Customer Information Control System(CICS)

IBM’s Customer Information Control System (CICS) is an on-line teleprocessing system developed by IBM. By providing a sophisticated control and service database/data communication system, the application developer can concentrate on fulfilling specific business needs rather than on communication and internal system details. CICS allows data to be transmitted from the terminal to the host computer, have the data processed, access files/databases, and then have data to be transmitted from the terminal to the host computer, have the data processed, access files/databases, and then have data transmitted back to the terminal. To accomplish that, CICS uses a telecommunication package such as VTAM or TCAM and various file access methods: VSAM, DL/1, DB2, etc.

The latest release CICS/ESA is Release 3.3.

Some of the new functionality includes:

1. Expanded features for the system programmer

2. Improved above the line storage utilization

3. New options for many CICS commands

4. Improved cross-platform communication facilities


CICS provides the following support:

Data Communications

· An interface between the terminal and printers with CICS via a telecommunication access method (TCAM or VTAM).

· Multi Region Operation(MRO), through which more than one CICS region of a system can communicate

· Intersystem Communication (ISC), through which one CICS region of a system can communicate with other CICS regions in other systems

Application Programming

· Interfaces with programming languages such as COBOL and Assembler

· Command level translator

· An Execution Diagnostic Facility (EDF)

· A Command Interpreter

Data Handling

· An interface with database access methods such as DB2, DL/1, and VSAM

· An interface with error checking and reporting facilities


CICS has its own language. Some of the language abbreviations of CICS are:

SIT System Initialization Table

PCT Program Control Table

PPT Program Processing Table

TCT Terminal Control Table

FCT File Control Table

TCP Terminal Control Program

TCTUA Terminal Control Terminal User Area

DCT Destination Control Table

TDQ Transient Data Queue

EIP Execution Interface Program

FCP File Control Program

ICP Interval Control Program

KCT Task Control Program

PCP Program Control Program

SCP Storage Control Program

TCA Task Control Area

TCTTE Terminal Control Table Terminal Entry

TSQ Temporary Storage Queue

TWA Task Work Area

AID Attention Identifier

CWA Common Work Area

MRO Multi Region Operation

QID Queue Identifier

Q1) What are the six different types of argument values in COBOL that can be placed in various options of a CICS command?


·Data Value - EX (Literal 8 or 77 KEYLEN PIC S9(4) COMP VALUE 8.)

·Data Area - EX (01 RECORD-AREA.

05 FIELD1 PIC X(5). )

·Pointer-Ref - EX (05 POINTER-I PIC S9(8) COMP. )

·Name - EX (05 FILE-NAME PIC X(5) VALUE ‘FILEA’. )

·Label - Cobol paragraph name


Q2) Kindly specify the PIC clause for the following

Any BLL Cell, Data type of Length Option field, HHMMSS type of data fields

A2) Any BLL Cell - S9(8) COMP

Data type of Length Option field - S9(4) COMP

HHMMSS type of data fields - S9(7) COMP3

Q3) Specify CICS transaction initiation process. (From the perspective of CICS control programs and control tables.)

A3) TCP places data in TIOA and corresponding entry into TCT.

KCP acquires the transaction identifier from TIOA and verifies if it is present in PCT.

SCP acquires Storage in Task Control Area (TCA), in which KCP prepares control data for the task.

KCP then loads the application programs mentioned in PCT by looking for it in PPT.

If resident - real storage memory location is not present in the PPT the control is passed to PCP that loads the application programs from the physical storage location address given in PPT. The control is then passed to the application program (LOAD module).

Q4) List the sequence of steps used to achieve “Modification in Skip Sequential Mode.”


I. READNEXT command

II. Issue the ENDBR command

III. Issue the READ command with UDTAE option.

IV. Manipulate the record (DELETE or REWRITE command)

V. Issue START command

VI. Issue two READNEXT commands (One for dummy skip)

VII. Go to step two.

Q5) Specify the requirements for Automatic Task Initiation. (Mention the control table, it’s entries and the corresponding Procedure division CICS command).










Q6) What are the commands used to gain exclusive control over a resource (for Ex a Temporary storage queue.)?




Q7) What is the EIB parameter and the CICS command used to implement Pseudo-Conversational technique using single PCT - Single PPT entry?

A7) EIBCALEN - To check if COMMAREA has been passed in terurn command.






Q8) Mention the 5 fields available in the symbolic map for every ‘NAMED’ field in the DFHMDI macro? Give a brief description of these fields (Not exceeding a line).

A8) FIELD+L - Return the length of text entered (or for dymanic cursor positioing)

FIELD+F - Returns X(80) if data entered but erased.

FIELD+A - Used for attributes reading and setting

FIELD+I - Used for reading the text entered while receiving the map.

FIELD+O - Used for sending information on to the MAP.

Q9) What are the two ways of breaking a CPU bound process to allow other tasks to gain access to CPU.


INTERVAL(hhmmss) TIME(hhmmss)


POST and WAIT commands also achieve the same result.

Q10) How do you initiate another transaction? The transaction initiated should be in a position to retrieve

information pertaining to which transaction has initiated it and from which terminal. (Code the required CICS

















Q11) Mention the option (along with argument type) used in a CICS command to retrieve the response code after

execution of the command.

A11) RESP( S9(8) COM.)

Q12) What’s the CICS command used to access current date and time?


Q13) Into what fields will the date and time values be moved after execution of the above command?


Q14) How do you terminate an already issued DELAY command?




Q15) How do you dynamically set the CURSOR position to a specific field?

A15) MOVE -1 to FIELD+L field. Mention CURSOR option in the SEND command.

Q16) Which option of the PCT entry is used to specify the PF key to be pressed for initiating a transaction?


Q17) Specify the CICS command used to read a VSAM record starting with prefix “F”. Code all the relevant options.









Q18) Mention the option used in the CICS READ command to gain accessibility directly to the file I/O area. (Assume



Q19) Which command is used to release a record on which exclusive control is gained?


Q20) How do you establish a starting position in a browse operation?


Q21) What is the option specified in the read operation to gain multiple concurrent operations on the same dataset?

A21) REQID(value).

Q22) What is the CICS command that gives the length of TWA area?




Q23) What are the attribute values of Skipper and Stopper fields?


Q24) How do you set the MDT option to ‘ON’ status, even if data is not entered?

A24) Mention FSET option in DFHMDF or set it dynamically in the program using FIELD+A attribute field.

Q25) What option is specified in the SEND command to send only the unnamed fields on to the screen?

A25) MAPONLY_______________.

Q26) Which CICS service transaction is used to gain accessibility to CICS control tables? Mention the one that has

the highest priority.


Q27) What is the most common way of building queue-id of a TSQ? (Name the constituents of the Queue ID).


Q28) Into which table is the terminal id registered?

A28) TCT.

Q29) How and where is the TWA size set? .

A29) TWASIZE=300 in PCT table.

Q30) Which transient data queue supports ATI?

A30) INTRA-PARTITION Data queue.

Q31) Code the related portions of CICS/COBOL-I programs to gain addressability to TWA area assigned to a

particular task. Assume that the size of TWA area is 300 bytes. What are the advantages if COBOL-II is used

in the place of COBOL? Code the above requirement in COBOL-II.






02 TWA-PTR S(98) COMP.


02 DATA-AREA PIC X(300).










05 DATA-AREA PIC X(300).







Q32) Code a program meeting the following requirements.

‘EMPS’ is a transaction used to return information pertaining to an employee when the “EMPID” is entered on the screen. The information pertaining to an employee is present in a VSAM/KSDS dataset registered in FCT as “EMPINFOR”. The map and the working storage section of the emp-info are given for reference. If the employee id is found the information has to be sent to the screen (Status field) with the message “Emp Id: XXX found.”. If the emp-id key is not found then status field should array the message “Key not found.” and the ‘EMP ID” field should be set to bright. If the Exit option is set to “Y” then the task has to terminated. Use pseudo-conversation technique three (Single PCT and PPT).



EMP NAME : @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

EMP DESIG : @@@@@ SEX : @

DEPARTMENT : @@@@@@@@@@

SALARY : $$$$$$$

STATUS : @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


X - Input Field

@ - Output field (Alphanumeric)

$ - Output field (Numeric)

Mapname - EMPFORM

Mapsetname - EMPFORM

Label given to various ‘named’ fields on the DFHMDF macro while defining the map shown above. EMPID, EMPNAME, EMPDESIG, DEPART, SEX, SALARY, STATUS and EXITINP.

Structure of the VSAM/KSDS file.

Working-Storage Section.




10 EMP-NAME PIC X(32).




10 EMP-SAL PIC 9(7).








05 EMP-ID PIC X(3).



05 ABMSG PIC X(17).




10 EMP-NAME PIC X(32).




10 EMP-SAL PIC 9(7).

























































The following are most frequently asked questions (FAQS):

Q33) What does “Pseudo Conversational” mean?

