CICS Interview Questions

21. Name the Copybook supplied by IBM, with all modifiable attribute bytes that can be used with symbolic maps.

22. Describe the Basic function of the CICS RETURN command?
RETURN command is used to pass control from program to other or to program being executed to the higher level (CICS to end the session). The Options of RETURN command are TRANSID(name), COMMAREA(dataarea), and LENGTH(length of Commarea).

23. Describe the Basic function of the CICS XCTL command?
XCTL command is used to transfer control from the current to the program specified through the PROGRAM(program-name) option, Other options that can be specified are COMMAREA and LENGTH.

24. Describe the Basic function of the CICS SEND MAP command?
SEND MAP command is used to send data from the program to the terminal screen by using the various options such as MAP to specify the physical map name, MAPSET for Physical Mapset name, FROM(data-area) for symbolic map definition, MAPONLY/DATAONLY to specify if only Physical or Symbolic maps are to be sent, The ERASE/ERASEAUP to specify if the all data or only the unprotected field data on the screen need to be erased before the map is sent, and finally the CURSOR is used to specify the cursor position.

25. Describe the Basic function of the CICS RECEIVE MAP command?
The RECEIVE MAP command receives input data from the terminal, the options MAP, MAPSET and INTO are used similar to the SEND MAP options, INTO is used instead of from.

26. Describe the Basic function of the CICS READ command?
The READ command is used to read data from files. The DATASET option is used to specify the filename that needs to be defined in FCT, INTO(data-area) field specifies the data area to be used, RIDFLD(data-area) for a keyed field specifies the key of a record to be read, RRN or RBA when specified, this field is interpreted as Relative Record Number or R Byte Address, the UPDATE option specifies that the program intends to update the file with a subsequent REWRITE or DELETE command.

27. How do you place the cursor on the particular position on the screen (map)?
Define the field with IC in the BMS map. Move -1 to the length attribute of the field and use the CURSOR option without displacement value. (symbolic positioning). Use the CURSOR(nnn) option with SEND MAP, where nnn = (row-1)*80+(col-1) (physical positioning).

28. What is MDT? What are FSET, FRSET?
Modified Data Tag - Bit in the attribute byte indicating modification of field on screen. Changes on Input operation. FSET - is an attribute that sets the MDT On to ensure that the field is transmitted. Happens on an Output operation. FRSET. Resets MDT. Until this happens, field continues to be sent.

29. Do you receive the attribute byte in the symbolic map? When?
Yes, On EOF.

30. What is effect on RECEIVE MAP when a PF Key is pressed and when a PA Key s pressed
PF keys wake up (Initiate) the task and transmit modified data, PA keys only wake up (initiate) the task.

31. How is the storage determined in the symbolic map, If you have multiple maps in a Mapset?
Storage for maps redefine the first. This means largest map has to be the first.

32. What is the meaning of the BMS length of the field = 0 ?
Data was not entered in the field

33. Can you simply check length=0 for checking, if a field was modified?
No, Not if ERASE EOF was used.

34. What does the BUFFER option in RECEIVE mean?
It brings the entire data-stream from the terminal buffer.

35. What are the different steps you go through too create a BMS executable?
Assemble to create CSECT and Link

36. 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?
DFHEIBLK, DFHCOMMAREA are added in the Linkage section of the program.

37. What is the content of the PPT entry?
Length, Source, Use count, Lang, Res count DFHRPL number. With entries of Mapset's and Programs.

38. Explain Handle AID command. What are it's disadvantages over using of EIBAID?
HANDLE AID command is used to pass control to various parts of the program based on the Attention Key (pressed by user). It does not detect the AID key by itself, but uses the RECEIVE MAP command, so it is always coded alongside (before) the RECEIVE MAP command. This is a disadvantage, as Receive Map that increase the traffic over the network may not be needed during various situations such as termination of program.

39. How is the Error Processing done in CICS system application programs?
Check RESP or EIBRESP after the call or use the HANDLE CONDITION (unstructured) command. The Handle Condition command is to be coded prior to the CICS command used for I/O handling such as RECEIVE MAP (map fail), LINK, XCTL (pgmiderr), READ, WRITE, REWRITE, DELETE, UNLOCK (notopen/duprec/ notfnd).

40. Explain the usage of DFHCOMMAREA in a CICS program.
DFHCOMMAREA in the Linkage section is used to pass the data in working storage commarea from one to program to another program. It should be defined with as at least one byte long. As the working storage section is freshly allocated for every execution.

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