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FILE-AID - A Quick Reference for Beginners

INTRODUCTION File Aid is an interactive, full-screen system for editing, browsing, defining, copying VSAM & Sequential files. File Aid’s functions enable us to significantly reduce the time required to perform day-to-day data file manipulation tasks such as creating and modifying test data, resolving production data problems, and performing ad-hoc file conversions and comparisons. Some Key Features about File Aid are, • • • • File Aid provides on-line editing of BDAM, ISAM, and VSAM files using formatted, full-screen displays File Aid eliminates file size restriction by using selection criteria to limit the number of records to be edited. File Aid superimposes COBOL record layout over raw data and brings meaning to that data File Aid has powerful, easy to use, copying and reformatting capabilities which exist in both batch & on-line modes.

File Aid can be invoked by typing “FA” from START screen. This can also be invoked by typing “TSO FASTART” from any ISPF screen. When we exit from File Aid, the suspended screen is restored. Upon typing “FA” or “TSO FASTART” you will arrive at the following primary option menu. (Command for invoking FILEAID might be different for different projects.)

As you see in the above screen, we have 0-C options in File Aid. But we are very much interested in the following options, i.e., Option 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, and 10 as these are the widely used ones. So only these options will be dealt in detail. Option 0: This option consists of the ISPF-provided parameter option screens and several screens to specify File-AID default parameters. Option 1: This option is used to display but not change the contents of files using any of four display modes - character, formatted, vertical formatted, and unformatted. Browse Mode should be one of the following. • C (Character) - Full screen ISPF like display of records, one record/line. • F (Formatted) - Display of one record with each record layout field on one line alongside of the record data for that field. • V (Vertical format) - Requires single record layout. Data is normalized & arranged in columns underneath field name headings. • U (Unformatted) - 70 characters of data is displayed per line until all data for the record is shown or the screen is filled.

Specify the dataset name/File name within quotes in Dataset Name field. You can browse between different browse modes by typing “CHAR”, “FMT”, “VFMT”, and “UNFMT” on the command line as shown in the following figure.

Option 2: This option is used to create, display and change the contents of files using any of four display modes - character, formatted, vertical formatted, and unformatted. You can go to edit screen by typing 2 in the File Aid menu screen. Edit screen looks like this. Browse modes are same as specified in Option 1.

Option 3: This option accesses a menu of dataset management utilities. Utilities screen is shown below.

Though there are many options in utilities, we are going to concentrate on the frequently used ones. 3.2 Dataset: This is almost like the option 3.2 in ISPF screen which is used to display/allocate Sequential files. We can also create Generation data groups using this option. Screen sample is shown below.

3.3 Copy: This is used to copy the entire SEQ/VSAM datasets. We can even copy the selected records in the datasets to other dataset. Copy screen is shown below.

After specifying the “FROM” & “TO” Dataset, specify “Selection criteria usage”. Pressing Enter now will take us to the following screen wherein you specify record length, key length if needed.

Pressing enter after specifying Key length, Record length will copy the records to the new file. 3.5 VSAM: This is used to display, allocate & delete VSAM Cluster. It is also used to allocate and build alternate index. Step by step process for allocating alternate index is shown below. First allocate the VSAM cluster. Screen for allocating VSAM cluster is shown below.

Specify the dataset name and press enter.

Specify the record length, key length, key position, primary & secondary cylinders and press enter. VSAM cluster is allocated. Once VSAM cluster is created, specify “X” on the command prompt and specify the alternate index dataset name as shown in the following figure

Press enter will take you thru the following screen.

Specify the base cluster name and alternate key information and press enter. Alternate index for the specified base cluster is created. Option 5: This option is used to print data file contents, the selection criteria and Record Layout XREFs created in options 6 and 7 of File-AID, formatted record layouts, and audit trail datasets created while editing a data file in option 2 (Edit) or 3.6 (Update) of File-AID.

Option 6: This option is used to create and maintain selection criteria for use in the Browse, Edit, Copy, Print, and Compare functions. The screen is shown below.

Option 7: This creates and maintains existing File-AID Record Layout Cross References. This is used to view complex data files which use more than one record layout in them. This information acts as a cross reference between the data file records and the corresponding layout for that record. Option 8: This option is used to display the contents of COBOL Record Layouts as interpreted by File-AID. The figure shows the record layout for PROD.PAN.SOURCE (CPSDMCTL) member.

Option 9: This option gives you a tool to copy all or selected records of any input file to an output file. While copying, you can reformat the records in the dataset. Record reformatting is based on matching the fields in two record layouts (source and target). Use this function when you need to add, change, or delete fields from the record(s) in any file, or to create a new file containing only a few fields. Option 10: This option allows us to compare two data files and report the differences between them. Entering 10 at the command prompt will take us to the following screen wherein the old dataset specification has to be specified.

Pressing enter will take us to “New Dataset Specification screen”. Specify the new dataset which has to be compared with the old dataset.

Pressing enter will take us to “Execution Options screen” wherein execution option (Online/Batch) has to be specified. On pressing enter will take us to the following screen where we need to specify the compare type as any one of the following.

• • •

S à Sorted/Keyed (default for a keyed file). R à ReadAhead (default for a non-keyed file). 1 à 1 -to-1. File-AID compares "OLD" record 1 to "NEW" record 1, "OLD" record 2 to "NEW" record 2, etc.

Option: C This option documents changes made in the various releases of File-AID. This concludes different options available in File Aid.