Preventative Maintenance Notices
APAR AM83292 replaced
Restore APAR AM79722
Assembler Link problem
Follow on APAR to AM78278 / UK90827
AM75339 updated on website
ALCS User Group 2012 Meeting Nov 13-15
UK80255 / AM64236 installation information
Relinking the ALCS monitor
Additional SMP/E DDDEF required
TPFDF 1.1.3 2011 APAR deck available
APAR AM39262 rebuilt
UK71084 / AM38456 installation information
ALCS 2.3.1 Withdrawal from Service Reminder
ALCS e-mail service outage for 6 hours on 30 Aug 2011 beginning 17:00 UTC
ALCS User Group 2011 Meeting May 24-26
UK61482 updated on website
Notes file for AK95556 / UK56180 updated
ALCS 2.3.1 Withdrawal from Service Notice
SCTGEN required for AK83249 / UK47537
TPFDF 1.1.3 PUT 25 available
Introducing Websphere Application Server for z/OS using optimized local adapter support
ALCS 2.4 product and manuals available
ALCS Version 2 Release 4 announced
ALCS Hiper APAR issued
Cumulative Maintenance available
Latest manuals available
New home and Product Manager for ALCS
ALCS Performance Monitor (JPM)
TPFDF PUT21 available
ALCS Education Oct 2006
Recent APAR AK18060
Note on APAR AQ94450 / PTF UK07955
Change in APAR/PTF packaging format
ALCS 2.3.1 Hiper APAR issued
Using LookAt for ALCS messages
New Requirements - Submit them now
ALCS on z/OS 1.7 (and future z/OS releases)
ALCS 2.2.1 Withdrawal from Service Notice
ALCS 2.3.1 Hiper APAR issued
ALCS Hiper APARs issued
ALCS Software Product Survey 2005 results
APAR prefixes are changing
Looking back and looking ahead
ALCS on Z/OS 1.5 and later releases
ALCS Hiper APARs issued
ALCS 2.3.1 Hiper APAR issued
IPCS REXX execs updated
First site to migrate to 2.3.1
OCTM User guide and Sample application
ALCS 2.3.1 manuals available
ALCS User Group Dates
ALCS Version 2 Release 3.1 announced
ALCS Classes - Now Rescheduled
Update to AQ65812 - Comgen required
LE update for multi-TCB ALCS
ALCS Timing Changes
ALCS Web Site passwords
ALCS Web Site has moved
Managing the User Group Requirements
Maintenance Update Tape 7 shipped
Recent TCP/IP APARs
Partitions greater than 2Gb
Reminder to re-assemble TCP/IP CSECTs
Maintenance Update Tape 6 shipped
ALCS Product Survey 2002 Results
ALCS running on z/OS (updated)
Storage Constraint Relief
DECB PTF and documentation available
ALCS support for zSeries 800s
IP input buffer size enhancement
Newly marked Hiper AQ49344/UQ56026
Errors in PTF UQ60801 - Further update
TPFDF Maintenance on the Web
Maintenance Update Tape 5 shipped
ALCS Maintenance on the Web
(11 Jul 2013) There are now pages in the ALCS address space that are Key 8 fetch protected storage. Without UK93582 if dump handling tries to read one of these pages an outage will occur.
(11 Dec 2013) UPDATE ... UK93582 may mishandle a page fault so apply AI06973 at the same time as UK93582 to correct this.
(11 Jul 2013) If the ECB field CE1HLL is corrupted by an application and UK94203 is not applied then, depending on the corruption, a hang or catastropphic error may occur.
(10 Jul 2013) APAR AM83292 has been replaced on the website. If you downloaded this APAR before today then please remove it from your system and retrieve the new version if you wish to apply this APAR.
(16 Apr 2013) APAR AM79722 incorrectly shipped DXCBPRSE as a ++MOD. If you used AM79722 then the SMP/E APPLY would have completed with a warning that the target library was not updated with DXCBPRSE. The PTF UK92509 has corrected this error. Before you APPLY this PTF ensure that you have RESTOREd AM79722, otherwise SMP/E will show an error that the PTF does not supercede all parts of the APAR.
(05 Apr 2013) A recent PTF for the High Level Assembler (HLASM R6.0) introduced a problem where the assemble and link of ALCS code appears to work but the code generated is wrong and ABEND0C4 errors can occur. This applies to any program that uses the ALCS CPLNK macro (so almost every member of DXCMON). This PTF has been corrected by a later PTF. If the assembler is at PTF level UK81781 (APAR PM59337) or later, then PTF UK83697 (APAR PM74898) must be applied to fix the problem.
(31 Jan 2013) Multi-CPULOOP ALCS users should apply AM81201 when appling APAR AM78278 or its matching PTF UK90827. AM81201 adds a single line to the above fix to ensure that the number of unlocked dispatchers is not reset incorrectly. If the follow on APAR is not applied then a hanging loop can result in ALCS. The combined fixes fill a hole in the dispatcher logic for multi-TCB ALCS systems that can lead to CTL-000400 errors.
(15 Nov 2012) AM75339 was replaced on the website today to correct an error. If you downloaded AM75339 between Nov 08 and Nov 15 then please retrieve the new version if you wish to apply this APAR.
(10 Sep 2012) Rob Broere of Emirates Airlines and Chairman of the ALCS User Group has sent an email to ALCS users asking them to plan for the next ALCS User Group meeting.
The meeting will be hosted by Air New Zealand and IBM New Zealand, in Auckland, starting on Tuesday 13 Nov 2012 and ending on Thursday 15 Nov 2012.
