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Using the MVS sockets interface to get TCP/IP traffic out of CICS

We execute z/OS 1.4 and CICS TS 2.2 on our mainframe. We are attempting to implement an HTTP post from CICS to a Web server. Looking at the documentation it does not look like it is possible. We can make an HTTP call to CICS but it looks like we can't make an HTTP call from within CICS. The only way it seems is through Java using the JVM. We are planning to try this by linking from a COBOL module to a Java program running within Unix services. Is this possible? Is there a better way?

You are quite correct in saying that you have to use the MVS sockets interface to get TCP/IP traffic out of CICS.

However, you are quite lucky in that the SOAP SupportPac (available from the CICS Web page) may offer some assistance. Why is this you might well ask?

The way outbound SOAP (from CTS 2.2 only) flows from CICS is via an HTTP flow, and so we have externalized a SMALL part of some of the CICS internal functions, just enough to get this function working. This is via a Commarea module (DFHWBCLI) that has a defined interface of minimal function but it might well do what you want. An early version of this module is in the SupportPac but the final version will be available in APAR PQ72017 when it will be fully supported.

This interface might be enough for you to supply a properly formatted HTTP flow and get back a properly-formatted response (the length of which will be governed by the relevant HTTP header setting). You use DFHWBCLI and its Commarea via an XC LINK and there are some structures in the SupportPac that detail this layout.

Don't use the SupportPac version of DFHWBCLI for real, wait until the final version is available via the APAR before moving into production.

Robert Harris
CICS Technical Strategist -- CICS expert at Search390.com

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