Interview QA-COBOL & COBOL II

Q1) Name the divisions in a COBOL program ?.
A1) IDENTIFICATION DIVISION,
ENVIRONMENT DIVISION,
DATA DIVISION,
PROCEDURE DIVISION.

Q2) What are the different data types available in COBOL?
A2) Alpha-numeric (X), alphabetic (A) and numeric (9).

Q3) What does the INITIALIZE verb do?  - GS
A3) Alphabetic, Alphanumeric fields & alphanumeric edited items are set to SPACES. Numeric, Numeric edited items set to ZERO. FILLER , OCCURS DEPENDING ON items left untouched.

Q4) What is 77 level used for ?
A4) Elementary level item. Cannot be subdivisions of other items (cannot be qualified), nor can they be subdivided themselves.

Q5) What is 88 level used for ?
A5) For condition names.

Q6) What is level 66 used for ?
A6) For RENAMES clause.

Q7) What does the IS NUMERIC clause establish ?
A7) IS NUMERIC can be used on alphanumeric items, signed numeric & packed decimal items and unsigned numeric & packed decimal  items. IS NUMERIC returns TRUE if the item only consists of 0-9. However, if the item being tested is a signed  item, then it may contain 0-9,  + and - .

Q8) How do you define a table/array in COBOL?
A8) ARRAYS.
05 ARRAY1 PIC X(9) OCCURS 10 TIMES.
       05 ARRAY2 PIC X(6) OCCURS 20 TIMES INDEXED BY WS-INDEX.

Q9) Can the OCCURS clause be at the 01 level?
A9) No.

Q10) What is the difference between index and subscript? - GS
A10) Subscript refers to the array occurrence while index is the displacement (in no of bytes) from the beginning of the array. An index can only be modified using PERFORM, SEARCH & SET. Need to have index for a table in order to use SEARCH, SEARCH ALL.

Q11) What is the difference between SEARCH and SEARCH ALL? - GS
A11) SEARCH - is a serial search.
SEARCH ALL - is a binary search & the table must be sorted ( ASCENDING/DESCENDING KEY clause to be used & data loaded in this order) before using SEARCH ALL.

Q12) What should be the sorting order for SEARCH ALL? - GS
A12) It can be either ASCENDING or DESCENDING.  ASCENDING is default. 
If you want the search to be done on an array sorted in descending order, then while defining the array, you should give DESCENDING KEY clause. (You must load the table in the specified order).

Q13) What is binary search?
A13) Search on a sorted array.  Compare the item to be searched with the item at the center.  If it matches, fine else repeat the process with the left half or the right half depending on where the item lies.

Q14) My program has an array defined to have 10 items.  Due to a bug, I find that even if the program access the 11th item in this array, the program does not abend.  What is wrong with it?
A14) Must use compiler option SSRANGE if you want array bounds checking. Default is NOSSRANGE.

Q15) How do you sort in a COBOL program?  Give sort file definition, sort statement syntax and meaning. - GS
A15)  Syntax: SORT file-1 ON ASCENDING/DESCENDING KEY key.... USING file-2 GIVING file-3.

USING can be substituted by INPUT PROCEDURE IS para-1 THRU para-2
GIVING can be substituted by OUTPUT PROCEDURE IS para-1 THRU para-2.

file-1 is the sort (work) file and must be described using SD entry in FILE SECTION.
file-2 is the input file for the SORT and must be described using an FD entry in FILE SECTION and SELECT
clause in FILE CONTROL.
file-3 is the out file from the SORT and must be described using an FD entry in FILE SECTION and SELECT
clause in FILE CONTROL.
file-1, file-2 & file-3 should not be opened explicitly.

INPUT PROCEDURE is executed before the sort and records must be RELEASEd to  the sort work file from the input procedure.
OUTPUT PROCEDURE is executed after all records have been sorted. Records from the sort work file must be RETURNed one at a time to the output procedure.

Q16) How do you define a sort file in JCL that runs the COBOL program?
A16) Use the SORTWK01, SORTWK02,..... dd names in the step. Number of sort datasets depends on the volume of data being sorted, but a minimum of 3 is required.

Q17) What is the difference between performing a SECTION and a PARAGRAPH? - GS
A17) Performing a SECTION will cause all the paragraphs that are part of the section, to be performed.
Performing a PARAGRAPH will cause only that paragraph to be performed.

Q18) What is the use of EVALUATE statement? - GS
A18) Evaluate is like a case statement and can be used to replace nested Ifs. The difference between EVALUATE and case is that no 'break' is required for EVALUATE i.e. control comes out of the EVALUATE as soon as one match is made.

Q19) What are the different forms of EVALUATE statement? Can not understand?
A19) 
EVALUATE                                           EVALUATE SQLCODE ALSO FILE-STATUS
       WHEN A=B AND C=D                          WHEN 100 ALSO '00'
                    imperative stmt                                          imperative stmt  
WHEN (D+X)/Y = 4                                WHEN -305 ALSO '32'
      imperative stmt                                          imperative stmt
WHEN OTHER                                        WHEN OTHER
     imperative stmt                                          imperative stmt
END-EVALUATE                                   END-EVALUATE

EVALUATE SQLCODE ALSO A=B     EVALUATE SQLCODE ALSO TRUE
WHEN 100 ALSO TRUE                         WHEN 100 ALSO A=B
       imperative stmt                                   imperative stmt
WHEN -305 ALSO FALSE                WHEN -305 ALSO (A/C=4)
     imperative stmt                                         imperative stmt
END-EVALUATE                                     END-EVALUATE

Q20) How do you come out of an EVALUATE statement? - GS
A20) After the execution of one of the when clauses, the control is automatically passed on to the next sentence after the
EVALUATE statement.  There is no need of any extra code.

Q21) In an EVALUATE statement, can I give a complex condition on a when clause?
A21) Yes.