We at ALCS development look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this meeting in November.
(24 Jul 2012) When applying PTF UK80255 / Apar AM64236, Apar AM69100 must also be applied. This corrects a problem with ZAFIL introduced by PTF UK80255 / Apar AM64236.
(05 Jul 2012) When applying maintenance to ALCS that is dependent on the macros of another product we ask that you re-assemble the relevant CSECTs with your copy of the macro library and relink the monitor. After APAR AM44313 you should ensure that the last monitor CSECT, DXCEND, is aligned on a PAGE boundary. If using a full link deck then make the last ORDER statement ...
If you use a partial link deck and include a previous monitor then ensure that the monitor is included after the single CSECTs and add the PAGE link edit control statement to correctly align DXCEND. For example, if relinking the TCPIP CSECTs your link edit control statements could be ...
Check the job output to verify DXCEND is the last CSECT and page aligned.
(31 Jan 2012) When restoring maintenance that has updated the DXCSRC4 target library, the SMP/E target zone requires access to the SMP/E distribution library ADXCSRC4. Adding this DDDEF statement was omitted from the README file accompaning APAR AM33370 (PTF UK70095). The README file for that fix has been updated. A DDDEF can also be added to the ALCS target zone through the SMP/E panels. Please contact ALCS Technical Support at email@example.com if you require any further information on this.
(09 Jan 2012) TPFDF APARs published through 2011 are available for ALCS users. We can provide a consolidated APARFIX file so the APARs can be applied in one go. If you would like this or consolidated files for the previous TPFDF PUTs then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
(19 Dec 2011) We would like to wish all our customers the warmest greetings for the festive season ahead.
During the period we will be attending to critical problems sent to email@example.com. However other problems, and questions, may be deferred for attention until after the holidays.
Please refer to the Emergency Support Procedure to contact us in an emergency during these holidays.
(30 Nov 2011) If you applied AM39262 between 7th Oct and 21st Nov then be aware it has an error that can result in CTL-1 at EXITC. A newly built AM39262 correcting the error has been placed on the webite.
(29 Sep 2011) If you have applied AM38456 then you need to restore it before applying the superceding PTF UK71084. AM38456 shipped DXCOBJ1 member DXCBHLLE as a ++MOD. SMP/E does not select this on apply so the DXCOBJ1 library is not updated but the information is recorded in the SMP/E CSI. If you try to apply UK71084 over AM38456 without restoring the APAR then a does not supercede error message will result.
(20 Sep 2011) ALCS 2.3.1 is to be withdrawn from service on October 31st, 2011. See earlier news item for the information on that announcement.
Your projects to move to ALCS 2.4.1 should be complete or well under way. If you require any assistance with the move to ALCS 2.4.1 then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(29 Aug 2011) The mail server used by the ALCS Development Lab is being upgraded on 30 August 2011 beginning at 18:00 UK BST (17:00 UTC). As a result, the ALCS Lab will not have access to e-mail for up to 6 hours while the upgrade is taking place. We apologize for any delay in responding to your correspondence.
If during this period, you require immediate assistance, please call the following US telephone number - 720-395-3900. This must be prefixed by the country code for the US which applies for the country from which you are calling. This number will be answered by a voicemail system
Please state your name, company, contact number and a brief description of the problem. Once you have left your message the system will contact the duty service manager, who will alert a member of ALCS Support to call you back.
(02 Mar 2011) Rob Broere of Emirates Airlines and Chairman of the ALCS User Group has sent an email to ALCS users asking them to plan for the next ALCS User Group meeting.
The meeting will be hosted by British Airways, in London U.K. starting on Tuesday 24 May 2011 and ending on Thursday 26 May 2011.
We at ALCS development look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this meeting in May.
(28 Jan 2011) UK61482 was replaced on the website today to add DXCINF and DXCPERF to the assemble SMPE statement for changes to the LODIC macro. If you downloaded UK61482 between Jan 21 and Jan 28 then please retrieve the new version (recommended) or reassemble these segments and relink your monitor.
(4 Nov 2010) The notes file accompaning this fix contains sample JCL to link DXC10OSM. This has been updated to place DXC10OSM on a page boudary. This is solely to aid diagnosis and does not effect any function.
(3 Aug 2010) ALCS 2.3.1 is to be withdrawn from service on October 31st, 2011.
This was publicised in the recent IBM System z selected products
Withdrawal Announcement 910-169. Additional information is available under "Withdrawn programs" at:
Those customers, who have not done so, should plan to move to the replacement product ALCS V2.4 which became available in June 2008. If you require any information or assistance with planning the move to the latest release then please contact us at email@example.com.
(2 Dec 2009) After appling this APAR/PTF you must re-generate the system configuration table (SCTGEN) as the length of the system load information table changed. The README file that accompanies the fix has been updated to refect this.
(10 Nov 2009) TPFDF PUT25 consists of the APARs published from November 2008 through October 2009 on the TPFDF maintenance website.
For ALCS users we can provide a consolidated APARFIX file so the whole PUT can be applied in one go. If you would like this or consolidated files for the previous TPFDF PUTs then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
(8 Sep 2009) With WAS OLA support, ALCS 2.4.1 customers can create a web service to represent business logic implemented as a servlet or an Enterprise Java Bean (EJB). The application that gets control for the web service call can simply delegate to a connector call to ALCS. Using this approach, ALCS applications can readily be exposed externally as web services because all the necessary WAS external support and administration is in place.
- Support is added by APAR AK83249 (ALCS) and APAR AK86999 (IPARS) which are now available.
