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CICS Transaction Server

Design, Coding, and Web Enablement

CICS Transaction Server: Evolving Strategic Role CICS Transaction Server Improvements CICS and VSAM
CICS and Rational Developer for System z CICS Training by SYS-ED Courseware for Teaching
Professional Distance-learning Service CICS Training Program CICS Training Services

CICS Transaction Server


CICS, Rational Developer for System Z, WebSphere, VSAM, and z/OS are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation.

Courseware for Teaching - CICS Training
Courseware for Teaching
Cloud Computing - CICS TS and Mainframe Training Services
Open Source Software GSA Submission

CICS in Transition: VSAM to Rational Developer for System z

CICS Transaction Server: Evolving Strategic Role

Since its introduction in the 1970ís, CICS has evolved from macro level coding with legacy Assembler, COBOL, PL/1, Fortran, and RPG programming languages to command level programming, web enablement, application development with Java, and repurposing to an SOA: service oriented architecture. IBMís initial CICS Internet connection option was provided in CICS/ESA 3.3, with support for the CICS socket interface option of TCP/IP for MVS. With subsequent new releases, the featureset has been expanded: 3270 Bridge, CICS Web Support, and CICS Web Services. There are hundreds of million of lines of CICS code which have to be maintained and transitioned to meet the requirements of organizational enterprise.

  z/OS   z/OS  
  CICS Region   CICS Region  
  CICS Region   CICS Region  
  CICS Region   CICS Region  
  CICS-TS-Down-arrow   CICS-TS-Down-arrow   CICS-TS-Down-arrow  
  Foundation in
Service Oriented Architecture
  HTTP Access and
Web Development
  Threadsafe Processing  
  E-Business   Message

CICS Transaction Server Improvements

CICS applications can utilize thread-safe file and journal commands to take advantage of the OTE: Open Transaction Environment. With thread-safe programming a single region can do more things at once; this can lead to improved throughput, more efficient CPU utilization, and workload consolidation. Changes have been made to CICS which support open standards. CICS Transaction Server supports WSDL: Web Services Description Language and integrates SOA tools and environments. CICS web services support the SOAP MTOM: Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism and XML XOP: Optimized Packaging. These services streamline web message processing by including large binary objects as attachments, instead of being embedded in the stream itself.

Increased capacity is delivered through enhancements to vertical and horizontal scalability. Fewer regions can run the same workload. Cost savings are realized through consolidation: reduced CPU consumption and efficiencies in overhead processing - administration. There are policies for delivering automated control over system resources. Task thresholds can be set for data access requests, storage usage, program loops, and processor utilization times. Policy breaches are managed by 1- issuing messages 2- abnormally terminating tasks 3- emitting events which can trigger additional actions or events.


VSAM: Virtual Storage Access Method is to process data on DASD devices in IBM z/OS and z/VSE mainframe operating systems. VSAM is used in a CICS Transaction Server online environment to provide recoverability, data locking, integrity and data source. It is an important component of real time transaction processing system. Sharing of VSAM data between CICS regions is done with VSAM RLS: Record-level Sharing. This adds record caching and locking. Logging and commit processing remain the responsibility of CICS; sharing of VSAM data outside a CICS environment is severely restricted. Advanced Catalog Management provides backup and recovery capability for VSAM files and integration with other System z storage products. This will be useful as IBM continues to position System z as a platform for data serving.

CICS and Rational Developer for System z

Rational Developer for System z is the IBM development platform for delivering new information technology services by testing and deploying cross-platform web technologies, mainframe applications, and low-level programming languages. It provides the capability to use an interactive workstation-based environment for creating, maintaining, and reusing applications or inclusion in a service oriented architecture. Rational Developer for System z is used to access IBM z/OS datasets and System zFS: z File System datasets and support the creation, maintenance, and debugging of CICS-based code. Integration with z/OS IBM Problem determination tools and Fault Analyzer allows for browsing ABEND reports on CICS.

Rational Developer for System z is used in composite development environments to create and manage web services and XML for viewing, editing, and validating WSDL, DTD: Document-type Definitions, and XML schemas and transforming XML documents into text, HTML, or other XML document types. COBOL or PL/1 adapters and CICS TS V3 WSBind can be generated for converting between Web Service Description Language, XML and CICS program data in a web services environment.

CICS Training by SYS-ED

SYS-ED's CICS Transaction Server training provides the framework for learning how to code, debug, and web enable CICS programs. When information technology professionals complete a SYS-ED CICS course, they have the documentation, training aids, skeleton programs, and supervised hands-on experience to code and debug CICS programs. Case and point, if your organization outsourced its CICS coding and program maintenance to consulting companies in the 1980ís, it more than likely was SYS-ED which trained many of the consultants who did the actual design and coding!