Q22) What is a scope terminator?  Give examples.
A22) Scope terminator is used to mark the end of a verb e.g. EVALUATE, END-EVALUATE;
IF, END-IF.

Q23) How do you do in-line PERFORM? - GS
A23) PERFORM ... <UNTIL> ...
<sentences>
END-PERFORM

Q24) When would you use in-line perform?
A24) When the body of the perform will not be used in other paragraphs. If the body of the perform is a generic type of code (used from various other places in the program), it would be better to put the code in a separate Para and use PERFORM Para name rather than in-line perform.

Q25) What is the difference between CONTINUE & NEXT SENTENCE ?
A25) They appear to be similar, that is, the control goes to the next sentence in the paragraph. But, Next Sentence would take the control to the sentence after it finds a full stop (.). Check out by writing the following code example, one if sentence followed by 3 display statements (sorry they appear one line here because of formatting restrictions) If 1 > 0 then next sentence end if display 'line 1' display 'line 2'. display 'line 3'. *** Note- there is a dot (.) only at the end of the last 2 statements, see the effect by replacing Next Sentence with Continue ***

Q26) What does EXIT do ?
A26) Does nothing ! If used, must be the only sentence within a paragraph.

Q27) Can I redefine an X(100) field with a field of X(200)?
A27) Yes. Redefines just causes both fields to start at the same location. For example:

01 WS-TOP PIC X(1)
01 WS-TOP-RED REDEFINES WS-TOP PIC X(2).
If you MOVE '12' to WS-TOP-RED,
DISPLAY WS-TOP will show 1 while
DISPLAY WS-TOP-RED will show 12.

A28) Can I redefine an X(200) field with a field of X(100) ?
Q31)1 Yes.

Q31)2 What do you do to resolve SOC-7 error? - GS
Q31) Basically you need to correcting the offending data. Many times the reason for SOC7 is an un-initialized numeric item. Examine that possibility first. Many installations provide you a dump for run time abend’s ( it can be  generated also by calling some subroutines or OS services thru  assembly language).  These dumps provide the offset of the last  instruction at which the abend occurred.  Examine the compilation output XREF listing to get the verb and the line number of the source  code at this offset.  Then you can look at the source code to find the  bug.  To get capture the runtime dumps,  you will have to define some  datasets (SYSABOUT etc ) in the JCL. If none of these are helpful,  use judgement and DISPLAY to localize  the source of error. Some installation might have batch program debugging tools.  Use them.

Q32) How is sign stored in Packed Decimal fields and Zoned Decimal fields?
Q32) Packed Decimal fields: Sign is stored as a hex value in the last nibble (4 bits ) of the storage.
Zoned Decimal fields: As a default, sign is over punched with the numeric value stored in the last bite.

Q33) How is sign stored in a comp-3 field? - GS
Q33) It is stored in the last nibble. For example if your number is +100, it stores hex 0C in the last byte, hex 1C if  your number is 101, hex 2C if your number is 102, hex 1D if the number is -101, hex 2D if the number is -102 etc... 

Q34) How is sign stored in a COMP field ? - GS
Q34) In the most significant bit.  Bit is ON if -ve, OFF if +ve.

Q35) What is the difference between COMP & COMP-3  ?
Q35) COMP is a binary storage format while COMP-3 is packed decimal format.

Q36) What is COMP-1? COMP-2?
Q36) COMP-1  - Single precision floating point. Uses 4 bytes.
COMP-2 - Double precision floating point. Uses 8 bytes.

Q37) How do you define a variable of COMP-1?  COMP-2?
Q37) No picture clause to be given. Example 01 WS-VAR USAGE COMP-1.

Q38) How many bytes does a S9(7) COMP-3 field occupy ?
Q38) Will take 4 bytes. Sign is stored as hex value in the last nibble. General formula is INT((n/2) + 1)), where n=7 in this
example.

Q39) How many bytes does a S9(7) SIGN TRAILING SEPARATE field occupy ?
Q39) Will occupy 8 bytes (one extra byte for sign).

Q40) How many bytes will a S9(8) COMP field occupy ?
Q40) 4 bytes.

Q41) What is the maximum value that can be stored in S9(8) COMP?
Q41) 99999999

Q42) What is COMP SYNC?
Q42) Causes the item to be aligned on natural boundaries. Can be SYNCHRONIZED LEFT or RIGHT. For binary data
items, the address resolution is faster if they are located at word boundaries in the memory.  For example, on main
frame the memory word size is 4 bytes.  This means that each word will start from an address divisible by 4.  If my
first variable is x(3) and next one is s9(4) comp, then if you do not specify the SYNC clause, S9(4) COMP will start
from byte 3 ( assuming that it starts from 0 ).  If you specify SYNC, then the binary data item will start from address 4.
You might see some wastage of memory, but the access to this computational field is faster.                                                                                                                                                                  

Q43) What is the maximum size of a 01 level item in COBOL I?  in COBOL II?
Q43) In COBOL II: 16777215

Q44) How do you reference the following file formats from COBOL programs:
Q44) 
Fixed Block File  -   Use ORGANISATION IS SEQUENTIAL. Use RECORDING MODE IS F,
BLOCK CONTAINS 0 .
Fixed Unblocked  -   Use ORGANISATION IS SEQUENTIAL. Use RECORDING   MODE IS F,
do not use BLOCK CONTAINS
Variable Block File -  Use ORGANISATION IS SEQUENTIAL. Use RECORDING MODE IS V, BLOCK
CONTAINS 0. Do not code the 4 bytes for record length in FD ie JCL rec length will be max rec length in pgm + 4
Variable Unblocked -  Use ORGANISATION IS SEQUENTIAL. Use RECORDING MODE IS V, do not use
BLOCK CONTAINS. Do not code 4 bytes for record length in FD ie JCL rec length will
be max rec length in pgm + 4.
ESDS VSAM file -   Use ORGANISATION IS SEQUENTIAL.
KSDS VSAM file -  Use ORGANISATION IS INDEXED, RECORD KEY IS, ALTERNATE RECORD KEY IS RRDS File -  Use ORGANISATION IS RELATIVE, RELATIVE KEY IS
Printer File -   Use ORGANISATION IS SEQUENTIAL. Use RECORDING MODE IS F, BLOCK
CONTAINS 0. (Use RECFM=FBA in JCL DCB).

