CICS Interview Questions

61. I have done a STARTBR on a VSAM dataset. Can I do another START BR without doing an ENDBR ?

62. When an XCTL is done, does the trans-id change? Is a new task created? Does it cause implicit SYNCPOINT to be issued ?
No. No. Yes.

63. What is the DSNC transaction used for ?
DSNC is a CICS Abend Code, which specifies that there is a problem in the CICS/DB2 attachment facility. The CLOTCFLG field in the LOT control block contains a hexadecimal describing the abend code, such as no threads.

64. What are the differences between TSQ and a TDQ?
In Temporary Storage Queues Data is read randomly, While in Transient Data Queues data must be read sequentially. (2) In a TSQ data can be read any number of times as it remains in the queue until the entire Queue is deleted. In TDQ data item can be read once only. To reuse the TDQ it must be closed and reopened. (3) Data can be changed in TSQ, but not in TDQ. (4) TSQ can be written to Auxiliary or Main Storage, while TDQ is written to Disk. Temporary storage is a holding place, while Transient data is always associated with destination. The (5) TSQ name is defined dynamically, while a TDQ name need to be defined in the DCT. Note: An application uses TSQ 's to pass info' from task to task, while a TDQ to accumulate records before processing or send data for external use, such as a print operation or other.

65. Explain the commands used for handling Temporary Storage queues under CICS, with their options.
The WRITEQ TS command is used to Write data into a TSQ. The Options used are QUEUE(name), FROM(d-area) , LENGTH(value), ITEM(item-value), REWRITE and Main/Auxiliary. The last three are optional. The Item value field is to be defined as S9(4) comp. The READQ TS is used to read the TSQ, its options are QUEUE(name), INTO(data area) ,Length(value), ITEM(item-value)/ NEXT. The Itemvalue is the number of the TS Record in Q'.

66. If I create a TSQ from one transaction, can I read it from another transaction?
Yes. As long as they run in the same region.

67. Do you require a table entry for a TSQ? Is there any entry for TSQs in CICS tables?
If recovery for the TSQ, is needed. It's entered in TST (Temporary Storage table). Yes in the DFHTST.

68. I have TSQ with 15 items. I want to delete the 10th item. How do I do that?
By using the ITEM(10) option with DELETE TS command.

69. What is meant by an Indirect destination?
An indirect Destination lets a single TDQ be identified by more than one destination Id. The DCT entry for an indirect destination simply specifies the name of the destination defined elsewhere in it. TYPE=INDIRECT option is used during the DCT entry. Ex. DFHDCT TYPE=INTRA, DESTID=L86P, TRANSID=PRTA, TRIGLVL=1 (results in initiating the PRTA transaction after every single entry into TDQ). Ex2. DFHDCT TYPE=INDIRECT, DESTID=PRT1,INDDEST=L86P. The advantage of indirect destinations is to use them when you have to change the destination Id frequently, there is no need for change and compilation of every program associated with it.

70. Why do use DELETEQ TD command, even though the TDQ is read destructive?
Depending on the DCT entry for the destination, the disk space occupied by that record may still be reserved, even though the records are not available. So in order to reclaim this space DELETQ TD command is used.

71. How do you reserve Destinations for Exclusive use under the CICS?
CICS does not automatically ensure that only one task writes records to a destination at one time. To control this, CICS provides ENQ and DEQ Task control commands used to make resources serially reusable. ENQ command is specified with RESOURCE (data-area/ DESTID) and LENGTH options to reserve the resource. DEQ is used to release the resource. Even, If the DEQ command is not issued, at the End of the task, the resources are released.

72. What are extra partition & intra partition TDQs?
Extra-partition TDQ's are datasets used for communication between CICS and other CICS/Batch regions. Intra-partition TDQ's are queues for communication within CICS region. CICS stores the Intrapartition TDQ in a dataset 'DFHNTRA' on the Disk. Extra-partition TDQ doesn't have to be a disk file, it can reside on any device that's a valid QSAM/VSAM. The DCT entry contains the destination-Id, type of TDQ, Destination, Trigger level if needed.

73. How do you fire a batch job from a CICS transaction ?
Define an extra-partition TDQ as an internal reader and write the JCL to it. Terminate the JCL with /*EOF.

74. What is ATI? What kind of TDQ can be used? What is trigger level in the context of TDQs?
ATI is an acronym for Automatic Task Initiation. It's used only with Intra partition TDQ 's by specifying the number of records at which ATI occurs is called the trigger level. Not applicable for extra partition TDQ's.

75. What command is used to release the memory allocated for the program by the GETMAIN command?
FREEMAIN command with the name of the block.

76. What is the transaction used to Print.
PRNT. It's usually used to print contents of the TDQ's.

77. How many type of Destinations can be defined in the DCT? What are they?
Four. They are Intra-partition (I/O within CICS system), Extra-partition (for I/O outside CICS region), Indirect, and Remote. The external dataset defined through DCT can not be a VSAM file as TD can only use sequential files. Note that only Intra-partition TDQ 's can be deleted.

78. Write about CSPG. Give a List of Transactions ID 's provided by IBM for CICS system.
CSPG is an IBM supplied transaction code used to browse, delete and manipulate pages built by PAGING operand. CEMT, CECI, CEBR, CECA, CECS, CEDA, CEDB, CEDC and CEDF, PRNT, MAPS.

79. Can you use DYNAMIC calls in CICS ?
Yes, the called routine must be defined in PPT and the calling program must use CALL identifier.

80. Suppose program A passes 30 bytes to program B through commarea and program B has defined its DFHCOMMAREA to be 50 bytes. Is there a problem?
Yes, if B tries to access bytes 31-50.

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