CICS and Mixed Case Screen Data at NWRDC

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How to enable upper and lower case data in a 3270  application

Normally all CICS 3270 data is automatically translated  (folded) to upper case.

That does not HAVE to be the case (no pun intended).

The option to translate to upper case (or not) is an option in the internal settings that CICS keeps for your 3270 terminal. That option can  be changed.

There are two ways to avoid the automatic folding of data to upper case. One is manual and one is programmable.

Option 1 (The more practical  approach)

The primary method, is to invoke a pair of NWR provided CICS  programs in your application: NWUTLWCA and NWUTUPCA.

After your program LINKS to NWUTLWCA, the case setting for future transactions will be set to upper and lower case. The terminal data (if any) for the current transaction has already been folded to upper case and will not be affected by the LINK. All future transactions at that terminal will not see their terminal data translated.

Once your application has ended and is preparing to return to  some menu or other application, it must LINK to the NWR provided NWUTUPCA  program so the translate option can be reset to the default setting for future  transactions.

Neither NWUTUPCA nor NWUTLWCA require a COMMAREA or Channel.

Option 2

The other way is to invoke the NWCS transaction (or one of  its fellows, see below) before you invoke your transaction. NWCS (NW. Case. Switch) will swap the current case setting. If the current setting is for upper  case only, NWCS will set it to upper and lower. If the current setting is for  upper and lower case, NWCS will set it to upper case only.

Once you use NWCS always remember to re-invoke it or disconnect/reconnect your terminal session. Either action will cause the case setting to be returned to the default.

Note that there are two other NWR provided case manipulating transactions: NWCL and NWCU. Each perform very similar to NWCS, but they force one setting or the other. NWCL will set the case setting to upper and lower.  NWCU will set the case setting to upper only. All of the case changing transactions are available to all CICS users.

COBOL programming issue

When either of the above techniques have been used to disable the normal automatic translation of 3270 data to upper case, it is impotent to note that ALL data items will be presented to your COBOL program in the case they were typed. If there are some data items that you want to always keep in upper case, COBOL has a built-in function for that:

MOVE FUNCTION UPPER-CASE(from-data-item) TO to-data-item

will accomplish that goal.

Special note:

Once this techniques is used to manipulate the default case setting, that manipulation will persist for the life of that terminal’s connection to CICS. If your application abnormally terminates (ABEND), your application may not have the opportunity to return the case setting to the  default value. Future transactions will not have their data translated as they expect and this can lead to data corruption and user confusion.

If this case manipulating technique becomes common, you may want to include a LINK to NWUTUPCA as part of your other applications, just as a precaution.

 Another special note:

If you review the CICS documentation, you may come across the ASIS option for the EXEC CICS RECEIVE command. That option's description  gives the impression that it may take the place of all of the above discussion.  I know I thought so.

Unfortunately, ASIS is for conversational CICS applications only and not the pseudo-conversation style transactions in use at the NWRDC. So  close…….