Our collective expertise in CICS application design, coding, debugging, and systems programming spans the onset of the modern era of data processing and provides the been there done that experience to teach the IBM mainframe systems software skillset to a new generation of IT personnel. We worked on several sizable first generation CICS projects, when the source code and program logic was available; it no longer is. This knowledge provides us with a unique insight to explain and develop diagrams which teach why the software works or in some case doesnít work as it should. That is why IBM, Fortune 1000 / multinational companies, government municipalities, and healthcare providers have used SYS-ED instructors to teach their software developers.

SYS-ED's CICS lesson plans reflect the insights and guidance created by experienced systems consultants with a mastery of the CICS architecture and cross system expertise with IBM z/OS, z/VSE, z/VM, and open source UNIX, Linux, and Solaris operating systems. Our CICS instructors are degreed programmers, mainframe technologists and textbook authors. Their explanations and work are central to quality CICS training. There are few software or consulting companies, which know and teach CICS courses better than SYS-ED.

Qualifying a Training Assignment

SYS-ED will not accept a CICS Transaction Server training assignment without a consultation with the prospective client organization. We review the background of the employees to be trained, operating environment, documented standards, and project specifications and use that information to select the code snippets, examples, skeleton programs, and hands-on exercises. We then prepare a training strategy: lesson plan, modular courseware, training aids, and validation assessment. The pre course consultation allow us to identify and differentiate between teaching an industry standard course as compared to the clientís true need for educational consultancy: 1- application maintenance 2- evaluation for migration to IBM or third party SOA: service oriented architecture standards 3- application repurposing with Rational Developer for System z 4- Wintel or UNIX platform migration based upon the Oracle Roadmap standards to WebLogic Server and Tuxedo or 5- application migration. And when are not confident that we can provide a superior training outcome, will politely turn down an assignment.


The CICS courseware and training aids provided in SYS-ED instructor-led and distance-learning training services are respected. The sample programs and exercises were developed, updated, and tailored to teach CICS on z/OS, z/VSE, z/VM operating systems and IBM Rational and third party development platforms. The content and diagrams incorporate an examination of program logic, access methods services, and sample programs which have been validated on consulting projects. SYS-ED's CICS Transaction Server courseware is updated with information from technology assessments and and the CETi knowledge base.

With the scarcity of up to date industry standard mainframe textbooks, courseware is an important component in SYS-ED's CICS Transaction Server training: student handout, presentation slides, reference guide, training aids, and a library of exercises. The principles of adult learning and the standards of the New York State Department of Education have been applied to the subject matter; interpreting and translating content into performance and workshop objectives, narrative descriptions, and diagrams. Presentation is through multiple delivery medium.

In conjunction with presenting an instructor-led CICS Transaction Server course at the client location, courseware is organized for future use in a web-based infrastructure and delivery medium.

Courseware for Teaching

The courseware used in SYS-ED courses consists of student handouts, training aids, and industry-specific examples and exercises. The CETi knowledge base aggregates and analyzes information in the public domain. It also is a service for reviewing and answering questions. Content selectively is added to courseware. The long term strategy is to have the courseware recognized as a NRV: Nationally Recognized Vendor.

CICS Transaction Server Training Services

Mainframe Programming SkillsCICS Transaction Server - Operations IBM MQ
Legacy Programming Languages CICS Transaction Server Programming Rational Development Platform
Mainframe Utilities CICS Transaction Server - Utilities Java Language
VSAM CICS Transaction Server Web Enablement XML Platform

Web-based Training Services

Technology Driven IT Training

Teaching Models - Return on Investment

Web-based Training Services

Professional Distance-learning Service

The distance-learning service is an extension of the SYS-ED schedule, inclusive of courseware and training aids. A distance-learning course is 65% lecture with pre and post course validation, review questions, examples, workshops, and website support services.

New York State Department of Education Standards

Enrollment requires a consultation with the manager sending the employee for the training. The prospective trainee needs to be qualified for the course and service transmission to the client location tested: bandwidth, firewall, base operating system, software requirements, web browser, and set-up of hands-on machine exercises.

SYS-ED reserves the right to deny enrollment in its courses.

Grow Your Own CICS Programmers

There have been inquiries regarding whether SYS-ED still offered CICS courses for information technology professionals.

