CICS Interview Questions and Answers
Last updated on 24th Oct 2020, Blog, Interview Question
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1. What Is The Difference Between Start And Xctl?
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.
2. What Are The Three Bms Options?
Minimum, Standard, FULL
3. What Is The Primary Objective Of Cics?
To provide the control and services of the DB/DC system.
4. Can You Access Esds Files From Cics?
5. Can You Access Qsam (seq) Files From Cics?
6. How Would You Resolve An Asra Abend?
In COBOL II start with CEBR, and get the offset/instruction.
7. What Is An Aica Abend?
8. What Is The Usage Of Language In The Ppt Entry?
Language interface and call parameters
9. How Do You Handle Errors In Cics Programs?
Check EIBRESP after the call or use the HANDLE condition.
10. Can You Use Dynamic Calls In Cics?
Yes, the called routine must be defined in PPT and the calling program must use CALL identifier…
11. Name Some Important Fields In The Eib Block?
EIBRESP, EIBCALEN, EIBRRCDE, EIBTASK, EIBDATE, EIBTIME
12. What Is Exec Cics Retrieve?
Used by STARTed tasks to get the parameters passed to them.
13. What Is An Aey9 Abend?
DB2/IDMS not up.
14. What Is An Asra Abend?
Any data exception problem SOC7, SOC4 etc.
15. What Is Enq, Deq?
Task control commands to make resources serially reusable.
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16. What Is The Use Of Dct?
Destination Control Table used define TDQs
17. 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?
18. What Is Mdt? What Are Fset, Frset?
1.MDT: Bit in the attribute byte indicating modification of field on screen. Happens on an input operation.
2.FSET: Sets MDT on to ensure field is transmitted. Happens on an output operation
3.FRSET: Reset MDT. Until this happens, field continues to be sent.
19. What Is The Attribute Byte?
Defines the display/transmission of field. Most cases is an output field from the program.
20. What Is The Difference Between Physical Map And Symbolic Map?
The physical map is the load module and the symbolic map is the data structure.
21. Can A Program Change Protected Field?
22. What Is The Difference Between A Symbolic Map And Physical Map?
SYMBOLIC MAP IS USED BY USER AND PHYSICAL MAP IS USED BY SYSTEM
23. Why Is It Important Not To Execute A Stop Run In Cics?
Stop run will come out from the CICS region.
24. How To Build Up Lu 6.2 Communication?
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.
25. 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?
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 package that could be referenced in two different plans.
26. What Is The Abend Command And When Would You Use It?
The ABEND command forces a task to end abnormally. It creates a transaction dump and invokes the dynamic transaction backout.
27. What Is The Cics Load Command?
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.
28. What Is Task Control And What Are The Cics Commands Associated With It?
Task control refers to the CICS functions that manage the execution of tasks. Task control commands are SUSPEND, ENQ, and DEQ.
29. What Is Interval Control And What Are Some Of The Cics Commands Associated With It?
CICS interval control provides a variety of time-related features – common commands are ASKTIME, PORMATTIME, START, RETRIEVE, and CANCEL.
30. How Do You Delete Item 3 In A Five-item Tsq?
You can’t at least not directly. Options, none of them good, inlude:
1. adding a logical-delete flag to the contents of each item;
2. moving item 4 to 3 and 5 to 4 and initializing item 5, all thru rewrites; this is a variant on 1;
3. 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.
31. What Is The Meaning Of The Enq And Deq Commands?
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.
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32. What Is A Logical Message In Cics?
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 reports.
33. What Is Cebr?
CEBR lets you browse the contents of a specific temporary storage queue.
34. What Is Cedf?
CEDF is the execute diagnostic facility that can be used for debugging CICS programs.
35. What Is Ceci?
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.
36. What Is The Significance Of Rdo?
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.
37. What Is A Cursor In Cics Sql Processing?
A cursor is a pointer that identifies one row in a SQL results table as the current row.
