MacKinney Systems, Inc.

People who hear about CICS Task Recorder (CTR) for the first time sometimes react:  “We already have CICS debuggers and monitors such as Expeditor, InterTest, TMON, Omegamon, MainView.  Why do we need another developer tool?

There is no overlap between the information and services provided by CTR and the ones provided by the other products.

  • CTR tells you the exact whereabouts of a task, including its mirror tasks. The information is saved for future reference and comparison with other tasks.
  • With CTR, you don’t have to set breakpoints, and you don’t have to run step-by-step. The tasks run normally.
  • CTR can record tasks submitted by other users without them even knowing. The recording process is instantaneous, and the results are available immediately.
  • As opposed to CEDF or other trace tools, CTR knows when a CICS command is issued from a dynamically-called or statically-called program and the exact offset of the command within the calling CSECT.
  • CTR can compare tasks that you can’t even hope to get with other tools.
  • CTR tells the exact time spent in every LINKed or CALLed program.
  • CTR provides a Task Summary that shows the total number of times each distinct command took place, either in a particular task or throughout the recording session.
  • When the recorded task reads or writes a record, CTR displays the record mapped by its COBOL structure (copybook).
  • When the recorded task issues SQL/DB2 commands, CTR displays the result set field by field and the SQL statement itself.
  • When several tasks run simultaneously and communicate with each other, CTR can display their execution flows side by side in a single chronologically-ordered list. CTR shows you how and why it happens if they run into a deadlock.
  • If a transaction runs fine 99% of the time but hangs up in some rare situations, it is practically impossible to find the problem using a regular debugger. When you run the problematic transaction with a debugger, you will most likely get the regular case, not the rare one. With CTR, you simply record hundreds of transaction instances and focus on the problematic cases. Or you just let CTR compare the bad instance with a good one.
  • CTR can record the actual content of commarea, VSAM file records, TS QUEUE or TD QUEUE, screen input and output, containers, DB2 query results, and Adabas record buffers.
  • When software developers are puzzled why two instances of the same transaction vary significantly in their run time, flow path, or the number of events, they can use CTR's fantastic "Diff" utility. Diff compares two tasks, event after event, and highlights the differences, similarly to a source code version comparator.
  • CTR can compare the values of two records and display the differences in either a dump format or field after field, using the records' copybook. For example, the recorded program issues READ UPDATE and then REWRITE. CTR can show you exactly which fields got changed.