Q45) What are different file OPEN modes available in COBOL?
Q45) Open for INPUT, OUTPUT, I-O, EXTEND.

Q46) What is the mode in which you will OPEN a file for writing? - GS
Q46) OUTPUT, EXTEND

Q47) In the JCL, how do you define the files referred to in a subroutine ?
Q47) Supply the DD cards just as you would for files referred to in the main program.

Q48) Can you REWRITE a record in an ESDS file?  Can you DELETE a record from it?
Q48) Can rewrite (record length must be same), but not delete.

Q49) What is file status 92? - GS
Q49) Logic error. e.g., a file is opened for input and an attempt is made to write to it.

Q50) What is file status 39 ?
Q50) Mismatch in LRECL or BLOCKSIZE or RECFM between your COBOL pgm & the JCL (or the dataset label). You will get file status 39 on an OPEN.

Q51) What is Static and Dynamic linking ?
Q51) In static linking, the called subroutine is link-edited into the calling program , while in dynamic linking, the subroutine & the main program will exist as separate load modules. You choose static/dynamic linking by choosing either the DYNAM or NODYNAM link edit option. (Even if you choose NODYNAM, a CALL identifier (as opposed to a CALL literal), will translate to a DYNAMIC call).A statically called subroutine will not be in its initial state the next time it is called unless you explicitly use INITIAL or you do a CANCEL. A dynamically called routine will always be in its initial state.


Q52) What is AMODE(24), AMODE(31), RMODE(24) and RMODE(ANY)?  (applicable to only MVS/ESA Enterprise Server).
Q52) These are compile/link edit options. Basically AMODE  stands for Addressing mode and RMODE for Residency mode.
AMODE(24) - 24 bit addressing;
AMODE(31) - 31 bit addressing
AMODE(ANY) - Either 24 bit or 31 bit addressing depending on RMODE.
RMODE(24) - Resides in virtual storage below 16 Meg line. Use this for 31 bit programs that call 24 bit programs. (OS/VS Cobol pgms use 24 bit addresses only).
RMODE(ANY) - Can reside above or below 16 Meg line.

Q53) What compiler option would you use for dynamic linking?
Q53) DYNAM.

Q54) What is SSRANGE, NOSSRANGE ?
Q54) These are compiler options with respect to subscript out of range checking. NOSSRANGE is the default and if chosen,
no run time error will be flagged if your index or subscript goes out of the permissible range.

Q55) How do you set a return code to the JCL from a COBOL program?
Q55) Move a value to RETURN-CODE register. RETURN-CODE should not be declared in your program.

Q56) How can you submit a job from COBOL programs?
Q56) Write JCL cards to a dataset with //xxxxxxx SYSOUT= (A,INTRDR) where 'A' is output class, and dataset should be
opened for output in the program. Define a 80 byte record layout for the file.

Q57) What are the differences between OS VS COBOL and VS COBOL II?
Q57) OS/VS Cobol pgms can only run in 24 bit addressing mode, VS Cobol II pgms can run either in 24 bit or 31 bit addressing modes.

I. Report writer is supported only in OS/VS Cobol.
II. USAGE IS POINTER is supported only in VS COBOL II.
III. Reference modification e.g.: WS-VAR(1:2) is supported only in VS COBOL II.
IV. EVALUATE is supported only in VS COBOL II.
V. Scope terminators are supported only in VS COBOL II.
VI. OS/VS Cobol follows ANSI 74 stds while VS COBOL II follows ANSI 85 stds.
VII. Under CICS Calls between VS COBOL II programs are supported.

Q58) What are the steps you go through while creating a COBOL program executable?
Q58) DB2 precompiler (if embedded SQL used), CICS translator (if CICS pgm), Cobol compiler, Link editor. If DB2 program, create plan by binding the DBRMs.

Q59) Can you call an OS VS COBOL pgm from a VS COBOL II  pgm ?
Q59) In non-CICS environment, it is possible. In CICS, this is not possible.

Q60) What are the differences between COBOL and COBOL II?
A60) There are at least five differences: 
COBOL II supports structured programming by using in line Performs and explicit scope terminators, It introduces new features (EVALUATE, SET. TO TRUE, CALL. BY CONTEXT, etc) It permits programs to be loaded and addressed above the 16-megabyte line It does not support many old features (READY TRACE, REPORT-WRITER, ISAM, Etc.), and It offers enhanced CICS support.

Q61) What is an explicit scope terminator?
A61) A scope terminator brackets its preceding verb, e.g. IF .. END-IF, so that all statements between the verb and its scope terminator are grouped together. Other common COBOL II verbs are READ, PERFORM, EVALUATE, SEARCH and STRING.

Q62) What is an in line PERFORM?  When would you use it?  Anything else to say about it?
A62) The PERFORM and END-PERFORM statements bracket all COBOL II statements between them. The COBOL equivalent is to PERFORM or PERFORM THRU a paragraph.  In line PERFORMs work as long as there are no internal GO TOs, not even to an exit.  The in line PERFORM for readability should not exceed a page length - often it will reference other PERFORM paragraphs.

Q63) What is the difference between NEXT SENTENCE and CONTINUE?
A63) NEXT SENTENCE gives control to the verb following the next period.  CONTINUE gives control to the next verb after the explicit scope terminator.  (This is not one of COBOL II's finer implementations).  It's safest to use CONTINUE rather than NEXT SENTENCE in COBOL II.

