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Native CICS PDF creation for web-enabled mainframe applications. CICS2PDF is a CICS tool for the purpose of dynamically creating secure PDF documents for CICS applications. CICS2PDF leverages the advanced PDF overlays and scripting capabilities of our JES2Mail/JES2FTP suite to provide a permanent, portable, secure output solution using Adobe’s PDF format. CICS2PDF supports Adobe Acrobat™ encryption and compression, and can create complex PDF pages containing multiple overlays, watermarks, JPEG and TIFF-F images, annotations, bookmarks and more.


Current web-enabled systems typically deliver end user results via HTML or XML. HTML page presentation is subject to a browser’s interpretation and formatting, and typically contains multiple embedded links and graphics that are presented via the HTML ‘page’ construct. However, that HTML ‘page’ is transient in nature, since it cannot be reproduced in its entirety without assembling all the necessary data and presentation elements again in the future. PDF, on the other hand, is a permanent, portable representation of a unit of work or output. A PDF can be saved and forwarded and viewed reliably, with all of its fonts and graphics included. A PDF can be a multi-page document and it will print the same on all printers.

Why in CICS

By building the PDF on the mainframe in CICS, instead of at some other layer in a multi-tier solution, there are fewer ‘moving parts’, fewer ‘points of failure’, and ultimately more control. For example, in an application that is to deliver a copy of the customer’s latest statement or transaction, CICS2PDF can get the request, compose the PDF, send it, and update the customer database to the effect that ‘the document was delivered with a timestamp’ - all in a single CICS transaction or unit of work at the source of the data. Without this tight coupling, this level of assurance would take more time and effort and represent multiple units of work on potentially multiple platforms.

The generated PDF can have some of these properties:

  • Multiple pages
  • Overlays (Forms)
  • Fonts (native and imported)
  • Inserted JPEG or TIFF-F images
  • Multi-level Outlines (indexes, table of contents, etc)
  • Annotations for highlighting and web links
  • Compressed contents
  • Encrypted contents

The CICS2PDF product supports the following:

  • Print style input (ASA standard formatting)
  • Variable pairs input (variable=value)
  • Threadsafe and open TCB usage in CICS
  • Uses standard CICS services for storage and I/O
  • Script language for complex page composition

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