A33) The programming technique in which the task will not wait for the end-user replies on the terminal. Terminating the

task every time the application needs a response from the user and specifying the next transaction to be started when

the end user press any attention key (Enter, PF1 through PF24, PA1,PA2 and Clear) is pseudo-conversational


Q34) Explain the means of supporting pseudo conversation programming. (E.g. Storing and restoring of states,

control flow, error handling)

A34) When we send a map using SEND MAP command. Immediately we release the program by using EXEC

CICS RETURN command. In this command we mention the TRANSACTION ID which is to be executed

after receiving the map. In this command we also specify the data that should be stored in

COMMUNICATION AREA for later use. When this command is executed the corresponding program is

released from the memory. After receiving the response from the terminal the program is again loaded and this

time the data which we stored in communication area will be copied into the working storage section. And

the map will be received with RECEIVE MAP command.

The variable EIBCALEN in EIB holds the length of communication area. In procedure division we checks the value of EIBCALEN If it is zero, we first send the map followed by RETURN command. Otherwise, that is if EIBCALEN is not zero, we know that this transaction is not running first time and we receive the map by using RECEIVE MAP command.

Q35) What is the function of the CICS translator?

A35) The CICS translator converts the EXEC CICS commands into call statements for a specific programming language. There are CICS translators for Assembler, COBOL, and PL/1.

Q36) How can you start a CICS transaction other than by keying the Transaction ID at the terminal?

A36) By coding an EXEC CICS START in the application program

1. By coding the trans id and a trigger level on the DCT table

2. By coding the trans id in the EXEC CICS RETURN command

3. By associating an attention key with the Program Control Table

4. By embedding the TRANSID in the first four positions of a screen sent to the terminal.

5. By using the Program List Table

Q37) What is the purpose of the Program List Table?

A37) The Program List Table records the set of applications programs that will be executed automatically at CICS start-up


Q38) What are the differences between and EXEC CICS XCTL and an EXEC CICS START command?

A38) The XCTL command transfer control to another application (having the same Transaction ID), while the START command initiates a new transaction ID (therefore a new task number). The XCTL continues task on the same terminal. START can initiate a task on another terminal.

Q39) What are the differences between an EXEC CICS XCTL and an EXEC CICS LINK command.

A39) The XCTL command transfer control to an application program at the same logical level (do not expect to control back), while the LINK command passes control to an application program at the next logical level and expects control back.

Q40) What happens to resources supplied to a transaction when an XCTL command is executed?

A40) With an XCTL, the working storage and the procedure division of the program issuing the XCTL are released. The I/O areas, the GETMAIN areas, and the chained Linkage Section areas (Commarea from a higher level) remain. All existing locks and queues also remain in effect. With a LINK, however, program storage is also saved, since the transaction expects to return and use it again.

Q41) What CICS command do you need to obtain the user logon-id?

A41) You must code EXEC CICS ASSIGN with the OPERID option.

Q42) What is a resident program?

A42) A program or map loaded into the CICS nucleus so that it is kept permanently in main storage and not deleted when CICS goes “Short On Storage”.

Q43) What is EIB. How it can be used?

A43) CICS automatically provides some system-related information to each task in a form of EXEC Interface Block (EIB), which is unique to the CICS command level. We can use all the fields of EIB in our application programs right away.

Q44) What is some of the information available in the EIB area?


I. The cursor position in the map

II. Transaction ID

III. Terminal ID

IV. Task Number

V. Length of communication area

VI. Current date and time

VII. Attention identifier

Q45) What information can be obtained from the EIBRCODE?

A45) The EIBRCODE tells the application program if the last CICS command was executed successfully and, if not, why not.

Q46) What is the effect of including the TRANSID in the EXEC CICS RETURN command?

A46) The next time the end user presses an attention key, CICS will start the transaction specified in the TRANSID option.

Q47) Explain how to handle exceptional conditions in CICS.

A47) An abnormal situation during execution of a CICS command is called an exceptional condition".

There are various ways to handle these exception conditions:

1. Handle Condition Command: It is used to transfer control to the procedure label specified if the

exceptional condition specified occurs.

2. Ignore Condition Command: It causes no action to be taken if the condition specified occurs in

the program. That is control will be returned to the next instruction following the command which

encountered the exceptional condition.

3. No Handle Option: This option can be specified in any CICS command and it will cause no

action to be taken for any exceptional condition occurring during execution of this command.

4. RESP Option: This option can be specified in any CICS command. If the RESP option is

specified in a command, CICS places a response code at a completion of the command. The

application program can check this code, then proceed to the next processing.

Handle condition:

Invalid handling of CICS error condition within the program causing the looping. Here is one example, most program have EXEC CICS HANDLE CONDTION ERROR(label) or EXEC CICS HANDLE ABEND LABEL(label) to trap any error condition or abend. This type of coding is usually acceptable if they handle the error / abend correctly in their handling paragraph. However, the program often cause another error or abend within the handling routine. In that case, looping or sos will occur. I strong recommend that the following statement should be included in their ERROR handling paragraph.

EXEC CICS HANDLE CONDTION ERROR END-EXEC. It means that from now on, CICS will handle all the errors and will not go back to error handling routine .For HANDLE ABEND, code EXEC CICS HANDLE ABEND CANCEL instead. Please check the application program reference manual for further explanation of these two commands. Besides, not only these two HANDLE will cause the program, other type of error handle might cause loop too. So code the HANDLE command carefully. It is a good program practice to deactivate the error handling by EXEC CICS HANDLE CONDITION condition END-EXEC. Once you know that the program won't need it anymore.

Q48) What is the function of the EXEC CICS HANDLE CONDITION command?

A48) To specify the paragraph or program label to which control is to be passed if the “handle condition” occurs.

Q49) How many conditions can you include in a single HANDLE CONDITION command?

A49) No more than 16 in a single handle condition. If you need more, then you must code another HANDLE CONDITION



A50) It allows the establishing of an exit so cleanup processing can be done in the event of abnormal task termination.

Q51) What is the difference between EXEC CICS HANDLE CONDTION and an EXEC CICS IGNORE command?

A51) A HANDLE CONDITION command creates a “go-to” environment. An IGNORE command does not create a go-to environment; instead, it gives control back to the next sequential instruction following the command causing the condition. They are opposites.

Q52) What happens when a CICS command contains the NOHANDLE option?

A52) No action is going to be taken for any exceptional conditional occurring during the execution of this command. The abnormal condition that occurred will be ignored even if an EXEC CICS HANDLE condition exist. It has the same effect as the EXEC CICS IGNORE condition except that it will not cancel the previous HANDLE CONDITION for any other command.

Q53) When a task suspends all the handle conditions via the PUSH command, how does the task reactivate all the

handle conditions?

A53) By coding an EXEC CICS POP HANDLE command.

Q54) Explain re-entrancy as applies to CICS.

A54) Reentrant program is a program which does not modify itself so that it can reenter to itself and continue processing after an interruption by the operating system which, during the interruption, executes other OS tasks including OS tasks of the same program. It is also called a "reenterable" program or"serially reusable" program.

A quasi-reentrant program is a reentrant program under the CICS environment. That is, the quasi-reentrant program is a CICS program which does not modify itself. That way it can reenter to itself and continue processing after an interruption by CICS which, during the interruption, executes other tasks including CICS tasks of the same program. In order to maintain the quasi-reentrancy, a CICS application program must follow the following convention:

Constants in Working Storage: The quasi-reentrant program defines only constants in its ordinary data area (e.g. working Storage Section ). These constants will never be modified and shared by the tasks.

Variable in Dynamic Working Storage: The quasi reentrant program acquires a unique storage area (

called Dynamic Working Storage --DWS) dynamically for each task by issuing the CICS macro

equivalent GETMAIN. All variables will be placed in this DWS for each task. All counters would have to be initialized after the DWS has been acquired.

Restriction on Program Alteration: The program must not alter the program itself. If it alters a CICS macro or command, it must restore the alteration before the subsequent CICS macro or command.

Q55) What are the CICS commands available for program control?

A55) The following commands are available for the Program Control services:

1. LINK: To pass control to another program at the lower level, expecting to be returned.

2. XCTL: To pass control to another program at the same level, not expecting to be returned.

3. RETURN: To return to the next higher-level program or CICS.

4. LOAD: To load a program.

5. RELEASE: To release a program.

Q56) How is addressability achieved to the data outside programs working-storage.?

A56) The Base Locator for Linkage ( BLL ) is an addressing convention used to address storage outside the Working Storage Section of an application program. If BLL is used for the input commands (e.g.: READ, RECEIVE), it will improve the performance, since the program would be accessing directly the input buffer outside of the program. In order to work as intended, the program must construct BLL based on the following convention:

1). The parameter list must be defined by means of a 01 level data definition in the Linkage Section as the first area definition to the Linkage Section, unless a communication area is being passed to the program, in which case DFHCOMMAREA must be defined first. The parameter list consists of a group of the address pointers, each of which is defined as the full word binary field ( S9(8) COMP ). This is called the BLL cells.

2). The parameter list is followed by a group of 01 level data definitions, which would be the actual

data areas. The first address pointer of the parameter list is set up by CICS for addressing the parameter list itself. From the second address pointer onward, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the address pointers of the parameter list and 01 level data definitions.

3). VS COBOL II provides CICS application programs with a significant improvements in the area of addressability through the special ADDRESS register. Therefore, if an application program is written in VS COBOL II, the program is no longer requires building the BLL cells in the Linkage Section.

