ABIS Infor - 2011-06

ISPF - I like Such a Powerful new Feature

Gie Indesteege (ABIS) - 7 June 2011


Originated in the 70's the Structured Programming Facility (SPF) became a versatile Integrated System Productivity Facility (ISPF) for the actual z/OS user. Existing users are perhaps ignorant about the interesting powerful features of the recent versions. Commands like autotype or srchfor, new utilities for dataset manipulations, easy access to UNIX files, ... A little taster to the latest ISPF possibilities.

Faster dataset or member selection:

In order to avoid scrolling through list screens, the selection of dataset or member can be facilitated by the autotype command.

  • go to a on a data entry panel (view, edit) or a utility panel
  • define the autotype command via the keys command (e.g. F5: autotype)
  • partly fill the group, type or member field, or another dataset or library field
  • and use the defined function key to auto-complete the field

Amazing, simple, but yet powerful.

Search a string in different members:

You do not need to open all individual members of a dataset, and retype the find command again and again to look for a search string. Instead,

  • go to a member list
  • enter the srchfor command with the required search string
  • sort your list on the prompt column,

and you known immediately in which members the search string is used. Nice feature.

Create a new dataset, based on an existing one:

Do not go first to the 3.2 dataset allocation utility, but

  • open the 3.3 copy utility
  • enter the C(opy) command and the 'from' dataset
  • enter the 'to' dataset
  • specify the allocation options, using the attributes of the 'from' dataset, or specify your own allocation attributes

Naturally, the same technique can be used also on the dataset list utility 3.4.

Refreshing a member or dataset list

requires no longer a go-out (F3) and go-in again, but use the self-explaining refresh command.

UNIX files

If you, as a traditional ISPF user, are confronted with UNIX files, you can access them in an ISPF-like way using the ishell command. However, if you are a real UNIX lover, just enter the omvs command, and you will feel at home, literally.

More info on ISPF possibilities can be found at ABIS or at the IBM web site http://www-01.ibm.com/software/awdtools/ispf/