Joined: 03 Jan 2003
|Posted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:18 pm Post subject: What is ISPF? Is it more than just an editor?
|ISPF is the full-screen (not line mode) interface to MVS that is used mostly by programmers and system administrators. ISPF is also used for applications for which a transaction server like CICS is not appropriate. ISPF is usually run interactively from a terminal, but can also be run in batch.
ISPF has several main functions:
- Full screen editing and browsing of data sets
- Data set management utilities
- File Tailoring functions (using templates to create files using variable substitution)
- Search and Compare functions
- Source Code Configuration and Library Management
- A rich set of APIs for dialog (program) management
There are other functions that are less frequently used such as the file transfer agent (which is no longer under development), VSAM allocation functions, double byte character set display formatting, online and batch compilation and a few others.
At one time, ISPF was split into two separate products, ISPF and ISPF/PDF. ISPF provided the base dialog managment services like displaying panels and messages, maintaining variables, etc. ISPF is also known as Dialog Manager (DM) and every couple of years you will hear someone call it DMS, though that was never a name used by IBM. ISPF/PDF provided all of the end-user functionality including the editor, browse, data set list, compiles, etc.
The services provided by ISPF are the basis for hundreds of programs written by IBM, by other vendors, and by individual customers. For example, ISMF, FileAid, and TASID are examples of IBM, Vendor, and user-written applications respectively.
You can write programs (called ISPF dialogs) that use the dialog managemnt services of ISPF. Dialogs can display ISPF panels and messages, use ISPF's I/O functions, the ISPF editor, and other many other functions. ISPF services can be called from CLIST, REXX, Assembler, COBOL, PL/I, Pascal, Fortran, APL2, C and probably many other languages. Most small utilities are written in Rexx, while more robust applications are usually written in compiled languages.
Programmers interested in using ISPF facilities in their programs should refer to the ISPF Dialog Developers Guide and Reference and the ISPF Services Guide and the book called ISPF Edit and Edit Macros.
ISPF users interested in using the built in functions of ISPF like the editor, setting up PF keys, doing allocaitons, etc, should use the online help. It is very good and is easy to navigate. There are also 2 ISPF Users' Guides (Vol I, Vol II) but in practice, the online help is usually sufficient.
In order to understand how to find information, it is important to understand the differences between ISPF, TSO, and Rexx. For example, many people ask how to display a
Last edited by semigeezer on Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total