Q57) Explain the various ways data can be passed between CICS programs.

A57) Data can be passed between CICS programs in three ways- COMMAREA, TRASIENT DATA QUEUE &


Data can be passed to a called program using the COMMAREA option of the LINK or XCTL command in a calling program. The called program may alter the data content of COMMAREA and the changes will be available to the calling program after the RETURN command is issued in the called program. This implies that the called program does not have to specify the COMMAREA option in the RETURN command.

If the COMMAREA is used in the calling program, the area must be defined in the Working Storage Section of the program (calling), whereas, in the called program, the area must be defined as the first area in the Linkage Section, using reserved name DFHCOMMAREA.

Q58) What is the difference between using the READ command with INTO option and SET option?

A58) When we use INTO option with the READ command the data content of the record will be moved into the specified field defined in the Working Storage Section of the program. When we use SET option with the READ command , CICS sets the address pointer to the address of the record in the file input / output area within CICS, so that the application program can directly refer to the record without moving the record content into the Working Storage area defined in the program. Therefore, the SET option provides a better performance than the INTO option.

Q59) Can we define an alternate index on VSAM/RRDS ?

A59) No

Q60) What is the difference between the INTO and the SET option in the EXEC CICS RECEIVE MAP command?

A60) The INTO option moves the information in the TIOA into the reserved specified area, while the SET option simply returns the address of the TIOA to the specified BLL cell or “address-of” a linkage-section.

Q61) How to establish dynamic cursor position on a map? How to get the cursor position when we receive a map?

A61) We dynamically position a cursor through an application program using a symbolic name of the symbolic map by placing -1 into the field length field ( i.e., fieldname + L) of the field where you wish to place the cursor. The SEND MAP command to be issued must have the CURSOR option ( without value ). Also, the mapset must be coded with MODE = INOUT in the DFHMSD macro. We get the cursor position when we receive a map by checking EIBCPOSN, which is a halfword ( S9(4) COMP) binary field in EIB, and contains offset position (relatively to zero ) of the cursor on the screen.

Q62) What is MDT?

A62) MDT ( Modified Data Tag ) is one bit of the attribute character. If it is off ( 0 ), it indicates that this field has not been modified by the terminal operator. If it is on ( 1 ), it indicates that this field has been modified by the operator. Only when MDT is on, will the data of the field be sent by the terminal hardware to the host computer ( i.e., to the application program, in end ). An effective use of MDT drastically reduces the amount of data traffic in the communication line, thereby improving performance significantly. Therefore, BMS maps and CICS application programs should be developed based on careful considerations for MDT.

Q63) What are the three ways available for a program to position the cursor on the screen?


I. Static positioning. Code the insert cursor (IC) in the DFHMDF BMS macro.

II. Relative positioning. Code the CURSOR option with a value relative to zero(position 1,1 is zero) .

III. Symbolic positioning. Move high values or -1 to the field length in the symbolic map(and code CURSOR on the

SEND command).

Q64) Name three ways the Modified Data Tag can be set on?

A64) The Modified Data Tag can be set on:

1. When the user enters data into the field.

2. When the application program moves DFHBMFSE to the attribute character.

3. By defining it in the BMS macro definition.

Q65) What is a mapset?

A65) A mapset is a collection of BMS maps link-edited together.

Q66) What is the function of DFHMDF BMS macro?

A66) The DFHMDF macro defines fields, literal, and characteristics of a field.

Q67) Why is a TERM ID recommended in naming a TSQ?

A67) In order to avoid confusion and to maintain data security, a strict naming convention for QID will be required in the installation. Moreover, for a terminal-dependent task (e.g., pseudo-conversational task), the terminal id should be included in QID in order to ensure the uniqueness of TSQ to the task.

Q68) Explain the basic difference between Intra partition TDQ and Extra partition TDQ.


INTRA PARTITION TD QUEUEs It is a group of sequential records which are produced by the same and / or different transactions within a CICS region. These Qs are stored in only one physical file ( VSAM ) in a CICS region, which is prepared by the system programmer. Once a record is read from a queue, the record will be logically removed from the queue; that is the record cannot be read again. EXTRA PARTITION TD QUEUEs It is a group of sequential records which interfaces between the transactions of the CICS region and the systems outside of CICS region. Each of these TDQs is a separate physical file, and it may be on the disk, tape, printer or plotter.

Q69) What are the differences between Temporary Storage Queue (TSQ) and Transient Data Queue (TDQ).?

A69) Temporary Storage Queue names are dynamically defined in the application program, while TDQs must first be defined in the DCT (Destination Control Table). When a TDQ contains certain amount of records (Trigger level), a CICS transaction can be started automatically. This does not happen when using a TSQ. TDQ(extra partition) may be used by batch application; TSQ cannot be accessed in batch. The Transient Data Queue is actually a QSAM file. You may update an existing item in a TSQ. A record in a TDQ cannot be updated. Records in TSQ can be read randomly. The TDQ can be read only sequentially. Records in Temporary Storage can be read more than once, while records stored in Temporary Data Queues cannot. With TDQs it is “one read” only.

Q70) What is the difference between getting the system time with EIBTIME and ASKTIME command?

A70) The ASKTIME command is used to request the current date and time. Whereas, the EIBTIME field have the value at the task initiation time.

Q71) What does the following transactions do?

A71) CEDF : CICS-supplied Execution Diagnostic Facility transaction. It provides interactive program

execution and debugging functions of a CICS programs.

CEMT : CICS-supplied Extended Master Terminal transaction. It displays or manipulates CICS

control environment interactively.

CEBR : CICS-supplied Temporary Storage Browse transaction. It displays the content of

Temporary Storage Queue ( TSQ ).

CECI : CICS-supplied Command Interpreter transaction. It verifies the syntax of a CICS command

and executes the command.

Q72) Explain floating maps with illustration.

A72) Maps which can position themselves relative to the previous maps on the screen or page are known as

the floating maps. For this you have to use special positional operands to LINE and COLUMN parameters of the BMS macro definition. They are SAME, NEXT. Actually this floating map concept is there only in Full BMS where as it is not available in Min. or Standard BMS macros. RECEIVE MAP is not recommended in the case of floating maps. Hence these maps are normally used to send information such as selected records from a database to screen but not for data entry. A mapset can contain more than one m ap in it, you may use all these maps to build a screen. In that case there are two ways to send these maps on to the screen

i ) Use separate SEND MAP commands one for each map involved. or

ii) Use ACCUM operand along with SEND MAP command and while sending really on to the

screen use SEND PAGE to display them at one shot. The second one is called

cumulative mapping scheme where you also can use floating maps.

Let's take a situation where you have to build a screen like this

HEADER MAP (no. of A gr. employs)

DETAIL MAP (employee list )

TRAILER MAP (Press a key to continue...)

Under such situations whatever the detail map needed that is to be displayed again and again to display all the information one screenful at a time. In this floating map concept helps.

Code the map like this

M1 DFHMDI ...... HEADER=YES,JUSTIFY=FIRST..................

M2 DFHMDI ...… ......................... LINE=NEXT....................

M3 DFHMDI ........TRAILER=YES,JUSTIFY=LAST...........................

Here M2 is detail map, which is coded as floating map. Procedure:

Every time using cumulative map technique send header (first) and followed by detail map next into a page buffer once the page is full an overflow occurs by using CICS HANDLE OVERFLOW command send first trailer map then header map ( This will do two things a) it sends previous map on to the screen b) starts fresh page buffer ). Repeated this until no more records to be retrieved. Here M2 is the one which holds the record values read from the file.

Q73) What is the function of the Terminal Control Table(TCT)?

A73) The TCT defines the characteristics of each terminal with which CICS can communicate.

Q74) What does it mean when EIBCALEN is equal to zeros?

A74) When the length of the communication area (EIBCALEN) is equal to zeros, it means that no data was passed to the application.

Q75) How can the fact that EIBCALEN is equal to zeros be of use to an application programmer?

A75) When working in a pseudo-conversational mode, EIBCALEN can be checked if it is equal to zero. A programmer can use this condition as a way of determining first time usage(of the program).

Q76) Which CICS system program is responsible for handling automatic task initialization?

A76) The Transient Data Program(TDP).

Q77) In an on-line environment, how can you prevent more than one user from accessing the same Transient Data

Queue at the same time?

A77) By issuing an EXEC CICS ENQ against the resource. When processing is completed, a DEQ should be executed.

Q78) When an application is invoked via the EXEC CICS START command with the from option, how does the

application gain access to the common area?

A78) An EXEC CICS RETRIEVE command will access the common area.

Q79) The DFHCOMMAREA is used to pass information from one application to another. What are some other ways

that this function can be accomplished?

A79) You can also pass information in the following ways.

- By using a temporary storage queue

- By using an intrapartition TDQ

- By using the Task Work Area

- By using TCTUA

- Through a file

Q80) How do you define Task Work Area?

A80) By defining it on the PCT (the Program Control Table)

Q81) What information do you get when an EXEC CICS STARTCODE is issued?

