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History of CICS

Technote (FAQ)


What is the history of the CICS releases and when did CICS development move to the Hursley Labs?


Following is the history of CICS:


CICS/OS introduced as program offering

  • Designed to support 50 BTAM terminals
  • Supported out of Palo Alto, CA
  • Not expected to last more than a few years
  • Assembler macros that supported a limited number of functions



  • Single address space or partition monitor
  • Introduction of management functions
  • Support for DOS/VS, OS/VS1, and OS/VS2
  • Macro Level only
  • HLL supported through pre-processor



  • Support moved to Hursley in exchange for PL/1
  • Introduction of command level
  • Introduction of recovery/restart



  • Introduction of ISC
  • IBM Statement: New functions will be through command level



  • Introduction of MRO


CICS/VS 1.6, and 6 months later 1.6.1

  • Introduction of RDO for PPT and PCT entries
  • Last release to provide the same functionality across all operating systems
  • XA functions are provided
  • VSAM subtasking introduced



  • AUTOINSTALL + JES Spool Interface support introduced
  • VTAM terminals now RDO definable
  • ISAM support dropped
  • File control program and other management module rewritten
  • The new code became OCO
  • IBM again warns its customers about Macro Level



  • Some performance improvements over 1.7
  • Introduction of XRF


CICS/ESA 3.1.1

  • Macro Level support dropped for HLL programs
  • Totally new architecture
  • Multiple TCBs
  • Many old functions dropped



  • Macro Level support dropped for all languages
  • Another rewrite for DFHFCP
  • CICS security as known (DFHSNT) is eliminated
  • More old functions are dropped



  • Storage protection feature for CICS/ESA domain storage
  • Introduction of Dynamic Link function
  • Shared Data Tables
  • Distributed Program Link
  • Front End Programming Interface



  • Transaction Isolation (Storage protection)
  • MRO using Enhanced Cross System Coupling Facilities (XRF)
  • Dynamic transaction routing among Parallel Transaction Server



  • Enhanced programmer interfaces allowing for the replacement of macro level calls
  • Support for LE for VSE/ESA and associated languages
  • A tool to aid in the migration of customers from the use of internal CICS security to an external security manager (ESM)


CICS Transaction Server for OS/390 1.1

  • A new domain for logging and journaling - the CICS log manager
  • A new domain for recovery - the CICS recovery manager
  • A new domain for temporary storage
  • RDO for transient data destinations
  • Addition of the EXEC CICS CREATE SPI command for the creation of CICS resource definitions for a sysplex-wide systems management product


CICS Transaction Server for OS/390 1.2

  • Introduction of DASDONLY logging


CICS Transaction Server for OS/390 1.3

  • Parallel Sysplex support
  • Coupling facility data tables
  • RDO for temporary storage
  • Long temporary storage queue names
  • Autoinstall for consoles
  • CICS business transaction services (BTS)
  • Open transaction environment (OTE)
  • Support for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
  • Support for IIOP requests inbound to Java application programs.


CICS Transaction Server for VSE/ESA 1.1.1

  • Exploitation of ESA/390 subsystem storage protection
  • Extensive Virtual Storage Constraint Relief
  • Expanded Application Programming Support including a new External CICS Interface (EXCI) and a Front End Programming Interface (FEPI)
  • System Management enhancements including Resource Definition Online (RDO) for files
  • Shared data tables for improved performance and availability
  • The CICS Web Interface (CWI) which provides direct access to CICS applications from the World Wide Web environment. This will be available from the first quarter of 2000
  • The CICS 3270 Bridge, which provides an interface to run 3270-based CICS transactions without a 3270 terminal.
  • Inclusion of REXX for CICS, from the fourth quarter of 1999.
  • Inclusion of CICS/DDM as an optional no-charge feature
  • Inclusion of Report Controller Facility (RCF) without extra charge.


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 2.1

  • Support for the industry-standard Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) architecture, enabling CICS to act as an EJB server
  • Facilities for the generation of new EJB applications, or for the reuse or incorporation of existing applications and data in an EJB solution
  • Enhancements to the facilities for network connectivity and to Java programming under CICS
  • Extensions to facilities for applications based on procedural programming models
  • Significant extensions to CICSPlex SM


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 2.2

  • Enhanced support for Enterprise Java, and session bean support that conforms to the J2EE Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) architecture.


