en la base para un desarrollo de software más automatizado, transparente y predictivo en IBM Rational JAZZ Roadshow 2012.

March 21: IBM Seminar: Improving Customer Service with BPM & Decision Management (New York City)
What: A free, half day IBM seminar
When: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Time: 8:30am - 12:30pm ET
Where: Hilton New York, 1335 6th Avenue, New York, NY

Success in today’s extremely crowded marketplace has put immense pressure on companies to maximize productivity, improve operational decision-making and increase business agility to meet customer demand.  Implementing effective business processes supported by automated decisioning technology enables organizations to proactively detect and respond to changes in the marketplace – a prerequisite to achieving high customer satisfaction levels.  Join us on Wednesday, March 21st to learn essential best practices for enhancing your business process management (BPM) and decision management initiatives to ensure a customer-centric focus.

For more information and to register, please visit: http://events.techtarget.com/bpm/?Offer=CustInvNY

March 7 & March 22: Process Excellence:  A Route to Better Business - Events in Columbus and Denver
Join IBM and your industry peers for this process-improvement seminar. James Taylor, CEO and Principal Consultant, Decision Management Solutions, will build on real case studies to show you how streamlining decision management can deliver simpler, more manageable processes to enhance efficiency.

You’ll walk away with insights and new ideas on how to move toward more agile and efficient processes. Learn best-practices, hear case studies, and see practical demonstrations illustrating how you can start using BPM and decision management to improve operational agility. Experts and successful practitioners will share their expertise in the following sessions:

  • BPM and Decision Management for Smarter, Simpler and More Agile Processes
  • A Smarter Approach to Processes and Decisions
  • Projects to Programs to Transformation

March 27: Systems Symposium: Journee Ingenierie Systemes - Paris
Rencontrez des experts indépendants et des industriels qui témoigneront de pratiques et de projets d'Ingénierie Système, et découvrez la plateforme que Rational est en train de concevoir dans ce domaine.


May 21 - 24: IBM Exceptional Web Experience Conference 2012

As the world becomes more socially connected, experiences -- especially web experiences -- matter more than ever.

Do not miss the 2012 conference! Whether it is social business strategies or product features and capabilities, the IBM Exceptional Web Experience Conference – Americas delivers the very latest technology news, experiences and industry directions that can help you define your customers’ and employees’ web experiences.

IBM is pleased to offer again this year a 10 percent discount to all WebSphere User Group Members who register and attend the 2012 event - a savinngs of $172 for a final tuition of $1553. when WUG members register with promotion code W2U.

Conference attendees may also take one complimentary IBM Lotus® product certification exam! Your second certification test is 50 percent off. Attendees can also prepare with complimentary access to the new Virtual Prep Lab.

Register now with promotional code W2U. For more details details visit the Conference website, and take a look at the registration tab.


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