Q64) What COBOL construct is the COBOL II EVALUATE meant to replace?
A64) EVALUATE can be used in place of the nested IF THEN ELSE statements.

Q65) What is the significance of 'above the line' and 'below the line'?
A65) Before IBM introduced MVS/XA architecture in the 1980's a program's virtual storage was limited to 16 megs. Programs compiled with a 24 bit mode can only address 16 Mb of space, as though they were kept under an imaginary storage line. With COBOL II a program compiled with a 31 bit mode can be 'above the 16 Mb line. (This 'below the line', 'above the line' imagery confuses most mainframe programmers, who tend to be a literal minded group.)

Q66) What was removed from COBOL in the COBOL II implementation?
A66) Partial list:  REMARKS,  NOMINAL KEY, PAGE-COUNTER, CURRENT-DAY, TIME-OF-DAY,  STATE, FLOW, COUNT, EXAMINE, EXHIBIT, READY TRACE and RESET TRACE.

Q67) Explain call by context by comparing it to other calls.
A67) The parameters passed in a call by context are protected from modification by the called program. In a normal call they are able to be modified.

Q68) What is the linkage section?
A68) The linkage section is part of a called program that 'links' or maps to data items in the calling program's working storage.  It is the part of the called program where these share items are defined.

Q69) What is the difference between a subscript and an index in a table definition?
A69) A subscript is a working storage data definition item, typically a PIC (999) where a value must be moved to the subscript and then incremented or decrements by ADD TO and SUBTRACT FROM statements. An index is a register item that exists outside the program's working storage.  You SET an index to a value and SET it UP BY value and DOWN BY value.

Q70) If you were passing a table via linkage, which is preferable - a subscript or an index?
A70) Wake up - you haven't been paying attention!  It's not possible to pass an index via linkage.  The index is not part of the calling programs working storage.  Those of us who've made this mistake, appreciate the lesson more than others. 

Q71) Explain the difference between an internal and an external sort, the pros and cons, internal sort syntax etc.
A71) An external sort is not COBOL; it is performed through JCL and PGM=SORT.  It is understandable without any code reference. An internal sort can use two different syntax’s: 1.) USING, GIVING sorts are comparable to external sorts with no extra file processing;  2) INPUT PROCEDURE, OUTPUT PROCEDURE sorts allow for data manipulation before and/or after the sort.

Q72) What is the difference between comp and comp-3 usage? Explain other COBOL usage’s.
A72) Comp is a binary usage, while comp-3 indicates packed decimal.  The other common usage’s are binary and display.  Display is the default.

Q73) When is a scope terminator mandatory?
A73) Scope terminators are mandatory for in-line PERFORMS and EVALUATE statements.  For readability, it's recommended coding practice to always make scope terminators explicit.

Q74) In a COBOL II PERFORM statement, when is the conditional tested, before or after the perform execution?
A74) In COBOL II the optional clause WITH TEST BEFORE or WITH TEST AFTER can be added to all perform statements.  By default the test is performed before the perform.

Q75) In an EVALUTE statement is the order of the WHEN clauses significant?
A75) Absolutely.  Evaluation of the WHEN clauses proceeds from top to bottom and their sequence can determine results.

Q76) What is the default value(s) for an INITIALIZE and what keyword allows for an override of the default.
A76) INITIALIZE moves spaces to alphabetic fields and zeros to alphanumeric fields.  The REPLACING option can be used to override these defaults.

Q77) What is SET TO TRUE all about, anyway?
A77) In COBOL II the 88 levels can be set rather than moving their associated values to the related data item.  (Web note:  This change is not one of COBOL II's better specifications.)

Q78) What is LENGTH in COBOL II?
A78) LENGTH acts like a special register to tell the length of a group or elementary item.

Q79) What is the difference between a binary search and a sequential search?  What are the pertinent COBOL
commands?
A79) In a binary search the table element key values must be in ascending or descending sequence.  The table is 'halved' to search for equal to, greater than or less than conditions until the element is found.  In a sequential search the table is searched from top to bottom, so (ironically) the elements do not have to be in a specific sequence. The binary search is much faster for larger tables, while sequential works well with smaller ones.  SEARCH ALL is used for binary searches; SEARCH for sequential.

Q80) What is the point of the REPLACING option of a copy statement?
A80) REPLACING allows for the same copy to be used more than once in the same code by changing the replace value.

Q81) What will happen if you code GO BACK instead of STOP RUN in a stand alone COBOL program i.e. a
program which is not calling any other program.
A81) The program will go in an infinite loop.

Q82) How can I tell if a module is being called DYNAMICALLY or STATICALLY?
A82) The ONLY way is to look at the output of the linkage editor (IEWL)or the load module itself. If the module is being called DYNAMICALLY then it will not exist in the main module, if it is being called STATICALLY then it will be seen in the load module. Calling a working storage variable, containing a program name, does not make a DYNAMIC call. This type of calling is  known as IMPLICITE calling as the name of the module is implied by the contents of the working storage variable. Calling a program name literal (CALL

Q83) What is the difference between a DYNAMIC and STATIC call in COBOL.
A83) To correct an earlier answer: All called modules cannot run standalone if they require  program variables passed to them via the LINKAGE section. DYNAMICally called modules are those that are not bound with the calling program at link edit time (IEWL for IBM) and so are loaded from the program library (joblib or steplib) associated with the job. For DYNAMIC  calling of a module the DYNAM compiler option must be chosen, else the linkage editor will not generate an executable as it will expect u address resolution of all called modules. A  STATICally called module is one that is bound with the calling module at link edit, and therefore becomes part of the executable load module.

Q84) How may divisions are there in JCL-COBOL?
A84) Four

Q85) What is the purpose of Identification Division?
A85) Documentation.

Q86) What is the difference between PIC 9.99 and 9v99?
A86) PIC 9.99 is a FOUR-POSITION field that actually contains a decimal point where as PIC 9v99 is THREE- POSITION numeric field with implied or assumed decimal position.