SYS-ED Schedule and Content Delivery Selection CICS Training Services Delivery Medium and Private Courses - Alternative to Source Software Companies

Content Delivery Selection

Portfolio of CICS Clients

Alternative to the Training
by the Software Companies

The typical comments were that:

1. It is difficult to find CICS training which develops the specialized skills needed for application development and maintenance tasks.
2. There is a scarcity of CICS courses, 5 or fewer days in duration, geared to Fortune 1000 corporations and their employees.
3. A high percentage of CICS courses are cancelled.
4. Travel costs and living expenses in a majority of situations are a significant constraint when it comes to attending a CICS course.

In response to these questions:

CICS Training Services Yes, SYS-ED offers multiple levels of CICS training: fundamentals, application design, programming, web enablement, and performance and tuning.
CICS Training Services Yes, since 1980, SYS-ED has provided CICS courses, CICS specialized training, and CICS training programs.
CICS Training Services Yes, we have the flexibility and resources to conduct personalized training for small groups.
CICS Training Services CICS courses are available in multiple formats: distance-learning, classroom, and blended delivery.

SYS-ED has been conducting courses in the public domain since 1980; however, there have been changes in the laws and regulations governing computer training in the state of New York. The schedule on our websites reflects a projected time frame for licensure with the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision and submission and approval of curriculum.

CICS Transaction Server Training Program - News for Immediate Release

Industry leading software and consulting companies utilize SYS-ED in conjunction with distance-learning for specialized z/OS mainframe training requirements - CICS, programming languages, utilities and development tools, and web enablement training.

The CICS Transaction Server training program teaches:

  • Conformance with web services and SOAP standards.
  • Design and application development with different programming languages.
  • 64-bit storage for channels and storage.
  • Tools for tracking input and output data in CICS.
  • GET and PUT containers which reduce application storage requirements.
  • The CICS-WebSphere MQ DPL: Dynamic Program Link bridge support for messages larger then 32K.

CICS Transaction Server: Web Enablement

Program for Client A: Mainframe Training Services
  • Distance-learning will be used for introductory training for operator training and programmer training on selected subjects.
  • SYS-ED will be used for their 3-day VSAM for Programmers, 4-day CICS Transaction Server: Application Design, 5-day CICS Transaction Server: Command Level Programming, and 4-day CICS Transaction Server Web Enablement.
  • IBM will be used for specialized systems programmer training.

The entire IT staff will participate in the distance-learning and the project development teams will attend the SYS-EDís instructor-led courses. The classroom instruction will have a distance-learning extension affording staff in remote locations to also have the training.

The exact schedule will depend on the other workloads of staff members.

Evolving IT: Interrelated Technologies

IBM is developing CICS Transaction Server for mainframe systems to be the service oriented hub in data centers for large workloads. SYS-ED staff are experienced with distributed processing, legacy programming languages, Java, and web servicization. As mainframe shops expand their channel capability, there will be a greater incentive to utilize SOA for private and hybrid clouds.

Java Language IBM MQ Middleware Web Servers

CICS Training Services

CICS Courses
SYS-ED's CICS courses are tough, but they're worth it. Our CICS training is used by Fortune 1000 companies, government municipalities, healthcare providers, software houses, and consulting companies to meet their staffing requirements and acquire specialized skillsets.1

SYS-ED's CICS courseware library consists of sample programs, exercises, case studies, and training aids for use in the IBM z/OS, z/VSE, z/VM operating systems and third party emulation workbench/platforms.

Teaching is Our Business
Most computer training companies are divisions of large software companies or consulting companies. Not SYS-ED. Our only goal is to provide quality CICS training for motivated information technology professionals. This independence allows us to concentrate on teaching.

Our Teachers Know How to Teach
SYS-ED instructors combine teaching skills with CICS experience in the mainframe environment - operating systems, programming languages, third party utilities/development aids, and system software. After a course, they are available to answer questions.

Enrollment - SYS-ED CICS Courses are Not for Everyone
No one is allowed to enroll in a SYS-ED mainframe course, without a consultation with our director of education. We review the operational objectives and project specifications for the organization evaluating whether to send its employee for the training. The employee only is allowed to register if they have the background corresponding to the course.

CICS Training - Distance-learning or at Your Office
SYS-ED CICS Transaction Server courses are provided over the Internet through a distance-learning delivery medium or classroom instruction. Client-site mainframe courses can include the same workshops, examples, and case studies as the SYS-ED schedule.

Technology Exchange Websites

SYS-ED's websites compile, organize, and present software specific and established operational categorizations of information technology. They provide a framework for assessing knowledge transfer: web-based training, classroom instruction, courseware, learning paths, and validation assessment.

Footnote 1:

SYS-EDís core CICS curriculum have been submitted to the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision for technical review and licensing.