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 2.3

  • Enhanced Java capability including performance improvements, support for Java SDK 1.4, the Common Client Interface (CCI) Connector for CICS TS, and the addition of CICS Web Support to the JCICS classes
  • Improved support for development of applications, including interactive debugging
  • Further connectivity options, including new security functions, and the recently-introduced SOAP for CICS optional feature
  • Enhancements in the area of availability, including workload balancing of the 3270 Bridge using CICSPlex(R) SM
  • Important performance improvements in CICS-DB2 attachment


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 3.1

  • Major new capabilities are provided in the areas of Web services, HTTP function, and security
  • C/C++ capability is enhanced by support for XPLink
  • CICS Web API commands are now threadsafe
  • OTE function has been extended
  • Language Environment-enabled Assembler applications are supported
  • A new mechanism is provided for inter-program data transfer
  • The Information Center has moved to the Eclipse platform
  • Functional and usability improvements are provided to the CICSPlex SM Web User Interface, enabling systems to be fully managed without the TSO End User Interface
  • New batch update mechanism is provided for the CICSPlex SM data repository


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 3.2

  • Application Connectivity
    • Web services standards, interoperability profiles, large messages, and data mapping
    • Intercommunications over TCP/IP
    • HTTP and TCP/IP management and performance
  • Application Reuse
    • 64-bit storage for CONTAINER data
    • CICS integrated translator support for C and C++
    • Java enhancements
  • Service Management
    • On-line management of program libraries
    • Enterprise Workload Manager
    • CICSPlex SM Web User Interface help, usability, and MAP support
    • CICS-WMQ adapter installation and management
  • Architectural Enhancements
    • Capacity of VSAM ESDS files >4GB, shared data tables >2GB, and CICS regions in a Sysplex
    • Trace, monitoring, and statistics
    • Threadsafe core APIs for accessing VSAM files, journals, and WebSphere MQ


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 4.1
  • Non-invasive detection and emission of business events from CICS applications provides insight into business behavior
  • Atom feeds and RESTful interfaces enable existing CICS programs and resources to participate in mashups, Web 2.0 and other situational applications
  • The CICS Explorer simplifies the development and management of traditional and modern applications and provides an integration point for IBM and third-party tools
  • A wide range of other technical and operational capabilities, including many requirements raised by individual customers and user communities


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 4.2
Delivers value and significant innovation in five main technical focus areas, and satisfies over fifty customer and user group requirements. It delivers a smarter transaction processing experience for our customers:
  • Events
    • New system events
    • Improved event lifecycle management
    • New assured events
  • Java™
    • New 64-bit Java runtime environment
    • New multithreaded Java applications in JVM environment, with support for OSGi bundles
    • New Eclipse-based SDK
    • New Java runtime support of copybook importers
  • Connectivity
    • New Java Axis2 engine for web services
    • New web services offload to System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP)
    • New Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) connection management
    • Enhanced IP interconnectivity (IPIC) capability to include function shipping
  • Management
    • New CICS transaction tracking
    • Enhanced workload management
    • New 100-character password phrases
  • Scalability
    • New threadsafe function shipping
    • New threadsafe IBM Information Management System (IMSTM) interface
    • New threadsafe CICS commands
    • New key CICS functions 64-bit enabled
    • New threadsafe performance option
    • Enhanced CICS VSAM local shared resource (LSR) performance options


CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 5.1
Satisfies over one hundred user requirements that help drive operational efficiencies while increasing service agility, moving you towards a service delivery platform for cloud computing.
  • Driving operational efficiencies:
    • Greater capacity is delivered through significant vertical and horizontal scalability enhancements.
    • Managed operations are provided through the introduction of policies, that deliver automated control over critical system resources.
    • Increased availability enhancements reduce the need for planned outages.
    • Deeper insight into performance and compliance information can help to tune and audit system usage.
  • Increasing service agility:
    • First-class applications enable the creation of agile services from existing assets by using a new declarative application resource.
    • First-class platforms enable the creation of agile service delivery runtimes by using a new declarative platform resource.
    • Modern interfaces enable you to build rich web experiences for critical applications. A new production-ready web container in CICS provides CICS qualities of service, and is built on the WebSphere Application Server Liberty profile for compatibility.
    • Foundational enhancements extend the core CICS capabilities.
CICS TS V5.1 also introduces a wide range of other technical and operational capabilities.

In January of 2012, IBM also introduced CICS Transaction Server for z/OS Developer Trial V4.2. This is a 'try-before-you-buy' edition of CICS Transaction Server for z/OS.

CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 5.2
Satisfies over one hundred user requirements that help drive operational efficiencies while increasing service agility, moving you towards a service delivery platform for cloud computing.
  • Service agility:
    • CICS TS V5.2 significantly enhances the portability of web applications into CICS, by upgrading IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile to Version 8.5.5 and supporting a broader set of its features.
    • Service oriented architecture (SOA) support is extended by integrating the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and Representational State Transfer (REST) capabilities, introduced in the CICS TS Feature Pack for Mobile Extensions, into CICS TS V5.2. This makes it easier to interact with mobile devices and mobile-optimized gateways, such as IBM Worklight Server.
  • Operational efficiency:
    • The number of supported policy thresholds is expanded to cover an increased number of threshold types, safeguarding critical runtime resources. This enables a wider range of service-level agreement thresholds to trigger automatic actions.
    • The integration of CICS applications with distributed security standards has been simplified by incorporating the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) support, introduced in the CICS TS Feature Pack for Security Extensions, into CICS TS V5.2. Also introduced is support for Kerberos security tokens and stronger cryptographic ciphers. SAML support is provided for both inbound and outbound use of SAML tokens, and SAML tokens can now be augmented by adding new attributes.
    • A transaction channel allows applications to be able to use containers throughout the transaction without the need to restructure COMMAREA-based programs. Performance enhancements include a reduction in 31-bit storage usage for web services and an increase in threadsafe support.
  • Cloud enablement:
    • Major advances are made in the area of cloud enablement, to enhance application lifecycle management by allowing different versions of a multi-program application to run concurrently, and simplify deployment of application updates or to easily rollback to an earlier version if required.
    • Application versioning assists with the consolidation of applications onto fewer CICS regions.
    • Platforms are enhanced to define and create new 'top down' topologies, and to add and remove regions from installed platforms.
    • Twice as many traditional CICS resources can be defined and managed in CICS bundles, compared to previous CICS TS releases.

