The client is an industrial employers' liability insurance association and a provider of statutory accident insurance. It serves about 1.7 million insured persons in about 200,000 member companies.

  • IBM Mainframe with the operating system z/VSE
  • Online system under CICS
  • Data management under VSAM, MS Word, and Oracle

The customer's goal was to replace a word processing system installed on the mainframe with a modern office component under MS Windows. However, the COBOL text modules existing on the mainframe should still be used and were to be accessed via macros of the word processing system and integrated into the individual texts.

The department should be enabled to access the VSAM files independently via modern reporting tools in order to create the required reports without the need to create an individual COBOL program for each requirement from the IT department.

Another requirement is the daily transfer and preparation of VSAM data into the Oracle database system.


Formatted templates of the office component WORD were developed for the users in the departments. The user can enter the insurance number via a dialog box. A VBA macro uses the tcACCESS ODBC driver and calls an existing CICS-COBOL program via a CALL. The insurance number and parameters pertaining to the document are transmitted. tcACCESS includes the COBOL program in its processing, the program is executed, and the data required for the document is returned to the VBA macro via tcACCESS.

In addition, tcACCESS is used to call a WORD form letter directly from CICS applications and populate it with data provided by the online application.

The VSAM data structures, which have grown over decades, are very complex and are prepared daily by tcACCESS and transferred directly to an Oracle database.


By using tcACCESS, the customer has created a perfect symbiosis between information and applications stored and processed on the mainframe and modern applications. For the end user department, the integration of modern workstation-based applications with the business logic available on the mainframe has been implemented transparently. The end user can continue to independently create necessary reports and queries without having to call on IT programming resources.

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