A81) You will be able to determine if the application was started by (1) a transient data trigger level(QD), (2) a START command (S,SD), (3) user (U) or terminal input (TD), or (4) Distributed Program Link(D,DS).

Q82) Which CICS command must be issued by the application program in order to gain access to the Common

Work Area(CWA)?

A82) EXEC CICS ADDRESS with CWA option.

Q83) In which CICS table would you specify the length of the TASK WORK AREA (TWA)?

A83) In the Program Control Table(PCT).

Q84) What is a deadlock?

A84) Deadlock (also known as a “deadly embrace”) occurs when a task is waiting for a resource held by another task which, in turn, is waiting for a resources held by the first task.

Q85) Explain the term Transaction routing?

A85) Transaction routing is a CICS mode of intercommunication which allows a terminal connected to local CICS to execute another transaction owned by a remote CICS.

Q86) Explain the term Function Request Shipping?

A86) Function request shipping is one of the CICS modes of intercommunication which allows an application program in a local CICS to access resources owned by a remote CICS.

Q87) Explain the term “MRO” (Multi Region Operation)?

A87) MRO is the mechanism by which different CICS address spaces with in the same CPU can communicate and share resources.

Q88) What are different system tables used in CICS?


Q89) What is multitasking and multithreading?

A89) Multitasking is the feature supported by the operating system to execute more than one task simultaneously. Multithreading is the system environment where the tasks are sharing the same programs load module under the multitasking environment. It is a subset of multitasking since it concerns tasks which use the same program.

Q90) What is the difference between link xctl?

A90) Link is temporary transfer of control. Xctl is permanent transfer of control

Q91) Name some of the common tables in CICS and their usage.

A91) PCT Program Control Table - defines each transaction, containing a list of valid transaction

identifiers (transid) where each transaction is paired with its matching


PPT Program Processing Table - contains a list of valid program names and maps and whether a

current version is in the CICS region or needs to be brought in as a

new copy;

FCT File Control Table - contains a list of files known to CICS, the dataset name and status

(closed/open, enabled/disabled);

TCT Terminal Control Table - a list of the terminals known to CICS.

Q92) Name some common CICS service programs and explain their usage?

A92) Terminal Control, File Control, Task Control, Storage Control, etc. Each CICS services program controls the usage

and status for its resource (file, terminal, etc) within the CICS region.

Q93) What is meant by a CICS task?

A93) A CICS task exists from the time the operator presses the enter key until the application program returns control to


Q94) What is meant by program reentrance?

A94) A program is considered reentrant if more than one task can execute the code without interfering with the other tasks'


Q95) What is the common systems area (CSA)?

A95) The common systems area is the major CICS control block that contains system information, including pointers to

most other CICS control blocks. The CSA points to all members of STATIC storage.

Q96) What is the COMMAREA(communications area)?

A96) This is the area of main storage designed to let programs or tasks communicate with one another, used in programs via

RETURN, XCTL and LINK commands.

Q97) What is the EIB (execute interface block)?

A97) The execute interface block lets the program communicate with the execute interface program, which processes CICS

commands. It contains terminal id, time of day and response codes.

Q98) What is an MDT (Modified Data Tag) - it's meaning and use?

A98) The modified data tag is the last bit in the attribute byte for each screen field. It indicates whether the corresponding

field has been changed.

Q99) What is a transid and explain the system transid CEMT?

A99) Transid is a transaction identifier, a four character code used to invoke a CICS task. CEMT is the master terminal

transaction that lets you display and change the status of resources - it is the primary CICS service transaction.

Q100) What is the common work area (CWA)?

A100) The common work area is a storage area that can be accessed by any task in a CICS system.

Q101) How do you access storage outside your CICS program?

A101) In COBOL storage was accessed via BLL cells using the SET option of ADDRESS commands. In COBOL II the

special register, ADDRESS OF lets you reference the address of any Linkage Section field.

Q102) How does COBOL II and CICS release 1.7 provide for exceptional conditions and how does that differ from

VS COBOL and earlier CICS releases?

A102) VS COBOL used the HANDLE CONDITION command to name routines to pass program control when exceptional

conditions were encountered. COBOL II and CICS release 1.7 introduced the RESP option on many CICS


Q103) What is the meaning and use of the EIBAID field?

A103) EIBAID is a key field in the execute interface block; it indicates which attention key the user pressed to initiate the


Q104) How do you control cursor positioning?

A104) It's controlled by the CURSOR option of the SEND MAP command using a direct (0 through 1919) or symbolic


Q105) What are attribute bytes and how and why are they modified?

A105) Attribute bytes define map field characteristics (brightness, protection, etc); they are modified prior to issuing a

SEND MAP command, eg. from normal to intense to highlight an error field.

Q106) How do you invoke other programs? What are the pros and cons of each method?

A106) There are three ways:

1) Use a COBOL II CALL statement to invoke a subprogram. This method is transparent to CICS, which sees

only the one load module.

2) An EXEC LINK is similar to a call; it invokes a separate CICS program and ends with a RETURN to the

invoking program. or

3) An EXEC XCTL which transfers control to another CICS program and does not get control back.

Q107) What is BMS?

A107) BMS is Basic Map Support; it allows you to code assembler level programs to define screens.

Q108) What is the difference between FSET and FRSET?

A108) FSET specifies that the modified data tag should be turned on before the map is sent to the screen. FRSET turns off

the attribute byte; it's used to transmit only changed data from the terminal.

Q109) What is the difference between the enter key, the PF keys and the PA keys?

A109) The enter and PF keys transmit data from the screen; the PA keys tell CICS that a terminal action took place, but

data is not transmitted.

Q110) Explain the difference among the EXEC LINK, EXEC XCTL and Cobol II static call statements in CICS.

A110) COBOL II allows for static calls which are more efficient than the LINK instruction which establishes a new run-


Q111) Are sequential files supported by CICS?

A111) Yes, but not as part of the File Control Program. They are supported as extra partition transient data files.

Q112) What option can be coded on the RETURN command to associate a transaction identifier with the next

terminal input?

A112) The TRANSID option.

Q113) What is an ASRA?

A113) An ASRA is the CICS interrupt code, the equivalent of an MVS abend code.

Q114) What is temporary storage?

A114) Temporary storage is either main or auxiliary storage that allows the program to save data between task invocations.

Q115) What is transient data?

A115) Transient data provides CICS programs with a simple method for sequential processing, often used to produce

output for 3270 printers.

Q116) What are the two types of transient data queues?

A116) They are intrapartition, which can only be accessed from within CICS and extrapartition, which are typically used to

collect data online, but process it in a batch environment.

Q117) Where are transient data sets defined to CICS?

A117) They are defined in the destination control table (DCT).

Q118) Once a transient data queue is read, can it be reread?

A118) No, silly! That's why IBM calls it transient.

Q119) Name some commands used for CICS file browsing.


Q120) What other file control processing commands are used for file updating?


Q121) What is Journal Recovery and Dynamic Transaction Backout?

A121) Journal Recovery is recovery of changes made to a file during online processing. If a file has I/O problems it is

restored from a backup taken before online processing began and the journalled changes are applied. Dynamic

transaction backout is the removal of partial changes made by a failed transaction.

Q122) What tables must be updated when adding a new transaction and program?

A122) At a bare minimum the Program Control Table ( PCT) and Program Processing Table (PPT) must be updated.

Q123) What is the meaning of the SYNCPOINT command?

A123) SYNCPOINT without the ROLLBACK option makes all updates to protected resources permanent, with the

ROLLBACK option it reverses all updates.

Q124) What do the terms locality of reference and working set mean?

A124) They refer to CICS efficiency techniques. Locality of reference requires that the application program should

consistently reference instructions and data within a relatively small number of pages. The working set is the

number of program pages needed by a task.

Q125) What do the keywords MAPONLY and DATAONLY mean?

A125) MAPONLY is a SEND MAP operand that sends only fields with initial values to the screen. DATAONLY is the

SEND MAP operand that specifies only data from the map area should be displayed.

Q126) What is the MASSINSERT option?

A126) MASSINSERT is a WRITE option that modifies normal VSAM split processing, leaving free space after the

inserted record, so subsequent records can be inserted without splits. It is ended by an UNLOCK command.

Q127) What is a cursor in CICS sql processing?

A127) A cursor is a pointer that identifies one row in a sql results table as the current row.

Q128) What are the DB2 steps required to migrate a CICS DB2 program from source code to load module?

A128) A DB2 precompiler processes some SQL statements and converts others. It creates a data base request module

(DBRM) for the binding step. The bind process uses the DBRM to create an application plan, which specifies the

techniques DB2 will use to process the embedded SQL statements. The link/edit step includes an interface to the

CICS/DB2 attachment facility.

Q129) Name some translator and compile options and explain their meaning?

A129) For translator SOURCE option prints the program listing, DEBUG enables EDF and COBOL2 alerts the system to

use the COBOL II compiler. For the compiler XREF prints a sorted data cross reference and FDUMP prints a

formatted dump if the program abends.

Q130) What is the significance of RDO?

A130) RDO is Resource Definition Online. Since release 1.6 RDO allows resources (terminals, programs, transactions and

files) to be defined interactively while CICS is running.

