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When describing the formatting of CICS internal trace data, CICS transaction dumps can be formatted by using the supplied utility program, DFHDU640. See the CICS Operations and Utilities Guide for more details.

You can process system dumps from z/OS dump data sets by invoking the Interactive Problem Control System (IPCS). DFHPD640 is the formatting verbexit you must define to IPCS for CICS Transaction Server 3.1. Once you’ve added your CICS system dump to the IPCS dump inventory and set it as the current default, you can begin to investigate. The component keywords specify areas of CICS you want the verbexit to format dump data for and the level number operand specifies the amount of data you want formatted. Some more commonly used component keywords for investigating a system dump are:

IPCS VERBX DFHPD640 ‘DS=3, AP=3, KE=3, SM=3,TR=3’

Component keyword ‘DS’ will show you the CICS dispatcher domain information that includes a task summary. This gives you the currently active transaction numbers and shows what each of the transactions is waiting or suspended upon. Component keyword AP shows you details of the transaction IDs and their programs, EIB (EXEC Interface Block), and transactional storage.

Component keyword KE is useful for investigating program checks. It includes the kernel error data that contains the failing Program Status Word (PSW) and registers for each program check or (where appropriate) abend. Component keyword SM (Storage Manager) provides details of CICS storage management. This can be useful when looking into a CICS storage violation or Short On Storage (SOS) condition. Finally, component keyword TR formats the CICS internal trace table showing abbreviated, then fully interpreted, trace entries.

For more details, see the CICS Transaction Server 3.1 Operations and Utilities Guide and Problem Determination Guide.

IBM Fault Analyzer for z/OS v6.1 provides another good way to format and investigate a CICS system dump. It lets you use ISPF to perform “interactive re-analysis” of a CICS system dump. This function offers a panel-driven approach to CICS dump investigation that provides a quick way to investigate a CICS system abend. In the case of a storage violation dump, it supplies details of the storage corruption and can give you the option to view the overlaying data. IBM Fault Analyzer attempts to inform you of potential problems it detected during dump analysis. It produces observational messages by severity. It may tell you a task is suspended and provide details of that suspended task. Another useful and time-saving feature is the way in which IBM Fault Analyzer lets you view CICS internal trace data. From a panel, you may choose to view abbreviated, short, or full tracing. This can be selected for all tasks or a single task. The trace is interpreted to show you the name of the calling program and offset based on the return address in each trace entry. This can quickly show which programs were involved before an error, which may be just the clue you need.

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CICS has a rich set of informational and diagnostic messages. Most of these are controlled and issued by the message domain, ME. Exceptions include certain messages such as those issued early in CICS start-up or late in CICS shutdown. CICS message formats adhere to the following structure for most of its messages:

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