z/VSE 6.1: CICS Channels & Containers
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Besides the CICS Explorer update capability - see my related blog entry - there was a major enhancement in CICS - channels & containers.
Today I have some more background on channels & containers:
Instead of using a communication area (COMMAREA), a new method of transferring data between CICS programs is to use a channel (and its containers).
Channels & containers have several advantages over COMMAREAs. A COMMAREA is limited to 32KB. With channels & containers there is no limitation, except the storage that is available in the CICS partition. The channel and container approach provides an easy and flexible way for exchanging large amount of structured data between CICS programs. The channels and containers API was first introduced with the CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 3.1 and was extended several times since then. CICS TS for z/VSE 2.1 supports a subset of the functionality, which is compatible with CICS Transaction Server for z/OS. Language support is provided for C, COBOL, HLASM, PL/I.
Channels (and its containers) can be transferred to CICS programs within one CICS system, to CICS system within one z/VSE image, to CICS systems in other z/VSE images on the same or different processors or to CICS regions running on z/OS. z/VSE 6.1 does not support the use of channels (and containers) with the External Call Interfaces (ECI and EXCI - batch to CICS), the CICS Web Support (CWS) or the z/VSE Connectors.
More information about channels & containers is in the CICS TS for z/VSE 2.1 CICS Enhancements Guide. This book will be available on our documentation page at general availability (GA) - here. GA is planned for November 27, 2015 - just a few weeks away.
There are also several IBM Redbooks publications for channels & containers available, all are related to CICS TS for z/OS. However, they give a good overview and examples for z/VSE users, too.
Here is one Redbook example: Usin