- Announcement - Enable the WebSphere Application Server (WAS) for z/OS optimized local adapters (OLA) support in ALCS
- User guide - How to use the WAS Bridge or make OLA calls in ECB controlled programs
- The updated ALCS 2.4 manuals are available for viewing and download in pdf format from the Library Section of this website.
- The updated OCTM User guide is available for download from the Guide and Samples Section of this website.
- For detailed information about installing and configuring WebSphere Optimized Local Adapters, see Chapter 2 of the Redbook publication WebSphere on z/OS - Optimized Local Adapters. This Redpaper also contains several examples of using OLA in applications, mostly in the CICS environment.
- WAS Sample Application Guide - includes a description of message flows, usage scernarios and sample servlet application.
- (25 May 2010) IBM OLA Techdocs: WebSphere z/OS Optimized Local Adapters
- (25 May 2010) IBM OLA InfoCenter: Implementing optimized local adapters for z/OS
(9 Feb 2009) PTF UK43055 was rebuilt to solve a problem with the original ALCS 2.4 shipment. ALCS 2.4 shipped macro THRTC with an additional character after the last line. APAR AK73412 shipped a full source replacement of THRTC as does the now re-built PTF UK43055.
If you downloaded a copy of UK43055 between 6th Feb and 9th Feb then it will fail on apply if the APAR has not been applied, and it will fail on accept with IEB807I INVALID OPERATION. To resolve this, download the rebuilt version of the PTF rather than deleting the erroneous character from the original macro source for THRTC.
(15 Dec 2008) We would like to wish all our customers the warmest greetings for the festive season ahead.
During the period from Friday December 19th through Monday January 5th we will be attending to critical problems sent to email@example.com. However other problems, and questions, may be deferred for attention until after those dates.
Please refer to the Emergency Support Procedure to contact us in an emergency during these holidays.
(13 Jun 2008) ALCS 2.4 is now available. The recommended way to receive the product is via eDelivery. Refer to "Downloading full product versions" for more information.
Alternatively, your local IBM representative can order a product CD from the IBM distribution centre in Boulder, USA through the normal IBM internal tools for product configuration and ordering.
The ALCS 2.4 manuals are available for viewing and download in pdf format from the Library Section of this website. When the online library versions become available we will add a link to them.
ALCS V2.4 was announced on the 20th May 2008 with a planned availability date of 13th June 2008. We will be updating this site with more information in due course. For the time being here is a brief description of the new release:
A currently supported release of z/OS is prerequisite for ALCS V2.4. At present that is z/OS 1.7 or above.
Airline Control System (ALCS) V2.4 is designed with the following new facilities and enhancements:
ALCS may not close an out-of-date copy of the CDS which has been offline before an ALCS restart. This can result in ALCS restart building an online table that does not match the most recent database configuration.
For example, a copy of the CDS is varied offline and then a ZDASD LOAD is performed which increases the size of the database. If the offline CDS is not renamed then any ALCS restart may attempt to open that CDS. In some such cases this CDS could be the one used to build the online DASD tables. The inconsistency could result in ALCS failing during or shortly after restart.
ALCS has been modified to correctly check for an out of date CDS at restart and close it.
For ALCS 2.3.1 apply the corrective APAR AK45940 (PTF UK33413).
We have placed Maintenance Update Transfer 4 under the Maintenance Section of this website.
In the past we have distributed cumulative maintenance on tape (3480). This has problems. The tapes have been rejected by some countries' customs authorities. Not all customers can utilise 3480 cartridges and for us to export physical media is more burdensome than it was previously due to export regulations.
To overcome this, ALCS cumulative maintenance will, from now on, be delivered via this website. MUT 4 (Maintenance Update Transfer 4) is now available for downloading. It is a zipped file, less than 2MB in size, that expands to 7.5MB. Login to the ALCS maintenance server to enable the download.
In addition we have added the 3 previous maintenance tapes in the same maintenance transfer format.
We have placed the September 2007 editions of the ALCS 2.3.1 manuals under the Library Section of this website.
The manuals are available for viewing and download in pdf format. There is also the hyperlink to the bookmanager version of the manuals which has been updated to point to the bookshelf with the latest manuals.
We are pleased to announce that ALCS is moving from the IBM Hursley Lab in the UK to become part of the TPF Lab in IBM Poughkeepsie, USA. Making ALCS part of the TPF Lab will be of long term benefit to the product and its users as more management, development and support resources for airline transactions systems are available in the TPF Lab. From the current ALCS team, Ann Evans, Nico Wigmans and Mike Hannaford will remain with the product.
We give our thanks to Helen Pinchin, Steve Walker and Vanessa Dougan who will be handing over their roles in the coming months to the TPF Lab. We will miss them and offer good wishes to them in their future IBM careers beyond ALCS.
We welcome on board Jim Bodoh, Tony Cresswell and Stephen Record to ALCS Development and Support. Dan Jacobs, a TPF project manager, has been appointed to take on the role ALCS project manager; Al Brajnikoff will be handling Information Development. Also supporting the product will be Carol Carson, Rick Collins and Don Flinchum in IBM Raleigh, USA who will be providing build and release support.
We will endeavor to make the transition as smooth as possible, support will remain at firstname.lastname@example.org and our website will stay at http://www.ibm.com/tpf/alcs.
Kevin Barnes has been appointed ALCS Product Manager, taking over from Helen Pinchin. Kevin has been a manager, in the TPF Lab, for 5 years. He reports directly to Theresa Dryfoos, the TPF Development Lab Manager. Kevin can be contacted via his e-mail address, email@example.com, and his telephone number is +1 845 433 2660.
