5 Things To Know About CICS and Batch Processing
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Mainframe computers play a central role in the daily operations of many of the world's largest corporations. Modernization of applications can enable them to keep up with today’s challenging business requirements. This is the case with batch processing. Here are 5 helpful things to know about today's batch processing.
1. Batch processing is still a fundamental, mission-critical component of the workloads that run on the mainframe
A large portion of the workload on IBM z/OS systems is processed in batch mode. The batch environment consists of applications that are scheduled, process large amounts of information, and may take many hours to complete. This can prevent online applications from accessing the information.
2. Sometimes online transaction programs, such as CICS, need exclusive access to databases
In a world of 24x7 processing where an online transaction program might run continually, they may need to update various databases, requiring exclusive access. This could be a problem if the batch processing job is not finished with those databases. One answer is to schedule the batch processing of the databases under the control of the online program.
3. There are reasons to run batch applications under the control of CICS
4. The CICS TS Feature Pack for Modern Batch enables the WebSphere Batch Environment to schedule and manage batch applications in CICS
The CICS TS Feature Pack for Modern Batch provides an Endpoint called the Batch Container that runs in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) in the CICS address space. The Job scheduler interacts with the Batch Container to start, stop, and manage batch applications. Here is the architecture and the interaction between the components.
5. The benefits of controlling batch applications in CICS include online transaction program access and checkpoint-restart processing
When run in CICS, the batch application shares access to resources with online applications, so they do not have to wait for the batch run to finish. In addition, the batch application takes regular checkpoints to free up transactional resources, so that online applications are not blocked from completing for excessive amounts of time. A third benefit is that if the batch application fails, it can be restarted from its most recent checkpoint. The batch application can be divided into job steps that execute in parallel against different subsets of the input data to shorten the overall elapsed time to process the job
IBM is introducing new technologies to facilitate the use of hybrid batch applications that combine the best aspects of Java and procedural programming languages such as COBOL. For more information, read New Ways of Running Batch Applications on z/OS: Volume 1 CICS Transaction Server, SG24-7991.
Mike Ebbers is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He works with technical experts to create books, guides, blogs, and videos. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeEbbers.