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Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM

 
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superk

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:47 pm    Post subject: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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After all these years, does anyone know why IBM has never updated ISPF to support native Browse/View/Edit access to VSAM datasets? It just seems odd that they're for some reason excluded.
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Pedro

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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I think you have to ask IBM. Perhaps call the support center and open a PMR.
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dick scherrer

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:27 pm    Post subject:
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Hi Kevin,

Possibly to encourage organizations to go to db2 - which will probably require even more cpu and i/o than vsam. . . icon_wink.gif
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superk

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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Actually, I was thinking that maybe it has something to do with the marketing for File Manager.
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Anuj Dhawan

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject:
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And probably DITTO as well.

When I try to envision a time when there was no ISPF. Imagine the thought, hard work and creativity that went into solving that long-ago time-sharing riddle. Learn how ISPF came along in the late 1970s to solve the “command line” problem that Windows, in an almost exactly parallel way, later solved for the “C:” prompt world of MS-DOS. I think, in initial releases of ISPF they were rather concerned about making ISPF rather user-friendly & by the time, probably, all these "third party" tools came into existance & were accepted by users across the globe..& then IBM behaved as a "Business Personnel"..
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dbzTHEdinosauer

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:29 pm    Post subject:
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Maybe IBM does not want to support the idiots who constantly try to access the underlying vsam ds's of DB2.
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Adrian Stern

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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superk wrote:
After all these years, does anyone know why IBM has never updated ISPF to support native Browse/View/Edit access to VSAM datasets? It just seems odd that they're for some reason excluded.


I would guess the job was far too difficult to even write a requirement for. I've always managed with idcams utilities and never really understood the need for third party products.

After all why on earth would you want to muck about with an indexed file? By hand?

But then again I expect there are exceedingly trivial applications with vsam files and complex ones with sequential ones. &c!
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Use Net

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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IBM has a product called 5655-L26 IBM File Manager for z/OS (FM) which runs under TSO/ISPF and allows you to Browse/View/Edit VSAM files. The problem is that it's not free. And, of course, FM isn't the only prduct of this type; there are plenty of similar products sold by other vendors and most of them are listed here: http://gsf-soft.com/Documents/TSOVSAM.shtml

Having said that, I must say that TSO/ISPF users can use the BR command to BROWSE VSAM data sets.

BR is a free TSO/ISPF command which allows you to BROWSE VSAM and BDAM data sets. It is written in assembler and distributed since 1992.

BR is described here: http://gsf-soft.com/Freeware/BR.shtml and can be downloaded from here: http://gsf-soft.com/Freeware/

The BR documentation mentions ISPCCONF, an ISPF REXX exec which you can use to tell ISPF to use BR to Browse VSAM data sets.

With BR, there is another free TSO/ISPF command called VSAMVIEW (VV) which allows you to VIEW a VSAM data set. VV is not as good as BR, particularly when you try to VIEW a big VSAM file ! icon_sad.gif
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enrico-sorichetti

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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it might be reasonable to implement a browse function!
but as far as edit there are too many issues with it...
SHAREOPTION, DATA INTEGRITY, add as many as You want along the line
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prino

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject: Re: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for
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Use Net wrote:
The BR documentation mentions ISPCCONF, an ISPF REXX exec which you can use to tell ISPF to use BR to Browse VSAM data sets.


ISPCCONF is not a REXX exec, it is the ISPF configuration utility and most ISPF users will not have a clue as how to use this, let alone how to actually use a custom ISPF configuration load module.
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Bill O'Boyle

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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I plug MacKinney allot, not because I have any stock with them, but because their products perform well and are inexpensive.

Check out ISPF VSAM Utility -

http://www.mackinney.com/products/data-management/ispf-vsam-utility.html

It may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the more "well known" (and quite expensive) VSAM file products, but it will get the job done.

Bill
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MBabu

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject:
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To restate Robert's post (if I may) ISPCCONF (which actually is a rexx exec) is a utility designed for use by system administrators only. Advanced ISPF users can and do use it, but doing so often leads to problems because their individual defaults, exits, and settings no longer match site rules. If you are an individual user and not in an admin capacity, you should not be using ISPCCONF. If you need to have system defaults changed to enable VSAM functions, your system programmers should change ISPCCONF for everyone (which also means they must approve of the tools being used to edit or browse VSAM which should address Enrico's concerns in a systematic way).
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Use Net

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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> ISPCCONF is not a REXX exec, it is the ISPF configuration utility
> and most ISPF users will not have a clue as how to use this,
> let alone how to actually use a custom ISPF configuration load module.

