Monday, September 27, 2010

Debugging CICS COBOL programs using MicroFocus COBOL Animator (for Open Systems)

Animator is a MicroFocus tool for debugging your COBOL programs. It intercepts the execution of an application program, showing execution of your code line by line. Application screens are displayed in a different window, as and when required. This process is referred to as animating or animation of a COBOL program.

For more information on Animator, click

TXSeries supports cross-session debugging with Micro Focus Server Express COBOL. Cross-session debugging enables the user to use Animator in a different terminal window from that in which the program to be debugged is running.
To configure Animator, to animate CICS COBOL application programs, you can read through this page.

Animating a CICS COBOL program

1. Create required TD and PD entries, so that TXSeries can find and execute your COBOL application program.
Run CADB and setup the program for debugging.(Lets call this terminal session as TERM1) (See Screenshot)

In the above screen, the following fields are required.

1. COBANIMSRV Id - Any string (max. 40 characters), containing only alphabets or numbers

2. PROGRAM : The name of the program to be debugged/animated. Note : This should be the same name as that of the PD entry.

Press enter to accept the debugging values in CADB.

3. In a new terminal session (lets say TERM2), set the following variable

export COBANIMSRV = value of “COBANIMSRV Id” from CADB screen

4. Now, in TERM2, run the command


The screen should be blank, waiting for execution of a COBOL program.

5. Go back to TERM1, and run the transaction, which invokes the COBOL program.

E.g. cicslterm -r TXREG1 -t "transaction_name"

6. Now, in TERM2, you should see your COBOL code, in animator.(see screenshot)

7. You can now perform various debugging tasks, as provided by Animator.

E.g. To execute the program, just press 'g' (Go). You will be see each line of code highlighted as program is being executed.

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