Q131) What is CECI?

A131) CECI is the command level interpreter transid that interactively executes CICS commands. It is a rudimentary CICS

command debugger which does not require coding an entire program.

Q132) What is CEDF?

A132) CEDF is the execute diagnostic facility that can be used for debugging CICS programs.

Q133) What is CEBR?

A133) CEBR lets you browse the contents of a specific temporary storage queue.

Q134) Name and explain some common CICS abend codes?

A134) Any AEI_ indicates an execute interface program problem - the abending program encountered an exceptional

condition that was not anticipated by the coding. APCT - the program could not be found or is disabled. ASRA -

most common CICS abend, indicating a program check, identified by a one-byte code in the Program Status Word

in the dump. AKCP - the task was cancelled; it was suspended for a period longer than the transaction's defined

deadlock timeout period. AKCT - The task was cancelled because it was waiting too long for terminal input.

Q135) What is a logical message in CICS?

A135) A logical message is a single unit of output created by SEND TEXT or SEND MAP commands. BMS collects the

separate output from each command and treats them as one entity. This technique may be used to build CICS


Q136) What are the CICS commands associated with temporary storage queue processing?

A136) WRITEQ TS, READQ TS, and DELETEQ, whose meanings should be self-explanatory.

Q137) What are the CICS commands associated with transient data queue processing?


Q138) What is the meaning of the ENQ and DEQ commands?

A138) Neither command is exclusively a transient data command. The ENQ command reserves any user defined resource

for the specific task. For enqueued transient data no other task will be able to write records to it for as long as it is

enqueued. DEQ removes the lock.

Q139) How do you delete Item 3 in a five-item TSQ?

A139) You can't--at least not directly. Options, none of them good, include:

I. adding a logical-delete flag to the contents of each item;

II. moving item 4 to 3 and 5 to 4 and initializing item 5, all thru rewrites; this is a variant on 1;

III. creating a new 'copy' TSQ that excludes the unwanted item, killing the old TSQ (deleteq ts), writing the

new TSQ with the original name from the new TSQ, and then deleting the 'copy' TSQ. This way, you

will get an accurate report from NUMITEMS.

Q140) What CICS command would you use to read a VSAM KSDS sequentially in ascending order?

A140) READNEXT reads the next record from a browse operation for any of the three VSAM files.

Q141) How do you get data from a task that began with a START command?

A141) The RETRIEVE command is used to get data from a task that began with a START command.

Q142) What is interval control and what are some of the CICS commands associated with it?

A142) CICS interval control provides a variety of time-related features - common commands are ASKTIME,


Q143) What is task control and what are the CICS commands associated with it?

A143) Task control refers to the CICS functions that manage the execution of tasks. Task control commands are


Q144) What is the CICS LOAD command?

A144) The LOAD command retrieves an object program from disk and loads it into main storage - it's primarily used for a

constant table that will be available system-wide.

Q145) What is the ABEND command and when would you use it?

A145) The ABEND command forces a task to end abnormally. It creates a transaction dump and invokes the dynamic

transaction backout.

Q146) DB2 What is the difference between a package and a plan. How does one bind 2 versions of a CICS

transaction with the same module name in two different CICS regions that share the same DB2 subsystem?

A146) Package and plan are usually used synonymously, as in this site. Both contain optimized code for SQL statements - a

package for a single program, module or subroutine contained in the database request module (DBRM) library. A

plan may contain multiple packages and pointers to packages. The one CICS module would then exist in a package

that could be referenced in two different plans.

Q147) How to build up LU 6.2 communication?" and "what Pseudo-conversational and real conversational

transaction are and their differences."

A147) Pseudo-conversational transactions are almost always the preferred method. In these mode CICS releases resources

between responses to user input, i.e. the task is ended awaiting the user response.

Q148) Why is it important not to execute a STOP RUN in CICS ?

A148) Stop run will come out from the CICS region.

Q149) Why must all CICS programs have a Linkage Section ?

A149) To pass parameters from appl. Program to CICS.

Q150) A mapset consists of three maps and 10 fields on each map . How many of the following will be needed ?

A150) a) DFHMSD statements 1

a b) DFHMDI statements 3

b c) DFHMDF statements 30

Q151) How are programs reinitiated under CICS ?


Q152) Why doesn’t CICS use the Cobol Open and Close statements ?


Q153) What is the difference between a Symbolic map and Physical map ?


Q154) Can a program change protected field ?

A154) NO

Q155) How is the stopper byte different from an auto skip byte ?

A155) STOPPER command will stop after completing its field , whereas AUTOSKIP command Will skip to next

unprotected field after completing its field.

Q156) By which CICS defined field can you determine the position of the cursor on the map ?


Q157) How will you place cursor on a field called ‘EMPNO’. This field belongs to mapset ‘MAPEMPG’

and map ‘MAPEMPM’ and Symbolic map ‘Empid-Rec’ ?


Q158) How do you place the cursor on a particular position on the screen? - GS

A158) Move -1 to the length attribute of the field and use the CURSOR option.

Define the field with IC in the BMS map.

Use CURSOR(n m)??

Q159) What are the two outputs created as a result of generation of a map? - GS

A159) The map copybook and the load module.

Q160) What is the difference between physical map and symbolic map? - GS

A160) The physical map is the load module and the symbolic map is the data structure.

Q161) What is the attribute byte? - GS

A161) Defines the display/transmission of field. most cases is an output field from the program.

Q162) How do you use extended attributes ?

A162) Define EXTATT=YES and the correct terminal type.

Q163) What are the 3 working storage fields used for every field on the map? - GS

A163) Length, attribute and input/output field.

Q164) What is MDT? What are FSET, FRSET ?

A164) MDT: Bit in the attribute byte indicating modification of field on screen. Happens on an input operation.

FSET: Sets MDT on to ensure field is transmitted. Happens on an output operation.

FRSET: Resets MDT. Until this happens, field continues to be sent.

Q165) What is the use of DSECT parameter in BMS?

A165) Is the parameter to generate a symbolic map.

Q166) Do you receive the attribute byte in the symbolic map?

A166) On EOF yes.

Q167) How do you make your BMS maps case sensitive?

A167) Use ASIS???

Q168) What is effect on RECEIVE MAP when PF key is pressed? PA key is pressed?

A168) When PF key is pressed, Data transmission may happen. When PA key is pressed, Data transmission will not


Q169) What is the difference between a PF key & a PA key ?

A169) PF keys wake up the task and transmit modified data, PA keys only wake up the task.

Q170) Name the macros used to define the following: MAP MAPSET FIELD


Q171) Can you use OCCURS in a BMS map? If you do, what are the issues related with its use?

A171) Yes. cannot use group by clause???

Q172) Can you define multiple maps in a BMS mapset?

A172) Yes.

Q173) How is the storage determined in the symbolic map, if you have multiple maps?

A173) Storage for maps redefine the first. This means largest map has to be the first.

Q174) What is the meaning of BMS length of field = 0?

A174) Data was not entered in the field

Q175) Can you simply check if length = 0 for checking if a field was modified?

A175) No, not if ERASE EOF was used.

Q176) What do you do if you do not want characters entered by the user to be folded to uppercase ?

A176) Use ASIS option on RECEIVE.

Q177) What does the BUFFER option in RECEIVE mean ?

A177) Brings the entire datastream from the terminal buffer.

Q178) What are the steps you go through to a create a BMS executable?

A178) Assemble to create CSECT and Link

Q179) When you compile a CICS program, the (pre)compiler puts an extra chunk of code. Where does it get

included and that is it called? What is its length? - GS


Q180) List all the CICS tables and explain their contents. - GS






Q181) I have written a CICS program. What tables should I setup to run this program? - GS

A181) PPT, PCT, (FCT, DCT, RCT (if needed)).

Q182) In which table would you make an entry for a BMS map? - GS

A182) PPT

Q183) What is the content of the PPT entry? - GS

A183) Length, Source, Use count, Lang, Res count DFHRPL number

Q184) For a CICS-DB2 program, how is the plan referenced? - GS

A184) Uses a RCT table.

Q185) How is dynamic memory allocated within a CICS application program? - GS

A185) Use a GETMAIN

Q186) What is the use of a TDQ, TSQ? - GS

A186) Temporary data stores.

Q187) How do you read from a TSQ? - GS

A187) Temp storage read command

Q188) If I create a TSQ from one transaction, can I read it from another transaction? - GS

A188) Yes. As long as they run in the same region.

Q189) What are extra partition & intra partition TDQs?

A189) Extra partition TDQs are datasets used for communication b'n CICS and other CICS/Batch regions. Intrapartition

TDQs are queues for communication within regn.

Q190) What is trigger level in the context of TDQs?

A190) For intrapartition TDQs specify the # records at which ATI happens. not applicable for extra partition TDQs.

Q191) How do you fire a batch job from a CICS transaction ?

A191) Define an extrapartition TDQ as an internal reader and write the JCL to it. Terminate the JCL with /*EOF.

Q192) What is ATI? What kind of TDQ can be used?

A192) Automatic Task Initiation. Intra partition TDQ.

Q193) Do you require a table entry for a TSQ?

A193) If recovery is needed.