ISPCCONF is a REXX exec, it's in the SISPEXEC library. Go to DDLIST, enter M ISPCCONF and you'll find it in SYSEXEC, unless your ISPF set-up is bizarre ...

Most ISPF users may not have a clue as how to use ISPCCONF, but it's worth it.

ISPCCONF can be used at the system-level, or at user-level by users themselves.

To update it, you must create a VB/255 PDS in which the source-code is created by option1 then updated by option 2. The names can be what you want. My library is called myuserid.ispf.ispcconf and the member V5R4, because I run with ISPF V5R4. The dsname and member name can be anything you want. Option 2 is used to update the options.

Option 4 in ISPCCONF is used to compile and link-edit the options. The name of the load-module is ISPCFIGU. You must specify the name of the load library, which must be in your STEPLIB or ISPLLIB when you start ISPF. If you can update one of the STEPLIB/ISPLLIB libraries, then it's OK.

Bottom line, if you can update an appropriate load-library, you're OK.

2nd bottom line: this is something fairly simple most sysprogs should be able to do to allow all their users to browse VSAM files with the BR command. And they don't have to buy a product.
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prino

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:43 am    Post subject: Re: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for
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Use Net wrote:
> ISPCCONF is not a REXX exec, it is the ISPF configuration utility
> and most ISPF users will not have a clue as how to use this,
> let alone how to actually use a custom ISPF configuration load module.

ISPCCONF is a REXX exec, it's in the SISPEXEC library. Go to DDLIST, enter M ISPCCONF and you'll find it in SYSEXEC, unless your ISPF set-up is bizarre ...


My mistake, it is indeed a REXX exec.

Use Net wrote:
Most ISPF users may not have a clue as how to use ISPCCONF, but it's worth it.

ISPCCONF can be used at the system-level, or at user-level by users themselves.

To update it, you must create a VB/255 PDS in which the source-code is created by option1 then updated by option 2. The names can be what you want. My library is called myuserid.ispf.ispcconf and the member V5R4, because I run with ISPF V5R4. The dsname and member name can be anything you want. Option 2 is used to update the options.

Option 4 in ISPCCONF is used to compile and link-edit the options. The name of the load-module is ISPCFIGU. You must specify the name of the load library, which must be in your STEPLIB or ISPLLIB when you start ISPF. If you can update one of the STEPLIB/ISPLLIB libraries, then it's OK.

Bottom line, if you can update an appropriate load-library, you're OK.


If you can update it, others are also likely to be able to update it, which means that very soon everyone is overwriting the configuration changes made by others, or setting up a configuration that is totally inappropriate for other users.

Use Net wrote:
2nd bottom line: this is something fairly simple most sysprogs should be able to do to allow all their users to browse VSAM files with the BR command. And they don't have to buy a product.


Last year I worked for an semi-governmental organization in Brussels where sysprogs didn't even know that ISPF now allows SITE specific command tables. They had modified ISPCMDS and that was copied from one version of ISPF to the next, which meant that about half a dozen commands introduced with later releases of ISPF where unavailable...
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MBabu

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:33 am    Post subject:
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The problem comes when users put the config load lib in their private steplib or ispllib. That sometimes results in help desk calls that are nearly impossible to figure out because users don't remember the change they made or don't think that change will cause problems but since they no longer have the same exits or session macros or whatever as the sysprogs expect them to have, their ISPF session works differently and no one can figure out why. Bottom line #3... If you use it, don't forget you used it if you later encounter problems.
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Use Net

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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> Last year I worked for an semi-governmental organization in Brussels where sysprogs
> didn't even know that ISPF now allows SITE specific command tables.

xxxxCMDS (opt 3.9) was added in ISPF/PDF 4.2 in 1995.

> They had modified ISPCMDS and that was copied from one version of ISPF to the next,
> which meant that about half a dozen commands introduced with later releases of ISPF
> where unavailable...

IIRC, ISPCMDS was added to ISPF/PDF 2.1 in 1983; for a long time, modifying ISPCMDS was the only way to add commands to ISPF, and many sysprogs updated it, sometimes creating the problem you mention. When xxxxCMDS (opt 3.9) became available 15 years ago, some sysprogs stopped to update ISPCMDS, but in quite a few data centers, they didn't stop updating it - something I noticed a few months ago in a very large data center in northern Europe.
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Adrian Stern

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Why doesn't ISPF Support Browse/View/Edit for VSAM
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Don't know if it's of any interest but for browse/view of a vsam file I use a rexx exec that checks tha catalog for record size and then doesan on-line repro of the file to a sequential file. obviously won't work on large files and no edit is available (could write one but can't be bothered) - handy for a quick look
where I am now they still run Ditto! which I hadn't seen since 1985 - but it will browse and edit vsam files
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