IBM mainframe utility programs

IBM Mainframe Utility Programs

IBM mainframe utility programs

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IBM mainframe utility programs are supplied with IBM mainframe operating systems such as MVS to carry out various tasks associated with datasets, etc.

History/Common JCL

Many of these utilities were designed by IBM users, through the group SHARE, and then modified or extended by IBM from versions originally written by a user.

These utilities are usually invoked via Job Control Language (JCL). They tend to use common JCL DD identifiers for their data sets:
  • SYSIN — input file for the 'commands' for the utility. Often set to DUMMY if the default action is desired.
  • SYSUT1 — input file.
  • SYSUT2 — output file.
  • SYSUT3 — work (spill) file for input (SYSUT1) (often not used).
  • SYSUT4 — work (spill) file for output (SYSUT2) (often not used).
  • SYSPRINT — output file for printed output from the utility.
  • SYSOUT — output file for messages from the utility.
  • SYSUDUMP — output file for a system 'dump' if the program fails.

Dataset utilities


IDCAMS ("Access Method Services") generates and modifies VSAM and Non-VSAM datasets. The "Access Method" reference derives from the initial "VSAM replaces all other access methods" mindset of OS/VS. It probably has the most functionality of all the utility programs, performing many functions, for both VSAM and non-VSAM files. It was intended to replace most of the other dataset utility programs.Example:

<source lang="text">//XXXXXXXW JOB ...
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