CICS Explorer V5.2 also adds support for the new and enhanced capabilities of CICS TS V5.2.

IBM also introduced CICS TS Developer Trial V5.2 (a 'try-before-you-buy' edition of CICS TS) and CICS TS Value Unit Edition (VUE) V5.2 that offers a one-time-charge (OTC) price metric for eligible workloads that are deployed in qualified System z New Application License Charge (zNALC) logical partitions (LPARs).

IBM also updated five core foundational CICS tools (and the Optimization Solution Pack): CICS Configuration Manager for z/OS V5.2, CICS Deployment Assistant for z/OS V5.2, CICS Interdependency Analyzer for z/OS V5.2, CICS Performance Analyzer for z/OS V5.2, CICS VSAM Recovery for z/OS V5.2, CICS Optimization Solution Pack for z/OS V5.2

2015 November
CICS Transaction Server for z/VSE 2.1
Shipped with z/VSE V6.1 and can only be used with z/VSE V6.1. CICS TS for z/VSE V2.1 replaces CICS TS for VSE/ESA V1.1.1 1. It delivers:
  • Update and control capabilities to CICS resources for the CICS Explorer system management tool.
  • New API to enable the transfer of large amounts of data between CICS applications to meet the needs of growing workloads.

CICS Explorer client supports the new and enhanced capabilities of CICS TS for z/VSE V2.1.

CICS TS for VSE/ESA V1.1.1 is still supported by IBM on z/VSE V5.

2015 December

CICS Transaction Server for z/OS 5.3
Builds on the capabilities that were delivered in earlier CICS TS V5 releases, and adds substantial new DevOps functionality. This release completes over 300 customer requirements for CICS TS Version 5.

New and enhanced capabilities are delivered in three main focus areas and four core capabilities:

  • Service agility. Focuses on enhanced support for Java and the WebSphere Liberty profile and includes:
    • Additional WebSphere Liberty profile features
    • Enhanced interoperability
    • Simplified management
    • Enhanced Java SE support
  • Operational efficiency. Includes performance optimizations, enhanced metrics, and additional security:
    • Web service optimizations
    • Performance improvements
    • Enhanced metrics
    • Additional security options
  • Cloud with DevOps. Includes new cloud and DevOps support to automate CICS deployments:
    • Automated builds
    • Scripted deployments
    • UrbanCode Deploy support
    • Enhanced cloud enablement

CICS Explorer V5.3 is updated to add support for the new and enhanced capabilities of CICS TS V5.3. This release makes it easier to see the CICS data that is required by providing enhanced customization options for table views, which can then be saved for future use.

CICS TS Value Unit Edition (VUE) V5.3 offers a one-time-charge (OTC) price metric for eligible workloads that are deployed in qualified z Systems New Application License Charge (zNALC) logical partitions (LPARs). The term Eligible Workload is defined as net new Java workload that executes within the CICS TS VUE Java Virtual Machine (JVM) server environment, on condition that the workload is qualified and approved through the zNALC qualification process. The OTC price metric provides an alternative pricing model for new CICS Java applications and new CICS Java-based, service enablement workloads. CICS TS VUE V5.3 is available through the normal ordering channels for IBM z/OS software. For more information, an IBM representative should be contacted.

CICS TS Developer Trial V5.3, a try-before-you-buy edition of CICS TS V5.3, has a zero-cost license charge and does not initiate any single version charging (SVC) period. The value that could be gained from a CICS TS upgrade can be assessed, before making an upgrade decision, by ordering this product. The CICS TS Developer Trial V5.3 is fully supported and can be upgraded to CICS TS V5.3 or CICS TS VUE V5.3 without the need for a full reinstallation.

Related information

Announcement letters for CICS products
End of service dates for CICS products
Finding CICS product documentation

Product Alias/Synonym


Document information

More support for: CICS Transaction Server

Software version: 1.1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3

Operating system(s): z/OS, z/VSE

Reference #: 1025234

Modified date: 11 December 2015

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