Q87) what is Pic 9v99 Indicates?
A87) PICTURE 9v99 is a three position Numeric field with an implied or assumed decimal  point after the first position; the v means an implied decimal point.

Q88) What guidelines should be followed to write a structured Cobol prg'm?
A88) 
1) use 'evaluate' stmt for constructing cases.
2) use scope  terminators for nesting.
3) use in line perform stmt for writing 'do '  constructions.
4) use test before and test after in the perform stmt for writing do-while constructions.

Q89) Read the following code. 01 ws-n pic 9(2) value zero. a-para move 5 to ws-n. perform b-para ws-n times. b-para.
move 10 to ws-n. how many times will b-para be executed ?
A89) 5 times only. it will not take the value 10 that is initialized in the loop.

Q90) What is the difference between SEARCH and SEARCH ALL? What is more efficient?
A90) SEARCH is a sequential search from the beginning of the table. SEARCH ALL is a binary search, continually dividing the table in two halves until a match is found. SEARCH ALL is more efficient for tables larger than 70 items.

Q91) What are some examples of command terminators?
A91) END-IF, END-EVALUATE

Q92) What care has to be taken to force program to execute above 16 Meg line?
A92) Make sure that link option is AMODE=31 and RMODE=ANY. Compile option should never have SIZE(MAX). BUFSIZE can be 2K, efficient enough.
Q93) How do you submit JCL via a Cobol program?
A93) Use a file //dd1 DD sysout=(*, intrdr)write your JCL to this file. Pl some on try this out.

Q94) How to execute a set of JCL statements from a COBOL program
A94) Using EXEC CICS SPOOL WRITE(var-name) END-EXEC command. var-name is a COBOL host structure containing JCL statements.

Q95) Give some advantages of REDEFINES clause.
A95) 
1. You can REDEFINE a Variable from one PICTURE class to another PICTURE  class by using the same memory
location.
2. By REDEFINES we can INITIALISE the variable in WORKING-STORAGE Section itself.
3. We can REDEFINE a Single Variable into so many sub variables. (This facility is very useful in solving Y2000
Problem.)

Q96) What is the difference between static call & Dynamic call
A96) In the case of Static call, the called program is a stand-alone program, it is an executable program. During run time we can call it in our called program. As about Dynamic call, the called program is not an executable program it can executed through the called program

Q97) What do you feel makes a good program?
A97) A program that follows a top down approach. It is also one that other programmers or users can follow logically and is easy to read and understand.

Q98) How do you code Cobol to access a parameter that has been defined in JCL? And do you code the PARM
parameter on the EXEC line in JCL?
A98) 
1) using JCL with sysin. //sysin dd *here u code the parameters(value) to pass in to cobol program /* and in program
you use accept variable name(one accept will read one row)/.another way.
2) in jcl using parm statement ex: in exec statement parm='john','david' in cobol pgm u have to code linkage section in that for first value you code length variable and variable name say, abc pic x(4).it will take john inside to read next value u have to code another variable in the same way above mentioned.

Q99) Why do we code S9(4) comp. Inspite of knowing comp-3 will occupy less space.
A99) Here s9(4)comp is small integer ,so two words equal to 1 byte so totally it will occupy 2 bytes(4 words).here in s9(4) comp-3 as one word is equal to 1/2 byte.4 words equal to 2 bytes and sign will occupy 1/2 byte so totally it will occupy 3 bytes.

Q100) The maximum number of dimensions that an array can have in COBOL-85 is ----------- ?
A100) SEVEN in COBOL - 85 and THREE in COBOL - 84

Q101) How do you declare a host variable (in COBOL) for an attribute named Emp-Name of type VARCHAR(25) ?
A101) 
01 EMP-GRP.
49 E-LEN PIC S9(4) COMP.
49 E-NAME PIC X(25).

Q102) What is Comm?
A102) COMM - HALF WORD BINARY

Q103) Differentiate COBOL and COBOL-II. (Most of our programs are written in COBOLII, so, it is good to know,
how, this is different  from COBOL)  
A103) The following features are available with VS COBOL II:                     
1. MVS/XA and MVS/ESA support The compiler and the object programs it produces can be run in either  
    24- or 31-bit addressing mode.                                         
2. VM/XA and VM/ESA support  The compiler and the object programs it produces can be run in either  
    24- or 31-bit addressing mode.                                         
3. VSE/ESA support   The compiler and the object programs it produces can be run under VSE/ESA.                                                            

Q104) What is PERFORM ? What is VARYING ? (More details about these clauses)
A104) The PERFORM statement is a PROCEDURE DIVISION statement which transfers control  to  one or more specified procedures and controls as specified the number of times the procedures are executed.  After execution of the specified procedures is completed (i.e., for the appropriate number  of  times  or  until  some  specified  condition is  met),  control is  transferred to the next  executable  statement  following  the  PERFORM   statement. There are 5 types of PERFORM statements:  
                               
a) Basic PERFORM                                                        
b) PERFORM TIMES                                                     
c) PERFORM UNTIL                                                        
d) PERFORM VARYING
e) IN-LINE PERFORM   

Q105) How many sections are there in data division?.
A105) SIX SECTIONS 1.FILE SECTION 2.WORKING-STORAGE SECTION 3. LOCAL-STORAGE SECTION 4.SCREEN SECTION 5.REPORT SECTION 6. LINKAGE SECTION

Q106) What is Redefines clause?
A106) Redefines clause is used to allow the same storage allocation to be referenced by different data names .

Q107) How many bytes does a s9(4)comp-3 field occupy?
A107) 3Bytes (formula : n/2 + 1))

Q108) What is the different between index and subscript?
A108) Subscript refers to the array of occurrence , where as Index represents an occurrence of a table element. An index can only modified using perform, search & set. Need to have an index for a table in order to use SEARCH and SEARCH All.

