MacKinney Systems, Inc.
CICS Task Recorder

CICS Task Recorder (CTR) helps developers quickly and precisely understand what a CICS application is doing without turning on CICS internal trace or using CEDF or debugger breakpoints.

None of the CICS monitors or debuggers available today offers a detail level and clarity that’s even close to what CTR provides.  

CTR speeds up diagnosing CICS application tasks written by developers years ago who may or may not still be with the company. As a result, the productivity and efficiency of your CICS development team increases, freeing them to spend more time solving problems. In addition, CTR operates via a browser-based GUI; anyone can start using it without training. Best of all, CTR provides an accurate tracing of CALL commands and can run a comparison between multiple runs of the same task and more. No CICS solutions available today offer the level of detail and clarity that is even close to what CTR delivers.

CTR eliminates surprises or questions regarding what a CICS transaction is doing. As a result, you don’t need a slow step-by-step debugger to track task activity. Instead, run your tasks normally, without CEDF or breakpoints, and let CTR record the task activity and show a complete sequence of events, working-storage variables, program parameters, records read or written, and data sent. CTR records and displays every:

  • CICS command, its major operand, and offset in the program.
  • Calls for DB2, ADABAS and DL/I, or other remote services.
  • Subroutines invoked via EXEC CICS LINK, a dynamic call, or even a static call.
  • Every TCB switch.
  • Program abends and invocations of “handle abend” labels.
  • All of the above has shown within mirror tasks originated by the recorded task and ran in other regions.

CTR measures the elapsed time for each event type listed above, each linked program, and program code fragments between CICS commands. Hence, it is effortless for users to pinpoint runtime bottlenecks. All while never having to turn on CICS internal trace.

CTR delivers the insight developers need. Here are some additional capabilities provided by CTR:

  • Maps recorded content and shows it field by field, using the COBOL structure (copybook) associated with the record.
  • CTR can show every paragraph and section the recorded COBOL program has reached, even when that paragraph contains no CICS commands. CTR can also display the Delta working storage”, i.e., only the variables changed between two consecutive snapshots.
  • CTR is activated upon request for a specific period or the desired number of tasks to record, though users may also activate it for prolonged periods.

CTR can trace the values of specific working storage and linkage section variables during program execution. CTR can take complete working-storage snapshots upon each CICS or database command. So later, users can examine the content of any working-storage variable during every CICS call. The working storage is displayed field by field. The recorded tasks run at full speed and capture the information for later viewing.

CTR is activated easily by every developer without the involvement of a systems programmer. The event list of a recorded task is instantly available. If you record a long-running task, you can watch its execution flow while it is still running.

CTR is not another CICS debugger. It provides developers full knowledge and understanding of the execution flow of CICS programs, even if they had never seen the source code of these programs.