z/OS VSAM and Access Method Services - SS83G

z/OS VSAM and Access Method Services - SS83G


This is an intermediate course for individuals who manage data sets using IDCAMS and VSAM.


You should complete:

... or have equivalent experience.


4 days. Hands on.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to teach how to manage VSAM and non-VSAM data sets by coding and using the functions and features of the Access Method Services program, IDCAMS.

To reinforce the lecture material, machine exercises are provided that enable students to code and test selected IDCAMS commands such as DEFINE, REPRO, ALTER, and LISTCAT.

Learn to manage Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) and non-VSAM data sets. Particularly emphasize coding and using the functions of the IDCAMS program. Lab exercises enable you to code and test selected IDCAMS commands, such as DEFINE, REPRO, ALTER, and LISTCAT.

Eight labs are included to address:

  • Tuning VSAM and the VSAM buffers
  • Alternate indexes

Course objectives include:

  • Understand the structure and use of VSAM data sets or clusters
  • Code IDCAMS commands to define and load VSAM clusters
  • Code IDCAMS commands to define and load alternate indexes
  • Code IDCAMS commands to list, alter, and delete catalog entries
  • Code IDCAMS commands to print data sets
  • Calculate the Direct Access Storage Device (DASD) space requirements for VSAM clusters
  • Code the Job Control Language (JCL) for IDCAMS and programs which process VSAM clusters
  • Use IDCAMS and JCL options to improve the performance of a VSAM job
  • Reorganize, back up, and recover VSAM and non-VSAM data sets
  • Interpret an IDCAMS listing of an Integrated Catalog Facility (ICF) catalog
  • Select and use the appropriate documentation to utilize VSAM and IDCAMS

Course Content

Introduction to VSAM data sets
Describe the structure, organization, and use of VSAM clusters
Explain the function of Control Intervals (CI) and Control Areas (CA)
Describe the purpose of CI splits and CA splits and how they are accomplished
Estimate DASD space requirements for various cluster types

ICF catalogs
Discuss the use of the ICF catalog
Describe the structure, purpose, and basic contents of the master catalog
Describe how the master catalog is located at initial program load (IPL) time
Discuss the structure, purpose, and basic contents of user catalogs
Create the ICF catalogs
Describe the catalog search
Discuss and create the two types of alias

IDCAMS commands, part 1
Discuss the IDCAMS program
Code the JCL to run IDCAMS
Code the DEFINE CLUSTER command to create specific VSAM data set organizations
Code the LISTCAT command to format and print entries from the catalog

Explain creation and deletion of VSAM clusters using JCL and the DFSMS data class facility
Describe the additional JCL parameters that support VSAM clusters
Discuss the purpose of data class
Dxplain the assignment of data class through JCL and the Automatic Class Selection (ACS) routines

IDCAMS commands, part 2
Describe the function of REPRO, PRINT and DELETE commands
Use REPRO to load and back up a VSAM cluster
Use PRINT to print a VSAM cluster in various formats
Use DELETE to remove the catalog entry for the data set and scratch the data set from the volume
Describe and code modal commands to provide for conditional execution of Access Method Services (AMS) statements

Explain how buffer space may impact performance either positively or negatively
Explain the use of data and index buffers in sequential processing and direct processing
Evaluate the use of JCL Access Method Parameters (AMP) keywords to manage buffers
Code the buffer keywords on the Dataset Definition (DD) statement

VSAM integrity and security
Explain how integrity and security is maintained
Discuss the meaning and use of SHAREOPTIONS
Discuss the need for serialization of updates to a data set
Describe how ENQ/DEQ macros are used to serialize data set updates in multiregion and multisystem environments
Explain the impact of buffering and SHAREOPTION modifications
Explain VSAM record level sharing
Use the VSAM integrity and security options: RECOVERY, ERASE, VERIFY, and passwords
Compare VSAM passwords with Resource Access Control Facility (RACF) security

Explain the use of CI and CA FREESPACE
Discuss the performance impact of cache
Describe the space allocation process with KEYRANGES and multivolume data sets
Explain the contents of an Index CI
Explain how VSAM key compression works

Explain the basic functions of the ALTER command
Code the ALTER command to modify options for processing existing VSAM objects
Code the ALTER command to modify options for buffering, FREESPACE, SHAREOPTIONS and passwords

Alternate indexes
Describe the reasons for using an alternate index
Discuss the basic contents of an alternate index
Use a PATH to process base cluster records directly and in alternate key sequence
Define and load an alternate index
Explain the impact of SHAREOPTIONS when opening a base cluster and associated alternate indices
Explain programming and JCL considerations

Advanced functions and extended format data sets
Explain VSAM advanced functions, extended format data sets, and their major features
Explain data stripping
Explain compression
Explain multivolume allocation options
Explain extended addressability
Explain system managed buffering
Explain partial space release
Explain space constraint relief

Data set reorganization, backup, and recovery
Describe the need for data set backup
Explain the advantages and disadvantages of REPRO
Explain the advantages and disadvantages of EXPORT / IMPORT
Explain the advantages and disadvantages of DFSMS Data Set Services (DFSMSdss) DUMP / RESTORE
Explain the advantages and disadvantages of DFSMS Hierarchical Storage Management (DFSMShsm) HBACKDS / HRECOVER
Discuss backup frequency
Determine when reorganization is required
Code the AMS commands for backup, recovery, and reorganization

Linear Data Sets (LDS)
Describe Data-In-Virtual (DIV)
Explain the structure and use of LDS
Explain the use of the DIV macro to access LDS
Discuss candidates for LDS

Management and problem analysis aids
Explain the use of the DCOLLECT command to gather management and planning information about the storage subsystem
Discuss tools used to identify and trace VSAM errors
Code the AMS EXAMINE command to test the structure of a Key Sequenced Data Set (KSDS)
Interpret EXAMINE output to determine how to recover from a KSDS structural error
Invoke the Generalized Trace Facility (GTF) to track VSAM-related events
Invoke utilities to print GTF trace output

Local and global shared resources
Explain techniques to conserve virtual storage by sharing buffers and control blocks
Discuss the concept of shared resource pools
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Local Shared Resources (LSR)
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Global Shared Resources (GSR)
Describe macros that control use and allocation of shared resources
Discuss how to specify and monitor shared buffer allocation in CICS and Information Management System (IMS)

CICS VSAM recovery
Describe the major functions of CICS VSAM recovery
Explain the concept of transaction processing, backup, and recovery
Explain how to implement and manage CICS VSAM recovery

Application coding considerations
Describe VSAM processing terminology
Define various VSAM processing options
Explain the merge of catalog entries, JCL parameters, and program definitions that determine processing options
Discuss VSAM programming support, and JCL requirements in Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL), Programming Language One (PL/I), and Assembler languages
Describe JCL and programming requirements for COBOL, PL/I, and Assembler languages

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