Foreground tasks And Background Tasks - IBM Mainframe

Foreground tasks execute in TSO user address space. Terminal is the I/O device for this type of tasks. For running a foreground task, the environment has to be set up. The activities include setting up of panel libraries, skeleton libraries, message libraries, load libraries, etc. Some examples of foreground tasks are editing data sets, allocating and deleting data sets, submitting tasks to background, review status of background tasks, testing and debugging of applications, executing applications, etc. All these tasks can also be done through ISPF.

Background tasks were the traditional means of task execution on old MVS systems. Background processing can accept tasks from interactive users. The Job Entry Subsystem controls the execution of the background tasks. For a background task to execute the following has to be specified: location of load modules, input and output data sets, time limit, resource requirements, etc. The status and output of the background tasks can be reviews from foreground. Many background tasks share I/O resources by a feature called spooling. Some of the background tasks are report generation, compilation, etc.


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