Each field in a map has an attribute field associated with it. A field, from a user point of view is any location where he can enter data. But in reality all the literals, field identifiers, displayed data, data-entry locations, etc., are map fields. A detailed discussion on map attributes was done in the section Field definition macro (DFHMDF).

Each attribute occupies one position on the map and controls the field, which immediately follows it. A judicious use of the map attributes will help a great deal in making the maps user-friendlier. But the misuse of map attributes and the MDTs causes more confusion and program errors than does any other area of CICS programming.

Attributes control individual map fields on the screen. The terminal operator is given the ability to automatically skip over a field (ASKIP) or to enter data in a field (UNPROT) or is prevented from entering data into a field (PROT). The BMS map or the program can determine the intensity at which a field will be displayed (NORM, BRT, and DRK).

A field can be received as alphanumeric data, left justified padded with blanks or numeric (NUM), data, that is right justified padded with zeros. The cursor can be placed in a particular field by specifying the Insert Cursor (IC) attribute or by symbolic cursor positioning.

Specifying FSET for a field will set the MDT on when the map is sent and the MDT of all the fields in a map can be set to off by specifying the FRSET in the CNTL option of the mapset definition.

The attribute character is 1 byte of data consisting of the bit pattern shown in the following table:

Attribute Character Functions

Attribute Character Functions

Attribute Character Functions

CICS provides the standard attribute character list (DFHBMSCA) in the form of a COPYLIB member (see Appendix). This list covers the most required attribute characters for an application program. You can use this list by copying it into the working storage section of the application program through a COPY statement. For example, DFHBMASK in DFHBMSCA represents the attribute character for Autoskip.

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