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The  Transaction Analytics Connector (HTAC) allows CICS users to send CICS transaction data to a machine data analytics platform (such as Splunk).  This allows the user to understand the performance characteristics of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) activity.

HTAC is made up of four components:

  • The Extractor: It takes information from an inbound request and includes it as "Origin Data" (which CICS keeps track of for each transaction, and which ultimately ends up in the SMF 110 record). The Extractor can support virtually any type of inbound CICS request, including HTTP, Sockets, CTG, MQ, and terminals.
  • The Collector: It intercepts the CICS Monitor Record whenever a transaction ends. The Monitor Record includes the Origin Data, which was augmented by the Extractor.  The Collector stages the Monitor Record for further processing by the Formatter and Emitter.
  • The Formatter: It takes the CICS Monitor Record and formats it as a JSON document in a structure that is preferable to Splunk.  The Formatter has numerous options for limiting the amount of data sent to Splunk (in order to control Splunk ingestion costs).
  • The Emitter: It sends formatted JSON documents to Splunk in near-real time.

HTAC supports three methods for sending data directly from CICS to the data analytics platform: HTTP, UDP, and TCP.  There are three other methods to view data before it gets sent:  PRNT, TDQ, and SUMY.

Regardless of the transport method, data is sent as a JSON document.  HTAC references a CICS URIMAP (for HTTP) or supplied parameters (for UDP or TCP) to establish the connection to the data analytics converter.  HTTP is the least efficient; UDP is the most efficient, and TCP offers the best balance between efficiency and ease of encryption. 

Management of HTAC is done by using the CICS HTAC transaction.  You can find the documentation for this transaction here.

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