Monday May 28th is a UK, US and Dutch national holiday. None of the ALCS Support staff will attend work on this day.
Please refer to the Emergency Support Procedure to contact us in an emergency during this three day weekend.
The ALCS Performance Monitor is available (APARs AK33864 (PTF UK24579) and AK34228 (PTF UK24599)). This satisfies ALCS User Group requirement ATC0262, which asked for the Performance Monitor developed by Jorge Widmar to be incorporated into ALCS.
Click here for further details on the ALCS Performance Monitor.
The general availability (GA) of TPFDF 1.1.3 PUT 21 was announced on June 30, 2006.
PUT 21 uses features unique to ALCS 2.3.1 and is not applicable to users of ALCS 2.2.1. ALCS 2.2.1 is being withdrawn from service on December 31st, 2006
The unpacking instructions are provided in the Memo to Licensees.
Click here for the TPFDF PUT21 Memo to Licensees.
We will be running two ALCS V2.3.1 classes at Hursley, in the UK, during 2006. The classes are scheduled for the weeks of 9th and 16th October 2006. There will be no charge for attending these classes. To secure places, we recommend ALCS customers enrol their programmers as soon as possible. The number of places per ALCS customer may be limited if the classes are over subscribed, those booking first will be favoured. The two classes are:
ALCS Concepts and Applications Class - Monday 9 October to Friday 13 October
ALCS System Programming Class - Monday 16 October to Friday 20 October
All enrollments for these classes must be sent to
If insufficient enrollments are received, one or both of these classes will be cancelled.
AK18060 is an update to the ALCS ZASYS HALT support.
To apply this update in its APAR form it is important to apply follow on APAR, AK20399, at the same time. This is necessary to avoid problems found in testing AK18060. A single PTF will be produced to encompass both APARs.
Application of this fix has resulted in problems for customers client systems software.
One of the items this APAR/PTF corrects is the conversion of the ALC Line number (CM1LNA) on TCP/IP output messages to be translated using translate table LINEALC.
Before the update the field, CM1LNA, was not translated. Please ensure you test with this APAR/PTF for such incompatibilities with client software and resolve them before promoting this fix.
Maintenance files, such as APARs, PTFs and the maintenance lists that were formerly built as self extracting zip files will from January 2006 will be built as plain zip files. The file extension will be .ZIP rather than .EXE on these files.
Users will be required to unpack the files using a unzip utility. This change is due to a change in licence that IBM has with it's zip software supplier.
APAR AQ85388 (PTF UK08892) added a routine in ALCS to monitor the interface between ALCS and MQSeries. In some conditions, this routine can generate a fixed point divide exception. This can result in a CTL-000001 system error causing ALCS to fail.
If you apply APAR AQ85388 (PTF UK08892) to ALCS, and you intend to use the MQSeries support, then you must also apply APAR AK17764 (PTF12083).
LookAt is an online facility that lets you look up explanations for most of the IBM messages you encounter, as well as some system abends and codes. Using LookAt to find information is faster than a conventional search because in most cases LookAt goes directly to the message explanation.
You can use LookAt from the following locations:
You can obtain code to install LookAt on your host system or Microsoft Windows workstation from a disk on your z/OS Collection (SK3T-4269), or from the LookAt Web Site (click Download, and select the platform, release, collection, and location that suit your needs). More information is available in the LOOKAT.ME files available during the download process.
It is now time start the requirements process again.
The first step requires your organisation to submit to us any new ALCS requirements that you have. Please use this ALCS User Group Requirement Request Form to submit your new requirements. Download the form, update it and then return it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, just cut and paste the form directly into a note.
The ALCS User Group Requirement Request Form contains guidance on how each section of the form should be completed. Please provide as much information as possible on the form as this will help us when we are reviewing your requirement. Please submit your new requirements to us as soon as you can. Those requirements submitted by the 31st December 2006 will be included in the next round of voting. If you wish to verify whether a specific user requirement has already been submitted, please check the recently updated ALCS User Group Requirements List.
If you have any questions or comments about the process or would like to discuss any items, new or old, then please send a note to us at email@example.com.
In z/OS 1.7 a change in the DF SMS area that ALCS uses to access the real time database has resulted in new APARs that are required for ALCS 2.3.1 and ALCS 2.2.1 to run on these releases. Please apply APAR AK12959 (PTF UK09810) to ALCS 2.3.1 and APAR AK12963 (PTF UK10112) to ALCS 2.2.1 before migrating to z/OS 1.7.
The ALCS Release V2.2.1 is to be withdrawn from service on December 31st, 2006. This was publicised in the recent z/OS Withdrawal Announcement 905-180.
Those customers, who have not done so, should plan to move to the replacement product ALCS V2.3.1 which became available in December 2003. If you require any information or assistance with planning the move to the latest release then please contact us.
APAR AK08549 (PTF UK07133) adds logic to avoid database corruption that can occur when adding new real-time data sets. Datasets are added by ZDASD LOAD when the VOLUMES= parameter on DBSPACE has been specified in the database generation. ALCS allocates new "dispense pointers" in memory (there is one dispense pointer record for every 24 data sets). Without this fix it is possible for ALCS to keypoint the new dispense pointer data before allocating a record for it. If this happens, ALCS will file the first L3 allocatable pool record (ordinal zero), overwriting it with the new dispense pointer data, corrupting the existing data in that record.
