Introduction to CICS


CICS, Customer Information Control System, is the premier OLTP (On-Line Transaction Processing) product family from IBM. CICS (pronounced "KIX" or "KICKS" by many, including the IBM CICS developers in Hursley, England) is sometimes referred to as a DB/DC (Data Base/Data Communication) system and recently celebrated its 27th birthday. With over 30,000 CICS licenses in over 20,000 businesses, CICS offers solutions to many businesses to solve complicated computing problems and offers many employment opportunities to CICS knowledgeable professionals. Over 90% of the fortune 500 companies run CICS.

Typical CICS applications include bank ATM transaction processing, library applications (such as LUIS and WebLUIS at UF), student registration (such as TeleGator at UF), airline reservations, etc. UF presently does over 1 million CICS transactions per day with users throughout the USA (and possibly the world), although most users are in Florida. LUIS accounts for most of the access from outside of Florida.

The original design intent of CICS was to support a varied and large number of terminals and a large transaction volume with fast and consistent response time. CICS has occasionally been referred to as an operating system within an operating system, because it has a dispatcher, storage control, task control, file control, etc. It was designed to allow application programmers to devote their time and effort to the application solution, instead of dwelling on difficult technical issues. CICS can be described as an interface between the CICS applications and the operating system.

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