Q109) What is the difference between Structured COBOL Programming and Object Oriented COBOL
programming?
A109) Structured programming is a Logical way of programming, you divide the functionalities into modules and code logically. OOP is a Natural way of programming; you identify the objects first, and then write functions, procedures around the objects. Sorry, this may not be an adequate answer, but they are two different programming paradigms, which is difficult to put in a sentence or two.

Q110) What divisions, sections and paragraphs are mandatory for a COBOL program?
A110) IDENTIFICATION DIVISION and PROGRAM-ID paragraph are mandatory for a compilation error free COBOL
program.

Q111) Can JUSTIFIED be used for all the data types?
A111) No, it can be used only with alphabetic and alphanumeric data types.

Q112) What happens when we move a comp-3 field to an edited (say z (9). ZZ-)
A112) the editing characters r to be used with data items with usage  clause as display which is the default. When u tries displaying a data item with usage as computational it does not give the desired display format because the data item is stored as packed decimal. So if u want this particular data item to be edited u have to move it into a data item whose usage is display and then have that particular data item edited in the format desired.

Q113) What will happen if you code GO BACK instead of STOP RUN in a stand-alone COBOL program i.e. a program which is not calling any other program ?
A113) Both give the same results when a program is not calling any other program. GO BACK will give the control to the system even though it is a single program.

Q114) what is the difference between external and global variables?
A114) Global variables are accessible only to the batch program whereas external variables can be referenced from any batch program residing in the same system library.

Q115) You are writing report program with 4 levels of totals: city, state, region and country. The codes being used can be the same over the different levels, meaning a city code of 01 can be in any number of states, and the same applies to state and region code so how do you do your checking for breaks and how do you do add to each level?
A115) Always compare on the highest-level first, because if you have a break at a highest level, each level beneath it must also break. Add to the lowest level for each record but add to the higher level only on a break.

Q116) What is difference between COBOL and VS COBOL II?.
A116) In using COBOL on PC we have only flat files and the programs can access only limited storage, whereas in VS COBOL II on M/F the programs can access up to 16MB or 2GB depending on the addressing and can use VSAM
files to make I/O operations faster.

Q117) Why occurs can not be used in 01 level ?
A117) Because, Occurs clause is there to repeat fields with same format, not the records.

Q118) What is report-item?
A118) A Report-Item Is A Field To Be Printed That Contains Edit Symbols

Q119) Difference between next and continue clause
A119) The difference between the next and continue verb is that in the continue verb it is used for a situation where there in no EOF condition that is the records are to be accessed again and again in an file, whereas in the next verb the indexed file is accessed sequentially, read next record command is used.

Q120) What is the Importance of GLOBAL clause According to new standards of COBOL
A120) When any data name, file-name, Record-name, condition name or Index defined in an Including Program can be referenced by a directly or indirectly in an included program, Provided the said name has been declared to be a global name by GLOBAL Format of Global Clause is01 data-1 pic 9(5) IS GLOBAL.

Q121) What is the Purpose of POINTER Phrase in STRING command
A121) The Purpose of POINTER phrase is to specify the leftmost position within receiving field where the first transferred character will be stored

Q122) How do we get current date from system with century?
A122) By using Intrinsic function, FUNCTION CURRENT-DATE

Q123) What is the maximum length of a field you can define using COMP-3?
A123) 10 Bytes (S9(18) COMP-3).

Q124) Why do we code s9 (4) comp? In spite of knowing comp-3 will occupy less space?
A124) Here s9(4)comp is small integer, so two words equal to 1 byte so totally it will occupy 2 bytes(4 words).here in s9(4) comp-3 as one word is equal to 1/2 byte.4 words equal to 2 bytes and sign will occupy 1/2      byte so totally it will occupy 3 bytes.

Q125) What is the LINKAGE SECTION used for?
A125) The linkage section is used to pass data from one program to another program or to pass data from a PROC to a program.

Q126) Describe the difference between subscripting and indexing ?
A126) Indexing uses binary displacement. Subscripts use the value of the occurrence.

1.  What R 2 of the common forms of the EVALUATE STATEMENT ?
2.  What does the initialize statement do ?
3.  What is the reference modification.
4.  Name some of the examples of COBOl 11?
5.  What are VS COBOL 11 special features?
6.  What are options have been removed in COBOL 11?
7.  What is the file organization clause ?
8.  What is a subscript ?
9.  What is an index for tables?
10.  What are the two search techniques ?
11.  What is an in-line perform ?
12.  What is CALL statement in COBOL?
13.  When can the USING phrase be included in the call statement ?
14.  In EBCDIC, how would the number 1234 be stored?
15.  How would the number +1234 be stored if a PIC clause of PICTUREs9(4) comp-3 were used?
16.  What is Alternate Index ? How is it different from regular index ?
 
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

Functionality

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
 
 Terminology:
 
  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?
 A1) 
• 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
• HHMMSS  - EX (77 TIMEVAL PIC S9(7) COMP3. )

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.”
A4) 
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).
A5) DFHDCT TYPE=INTRA,
DESTID=MSGS,
TRANSID=MSW1,
TRIGLEV=1000

EXEC CICS WRITEQ TD
  QUEUE(‘MSGS’),
  FROM(DATA-AREA),
  LENGTH(MSG_LEN)
END-EXEC.

Q6) What are the commands used to gain exclusive control over a resource (for Ex a Temporary storage queue.)?
A6) EXEC CICS ENQ   EXEC CICS DEQ
 RESOURCE(QID)   RESOURCE(QID)
END-EXEC    END-EXEC

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.
EXEC CICS RETURN
TRANSID(data-name)
       COMMAREA(data-area)
 LENGTH(data-value)
END-EXEC

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.
A9) EXEC CICS DELAY    EXEC CICS DELAY
INTERVAL(hhmmss)    TIME(hhmmss)
END-EXEC     END-EXEC

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
commands)
A10) EXEC CICS START
INTERVAL(hhmmss)/TIME(hhmmss)
  TRANSID(‘TRAN’)
  TERMID(‘TRM1)
FROM(data-area)
  LENGTH(data-value)
  RTRANSID(EIBTRNID)
  RTERMID(EIBTRMID)
END-EXEC

EXEC CICS RETRIEVE
  INTO(data-area)
  LENGTH(data-value)
  RTRANSID(data-name)
  RTERMID(data-name)
           END-EXEC  
 
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?
A12) ASKTIME.

