FAQs(91 to 105)

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

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

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

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.

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

A) 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.

93) What is meant by a CICS task?

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

94) What is meant by program reentrance?

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


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

A) 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.

96) What is the COMMAREA(communications area)?

A) 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.

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

A) 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.

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

A) 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.

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

A) 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.

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

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

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

A) 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.

102) 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?

A) 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 commands.

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

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

104) How do you control cursor positioning?

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


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

A) 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.