A transaction processing system for CMS & TSO



CICS for the COBOL Programmer ( Lowe ) - Best introductory book I've found for CICS command level COBOL.

CICS Programmer's Desk Reference ( Lowe ) - Good reference for someone that already 'knows' CICS. Has info grouped by API to make it easier to find API options, usage, and examples..

Designing and Programming CICS Applications ( Horswill ) - A bit more advanced presentation that Lowe but to my mind less friendly. However it does include a CD with pdf versions of almost all the CICS 3.0 documentation (excepting 3 licensed diagnostic references) and the pdfs are very well organized for quick and easy access and search.  Don't buy a copy without the CD!!
Hint:: Start with CICSstart.pdf... Another hint: Alt-backarrow for Back (using Acrobat reader)

Advanced CICS Design Techniques, Concepts, and Guidelines ( Summerville ) - Focus is on design for someone who 'knows' what all the knobs do. Good explanation for some advanced concepts such as the LINKAGE SECTION (BLL cells), ways to code a pseudo-conversational file update, use of temporary storage and transient date.

CICS: A Guide to Internal Structure ( Hudders ) - Old book, but lots of information on how CICS actually works (as opposed to how to write programs to use the CICS api's).


DB2 for the COBOL Programmer (vol 1 & 2) ( Eckols ) - Volume 1 has a nice tutorial on DB2I. Volume 2 has a good discussion of DB2 use in CICS including some of the 'browse' issues.

General TSO & CMS    

Advanced Assembler Language and MVS Interfaces ( Cannatello ) - Out of print, used copies going for a small fortune, but an excellent reference. The first edition often is much cheaper and just about as good (it's the one I use).

MVS Control Blocks ( Murphy ) - Another pricey, out of print, but excellent reference. It's reminiscent of the materials for an MVS XA internals class I attended in the late '80's. Like the class it seems more oriented to people who want to analyze MVS dumps than to people who want to write sophisticated MVS programs, but the info is there.

Programming Assembler Language ( Able ) - Excellent book on 370 architecture and assembly language programming. Unlike many it covers all the major OS's (MVS, VM, VSE) with plenty of examples including rarely seen topics like VSAM programming in assembler.

REXX in the TSO environmnt ( Gargiulo ) - A fairly good REXX book with a TSO focus instead of the more usual CMS focus. I won't recommend a REXX book for CMS -- there are too many!!

Structured COBOL ( Murach ) - Excellent reference for anyone using COBOL for a living. Newer version of same book is "Mainframe COBOL"...

TSO/E Clist ( Rider ) - A good reference for the CLIST programmer, but also see the bottom half of Jay Mosley's TSO tutorial page

VSAM for the COBOL Programmer ( Lowe ) - Describes VSAM use, mostly for batch COBOL programming, but also useful for VSAM concepts and AMS (aka IDCAMS).


C a Reference Manual ( Harbision & Steele ) - The reference for how C is supposed to be used. Indispensable for GCC programming. I like the 3rd edition. Of course the classic reference is The C Programming Language ( Kernighan & Richie ) but that refers to a fairly dated standard.

The Standard C Library ( Plauger ) - More detail on the standard library. Refers to the older "K&R" standard, but still very useful. An easy way to "read the source" when you need more than some textual explanation.

The Linux Programming Interface  ( Kerrisk ) - Good reference for the Linux API's.

Exploring Expect ( Libes ) - The reference for using TCL/Expect. Doesn't talk about use with 3270 terminals, but pretty good otherwise.

The Art of Debugging ( Matloff & Salsman ) - I haven't found a debugger I like on TSO or CMS, so sometimes I compile a program on the PC so I can use GDB and/or DDD, and this is an excellent reference for that purpose. Lots of tips and tricks.

BTW, don't be put off by the high "Amazon" pricing on some of the above. Many are available used at very low cost...

Copyright Mike Noel, 2008-2015; last updated 2/12/2015.