Q194) Is there any entry for TSQs in CICS tables?

A194) Yes in the DFHTST.

Q195) What is the use of DCT?

A195) Destination Control Table used to define TDQs

Q196) What is ENQ, DEQ ?

A196) Task control commands to make resources serially reusable.

Q197) Can you issue SQL COMMIT from a CICS program? - GS

A197) Yes.

Q198) What is the other way of terminating a transaction? - GS

A198) EXEC CICS SYNCPOINT. Assuming it is a LUW. This will not end the Xn.

Q199) What is an ASRA abend ?

A199) Any data exception problem SOC7, SOC4 etc.

Q200) What is an AEY9 abend ?

A200) DB2/IDMS not up.

Q201) What are the situations under which NEWCOPY is required ?

A201) When a program has been used in CICS atleast once and then changed and recompiled.


A202) Used by STARTed tasks to get the parameters passed to them.

Q203) Name some important fields in the EIB block ?


Q204) Can you use DYNAMIC calls in CICS ?

A204) Yes, the called routine must be defined in PPT and the calling program must use CALL identifier..

Q205) How do you handle errors in CICS pgms ?

A205) Check EIBRESP after the call or use the HANDLE condition.

Q206) Suppose pgm A passes 30 bytes to pgm B thru commarea and pgm B has defined its DFHCOMMAREA to be

50 bytes . Is there a problem ?

A206) Yes, if B tries to access bytes 31-50.

Q207) When an XCTL is done, does the tranid change ? Is a new task created ? Does it cause an implicit

SYNCPOINT to be issued ?

A207) No, No, Yes.

Q208) How do you execute a background CICS transaction ?

A208) With a START or ATI.

Q209) What is the difference between START and XCTL ?

A209) START is used to start a new task. It is a interval control command. XCTL is used to pass control to a program

within the same task. It is a program control command.

Q210) What is the usage of language in the PPT entry?

A210) Language interface and call parameters???

Q211) Can you have CICS code in a copybook? If yes, what happens during compilation?

A211) Yes. Needs to be preprocessed.

Q212) What is an AICA abend?

A212) Runaway Task.

Q213) How would you resolve an ASRA abend?

A213) In COBOL II start with CEBR, and get the offset/instruction.

Q214) I invoke a transaction from CICS. The program has a code: MOVE DFHCOMMAREA TO WS-AREA.

What happens to this transaction? What happens to the other transactions?

A214) Junk may get moved in. Will cause Storage violation. ????

Q215) When you do a START, what will the value of EIBCALEN?

A215) Zero.

Q216) How are VSAM files Read in CICS pgms? - GS

A216) File Control Commands. Random, Sequential, forward and backward.

Q217) How will you access a VSAM file using an alternate index?

A217) Thru the path. Define path as an FCT and use normal File control commands.

Q218) How do you rollback data written to an ESDS file?

A218) Define the file as recoverable. in cases where records have been inserted into the file, you may need to run a batch

program to logically delete the inserted records.

Q219) I have done a START BROWSE on a VSAM dataset. Can I do another START BROWSE without doing an


A219) No.

Q220) Can you access QSAM (seq ) files from CICS ?

A220) No.

Q221) Can you access ESDS files from CICS ?

A221) Yes.

Q222) In the CICS command level all the re-entrancy issues are handled by the System(True or False).

A222) True

Q223) What are the three BMS options ?

A223) Minimum, Standard, Full

Q224) What are the beginning and end points of an LUW called?

A224) Sync point

Q225) The DL/I database is a hierarchical database and the DL/I access method isthe access method of the

Information Management System (IMS)(True or False)

A225) True

Q226) Before you can use a Temporary Storage Queue you must first define the Queue name in the CICS

Temporary Queue Table)( True or False).

A226) False

Q227) The process of writing its own type of journal records by the application program, other than the automatic

journalling provided by CICS is called

A227) Explicit Journalling

Q228) In order to display a formatted screen, a terminal must receive a series of data stream called Native Mode

Data Stream(True or False).

A228) True

Q229) Which is the CICS control program which governs the flow of control among the CICS application


A229) Program Control Program

Q230) What is the option of the DFHDCT macro which makes it possible to recover logically deleted records from

an Intrapartition TDQ?


Q231) CICS and DB2 can exist in the same region under the Operating system (True or False)

A231) True

Q232) What is the name of the facility provided by CICS to free the application program form the problems caused

by NMDS (device and format dependence)?

A232) Terminal Paging

Q233) What is the command which will delete a program LOADed into the main storage using LOAD command?


Q234) Which is the option of the HANDLE AID command that will pass control to the specified label when any key

is pressed?


Q235) What is the name of the mapset definition macro?


Q236) What is the access method used by DB2?

A236) SQL

Q237) What is the command that is used to add a new record to the file?

A237) READ with UPDATE followed by REWRITE

Q238) What will happen when the resource security check has failed on the program which has been specified in the

PROGRAM option of the LOAD command?


Q239) What is the command used to send a map to a terminal?


Q240) What is the command used to request notification when the specified time has expired?

A240) POST

Q241) If DATAONLY option is specified in the SEND MAP command what will happen?

A241) Only the symbolic map will be send

Q242) What will happen if the TDQ that you want to delete is not in the DCT?

A242) QIDERR will occur

Q243) The read of a record from an Intrapartition TDQ is not destructive(True or False).

A243) True

Q244) An XCTL uses more CPU time than LINK (True or False)

A244) False

Q245) What is the primary function of the Sign-on Table?

A245) Register security information of all programs

Q246) Native Mode Data Stream (NMDS) is a mixture of Buffer Control Characters(BCC) and text data (True or


A246) True

Q247) When there are 2 records with the same key specified in a DELETE operation what will happen?

A247) DUPKEY condition will be set

Q248) The application programs that contain the SQL statements must be Pre-compiled for converting the SQL

statements into equivalent COBOL statements (True or False)

A248) True

Q249) What are the databases that CICS can access?


Q250) The first step in the development of an application system is the Requirement Analysis(True or False).

A250) True

Q251) CICS provides an interface through which the all the DL/I services can be used under CICS(True or False).

A251) True

Q252) How to get the sign-on user-id from an application program?

A252) ASSIGN command with USERID option

Q253) What is a Logical Unit of Work (LUW)?

A253) A sequence of operations logically tied together

Q254) Translation Time is not reduced if the Pre-compilation is done first(True or False).

A254) True

Q255) What is the general Command format of CICS ?

A255) EXEC CICS followed by the command

Q256) If you use the OPTIMIZE compiler option the size of the program can be reduced by 5 to 10%(True or


A256) True

Q257) For multithreading an application program need not be re-entrant(True or False).

A257) True

Q258) Before issuing an ASKTIME command what will be the values in the EIBDATE and EIBTIME fields if the


A258) The date and time at the task initiation

Q259) What is the error condition that is set when the file specified in the NAME option is not in the FCT?


Q260) For protecting a transaction using the transaction security function, the two things that must be done are:

1. in the SNT entry of the user who you which to allow to access a protected transaction, specify SCTKEY=n

2. In the PCT entry of the transactions that you wish to protect specify the TRANSEC=n. (True or False)

A260) True

Q261) What are the various types of accesses that can be allowed by the SERVREQ option of the DFHFCT?


Q262) ‘CICS' system services provides an interface between CICS and the operating system and carries out the

functions like loading and releasing of application programs, acquiring and freeing of storage , task

scheduling, etc (True or False).

A262) True

Q263) What are the parameters that you have to give when you are using the CSSN transaction?

A263) None

Q264) What is the command that is used to delay the processing of a task for a specified time interval or until a

specified time?

A264) WAIT

Q265) NMDS is both device dependent and format dependent (True or False)

A265) True

Q266) Which is the EIB field that gives the date when a task was started?


Q267) Which is the AID that will not be identified in the ANYKEY option of the HANDLE AID command?


Q268) Reading a record from a TSQ will logically delete the record from the Queue (True or False).

A268) True

Q269) What is the option that is used to erase all unprotected fields during a SEND MAP operation?


Q270) What is the CICS command that is used to receive the un-formatted data from the terminal or logical unit of

a communication network?


Q271) What is the command for reading a record form a TSQ?


Q272) What will happen, if an out-of-range or negative value is specified in the LENGTH option of the SEND


A272) The OUTRAGE condition will be set

Q273) Which is the control table where you specify all the transaction that are to be started by CICS after CICS


A273) Sign-on table

Q274) A HANDLE CONDITION remains active until the end of the program or until another HANDLE

CONDITION command (True or False).

A274) True

Q275) In the conversational mode the system waits for the user to enter his response and then press an attention

key, and while waiting the resources are held by the program or task. So conversational mode of

programming is inefficient (True or False)

A275) True

Q276) Which is the macro used for making an entry in the PPT


Q277) The goal of a recovery process is to Maintain the integrity of the data processed by the system and to

minimize the impact of a task or system failure (True or False).

A277) True

Q278) What is the primary objective of CICS ?

A278) To provide the control and services of the DB/DC system

Q279) If no exception handling is provided in the program, what will happen ?

A279) CICS will take the default action specified for the condition

Q280) What is the CICS supplied transaction which performs syntax checking of a CICS command?