Q13) Into what fields will the date and time values be moved after execution of the above command?
A13) EIBDATE & EIBTIME.

Q14) How do you terminate an already issued DELAY command?
A14) EXEC CICS CANCEL
 REQID(id)
END-EXEC

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?
A16) TASKREQ=PF1

Q17) Specify the CICS command used to read a VSAM record starting with prefix “F”. Code all the relevant options.
A17) EXEC CICS READ
  DATASET(‘FILENAME’)
 INTO(data-area)
  RIDFLD(data-area)
 KEYLENGTH(1)
  GENERIC
 LENGTH(WK-LEN)
END-EXEC.

Q18) Mention the option used in the CICS READ command to gain accessibility directly to the file I/O area. (Assume
COBOL-II).
A18) SET(ADDRESS OF LINKAGE-AREA).

Q19) Which command is used to release a record on which exclusive control is gained?
A19) EXEC CICS UNLOCK END-EXEC.

Q20) How do you establish a starting position in a browse operation?
A20) EXEC CICS STARTBR---------- END-EXEC.


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?
A22) EXEC CICS ASSIGN
TWALENG(data-value)
END-EXEC.

Q23) What are the attribute values of Skipper and Stopper fields?
A23) ASKIP, PROT.

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.
A26) CEDA

Q27) What is the most common way of building queue-id of a TSQ? (Name the constituents of the Queue ID).
A27) TERMID+TRANSACTION-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.
A31) 
COBOL- II PROGRAM

LINKAGE SECTION.
01 PARMLIST.
02 FILLER PIC S9(8) COMP.
02 TWA-PTR S(98) COMP.

01 TWA-DATA-LAYOUT.
02 DATA-AREA PIC X(300).

PROCEDURE DIVISION.
……….
 EXEC CICS ADDRESS
  TWA(TWA-PTR)
 END-EXEC
 SERVISE RELOAD TWA-DATA-LAYOUT.

COBOL- II PROGRAM

LINKAGE SECTION.
01 TWA-DATA-LAYOUT.
05 DATA-AREA PIC X(300).

PROCEDURE DIVISION.
……….
 EXEC CICS ADDRESS
  TWA(ADDRESS OF  TWA-DATA-LAYOUT)
 END-EXEC
………

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). 

                            EMPLOYEE INFORMATION FORM

   EMP ID : XXX

  EMP NAME   : @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
  EMP DESIG  : @@@@@                 SEX : @
  DEPARTMENT : @@@@@@@@@@
  SALARY     : $$$$$$$

  STATUS     : @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

  EXIT : X


           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.
01 EMP-IOAREA.
  05 EMP-REC.
   10 EMP-KEY   PIC XXX.
   10 EMP-NAME PIC X(32).
   10 EMP-SEX PIC X.
   10 EMP-DEPT PIC X(10)
   10 EMP-DESIG PIC X(5).
   10 EMP-SAL PIC 9(7).

A32) COBOL-II PROGRAM.

WORKING-STORAGE SECTION.
77   LENGTH-OF-AREA  PIC  S9(4) COMP.
77        WS-RCODE  PIC  S9(8) COMP.

01 STATUS.
02 NORMAL.
05   FILLER PIC X(8) VALUE ‘EMP ID: ‘.
05     EMP-ID  PIC X(3).
05 FILLER  PIC X(6) VALUE ‘FOUND’.
02 ABNORMAL REDEFINES NORMAL.
05 ABMSG   PIC X(17).

01 EMP-IOAREA.
 05  EMP-REC.
   10  EMP-KEY    PIC XXX.
   10  EMP-NAME  PIC X(32).
   10  EMP-SEX  PIC X.
   10  EMP-DEPT  PIC X(10)
   10  EMP-DESIG  PIC X(5).
   10  EMP-SAL  PIC 9(7).

LINKAGE SECTION.
01 DFHCOMMAREA.
05 INPVAL  PIC X(3).

PROCEDURE DIVISION.
………..
IF EIBCALEN=0
  
EXEC CICS SEND  
   MAP(‘EMPFORM’)
   MAPSET(‘EMPFORM’)
   ERASE
  END-EXEC.

  MOVE 3 TO LENGTH-OF-AREA
  EXEC CICS RETURN
   TRANSID(‘EMPS’)
   COMMAREA(‘SEC’)
   LENGTH(DATA-VALUE)
  END-EXEC.

ELSE IF INPVAL = ’SEC’  
  
EXEC CICS RECEIVE
   MAP(‘EMPFORM’)
   MAPSET(‘EMPFORM’)
  END-EXEC.

  EXEC CICS READ
 DATASET(‘EMPINFOR’)
 INTO(EMP-IOAREA)
 RIDFLD(EMPIDI)
 LENGTH(LENGTH-OF-AREA)
 RESP(WS-RCODE)
END-EXEC.

IF WS-RCODE NOT = DFHRESP(NORMAL)
 MOVE ‘KEY NOT FOUND’ TO ABMSG’
 MOVE DFHBMBRY TO EMPIDA
   ELSE
MOVE EMP-NAME  TO EMPNAMEO
  MOVE EMP-SEX TO SEXO
  MOVE EMP-DESIG TO EMPDESIGO 
  MOVE EMP-SAL TO SALARY
  MOVE EMP-DEPT TO DEPARTO
  MOVE EMP-KEY TO EMP-ID
  MOVE STATUS TO STATUSO.

