VSAM Interview Questions

1. What are the types of VSAM datasets?
Entry sequenced datasets (ESDS), key sequenced datasets (KSDS) and relative record dataset (RRDS)

2. How are records stored in an ESDS, entry sequenced dataset?
They are stored without respect to the contents of the records and in the order in which they are included in the file.

3. What is a CI, control interval?
A control interval is the unit of information that VSAM transfers between virtual and auxiliary storage.

4. What are the distinctive features of a ksds, key sequenced dataset?
The index and the distributed free space.

5. What is a CA, control area?
A group of control intervals makes up a control area.

6. What is a sequence set?
This is the part of the index that points to the CA and CI of the record being accessed.

7. What is the index set?
This is the other part of the index. It has multiple levels with pointers that ultimately reach to the sequence set.

8. What is a cluster?
A cluster is the combination of the index, sequence set and data portions of the dataset. The operating system gives program access to the cluster, ie. to all parts of the dataset simultaneously.

9. What is the catalog?
The catalog contains the names of all datasets, VSAM and non-VSAM. It is used to access these datasets.

10. What is an alternate index?
An AIX is a file that allows access to a VSAM dataset by a key other than the primary one.

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