User-Friendly File Control Definition



CICS-FCTD is an on-line menu-driven system utility, operating under CICS, that provides the means to dynamically create and maintain all file definitions required by CICS. These file definitions are those contained within the CICS File Control Table.

CICS-FCTD's facilities provide for the creation and maintenance of all file definitions, all required labels, and all required disk assignments for any VSAM or BDAM type file.

Sequential files can be defined to CICS through the CICS-FCTD utility. This allows applications and other file utilities to have access to sequential type files for inquiry and even modification.

In addition to the file definition and control features described above, CICS-FCTD provides a powerful file maintenance feature called the File Service Functions which allows you to display, modify, add and delete records to any file known to CICS. And since you can define nearly any file in the system to CICS by using FCTD, this means that you have on-line maintenance functions to virtually any file in the environment.

CICS-FCTD builds and maintains FCT-like file control definitions. These File Definitions are retained in a VSAM file and are keyed by the 8-character DDNAME operand. In other words, the key to the CICS-FCTD File Definition is the same as the DDNAME of the FCT. This allows the functions of other CICS utilities, such as CSMT and CEMT, to function and operate according to the same set of rules.

Any VSAM or BDAM type file can be defined through CICS-FCTD including fixed-length sequential files. File label information is specified through CICS-FCTD. FCTD in turn properly builds the DLBL, EXTENT, and ASSGN information for DOS or the DD statement information for MVS.

CICS-FCTD will dynamically create the actual CICS FCT table entry and append this entry to the CICS File Control Table that is residing in memory. These requests are handled dynamically and according to the specifications defined in the CICS-FCTD File Definition.

The CICS-FCTD File Definitions contain all of the information that would ordinarily be kept within the FCT entry, plus additional information. This additional information provides greater control and flexibility over the files that are used through CICS, and yet far less work is required in order to define a new file to CICS.

When a new file is created, various status values can be assigned for the file. These values can of course be dynamically modified by authorized personnel at any time, through CICS-FCTD.


  • FCT administration
    • Eliminates the time consuming requirement of coding entries in the CICS File Control Table (FCT).
    • Produces all the required file labels and file assignments needed by CICS.
    • Completely eliminates the system requirement of re-assembling the CICS FCT every time a new file is introduced.
  • Hot FCT updates to CICS
    Eliminates the down time required to re-initialize CICS in order to bring a new file on-line to CICS. CICS/FCTD allows CICS to remain up when introducing a new file to the system.
  • Increase CICS performance
    Allows CICS to start-up significantly faster since files do not need to be opened initially.
  • Mitigate CICS downtime
    Eliminates scheduling problems associated with CICS down time.
  • File availability
    Reduces overall application development time because files can be immediately made available for testing.
  • Reduce CICS resource utilization
    Reduces CICS resource utilization. Resources required by CICS for file processing need only be allocated at the time of a request to open a file.
  • Increase productivity
    Increases the productivity of system personnel responsible for CICS because CICS/FCTD is menu-driven, with "window-type" help screens to guide in the creation and maintenance of file entries.
  • Automated file deactivation
    Automatically closes and deactivates files which have not been used for a specified interval of time, thereby freeing the resources that were tied up by an inactive file.
  • Schedule file close
    Allows files to be automatically closed at a specified time of day.
  • Easy file maintenance
    Control over files is easily maintained.
  • File Audit
    Complete file status and file definition information is instantly available for inquiry or authorized modification.
  • Status code
    Frees operator of responsibility for opening and closing of files to applications. Files can be given various status codes to eliminate the need for any operator intervention.
  • BDAM integrity
    Will not abnormally terminate CICS if a BDAM file is opened that was improperly defined or not found on disk (DOS users).
  • Batch capability
    Allows on-line files to be opened or closed from a batch partition or region.
  • Transaction and program disablement
    Allows transactions and/or programs associated with a file to be disabled when the file is closed and enabled when the file is opened.
  • File statistics and reporting
    Provides complete reporting of file definitions with up-to-the-minute statistical information.
  • Support for remote file definitions
    Supports most types of file definitions, including remote file definitions.
  • Online file manipulation
    File records of any file in CICS may be displayed, altered, added, deleted or browsed with the file service functions.
  • Hex view and update facility
    Data records are displayed in both hex and character, allowing changes to be made in either mode.
  • Record search
    Data records may be searched for the presence of a hex or character string.
  • Search using LOCATE
    An entire file may be searched using the LOCATE function. Queries may be constructed using Boolean logic. Selected records can be displayed, modified, deleted, added to another file, or printed.
  • Online record reformatting
    Data records may be reformatted on-line using the LOCATE function.
  • Duplicate Key isolation
    Duplicate key data can be isolated using the LOCATE function.
  • Non-numeric search
    Non-numeric data fields can be found with the LOCATE function.
  • Extend variable length records
    The length of variable-length records can be changed with the file service functions.
  • Sequential file administration
    Sequential files can be displayed, updated and searched.
  • Batch interface
    Service requests for files may be varied to UPDATE or NOUPDATE through the Batch Interface program.
  • Documentation and help facility
    An extensive help system has been included, which provides detailed help displays for every field displayed by the FCTD system.


  • Eliminates the system requirement of re-assembling the FCT when a new file is introduced.
  • Increase CICS startup performance
  • Statistical reporting
  • Audit control
  • Duplicate Key isolation
  • Schedule file deactivation


  • Mainframe
    IBM z/Architecture and compatible
  • Operating System
    VSE/ESA 2.0 or later
    z/VSE 4.1 or later 
  • Host System
    CICS Transaction Server 1.1.1 or later
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