A280) CEMT

Q281) What is the process of converting the CICS commands into the equivalent host language statements called?

A281) Translation

Q282) What is the function of the LOAD command?

A282) To fetch a program, table or map to the main storage.

Q283) What is the CICS Command that is used for reading a record from the TDQ?


Q284) LENGERR, NOTAUTH and PGMIDERR are some of the common exception conditions that can occur with

LINK and XCTL (True or False).

A284) False

Q285) Which of the following are recoverable CICS resources?

A285) Data files and data bases, Intrapartition TDQs, Auxiliary TSQs

Q286) Which is the program which determines whether a transaction should be restarted ?

A286) DTB

Q287) What is the command used for receiving a map from a terminal?


Q288) The mode of achieving conversation with the user, by sending him the message and while waiting for his

response, freeing the system resources is called

A288) Pseudo-conversation

Q289) Which is the command used for terminating a browse operation?


Q290) What is the primary function of the Processing Program Table (PPT)?

A290) To register all programs and maps

Q291) Sync points cannot be requested by the application programs(True or False).

A291) False

Q292) Which is the command that is used to dump the main storage areas related to a task?

A292) DUMP

Q293) What is the CICS command that is used to copy a screen image of a terminal into another terminal?


Q294) What is the name of the log which contains the information needed to restart the system, including the task

sync point information and system activity key points, snapshots of key system tables, etc.

A294) Dynamic Log

Q295) The EIB field which gives the last CICS command executed is


Q296) The READ command with INTO option will read the record specified into the data area specified (True or


A296) False

Q297) The attribute character is an visible 1 byte character which precedes a screen field and determines the

characteristics of the field (True or False).

A297) True

Q298) What is the function of the Terminal Control table?

A298) To register all CICS terminals

Q299) Which is the CICS control program that provides communication services between user written application

programs and terminals?

A299) Terminal Control Program

Q300) CICS Command level is

A300) Low level version of CICS macro level

Q301) TSQs can be written in the Main storage or Auxiliary storage (True or False).

A301) True

Q302) what is difference between call and link ?

A302) In case of call , whenever you do changes to the called program you need to compile the calling program also. In case of link , it is not needed .

Q303) what are the differences between DFHCOMMAREA and TSQ ?

A303) Both are used to save data among tasks. but 1. COMMAREA is private to that transaction only . like every transaction has its own COMMAREA created by CICS as soon as the transaction is initiated . however TSQ , if queue id is known can be accessed by other transactions also 2. COMMAREA length is s9(4) comp i.e. 65k . but TSQ can have any length.3. COMMAREA is available only during the transaction is running. TSQ if created with auxiliary option resides in aux memory and available even if main memory crashes.4.normally COMMAREA is used to transfer data from one task to another while tsq is used widely within the task as a scratch pad.

Q304) What is Communication Area?

A304) Communication Area is used to pass data between the program or between the task.

Q305) Which of the following statements correctly describe the syntax of CICS command language?

A). If an EXEC CICS command must be continued onto a second line a hyphen (-) must be coded in column 7 of the continued line.

B). If an EXEC CICS command must be continued onto a second line an 'X' must be coded in column 72 of each line to be continued.

C). An EXEC CICS command CANNOT be coded within a COBOL IF statement, between the IF command and the period (.) ending it.

D). The END-EXEC delimiter is optional and never needs to be placed at the end of a CICS command.

E). The options specified within an EXEC CICS command can be in any order.

A305) E. The options specified within an EXEC CICS command can be in any order. For example 'exec CICS Send From(Msg1) Length(30) End-Exec' can also be coded 'exec Cics Send Length(30) From(Msg1) End-Exec'

Q306) A CICS program ABENDS with an ASRA ABEND code. What is its meaning?

A) A link was issued to a program whose name does not exist in the PPT (Program Processing Table).

B) A program attempted to use a map that is not defined in the PCT (Program Control Table).

C) A security violation has occurred. The operator is not defined with the proper authority in the SNT (Sign-

on Table) to use a particular file

D) A program interrupt (0C0 or 0C1 or 0C2 or ...) has occurred in a CICS program.

E) An I/O error has occurred when attempting to use a VSAM file from a CICS program

A306) A program interrupt (0C0 or 0C1 or 0C2 or ...) has occurred in a CICS program.

Q307) Which of the following commands, when issued by 2 different programs running at the same time, will prevent simultaneous use of resource 'SINGLE'?






Q308) The map shown below is displayed with:

EXEC CICS SEND MAP('MAP1') MAPSET('MAP1S') MAPONLY END-EXEC. After the screen is displayed, the operator enters 1 character, the letter 'X'. Where will the cursor now appear on the screen?









A) In the field with a POS=(5,1) B) In FIELD2. C) In FIELD3. D) In FIELD4. E) In FIELD5.

A308) In FIELD5

Q309) How can you accomplish breakpoint in intertest?

A309) U-for unconditional breakpoint, C-for conditional breakpoint, and A-for automatic breakpoint

Q310) How many ways are there for initiating a transaction? what are they?

A310) There are six ways in initiating a transaction.they are as follows.

1. embedding four character transid on the top left most corner of the screen.

2. making use of EXEC CICS START TRANSID ( )

3. making use of EXEC CICS RETURN TRANSID ( )

4. By defining the transid in DCT (destination control table) to enable ATI (AUTOMATIC TASK INITIATION)

5. Making use of PLT ( program list table)

6. By associating four character transid in PCT (program control table)

Q311) Which type of TDQ is read destructive?

A311) Intrapartition TDQ is read destructive. extra partition tdq is not read destructive.

Q312) The error code AEIV?

A312) This is the error code for length, if length of the source data is more than the receiving field, This error will occur.

Q313) What is the size of commarea

A313) The default commarea size is 65k.

Q314) What is ASRAABEND in CICS?

A314) It occurs when program interruption takes place. e.g.: when alphanumeric string moved to numeric data item OR

when arithmetic calculations performed on nonnumeric data item OR when an attempt made to read an occurrence

of a table beyond the defined occurrences.

Q315) What is a two Phase commit in CICS?

A315) This occurs when a programmer Issues a Exec CICS Syncpoint command. this is called two phase because CICS

will first commit changes to the resources under its control like VSAM files. and the DB2 changes are

committed. Usually CICS signals Db2 to complete the next phase and release all the locks.

Q316) Difference between TSQ & TDQ

A316) TDQ is read destructive, TSQ is not. TSQ can be created dynamically, TDQ cannot be created dynamically. TSQ is

temporary in nature (i.e. it will be deleted when the program finishes execution, unless it is made permanent by

making a entry in the Temporary Storage Table), TDQ is not.

Q317) What is ENQ in CICS?

A317) If any one want to restrict Trans-Id to single user, enter trans-id with ENQ. It won't allow any one else to use the

same trans-id.

Q318) In SYMBOLIC Cursor Positioning after moving -1 to the length field also the cursor is not positioned in that particular field. Give reasons?

A318) You have to explicitly specify the word CURSOR between your EXEC CICS and END-EXEC in the program.

Q319) What does EIB mean?


monitors or transaction processors are know as EXECUTIVEs as they carry out process on behalf of a program

module. CICS and DB2 are executives.

Q320) How many exceptional condition can be given in a HANDLE CONDITION?

A320) Max. of 12 exceptional conditions can be given in a single HANDLE CONDITION.

Q321) How do you access the records randomly in TSQ ?

A321) By specifying the ITEM option

Q322) What command do you issue to delete a record in a transient data queue ?

A322) READQ TD, the read is destructive.

Q323) What are different ways of initiating transaction in CICS ?

A323) We can initiate cics transaction a) by giving transaction id b) by giving cics start command c) automatic task


Q324) What is the difference between LINK and XCTL ?

A324) The XCTL command passes control to another program, but the resources requested by the first program may still

be allocated. A task does not end until a RETURN statement is executed. While in LINK command, program control

resumes its instruction following the LINK parameter. The disadvantage of LINK is that it requires that both the

calling program and the called program remain in main memory even though both are no longer needed.

Q325) What is the difference between CICS Program Control Table (PCT) and CICS Processing Program Table (PPT) ?

A325) PCT contains a list of valid transaction ID. Each transaction ID is paired with the name of the program ,CICS will

load and execute when the transaction is invoked. On the other hand, PPT indicates each program's location which

pertains to a storage address if the program has already been loaded or a disk location if the program hasn't been

loaded. PPT will also be used to determine whether it will load a new copy of the program when the transaction is


Q326) What are the 3 common ways to create maps?

A326) The first way is to code a physical map and then code a matching symbolic map in your COBOL program. The

second way to create a physical map along with a matching symbolic map is to code only the physical map using the

&SYSPARM option, CICS will automatically create a member in a COPY library. And the third way is to use a

map generator such as SDF (Screen Definition Facility)

Q327) What is Quasi-reentrancy?

A327) There are times when many users are concurrently using the same program, this is what we call MultiThreading. For

example, 50 users are using program A, CICS will provide 50 Working storage for that program but one Procedure

Division. And this technique is known as quasi-reentrancy

Q328) What is the difference between a physical BMS mapset and a logical BMS mapset?