A problem has been found with a previous enhancement to the sequential file DCB SYNAD exit routine. APAR AQ56304, issued 3 years ago, added support for sequential file buffers above 16Mb. It updated the DCB SYNAD exit for support of 24 and 31 bit callers. If this routine is called it can result in a CTL-1 and if the sequential file concerned is the log file then a CTL-1A catastrophic error will follow. To prevent such a possible scenario please apply the following.
For ALCS 2.2.1 apply the corrective APAR AK06321.
For ALCS 2.3.1 apply the corrective APAR AK06318 (PTF UK06271).
Many thanks to all of you who took the time to complete the ALCS survey for us. If you were unable to attend the recent ALCS User Group in New Zealand here are the results that were presented:
Effective March 2005, the prefixes of APAR numbers have changed from AQ to AK because the available APAR numbers have been depleted. Please review your automation dependencies to determine if you will be impacted by this change.
If you have any questions or concerns about the information in this service bulletin, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year. We hope all our customers have a successful 2005.
We now have six customers that have migrated their production systems to ALCS 2.3.1. The migration has been straight forward for these customers with no on-site assistance required.
We would urge those customers who have not started the planning for the migration to consider this as a task for this year.
Along with the new facilities announced in ALCS 2.3.1, additional new functions have been added through the maintenance program including the following User Group requirements :
ATC0105 Reaquire 3270 printers after a lost session ATC0121 Trace commands to issue GET or FLIP for traced entry ATC0123 Trace enhancement: Loop detection ATC0124 Trace enhancement: Subroutine detection. ATC0148 RCR police user exit called if device has queues ATC0175 Enhance ZDCOM for printer queue display and shadowed printers ATC0182 On-line entry to adjust "no-wait" FIND handling levels ATC0191 Allow DEST= to be specified for a SYSOUT sequential file ATC0207 ZPURG enhancement. ATC0210 Printer queue threshold warning message ATC0235 Maximum size for communications transmission ATC0248 Provide Options for ZPCTL Report command ATC0249 Enhance ZDCOM command with generic LEID display
Your requirements please
We are looking at our plans for the year ahead, and would like to ensure that ALCS includes the functionality that you, our customers, need. The main way we get to know what you need is through the User Group Requirements and we recently sent out a request asking you submit any new requirements. Please could we urge you to give a lot of thought to this. We're happy to take on plenty of new development work!
Steve Walker joins ALCS Team
Many of you will know that Tony Shortman retired during 2004 after a long career with us. Whilst we will miss him, we are very pleased to say we have a new member in our team who comes with a wealth of TPF/ALCS experience. Steve Walker joined us in December having formerly worked both at various TPF/ALCS customer sites and within IBM Software Group.
In z/OS 1.5 and later releases a change in the DF/SMS area that ALCS uses to access the real time database has resulted in new APARs that are required for ALCS 2.3.1 and ALCS 2.2.1 to run on these releases. Please apply APAR AQ96210 (PTF UK00504) to ALCS 2.3.1 and APAR AQ96928 (PTF UK00531) to ALCS 2.2.1 before migrating to the latest z/OS releases.
A problem has been found with the COMGEN RCVSZEIP=MAX support. There are circumstances in which the buffer obtained by ALCS for the input message is not large enough which can result in ALCS table corruption. This can lead to unpredictable results such as an ALCS loop or catastrophic error.
If you are using or plan to use the COMGEN RCVSZEIP=MAX support (introduced with PTF UQ67134 in ALCS 2.2.1 and shipped in the base ALCS 2.3.1 product) you must apply the following corrective maintenance.
For ALCS 2.2.1 apply the corrective APAR AQ92880 (PTF UQ93442).
For ALCS 2.3.1 apply the corrective APAR AQ92876 (PTF UQ92897).
APAR AQ92565 (PTF UQ92896) adds logic to avoid a CTL-000001 in DXCOCTM during ALCS restart.
Users of OCTM may define CRI ranges to be reserved for non OCTM devices, in the ALCS communication generation. If ranges such as aa0001-bbcccc are defined a CTL-000001 during OCTM restart may occur. This is because the area used to build the CRI ranges may be used by another routine as a register save area.
As the symptom for this problem is a restart failure the APAR is marked HIPER.
Item updated 07 Jul 2004. The 2.3.1 execs have been updated to support ECBs quarantined by ZPURG FORCE (AQ87977).
ALCS 2.2.1 PTF UQ64211 added the ability to request an SVC dump when an ALCS catastrophic error occurs. This support is included in ALCS 2.3.1. To view such dumps the MVS tool used is IPCS, for which, REXX execs can be written to format areas of storage. We have developed some IPCS REXX execs which may be used and we provide them here on an 'as is' basis. If you would like to try the execs then please download the files from the following two links.
The execs are not rigorous and may require tailoring for your installation. Please contact us at email@example.com for assistance or to request a new exec to do additional formatting.
On April 18th, Carina, the Air New Zealand reservation system managed by IBM Global Services successfully migrated from ALCS 2.2.1 to ALCS 2.3.1. Our congratulations to all those involved.
One of the new functions in ALCS 2.3.1 is the Online Communication Table Maintenance. OCTM is a system facility that provides an api (COMTC) through which an end user system can alter the communication definitions. Information on OCTM along with a description of a sample application are described in a manual available below.
Update 18th March 2004. The OCTM facility has been enhanced with an offline OCTM support program plus an updated OCTM User Guide. APARs AQ80877 and AQ80878 provide this new offline program. If you are planning to use OCTM and to develop a CEUS, we recommend that you apply these APARs and download the updated OCTM User Guide, below. The updated Guide contains information on running the new offline program.