38. What Is The Massinsert Option?
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.
39. What Is The Meaning Of The Syncpoint Command?
SYNCPOINT without the ROLLBACK option makes all updates to protected resources permanent, with the ROLLBACK option it reverses all updates.
40. What Is Journal Recovery And Dynamic Transaction Backout?
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.
41. What Are Transient Data Sets Defined To Cics?
They are defined in the destination control table (DCT).
42. What Are The Two Types Of Transient Data Queues?
They are intrapartition, which can only be accessed from with CICS and extrapartition, which are typically used to collect data online, but process it in a batch environment.
43. What Is Transient Data?
Transient data provides CICS program with a simple method for sequential processing, often used to produce output for 3270 printers.
44. What Is Temporary Storage?
Temporary storage is either main or auiliary storage that allows the program to save data between task invocations.
45. What Is An Asra?
An ASRA is the CICS interrupt code, the equivalent of an MVS abend code.
46. How Do You Control Cursor Positioning?
It’s controlled by the cursor option of the SEND MAP command using a direct (0 through 1919) or symbolic value.
47. What Is The Meaning And Use Of The Eibaid Field?
EIBAID is a key field in the execute interface block; it indicates which attention key the user presse to initiate the task.
48. How Do You Access Storage Outside Your Cics Program?
In COBOL storage was accessed via BLL cell 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.
49. What Is The Function Of The Load Command?
To fetch a program, table or map to the main storage.
50. What Is The Cics Command That Is Used For Reading A Record From The Tdq?
51. Which Of The Following Are Recoverable Cics Resources?
Data files and data bases, Intrapartition TDQs, Auxiliary TSQs.
52. Which Is The Command Used For Terminating A Browse Operation?
53. What Is The Primary Function Of The Processing Program Table (ppt)?
To register all programs and maps
54. Sync Points Cannot Be Requested By The Application Programs (true Or False)?
55. Which Is The Command That Is Used To Dump The Main Storage Areas Related To A Task?
56. What Is The Cics Command That Is Used To Copy A Screen Image Of A Terminal Into Another Terminal?
57. The Eib Field Which Gives The Last Cics Command Executed Is?
58. Which Is The Cics Control Program That Provides Communication Services Between User Written Application Programs And Terminals?
Terminal Control Program
59. Cics Command Level Is?
Low level version of CICS macro level
60. Tsqs Can Be Written In The Main Storage Or Auxiliary Storage ( True Or False)?
61. What Is Difference Between Call And Link?
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.
62. What Are The Differences Between Dfhcommarea And Tsq?
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.
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63. What Is Communication Area?
Communication Area is used to pass data between the program or between the task.
64. A Cics Program Abends With An Asra Abend Code, What Is Its Meaning?
- Alink was issued to a program whose name does not exist in the PPT (Program Processing Table).
- A program attempted to use a map that is not defined in the PCT ( Program Control Table).
- 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.
- A program interrupt (0C0 or 0C2 ot …) has occurred in a CICS program.
- An I/O error has occurred when attempting to use a VSAM file from a CICS program.
65. How Can You Accomplish Breakpoint In Intertest?
U-for unconditional breakpoint, C-for conditional breakpoint, and A-for automatic breakpoint
66. How Many Ways Are There For Initiating A Transaction ? What Are They?
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 )
67. Which Type Of Tdq Is Read Destructive?
Intrapartition TDQ is read destructive. extra partition TDQ is not read destructive.
68. The Error Code Aeiv?
This is the error code for length, if length of the source data is more than the receiving field, This error will occur.
69. What Is The Size Of Commarea?
The default commarea size is 65k.
70. What Is Asraabend In Cics?
It occurs when program interruption takes place. e.g. when alphanumeric string moved to numeric data item OR when arithmetic calculations performed on nunnumeric data item OR when an attempt made to read an occurrence of a table beyond the defined occurrences.
