5 Things To Know About IBM CICS Transaction Server
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IBM CICS Transaction Server is a transaction server that primarily runs on IBM System z mainframes under IBM z/OS. It controls the interactions between applications and users (from a small number of users to thousands of them). CICS applications offer high availability and easy scalability.
Here are 5 things to know about CICS Transaction Server:
1. It might be older than you are
CICS, or Customer Information Control System to its friends, was first released in July 1969 (an earlier version, under a different name, was released a year before). Five years later, development moved to the famous Hursley Lab in the UK (where, many years before, during the Second World War, the Spitfire was developed). The first release of CICS ran on the System/360 mainframe and cost $600/month.
2. You use CICS every day
Although most people outside of the transaction processing community have not heard of CICS, its likely that they make use of it every day of their lives. Almost every commercial electronic transaction that you make is processed by CICS – withdrawing money from an ATM, paying with a credit or debit card, or booking tickets. CICS processes 30 billion transactions a day, and in the course of a week those transactions are valued at one trillion dollars.
3. It works with everything – from COBOL to web services
CICS language support allows CICS to integrate with different programming language run times. Each programming language (for example, PL/I, COBOL, and C/C++) has its own library within the language environment run time so that CICS can provide simple communication between different programs at the language level. Over the years it has been extended to support additional communication mechanisms, ranging from Enterprise JavaBeans to web services.
4. CICS is used across almost all industries
Although many people associate CICS transaction processing with the financial industry, that only accounts for 41% of the industries using CICS. The other biggest users of CICS Transaction Server are government, insurance, distribution, and healthcare, among many others.
5. After all this time, it's only at version 5
Although CICS Transaction Server is over 40-years old, it is currently at version 5.1. There have, in fact, been many more than 5 versions of CICS. CICS has run on multiple platforms, including z/OS, ESA, VSE, and distributed, all with varying version numbers. CICS version numbering was reset in 1996 when CICS/ESA V4.1 became CICS Transaction Server for OS/390 V1.1 and has since had a new release every few years.
Find out more about CICS Transaction Server in the IBM Redbooks Solution Guide CICS Transaction Server Application Architecture and the IBM Redbooks publication Architect's Guide to IBM CICS on System z.
Martin Keen is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He works with technical experts to create books, guides, blogs, and videos. Follow @MartinRTP on Twitter.