The User Group Requirements List has been updated to reflect changes in items delivered and new submissions requested. We have removed older satisfied requirements to make the list more readable. Requirements that were shipped by the end of 2000 are no longer on the list, as seen on the website.
If you wish to raise a new requirement then please send it to us firstname.lastname@example.org or to the User Group chairman.
We have placed the new ALCS 2.3.1 manuals, in PDF format, under the Library Section of this website.
These manuals cover the new facilities available in ALCS 2.3.1 and all developments that took place in ALCS 2.2.1 including DECB and the MQSeries Bridge.
The manuals are available for viewing and download in pdf format. Links will be made available for viewing the bookmanager version of the manuals shortly. The bookmanager and pdf manuals are the same. Only the viewing format is different.
The date of the next ALCS User Group meeting has been announced by the user group chairman, Rob Broere. It will be a 3-day meeting commencing on Tuesday 3 February 2004, and will be hosted by EVA Air in Taiwan.
It has been over 12 months since the last user group meeting, and during that time there have been important changes taking place. One of these has been the development of the new ALCS release that we have recently announced.
We would encourage you to attend the next user group meeting in February so that you can obtain a detailed briefing on the content of the new ALCS V2.3.1 release. We look forward to seeing you at that meeting.
ALCS V2.3.1 was announced on the 11th November 2003 with a planned availability date of 12th December 2003. We will be updating this site with more information in due course. For the time being here is a brief description of the new release:
ALCS V2.3.1 will be the base for exploiting the new 64-bit addressing functions of the operating system. OS/390 2.10 or z/OS is a prerequisite for ALCS V2.3.1.
All enhancements shipped as program temporary fixes (PTFs) since the release of ALCS V2.2.1 have been consolidated in V2.3.1.
The new release, has the following new facilities and enhancements:
We have rescheduled the two ALCS classes that were originally going
to be run in May this year.
The new dates for the classes are:
ALCS Concepts and Applications Class - Monday 8 December 2003 to Friday 12 December 2003
ALCS System Programming Class - Monday 16 February 2004 to Friday 20 February 2004
There will be no charge for attending these classes.
Although we already have ALCS customers enrolled on both classes, there are still a number of places available.If you would like to attend either or both of these classes, please send your enrollment request to email@example.com.
The number of places per ALCS customer may be limited if the classes are over subscribed; those booking first will be favoured.
Both classes will remain open for enrollments until two weeks prior to the commencement of the class (or will close for enrollments if the class becomes full).
The ALCS Concepts and Applications Class starts at 13.00 on Monday
and ends at 12.00 on Friday.
The ALCS System Programming Class starts at 9.30 on Monday morning and ends at 17.00 on Friday.
This APAR requires that a Communication generation is run if you have MQ communication definitions otherwise MQ queue names in the communication table may be lost.
The APAR alters the CO0IN DSECT which is a macro that describes the format of the data that is output from the Communications generation step and is input to the online initialisation phase. For resources defined as COMDEF LDTYPE=MQ there are fields in CO0IN for three 48-byte queue names:-
APAR AQ76823 ensures that ALCS always honours the virtual storage location specified on storage requests from Language Environment (LE).
The original error that prompted this APAR was a storage leak found on multiple TCB ALCS systems. The leak is due to LE requesting storage directly from MVS with TCB affinity rather than requesting the storage through the ALCS LE service routine. This issue was addressed by LE APAR PQ76054. Since creating an APAR on a current release of LE could affect other users, LE have developed LE USERMODs which are available for ALCS customers on OS/390 2.10 through z/OS 1.5.
If your installation runs the C/C++ utility components of TPFDF, or any other C/C++ programs, in a multiple TCB ALCS environment, then you will need to apply the LE USERMOD as well as this ALCS APAR. Please contact ALCS Technical Support at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the relevant LE USERMOD.
APAR AQ72639 changes the timing values used by the ALCS entry dispatcher for servicing the defer list (for DEFRC and DLAYC macros). It also increases the maximum time that an entry is allowed to execute before it must lose control (the application loop timeout value).
The frequency at which the ALCS entry dispatcher processes the defer list has always been set at 0.2 seconds, but over recent years the IBM processors upon which ALCS runs have become much faster and this frequency is no longer appropriate for the current IBM hardware.
After applying this APAR, the frequency at which the ALCS entry dispatcher processes the defer list will be 0.05 seconds. This change may impact ALCS applications that issue large numbers of DEFRC or DLAYC macros and large numbers of database read/writes.
The number of instructions that an entry is allowed to execute before it must lose control (the application loop timeout value) has remain unchanged in ALCS for many years. Because of the increased performance of IBM processors in recent years, the current timeout value needs increasing.
After applying this APAR, the timeout value for application loop timeout will be four times greater than the current value. If you have user modifications that increase the timeout value, these should be carefully reviewed. We recommend that user modifications to the timeout value are not reapplied to your ALCS system. Please run your ALCS system with the new timeout value to determine if it is suitable for your application requirements.
Passwords that are used to access restricted areas of the ALCS Web site are being changed on Tuesday, May 27, 2003. New passwords will be provided a few days before the change. Existing passwords will be accepted until May 27. Company user IDs will not be changed.
If you have any questions, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
The URL for our main ALCS web page has changed from
As you can see the change is from "ts" to "htp." The "ts" stands for "transaction systems" and the "htp" stands for "host transaction processing." This aligns the ALCS Web address with the other host products for IBM transaction processing.