71. What Is A Two Phase Commit In Cics?
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 signal DB2 to complete the next phase and release all the locks.
72. Difference Between Tsq And Tdq?
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.
73. In Symbolic Cursor Positioning After Moving – 1 To The Length Field Also The Cursor Is Not Positioned In That Particular Field. Give Reasons?
You have to explicitly specify the word CURSOR between your EXEC CICS and END-EXEC in the program.
74. What Does Eib Mean?
The EIB is the EXECUTIVE INTERFACE BLOCK. It is not the EXECUTE INTERFACE BLOCK. All TP monitors or transaction processor are know as EXECUTIVEs as they carry out process on behalf of a program module. CICS and DB2 are executives.
75. How Many Exceptional Condition Can Be Given In A Handle Condition?
Max. of 12 exceptional conditions can be given in a HANDLE CONDITION.
76. How Do You Access The Records Randomly In Tsq?
By specifying the ITEM option
77. What Command Do You Issue To Delete A Record In A Transient Data Queue?
READQ TD, the read is destructive.
78. What Are Different Ways Of Initiating Transaction In Cics?
We can initiate CICS transaction
- by giving transaction id
- by giving CICS start command
- automatic task initiation.
79. What Is The Difference Between Link And Xctl?
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.
80. What Is The Difference Between Cics Program Control Table (pct) And Cics Processing Program Table (ppt)?
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 detemine whether it will load a new copy of the program when the transaction is invoked.
81. What Are The 3 Common Ways To Create Maps?
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 and 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 ).
82. What Is Quasi-reentrancy?
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.
83. What Is The Difference Between A Physical Bms Mapset And A Logical Bms Mapset?
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.
84. What Cics Facilities Can You Use To Save Data Between The Transactions?
COMMONAREA, TSQ and TDQ.
85. How Would You Release Control Of The Record In A Read For Update?
By issuing a REWRITE, DELETE, or UNLOCK command or by ending the task.
86. What Is The Difference Between A Return With Transid And Xctl? For Example Program. A Is Issuing Return With Transid To Program B. Program A. Is Isssuing Xctl To Program B?
In RETURN with TRANSID the control goes to the CICS region and the user have to transfer the control to program B by pressing any of the AID KEYS. In XCTL the control is directly transfer to program B.
87. What Will Be The Length Of The Eibcalen, If The Transaction Is Used To Cics First Time?
The length will be 0 (zero).
88. What Is Dfheiblk?
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.
89. What Is The Difference Between The Xctl And Link Commands?
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 program)
90. What Cics Command Would You Use To Read A Vsam Ksds Sequentially In Ascending Order?
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 position in the file will be before the first record satisfying the generic key. For reading in descending order use the READPREV instead of READNEXT.
91. What Is The Difference Between Pseudo-conversational And Conversational?
pseudo-conversational will start a new task for each input. By coding a CICS RETURN command specifying TRANSID9ITSELF). Conversational will have an active task during the duration of the data entry.
92. What Is The Comaera (communication Area)?
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.
93. What Is The Common Work Area (cwa)?
The common work area is a storage area that can be accessed by any task in a CICS system.
94. What Is A Transid And Explain The System Transid Cemt?
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.
95. What Is An Mdt (modified Data Tag)? Its Menaing And Use?
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.
96. What Is The Eib (execute Interface Block)?
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.
97. What Is The Common Systems Area (csa)?
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.
98. What Is Meant By Program Reentrance?
A program is considered reentrant if more than one task can execute the code without interfering with the other tasks’ execution.
99. What Is Meant By A Cics Task?
A CICS task exist from the time the operator presses the enter key until the application program returns control to CICS.
100. Name Some Common Cics Service Programs And Explain Their Usage?
Terminal Control, File Control, Task Control, Storage Control, etc, Each CICS service program controls the usage and status for its resource (file, terminal, etc) within the CICS region.
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