Mainframe ISPF Commands(1 Of 5)

Advanced ISPF commands. Many mainframe developers do not use these. So I categorized these for Senior Mainframe developers.

1). How do I create multiple instances of ISPF sessions?

A. Use PDF command from the TSO panel, which will initiate a new ISPF session, Type =x  to comeback to previous ISPF session. You can also type ‘start’ to initiate a new ISPF session, in this case you have to swap to go to the other session. You can have as many as 6 sessions open.( This command is installation specific)

2) I want to clear off the PF keys that are shown at the bottom of my ISPF panels.

A. Use command ‘PFSHOW OFF’ on command line. If you want to turn it on, issue ‘PFSHOW ON’.

3). I typed ‘/’ before pressing some Pfkey and this takes me to some other session

A. Character ‘/’ is used as a jump character for going to TPX screen in most of the installations. Therefore typing ‘/’ preceded by a PFkey is as good as going to TPX main menu and going to the corresponding session.

4). How do I see someone else’s jobs in IOF/SDSF?

A. In IOF menu give ‘userid’ in SCOPE field. In SDF you may have to type ‘ u xxxxx’ where xxxxx is the id or some other option will be available.

5. How do I compare a specific column in two files on ISPF?

A. Go to Option 3.13 (SUPERCE) and type ‘edit’. You can give your compare options here. Also, you can specify many other options such as ‘treat certain records as comments’ etc.

6) How do I recover a Dataset I deleted by mistake, or maybe overwrote?

A. Use the TSO command HRECOVER, you’ll have to mention the generation or date of the backup you want restored. You can restore it to a new dataset. Usually, HRECOVER option can be found in ‘HSM’ utility panel.

7) How do you allocate a file similar to existing production file thought a job?

A. Specify production file as Model dataset. If you want to allocate a file similar to another file you can use the LIKE command and override any DCB parameter that you want different in your file.

8) How do I create a sequential file from VSAM file?

A. Use IDCAMS utility with the repro command. You can create a VSAM from a sequential file: the only condition is the sequential file should be sorted on the key fields.

9) How do I compare VSAM datasets?

A. Use either compare option in file-aid or ‘comparex’ utility or ‘data-xpert’ utility.

10) How do I know which version of Cobol compiler I am using?

A. Look at the first line of your compilation listing

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Author: Srini

Experienced software developer. Skills in Development, Coding, Testing and Debugging. Good Data analytic skills (Data Warehousing and BI). Also skills in Mainframe.