This transistion should be tranparent to you as redirects have been set up to point the old URLs to the new ones, and these will exist for quite a while.
However, in time they may go, so if you have any Bookmarks or programs/procedures which use any of the ALCS web page addresses then please update them to the new address. This will improve performance as it will bypass the redirect.
At the last ALCS User Group meeting in The Netherlands, IBM was asked to take responsibility for managing the ALCS User Group Requirements list. We have therefore conducted a detailed review of the complete user group requirements process with the User Group Chairman and would like to recommend to the ALCS User Group a new procedure for managing the requirements list.
We would also like to recommend changes in the requirements voting procedure. The primary recommendation is to set a maximum limit on the number of votes each ALCS customer can cast for just one requirement.
The following document describes these recommendations.
Please read this document and send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by 18th April. We would like to complete the review of these recommendations by the end of April so that the new requirements process can commence at the beginning of May 2003.
We have placed the latest issues of the ALCS manuals under the Library Section of this website.
These manuals cover new facilities in ALCS including DECB and the MQSeries Bridge.
The manuals are available for viewing and download in pdf format. There is also the hyperlink to the bookmanager version of the manuals. This link has been updated to take you to the latest ALCS bookshelf on the OS/390 Collection CD. The bookmanager and pdf manuals are the same. Only the viewing format is different.
We have recently sent to each ALCS customer a 3480 cartridge tape labelled DXC007. This tape contains all ALCS V2.2.1 and IPARS V2.2.1 PTFs issued from June 2002 through to December 31st 2002. Accompanying the tape is the usual documentation. The tape is sent via conventional mail and may take some time to reach some of you. If you do not receive the tape in the next few weeks please let us know by sending a note to email@example.com. Please include your full external mail address so we can check we have sent it to the right place.
AQ60642 is an update to the ALCS TCP/IP support that improves performance by providing a quicker response to input IP traffic, whilst using less resources.
To apply this update in its APAR form it is important to apply follow on APARs, AQ70445 and AQ71012, at the same time. This is necessary to avoid problems found in testing AQ60642. A single PTF will be produced to encompass all three APARs.
With the new z/Series hardware and software it is possible to run ALCS in a very large operating system partition. Most ALCS customers do not use partitions larger than 2Gb, but if your installation plans to do this, you will need to apply a fix to your ALCS system.
If ALCS runs in a partition that has more than 2 Gigabytes of REAL storage on z/Architecture, ALCS requires a change so that the LOAD REAL ADDRESS instruction will not fail with a ABEND0D3. This can occur if the real address to be loaded is above 2 Gb. We can provide a simple solution for those of you on z/Series hardware and software and in due course will issue an APAR applicable for all users.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require the fix or have any questions on this matter.
Please remember that when we ship maintenance updates to the ALCS TCP/IP components that you need to re-assemble the CSECTs with your TCP/IP macro libraries to avoid compatibility problem between ALCS and TCP/IP. We use ++HOLD statements to remind you that this action is required.
In the APAR AQ62270 originally published on this website we failed to include a ++HOLD statement. The superseding PTF UQ69455 does have the ++HOLD statement. Please be aware if you are applying the APAR version of this update to re-assemble the ALCS TCP/IP CSECTs.
We have recently sent to each ALCS customer a 3480 cartridge tape labelled DXC006. This tape contains all ALCS 2.2.1 and IPARS 2.2.1 PTFs issued from October 2001 through to May 31st 2002. Accompanying the tape is the usual documentation. The tape is sent via conventional mail and may take some time to reach some of you. If you do not receive the tape in the next few weeks please let us know by sending a note to email@example.com Please include your full external mail address so we can check we have sent it to the right place.
Many thanks to all for taking part in the ALCS Product Survey 2002. After a little chasing we finally managed to receive replies from 23 of the ALCS license holders - that is nearly a 90% response rate!
For those of you who are interested we have gathered the numeric results and presented them in a document below. The colours and shading used have been chosen to make the graphs readable on either a colour screen or when printed in black. If you would like to look at the results then please download the file from the following link.
We find the comments you write most useful and we are acting upon them now. If you have any further comments then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALCS is running on the latest OS/390 release. z/OS is the name of the new operating system which extends OS/390 into the 64 bit arena.
ALCS requires a small change, APAR AQ52169 (PTF UQ58664), to run on the Z/OS operating system. The reason for this update is because one of the operating system control blocks that we refer to has been updated in the new 64-bit architecture.
Update 21 June 2002. Another change required is APAR AQ51969 (PTF UQ64927). This should be applied to ALCS before migration to z/OS and then no further action is needed. If you have migrated to z/OS without this fix we suggest you apply it and then force the re-assembly of ALCS programs that refer to the CO0DA macro. The GTRACE macro (SYS1.MACLIB) which is imbedded in the ALCS CO0DA macro has changed length. We have repositioned the location of GTRACE to the end of CO0DA. Forcing the re-assembly will ensure that consistent offsets are used. The members that require re-assembly are : COMB, COME, DXCCOLC, DXCCOLD, DXCCOMC, DXCCOMD, DXCCOME, DXCCOMI, DXCCOMM, DXCCOMP, DXCCOMR, DXCCOMU, DXCCOMV, DXCCOMX, DXCINF, DXCINTC, DXCINTX, DXCSND and DXCSOCA.
Both these changes will be supplied on maintenance tape 6 that will be sent out during July. No other changes are required to ALCS to run under z/OS.
AQ56304 moves the sequential file buffers above the 16MB line. These buffers are page fixed and so result in real storage constraint which restricts the number of ALCS tests systems that can run concurrently in the same operating system. With this enhancement the constraint is now relieved.
