Home > CICS, nostalgia > Life begins at forty

Life begins at forty

CICS - I am 40!

CICS is 40 years old today!

Today is forty years since CICS was first released to the unsuspecting world, in the month that saw the first Moon landing, and just weeks after the first flight of Concorde. While those other technological triumphs have faded away, CICS remains at the centre of the software industry and continues to run the world’s business.

Followers of this blog already know of CICS’s strengths, but this anniversary is a useful time to review some of the innovative features introduced by CICS in those four decades. It’s hard to imagine now, but all of the following, which we now take for granted, were difficult new concepts at the leading edge of technology when they were first introduced:

  • Separately priced software, unbundled from hardware, effectively spawning the “software industry”
  • An application programming environment that isolates programmers from having to understand low-level details of telecommunication and data storage devices
  • Support for multiple high-level language applications running concurrently
  • Support for the 3270 terminal, which was brand new in 1972, originally in monochrome but later in full colour
  • Exploitation of virtual storage
  • Client-Server architecture, through APPC and MRO
  • Atomic transactional access to files and databases, using two-phase commit
  • User identity management and security control
  • Distributed systems on multiple hardware platforms
  • High availability and warm takeover, with XRF
  • Support for Java and Enterprise Java Beans
  • Access from Web browsers over HTTP
  • Support for SOAP, Web Services, and the Service-oriented architecture.

And of course CICS continues to introduce leading-edge features with Event processing, Atom feeds, and RESTful access just some of the facilities available in the all-new CICS Transaction Server Versions 4.1.

Not bad for a forty-year old!

Categories: CICS, nostalgia
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