[LINK] Mainframes

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sat Mar 23 12:36:04 AEDT 2019

On 23/3/19 11:35 am, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> On 23/03/2019 10:23 am, JLWhitaker wrote:
>> I'm also wondering about the software and languages. Are we talking
>> COBOL and others still?
> It's not the programming language that counts it that the environment
> that guarantees transactions - In the case of IBM it's call CICS
> (Customer Information Control System) which supports on-line transaction
> processing. It makes sure that when you move money from one bank account
> to another it either complete of fails - there is no other outcome.
 > This is very difficult to do in a distributed environment.

Ah, the memories.

I last wrote about CICS and its competitors 36 years ago:

Clarke R. (1982)  'Teleprocessing Monitors and Program Structure'
Austral. Comp. J. 14,4 (November, 1982) 143-149

To ACS's credit, Google Scholar finds it - and all 4 citations of it.

Was that archive your doing, Tom?

The paper was awarded the 1982 ANCCAC Prize (possibly because it was the 
only one that most of the committee could agree they understood?).

> COBOL was a transaction based system used for batch record processing.
> There is so much COBOL around that it is cheaper and better to keep it -
> it is fit for purpose, more so than any other language.

I suspect that the dominant languages may still be COBOL and lower-level 
languages.  But I never did investigate the extent to which the 
lower-level languages were migrated to co-exist with later systems 
software.  There could be layer upon layer of emulation going on inside 
some of these beasties.

Roger Clarke                            mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
T: +61 2 6288 6916   http://www.xamax.com.au  http://www.rogerclarke.com

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA 

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law            University of N.S.W.
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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