Our thanks go to Jorge Widmar of IBM Brazil for his assistance in the development and testing of this important modification.
UQ66601 is a major enhancement to ALCS, providing support for Data Event Control Blocks (DECBs). DECBs provide an extension to the ECB levels, allowing a higher number of concurrent find/file requests.
An application program can obtain and use a DECB as an alternative to using an ECB level. Although a DECB does not physically reside in an ECB, the DECB fields specify the same information without requiring the use of a level in the ECB, the only difference being that the data level in a DECB can accommodate an 8-byte file address (for compatibility with TPF).
If you choose to use DECBs you are not restricted to 16 levels. An application program can dynamically acquire and release DECBs. The storage that will hold the DECBs comes from entry storage (using part of an overflow type 1 storage unit), therefore the number of DECBs that the application is restricted to is limited only by the amount of entry storage available to the ECB.
The support for DECBs introduces the following changes to the ALCS product:
Further information is available in the NOTES file shipped with the PTF.
A book containing the main sections of the ALCS documentation that have been changed as a consequence of issuing PTF UQ66601 is available in PDF format and may be downloaded from the link below.
ALCS is supported on the new zSeries 800 machines. These machines are smaller versions of the zSeries 900 and use the same chips and architecture. ALCS runs on the zSeries 800 under the full function z/OS operating system.
A special packaging of z/OS, called z/OS.e, is available only for the zSeries 800 machines. z/OS.e provides select z/OS function at an exceptional price. It is intended for new e-business Web transaction processing workloads written in Java and C/C++ and utilising Websphere Application Server, MQ and DB2.
Not included are facilities for COBOL, Fortran, PL/1 development, CICS, IMS, general TSO, and similar traditional elements. ALCS is not supported on z/OS.e as the packaging severely reduces the functional richness and application development potential for ALCS.
AQ54563/UQ67134 adds a new optional parameter to the COMGEN macro called RCVSZEIP. This provides the ability to specify a buffer size larger than the default L3 size for receiving input from TCP/IP communication devices.
The parameter works in the same way as the RCVSZE parameter does for 3270 devices.
If you have applied the base CEP support APAR AQ38882 (PTF UQ46820) then you are required to apply AQ49344 (UQ56026) to avoid the possibility of a catastrophic error.
PTF UQ60801, issued in December 2001, provided a new option on the ZPOOL command to display pool dispense statistics by record ID and type. Errors were detected in this PTF and a corrective PTF UQ63358 was issued in March 2001. Both of these PTFs were included on the ALCS Maintenance Update Tape 6 that was recently distributed to the ALCS customers. To avoid rapid depletion of long-term pool it is very important that you do not apply UQ60801 without also applying UQ63358 at the same time.
TPFDF maintenance is available for ALCS users to download from the TPF maintenance page. Access to the fixes is restricted to licensed users. If you are a licensed user of TPFDF then you can view APAR descriptions and download files (in tar zipped format) using the same userid/password combination as you use for ALCS maintenance download.
Today, 10th Dec 2001, we have sent to each ALCS customer a 3480 cartridge tape labelled DXC005. This tape contains all ALCS 2.2.1 and IPARS 2.2.1 PTFs issued from January 2001 through to September 30th 2001. Accompanying the tape is the usual documentation. The tape is sent via conventional mail and may take some time to reach some of you.
Announcing ALCS 2.2.1 and IPARS maintenance (APARs and PTFs) available for download from this website.
We have been sending PTF maintenance to customers via e-mail. This method is problematic as e-mail addresses are in constant flux and mail servers are frequently unavailable which leads to many non-delivered messages.
As of the 21 November 2001, we will be placing the maintenance on this website. We will no longer send maintenance via e-mail, instead you will need to retrieve recent maintenance from this website when you wish to have it. To download the maintenance you will be required to enter a id / password combination once per browser session. You will be able to retrieve as many fixes as you like from the browser session without entering the id / password again.
Go to the ALCS maintenance page to access the download site.
We hope you will become accustomed to picking up service in this way and urge that you review the site frequently. We will still send notification of HIPER fixes to our distribution list so please do still tell us of changes to your mail ids.
Periodically (every 9 months or so) we batch up PTF fixes on to a cartridge tape, and mail the cartridge to all our customers. We will still be doing this. For those of you who wish to just install PTF preventative maintenance on a periodic basis this may be the most convenient method for you to receive and load maintenance on your systems. However, we strongly recommend that you review the website maintenance lists regularly in case there is something of particular relevance to your installation.
The website currently holds all maintenance after cartridge tape 4. It is important that you keep the cartridges as the website will hold only the recent maintenance; as cartridges are produced older maintenance will be removed from the website.
The ALCS MQ Bridge allows for MQ messages received on request queues to be formatted and passed on to legacy applications as if they came from ordinary terminal devices. The output from the applications is routed from the ALCS output routines to the MQ Bridge in order to send it on to corresponding response queues.
Minimal changes are required to ALCS, the request queues are known to ALCS through communication definitions for MQ queues. 'MQ terminals' are defined associated with a queue so the applications have normal terminal records and addresses to deal with.
This support is intended to provide connectivity to current ALCS applications from remote systems (for example, web servers).
Exits are provided on both the input and output sides of the bridge to allow for user decoding and reformatting of messages.
For more information on the MQ Bridge contact the ALCS Support Group at email@example.com.
Note: To view and print the PDF files, you must have the Adobe
Acrobat Reader software,
which is available for free from the Adobe Web site: