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CICS/Spooler

CICS terminal printer spooling system

CICS/Spooler is a printer terminal spooling system for CICS which improves throughput of printer oriented programs.

  • It uses standard ASA print control characters, provides header and trailer pages with report name and user name, produces multiple copies, and offers simultaneous spool and print capability.
  • Single reports may be spooled by a series of tasks or a single task. Reports can be sent to any CICS printer.
  • Reports spooled by batch jobs can be printed on a CICS printer and reports spooled by CICS tasks can be printed on batch system printers. A routine to extract data from the VSE/POWER queue or send commands to VSE/POWER is included.
  • Reports in the CICS/Spooler queue or VSE/POWER queue may be displayed on a CICS CRT.
  • Reports can be written directly to the CICS/Spooler queue from batch programs by using a called subroutine, which is supplied.
  • An option to print only selected pages of a report is available.
  • A security system, based on Job Name, limits users to viewing only the authorized reports and controls which CICS printers a user may use.
  • Printing may be stopped and restarted.
  • Form IDs may be specified for reports and for printers. Reports will not print unless the Form ID matches the printer's Form ID.
     

Printer Profiles
All reports are directed to a destination name associated with a printer profile (which may or may not have the same name as the actual printer). Printer profiles allow various options to be set for the physical printer such as maximum number of print characters per line, command codes to be sent before and after the report is printed, and printer translate table for automatic translation of unwanted characters. A physical printer can have more than one printer profile to allow for printing with different options. For example, PROFILEA is used to print in landscape mode and PROFILEB is used to print in portrait mode on the same laser printer.

Printer Pools
In addition to printer route lists, printer pools allow a report to be printed on the first available printer within the printer pool. Each printer pool has a maximum of 70 printer profiles defined.

Printer Control
In addition to forms control, the printer may be halted (placing the printer out of use for CICS/Spooler) and later made available again for printing.

Security
Security can be based on the CICS USERID, CICS OPID, or CICS TERMID. Both printers and reports may be secured. Reports can be secured to prevent access, allow viewing only, or allow total access. Printers can only be secured to allow total access or no access at all.

Automatic Print Control (VSE only)
Automatic print selection from the VSE/Power LST queue allows a report to be printed on a CICS printer without any manual intervention. Report selection can be based on CLASS, Dest ID, Form ID, or Jobname. After the report is printed it may be deleted or kept.

System Printers
Provides the ability to send reports in CICS/Spooler's VSAM-based queue back to the system spooler (JES or POWER) to be printed. The user need only request the report be printed to printer profile $SYSTEM.

Print Control
Allows CICS/Spooler to keep track of all print requests until the report has been deleted. Properly keeps track of requests to print the same report on multiple printers.

VSE/Power XMT Queue
Facility to display the XMT queue directory has been added.

Maximum Line Length
Maximum print line has been increased from 133 to 255 characters. Support has been added to both print and view longer print lines.

Retention Date
Reports now include a retention date to be used during report purge processing.

Banner Page
A new banner page exit allows each installation to customize the banner page to fit its needs. An example banner page exit with standard block lettering for the jobname is provided.

VSE/Power PUN Queue

Entries from the PUN queue may now be printed on any CICS printer. No forms control (i.e.. page breaks) is used.

Buffer Tracing
A facility has been added to trace both print buffers and spooling buffers to aid in problem determination.

Report Selection
Reports may be selected based on number of pages and/or date created.

Print Priority
All print requests are assigned a print priority allowing 'HOT' reports to complete first.

Print Queue
Each printer's print queue can be accessed to display the report currently printing and any reports waiting to be printed. The priority of any report waiting to be printed can be changed to allow a 'HOT' print to be next in line. Any report request waiting may also be deleted.

VSE/POWER and MVS JES Spool Access Functionality

This facility automatically provides the ability to move a report from a POWER/JES output queue to the CICS/Spooler spool queue on CICS without user intervention. The CICS/Spooler queue is supported by a VSAM file.

How it works 
Shortly after job output enters the queue (1 or 2 seconds for JES and 1 or 2 minutes for POWER) the transmission between the POWER/JES queue and the CICS/Spooler file begins automatically. CICS/Spooler selects the report to be pulled off the POWER/JES queue based on Form ID. This Form ID may be chosen by the installation. The transmission of the report from the POWER/JES queue to CICS/Spooler is handled by a started task. It should be running during any period that automatic transmission of reports between POWER/JES and CICS/Spooler is needed.

Report Segmentation  
CICS/Spooler can split up or 'SEGMENT' a report so only the needed part(s) of the reports are actually transferred to CICS. Segmentation is based on spooler searching for user defined start and end text within the report. The user has control of the content, length, line position, column, and boundary of the start/end search text.

Headers  
The user may define how each report pulled from POWER/JES is to be treated by CICS/Spooler. This is called a 'HEADER'.

Headers can be defined in two ways:
1) CICS screens are provided to define a header for all reports that match a specified JOBNAME.
2) The header can be imbedded within the text of the report.
The definition of the segmentation rules are optional extensions to the header and, like the header, can be defined using CICS screens based on jobname or can be imbedded in the report.

Split Mode Viewing  
Allows the left portion of the report to remain fixed while the right portion of the report is shifted to the right to view columns that will not fit on the screen. The left and right portions of the report are separated by the '|' character. The number of columns that make up the left portion of the screen is based on the cursor position when the PF2 (Split) key is pressed.

Custom Function Codes  
Allows the user to customize which command codes are used for the CICS/Spooler functions. For example, VSE users may prefer the command code of '5' to delete reports, while MVS users might prefer to use the command code 'D'.

Audit trail  
The new AUTOLOG feature allows a message to be written to a CICS transient data queue or the system console whenever the user performs a CICS/Spooler function.