EXEC CICS SEND  
   MAP(‘EMPFORM’)
   MAPSET(‘EMPFORM’)
   ERASE
  END-EXEC.

  MOVE 3 TO LENGTH-OF-AREA
  EXEC CICS RETURN
   TRANSID(‘EMPS’)
   COMMAREA(‘SEC’)
   LENGTH(LENGTH-OF-AREA)
  END-EXEC.

EXEC CICS RETURN
  END-EXEC.

ELSE IF   (EXITINPI NOT = ‘Y’)

  EXEC CICS RETURN
  END-EXEC.

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
processing.

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
time.


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?
A44) 
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
command.

Q50) What is the EXEC CICS HANDLE ABEND?
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 &
TEMPORARY STORAGE 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?
A63) 
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.
A68) 
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?
A88) PCT, FCT, TCT, DCT, PPT

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
     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.

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
CICS.

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'
execution.

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
commands.

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
task.

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
value.


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-
unit.

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.
A119) STARTBR,  READNEXT, READPREV, ENDBR and RESETBR.
Q120) What other file control processing commands are used for file updating?
A120) WRITE, REWRITE,  DELETE and UNLOCK.

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
reports.

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?
A137) WRITEQ TD, READQ TD, DELETEQ TD, ENQ and DEQ.

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,
FORMATTIME, START, RETRIEVE, and CANCEL.

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
SUSPEND, ENQ, and DEQ.

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 ?
A151) START COMMAND , RETURN COMMAND

Q152) Why doesn’t CICS use the Cobol  Open and Close statements ?
A152) CICS AUTOMATICALLY OPENS AND CLOSES THE FILES THOSE ARE PLASED IN FCT

Q153) What is the difference between a Symbolic map and Physical map ?
A153) SYMBOLIC MAP IS USED BY USER AND PHYSICAL MAP IS USED BY SYSTEM

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 ?
A156) ATTRIB FIELD

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’ ?  
A157) BY INSERTING IC IN THE ATTRIB COMMAND

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
happen.

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
A170) DFHMSD  DFHMDI  DFHMDF

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
A179) DFHEIBLK, DFHCOMMAREA.

Q180) List all the CICS tables and explain their contents. - GS
A180) PPT  SIT
PCT  JCT
FCT  SNT
DCT  SRT
RCT  TCT

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.

Q202) What is EXEC CICS RETRIEVE ?
A202) Used by STARTed tasks to get the parameters passed to them.

Q203) Name some important fields in the EIB block ?
A203) EIBRESP, EIBCALEN, EIBRRCDE, EIBTASK, EIBDATE, EIBTIME

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???

?? incorrect? Q211) Can you have CICS code in a copybook?  If yes, what happens during compilation?
A211) Yes. Needs to be preprocessed. Can not???

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
END BROWSE?
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
programs?
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?
A230) REUSE=YES

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?
A233) RELEASE 

Q234) Which is the option of the HANDLE AID command that will pass control to the specified label when any key
is pressed?
A234) ANYKEY  
 
Q235) What is the name of the mapset definition macro?
A235) DFHMSD  

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?
A238) INVREQ

Q239) What is the command used to send a map to a terminal?
A239) SEND MAP

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
False).
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?
A249) DB2, DL/I, ORACLE

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
False).
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
EIB?
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?
A259) PGMIDERR          

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?
A261) ADD,BROWSE,DELETE,READ,UPDATE 

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?
A266) EIBDATE     

Q267) Which is the AID that will not be identified in the ANYKEY option of the HANDLE AID command?
A267) CLEAR      

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?
A269) ERASEAUP   

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?
A270) RECEIVE     

Q271) What is the command for reading a record form a TSQ?
A271) READQ TS, READQ

Q272) What will happen, if an out-of-range or negative value is specified in the LENGTH option of the SEND
 command?
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
start-up?
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 
A276) DFHPPT                       

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?
A283) READQ             

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?
A287) RECEIVE MAP       

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?
A289) ENDBR             

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?
A293) ISSUE COPY         

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
A295) EIBRCODE          

Q296) The READ command with INTO option will read the record specified into the data area specified (True or
false).
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'?
B) EXEC CICS PROTECT RESOURCE('SINGLE') LENGTH(6) END-EXEC.
C) EXEC CICS HOLD RESOURCE('SINGLE') LENGTH(6) END-EXEC.
D) EXEC CICS TASK SINGLE('SINGLE') LENGTH(6) END-EXEC.
E) EXEC CICS EXCLUSIVE RESOURCE('SINGLE') LENGTH(6) END-EXEC.
A307) EXEC CICS EXCLUSIVE RESOURCE('SINGLE') LENGTH(6) END-EXEC

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?
MAP1S DFHMSD
TYPE=MAP,MODE=INOUT,CTRL=(FREEKB,FRSET),LANG=COBOL, X TIOAPFX=YESMAP1
DFHMDI SIZE=(24,80) DFHMDF POS=(5,1),ATTRB=UNPROT,LENGTH=1FIELD2 DFHMDF
POS=(5,3),ATTRB=UNPROT,LENGTH=1FIELD3 DFHMDF
POS=(5,5),ATTRB=(UNPROT,IC),LENGTH=1FIELD4 DFHMDF
POS=(5,7),ATTRB=ASKIP,LENGTH=1FIELD5 DFHMDF
POS=(5,9),ATTRB=UNPROT,LENGTH=1,INITIAL='Z' DFHMDF
POS=(5,11),ATTRB=ASKIP,LENGTH=1 DFHMSD TYPE=FINAL
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?
A319) The EIB is the EXECUTIVE INTERFACE BLOCK. It is not the EXECUTE INTERFACE BLOCK. All TP
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
initiation.

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
invoked.

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?
A330) COMMONAREA, TSQ & TDQ.

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
program).

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