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File-AID Tutorial


File-AID provides a cross-platform file and data management solution that enables developers and QA staff to quickly and conveniently access necessary data and files instead of hunting around for them.

In turn, developers devote less time to data-related tasks and spend more time developing new functionality and managing production problems. Rightsizing your test data provides confidence to make code changes without unintended consequences.

Benifits of File-AID:

  • Effectively manage files and data across platforms.

  • Access all standard file types regardless of record length or format for application integration.

  • Compare data files or objects to simplify the test results validation process.

  • Reformat files by easily modifying an existing file format instead of starting from scratch.

  • Extract and load related subsets of data from multiple databases and files.

  • Ensure all test conditions are met by selecting the precise application test data you need.

  • Customize test data for a particular application and specific conditions.


We will see some of the important options in File-AID with examples.

Start the product using the instructions provided by your site administrator.

Following screen will be dislayed - FILEAID Mainmenu.

fileaid primary option

OPTION 0 - This is used to change default File-AID setting value.


OPTION 1 and OPTION 2 - For both options same screens will be displayed. But In option 2, you can be able to update dataset. Let us see option 2.

Type 2 and press ENTER in FILEAID Mainmenu. Following screen will be displayed.

fileaid option2 browse dataset
  • Browse Mode ===> "F" for fixed format dataset.

  • 'BX5216.UMA.DM111111.INPUT' is the input data set which conatains data.

  • RECORD LAYOUT USAGE ===> S , If you type S here you should provide copy book corresponding to above dataset (structure of dataset), type N , if you does not have copy book for that data set

  • RECORD LAYOUT DATASET ===> 'BX5216.OSV.X149947.CNTL'

    This pds contains the copy book

  • MEMBER NAME ===> TEST

    This is the copy book name(member name in the above PDS- BX5216.OSV.X149947.CNTL).

  • SELECTION CRITERIA USAGE ===> N

    This option is used to apply different types of criterias on data if you want to see whole data type 'N'

Press ENTER.

New Screen will be displayed which contains data. This screen shows data record by record, If you want to go to next record press F11 , for previous record F10

Type VFMT on command line to display the records vertically.

Type CHAR on command line to display the data only without showing the field name and lengths.

Other useful commands:
  1. HEX ON - The data will be displayed in hexa decimal format.

  2. HIDE - This command is used to hide some/all columns.

    For example, HIDE 1-3 : Field1, Field2, Field3 will simply disappear from view.

    Syntax - HIDE <FIELD NUMBER>[-<FIELD NUMBER>]

  3. DISPLAY - To include or exclude specific items from display or alter the display format of data items.

    Syntax - DISPLAY <FIELD NUMBER>[-<FIELD NUMBER>] [ON/OFF]


OPTION 3 - Mostly we use this option for Create, Browse, Edit, Delete flat files(PS, PDS), VSAM files and GDG(Generation Dataset). Also used for Copy the records from one file to another (partial record or condition can be included).

OPTION 7 - This option is used to setup XREF file.

Let us see in detail. Type 7 and press Enter in FILEAID Mainmenu.

fileaid opiton7

Following screen will be displayed.

fileaid record layout cross reference
  • 'BX5216.OSV.X149947.XREF' is the xref PDS. This file should already exist. Also the length of the file is greater than 300 and in VB format.

  • MEMBER NAME ===> TEST

    This memeber will be created in above pds 'BX5216.OSV.X149947.XREF'. Don't need to present already.

  • RECORD LAYOUT DATASET ===> 'BX5216.OSV.X149947.CNTL'

    This pds contains the copy book.

Below are the copybook layout for the Header, Detail and Trailer record.

fileaid header layout

fileaid detail layout

fileaid trailer layout

Once you enetered the details. Press Enter. Following screen will be displayed. Here, you have to add the copybook name(member name in the pds BX5216.OSV.X149947.CNTL) like below and Press Enter.

fileaid define xref member

Following screen will be displayed.

fileaid define xref status default

Now we need to change the status "DEFAULT BASE". This will help file-Aid to differentiate the input record for header, Detail, Trailer layout. Let see how to do this.

Type S and Press Enter. See below.

fileaid xref status change

Following screen will be displayed.

fileaid xref definition

Based on input file layout, if '01' in record type, it means header record. once you added record type. Press Enter.

Following screen will be displayed.

fileaid xref status base

Now the status has been changed from "DEFAULT BASE" to "BASE"

Similarly, Repeat the step for other records - Detail('02' in record type) and Trailer('03' in record type).

Now the status has been changed from "DEFAULT BASE" to "BASE" for all member. See below.

fileai xref setup complete

Press F3 two times to go back FILEAID Mainmenu.

We have completed the XREF setup. Now we browse the file using OPTION 1.

fileaid option1

Type 1 and press Enter. Following screen will be displayed.

fileaid browse dataset
  • Browse Mode ===> "F" for fixed format dataset.

  • 'BX5216.UMA.DM111111.INPUT' is the input data set which conatains data.

  • RECORD LAYOUT USAGE ===> X , X for XREF, If you type S here you should provide copy book corresponding to above dataset (structure of dataset), type N , if you does not have copy book for that data set

  • XREF DATASET NAME ===> 'BX5216.OSV.X149947.CNTL'

    This pds contains the copy book

  • MEMBER NAME ===> TEST

    This is the XREF member which we created in XREF setup option 7(member name in the above PDS- BX5216.OSV.X149947.CNTL).

  • SELECTION CRITERIA USAGE ===> N

    This option is used to apply different types of criterias on data if you want to see whole data type 'N'

Once you enetered the details. Press Enter. New screen will be displayed

This screen shows data record by record with corresponding record layout. If you want to go to next record press F11 , for previous record F10

fileaid browse dataset header

fileaid browse dataset detail

fileaid browse dataset trailer

OPTION 8 - This is used to view the interpretated record layout.

Type 8 and Press Enter. Following screen will be displayed.

fileaid view record layout

Enter copybook library and member name.

Expand Occurances ==> Y - To display all occurances of Array. if N, it will not display all occurances of Array.

Enter required details and press Enter. Below screen will be displayed.

fileaid view layout

This screen display the field picture clause, field number, starting and ending position and length of the fields for the copybook.


OPTION 9 - This option is used to convert the files from one format to another format.

For example, if you want to convert FB file into variable block file. You can do it by using this option.


OPTION 10 - This option is used to compare two files. It is similar to 3.13 option but this has extended facilities you can mention like how do you want to compare like based on sort key or one to one record compare.

Also, you can compare based on some selection criteria.


OPTION X - To exit File-AID.

Type X and Press Enter.

fileaid exit

If you have any doubts or queries related to this chapter, get them clarified from our Mainframe experts on ibmmainframer Community!

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