A328) The physical mapset is a load module used to map the data to the screen at execution time. The symbolic map is the

actual copybook member used in the program to reference the input and output fields on the screen.

Q329) How To Set MDT(Modified Data Tag) Thru Application Program?(Dynamically)?

A329) You have to move the following macro DFHBMFSE to the Attribute field of that particular Variable.

Q330) What CICS facilities can you use to save data between the transactions?


Q331) How would you release control of the record in a READ for UPDATE?

A331) By issuing a REWRITE,DELETE, or UNLOCK command or by ending the task.

Q332) What is the difference between a RETURN with TRANSID and XCTL ?For example prog. A is issuing REUTRN with TRANSID to prog B. Prog A. is issuing XCTL to prog B?

A332) In RETURN with TRANSID the control goes to the CICS region and the user have to transfer the control to prog. B

by pressing any of the AID KEYS.In XCTL the control is directly transfer to prog. B.

Q333) What will be the length of the eibcalen ,if the transaction is used to cics first time?

A333) The length will be 0(zero).

Q334) What is DFHEIBLK?

A334) DFHEIBLK is Execute Interface Block. It is placed in the linkage section automatically by CICS translator program.

It must be the first entry in linkage section. CICS places values prior to giving control to the program and we can

find almost any information about our transaction.

Q335) What is the difference between the XCTL and LINK commands?

A335) The LINK command anticipates return of control to the calling program, the XCTL command does not. Return to

the calling program will be the result of the CICS RETURN command, specifying TRANSID(name of the calling


Q336) What CICS command would you use to read a VSAM KSDS sequentially in ascending order?

A336) First issue a STARTBR(start browse), which will position the browse at the desired record. Retrieve records by

using subsequent READNEXT commands. Indicate the end of sequential processing with the ENDBR command. If

the generic key is specified in the STARTBR command positioning in the file will be before the first record

satisfying the generic key.For reading in descending order use the READPREV instead of READNEXT.

Q337) What is the difference between pseudo-conversational and conversational?

A337) Pseudo-conversational will start a new task for each input. By coding a CICS RETURN command specifying ‘

TRANSID(itself). Conversational will have an active task during the duration of the data entry.

Q338) What is the COMMAREA(communications area)?

A338) An area used to transfer data between different programs or between subsequent executions of the same program.

Needs to be defined in the Linkage Section.

1. What are the pros and cons of Conversation Vs Pseudo conversation programming ?

2. Explain IPC mechanisms and means in CICS?

3. Can we use EXEC SQL COMMIT/ROLLBACK in CICS? If so how? if not what are the alternatives?

4. What are the advantages of TDQ?

5. How do you implement locking in CICS?

6. What is multithreading?

7. Name 3 cobol commands that cannot be used with CICS

8. Why is it important not to execute a STOP RUN in CICS ?

9. How are programs reinitiated under CICS ?

10. Why must all CICS programs have a Linkage Section ?

11. Why doesn’t CICS use the Cobol Open and Close statements ?

12. What is the difference between a Symbolic map and Physical map ?

13. If a physical map has six variable fields and nine constant fields, how many fields must the symbolic map has ?

14. In which column must label begin ?

15. Code the parameter that will assign a start value to the filed

16. Can a program change protected field ?

17. How many columns will be needed on a screen to display a protected field that has 4 bytes of data

18. How many columns will be needed to on a screen to display an unprotected field that has 4 bytes of data

19. What are the 2 categories of extended attributes ?

20. When using extended attributes , how many attribute bytes will be needed for each symbolic map field ?

21. How is the stopper byte different from an autoskip byte ?

22. By which command do you preserve working storage fields ?

23. How do you restore working storage fields ?

24. Which command will release all the resources used by the program ?

25. What is the relationship between EIBCALEN and DFHCOMMAREA ?

26. How will you place cursor on a field called ‘EMPNO’. This field belongs to mapset ‘MAPEMPG’ and map ‘MAPEMPM’ and Symbolic map ‘Empid-Rec’ ?

27. How will the program know which key has been pressed.

28. By which CICS defined field can you determine the position of the cursor on the map ?

29. What is the function of a STARTBR ?

30. Assume that a file contains 100 records ,If one start browse and 99 read next commands have been executed , which record will currently be in memory ?

31. True or False ? . In a browse program the program should remain active while a user is viewing a screen

32. Which condition will be triggered if a user attempts to start a browse beyond end-of file ?

33. Which condition will be triggered if a user attempts to continue reading backward beyond the beginning of file?

34. What will happen if a user enters a record key that is lower than the lowest record key in a file ?

35. How can this answer be affected by the Start-Browse option ?

36. Describe a method for beginning a browse at the beginning of a file .

37. When is the condition of NOTFND not an error ?

38. What will happen if you code a send map command or a return statement with the same transid option if a MAPFAIL occurs ?

39. Why is the Enter Key option explicitly coded in the Handle Aid command ?

40. What happens if you omit labels on a HANDLE Condition command ?

41. What is the difference between a NOHANDLE and an IGNORE condition ?

42. What are the 3 broad ways that a program can give up control ?

43. What is the difference between XCTL and RETURN.

44. What happens if a DELETEQ TS command is executed ?

45. Why is the terminal ID often used as a part of a TSQ ?

46. What is the maximum length of a TSQ name ?

47. What is the maximum length of a TDQ name ?

48. Is it necessary to define a TSQ in a CICS table ?

49. Can you read the 5th item of a TDQ ?

50. Where are TDQ’s defined ?

51. Can you delete an individual record from a TSQ or a TDQ ?

52. Can you update a record in a TDQ ?

53. Why is it necessary to update PPT ?

54. In which CICS table do we define the transaction for a program?

55. Distinguish between TSQ and TDQ.

56. What is DFHBMSCA?

57. What is Pseudo conversational programming?

58. Name 3 cobol commands that cannot be used with CICS

59. If a physical map has six variable fields and nine constant fields , how many fields must the symbolic map has ?

60. In which column must label begin ?

61. Code the parameter that will assign a start value to the filed

62. How many columns will be needed on a screen to display a protected field that has 4 bytes of data?

63. How many columns will be needed to on a screen to display an unprotected field that has 4 bytes of data

64. What are the 2 categories of extended attributes ?

65. When using extended attributes , how many attribute bytes will be needed for each symbolic map field ?

66. By which command do you preserve working storage fields ?

67. How do you restore working storage fields ?

68. Which command will release all the resources used by the program ?

69. What is the relationship between EIBCALEN and DFHCOMMAREA ?

70. How will the program know which key has been pressed.

71. What is the function of a STARTBR ?

72. Assume that a file contains 100 records ,If one start browse and 99 read next commands have been executed , which record will currently be in memory ?

73. True or False ? . In a browse program the program should remain active while a user is viewing a screen

74. Which condition will be triggered if a user attempts to start a browse beyond end-of file ?

75. Which condition will be triggered if a user attempts to continue reading backward beyond the beginning of file?

76. What will happen if a user enters a record key that is lower than the lowest record key in a file ? How can this answer be affected by the Start-Browse option ?

77. Describe a method for beginning a browse at the beginning of a file .

78. When is the condition of NOTFND not an error ?

79. What will happen if you code a send map command or a return statement with the same transid option if a MAPFAIL occurs ?

80. Why is the Enter Key option explicitly coded in the Handle Aid command ?

81. What happens if you omit labels on a HANDLE Condition command ?

82. What is the difference between a NOHANDLE and an IGNORE condition ?

83. What are the 3 broad ways that a program can give up control ?

84. What is the difference between XCTL and RETURN.

85. What happens if a DELETEQ TS command is executed ?

86. Why is the terminal ID often used as a part of a TSQ ?

87. What is the maximum length of a TSQ name ?

88. What is the maximum length of a TDQ name ?

89. Is it necessary to define a TSQ in a CICS table ?

90. Can you read the 5th item of a TDQ ?

91. Where are TDQ’s defined ?

92. Can you delete an individual record from a TSQ or a TDQ ?

93. Can you update a record in a TDQ ?

94. Why is it necessary to update PPT ?

95. In which CICS table do we define the transaction for a program ?

96. How do you do a browse Operation

97. If you have a new map, new program, and a newfile, which CICS tables do you update?

98. How to read a TS Queue

99. Differentiate between XCTL and LINK

100. What is START ?

101. How do you update a file in CICS In JCL,

102. What is a temporary dataset?

103. What is a PROC, and how is it different from a JCL

104. Differentiate instream procedures versus Catalogued procedures

105. What is difference between TDQ and TSQ ?

106. How do interval control transactions invoke themselves

107. How do we read a VSAM file in CICS

108. What are some of imp. CICS commands and their parameters

109. How do you protect a field from being overlaid? - GS


111. What are the restrictions while using GETMAIN and FREEMAIN? - GS

112. I have TSQ with 15 items. I want to delete the 10th item. How do I do that?

113. How do I find the name of the CICS region inside my COBOL program?

114. Can a CICS region be attached to more than one DB2 subsystem ?

115. What determines the DB2 subsystem to which a particular CICS region is attached ?

116. What is the DSNC transaction used for ?

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